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Subject: Homesteaders optional final scoring variant (from designer) rss

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Alex Rockwell
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This is a variant (by the designer) to the final scoring which attempts to be less fiddly and also friendlier to new players. Primarily because it is deterministic.

There are several strategy implications of this scoring system as well:
* Leftover Trade tokens are less important at the end.
* Leftover wood/food/steel isnt worthless, which is pretty helpful to first time players.
* Lots of extra silver and no debt to pay off is worth points.

THE VARIANT:
After final turn income (which comes after turn 10), do the following, for final scoring:

1) Count up the number of Trade tokens you have and the number of non-gold resources you have.

If you have X non-gold resources (wood/food/steel/livestock/copper), then the first X Trade tokens are worth 1 point each.

Additional Trade tokens are worth 1/2 point each, rounded down.
If you have a General Store, also take an amount of silver equal to the number of points just scored.

2) Convert all resources into money. Gain 1 silver per wood, 2 per food, 3 per steel. Gain a gold per livestock and copper. (Gain market prices for resources). Gold stays as gold.

(Basically, these two rules combine to say that you used your actions to sell off goods, and extra actions to buy/sell for a point. But also, all goods are sold even if you didnt have enough Trades).

3) Pay off debt. Each 5 silver or a gold pays off a debt token. You must pay off the last debt token if possible (even though this loses you a point).
Basically this will generally cost all players a point except for a very low debt player.

4) Remaining Gold is 2 points. (Remember, all livestock and copper was converted to gold). Remaining Silver is 2 points per full group of 5. (Extra silver is tiebreak).


This is different because:

There are no decisions to make, you simply carry out the instructions in order. (Helps new players)
You essentially get to sell all goods regardless of whether you have Trade tokens. Nothing is worthless. (Helps new players)
Excess silver is worth 2 points per 5. (Helps a high silver income/low debt strategy)


This does change some of the strategic choices somewhat, you should agree if you are using the endgame scoring variant before the game starts.
I would recommend this for games with new players, since it is intended to make the fiddly endgame easier for them. Experienced players can play whichever way they wish.
This system is probably superior because the endgame scoring is no longer a math puzzle with an optimal solution that you have to calculate.
I think the endgame scoring is the one part of the game that is really unnecessarily fiddly and confusing, and I wish was simpler.
(And I wish it was even simpler than this really, but at this point I cant change it any more without completely altering the strategy).


Strategy implications:
Probably weakens Trade tokens somewhat (making low trade strategies more viable)
Possibly weakens Gold Mine somewhat. (Gold didnt need trades to be useful at game end at paying off debt before. Now nothing needs them to be useful).
Makes winning City phase auctions slightly less important. (If you dont win them, your excess goods are a bit more useful).


Again this is optional. Use it if you like it, dont use it if you dont.
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Actions? Leftovers, or count up what you have?

It's been a while since I played, but I don't remember "actions" at all.
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Asher D.
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Actions? Leftovers, or count up what you have?

It's been a while since I played, but I don't remember "actions" at all.
Alex has made that mistake before. Apparently "actions" is the original name for the trade tokens.
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Andrew Schoonmaker
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They're called Trade tokens or something in the published version. "Actions" is what they were called in the prototype (for years and years, I assume).
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Yeah I called them actions for years.

Trade tokens. Edited the post.
 
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Michael Sillion
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Great!

This sounds like this will make the game even better.

Will try this next time I play
 
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Eric Fletcher
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This still seems too fiddly. What about this:

1. Sell as many goods as you can, using your trade tokens (Steel first, then Food, then Wood, then Copper/Livestock)
EXCEPTION: if you don't have enough trade/resource combinations left to reach an even 5 Silver, Copper/Livestock sells first)
2. Use silver/gold to pay off as many debt tokens as desired (which is all of them, other than using a gold to pay off the last debt)

And that's it. Extra trade tokens and resources are just useless. This preserves the valuation of the standard ending, but scripts it for everyone so there is no logic puzzle. The only downside is that there is no 1/2 VP per extra trade token.

Advantage #2 - if you add the 1 VP / 2 trade tokens, this gives the optimal result more than 90%* of the time using the standard rules, so you can use this method even if no one else is.



*I haven't actually done the math, but it has been 100% for me so far.
 
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The Dave
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proxyman wrote:

And that's it. Extra trade tokens and resources are just useless. This preserves the valuation of the standard ending, but scripts it for everyone so there is no logic puzzle. The only downside is that there is no 1/2 VP per extra trade token.
Doesn't this leave some points on the board, though?

For example if I have four trade tokens and one silver, I could pay 1T+1S for a wood, then sell 1T+1W to get a silver + 1VP. Then rinse repeat, for a net of 2 more VP.

Your suggestion really hurts a player with a heavy trade strategy, I believe.
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