Paul Incao
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I believe that the 2 player game is merely a tactical race. Match your opponent play for play, building a consistent money and VP generating deck of cards and whomever has the most aristocrats at the end of the game wins. Or as is often the case, whomever is lucking enough to have first pick on the last aristocrat round usually wins. I have also lost because a unique aristocrat was drawn on the last trading round. The aristocrat count may be too powerful, and luck based in a two player game.

I think one way of fixing this is to add more mystery between opponents to the game. Each player should start the game with 3 cards in their hand (one worker, one building and one aristocrat). On any turn they may choice to buy the cards in their hand as is standard in the rules but get the option to draw a replacement card of the same type from the top of the corresponding deck (with the understanding that they cant take the last card of any stack, and they can only perform this added benefit once per round...). I believe not knowing what your opponent has added to their hand for future play adds a twist that will make the 2 player game more interesting. If you're smart you may try and add two aristocrats to your hand by opting out of one round of benefit (when playing a worker or building from your hand). There is also the added challenge of not getting stuck with any cards in your hand at the end of the game.

For this variant I would not include the warehouse in the game.

I would be interested to hear what others think as I have only played the game with 2 players. Thoughts welcome.
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Gordon Adams
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I have been playing this game five days in a row in 2 player mode and played round about 70 odd Rounds.

Yes, I agree that the VP generated by the Aristo cards can be annoying if one player is lucky enough to be able to afford the high scoring aristo cards. However, in order to buy these cards one has to accumulate money from the Worker cards and ofcourse the up-grades. Not forgetting, what I think are quite weak, Building cards. But surely both players know the same tactics. Accumulate Workers, upgrade them and use the money to buy the aristo cards, particularly the Mistress of Ceremonies.

At most, the difference in the final scores was , on average, about 12.

In an 8 Round game, the highest score achieved was Player 1 = 93 and Player 2 = 81.

As a matter of curiosity, we decided, on our 29th round, to leave the 2 Mistress of Ceremonies cards out in order to see what difference it made to the final score. The result was more still a difference of between 8-14 VP and, ofcourse the money which does count for many points at the end of the game (10 rubles = 1VP)

Knowing that the aristo cards obviously up the score, we wanted to find out by how much. A change of tactics came into effect.

We then thought that maybe having fewer aristo cards laid out, a minimum of 4 per round , we noticed a real difference. However, there was still a way round to make up for the lost aristo cards....dependence on the worker/upgrade and building cards. Sure, the VP dropped, no doubt about that and the end score was lower but not so as to say that the actual difference between the two player scores were significantly affected. A winner margin of around 10 was still possible.

Anyway, I am a beginner and do not claim the knowledge that other St.Pete players have.

I most certaintly will try your variant as I really have taken a great fancy to this game and want to explore all variants.

Kind regards.

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David desJardins
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If you're looking for balance, surely you should start with the New Society expansion (Saint Petersburg: New Society & Banquet Expansion), which has been extensively tested and certainly helps to balance the game.
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Nick Fisk
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Stoke on Trent
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I've played a lot of 2-player St Pete recently, as have many people I know as we've been running a bit of a tournament.

In our experience, it's a fight for money.

I would much prefer to get a first round Observatory (if you use it to buy Workers) than worry about the Aristocrats.

There are 7 basic Aristocrats (at least two of each) and 10 upgrades, of which - if you picked up all 7 basics - you only need 3.

In our experience, most games are won by whoever has the most cash, so that in the last few rounds, they hoover up every available building.


Quote:
Or as is often the case, whomever is lucking enough to have first pick on the last aristocrat round usually wins.


Don't forget - You can (to a certain degree) control who is picking first in the last round by prolonging/shortening the game if possible.


Quote:
I have also lost because a unique aristocrat was drawn on the last trading round.


Keep tabs on how many get discarded (not usually very many, so not hard to do), and then add those to the ones you can see. That way you can have a rough idea of how many are left and the odds of seeing one.




N.
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cathy states

New York
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Great post. I cant believe you are an official board game geeker poster.....Look forward to learning the game.and all the tips will certainly help Katya
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Steve Duff
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cathy911 wrote:
I cant believe you are an official board game geeker poster.....


Guess what? You are too!

And I just gave you your first ever thumb. Enjoy it, and spread it around. meeple

Welcome.
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Paul Incao
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DaviddesJ wrote:
If you're looking for balance, surely you should start with the New Society expansion (Saint Petersburg: New Society & Banquet Expansion), which has been extensively tested and certainly helps to balance the game.


Thanks. I look forward to playing the New Society expansion.
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Jonathan Kandell
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DaviddesJ wrote:
If you're looking for balance, surely you should start with the New Society expansion (Saint Petersburg: New Society & Banquet Expansion), which has been extensively tested and certainly helps to balance the game.


Is this true 2p as much as 4 to 5p?
 
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