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Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga» Forums » General

Subject: One rule I didn't care for... rss

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You know, I try not to be the type of gamer who begins dictating houserules to "fix" games as soon as he finishes one play of game, but there is one rule in Fire and Axe that I really didn't care for. I'm talking about the rule that states that the viking who finishes the Saga goal gets the card. Thematically, it just doesn't make any sense to me as it seems to reward a more conservative, reactive, and "gamist" approach to a game that should reward loose play, taking chances, and light-hearted role-playing. If I'm playing a viking game about raiding and plundering and sailing the high seas, I want to be able to play fast and loose and not have to worry about calculating my movement and the potentiall movements of my opponents to make sure that no one can "steal" a Saga from me that I started. If I wanted that sort of microanalysis, I would play Caylus.

According to the rules, once a Saga is unobtainable, it is removed from the game. Initially, we took that to mean that if I start a Settling Saga in one area and another player swoops in and settles the final town, then the Saga can't be fulfilled and it was discarded. We then noticed the rules that state that that is not the case.

If, as we thought, Sagas could be disqualified by making them impossible to fulfill, then the other players have an interesting choice should another player be on her way to fulfilling it: either devote the time, men, and actions to stop it before it is fulfilled or let the player finish it and take the points.

ANyway, I still won the game even though this sort of thing happened to me on numerous occasions so maybe it doesn't have too much of an impact o nthe final score (after all, raiding and settling does count towards points at the end of the game regardless of whether ro not the Saga is completed). But again, I felt that it distracted from the theme.

Brian
 
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Jeff Grossman
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Have played a handful of times, and quest vulturing is pretty common in our games with 4 or 5.

Being a miniatures gamer as well as a board gamer, it's my take that they aren't rules, they are suggestions. In addition to your idea of canceling the Saga, you could also randomize the player who gets to keep the Saga (ie. 1-2 = first, 3-4 = second, 5-6 = last). Of course, that would require some un-viking-like record keeping, but it would keep the Sagas moving along.
 
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Ron Renard
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I disagree and like the rule. It adds a twist to the game. Vikings were raiders and usually worked against each other, not in a unison manner. It keeps the game from being too structured and it was fun to get Brian going.
We also played a rule wrong. Having a trade item in a city reduced its rating by 1 for raids and settlements. This would have made for more city raid and settlement successes.
I enjoyed the game and look forward to playing it soon.

Ron
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Well, if it is "fun" to get me going perhaps I'm playing with the wrong group...

Brian
 
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Gerald McDaniel
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We like the rule. It forces players to think more tactically about when to begin settling/trading/raiding a set of cities, based on where the other players are in the world and their chances of finishing the saga you've started. It causes players to look at their options, their resources, their position, and decide the best action to take. We see some real jockeying of positions near the end of the game, to see who can finish those last few sagas. We think that is a major part of the game.
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Michael Vinarcik
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Agreed...in our games there is a lot of action around finishing sagas.

My daughter loves to raid, so the later raid Paris/Rome (?) saga is usually impossible to complete.

And if you "lock" sagas so one person can complete them the game could stall out...or you'd have people planting colonies randomly to hopefully lock up sagas. I suspect the game would take longer since only one person could complete quests.

Don't overthink this too much...every game I've played has had a pretty good balance of sagas, trading, and settling. Just play the best you can on your turn and reassess as you go.

By the way, we joke about it a bit: "Michael Geraldsson completed his great quest" "after his wife did 2/3rds of the work."

:-)
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Gerald McDaniel
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mvinarcik wrote:
Agreed...in our games there is a lot of action around finishing sagas.

My daughter loves to raid, so the later raid Paris/Rome (?) saga is usually impossible to complete.

And if you "lock" sagas so one person can complete them the game could stall out...or you'd have people planting colonies randomly to hopefully lock up sagas. I suspect the game would take longer since only one person could complete quests.

Don't overthink this too much...every game I've played has had a pretty good balance of sagas, trading, and settling. Just play the best you can on your turn and reassess as you go.

By the way, we joke about it a bit: "Michael Geraldsson completed his great quest" "after his wife did 2/3rds of the work."

:-)


I'm a little confused about your comment. Are you playing sagas such that one player has to do all the settlements/trades/raids? The rules say that multiple Vikings may "contribute" to the saga, but the one who takes the last required action completes the saga and gets the card. There could be three different players involved in the same saga, with the third one getting the card.

What do you mean about "locking up" a saga? A partialy-completed saga, at the time the card is turned up, is available for completion. Only sagas that have been completed before the card is exposed are not available.
 
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Michael Vinarcik
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gamesgrandpa wrote:
mvinarcik wrote:
Agreed...in our games there is a lot of action around finishing sagas.

My daughter loves to raid, so the later raid Paris/Rome (?) saga is usually impossible to complete.

And if you "lock" sagas so one person can complete them the game could stall out...or you'd have people planting colonies randomly to hopefully lock up sagas. I suspect the game would take longer since only one person could complete quests.

Don't overthink this too much...every game I've played has had a pretty good balance of sagas, trading, and settling. Just play the best you can on your turn and reassess as you go.

By the way, we joke about it a bit: "Michael Geraldsson completed his great quest" "after his wife did 2/3rds of the work."

:-)


I'm a little confused about your comment. Are you playing sagas such that one player has to do all the settlements/trades/raids? The rules say that multiple Vikings may "contribute" to the saga, but the one who takes the last required action completes the saga and gets the card. There could be three different players involved in the same saga, with the third one getting the card.

What do you mean about "locking up" a saga? A partialy-completed saga, at the time the card is turned up, is available for completion. Only sagas that have been completed before the card is exposed are not available.


No, we're playing correctly. That's what I meant about me completing the saga after my wife did 2/3rds of the work (I tend to "quest vulture" if the opportunity presents itself). Though I tend to go on the hard Northern quests when they turn up, too.

As for locking up the saga, I misread the original poster...they were discarding the sagas, I thought they had "locked" the other cities out so the player who started the saga could complete it.

And yes, because my daughter is a raiding fiend and goes after the toughest cities without trading first we usually have to scrap a few of the late-game raiding cards because she's done them already.
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Gerald McDaniel
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Sounds like your family really enjoys this game. I've played it only with my son, son-in-law, and grandson, but I think I've convinced my daughter and wife to try it soon. They don't care much for direct-conflict games, but they do like Eurogames with trading and settling, so I think they will like it, with the basic card set.
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Thorfinn Skullsplitter
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I suppose you could try a house rule in which a player picks up a Saga card when they complete the first part of it (for example 'trade x,y, and z, and they trade with y).

This card would be worth no points until complete, and a player could only hold 3 in their hand at a time. You may not voluntarily discard a Saga.

This would allow the Sagas to continue cycling. If at some point, another player had an overlapping Saga, and did part or all of it first, then it would cause the other player to have to discard the unfinished Saga.

Sagas could be worked on while on the table as normal, and be open to all players as normal.

An alternate version of this alternate version, is to only allow a player 3 cards on their hand of any kind, so they could, for example, have 2 Sagas, but only 1 Rune.
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Geoff C
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This is one of my favorite parts of the game actually, and totally thematic! You have to be constantly on guard against other Vikings swooping in and stealing your hard earner glory...how is that not in line with Viking mythology??
 
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