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Subject: Two Player Variant. rss

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Jamie Morgon
Czech Republic
Prague
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mb
I really enjoy this game but don't often have the third player. Problem. I wanted a way to play it with two, but keep some of the tension. The biggest problems to overcome are the lack of trade, ensuring all space systems are “open”, and keeping the game length down due to the lack of the third player’s scoring cards.

I am working on a variant that I hope overcomes these issues, and still maintains some of the tension and enjoyment found in the three player version. Here are my thoughts so far.

Players: Take the red and blue action cards. This ensures that all star systems are accessible, and the resource cards are quite balanced. However, each player cannot reach every star system with his own cards. (I have experimented with having all star systems available to each player, but this required more planets per system and made exploration slow and tedious.)

Trade: Take two of each resource and place them to one side to form a “trade” deck. Players can exchange two cards with this deck once a trade card is revealed on the planning board. This is important early in the game as the resources can be a little imbalanced. This deck is kept face down at all times. When a trade card is played ask the other player if they want to trade with you. If they refuse you can automatically use the trade deck. ( I have thought about having a choice of trade deck OR other player, but can’t decide what I prefer.)

Planets: Take two planets for each resource type (including Alien) and four for energy. Randomly add an extra two or three resource worlds This should give you approx two resources per star system and keep a fairly decent balance. The extra energy is important because the reduced trade requires more exploration. I have tried adding a few extra systems to certain star systems, but all of my games have ended before all spaces have been explored, even with two. Secondly the extra systems can hurt the balance of the “trade” deck.

Planning Board: I use eight spaces. Ten spaces can make things a little “easy” and reduces the difficulty in the decision making process. Eight seems to allow for some planning but does not feel constricted.

Resources: I remove the maximum 10 resources rule. Players can keep resources in their hand. This helps keep the game length down. Players need to be able to build things quicker and easier because there are only two sets of scorecards! This also provides a little more to offset the lack of trade.

Thoughts?
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Blake Henderson
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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mb
I am glad someone else has the same problem! Only 2 players! I love your ideas and I am excited to try them with my spouse!

Reducing to 8 slots is appropriate because it keeps the same ratio (4 per player)

I am not sure that the trading deck is required. I am not sure that I understand what you were meaning. "The trade deck is kept face down" - So, in this scenario - you can trade any 2 cards from your hand and take a random card from the trade deck? The rules say that you can trade the bank at a 2 to 1 ratio anyway. I guess the benefit with your proposal would be that you don't have to trade the same 2 resources to get 1. The obvious issue here is you don't know what you are trading for.

Thanks for your ideas!
 
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