Chris Brandt
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I love this game and while I love it... I can't help but think there are two things that could be added to it. I've been playing around with the following:

External Facilities - such as a Theater, Golf Course, Monorail Station, Amusement Park, etc. These would bring both people and revenue, but could be placed outside of the current hotel map/mat. They would, have a cost, just as the current internal facilities, but the difference would be that they would not take up room (or fill needed space!) inside the hotel.

Entertainers - These would come up through either rolls or cards and would, again, provide revenue, people traffic, and fame. They would be restricted, though, to performing in lounges, theaters, fancy lounge, night club, etc. So, you'd have to build them first. I downloaded some images of lounge singers and vegas shows to make some stand-up figures that could be used for this. They'd have a cost, as do other items but would have a separate bidding mat from the existing facilities.

I'm going to start producing some of the these items and upload them so that others can see them. In the past, I've done some fairly "looks like original" variant components. Hmmm... even I am interested in what I come up with.

Chris
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John W
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I would be interested in seeing what people could come up with for "star performers" to add to Vegas Showdown.

Unless a whole new mechanic was created, the easiest likely way to incorporate them would be as Event Cards (of course they'd have to be printed almost perfectly so that people wouldn't recognize they were different).

If the Star Performer Event card was drawn, than a celebrity is added to a (as you say) lounge, theater, fancy lounge, night club, etc. on the auction board (dealer's choice). This star could add fame to that room, or pop, or money (this may have to be figured out, or have each star be a dedicated amount and have them shuffled and lined up at the beginning already predetermined, or just let the dealer decide which one they want the star to add).
Place the stand-up figure on the tile and the high bidder takes it with them to their hotel.

In fact, you could even add a option with the Publicize action where players could give up the 1 fame for a chance at recruiting (gaining the interest of) a star performer. This variant would dovetail well with a variant I've been contemplating for a couple years that adds a Roulette wheel to the game : each publicize fame given up gives a bet on the Roulette wheel - any successful bet gets the next star performer. This would be valuing each star performer at about 2 Fame (I wonder what the equivalent $$$ or pop is).
There would probably be a bonus for the player with the most star performers - why not go with the default 5, 3, 1 distribution?

Great idea with the Entertainers/Star Performers, Chris. thumbsup

However, I don't see how the External Facilities would work very well, since the whole point of the game is using the space on your board - Any tile not placed on the board is potential precious wasted fame points.
 
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Dave and Gwen Fogel
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reapersaurus wrote:
Unless a whole new mechanic was created, the easiest likely way to incorporate them would be as Event Cards (of course they'd have to be printed almost perfectly so that people wouldn't recognize they were different).


What if we had a totally separate deck? Each tile caused both event decks to be revealed? Then again, I like your roulette wheel even better!

reapersaurus wrote:
However, I don't see how the External Facilities would work very well, since the whole point of the game is using the space on your board - Any tile not placed on the board is potential precious wasted fame points.


you bring up a good point! Still, with significant bonuses you could outweigh that aspect.

hmmm... What if outside tiles were needed to draw in celebrities? Bill Gates is in town at the "Convention Hall" next door and decides to play poker in YOUR Dragon Room, thus doubling the benefits of that tile?
 
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Chris Brandt
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Hmmm... Good thoughts both.
I have dealt with the "new components look different" problem in the past by scrapping the old deck and duplicating it, along with the new items. Time consuming, though, so I avoid that strategy if possible. I was thinking a separate deck or a simple mark on the original deck to indicate that a star performer was coming to town or something.

I was thinking that the bidding process would work, just on a separate mat/board with prices that fell if the star were not "hired".

Regarding putting tiles outside the mat, the fact it does not add to your core hotel area is exactly the point. If you put a "Theater" (for example) outside the mat, you are giving up the opportunity to fill more of your mat... so there is an opportunity cost associated with it. For example, if I knew the game were going to end soon and I still needed to fill my casino, I might not be inclined to build a theater. However, if I'd already filled both my casino and hotel squares, then I might be inclined to build a theater, particularly if there were a "star" available.

I'm going to play around with the possibilities and keep you posted!

Chris
 
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Henry Stern
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Cool ideas.

The original design included an entire "shopping" tech tree:

Gift shop (1x1) -> Fancy Shop(1x1) -> Luxury Mall (the bizzaro 3x1 tile!)

Smartly, it got taken out pretty early in the design. That said, I always kind of liked the idea of including the whole shopping experience in some way......
-HS
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Mac Mcleod
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Our thoughts were for those large outside facilities. They would not be secret- would have a high price and would be slightly lower value than the auction cards.

For example a 52 point auction card, would have a similar 45 point non-auction facility such as "fountains", "pirate shows", "volcano".

They attract a crowd and perhaps give a special ability (see the next card up, get an extra dollar if you have an odd income, see the next small 1x1 stack room coming up).

I like the entertainer thing.

I like the shopping line-- understand how it was dropped for game simplicity.

 
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Mil Myman
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I think these are great ideas! I like the idea of external facilities (like the Forum Shops at Caesars, or the Canal Walk at the Venetian). If you want to make them tiles in the casino map, maybe you can just make the casino map bigger. Have a three-ended casino: the hotel side, the casino side, and the shopping side. 3 points if you connect 2, 5 points if you connect all three.

And performers/acts can be mixed right in with the event deck, but with no tile size on them - you keep drawing until you fill up the tile auction spaces. That way there's a variable number of performers available (probably more in the B deck, since people have to build performance spaces first).

During a Publicity action, you can place any number of performers that aren't yet placed in your casino, but you have to have room for them - one to a tile.

And the performers might be worth varying amounts of fame/population/revenue based on where you put them. A common lounge singer won't bring in much revenue in the theatre, and a big star won't work as well in a regular lounge. Or you can have performers that can only be placed in certain tiles.

One more thought, if necessary: Maybe the shopping etc. facilities, just to make them different from the other tiles, might not give very much in revenue, population, or fame, but they give other bonuses - special abilities, or extra R/P/F when various event cards come up. Frex: "Family-friendly Trend: If you have an Amusement Park, you get an extra $5 this turn."

And BTW, it kind of makes sense for the retail stuff to not give you much R/P/F directly, since most of the profit goes directly to the retailers themselves.
 
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Chris Brandt
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These are great suggestions. I was at WBC this weekend and was discussing it with a colleague of mine. OY! If I only had more time!!!
Chris
 
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Max Jamelli
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These are all really cool ideas -- maybe a possible expansion?
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Amo .
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Not sure if this game has a "Boxing" room, but I'd like to throw that in because Vegas is used for big boxing bouts through the years.
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Jon G
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Apologies for the thread necromancy, but at brilliant way to do this just up and thwacked me on the head.

Make two stacks of tiles, attractions and entertainers. Shuffle them separately.



Set up a side board as a craps table. It has one standard bidding track, which is shared by attractions/entertainers. Each turn, the dealer rolls two dice and plays craps with the table. If the shooter wins (7/11 on the first roll, or the point number thereafter), remove whatever is on the bid track and replace it with an attraction at its opening price. If the shooter craps (2/3/12 on the first roll, or 7 therafter), remove whatever is on the bid track and replace it with an entertainer and its opening price.

This should result in a new tile every three turns, with the caveat that attractions/entertainers might disappear on any new turn (other than that minimum price falls normally). If you want more turnover (say, in a 5-player game), you could allow a player who neither wins nor craps to ante the pass line to throw one more time. If less turnover, you could require an ante on the don't pass line to *not* throw dice. But it needs playtesting to see if more turnover is good for each player count.

For entertainers, I like Chris' suggestion that they can only perform in a lounge, fancy lounge, nightclub, or theater. To give this spice, entertainers should have four different stats, depending where they perform. A magician might make 1 fame in a lounge or nightclub, 2 fame in a fancy lounge, but 3 fame in a theater. An aging rocker might make 1 fame in a lounge or fancy, 3 in a nightclub or theater.

For attractions, these could either be external facities as Chris suggested (don't need to be placed) or be special in-casino tiles, like the 1x3 shopping mall tile that Henry suggested.

Thoughts? I wanna play craps with my VS.
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Jon G
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My brain is spinning on this idea, so here's a brainstorm of tiles for the idea, borrowing freely from above:

Attractions:
Luxury Mall (1x3 interior tile)
Boxing Ring (requires sports book, 2x2 interior tile)
Monument (exterior)
Fountains (exterior)
Pirate Shows (exterior)
Amusement park (exterior)
Megafauna (exterior)
Fine Art Gallery (1x2 interior tile)

Performers:
Magician
Acrobats
Aging Rockers
Enthusiastic Musicians
Comedian
Showgirls
Dance Troupe
Hot New Musical (theater only)
Celebrity Chef (for fancy rest/steakhouse)
Mafia Don (for high rollers, dragon room)
Retired Pro (for sportsbooks)

A clever idea for performers: When you play publicity, you may either take 1vp OR pay $N to gain N vp for the current value of one of your performers. While it needs to be hard to get more than 2 glory from this action early, this could make an interesting alternate vp source.

Anyone want to take a crack at reasonable stats & starting prices for those?
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Chris Brandt
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Jon, you've given me food for thought. Since the entertainers and other features would have varying value, you could probably put a starting price on the card, rather than having them all start at the same price and waiting for the market to adjust them. Next week I'm on vacation with a bunch of gamers and I think I'll play around with this.

I like the simple line drawings of the original game, so I might try to sketch out a few things. Thanks for kicking this back onto the front burner for me!

Chris
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Jon G
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I actually just got Vegas Showdown (I'm a bit of a compulsive variant-maker), and played it with my game group, and they all demanded to buy Elvis impersonators, showgirls, and pyramids. We might need this expansion for the game to get on the table at my game night.

Initial thoughts for Attractions:
- The exterior ones would mostly be lots of fame, 0-2 people. A range of fame could allow a range of starting prices. They should be cheaper than interior tiles of similar stats, since they don't fill space
- The mall is really handy for connecting your entrances, and red corners alone would make it a beast. Or you could skip the red corners and give it decent stats (similar to fancy restaurant).
- The boxing ring would be similar to the SASB, but maybe less income and more fame. Or maybe drop the red corners and lower the price.
- I'm underwhelmed by the Fine Art Gallery. But it could be a fancy lounge with $1 instead of 1 person.

Initial thoughts for Entertainers:
- I'm liking the above idea where good entertainers in the right facility allow you to do publicity for more than 1vp, and also score vp normally. But that means that weak entertainers should get 2vp in their best 1-2 venues, while better entertainers get 3vp's for one venue, and maybe 1-2 "best" entertainers (musical, acrobats) must use the theater but give 4vp when they do.

- All this makes having more than 1-2 headline acts less useful, which I think is OK, since it will help spread them out.

- It seems wise to have chefs/mafia dons/retired pros that use the yellow & blue rooms, or the game will swing too far to the lounge track. Also (this just occurs to me) the pro athletes and mafia dons will like the boxing arena.

- There are probably too many lounge-track acts above, but it's a brainstorm.
 
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Jon G
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I got to talk to a guy who's helped build a number of the Vegas Strip casino attractions, so I at least got some idea of the relative cost & complexity of them (apparently the Bellagio fountains are the most expensive to build & operate, and seven people died in building the Luxor, largely because a pyramid is awkward to build with modern techniques.)

We put together some initial stats. I'm consciously trying to make the exterior ones about 2-3 fame better than a comparable interior building (since they don't fill space). I think this is more tiles than are needed, and we all agreed the art gallery was pretty dull, but these don't all need to come out every game to be fun to play:

[Edited slightly since first posting]

Exterior improvements:
Phallic Monument: 6 fame, $33 min bid (award 6 fame and shuffle back into attractions after it is bought or removed)
Pirate Shows: 1 person, 4 fame, $25 min bid
Megafauna Habitat: 4 fame, $18 min bid, +1 gold star for theater celebrities
Laser Fountains: 2 persons, 6 fame, $42 min bid
Thrill Rides: 2 persons, 2 fame, $18 min bid

Interior improvements:
Boxing Arena: 2x2 yellow tile, requires sports book, 2 persons, $2, 4 fame, $42 min bid (no red corners, so it's $10 cheaper than the SASB)
Fancy Mall: 1x3 blue tile, 3 persons, $1, 2 fame, red corners, $42 min bid
Holosuite: 1x1 blue tile, 2 persons, $3, 6 fame, red corners, $42 min bid
Auction House: 1x2 green tile, $1, 4 fame, red corners, $33 min bid

Celebrities: To balance the different buildings, there should be entertainers for the lounges, but also celebs for the other tracks. We figured nobody needed more than 2 or 3 venues to perform, so...

Magician: 1P in lounge, 1P+2F in fancy, 2P+3F in theater, $25 min bid
Acrobats: 2P+4F, theater only, $25 min bid
Lounge Lizard: 2F in lounge, $1+2F in fancy, $18 min bid
Aging Rockers: $1+2F in fancy lounge, $2+2F in nightclub, $18 min bid
Enthusiastic Percussion: $1+2F in nightclub, $2+2F in theater, $18 min bid
Comedian: 1P in lounge, 2F in fancy, $1+2F in nightclub, $25 min bid
Showgirls: $1+1P in fancy, 2+2F in theater, $18 min bid
Famous Chef: 2F+1P in fancy rest, 3F+1P in 5-star, $25 min bid
Mafia Don: $2 in high roller, 2F in 5-star, $2+3F in boxing arena, $25 min bid
Infamous Pro: 2F in sportsbook, 3F in SASB, $18 min bid
Former Child Actor: 2F in mall, 3F in holosuite or glad arena, $12 min bid
Elvis Impersonator: $1 in buffet or lounge, 2F in fancy lounge, $7 min bid

The proposed mechanic here is that a celeb has value only if in a room that they reward for. Celebs can be moved freely. Celebrity fame is measured in gold stars, and does not count at the end of the game. Instead, you can take a publicity action to promote your celebrity, which scores the gold star fame value instead of the usual 1 fame. People and $'s in the stats are always active if in the right room.
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Randall Bart
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dr.mrow wrote:
seven people died in building the Luxor

Cite? There were many injuries, but AFAIK there were two deaths, and one wasn't really a construction accident. It counted as a construction accident because it was a construction worker at a construction site, but the building was open, and a large TV cart (not a construction machine) fell on a worker.
 
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Jon G
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Barticus88 wrote:
dr.mrow wrote:
seven people died in building the Luxor

Cite? There were many injuries, but AFAIK there were two deaths, and one wasn't really a construction accident. It counted as a construction accident because it was a construction worker at a construction site, but the building was open, and a large TV cart (not a construction machine) fell on a worker.


The unconfirmed memory of a contractor who worked on the project decades ago?

He went on for 30 minutes about stuff falling off balconies and through ceilings, and into the area he'd been working minutes before, etc. The workers muttered that building a pyramid might well be cursed. It's also possible two deaths 20 years ago is remembered as 7 today, and he was drinking...
 
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Chris Brandt
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This is great. I'm going to use this. We'll be using the same thing and we'll see how it works!
Chris
 
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Jon G
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We tried a 3p game tonight, and (since I wanted to limit extra tiles in a 3p game), we started without a craps tile, and only added tiles when the roll won or lost. The dice mostly didn't want us buying tiles (many tiles were replaced before the price dropped), so the only ones to get bought were Pirate Shows, the Auction House, and the Infamous Pro; the Boxing Arena, Acrobats, and Mall were all replaced the turn one turn too soon, or they would have been bought.

The tiles seemed pretty balanced -- my wife did play 2vp Publicity actions with the Infamous Pro about four times, but she finished last. Prices are such that you don't want to pay list price, and two drops will trigger bidding. I made a full set of tiles, and I'll post them tomorrow.

For craps table rules, I think you want to tweak according to player count as follows:
3+ players: Only place a tile when the dealer wins (Attraction) or loses (Performer) at craps. This replaces the old tile.
4+ players: Dealer may place a coin on the pass line to roll again, or on don't pass to not roll the dice. If the shooter wins, he takes the pass line coins; if he loses, he takes the don't pass coins.
5 players: Whenever the craps tile space is vacant at the start of the turn (including the start of the game), dealer can choose to auction an attraction or celeb tile instead of rolling.
6 players: (since it's already a variant): Add a second auction slot beside the craps table. This space is not rolled for. If its tile sells, the new dealer replaces it with a celeb/attraction as he chooses. Note that because of Phallic Monument, there will always be at least one tile to bid for.
 
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Jon G
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The expansion is ready for public consumption. I uploaded it to BGG today, but it usually takes a while to get approved. If you'd like it sooner, geekmail me an address that can accept attachments, and whether you'd like pdf or pptx format.

Edit: File is up at:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/91013/vegas-showdown-c...
 
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John W
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LOVE that you revisited these Vegas Showdown ideas - this is the one variant above any other I've read in over 10 years here that I want to see more done with, and keeps coming back in my mind.

I would like to hear more about playtesting results, if anyone does this.
 
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