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Subject: Phyllis Phantom: A dummy player for 2-3-4 player games of Risk Legacy rss

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Glenn Overby
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My wife and I often find ourselves with only the two of us to play a game. Over time we've done several adaptations of games that normally require three or more.

Both of us are intrigued by the concept of Risk Legacy. I saw one early suggestion for a two-player version get shot down here. But, undeterred, we went ahead anyway for times when our adult children or their children can't play. Although designed to allow two to play, these rules might also work for groups of three or four who want to get more goodies out in their first 15 games.

Feedback is most welcome. In our reading we've tried to avoid major spoilers, so comments by experienced players that will strengthen these rules for future packets are especially desirable.

Phyllis Phantom version 1.02

Purpose: Phyllis Phantom (PP) exists to make possible two-player games of Risk: Legacy. But PP may also be included in three- or four-player games by unanimous consent.

Turn Sequence: PP takes her turn after all live players in each round.

Decision-Making: Decisions for PP are made by the live players in rotation. The first player controls her first turn, the second player her second, and so on. This rotation includes set-up turns and post-game reward turns, but is not affected by her rolling dice on defense.

Passing Control: After concluding a turn as PP's controller. pass a marker representing PP to her next controller.

Controller Freedom: Unless otherwise limited in these rules, PP's controller may freely make any and all decisions for PP during a controlling turn.

Setup Limitation: PP may not start on the same continent as any live player.

Cardplay Limitation: PP does not acquire armies through card play. She will always take the eligible card with the most resources, from the higher-numbered space if tied. PP always turns in cards for a Red Star when possible.

Attack Limitation: The controller of PP must, when playing out PP's turn, either conquer at least one enemy-occupied territory, or expand into three or more unoccupied territories, or lose at least three armies in attacks. A controller who fails to meet this responsibility forfeits all armies that would otherwise be gained on their own next turn.

Defending: PP always rolls the maximum number of dice when defending. Any player not the attacker may roll for PP.
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Darren Nakamura
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Sounds like an interesting solution. At first I was wary, as a player could use PP to essentially get two turns in a row, to weaken another player and then come in with the "real" army to take an HQ. But since PP doesn't ever turn in cards for armies, she could never really mount a deep striking force.

Still, I could imagine a few sort of cheap tactics, especially for the player whose turn comes immediately after PP. He could use her to attack a Bunkered territory just to weaken her, and then use her end of turn Manuever to make for an easy path to her HQ.

I also think it would be hilarious if PP won a game and got her name on the board.
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Dave C
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This is a great idea. My wife and I are enjoying this game but our larger group can only meet every two weeks or so. We will most likely try this out tonight and let you know how it goes.

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Glenn Overby
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Dexter345 wrote:
I also think it would be hilarious if PP won a game and get her name on the board.


It is. She just won one where my wife overextended to cripple me but left a winding path for PP to jump on straight to HQ. And PP had four cards in hand. Own HQ + start-of-game star + new star for four cards + four-territory blitzkrieg = win for the phantom when my own position was all but lost.
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Joe Forsyth
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Thanks for posting this idea. This might work in my case as well since I'll likely be playing with a small group of players (2-3) when my game arrives.
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Mateo
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I tried this with my brother in a 2 player game today. It was a nice way to play it with two people. I would like to try it the next time we have a 4 player game. I think it would make the game more intense.

Thanks for the variant.
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Matthew Evans
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Have you tested playing with two PP?
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Mark McEvoy
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themormongamer wrote:
Turn Sequence: PP takes her turn after all live players in each round.


This sounds like it could be massively advantageous to the next person in turn order after Phyllis(es). When that player has a turn controlling Phyllis, the way he could set himself up for easy grabbing of the Phyllis HQs seems imbalanced, and if the opponents try to do similar he gets a chance to use his own turn to run interference on their plans before they get a turn.



As packets open - one particular packet that places stickers in ruleboook sections B C D ish (start of game) - the behaviour of Phyllis will need to be redefined.
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Critical Geek

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Oddly enough, by the time the last player gets his hand on pp, she doesn't really have that much defense to begin with, and if she does, her brains have been playing her wrong. Note that I'd consider that pp could expand into one fewer territory for each troop lost in combat, if no territory got conquered.

9 minor cities have been placed.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
In the draft,
PP Drafts last, but only one choice. This choice is made by the first player.
When the draft comes back to the first player, PP drafts again, chosen by the last player,
when it comes back to the last player, pp drafts again. in a 2 player game, chosen by the first player again, and rinse repeat. in a 4 player game, chosen by the second player, and in a 3 player game by the middle player.
when it comes back to the first player, pp drafts again, in a 4 player game, by the third player, then rinse repeat. In a 3 player game, the middle player will draft for pp a second time, and THEN rinse repeat.

Note that this means that nobody will ever have a double pick.


3rd green scar has been placed (Essen Bonus Packet) Spoilers
Spoiler (click to reveal)

PP now drafts first, and chooses the bomb specialist, even if it's not normally available, then drafts as previously described. If she ever loses her HQ, she makes it explode

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Katie Schumm
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Had to reply to this thread since the husband and I just got this game from our BGG Secret Santa (hooray!) and wanted to use these rules to crack the game open ASAP, just the two of us.

Unfortunately, we find Phyllis to be hopelessly broken. Here's what happens: We mutually agree on where to start Phyllis in an unoccupied continent and then begin play. Whomever goes first moves Phyllis first and so on.

So the starting player takes his/her turn and expands like mad all over the board with thin troops, usually taking a full continent.

The 2nd player then does something similar, but is forced to reserve a couple troops back for defense knowing Player 1 + Phyllis are coming after them.

Player 1 then controls Phyllis as she strides across the board for the first time (DUN-DUN-DUN!). Her troops march one country at a time, making a beeline for Player 2's headquarters and encamp themselves in as many surrounding territories as possible. Phyllis is spread thin, but has now been set up as a giant speedbump for Player 2. And attack or two later from Phyllis, and a slightly unlucky Player 2 now is surrounded and down to a skeleton crew.

Player 1 continues on his/her merry way for his/her own turn and now spreads farther across the board, prancing across a second continent. No major conflict is needed, because poor Player 2 is hobbled and surrounded. Maybe an attack is called for, ya know, just to pour salt on the wound.

Now it's poor Player 2's second turn. They take their sad 3 little men and try to beat against Phyllis's roadblocks, with Player 1's troops just beyond. The result of mixed dice rolls, and Player 2 regains a little, but is left without much of a crew to defend.

...And so it goes. The end result is that Player 2 is always struggling to keep his/her head above water with mostly a 3-troop gain each round, while Player 1 typically collects 8+ troops every rounds and squashes Player 2. This makes the game a prolonged painful experience.

See, with Phyllis originally scattered toward one player, and without the ability to abandon countries, she is too powerful. Can we fix her? Maybe. We've toyed with the idea of drafting Phyllis's starting positions around the board (4 placements each, including a base site). But I'm not sure how well that will work.

Maybe Phyllis is just a lost cause. modest
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