Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Saint Petersburg» Forums » General

Subject: Money hidden - why? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Paul Harrington
United States
Fort Myers
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The rules specifically state that money is hidden. Although I don't see why, it must be for one of two reasons.

(1) It is intended that players need to guess whether other players have enough money to buy certain cards, or

(2) It is intended that a player who can remember his opponents' money amounts and is willing to take the effort to calculate this each turn, and in some instances slowing down the game while this calculation is being made, has quite an advantage over those who just want to play the game; making memory as much of the game as good strategy.

When I last played the game, one of my opponents came to the same conclusion, and she stated that if the reason was #1, then that's good, but if reason #2, then that's just plain bad - makes playing the game more like work. I agree with her wholeheartedly.

I imagine there are some of my opponents on BSW (online play) who try to 'remember' everything by keeping track of the money on paper, since you can't see your opponent. I once had one player have the gall to ask me 'Sorry, I got interrupted, how much money do you have?' Quite frankly, unless you can remember every card your opponent owns, I don't see how you can keep track in BSW. When your opponent buys a card from hand, there's nothing that tells you which one he just bought, save for looking at every card he owns and remembering which one wasn't there a second ago. However, I know that there are those who try.
The 'slow' players who make most plays fast but occasionally take a full minute are probably doing something else. The 'slow' players who take 30 seconds every card are probably keeping track of the money and hand cards. Isn't it better to just have them displayed?

St. Pete has enough of a strategy element that it would be a fine game without the 'memory' aspect. My feeling is that if you want a game where memory is a premium, then play Concentration.

With a slight modification to the rules, you can try to simulate a game of St. Pete where you don't know how much money your opponent has, making the game more in the spirit of reason #1 above, if that was the user's intention.

Only one of the following modifications is needed. I offer a choice.

Modification #1: Have each player secretly buy VP at the beginning of the game. Each ruble buys 3VP, to be added on the score at the end of the game. You might add the stipulation that you aren't allowed to buy enough VP's so you can't afford two green cards the first round. I chose 3VP since in a typical 4-player, 6-round VP game, the winning score is about 80, and with people having less money, the game is likely to go 6 rounds. Those who bought a lot of VP are going to try to make the game end eariler, while somebody fortunate enough to be the only player not having bought VP will do quite well, being the only one able to afford the good stuff.

Modification 2: For the first green round, deal the first player 4 green cards. He chooses two of them, buys them, and lays them face down. Everybody knows that they pay 3 rubles each. He takes the other two green cards and passes them to his left. His LHO adds two more green cards from the deck and chooses two of those four. So, in turn, each player chooses 2 green cards from the two passed to him and the two top ones from the deck, and pays for them secretly. He need only turn one of them up at a time when he wants to upgrade it, or when he wants to take a discount for buying one of the same. The theory is that the cards getting passed to the next player are going to get worse with each succeeding pass, thus simulating the effect of players paying more the later they are in the green phase.

If further measures need to be taken to make it more of a game than a memory contest, then have the first player of each phase get to look at all the new cards for that phase, and can choose to buy one of them keeping it face down until it matters. Actually, all the cards in the upper row can be passed from player to player - no need to put them up at all until they go to the discount rack. This method has the disadvantage that players don't get to think about their play until their turn. But it has the advantage of keeping money truly hidden even from the memory experts. Of course, VP's accumulated from these cards can be kept by each player, rather than on the scoring track.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:Money hidden - why?
paulhar (#468644),

I've played games before--not just StP--where the players decided to simply leave all money exposed. As soon as it became apparent that others were taking huge advantage of that, they immediately wanted to keep it hidden again. In StP specifically, if I know you have 6 rubles and a full hand, and the red 4 and 7 get flipped, I can safely buy the 4, knowing you can't buy the 7. I find it much more interesting to "guess" what you might have left based on previous actions, however I do not try to keep track per se.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ɹǝsɐɹɟ
Australia
Melbourne
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
badge
Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:Money hidden - why?
paulhar (#468644),

Definitely reason 1.

Almost any game can be slowed by someone who wants to know the exact and complete position of all the other players before having their turn. I've had people taking notes in Euphrate & Tigris. They soon gave up and they didn't win meeple

Personally I think they are reducing the amount of fun that they could be having and quite possibly that of the other players too. Hopefully they will grow out of it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Harrington
United States
Fort Myers
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:Money hidden - why?
I've got a third alternative to foil the memorization experts - and it might make for a rather interesting game!

After the blue cards come up for the first blue phase, but before anybody takes one, each player, in turn order, can put money in the 'First National Bank of St. Petersburg', not to be confused with the 13-ruble blue upgrade. He secretly puts however much he wants in the bank, and plays without that money until after the 4th round green payoff (meaning the 4th green phase, after 3 complete rounds of green, blue, red, upgrade), when he receives his money back with 100% interest (i.e. twice what he put in.) Since nobody but you knows how much you put in, nobody knows how much money you have, even if they're keeping track.

If it turns out by playing that we find out the 4th round is too late (i.e. 100% interest isn't enough), we can push it back to the 3rd round, or 100% back after the 3rd green round and 100% back after the 4th green round.) I'm guessing that twice back after the 3rd round is too early since if three of the four players put everything in the bank, the fourth player might lick his chops thinking he can buy everything with impunity, but not when nobody else ever takes a blue card! The people getting twice their money back will make out quite well. The fourth round sounds about right since the player with the money can take lots of green cards in round 3, and can start earning points a round earlier and buying stuff.

The interesting aspect is looking at the blue cards that come up in round 1 and trying to determine just how much money you're going to need in the early going.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.