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Subject: Random Starting Islands, with Auction rss

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neko flying
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Conquest of Paradise is a very refreshing lightweight wargame. However, the games can get a bit repetitive, since the players always start on the same islands.

With these optional rules, each game will begin with a different set of starting islands, from over 100 possible starting combinations. To compensate the variability in starting player powers, the initial islands are auctioned for. The auction "price" consists in a higher number of Victory Points needed to win the game.

The spirit of the original game is preserved: at the beginning of the game all the known islands and empty ocean hexes are placed in their original historical positions (except possibly for Hawaiki, the mythical island!), and the game progresses as usual, with new islands discovered at random locations with exploration.

Link to the variant rules (Version 1.01):
http://docs.google.com/View?id=dg6qtsgt_238nwv7v32

Hope you like this

NEW! A map to clarify the initial setup is here:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1443043/conquest-of-paradise


______________________________________

Earlier version:
http://docs.google.com/View?id=dg6qtsgt_22g23r4jfm

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Kevin McPartland
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Re: Variable Starting Islands, with Auction
This is an excellent set of variable rules, Neko! It essentially assumes that the Polynesians didn’t get started where they historically did, but rather on other islands. I like the way that a “trail” to these islands is established, just like the original game. Except that Easter Island may or may not be connected (very elegant!) and mythical Hawaiiki is never connected (clever!)

Some questions for you:

It seems that with starting positions 2 and 3, one player starts with two islands- correct? If so, then does the player decide where his starting Villages and Warrior Bands start? Must they be on one island group, or can they be split? What if one starting island is left empty, and another player steps in?

Under Setup I, item 3, part 1: if Samoa and Tonga are not starting islands, then they get the “usual” 4 Villages. This should be only 3 Villages, since the usual rule is to place Villages on green boxes only, not brown boxes.

Under Setup II, item 3: aren’t items 1 and 2 the same? If a hex is empty, it’s by definition also Unexplored. Also, why do you have item 3? The island names in the Unexplored area of the map were placed there just for geographic reference, not for any impact on the game. It seems that one should be able to place Hawaiki in these hexes.

Thanks for posting your variant!

Kevin
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neko flying
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Re: Variable Starting Islands, with Auction
KMcPartland wrote:
This is an excellent set of variable rules, Neko! It essentially assumes that the Polynesians didn’t get started where they historically did, but rather on other islands. I like the way that a “trail” to these islands is established, just like the original game. Except that Easter Island may or may not be connected (very elegant!) and mythical Hawaiiki is never connected (clever!)


Thank you Kevin!! I am honoured to hear that you like it! About the historical assumption, exactly! You know how sometimes it's easier for other people to find the right words to describe something? I will use your description for it in an updated version!

KMcPartland wrote:

It seems that with starting positions 2 and 3, one player starts with two islands- correct? If so, then does the player decide where his starting Villages and Warrior Bands start? Must they be on one island group, or can they be split? What if one starting island is left empty, and another player steps in?


I think I didn't explain the rules well enough. No game will ever start with both Samoa and Tonga and/or both Raiatea and Tahiti discovered. This is to prevent unbalanced scenarios in which two players start on adjacent islands, and a third one on a far off island. In step 2.2, before the starting islands are actually determined, one card from each of the three couples of islands (1), (2), and (3) is discarded and removed from the set of possible starting islands at the outset.

KMcPartland wrote:

Under Setup I, item 3, part 1: if Samoa and Tonga are not starting islands, then they get the “usual” 4 Villages. This should be only 3 Villages, since the usual rule is to place Villages on green boxes only, not brown boxes.


Thanks for pointing this out! I think this is much better, in fact: 4 villages are a lot (I once started on Samoa, and when I got Tonga and converted 4 war pieces to villages, the other players started to complain that I was abusing my own rules...)

KMcPartland wrote:

Under Setup II, item 3: aren’t items 1 and 2 the same? If a hex is empty, it’s by definition also Unexplored.


You are right, it was redundant. Removed!

KMcPartland wrote:

Also, why do you have item 3? The island names in the Unexplored area of the map were placed there just for geographic reference, not for any impact on the game. It seems that one should be able to place Hawaiki in these hexes.


It is there for aestethical reasons. I wanted to have a starting position which is geographically (if not hitorically) correct, possibly with Hawaiki in some stretch of ocean which we modern folks would have imagined to be empty... maybe Hawaiki has sunk in the centuries between the Polynesian explosion and the rediscovery by Europeans?

KMcPartland wrote:

Thanks for posting your variant!


Thank you for your comments! I'll publish an updated version right away

neko
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Kevin McPartland
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Re: Variable Starting Islands, with Auction
Quote:
I am honoured to hear that you like it!

And I am impressed with the amount of thought and effort you put into your variant.

Quote:
I think I didn't explain the rules well enough...

Ah, I get it now; very good idea.

Quote:
...the other players started to complain that I was abusing my own rules...)

I get this all the time

Quote:
It is there for aestethical reasons.

OK, works for me. Not the way I would have done it, but for this, you are the designer.

Kevin
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neko flying
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Re: Variable Starting Islands, with Auction
Update! We have been playing with these optional rules a few times, and we are quite satisfied with the result. I have released a new version of the rules (mostly re-formatted) here:

http://docs.google.com/View?id=dg6qtsgt_238nwv7v32

It can be downloaded as a PDF in the files section, here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/59816/variant-variable-sta...

Feedback would be very appreciated :)
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neko flying
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Re: Variable Starting Islands, with Auction
This variant has become the default way to play the game for our group. I have drawn a little map to help with the initial setup

http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1443043/conquest-of-paradise
 
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