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Subject: Two simple variants aimed at reducing luck in Kakuzu rss

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Mark Saya
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There's quite a bit of luck in Kakuzu. Here are a couple simple ideas that effectively take some of that luck out of the game:

1) When you draw the "0" stone, you always get one more draw. This way you never entirely miss a turn, nor go unrewarded for your previous good play.

2) End the game when there are nine stones left on the board. By this point it's obvious what numbers they cover and thus pure luck who gets to claim them. It also creates a nice symmetry with the nine stones removed at the start of the game, shortens game time a bit, and eliminates the possibility of a tie (at least with two players).

The second idea works well for playing solo too. I've set standards of needing to collect two-thirds of the stones (42 of 63) for a decent game, and three-fourths (48) for a very good one. Two-thirds is quite doable; three-fourths is tough.
 
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