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Subject: Back to Yspahan after a break & the caravan strategy rss

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Paul Grogan
United Kingdom
Cullompton
Devon
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So, after picking up the Ystari expansion box in Essen 2009, I wanted to give the games another go that I enjoyed, but dont seem to get played.

Yspahan was the one I was worried about. Got it when it came out, played it a bit and quite liked it and then found out about the caravan strategy (I'm not the kind of person who can work things like this out himself). I read about it, learnt how to do it and then realised that it was broken. I got the PC solo game and beat the computer every time. I thought the game was flawed and needed house rules in order to make it playable.

The PC game had 3 variants, all which hurt the caravan strategy (Only draw a card every other caravan, no 2 houses and supervisor must move). With these variants selected, the game was playable.

But, the group I am now with thinks the game is ok and the idea of house rules is a non-starter. So, Yspahan doesnt get played.

Now that I have the Ystari box, it looks like they have done something to nerf the caravan strategy a bit, but not as much as the original variants. Is it enough I thought?

Then, I got the PC version again and do exactly what the caravan strategy should do. And never win! So - is the caravan strategy broken if the other players dont know what to do? And if they do know what to do and counter it, is it then ok.

Simply put - do I need any house rules, and is the game actually flawed or was it just mine (and others) misinterpretation?


Whilst I am here, in all the games I played, nobody ever used gold to buy extra dice. To encourage it more, I was thinking of saying you could spend gold to roll extra dice AFTER the initial roll. Opinions?
 
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Stefano Crespi
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PaulGrogan wrote:

Whilst I am here, in all the games I played, nobody ever used gold to buy extra dice. To encourage it more, I was thinking of saying you could spend gold to roll extra dice AFTER the initial roll. Opinions?


Yeah. It almost never happen. The coins are a so valuable resource! your variant seem to be flawless. I'll give it a try!
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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PaulGrogan wrote:
So - is the caravan strategy broken if the other players dont know what to do? And if they do know what to do and counter it, is it then ok.

I have played this games about 25 times to date (at 3 and 4 players, all equally experienced Yspahanners), and frankly, I don't know what the fuss is about. If I make an attempt at 'the strategy', then I can be certain that within a few turns at most someone else will arrive at the caravan too, and basically neutralise any large point difference I might obtain from it. We also know that the players attempting 'the strategy' ideally don't want to fill it up because it will cost them many points. This presents a natural counter to those players not pursuing this strategy, by the way. But to make a long story short: the caravan is reduced to another means to get points from rather than an element which dominates the entire game.

With 2 you can find some discussion that under the old rules (without the expansion) strategies are a bit limited. Perhaps that is so, I've rarely played the game at 2.

Quote:
Simply put - do I need any house rules, and is the game actually flawed or was it just mine (and others) misinterpretation?

You do not need houserules, the game works as it should. But the expansion give it more variability; so if you think it all turns a bit samey, you might want to give it a go.

Quote:
Whilst I am here, in all the games I played, nobody ever used gold to buy extra dice. To encourage it more, I was thinking of saying you could spend gold to roll extra dice AFTER the initial roll. Opinions?

I'd say that is their loss, not that of the game. If I can spend, say, 3 coins on making an important incursion in the Vase neighbourhood, then I'm putting pressure on the other playes to stop whatever they are doing and kick me out; or coming up with a means to make up the point difference. All that time they will leave me alone elsewhere.
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