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Subject: Unlocking columns through years instead of mandatory row building rss

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Chris Wood
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Variant: Each year will unlock the player's ability to build a building in a particular column. For instance: year 1: build anything from column 1. Year 2: build anything from column 1 or 2. Year 3: build anything from column 1,2, or 3. Year 4 and 5: build anything on your board.

You don't need to be forced to build successively in rows, but still limits your choices in the beginning.

This way, you can have a bit more variance in your strategy; think Homesteaders, or LeHavre.

Thoughts?


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Galen Ciscell
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Re: Unlocking columns through years instead of madatory building
Sounds like an interesting twist - may have to give it a try. Let us know how it works out if you try it!
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Andrew
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Re: Unlocking columns through years instead of madatory building
It defeats the purpose of committing to a strategic building path.
I would imagine it would encourage at least one player not to build any buildings in years 1 to 3, simply stockpile resources, then grab the King's Envoy in both years 4 and 5 and be allowed to build two level 4 buildings from anywhere on their mat each year. It completely changes the nature of the game, and I don't understand how you might consider that beneficial to the game play.
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Chris Wood
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Re: Unlocking columns through years instead of madatory building
I played it just now, and I don't think stockpiling would unbalance the game that much. It certainly opened up more strategies, instead of being forced into one.
 
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Galen Ciscell
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Re: Unlocking columns through years instead of madatory building
ausminstrel wrote:
It completely changes the nature of the game, and I don't understand how you might consider that beneficial to the game play.

I certainly see your point. I am drawn to it not because it improves the game, but because it fundamentally changes it. Having played and enjoyed Kingsburg literally hundreds of times, I think it might be fun to try this variant on occasion, just to spice things up.
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Chris Wood
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Re: Unlocking columns through years instead of madatory building
Let me know how it works!

I tend to think that even if a player stockpiles, the other players are buying synergistic buildings in a way they were not able to before. That being said, when the stockpiling player buys all those buildings at the end, the other players may have buildings that will let them score more VPs. Also if the player stockpiles, they have to take the chance that the winter battles might really mess them up.
 
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Re: Unlocking columns through years instead of madatory building
ausminstrel wrote:
It defeats the purpose of committing to a strategic building path.
I would imagine it would encourage at least one player not to build any buildings in years 1 to 3, simply stockpile resources, then grab the King's Envoy in both years 4 and 5 and be allowed to build two level 4 buildings from anywhere on their mat each year. It completely changes the nature of the game, and I don't understand how you might consider that beneficial to the game play.


The OP may probably be neutral about the way the game normally plays anyways, so this changing things in this manner is probably not a big deal to them. Frankly, unless I'm playing with the TFaR exp, and playing with at least 2 of the 3 (Governor cards, Event cards, replacement strips) and 1 of the 2 (soldier tokens, extra rows), then playing just the base has lost its appeal that I wouldn't mind trying this variant.

As to balance, in theory, it may still work out, as while you don't care about losing buildings when you have none, losing VP and resources can hurt you enough.... let's say you get 5 to 6 resources per year after losing to invaders... you have 15 to 18 by the time it's year IV. Spam 3 buildings (let's assume you doN'T get the envoy, as that only goes to one player), but then you'd probably be able to get the other column IV building and a col. III or 2. Yeah, it certainly makes things different. Good or bad depends on the group.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/32207/kingsburg-monste...


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Chris Wood
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I usually play with the full expansion. Personally, I've been wanting to get Ora and Labora and Puerto Rico, and get rid of Kingsburg. But then I realized its potential to be similar to those games I want; and I'm hoping that this variant doesn't break the game. I would love to hear how this variant has worked for other players.

I don't mean to improve the game, and cure any thing that may be broken, just change the gameplay up and see if it is a viable option to those who want something different.
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Chris Wood
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I hate to say this, but to eliminate hoarding, I wonder if there has to be a limit on holding over resources to the next year. A simple way to do this is:

After each winter you must discard any extra resources. You may store and hold over 1 resource for each building you own.

This way it will strongly encourage players to build buildings, without making it too complicated.

 
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Chris Wood
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Tried it last night and it worked perfectly. Each player built around 3 buildings that were not in a progressive row. At year 3 choices really opened up. Year 5 gave a rush to buy high VP buildings and the scores ended up very close. Tallying the building scores at the end instead of as they're built was a great nail-biting experience. There was a greater variance among the player sheets, and each player was positive about having better strategic choices.
No one felt restricted about the discarding of goods at the end of each year as mentioned above. At the end of the second year everyone had around 5-6 buildings, so no one ever had to discard anything. The restriction did its job though, and no one hoarded.
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Gerald Katz
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ausminstrel wrote:
It defeats the purpose of committing to a strategic building path.
I would imagine it would encourage at least one player not to build any buildings in years 1 to 3, simply stockpile resources, then grab the King's Envoy in both years 4 and 5 and be allowed to build two level 4 buildings from anywhere on their mat each year. It completely changes the nature of the game, and I don't understand how you might consider that beneficial to the game play.


I think that would be a losing strategy. Not even getting any +1 combat buildings means dice have to be used for 5 or 10, thus not getting resources, whether using the normal rule or Soldier tokens. You're still risking losing those resources you do get if not any buildings. Inn, Market, and Crane are not must haves but they certainly do come in handy. Surely someone using this strategy will at least build the Crane. Chapel is also a building hard to pass up.
 
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Tomas Hejna
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Just as a quick note, another "similar" yet "different" way how to handle more build choices for players AND how to keep things balanced is mine Freebuild variant - now we never play the game in the original way (i.e. forced build row) and there seems to be enough place for more strategic choices than it is normally.

I might propose the column limits per year in our next play - to see how it will work.

Unfortunately, with further and further plays, I can see that this game is heavily biased towards the military strategies. The stronger defense the player gets, the better chances of winning the player receives. Almost in every play all players are building the row D (Wizard's Guild) as it provides best stats for the succesfull play (i.e. most military & VPs). And with the Freebuild variant, only the Barracks are being skipped over in about 50% - all other building from this row seems to be really the fundament for a victory.

Btw generally speaking, the least being-built rows are the C (Merchant's Guild) and the G (Military Academy) - as they provide the least VPs and/or too much of only little-rewarding gamble.
 
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Chris Wood
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That's why I did my variant; the strategies felt limited by the row restrictions. They didn't allow as much for interesting combinations and interactions.
 
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Tomas Hejna
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I fear that in the end it all comes to the VPs versus military versus resource cost.
And that all the "gambling" buildings (i.e. "may receive xyz if...") are simply less effective, generally.
 
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