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Elfenland» Forums » Variants

Subject: Elfenland variant influenced by Ticket to Ride rss

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I've recently been trying to introduce Elfenland to my wife and son, but they haven't liked it as much as I had hoped. In an attempt to get them more interested, I've come up with a variant that's influenced by Ticket to Ride, which is one of my wife's favorite games. Here are the rules:

1. Each player is dealt a random starting city card and places his (or her) boot marker on that city.

2. Each player places his city markers on the remaining cities, including Elvenhold.

3. The travel markers are placed face down (or in a draw bag) near the board.

4. Each player is dealt four travel cards.

5. Five additional travel cards are placed face up near the board, and the remaining travel cards are placed face down to form a draw pile.

6. On his turn, a player performs ONE of the following actions:

6a. He draws a travel marker and places it on any unused road according to the normal rules.

6b. He draws two travel cards, immediately replacing any face-up card that is drawn.

6c. He moves his boot marker to an adjacent city by discarding one or more travel cards according to the normal rules and removing his city marker from the destination city.

7. The first player to travel to Elvenhold after having visited all of the other cities is the winner.

Obviously the travel card mechanic is borrowed from Ticket to Ride. But more generally, this variant was inspired by how I imagined Ticket to Ride would play before I actually learned how to play it.

After developing it, I learned that this variant is quite similar to another one here on the Geek: Elfenland variation for young children

I played a solo two-player test game, and it seemed to work well. I'll post back here after testing this out with my family.

(Edited for grammar.)
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Bill Eldard
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Burke
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That's an interesting variant. How long did it take to play it solo?
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I don't remember exactly how long it took because I was watching my one-year-old at the same time. If I had to estimate, I'd say it took between 30 and 60 minutes. I'll time the next game and post back with the results.
 
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I haven’t had a chance to play this again, but I did some quick back-of-the-envelope calculations to try to estimate the playing time.

Let’s assume that each player will need to place a travel marker about 20 times, draw travel cards about 20 times, and travel to a new city about 20 times. If each of these 60 turns lasts about 10 seconds each, then the playing time would be about 10 minutes per player:

60 turns per player x 10 seconds per turn = 10 minutes per player

This assumes, of course, that the turns flow pretty quickly, without a lot of pauses between one player and the next.
 
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My wife and I played a two-player game tonight using this variant. I thought it went pretty well.

It was hard for me to keep track of the exact playing time because our one-year old was acting kind of tired and fussy, but I'd say that the time we spent actually playing was pretty close to 20 minutes.

When compared to the normal version, this variant felt much lighter and faster. I liked it a lot. My wife said she also liked it, but added that she might just feel that way because she beat me. blush
 
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Balou wrote:
That sounds like a real good variant. In our family, we have played Elfenland quite often and usually were badly hit by the blockade markers; sometimes even in a way that tears were the result. Last time we decided to not use the blockades any more. I think your idea will remove the fierce competition somehow (which has a huge luck factor anyway) and at the same time, speed up the game quite a bit. Thumbs up!


Thanks.

I've learned the hard way that games with direct confrontation are usually not a good choice for my family. I haven't taught them about the blockade markers in Elfenland yet, and I don't know if I ever will. In any case, I didn't intend for the blockade markers to be used with this variant.
 
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