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Ora et Labora» Forums » Variants

Subject: 2p and 3p randomizer rss

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Richard Ham
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Washington
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Has anyone given any thought to (in a 2p or 3p game) the notion randomly creating the start, A, B, C and D decks using all the cards, instead of limiting them to just the ones that are flagged for 2p or 3p?

This would seem to be a nice way to ensure different game configurations every time you play, adding more variety to the experience. Looking through the cards, it seems like the only ones that "must" be in the game are stone merchant and stone quarry, so presumably they should be guaranteed seeded in.

Thoughts?
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Pawel Bulacz
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Why do you want to change rules to a game that was playtested for 2 years. How many times have you played it?
Do you know the game that good that you misses something to change it?
I just don't understand people like you, who wants to implement house rules without playing the game several times...
It's nothing personal so I'm sorry if I upset you.
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Richard Ham
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No offense taken, though I could ask you why you're reading the variants section of the forum when you're not interested in variants! devil

Anyway, to answer your question, actually, I generally don't tend to want to change the rules at all, because I appreciate that they are the result of months and sometimes years of design and balancing. As a game designer myself (videogames), I very much respect that. But in this case, one of my favourite things about Uwe's previous works (Agricola, Le Harve, Loyang, and Merkator) is that every time you sit down to play, a unqiue scenario awaits you. But in O&L, it's the exact same base set up to start with. I'm sure this is fine, and I appreciate there's lots of unqiue options that could let me pursue different strategies every time, but I like having the game landscape changed too.

I've only played the game once, but I'd love, the next time, to see spinning mill and cottage available instead of houseboat and false lifeboat, and other times see cottage and houseboat, and so on. For me, that's potentially a definite improvement in the quality of the experience (not the gameplay, which is a very different thing). And hence I was asking if anyone can see any particular balance issues to the game by making this change
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Pawel Bulacz
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I'm subscribed to all Uwe Rosenberg games threads and I like to read it
 
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Richard Ham
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Btw, another reason I personally would be interested in this is because I'll very likely only ever play this game 2p, and it would be very rare that I'd ever play the long game. So something like this is just about the only way we'd be able to play with all those extra cards.

Really drives me nuts all the cards in Agricola that we never get to use because they're for 3+, but it's less painful there because of all the expansions. Hopefully O&L will ultimately have equal success and spawn plenty of card expansions, but in the meantime, this seems like a reasonable way to go, if it works that is...
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Manuel Pasi
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If you ever try it, let us know, what your impressions were, pls.
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Andrew Foerster
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Ah yes ... the old appeal to authority and how the game has been tested for years by a seasoned designer, etc. etc.

From what I've read, it seems like there are plenty of buildings in the game. My concern is that if (perish the thought) it wasn't perfectly balanced, then certain dominant buildings (and a scripted opening to set yourself up for said building) might emerge. Also, if you play 2p a lot with the same partner (as I tend to) then groupthink and sameyness could occur. I'm not saying these are the fault of the game, but it would certainly detract from the longevity of the game for me, personally.

I'd love to hear on this as well ... or if, in fact, the game can stand without any sort of randomness (as early reports have indicated). It has yet to hit stateside.
 
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Justin Dee
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There are _some_ redundant buildings; in the 2p game, these are mostly taken out, leaving only buildings that are pretty essential to the balance of the game. Sure, it may be fun once in a while to hamstring all the players in the spirit of variation, but the game won't particularly benefit from it. I've played mostly 3p so far, 10 or so plays, and scripted openings have sort of appeared, for the first one or two turns at most, and frankly, that's more about knowing what actions are good.

I'm beginning to see, the more games I play, an important balance in the buildings that are available at each number of players; it really shows that this game has been very carefully playtested.

As to long-term interest, I'm not sure it has the 100+ plays interest of, say, Agricola with all the extra decks, but then, not many games do without expansions.
 
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jood shine
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richard - i think it would work..you use those cards in the long 2 player game anyway .
 
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