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Subject: Is it too easy to "win" after just a couple of plays? rss

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Rod Bauer
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I have enjoyed this game and have used it in my High School history classes. The kids seemed to really enjoy the game also. After two or three plays, however, my students were too much aware of the cards,and could make the right decisions (with just average luck on the die rolls) and win every time. All groups of my students, after two games were able to score +16 to +18 every time. Even when I introduced the expansion cards and rules it was very easy for them to win the game. It made no difference whether I randomly shuffled each deck, or played it in numerical (historical) card order. The results were the same. Some of my students suggested taking out several cards (Treaty of Amiens for example) so things would not be as predictable. As I am using this as a teaching tool I am very reluctant to eliminate cards for historical reasons. On the other hand If you are going to play it just for the game experience, I think you need to do something so it is re-playable time after time with a chance you will not win quite so easily. All in all,however it was a good educational experience and I used John Welch's (designer) lesson plans to great effect. This has been a great way for my class to study the French Revolution.

Edited: Now that my students are playing it correctly with the "Paris Disorder" being automatically remedied BUT with the important distinction that IT STILL REQUIRES THE USE OF AN ACTION, the game is much tougher to win. We are now splitting the wins and defeats more evenly, with some of the defeats being catastrophic ones.
Thanks for the help John.
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John Welch
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I'm very pleased to hear you are using the game with success in your class and that your students are enjoying it - that's awesome! I'm also heartened that the lesson plans worked with your course.

Too easy to win...hmmmmm, I'm not aware of a strategy that works every time to win the game; although, there is a list of suggestions posted on the BGG page that does help with success. My first thought other than that would be to use this optional rule for the expansion kit:

[13.0] VARYING DIFFICULTY
Besides using the above Optional Rules to alter the game’s difficulty, the simplest way to adjust the difficulty level of the game is to add or subtract the number of Actions per Headline card. If you cannot seem to win, then add an Action every fifth card played - simply turn the fifth card played at a 45 degree angle in the Current Event pile to keep track. Conversely, if you feel that the game is too easy, subtract one Action point for every fifth card played.

You could also invite your students to make adjustments to the event cards using their own historical reasoning. I would really like to see the results of their card design and encourage them to post a review or session report on the Levee page here on BGG.

Thanks for posting here and please tell your students I said 'hello and thanks for playing'!
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Rod Bauer
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Thanks John.
I do think the remedy will be to subtract an action every fifth card. That sounds good. On the other hand I did find out after visiting with my students in a more comprehensive "AAR manner", that most groups were not using an action to get the automatic reestablishment of Order in Paris. They were simply removing the Disorder marker if they had the Republic marker in the right range.
 
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Joshua Gottesman
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rod3556lhs wrote:
Thanks John.
I do think the remedy will be to subtract an action every fifth card. That sounds good. On the other hand I did find out after visiting with my students in a more comprehensive "AAR manner", that most groups were not using an action to get the automatic reestablishment of Order in Paris. They were simply removing the Disorder marker if they had the Republic marker in the right range.


That can make a HUGE difference. That's probably a much bigger hit than losing 1 action every 5 turns.
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Rod Bauer
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YES. It does make a huge difference. Now that my students are playing it correctly with the "Paris Disorder" being automatically remedied BUT with the important distinction that IT STILL REQUIRES THE USE OF AN ACTION, the game is much tougher to win. We are now splitting the wins and defeats more evenly, with some of the defeats being catastrophic ones.
Thanks for the help.
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Sean McCormick
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Re: Is it too easy to "win" after just a couple of plays?
Huh. I've played 4-5 times and have yet to make it into the red deck. Clearly, I'll need to ask your students for some tactical advice.
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John Welch
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Re: Is it too easy to "win" after just a couple of plays?
Your post put a real smile on my face today - thanks and I look forward to your session reports
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