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Rolling Stock» Forums » Variants

Subject: 2-player variant rss

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Björn “Beorn” Rabenstein
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To play with two players, set up the game as if you were playing with
four players. Then, each players takes the position of two players in
the four-player game simultaneously. Player A starts with his his
simulated ``right hand'' player in player order position 1. Player B
starts with his simulated ``left hand'' player in position 2 and his
simulated ``right hand'' player in position 3. Finally, player A
starts with his simulated ``left hand'' player in position 4.

Play the game normally, as if it were a four-player game. To win, your
lower ranked simulated player must be better than the lower
ranked simulated player of your opponent.

Example: Alice's ``right hand'' player ends up first in the
final ranking with a huge margin, and her ``left hand'' player ends
up on a close last place. Bob's simulated players end up on rank 2
and 3, very close to Alice's ``left hand'' player. Bob wins the game
because his lower ranked player is better than Alice's lower ranked

Rolling Stock is full of win-win deals. Forging those deal
between opponents isn't really interesting any longer in a two-player
game, because there is no third (or forth or fifth) party any longer
relative to which the two dealing players would win. While deals
between opposing players are in theory still possible in the
two-player variant, they would only happen if the two players had a
different understanding of the benefits of the deal and were both
thinking they were winning more than the other. Deals between
``allied'' simulated players are obviously highly encouraged, and the
two-player variant is very suited as an exercise for cooperative
strategies. You even have to make sure that both simulated players
benefit in a similar way because you can only win if you balance the
result of your two simulated players. That's very similar to a real
four-player game. (Of course, you can ``switch camps'' at any time in
a real four-player game and forge deals ``promiscuously'' with
changing partners, while the two camps are fixed in the two-player
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