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Sword of Rome: 5th Player Expansion» Forums » General

Subject: 5-Player variant - some "House Rules" rss

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Scott Randolph
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While I play the 4p version of this game in "RAW" form (Rules-as-Written), we have decided to add some House Rules after [4] 5-player games. They are below. I would be interested in any feedback (no flames please).


1. Romans / Carthaginians / Italo-Greeks Alliance Penalty: when any alliance is proposed between any of the three following Players / Powers; Romans, Carthaginians or Italo-Greeks, if the alliance is accepted, each of the respective Players / Powers must discard one card, Player’s / Power’s choice, from their hand. If the Alliance is renewed in a subsequent Round, another card must be discarded after all cards are drawn. If the alliance is subsequently broken, Players / Powers do not receive the discarded card back. The Roman event cards related to a defeat by the Italo-Greeks, and a subsequent treaty with the Carthaginians, supersede this House Rule, and no penalty is paid during the duration of this event.
2. Gauls-Celts: Before play begins, but before cards are drawn, the Gaul-Celt Player / Power may place three 1-Loyalty value Tribal markers on three different Gaul-Celt home Victory Spaces. These may not be moved, and, if subjugated, remain non-tribal normal spaces for the remainder of the game. If Brennus is on the game board, and has not been displaced in the round, the Gaul-Celt Player / Power may retain one action card per round into the next round, but any other unused action cards must be discarded as per the normal rules.
3. Etruscan-Samnites: before the game begins place a 1-Loyalty value Etruscan walled city on Populonium. The Etruscan-Samnite Player / Power may, if the Etruscan Mines are not depleted, play the “Grand Coalition” Desperate Times (“DT”) card to have all permanently discarded “3” OP value cards reshuffled back into their deck of unplayed action cards. Only the “Grand Coalition” DT card may be used for this purpose, and only when playing the DT action. This DT action is limited to once per game. The “Grand Coalition” DT card is permanently removed from the game after this use.
4. Player Abdication: should a Player / Power leave the game before the game ends, that Player’s / Power’s former units will remain in place, shall not move, and will defend only. These units will not be moved around nor will any new CU be produced. The abdicating player now has 0 VP’s.
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Paddy O'Doors
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No flaming from me.

Would you be interested in sharing the rationale for each of these house rules?
 
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Scott Randolph
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In brief, the 3 strongest powers ally too frequently, and then prey upon the two weaker ones. In our 5p games, only the Greeks and Carthage have won, even when played by a variety of different players. We were trying to come up with a "mild" disincentive for the Greeks and Carthaginians especially, as well as the Greeks and Romans, to ally. Also, with Populonium as simply a normal Etruscan victory space, it is just too easy for the Carthaginians to land there at the end of a round and take an easy victory point, and the poor Etruscans simply cannot bribe often enough to stay alive. The other turn the game takes, is the Etruscans, Carthage and Rome simply divide up Gaul, with too much open space, and no defense, and only 4 leaders max, the Gauls just can't cover all of their territory.

We also thought that having one action card to carry over for the Gauls, with some limitations, kept the spirit of the game, but gave the Gauls a tiny bit of a round to round strategy, instead of every round being at the mercy of the cards in the hand at the moment...one card carry over isn't much though.

We are all very enthusiastic about the game, we're just experimenting with it based on our own group's experience.

In 4p, we play RAW ("Rules as Written") and we have seen every Power win at least once. Let me know if this answers your question, thanks for asking.

(SFRR)

ps - if you don't own this game, go buy it and play!
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Paddy O'Doors
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SFRR wrote:
In brief, the 3 strongest powers ally too frequently, and then prey upon the two weaker ones. In our 5p games, only the Greeks and Carthage have won, even when played by a variety of different players. We were trying to come up with a "mild" disincentive for the Greeks and Carthaginians especially, as well as the Greeks and Romans, to ally. Also, with Pisae as simply a space, it is just too easy for the Carthaginians to land there at the end of a round and take an easy victory point, and the poor Etruscans simply cannot bribe often enough to stay alive. The other turn the game takes, is the Etruscans, Carthage and Rome simply divide up Gaul, with too much open space, and no defense, and only 4 leaders max, the Gauls just can't cover all of their territory.

We also thought that having one action card to carry over for the Gauls, with some limitations, kept the spirit of the game, but gave the Gauls a tiny bit of a round to round strategy, instead of every round being at the mercy of the cards in the hand at the moment...one card carry over isn't much though.

We are all very enthusiastic about the game, we're just experimenting with it based on our own group's experience.

In 4p, we play RAW ("Rules as Written") and we have seen every Power win at least once. Let me know if this answers your question, thanks for asking.

(SFRR)

ps - if you don't own this game, go buy it and play!


Yes, it answers my question, thanks. Yes, I own and play this game. We've never had enough for five -- most of our games are 3 or 4. A lot more 3P games than 4P games, actually...
 
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Scott Randolph
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Oh, and I meant to say that the new Etruscan Loyalty 1 Walled City would be placed on Populonium.
 
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Alex H.
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Giving the Etruscans a boost in the 5p-game makes sense to me. The bribing-ability feels somewhat weak in comparison to other special abilities and we have seen the Etruscans fall prey to the Gauls early and often.

I'm strongly considering using all of these house rules next time we play.
 
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Scott Randolph
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Glad to hear it, I think you will be pleased. We have really enjoyed using them. I hope to hear back from you with a post here (or elsewhere) on how your game goes.
It's also really nice to see another person who appreciates this great game!
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