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A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Variants

Subject: Fixing the Hammer, Part Deux rss

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Judd Vance
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NOTE: This is not a strategy. This is a re-working of the rules themselves.

Goal: Make the hammer possible, but very difficult, but make the threat of it worry the French.

BRITISH LOCATION CARDS:
The location cards for the Brits and French no longer connect to the same places. These British cards have the following locations removed from them:

Louisbourg: Remove Quebec & Trois Rivieres
Gaspe: Remove Tadoussac:

(In other words, to take Quebec from the St. Lawrence river, the British MUST take Louisbourg and from there, go to Tadoussac, and then Quebec.)


LOUISBOURG:
Louisbourg starts with a fort on it and a combined intrinsic value of FIVE.


SIEGING LOUISBOURG:
For the British to siege Louisbourg, that would force them to use the following 3 cards: siege artillery, regular infantry, military leader (the only way to get 6).

After the British lay down their 3 cards in the siege pile, the French may block the siege if he IMMEDIATELY plays a ship card from his hand (ex: Quebec, Port Royal, Halifax, or the "Ships" card). The card MUST come from his hand (not his reserve) and must be played immediately. If not, this block cannot happen for the remainder of the siege. The French play then plays his 2 actions (he does not replace this card immediately, just like blocking a raid or ambush).

If the French block the siege, the artillery and the infantry go the discard pile. The military leader card is moved off of the board and 2 settlement markers are placed on it. Each time the British settle, the marker is removed from the card. After the British settle 2 locations, the military leader card goes into the discard pile.

(this represents the leader dying, the news getting to London, and Pitt appointing a replacement...in reality, it starts filling the British hand with extra cards).

Note: blocking the siege with a ship card may ONLY occur at Louisbourg.


FRENCH IMBALANCE?

Will this make this imbalance the game in favor of the French? Well, since Mr. Wallace did not consider the Hammer when he designed it, by removing the hammer, it should go back to being the way he designed it. But if the sharks have declared it imbalanced in favor of the French, then here is how you resolve it:

At the start of the game, each player secretly writes down a number of points he is certain that he could win by if he were the French and the game were decided by VP count. Both players reveal their bid simultaneously and the higher point bidder takes the French and the other player takes the British and adds his opponents' bidding value to his (British) final victory point total.


DESIRED RESULTS:

I would think the British would want to siege Port Royale first, and take a ship card away from the French, leaving him with only the Quebec card to block the Louisbourg Siege.

If the French saw the Brits drafting the "Big Three" into his deck, and the French player unable to place Quebec into the Reserves, he would have to hold on to it out of fear of the hammer. His other safe choice is to draft the "ships" card into his deck (since the Brits could also siege Halifax) and put it in reserves, but at the same time, when he thought the British were building for the siege, he would have to pull it out, thus, cluttering his hand with a fairly worthless place-holding card.

This would leave the British free to siege other locations and psyche out the French player.

If the French player were willing to hold the ship card, he could almost guarantee that the hammer would never happen to him (assuming he could get Quebec or the ships card back into this hand before the British could get those 3).

At the same time, by forcing the British player to settle 2 locations before getting the Military leader into his hand, he starts bulking up his deck and opening himself up to raids.

While building for the big Louisbourg siege, he would need to keep a few "ambush blocking" cards in his hand, such as Rangers or Native Americans.

And by requiring a Louisbourg-Tadoussac-Quebec route, the French have a little more time to try to end the game before Quebec falls, in case the British conquer Louisbourg.

If the British player goes all-in on military strategy, the French keep a "ships" card in hand and can guarantee victory, so there needs to be some mixture of military and settling ...

At least that's the thought.


ADDITIONAL TWEAKS:
Because Louisbourg becomes so difficult to take, the victory point value might want to be dropped, possibly from 4 to 2, although the French bidding should make this futile.

If Louisbourg is still too easy to take, allow the Louisbourg card itself to block the raid. If it becomes too easy, restrict the blocking card to the "Ships" card only (not a location card).

Adjust the number of settlements placed on the military leader to get him back into the English deck more slowly of quickly. If need be, add a French large village marker.
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Ken Dilloo
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No offense, but I think you need to play this out a bit more, before making suggestions. There seem to be some core things that you are missing about the gameplay and rules.

If you would like to play, on Yucata, I am always game for either side. I am no expert on the HH (I usually don't run it), but I am capable. Much prefer to play the French, though.

I use my Xbox handle on Yucata, and that is BruceLeroy33. Yup, that's right, Bruce Leroy, and my arms glow and stuff, when I play.
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Judd Vance
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I should have clarified in the post: this is not a strategy. This is a re-working of the rules themselves. I added the note at the beginning.
 
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Jesse LeBreton
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airjudden wrote:

BRITISH LOCATION CARDS:
The location cards for the Brits and French no longer connect to the same places. These British cards have the following locations removed from them:

Louisbourg: Remove Quebec & Trois Rivieres
Gaspe: Remove Tadoussac:

(In other words, to take Quebec from the St. Lawrence river, the British MUST take Louisbourg and from there, go to Tadoussac, and then Quebec.)

LOUISBOURG:
Louisbourg starts with a fort on it and a combined intrinsic value of FIVE.

And by requiring a Louisbourg-Tadoussac-Quebec route, the French have a little more time to try to end the game before Quebec falls, in case the British conquer Louisbourg.

I was thinking along the same lines. Just change the cards connections a little to draw it out to buy the French a little more time. Plus make Louisbourg harder to siege. These basic changes don't even need second edition rule changes which mostly suck anyway.

Bidding is a good idea as well. However I would bid with coin instead of VP as you suggested. You bid for the British with the high winner giving that sum to the French to compensate for their slight disadvantage. Axis and Allies players have been using such a system for years to good effect.

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Judd Vance
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That's what blows me away about all of the grumbling about the Hammer. It's not that big of a deal. I know Euroguys probably never considered it, but complex war games often need a rules tweak. (See: World War II: Barbarossa to Berlin as an example), and bidding is commonplace.

Not sure money is the way to bid, though. I never thought giving the Brits more money would solve a problem, but that's just me.
 
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Jesse LeBreton
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airjudden wrote:
I never thought giving the Brits more money would solve a problem, but that's just me.

No. I didn't say the Brits get the money. The French get the bid. The idea is each player bids for the Brits. Say one bids 3 the other 5. Well the guy that bid 5 really wants the brits so he gets them. The 5 bid now goes into the French players starting money. So the French start with 10 instead of 5. In time, players would learn what is to much or to little to bid through experience. It's a self balancing mechanism. More game designers that make asymmetrical games should always make a bid central to the design.
 
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Tom
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Lebatron wrote:
No. I didn't say the Brits get the money. The French get the bid. The idea is each player bids for the Brits. Say one bids 3 the other 5. Well the guy that bid 5 really wants the brits so he gets them. The 5 bid now goes into the French players starting money. So the French start with 10 instead of 5. In time, players would learn what is to much or to little to bid through experience. It's a self balancing mechanism. More game designers that make asymmetrical games should always make a bid central to the design.

Bidding makes sense when one side is favoured but at the same time there's not one broken strategy. Weaken the hammer first, so the odds of its succeeding are similar to other Brtish strategies and then start considering money bidding, if the British are are still overpowered (which they aren't, because apart from the HH, the game is pretty much balanced, which means no need for bidding). Because otherwise, no matter how much you bid, the British have only one viable strategy option - Halifax Hammer.
 
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Jesse LeBreton
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Yes I agree. I did say above that the HH needs to be nerfed and suggested how. Even though severing the link between Quebec and Lois is unhistorical I think it's the best choice. Then once the HH is nerfed then bid. Since the HH was not seen during dev Wallace felt 5 coin for each was balanced. If he didn't it would have been 6 and 4 or something like that. So yes it's best to nerf the HH a little then play with a bid. Bids would probably hover around 1 or 2 coin if the HH was nerfed. And then all the stupid new rule changes for the second edition can be tossed out because they were only invented as a half assed way to fix the HH. And some really good players have said that these changes only help the Brits more. So this knee jerk reaction by Wallace shows these new 2nd ed rules to be a poor attempt at fixing the problem. I don't want the home support card changed, nor the way the reserve works, nor the new distance of raids. Better to just change the card connects and leave the original intent of the reserve and other rules intact.
 
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Judd Vance
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Taking historical accuracy (routes to Quebec) out of the game is not a problem to me at all. The game has very little of it to begin with. The war started over the French Fort at Dusquene, so why don't the French control it and every location between Quebec and it at the start of the game? (along with many more).

So take it for what it is: an incredibly light abstract, and have fun with it.

As for bidding, my understanding is that if you take the HH away, the French have some type of insurmountable advantage. If so, giving them MORE money will make it worse. Giving them less won't help much since they start with so little. Giving the Brits even more probably won't help since it doesn't seem like they don't have problems generating more, even to the point of excess.

I figured if the sharks in this game believe that a HH-less game makes it impossible for the Brits to win the victory point battle, than that is why you should bid on VP instead of gold. At this point, if this were a true statement, then they probably have the stats to determine the average margin of victory that the French will win by.

The beauty of it is that you can adjust based on your expertise. If Sharks determine (for instance) that the French win by an average of 5 VPs, then 4-5 is probably their bid. If you take less experienced players who think it is balanced, then they bid 0.
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zollom
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What if you changed the wording for an abmush card to read: player chooses what empire card to remove; instead of opponent? This would give the French player(and the British) a chance to remove heavy hitting siege cards. You might be wasting turns as the French player but at least you're hitting at the British players hand.

What if you turn the piracy card into a floating raid? Instead of forcing the Brits to give you 2 coins, how about raiding a location? Has this been suggested before, can't remember? Trying to keep this game historical accurate, would this be historical?
 
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Clyde W
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MY suggestion, found in its own thread, was to allow ambushing ANY card out of your opponent's hand. This would make the thin deck strategy way too dangerous.
 
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zollom
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clydeiii wrote:
MY suggestion, found in its own thread, was to allow ambushing ANY card out of your opponent's hand. This would make the thin deck strategy way too dangerous.

I'm not understanding? How would it make your thin deck too powerful? If I can ambush a siege cannon out of your hand, wouldn't it make the cost + time waiting for it better for the French?
 
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Clyde W
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zollom04 wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
MY suggestion, found in its own thread, was to allow ambushing ANY card out of your opponent's hand. This would make the thin deck strategy way too dangerous.

I'm not understanding? How would it make your thin deck too powerful? If I can ambush a siege cannon out of your hand, wouldn't it make the cost + time waiting for it better for the French?
Huh? Way too DANGEROUS, not powerful.
 
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zollom
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Also, Can you list the title of your thread? I'd like to read your ideas and peoples comments.

Please define Dangerous? Dangerous for the French player or both?

What do you think of raiding with piracy? I know once LB is taken it's a moot card but it might help in the early game?
 
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Clyde W
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http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/711471/everything-is-ambusha...
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zollom
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clydeiii,
what I am proposing is not to make every card ambushable(is that a word?), but instead of my opponent choosing the card, I get to choose the card and remove it. That would make the thin deck a little bit more risky, especially if you don't have an indian card to block it. So, if you have an infantry or a siege cannon in your hand or reserve, I get to choose which one? Of course I'd choose the more expensive, stronger siege cannon.
 
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Clyde W
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zollom04 wrote:
clydeiii,
what I am proposing is not to make every card ambushable(is that a word?), but instead of my opponent choosing the card, I get to choose the card and remove it. That would make the thin deck a little bit more risky, especially if you don't have an indian card to block it. So, if you have an infantry or a siege cannon in your hand or reserve, I get to choose which one? Of course I'd choose the more expensive, stronger siege cannon.
Yes...I understand your change. The main problem at the moment is that under the current HH strategy, ambushing is largely ineffective for the French, regardless of what cards the Brit is holding.
 
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Judd Vance
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That's what I thought. I figured the Brits just need a couple of "ambush blocking cards" in his hand, and then he can load up the reserves and get the siege underway. That's why I sought to forget that part of the strategy and just make it extremely hard to siege Louisbourg and then make it the only way toward Quebec (with one stop in between). High risk/high reward.
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