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Jacynth» Forums » Variants

Subject: 'District city' variant rss

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Seisyll W.
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I showed two twelve-year-old kids in my neighborhood how to play this and they couldn't resist altering it and adding their own touches to it. We must have revised the use of The Excuse about five times until they felt right about it.

First off, they felt more comfortable calling the game 'District Cities'. I guess they wanted a name more pragmatic or something. Who knows.

Next, they liked to start off with an island formation.

- X X -
X - - X
- X X -


This was a really fun change because it allows you to (as in Thricewise) build the board out until it hits 6 x 6, motivated by strategic concerns. They also strengthened the island theme when they started using The Island pawn in this starting layout.

Later, when they felt the two empty spaces in the middle of the isle were too powerful, they went with:

- X X -
X - - -
- X X -
- - - X


To open things up.

The last rule they added was dealing with The Excuse. They weren't happy with it simply as a blank. So they turned it into a swap card. You can play The Excuse by swapping out an existing card on the board for it. Caveat: you can't swap out a card which has a token on it.

Anyway, these were fun changes and it's great to change the rules and initial layouts as part of playing the game, and especially as a part of theme (such as the island theme) of each match.
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P.D. Magnus
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Although there are theme and design reasons for the three standard starting patterns, alternatives are a natural task for house rules. The island seems like it could give the first player a considerable advantage. The first player will probably start with a big district; with luck, it could be as large as six cards on the first turn!

And the replacement Excuse sounds crazily powerful.

So this is what the game becomes in the hands of 12 year old power gamers! arrrh
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Seisyll W.
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Yeah, definitely, I think the rules are perfect as they are. I'm just lucky that they tamed The Excuse down. For awhile they allowed the player of The Excuse to get an extra token, too! (I guess people just can't resist adding 'Free Parking' kind of jackpots in games.) I cringed about this, but went along with it for a few rounds. Eventually it became obvious that whoever had The Excuse was dominating and they calmed it down to the swap rule.

Anyway, thanks for reading, just wanted to pass along this mutation...
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