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Subject: 'A Bit More Strategy' - Variant rss

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Gabriel Kitterman
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I have found in my games that it isn’t very important to be the one who discovers the treasure. This makes the movement portion of the game less compelling. Here is a simple variant that adds some strategy to the game.

• New setup rule: during game setup place one random clue card from the draw pile to start each treasure hunt and leave the compass rose blank. No additional clues are added during setup.

•After a treasure is found, start the new treasure hunt with another blank clue card from the draw pile

•Before a treasure is found it will always have one clue card at the top that doesn’t have a compass rose.

•When you dig up a treasure place 1 of your compass rose at the bottom of the clue cards for that treasure and place one on the top clue card (the blank one that started the treasure hunt)


By not placing a compass rose on the top clue and placing 2 after finding the treasure, it keeps the game length and balance unchanged.

This change makes it more important to be the one who finds the treasure. In turn, this will make it more important to place map cards that bring the treasures closer to your side of the island.

I've played this variant 3 times now. Everyone has agreed that it is definitely an improvement. If you want to make movement even more important, instead of putting the 2nd rose on the top clue card, place both roses at the bottom of the clues (the player would get the first 2 treasurea instead of the 1st and last).


Edit: tweaked the rules for clarity
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Rick
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The player digging up the treasure gets first dibs on the treasure cards. This person has the advantage of waiting for the big cards. Or if they know the treasure is cursed, an opportunity to get a treasure and get out. Your varient of having to add your compass to the last card would have people AVOIDING digging up treasures when they suspect the next treasure to be cursed.

I think it is an interesting idea though that changes the game but not necessarily better or worse. Just a bit of a twist.
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Steve Duff
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Bobagabe wrote:
I have found in my games that it isn’t very important to be the one who discovers the treasure. This makes the movement portion of the game less compelling.

By not placing a compass rose on the top clue and placing 2 after finding the treasure, it keeps the game length and balance unchanged.


In the normal game, the treasure raiser gets the two best treasures, since 99% of the time they're the player that played the last clue, plus their freebie. This makes the game a contest between quality and quantity, as the treasure raiser usually gets less treasure, but better ones.

This variant steals the freebie starting of a new pile that the "quantity" player gets for getting the crappiest treasure and gives it to the quality guy. So in that sense, it will certainly make raising treasure stronger.

Personally, we've found the game balanced perfectly between the two approaches, and this would throw the game easily to the treasure raiser. Our games have always come down to clever movement, amulet use, and stranding of treasure tokens at the end of the game by carefully manipulating which 3 treasures don't end up raised.
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Gabriel Kitterman
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With the original rules we found that being a quantity player (just putting a clue down every turn) was a viable strategy. The players who were playing for quality (controlling treasure and truck location) just didn’t get enough of an advantage over players who were just throwing treasure cards down. This was a bit frustrating and it made some of the mechanics of the game feel superfluous.

In our group we wanted the strategic players to get more of an advantage. It is true that this variant makes playing for quantity less desirable and you could view this as closing off one path to victory. However, it felt to us like the ‘quantity’ path was too easy and didn’t add any tension to the game. Agricola has many paths to victory and it works great because all of them are challenging.

With this variant we have found that the game really becomes more of a tense tug-a-war to control treasure and grab amulets. Sitting on the side line and just tossing clue cards down is no longer an option.

As a family game I think the original rules are great but if you are looking for a bit more strategy and tension, I have definitely found that this variant is an improvement.
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Gabriel Kitterman
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RiffRaff14 wrote:
Your varient of having to add your compass to the last card would have people AVOIDING digging up treasures when they suspect the next treasure to be cursed.


I’m not sure you understand the variant rules.

The treasure raiser gets to put down their regular compass rose at the bottom of the clue cards (getting first shot at the treasures) AND they get to put another compass rose on the top clue card (getting the last treasure card).

This makes being the treasure raiser very desirable.
 
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Rick
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Bobagabe wrote:
RiffRaff14 wrote:
Your varient of having to add your compass to the last card would have people AVOIDING digging up treasures when they suspect the next treasure to be cursed.


I’m not sure you understand the variant rules.

The treasure raiser gets to put down their regular compass rose at the bottom of the clue cards (getting first shot at the treasures) AND they get to put another compass rose on the top clue card (getting the last treasure card).

This makes being the treasure raiser very desirable.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. Hopefully this helps. If I suspect (or know) that the next treasure to be dug up will be cursed. I do not want any of my compass roses near the end of the picking order on that treasure. So I would avoid digging up that treasure to avoid the curse with your variant because if I dig it up my chances of being cursed are increased greatly.
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Gabriel Kitterman
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RiffRaff14 wrote:
Bobagabe wrote:
RiffRaff14 wrote:
Your varient of having to add your compass to the last card would have people AVOIDING digging up treasures when they suspect the next treasure to be cursed.


I’m not sure you understand the variant rules.

The treasure raiser gets to put down their regular compass rose at the bottom of the clue cards (getting first shot at the treasures) AND they get to put another compass rose on the top clue card (getting the last treasure card).

This makes being the treasure raiser very desirable.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. Hopefully this helps. If I suspect (or know) that the next treasure to be dug up will be cursed. I do not want any of my compass roses near the end of the picking order on that treasure. So I would avoid digging up that treasure to avoid the curse with your variant because if I dig it up my chances of being cursed are increased greatly.


I can see what you are saying. I think getting double treasures outweighs the risk of the curse but your point is valid.

Perhaps the suggestion I make to "add both roses to the bottom of the clue cards" is the better way to go. That would give you access to the first two treasures and would help you avoid the curses.
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Rick
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Hmmm... I just thought about the variant in the rules that allows swapping compasses. Maybe the person who digs it up is allowed to swap any two compasses in that treasure instead of adding any compasses. This way you could move one of yours up in the order or move the current leaders compass down to the bottom.
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Robert F-C
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One very simple way to make raising the treasure slightly more attractive without changing the game much: allow the player raising the treasure to also look at the extra treasure card in the treasure stack (the one that is normally not looked at). The only exception is that a player may never look at at all treasure cards in the stack.
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Jonathan Dunn
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With only two curses in the whole game and so many amulets available to counteract them, I find the curses pretty much irrelevant. Same with digging up treasure - I don't think one extra treasure card is much of a reward.

I will try this and some other variants to see if I can make this game bothering with; even my 11-yr-old seems a bored with it after only a few games.
 
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Rami Finkelshtein
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joninashby wrote:
With only two curses in the whole game and so many amulets available to counteract them, I find the curses pretty much irrelevant. Same with digging up treasure - I don't think one extra treasure card is much of a reward.

I will try this and some other variants to see if I can make this game bothering with; even my 11-yr-old seems a bored with it after only a few games.


The issue with the curse cards is not the fact that you need an amulet to counteract them. It is the fact that they discard ALL of the remaining treasures that were picked up. Therefore if you had 2 or 3 clues in the mix losing 2-3 treasures is a minimum 4-6 point loss which can be quite large in the scheme of things.
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