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Justinian» Forums » Variants

Subject: Face-Up & Combined Influence on the Game Phase Chart rss

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Trip Godel
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Justinian is clearly designed for an experienced player. Newbies are likely to pour their influence onto shifting the characters around, and commit very little to the game phase board. Then they won't play again.

More specifically... It's easy for one person to set aside 5 influence chits and activate the first scoring. And the 3rd/last scoring will happen automatically if no-one sets aside 12 influence points (so why should anyone bother?).

In the middle, the game asks one player to sacrifice 9 influence points to activate the 2nd scoring. No-one is motivated to do this. There are only 22 chits to work with (totalling more than 22 influence points, yes, but they are still scarce).

That's because Justinian is a prisoner's dilemma: if I act in my own best interest, and hope that you don't, I'll come out ahead. I will have used my influence to rearrange the characters, while you will have spent yours to trigger the scoring. Thanks!

But if we all fail to trigger round 2, the game breaks. Round 2 is skipped (by default), then we have to wait until every influence is deployed, and round 3 scoring just happens. That makes Justinian feel fragile.

Here's my possible fix: influence pitched to the game phase board is face up, and COMBINED to trigger the scoring for each round. The first round will end very fast, but the others will still take a bit. That lightens the game and speeds it up, which seems appropriate for a game with this much random.

Maybe a bit fluffier like Schrille Stille? I'd just like someone to want to play it more than once. Your thoughts?

--T
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