Balint Weisz
Hungary
Budapest
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I have an idea to make the game a bit less predictable. Since I don't own the game, I couldn't try it, so if you do and give it a try, please let me know how it went. If it makes the game unplayable, or somesuch, and therefore you think I'm an idiot, please sugarcoat your opinion. I'm a very sensitive person.

So, here's the deal.

Feel free to use either the 1st, or 2nd edition rules, or any combination of them, with the following exceptions:

1. Before starting the game, shuffle together all the Empire-card decks (English, French, and neutral) to form a draw deck. Place it beside the board, face down.

2. Draw 5 cards from the Empire-deck and place them face up beside the board. This is the Empire-card market.

3. If the market contains more red (English) cards, then the French player starts, and vice versa. If it contains the same number of English and French cards, decide the starting player randomly.

4. Unlike in the standard game, the players can only draft Empire-cards that are available in the market. Red cards are still only available for the English player, and blue cards for the French.

5. When a player drafts a card from the market, draw a new one from the draw-deck, and place it in the market.

6. There is a new available action (not a free action, and you can use it only once per turn): you can pay one money or play one card with at least one military symbol to discard one card from the market, and draw a new one to replace it. Put the discarded card at the bottom of the draw deck, face down.

So, that's it. If it's not a total stinker, then it may force the players to either go for a less perfect strategy with the cards that are readily available, or wait for the perfect cards to come out.
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S. R.
Germany
Mainz
Rheinland-Pfalz
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Not shootin' it down right away, but...

...this idea changes gameplay distinctly. One of the ideas of AFAoS is that you can plan what goes into (and out of) your deck of cards. With this idea, most of the strategy goes the way of the dodo...

Oh, and I just realized:
If you play it this way it is highly likely that the French player is going to win. Because he "just" has to use the location cards to settle, settle, and settle some more. With his higher VP number at the start of the game, it would give him a huge advantage over the British.
That is, provided the cards in the "market" are not the actual cards the British would need. But as the market is created randomly, any combination (no matter how helpful or hindering) is possible to pop up.

So something must be done regarding the imbalance between the French and British starting VPs.

Other than that, I find that paying 1 Gold to discard just one card from the market is a good way to slow the game down to a snails pace. Momentum is lost, and the game could drag on. I would rather you could discard all market cards (with a cost of 2 or 3 gold) - which could then become a strategic option to deliberately deprive the opponent of much-needed cards. But, as it costs money and an action, you would have to think long and hard whether to use it or not...
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Balint Weisz
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Budapest
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Dumon wrote:
Other than that, I find that paying 1 Gold to discard just one card from the market is a good way to slow the game down to a snails pace. Momentum is lost, and the game could drag on. I would rather you could discard all market cards (with a cost of 2 or 3 gold) - which could then become a strategic option to deliberately deprive the opponent of much-needed cards. But, as it costs money and an action, you would have to think long and hard whether to use it or not...


You are probably right. There are about 40 Empire-cards, and with my rules, it would take a long time to go through them. Maybe your version, or mine, with the modification of making discarding a card a free action, and allowing players to do it more than once in a turn would speed things up a bit (but not so much as to make the variant almost identical to the standard game).

Anyway, as I said, it's just an idea to make the game a bit more unpredictable. I hope someone finds it useful, even if they have to tweak it a bit to make it playable or fit their preferences.
 
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Adam Cirone
United States
Mansfield
Ohio
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I think this sounds interesting. But how about each player has a random 3 they can pick from (from their empire cards) and the neutrals can be bought as normal?

Maybe take out the Bateaux cards, since I don't imagine they would get bought much anyway.
 
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