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Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean» Forums » Variants

Subject: Another Two-Player Variant rss

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Rick Mathews
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Another two-player variant has been posted in the Files section. This variant is based on the idea of creating a game enviroment similar to three-player Parthenon without a complicated rules overhead. It seems to work well in actual practice, so it is being posted on BGG with the hope that others will find it to be enjoyable.

As I state in the variant rules, I acknowledge the efforts of Enders Game and Jon_1066 for the foundational thoughts which led to this new two-player version.
 
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Jon M
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I am interested how you found the trade with the neutral island went. We first had the island limited by the amount it could produce. We found though that this added overhead for little benefit. I presume with your more favourable exchange rates it needs to be limited in some way?
 
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Andrew Parks
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This looks like a well conceived and carefully balanced variant, and I'm eager to give it a try. Perhaps my wife and I can enjoy this during the upcoming blizzard!

Thanks!

Andrew
 
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Rick Mathews
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Jon_1066 wrote:
I am interested how you found the trade with the neutral island went. We first had the island limited by the amount it could produce. We found though that this added overhead for little benefit. I presume with your more favourable exchange rates it needs to be limited in some way?


Thanks for the feedback, and for your own 2-player ideas that provided part of the inspiration for this new variant.

Like you, I wanted to avoid overhead. It is avoided by 1) giving the neutral island exactly the same eight cards each turn, and 2) discarding all cards that the neutral island ends up with at the end of the Island Trade phase. We found this to be very painless in actual play. Apart from this, the only things the neutral player add are the ability for the players to each place one of its ships per year, and purchase its randomly-drawn philosophy. Note that these things are designed to produce an environment similar to a three-player game, not a full artificial third player that can win the game! This keeps overhead to a minimum.

Trade balance is addressed by 1) allowing a player to trade only one card with the neutral island before the other player has an opportunity to trade, and 2) restricting trade with the neutral to "like" classes (e.g., basic "monopoly" commodity for basic "monopoly" commodity, rare for rare, etc.). The players can abuse the neutral, but only to a point, and it is equal-opportunity abuse!

Also, please remember that all of this is founded on the two-year Tournament Game only, for the reasons stated in the Design Notes. I daresay this variant would not work as-is for a three-year game. We found that the Tournament Game produced a nice length for a two-player game, with plenty of action from the very start.


Andrew Parks wrote:
This looks like a well conceived and carefully balanced variant, and I'm eager to give it a try. Perhaps my wife and I can enjoy this during the upcoming blizzard!

Thanks!

Andrew


Thanks Andrew! There was a lot of thought that went into it. I hope you will get a chance to give it a try (while snowed-in or otherwise), and then let me know what you think!

My friend who helped me test this variant also participated in a live three-player game using the Tournament rules. He remarked afterward that this two-player version is surprisingly close to the "feel" of a three-player Tournament game. It would be interesting to know to what extent you agree or disagree.
 
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