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Struggle for Catan» Forums » Variants

Subject: 4-hand variant for 2 players rss

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Tamater T
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The 2-player game is fun and tight, but we found that we end up playing the same games over and over. It is always a race to who gets the university, then the second player gets the Church (which effectively cancel each other out), then it is mostly back and forth till the end (20-30 mins total).

So, we figured we'd try playing 2-hand vs. 2-hand just the two of us.

The only changes we had to make were:

1. No card trading/stealing between your own hands, even if you get the libary

2. the Destiny card is not played.

3. If teams are AB vs. CD, the turn order goes A>C>B>D

4. Stealing order (ie, Card of Destiny): A steals from C, B from D, C from B, D from A.....when the card is flipped, swap this order. (A simple way of remembering this is: One player has his hands steal in an X across the table, the other steals directly across....and flip this when flipping)

5. A player cannot have both hands build the same City Expansion (I built a Merchant Guild with each hand and completely shut him down, once...especially his hand with the University)

6. A player wins the game when one of his hands gets 10 VP. Although we haven't tried it yet, I just thought that maybe the victory condition could be that both hands need 10. Or both hands need 9....not sure if both needing 10 would be a problem....

I think that's it, we've only played 2 of these 4-hand games so far, and I think these rules cover it, but if we run into anything else, I'll update.
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Vince Lupo
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ALEXANDRIA
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Tamater wrote:
The 2-player game is fun and tight, but we found that we end up playing the same games over and over. It is always a race to who gets the university, then the second player gets the Church (which effectively cancel each other out), then it is mostly back and forth till the end (20-30 mins total).

So, we figured we'd try playing 2-hand vs. 2-hand just the two of us.

The only changes we had to make were:

1. No card trading/stealing between your own hands, even if you get the libary

2. the Destiny card is not played.

3. If teams are AB vs. CD, the turn order goes A>C>B>D

4. Stealing order (ie, Card of Destiny): A steals from C, B from D, C from B, D from A.....when the card is flipped, swap this order. (A simple way of remembering this is: One player has his hands steal in an X across the table, the other steals directly across....and flip this when flipping)

5. A player cannot have both hands build the same City Expansion (I built a Merchant Guild with each hand and completely shut him down, once...especially his hand with the University)

6. A player wins the game when one of his hands gets 10 VP. Although we haven't tried it yet, I just thought that maybe the victory condition could be that both hands need 10. Or both hands need 9....not sure if both needing 10 would be a problem....

I think that's it, we've only played 2 of these 4-hand games so far, and I think these rules cover it, but if we run into anything else, I'll update.



Do you like playing it with this variant so far? How long does it take?

Suggestion. The game is really easy to add variants to. Why? Because everything you build is not shuffled. So you can print and play your own building ideas. You could toss out some of the original buildings, change up costs, have random buildings available each time (sorta like dominion's 10 random kingdom cards - use a die if you must randomize hard to shuffle things), add other kinds of things to buy, etc...

I think the road and knight cards are an interesting but rude mechanic how they steal back and forth all the time. My wife suggested adding another road and knight for 2 player. I think that could be interesting. Simple change too.

Next time I play it I'm going to have settlements/cities provide another draw each turn just like how knights work.
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Tamater T
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We've played a few more of these games and like it.

However, we've made a simple, yet significant change to it and to the 2-hand game (more for the 2-hand game)

Here's the deal:

In 2-hand, we found we kept playing the same games.....The first to build an expansion always chose the University....it is just too powerful to not choose as a first choice. The other expansions provide a benefit, but the University's benefit is just too powerful, every turn...

So our games went like this:

First to build an expansion: University
Second: Church (otherwise, it is too easy for the first player to keep taking both knights)

After that, it really doesn't matter what happens next....Every game we've played since we realized the power of the university, that player has won.

SO.

What we decided was to make the City Expansion choice random.

Simple enough.....this way, we played many different kinds of games depending on the combination of expansions that was played.

I played my first 3-player game last night with the random choice and it worked well there too.

I think your 3-knight idea could be fun, too. That way, it is even more worthwhile stealing knights since you can get all 3.....but, it would make the game shorter by putting another VP out there. And it would make the Church less powerful.
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