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A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Variants

Subject: Strengthening the French rss

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Dennis Snow
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I scanned the forums and did not see this idea mentioned: Increase the French hand size from 5 to 7 cards. Maybe it is too strong, but in some test games it seemed to work well to give the French a much needed counterbalance to the greater versatility of the British cards.
 
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Tim Seitz
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Holy cow! 7 cards?
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Matthew Rooks
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Interesting, but I wonder if even that would stop the hammer. The Brits need to lose one of their Infantry cards, perhaps to be replaced with a ship, or the French need to gain an additional Infantry that could be bought for cheaper than 7 coin. I also think the starting British deck probably needs an extra card or two to slow down the hammer a bit more. Adding the bateaux, as Tim suggested a while ago, would be helpful in doing this.
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Gavan Brown
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Hand size of 6 cards would significantly boost the French.

Their economic engine requires an extra card. French are also constantly under siege (and losing them) meaning that +1 hand size allow a place for useless location cards (which now cannot be reserved).

I actually think it's a good idea, but I agree with Tim, 7 is too many (6 greatly interests me though).

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Richard Young
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Would it end up being too fiddly to work on a tweek for the Reserve rule to make it a bit more flexible for the French but not end up being yet more useful for the Brits? So far it appears, for the reserve rule in particular, that the new rule changes ended up hurting the French more than the British. Or, how about going back to the original reserve rule and work on hand size?
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Mike Brewer
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Give the French a number of free forts at game start? Make them cheaper to buy during the game?

M.
 
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Ronald Mayer-Opificius
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after 40+ games I think the following might be worth a try:
adding a trader, bateux and settler to the English starting cards (perhaps having the governor cost 5 gold and removing the money from phily and the bateux from st. mary's while at the same time turning the st mary's to cumberland connection into a wagon connection-to keep a possible western expansion for the English at the same slow pace as before)
for the French: fortresses in Louisbourg and Quebec (perhaps a starting ship)
 
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Marcus Lau
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I think the most elegant fix would be giving the British less starting money. Since the Brits can generate up to $6 per action through merchant, handicapping them to a starting money of $3 might slow them down just enough for the French to spam cubes. Also, maybe the French Piracy ability would be more useful than it is right now.
 
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Gavan Brown
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Quote:
Since the Brits can generate up to $6 per action through merchant, handicapping them to a starting money of $3 might slow them down just enough for the French to spam cubes


A Few Acres of Settler Spamming Before Quebec Gets Sieged? That doesn't sound like much fun. I personally believe this game is capable of so much more than simply running your decks down to nothingness and racing for one single viable instant win condition.
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Matthew Rooks
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Lifting the location reserve ban for only the French might help as well, as would free use of natives (for French only), starting fortifications for Port Royal and/or Louisbourg, and perhaps upping trader furs to 3 gold each instead of two. Not requiring the actual trader card to perform trades would also help to slim down the French deck and lubricate their money engine.
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Gavan Brown
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Quote:
Not requiring the actual trader card to perform trades would also help to slim down the French deck and lubricate their money engine.


This.
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Tom
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jigmelingpa wrote:
Lifting the location reserve ban for only the French might help as well, as would free use of natives (for French only), starting fortifications for Port Royal and/or Louisbourg, and perhaps upping trader furs to 3 gold each instead of two. Not requiring the actual trader card to perform trades would also help to slim down the French deck and lubricate their money engine.

True, but wouldn't lifting it only for French still prevent British from even considering settling strategy?
 
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Matthew Rooks
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Not sure I follow your line of reasoning. If the French can effectively trim down their deck in order to quickly respond to any military challenges in Nova Scotia, that alone might be a good deterrent to a militarily offensive British strategy.
 
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Tom
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jigmelingpa wrote:
Not sure I follow your line of reasoning. If the French can effectively trim down their deck in order to quickly respond to any military challenges in Nova Scotia, that alone might be a good deterrent to a militarily offensive British strategy.

Ah, probably yes. I was thinkig about giving the British the possibility to decide on a different (yet still viable) strategy at the beginning of the game (while putting bateaux in their initial deck and maybe also lifting the locations non-reserving rule, that would make settling new locations easier). The Governor would then become not a useful card again, though.

The more I think about it, it appears to me that a good solution would be to put bateaux (and maybe another card) in British staring deck and ban reserving starting cards instead of locations, which someone already mentioned earlier. That keeps a deck not too thin for either side.

Or just introduce a minimum deck size limit. The game was designed intentionally with mechanics imitating a long supply line, so let this supply line be indeed long through banning thin deck. The game is then "fixed" and played as it was meant to be played, with no need for other changes.
 
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Jay Sachs
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solkan1 wrote:
Or just introduce a minimum deck size rule. The game was designed intentionally with mechanics imitating a long supply line, so let this supply line be indeed long through banning thin deck. The game is then "fixed" and played as it was meant to be played, with no need for other changes.


Perhaps by requiring the governor to be returned to available cards after play? Probably increase the number of cards he can take with him too (4? the rest of the hand?).
 
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Marcus Lau
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I think the main problem lies in how easy it is for the British to generate money in the early game by using the merchant action. This coupled with the fact that the British has much more military symbols available to them and starts with more than twice the amount of money than the French. Also, their deck is a lot more consistent than the French in the early game, ie. no useless card combinations like fur cards without the trader for a starting hand, more symbols on each starting card (equals more choices on what to do) and a thinner starting deck. As we all know from magic: the gathering, lean, focused, consistent decks with multi function cards wins games.

In magic terms, a snapcaster Mage is better than a relearn even though both essentially does the same thing. Why? Because the snapcaster Mage is 1 mana lower in casting cost and a creature. No doubt snapcaster Mage (aka tiagos or 4chan) forces the player to play the targeted card when snapcaster comes into play and exiles the card after it was played, while relearn just brings it back to your hand to be recasted at your own leisure, but relearn is not efficient as it doesn't give you a creature to block and attack the opponent. And not to mention that it's cost is higher than the snapcaster Mage. The key word here is options and efficiency. Both cards have the same effect in that it allows you to recast an instant or sorcery. But the difference is that snapcaster Mage generates card advantage by itself (you get to replay a card and a creature to boot) while relearn doesn't (as relearn is a spell while snapcaster is a creature). Also, snapcaster allows me to reuse a 1 casting cost spell on turn 3 while relearn will only allow you to bring back the spell and not cast it until turn 4, earliest. If my graveyard is wiped out by exile graveyard effects, then relearn is practically useless while snapcaster Mage can still be played as a beatdown with a 10 turn clock.

So, the French starting deck is more like the magic card relearn (situational and sub-optimal) while the british starting deck cards are like a snapcaster Mage (useful and undercost). Coupled that with the fact that the Brits starts with more money and a smaller deck, no wonder the French sucks.

In magic, resources define the game. An player who gets ahead with resources will usually seal a win. Money is a resource in a few acres of snow and the imbalance of starting money already place the French at a disadvantage.

Ask any old magic player what happens when a player's starting hand consists of a force of will, black lotus, mox sapphire, ancestral recall, time walk, tinker and a mana crypt. (hint, tinker target is blightsteel colossus).
 
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Tim Seitz
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friedricetheman wrote:
In magic, resources define the game. An player who gets ahead with resources will usually seal a win. Money is a resource in a few acres of snow and the imbalance of starting money already place the French at a disadvantage.

The starting money is not imbalanced.

French start with 5 money and a free RA, which normally costs 7.
British start with 12 money and no RA. When the British buy an RA, everything is equal.

The French actually start with an advantage because they don't need to waste an action getting an RA.

British advantages have little to do with the start, it's more about deck density and flexibility, which you allude to.
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Alex Rockwell
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I would like the following rule:


"When there is a British siege in play, the French hand size increases to cards". Give it some thematic justification that it inspires the home country to support them or something.

This would be only when the british are attackign the french, not when the french initiate.

This wouldnt overpower the french in normal situations, only when defending against the hammer.

This is needed because the french have more junky cards and their money engine requires more cards to run than the british. If youre holdign a Coureurs in hand to counteract their Rangers, if hampers your money engine as French, but the British engine is only 3 cards and is still fine.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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jaysachs wrote:


Perhaps by requiring the governor to be returned to available cards after play? Probably increase the number of cards he can take with him too (4? the rest of the hand?).


No, this massively helps the British. The British want to Governor one time all game. (St Marys and Pemaquid). If the Governor then goes back in the empire deck thats crazy good for them. It wont clog the reserve. The French have to expand at some point to win and need togovern or multiple times.
 
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Tim Seitz
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Alexfrog wrote:
jaysachs wrote:


Perhaps by requiring the governor to be returned to available cards after play? Probably increase the number of cards he can take with him too (4? the rest of the hand?).


No, this massively helps the British. The British want to Governor one time all game. (St Marys and Pemaquid). If the Governor then goes back in the empire deck thats crazy good for them. It wont clog the reserve. The French have to expand at some point to win and need togovern or multiple times.

Alex makes a great point. To get up on my soapbox again, this is an example of why it's important to know how to play the game well when figuring changes to improve balance. The Governor gets in the way of the British the same way the Bateaux got in the way of the French. Whereas, a French Governor needs to stay in the deck to reduce the deck as French develop/lose locations.
 
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Tim Seitz
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Alexfrog wrote:
I would like the following rule:


"When there is a British siege in play, the French hand size increases to cards". Give it some thematic justification that it inspires the home country to support them or something.

This would be only when the british are attackign the french, not when the french initiate.

This wouldnt overpower the french in normal situations, only when defending against the hammer.

This is needed because the french have more junky cards and their money engine requires more cards to run than the british. If youre holdign a Coureurs in hand to counteract their Rangers, if hampers your money engine as French, but the British engine is only 3 cards and is still fine.

The all important value is missing from your sentence. Increases two cards, or increases to ... some higher value?
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Jay Sachs
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out4blood wrote:
Alexfrog wrote:
jaysachs wrote:


Perhaps by requiring the governor to be returned to available cards after play? Probably increase the number of cards he can take with him too (4? the rest of the hand?).


No, this massively helps the British. The British want to Governor one time all game. (St Marys and Pemaquid). If the Governor then goes back in the empire deck thats crazy good for them. It wont clog the reserve. The French have to expand at some point to win and need togovern or multiple times.

Alex makes a great point. To get up on my soapbox again, this is an example of why it's important to know how to play the game well when figuring changes to improve balance. The Governor gets in the way of the British the same way the Bateaux got in the way of the French. Whereas, a French Governor needs to stay in the deck to reduce the deck as French develop/lose locations.


Fair point, taken. It's very tempting though to throw peanuts from the gallery. Like, ok, ditch the French governor and let the Intendant do either his existing function or the governor.
 
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Tim Seitz
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jaysachs wrote:
out4blood wrote:
Alexfrog wrote:
jaysachs wrote:


Perhaps by requiring the governor to be returned to available cards after play? Probably increase the number of cards he can take with him too (4? the rest of the hand?).


No, this massively helps the British. The British want to Governor one time all game. (St Marys and Pemaquid). If the Governor then goes back in the empire deck thats crazy good for them. It wont clog the reserve. The French have to expand at some point to win and need togovern or multiple times.

Alex makes a great point. To get up on my soapbox again, this is an example of why it's important to know how to play the game well when figuring changes to improve balance. The Governor gets in the way of the British the same way the Bateaux got in the way of the French. Whereas, a French Governor needs to stay in the deck to reduce the deck as French develop/lose locations.


Fair point, taken. It's very tempting though to throw peanuts from the gallery. Like, ok, ditch the French governor and let the Intendant do either his existing function or the governor.

One can make the case that the Intendent is the second most useless card in the French deck (first being the Bateaux). Combining the Governor & Intendent powers makes into one card makes it better, but I still think the Intendent's power needs addressing. Making it take an action pretty much kills any tactical usage, but making it a free action would arguably be too powerful, especially if combined with the Governor ability.
 
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Gavan Brown
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Quote:
Making it take an action pretty much kills any tactical usage, but making it a free action would arguably be too powerful, especially if combined with the Governor ability.


+1. In the current state of the game, he should definitely be a free action, or cost nothing to play. He is currently useless because the French deck currently runs at about 9-13 cards (you don't need to pick up home support, as you'll have it in 2 hands anyways). But as the minimum deck size increases, so does his usefullnes.

I can see french using him validly in starting a massive surprise seige:
- Home support (3 cards)
- intendant
- home support (3 cards)
- gain reserves in hand (5 cards)
- Lay Seige (16 cards in hand)
- reenforce with military leader

 
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Tim Seitz
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RoosterJuice wrote:
Quote:
Making it take an action pretty much kills any tactical usage, but making it a free action would arguably be too powerful, especially if combined with the Governor ability.


+1. In the current state of the game, he should definitely be a free action, or cost nothing to play. He is currently useless because the French deck currently runs at about 9-13 cards (you don't need to pick up home support, as you'll have it in 2 hands anyways). But as the minimum deck size increases, so does his usefullnes.

I can see french using him validly in starting a massive surprise seige:
- Home support (3 cards)
- intendant
- home support (3 cards)
- gain reserves in hand (5 cards)
- Lay Seige (16 cards in hand)
- reenforce with military leader

Small correction: You'd only have 14 cards in hand, and with a full reserve of 5 cards, a siege wouldn't be that much of a surprise anyway, since you could only drop 4 points down.

Without using home support and intendent, you could pull your reserve and have 10 cards in hand, plus an extra action and 2 coins, which is far better for surprising an opponent, as you could lay a full 6 points on a siege that way.
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