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Subject: Faster Game rss

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Doug Cooley
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TKP covers a neglected area of consim gaming, but to my mind it has a very poor decisions per turn ratio that, combined with length, make it unappealing. Here is a variant that I propose to both speed game play as well as give the players more options.

At the beginning of each round, instead of one common deck that all players draw from, instead deal each player a personal deck of 20 cards (modify this number as desired).

Start with a hand of, oh, five cards (this could be modified up or down to personal taste). You play all the cards you wish to during your turn, but at the end of your turn you draw back up to your hand limit of five. When your deck runs out, you stop drawing cards. If you ever run out of cards in both your draw pile and your hand, your turn is skipped until the end of the round. You could always discard, but there's really no reason to as every card can be used for an Intercept! action. In addition, you *must* play at least one card every turn to prevent players from holding their cards for the entire round and creating a "I'm not going until you do" mentality.

I believe there are a couple of cards that "skip" player turns, which would have to be removed or their text modified. I leave that as an exercise for those interested in trying this variant.

The idea is that now you are no longer getting one card per turn, but managing a deck as well. In effect, this is exactly the same as having a common deck but simply tracking how many cards you use over the course of the round. Players will be encouraged to use combos but not at a faster pace than others. This idea is used to excellent effect in Conflict of Heroes through the use of Command Points.

The end result should be a much faster game with the same amount of resources but more control over how they are used.
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Gregory Bay
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Thanks for the idea!

Having just received the game and playing a few rounds I have noticed the issue with length as well and our group decided to up the draw from one card to two, basically cutting the game time in half and pacing the game faster.

THe only question/thought that I have about your method is do you think it forces the end of the game as well as the single deck/draw, and do you think each player having a deck and being able to top up in big plays leads to different strategizing whereas a player who can only draw one or two will not get a full hand after a big turn and thus be weak.

Yes they will run out of cards faster but a player can really capitalize on opportunities and not be forced to really consider this in light he will have a full hand at the end of the turn.

Just some questions to see if these have been problems.

THanks
Greg
 
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Doug Cooley
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baymonkey wrote:
Thanks for the idea!

Having just received the game and playing a few rounds I have noticed the issue with length as well and our group decided to up the draw from one card to two, basically cutting the game time in half and pacing the game faster.

The only question/thought that I have about your method is do you think it forces the end of the game as well as the single deck/draw, and do you think each player having a deck and being able to top up in big plays leads to different strategizing whereas a player who can only draw one or two will not get a full hand after a big turn and thus be weak.

Yes they will run out of cards faster but a player can really capitalize on opportunities and not be forced to really consider this in light he will have a full hand at the end of the turn.

Just some questions to see if these have been problems.

THanks
Greg


Forcing the end of the game - Well, it can't be any *slower*, so there's that. Really it's about the *round*. The only reason you separate the deck into equal smaller decks is to track that everyone gets the same number of cards in a round.

Topping up can give you a short term advantage and encourage building up of combos, which can only make the game more interesting. The game as published discourages combos, especially early in the round.

Playing a large group of cards means you will run out of cards before others (assuming they have not done the same), but the player has to decide if that's worth the risk over another player sniping at them one intercept at a time.

I have not tried the game with this variant. This isn't a game that my group would be willing to play, wargamers or euro players. I suppose the solitaire version could be made to work with it by running through that deck just once, or just once, shuffle and one more turn (or similar).

I have not tried the variant - my group would hate this game, both wargamers and eurogamers. Too theme-poor for the former, too decision-poor (even with the variant) for the latter. It's a pretty discerning group.
 
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