Adam McD
United States
Minnesota
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When I played my first game of Funny Friends, there were four of us and none of us had ever played before. Two of the four of us were non-gamers, so the complex rules were a bit much. As such, I decided that we would simply play without the offer/phone markers. There were plenty of other game rules to wrap our minds around, and the overall feel & playability of the game remained.


Here are the details, it's simple:

• When you need to choose a an existing friend as a requirement, you may choose anyone (neutral-player or active-player) who is already your friend.

• When you get a friend as an effect, we played that you must pick someone who was not already your friend. After re-reading the rules, it would seem that you should also be able to pick an existing friend (i.e. -- you should be able to pick anyone, existing friend or not).


These rules probably took away some of the game's strategy/skill possibility, but not much (in my opinion). Plus it totally avoided the confusing rules involving offer/phone markers. I think that this is a variant worth considering if first-time players and/or non-gamers are at the table.

PS. We still played that all friends involved got the effects of the card (smoking, wealth, etc.)


What do y'all think?
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Doug Adams
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Oakleigh
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It sounds a great idea for first time players. Actually, the rules aren't that complex, but they are counter-intuitive. Just when I think I've mastered them, I have to go scrabbling back in the rulebook!

Good game though - I've introduced several different groups to it, and they've all loved it. I even have a work colleague frantically looking for a copy.
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Rob Fletcher
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i went through exactly the same thinkning and agree with your solution.
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Thomas Schandl
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I also like to play with a simpler variant, as this game is not so much about winning anyway and therefor the counter-intuitive rules regarding the phone and meeting new people are not so important.

Intuitive phone variant:
When winning an experience that has a friend as an outcome, choose any player or non-player you don't know yet as a new friend. You exchange phone numbers (i.e. markers)

If you are the active player and about to go on an experience that has a friend as a pre-requisite, anyone who has your phone number can call you and force you to take him along. If several people call, the active player can choose between them. The successful caller has to discard the phone marker.

This maybe reduces the strategic options a bit, but makes it much easier for players to learn the game, making it more accessible for non-gamers.

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Jan
Belgium
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We actually don't use the telephone counters, whenever a friend needs to be picked by the player, he has the choice. But if one or more players want to be in they just announce they want to be in it to. It's then up to the player to choose between any one that proposed to be in it.
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Andrew Ross
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I've given my Funny Friends game the same treatment as my Betrayal at House on the Hill game: Trim the fat until you get down to a lean and fun core game.

For Funny Friends, I use what I call "Tutorial Mode":
No Call Tokens.
Can only be Friends with NPCs.
Removed Public Goals.
Removed Engaged and Happily Married.
"Prereq Friend" Means: Select a Friend.
"Effect Friend" Means: Select an NPC. If you selected an NPC Stranger, they become a Friend.
"Partner Up" Means: Marry your Partner, OR Select non-Partner to be your Partner. Previous Partner, if any, becomes an Ex-Partner.

This cuts down on player interaction, but each player has enough going on in thier own life without trying to figure out how their choices affect the other players.
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Rich A
United Kingdom
London
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ad3ross wrote:
I've given my Funny Friends game the same treatment as my Betrayal at House on the Hill game: Trim the fat until you get down to a lean and fun core game.

For Funny Friends, I use what I call "Tutorial Mode":
No Call Tokens.
Can only be Friends with NPCs.
Removed Public Goals.
Removed Engaged and Happily Married.
"Prereq Friend" Means: Select a Friend.
"Effect Friend" Means: Select an NPC. If you selected an NPC Stranger, they become a Friend.
"Partner Up" Means: Marry your Partner, OR Select non-Partner to be your Partner. Previous Partner, if any, becomes an Ex-Partner.

This cuts down on player interaction, but each player has enough going on in thier own life without trying to figure out how their choices affect the other players.


Interesting idea. I dug this game out again recently as both fog of love and 0ursuit of happiness reminded me of this game.

I'd forgotten how crazy this game is compared to the family friendly pursuit of happiness and the serious fog of love.

The rules are still very fiddly but i think that's in part due to the way the rules are written. This game needs an updated modernised rule book. I agree totally that the offer markers could be ditched. They seem superfluous adding a gamey element to a simple table discussion where you try and persuade a player to pick you, "so why should I have sex with You?" etc.

The silly adult humour feels refreshing in today's serious world of identity politics.
 
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