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Subject: Curious: why not variable special action tiles? rss

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Jon W
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In a game obviously designed for variability, I wonder why the special actions are printed on the map instead of leaving those spaces blank and randomly assigning a special action tile to them. As it is, map A will always have Harbor, map B will have Barn, etc. But it could easily have been variable, so map A would one (or two) of the eight, map B one (or two) of the seven remaining, etc.

Not that it's not variable enough (it seems fine), but it just struck me as an obvious way to increase variability, and I wonder why it wasn't used. Are there features of each map that make them "optimized" for their special actions?
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Nate S
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waddball wrote:
Are there features of each map that make them "optimized" for their special actions?

Yep!

But I suppose they could have gone either way.
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Jon W
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ghorsche wrote:
waddball wrote:
Are there features of each map that make them "optimized" for their special actions?

Yep!

I just got the game and haven't played yet, but just off the cuff it didn't seem like this was the case, except maybe for the water-based ones. How can the map be optimized for the Oracle or the Tower, for instance?

I'm only bringing it up because I was lazy (I didn't look at the images here closely) and just assumed that was the way the game worked. I was then surprised when I opened the box and saw the locations "hard coded" into each map.

Regardless, excited to play this soon.
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Nate S
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The Harbor map is the one that came to mind first, but there are optimizations for others too. The Tower map has 3 different "sections" of edge, including one where you could place a single settlement and then go elsewhere on your next Tower action. The Oracle tile is boxed up in a small corner to help you spread over the map rather than getting stuck just on the Oracle board (particularly if it were the upper-right map section). It's important that the Oracle and Harbor boards only have one location hex rather than two. Etc.
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Nate S
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Do note also that the first expansion (due out soon) does seem to have randomized location abilities! I'm looking forward to it.
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Patar Absurdus the Shananigator
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"what you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.
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That is a really good point. I may have to try this!

Only problem for using this as a variant is that you would need some castle tiles as well...
 
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Donald X.
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waddball wrote:
In a game obviously designed for variability, I wonder why the special actions are printed on the map instead of leaving those spaces blank and randomly assigning a special action tile to them. As it is, map A will always have Harbor, map B will have Barn, etc. But it could easily have been variable, so map A would one (or two) of the eight, map B one (or two) of the seven remaining, etc.

Not that it's not variable enough (it seems fine), but it just struck me as an obvious way to increase variability, and I wonder why it wasn't used. Are there features of each map that make them "optimized" for their special actions?

Originally the abilities were printed on the boards, as they are now. For a while though I tried a version with abilities dealt out randomly.

The big reason not to for me was that some abilities might care about where they were, or might want more stuff on the board. For example, Harbor wants to be by water, because, you know, it's a Harbor. If Capitol had been in an expansion rather than a promo, the big yellow hexagon showing the area that scores for it could have been printed on the board itself.

The possible additional variability meanwhile did not seem to me to be so important. Varying the scoring methods has a significant effect on the game. Varying the abilities is less significant but still meaningful. Varying the terrain map is nice, but mostly the effect is, it prevents you from learning the board. Varying which maps go with which abilities, I did not see that adding much. You already vary the map and abilities. Sure an Oasis is different if it's by desert or isn't, but it just doesn't amount to much that you weren't already getting.

Having a variety of abilities on each board, rather than two copies of a single ability plus a castle, is something you can do whether you print them on the board or pick them randomly. There the issue is, it makes the game slower.
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Patar Absurdus the Shananigator
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"what you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.
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donaldx wrote:
The possible additional variability meanwhile did not seem to me to be so important.


Obviously I haven't tried this so it is just conjecture but...
It seems like that would add a really interesting component in that the abilities would become more/less powerful depending on what boards appeared. For example: Harbor could be more powerful on boards with limited water because it wouldn't suffer from the adjacency rules in the same way. I think that the farm location would become more valuable if it appeared on a board with less grass for similar reasons.

To add to this it would be interesting if the castles could be placed on any of the spaces that are currently special abilities or castles hexes.
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Rob Ryan
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I think I will try a few games where I just randomly assign any special move markers to any given location. That should mix things up a bit (and probably slow the game down an acceptable amount).
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