Recommend
35 
 Thumb up
 Hide
39 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Dominant Species» Forums » Variants

Subject: Shorter Game Variant Idea without Gutting the Game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My friends and I have played this game a few times. We all love it as is, but the one comment that came up was that it took so much time to play. No one was anywhere NEAR bored, but the idea was that with such a long game it may not hit the table as often as everyone may like due to the length of the game. My friend Jim (RedV) came up with an idea that I wanted to throw out there to see what everyone thinks. Thanks in advance for any feedback. I'll check back tonight to see if anyone has some ideas or thoughts.

Variant:
Remove the Survival and Ice Age cards as usual, then shuffle all dominance cards.
Randomly remove 5 (I don't have the board in front of me, but I believe there are five spots for cards on the board) cards from the deck and put them into the box WITHOUT looking at them. This should create a roughly one round shorter game
Play as usual.

Our Thoughts:
This will shorten the game by about a half hour or so based on our experiences.
This will avoid card counting. You will not know that a card will come up every game because each time five are removed.
This shortens the game, but not so much it reduces the "epic" feel of the game.

Any thoughts?
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Larkin
England
Brighton
Sussex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have thought of doing this as it is to long to play on a regular club night.
I quite like the idea that you don't know which cards will come out in any one game, but my concern is that some of the cards balance the animals abilities so if they don't come out it may favour some animals more than others
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Game Junkie
Spain
Madrid
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
I do it like this:

- Remove all pawn-related cards (Intelligence, Parasitism, Omnivore). Fewer pawns > fewer turns > shorter game.

- Randomly remove 2 additional cards.

- Shuffle the Ice Age card with 4 more cards and put them at the bottom of the draw deck.

That way, the game is at least one turn shorter, no animal has an advantage over another, and there are two cards you will not see.
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We've just been tossing 5 cards. It's a little early in the metagame to worry about balance, especially as this game is mostly political/diplomatic, not strategic, (i.e., the best strategy will not beat people ganging up on you).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
flag msg tools
Just imagine the red offboard up here. I'll create it Real Soon Now...
badge
Yes, I know a proper 18XX tile should have a tile number.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Canales wrote:
I do it like this:

- Remove all pawn-related cards (Intelligence, Parasitism, Omnivore). Fewer pawns > fewer turns > shorter game.

- Randomly remove 2 additional cards.

- Shuffle the Ice Age card with 4 more cards and put them at the bottom of the draw deck.

That way, the game is at least one turn shorter, no animal has an advantage over another, and there are two cards you will not see.


There is rough consensus that the Amphibians get a head start and should not be used in a shorter game.

(Note: 2 of my 6 games of DS have been called early, one for time, and one for a combination of time and massive lead. I still don't like the idea of shortening the game, though. There are plenty of good games that play their arc in a shorter time.)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Morganza wrote:
Canales wrote:
I do it like this:

- Remove all pawn-related cards (Intelligence, Parasitism, Omnivore). Fewer pawns > fewer turns > shorter game.

- Randomly remove 2 additional cards.

- Shuffle the Ice Age card with 4 more cards and put them at the bottom of the draw deck.

That way, the game is at least one turn shorter, no animal has an advantage over another, and there are two cards you will not see.


There is rough consensus ...

News to me. Who was included in the polling?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
flag msg tools
Just imagine the red offboard up here. I'll create it Real Soon Now...
badge
Yes, I know a proper 18XX tile should have a tile number.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've seen it mentioned a few times by people with more experience than me, and never refuted.

Not quite "proof by handwaving", but close...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Game Junkie
Spain
Madrid
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Morganza wrote:

There is rough consensus that the Amphibians get a head start and should not be used in a shorter game.


I have only played 5 times, so please take the following with a pinch of salt.

My worst game scoring-wise was the one in which I played the Amphibians. Since they start controlling a wetland and can dominate tiles easier than the other species, I was the target of most of the early attacks. In fact, by the end of turn 2 I had just 2 cubes on Earth!

I have seen games won by Insects, Arachnids, Reptiles (x2) and Mammals, so the game seems pretty balanced so far.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Morganza wrote:
I've seen it mentioned a few times by people with more experience than me, and never refuted.

Not quite "proof by handwaving", but close...

From the sounds of it, someone mentioned it and everyone else just took it as "gospel" until everyone assumed it was a "consensus."
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think Jesse said this about the amphibians; he has alot of DS games under his belt.

I have to admit I've played as amphibians and been destroyed, so I'm not ready to sign off on this gospel either. It remains, for me, something that'll need alot more testing.

Here's my gospel: give an arachnid an extra pawn = get under the table.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drake Coker
United States
San Diego
California
flag msg tools
badge
This is my tank for Combat Commander
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We also remove 5 cards at random, but which cards are removed is public information.

Not knowing the contents of the deck makes planning even more difficult than it is already and makes the game a tiny bit more luck-dependent. We prefer to minimize these issues by revealing the cards removed.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick Young
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I greatly prefer the full game, but if everyone at the table wants to make it a bit shorter, my solution is to have each player pick the one remaining card they want removed from the deck, in food chain order.

And the removed cards are public knowledge.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rick Young wrote:
I greatly prefer the full game, but if everyone at the table wants to make it a bit shorter, my solution is to have each player pick the one remaining card they want removed from the deck, in food chain order.

And the removed cards are public knowledge.

I really like this idea. I think this'll be put to use in these parts.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Does 30 minutes off this game really make the play or don't play decision for some people? If so, I guess do what you gotta do.

I won't play a shortened game. I have too many other games I could play instead. To me the last turns in DS are most interesting. Tundra is most valuable. Places become "far" to migrate to, players are out of cubes unless they've been budgeting carefully, etc.
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
curtc wrote:
I won't play a shortened game. I have too many other games I could play instead. To me the last turns in DS are most interesting. Tundra is most valuable. Places become "far" to migrate to, players are out of cubes unless they've been budgeting carefully, etc.

I agree with you Curt, and your description of the end game. And your advocacy for this game as it is.

But if the clamor of the table ever demands a game ending sooner, for reasons good or bad, this is the most elegant solution I've seen; even a nice twist of strategy involved.

So I think a good one to keep handy.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
curtc wrote:
Does 30 minutes off this game really make the play or don't play decision for some people? If so, I guess do what you gotta do.

I won't play a shortened game. I have too many other games I could play instead. To me the last turns in DS are most interesting. Tundra is most valuable. Places become "far" to migrate to, players are out of cubes unless they've been budgeting carefully, etc.


I agree that tundra gets more interesting as the game goes on. As far as a half hour to forty minutes less time, yeah, it does seem to make a difference. It takes it from a game that can only be played on a weekend, to a game that COULD be played any night. That means a great game could get played more often, which is a good thing in my book. That being said, this idea may not work, but I thought it was the best of the variants I had seen so far in that it did nothing drastic like getting rid of the cards altogether. It seemed to keep the game intact to the largest degree.
Thanks for your thoughts!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tjshields wrote:
Rick Young wrote:
I greatly prefer the full game, but if everyone at the table wants to make it a bit shorter, my solution is to have each player pick the one remaining card they want removed from the deck, in food chain order.

And the removed cards are public knowledge.

I really like this idea. I think this'll be put to use in these parts.


This is an interesting idea. It's almost like a reverse drafting! We had originally thought that the idea of the randomly removed cards would ad some uncertainty to the mix which would, to my mind, be very fitting with the unpredictable nature of nature, but for those who prefer this part to be "perfect information" this may be a good fit as well. Thanks to both of you for your ideas and thoughts!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Olvenskol wrote:
We also remove 5 cards at random, but which cards are removed is public information.

Not knowing the contents of the deck makes planning even more difficult than it is already and makes the game a tiny bit more luck-dependent. We prefer to minimize these issues by revealing the cards removed.


You make a good point. I had not thought of making them public. That idea has some merit. Thanks for the suggestion!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Canales wrote:
I do it like this:

- Remove all pawn-related cards (Intelligence, Parasitism, Omnivore). Fewer pawns > fewer turns > shorter game.

- Randomly remove 2 additional cards.

- Shuffle the Ice Age card with 4 more cards and put them at the bottom of the draw deck.

That way, the game is at least one turn shorter, no animal has an advantage over another, and there are two cards you will not see.


This one I like quite a bit. It cuts down on the unknown element a bit more to two cards, and cuts down on the extra actions which could bog things down a bit more. The shuffle of the Ice Age card is interesting as well. It makes it a little less certain when it will come out.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As an aside.... No thumbs? I'm not really needing them, but no thumbs gets this off the front page very quickly and I'm curious what people may not have liked about the way the thread was presented. I always view thumbs as a ind of, "Good job, this is an interesting topic" kind of thing. Now the responses to the idea show that some people are clearly interested in the topic (and I really, honestly do appreciate the input and contributions!), but not enough to generate any thumbs. This is a popular game, and there are already some variants suggested that, to my mind, change the game too much, so what was wrong with this thread that led to no thumbs at all? I know it sounds like I'm whining, but I'm not, I'm more curious about what people may be looking for that would have led to a more positive response. I do really appreciate all of the helpful comments, and further suggestions about one of my new favorite games. Thanks for the input and advice!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gave you one!

I didn't before because it didn't seem like a really original idea. Lot's of people have been doing it already to varying degrees.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Larkin
England
Brighton
Sussex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
curtc wrote:
players are out of cubes unless they've been budgeting carefully, etc.

maybe remove 5 cubes fromeveryone gene pool as well
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
OK, Thanks! I didn't know that. The variants I had seen were mostly debates about removing all the cards (not an idea I liked), or about not using dominance cones (which would gut the game in my opinion). I didn't see anything about this, but that would certainly explain it. I was wondering what was up! Thanks for taking the time. Perhaps next time I'll do a more exhaustive scan of the forums before I post.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dario bacchi
England
Coventry
West Midlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
re lack of thumbs -

variant threads really need 2 thumbs coloums - 1 for if it's a good thread and 1 for if it's a variant which has been tried and liked

i always hesitate to thumb any variant thread untill i've done the latter and maybe other people to likewise
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek Carver
United Kingdom
Cobham
Surrey, UK
flag msg tools
designer
Personally I greatly like the idea of removing 5 cards to make the game a little shorter and I thank everybody for confirming that this is often adopted in some shape or form. And I have to add that I can't understand folk taking the trouble to track down this thread and then refuting the idea of finding any benefit in a shorter playing time saying they'd rather play something else. Fine.

I, at home, can normally accommodate the full length so would not choose to shorten but it is often a problem in a games club where there is a 4 hour maximum from getting it out of the box, and putting it away again. Also there's one group that meets at our house who live 1 hour away, which rules out this excellent game on a normal games night.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.