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Subject: Start with No Food rss

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Craig Blumer
United States
Oshkosh
Wisconsin
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My wife & I mistakenly learned the game as players begin with no food. Even after learning the error of our ways, we continue to prefer this variant. It makes food essential at first and forces a timely transition from food to other resources. This makes for additional factors to consider as the game develops.
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darren williams
Wales
maesteg
bridgend
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Same thing happened with me and now we sometimes do - sometimes don't. Still a great game either way!
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Dan C
United States
Rochester
Minnesota
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I played this way on accident the first time too. I found that it significantly slowed down the first part of the game. I'm actually leaning towards starting out with more food the next time I play to speed things along.
 
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Craig Blumer
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Oshkosh
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I agree the game starts out slower, and if we want a little faster game, beginning with food is the way to go. But, by starting with food; there never is any real tension about it. The game then seems to start about the same as it plays throughout -- most efficiently getting material and converting them into victory points. We enjoy the added issue of early on struggling for food and then transitioning into resource conversion. It also seems more thematic.
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rob taylor
England
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Yes I too played it that way to begin with and posted the reccomendation for it on here about 12 months ago, to a mixed reception.
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I forgot, is start food amount staggered, as in the players going before start off with less? Either way, perhaps those who go later should start off with a bit of food, but still not enough to be able to ignore foraging for food without taking the penalty.
 
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Craig Blumer
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keighleyrob wrote:
Yes I too played it that way to begin with and posted the reccomendation for it on here about 12 months ago, to a mixed reception.

Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn't seen the thread. Unfortunately, your idea got hijacked by the starvation discussion.
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Aaron Malek
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Santa Rosa
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ackmondual wrote:
I forgot, is start food amount staggered, as in the players going before start off with less? Either way, perhaps those who go later should start off with a bit of food, but still not enough to be able to ignore foraging for food without taking the penalty.

No, the starting food amount isn't staggered, it's 12 each, and this is constant for 2, 3, or 4 players. I see your point on this, though I think the advantage of turn order is probaby less than it seems on the surface.

I think the balance is pretty good, though I'd be willing to start foodless all around for a change of pace (and to make this very enjoyable game last a bit longer ). Not a bad suggestion as a variant.
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Ok, here's an idea. We all throw two dice to see who starts presumably. The highest throw is who starts obviously. How about also, the lowest throw is the amount of food each person starts with? Or the highest to make it easier. It gives a random element though, that's the point.
 
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Kris
Belgium
Leuven
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My personal feeling is that if you start without food, the game becomes more random. Having food lets you survive the first random throws to the point where you can start building some kind of engine to mitigate the luck.

If you send 5 people to hunt on the first turn, you have:
1.6% chance that you can't feed all your people (less than 5 food)
30.5% that you get enough food for feeding 5 people for 2 turns (10 or more food)

All other options, except for taking a big food card on the first or second spot and fueling it with wood increase the chance that you aren't able to feed all your people in your first turn. Encountering this would mean you start the game a round later than the other players, with a -10 point penalty.

When playing 4 player games, you could expect it to happen more than once every 20 games that at least 1 person has to start with this penalty.

I wouldn't like to start the game with a single throw and notice I probably won't have any chance to win, so I'm going to pass for this suggestion.
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