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Subject: Tichu with two's high? rss

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Justus
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Its one that that has always annoyed me about this game. For something that takes on an asian theme, and even tries to claim asian in origination, it does not have one of the utterly basic aspects of asian climbing games. The two should be high

So. Here's what I was thinking. Play with the twos high, so the value order of the cards are 3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A-2

Now this leads to an interesting question, can you play the twos as part of a run. I would be inclined to say yes -- but only low. So you can play 2-3-4-5-6, but that would be beaten by the a 3-7 run.

Actually I would really be inclined to that 2's can't be part of any runs since that's how I play Tien Len, however, I think it would be brutal in Tichu because the MJ card could be an abslolute killer if you could only play that as a single card.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Is your motivation purely for more Asian feel? 2s being high is not a trait of all Asian climbing games. 大怪路子 for example ("The Big Strange Way"?). In any case, for me I would opt for whatever results in the best gameplay. Currently there is a gameplay reason to have the 2s low to connect with the 1.
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Justus
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well yes, both for the more asian feel and because I've played enough climbing games so that it is more natural to me to play with with twos high. Its a preference based off of the the the asian climbing games I've played, even if there is one or two counter examples that can be found. Almost every single one of the climbing games on the pagat site have 2's high, the one counterexample there being big three which has 3's high.

Which also brings up an interesting point, because I think it would make for a more interesting rank structure when the 2's are high (single, pairs, trips, full house), Aces make high straights, and Kings are the high scoring cards. (big three only allows straights through kings, with A's, 2's and 3's only being played as individual sets).
 
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Sean McCarthy
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I'm pretty sure that would make Tichu LESS interesting.

What is interesting is having to give up one of the best cards (an ace) just to have a high straight - that's not something you really want to do. Similarly with pairs, trips, full houses... there is already a massive disincentive to use the highest rank card for that simply because it's better to use them as singles most of the time.

Don't forget that Tichu already has the dragon and phoenix. Your idea with twos being high and single is just the same as adding four more dragon-like cards.

Finally, regardless of whether you allow twos to be played in combinations, there is a very good reason to keep aces high - kings are worth 10 points. The fact that the second-highest card (the only real way to force an opponent's ace) will award them points is the source of much tension in the game. If you really want to play with twos high I would recommend making aces be worth 10 instead of kings, to preserve this dynamic.
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Mark McEvoy
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How does MJ work in a straight after this? I-2-3-4-5? I-3-4-5-6?

Is AA22 a valid stair (indeed, the boss stair)? Is 2233 valid?


Can Phoenix still be half-a-rank above 2? Or does your modified rule still have Phoenix top out as ace-and-a-half?
 
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Justus
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I'd say my preferences would be that the MJ would count as a "little deuce" and if so, then real 2's would not be part of straights. And therefore could not be part of stairs.

Though I would be open to the idea of 2's being used in straights low, but would not be high cards if used in that situation.

Phoenix would be "2.5" if played in the right situation.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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I haven't heard (or maybe I didn't understand) the gameplay improvement from the variant. For me, increased similarity with some other climbing games is not sifficient justification. The numberous Chinese folks (in China) I've taught Tichu to haven't taken issue with 2s not being high.
 
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Justus
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curtc wrote:
I haven't heard (or maybe I didn't understand) the gameplay improvement from the variant. For me, increased similarity with some other climbing games is not sifficient justification. The numberous Chinese folks (in China) I've taught Tichu to haven't taken issue with 2s not being high.


I know you think that Tichu is the perfect game, unfortunately I do not. I'm just throwing out thought experiments out there to see if there are ways that I can improve its gameplay for me. If I had a more adventurous gaming group I would try it first then post about the results, but unfortunately I do not. As such, I like to hash things out on BGG before introducing the variants to my group since I often only get one shot at playing them.

I appreciate the feedback and I understand the objections to the variants but I am unconvinced that it would not improve the game in creating a more authentic feel to the game and while a more interesting set of upper ranks. It could be my issue with Tichu is due to the inelegant set of allowable plays more than whether deuces are high (as laid out in a previous variant post). In both cases, I think its playtesting time.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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I'm not trying to shut you down, just joining the discussion. If you only want feedback from folks who feel Tichu is flawed, just say so.

You'll probably not get a lot of support for your proposed variants from the folks who love Tichu (even though I am very welcoming of variants in general), but since you don't like Tichu as it is, it's possible or even likely that your variants could improve it for you.

FWIW, the only variant I've ever heard for Tichu that I thought was ok was removing the ability to bomb out of turn. Only because it solves the timing element (which is not "supposed" to exist, but does) of the game.
 
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Justus
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Just for the record I should note that I enjoy Tichu and rank it as a "9", but I just can't shake the feeling that I could make it more enjoyable for me.

It could be that my dissatisfaction with the game is that I feel a certain responsibility to my partner to avoid making Grand/Tichu calls with wild abandon. I personally really enjoy playing Tichu with a certain guy in town because he is insanely agressive with his calls and he has no problems when I make similarly agressive calls. At some point I may decide that I will permanently start calling Tichu with wild abandon, prevalant playing style be damned, and at that point the game will likely become a 10, in spite of the flaws I feel, noted previously.
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