Chris Durian
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Agricola gives ample opportunities for tactical blocking of resources - it's a central part of the game. Thematically this rings true; several families of pioneers in the same general area might well have been competing for the same, limited resources. But even when the floor was made of dirt, even when food on the table during winter wasn't a sure thing, even when greedy, established ranchers bought the local law and pushed them around, these brave pioneering couples had... each other. (Let's leave The Lover out of this discussion devil . It just seems wrong to tell your peeps they can't get under the sheets and do the mattress dance just because the neighbors already did. Especially with no movie theatres, restaurants, destination malls, or gaming groups! (OK, there's the Tavern and the Village Spa, and others? But still).It's just plain cruel and unusual. (Unnatural?)

Therefore -- "The Rabbit Variant": any number of players can place one peep on a Family Growth and/or Build Room space, one peep per space, per round.

If it's significantly more difficult to prevent any one player from getting the exponential benefits of FG before others, the other tactical and strategic decisions might gain in importance, and cultivate a different kind of enjoyment of the game. After perusing lots of threads in the forum here, it seems like this is one of the most talked about characteristics of the game. And haven't we all experienced that sinking feeling when we see consecutive SPs by all the other players that guarantee we'll be the last to grow our family?

Qualification: It's understood that the "race for FG" is part of the game. But this is a forum section for variants, and this one is proposed for fun, and without any implied criticism of the game design. I'm not inviting discussion on whether or not FG is too powerful-plenty of other threads covering that. If like me you are curious to see what a game where FG isn't quite so hotly contested might look like, (granting that the resources for the extra rooms will still be), maybe this variant would be fun. I haven't playtested this yet.

If you try it, your experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly) are welcome in this thread!

(Fine print: the OP acknowledges that not all the other spaces on the board could or would correspond to limited natural resources thematically, i.e. Fences, MI/MI, and Renovation. The opening paragraph was written with color and theme in mind rather than strict analogy. The OP also realizes that there is an Occ card, Head of Family, that allows one player to have the ability proposed for all players in this variant. Void where prohibited).

Alternate names:
The "Bowm-Chika-Bow-Bow" variant
The 'Nasty variant
The Tantric Sex variant (not accurate in terms of emphasis but it has a nice ring to it)
The Catholic variant (as a baptized Catholic I can make this joke)
The Asparagus variant (a rumoured aphrodisiac)

Enjoy.

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One thing this does do is make FG w/o room almost automatic. I'm not sure I like that. Possibly reduce the score for peeps if there's two people in the same room?
 
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Mike T
United States
Maryland
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I haven't tried this variant, but it actually might be quite interesting.

A few predictions: trying for a double-room build might become more important, with the knowledge that the delay won't put you in the back of the FG line (since there isn't a line).

If everyone is Building/Growing in one round, there will be a nice glut of resources in the next round.

I agree with J B, but there's a simpler solution: FG w/o room could be exempted from the free-for-all.
 
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Brian Mc Cabe
United States
Arizona
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I think it's just a game mechanic to add tension and strategy.
There'd be no incentive to take it until you had stocked up on resources, because it would always be there.

Brian
 
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Bryann Turner
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Portland
Oregon
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Feeding would be an issue. Too many people too fast. Sounds interesting though.
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sonny sonny
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might be interesting. for 2-4p games you could add the 5p build room / fg actions as a compromise. i think i would increase the availability of fg only. that reduces the random factor when it comes.
 
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