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Age of Industry» Forums » Variants

Subject: Best 2 player variant for Age of Industry rss

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Tyler Hafen
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I just posted a similar question on the London forum, but I wanted to ask the same thing about Age of Industry. This is my week for trying out some Martin Wallace games with two players, and I want to get a feel for what variants people think work best. I've seen suggestions on these forums for removing anywhere from 12 to 24 cards. The threads have been dormant for a while, so I was wondering if anyone has been using any of the variants posted here, and if so, which you think works best. I'm thinking of trying it first by removing 24 cards (2 of each except 3 cotton mills and 1 ship), and seeing how that works. Any other suggestions out there for what to do other than removing cards, or will this do the trick? Is the Germany map or the New England map better for two players, or does it not really matter?

I'm also planning on printing out the Great Lakes map created by Klode:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/69818/great-lakes-map-...

This looks really amazing! But I also want to try it on one of the regular boards to see how it works. I'll post my own impressions after I've tried it out, but I'd like to hear from other people to see what is working best for them. Thanks for any input!
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Jack Francisco
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I don't think that the base game provides the tightness that this game needs to be great. The Great Lakes map by Claude Sirois, however, is perfect for two players. Plus, his rules are clear, concise, and easy to understand. I've played it and it really gives the same feeling as the regular game. Print it and play it. You won't regret it.
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Tyler Hafen
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Thanks for the quick reply, Jack. So the problem with the base game for two players goes beyond just having too many cards, I guess. I think I'll take your advice and try it with Claude Sirois's map right away.
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A Brave New Geek
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Tyler - if you get the chance to play the 2 player variant for Brass: Lancashire then you should go for it - it is really good.
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Jack Francisco
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awesomeunclet wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply, Jack. So the problem with the base game for two players goes beyond just having too many cards, I guess. I think I'll take your advice and try it with Claude Sirois's map right away.


No problem, Tyler. Hope you enjoy it.
 
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Tyler Hafen
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abravenewgeek wrote:
Tyler - if you get the chance to play the 2 player variant for Brass: Lancashire then you should go for it - it is really good.


Thanks for the tip. I've just recently started playing Martin Wallace games, and I would really like to try out Brass. I'm currently living in Germany, and none of the online stores I've found here have it in stock. I don't really want to shell out a lot of cash for shipping, so I'll probably just wait until I can find it in stock here. Is the two player variant for Brass significantly better than Age of Industry?
 
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Samuel Hinz
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2 player variant for brass means covering up some of the board to reduce the number of cities or printing off the 2 player map.

If your going to print ten the great lakes does similar for AoI.
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Andy Andersen
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I just printed off the map. It looks great. Will mount it tomorrow and get it to the table ASAP.

Very nice work.
 
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A Brave New Geek
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Sorry Tyler - I do not know AoI though just thought if you were going for 2P martin Wallace games that it was an option for you. There is also a Catalan Brass map which I am yet to try though you have to order cards for which is another option.

Anyway, Tyler - enjoy! :-)
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Claude Sirois
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Tyler,

The timing of your question is funny because last week, I thought it might be interesting to develop a 2-player variant for the Germany map. I know it's more complicated to print-cut-paste paper to create a board like the Great Lakes map than just use the board you have in the box.

Having said that, based on my humble experience with the Great Lakes map, I did a first attempt earlier this week to develop a 2-player variant for the Germany map. Reducing the number of cards (from 12 or 24 depending on the variant) works probably quite well, but I thought maybe, that might work better in removing building spaces and locations as well.

I tested the following rules in solo but was not convinced by my first attempt. Here is the rules I used, maybe somebody could build on that:

- Brown and Red spaces and rail tracks linked to them are considered "out of bond". They're just not part of the game;
- Remove 23 cards at the beginning of the game (5 X Brown, 5 X Red, 3 X Ships, 2 X Coal, 2 X Ironworks, 2 X Ports, 2 X Cotton, 2 X Factory);
- At the begining of the game, both player must remove the following counters from their Player Display : 1 Level 0 Factory, 2 Coal counters (1 level 1; 1 level 2) and 2 Iron counters (1 level 1; 1 level 2);
- Order of play is determined randomly at the beginning of the game and won't change during the game. However, during setup, the first player will receive 5 cards instead of 6. Moreover, the second player will be allowed to play 2 actions during the first round while the first player will only accomplish one.
- Coal : Building Coal mines in spaces containing a Coal symbol is optional (so a player can build a Coal or any other industry counter except a port of course). However, a Coal counter can only be built in a location containing a Coal symbol;
- Players are not allowed to build 2 counters in The Ruhr (1 counter max).

I tried to bring more tension in removing some spaces and changing some rules, but from my perspective, the part of the map I used wasn't optimal for 2 players. In using the previous rules, all ports are located in only one color zone (Grey), so the card drawing becomes more important. Moreover, 2 cities have 2 ports, which means that there's no competition to get the ports. You can wait the time you want, you're sure to be able to have at least 2 ports. Markets are only located on the West side of the map. Overall, I don't think that worked so well. Personally, I would have changed/moved some spaces on the map to try to optimize it for 2, but that means that you have to print a new map, so we're at the same point.

Maybe the best thing is to keep the map as it is and just remove cards. I don't know. If some people have some ideas, they are welcome.

Thanks to those of you who try the Great Lakes map. I'm always open to receive comments to improve it!

K

Edits : Typos
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Justin Fitzgerald
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So, my wife and I just played this twice and I'm not really sure this is a good two player game at all. The thing is you can consistently end your turn with a really small hand (1-2 cards) and basically decide to end the game at any point. So particularly if you're going second, you calculate the points on the board, then end the game when you're ahead. This reminds me quite a bit of the mechanic in Industrial Waste but without the risk of a final waste inspection, since wasteful producing is what generally pushes you ahead in points so quickly.

If running out of cards is one of the triggering endgame events, how can this be a 2 player game?

Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if the endgame was like "randomly in the last 3rd of the cards, a card comes up which triggers the endgame?"
 
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Tyler Hafen
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KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
If running out of cards is one of the triggering endgame events, how can this be a 2 player game?

Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if the endgame was like "randomly in the last 3rd of the cards, a card comes up which triggers the endgame?"


I think you may have read the rules wrong. The rules state:

"The game ends at the end of a complete round of play when one or more players have no more cards in their hand and the deck of cards has been exhausted." (my emphasis)

The game doesn't just end when somebody runs out of cards in their hand, but when this happens and the draw deck is exhausted. That is why a lot of discussion about playing this with two players suggest removing up to 24 cards from the deck, because otherwise the game drags on forever. At least that is my understanding.

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Justin Fitzgerald
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Tyler, thanks for the clarification. That makes a lot more sense!
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Tyler Hafen
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No problem. It's easy to miss a rule in a game like AoI, and that can ruin everything.
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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With alternate maps and popular variants now for both Brass and AoI, which of the two would you most recommend for two players having no experience in either?
 
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Jack Francisco
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Claude Sirois has made a wonderful map for 2p in the Great Lakes.
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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senorcoo wrote:
Claude Sirois has made a wonderful map for 2p in the Great Lakes.


Thanks! I saw your lauding of it earlier in the thread. That's what I was referring to when I said "With alternate maps and popular variants now for both".

Being that I don't own either, was hoping to hear thoughts on preference from folks that have played the variants of both. Specifically on which to buy for two people that would be learning the game for the first time.
 
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Adrian Sperling
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NuMystic wrote:
senorcoo wrote:
Claude Sirois has made a wonderful map for 2p in the Great Lakes.


Thanks! I saw your lauding of it earlier in the thread. That's what I was referring to when I said "With alternate maps and popular variants now for both".

Being that I don't own either, was hoping to hear thoughts on preference from folks that have played the variants of both. Specifically on which to buy for two people that would be learning the game for the first time.


Having bought AoI in the not too distant past and mulling over a similar decision for some time leading up to that point, I'll offer a little advice that helped me make my decision. First, a qualification - I have never played Brass, so I can't comment on its gameplay directly. Of the two, AoI seemed a little more straight forward to me, with simpler and more consistent rules, where Brass seemed more "quirky", not that it's a bad thing in itself, I just knew it wouldn't work as well with my game group. Downloading and reading the rules ahead of time helped me be more certain of that feeling. Also, AoI was designed to be more modular, facilitating the creation of more maps, as we have already seen with the pnp Great Lakes map, and the recent expansion (Japan works well with fewer players). And there may be more maps in the future. Brass does not have that option, it is very specific in its gameplay.

Hope that helps.
 
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