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Subject: Viability of Shorter Variant - Six Districts? Five? rss

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James
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I have to believe that this is discussed somewhere in the Citadels forum but I can't find it (even with Google searches) so please forgive me if I'm walking down a well worn path. As similarly noted by others, the one reason that I have not felt confident in getting this to the table with large numbers of players is the threat of the game length making it overstay its welcome. Our group is made up of slow players and they're also fairly intolerant of growing into a game (and I only get so many "new game" suggestions).

I see the variant for a game ending with seven districts instead of eight. Are there serious reasons that I'd want to avoid playing a game only to six districts? ....or even just to five?

I can only see two issues. First, here would be a greater difficulty of getting a set of five different colors. In addition, the reward of four points for finishing first would be proportionately higher owing to the smaller cumulative value of the all one's districts. Second, luck might play a larger role in the game because card draws would play a larger role than strategy as there would be less time to use roles and plan districts thoughtfully.

I already know that it is recommended to use the Diplomat over the Warlord for a shorter game. Are there serious reasons why I wouldn't want to reduce the districts needed to win to six or five? Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this, folks.
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Brother Jim wrote:
I have to believe that this is discussed somewhere in the Citadels forum but I can't find it (even with Google searches) so please forgive me if I'm walking down a well worn path. As similarly noted by others, the one reason that I have not felt confident in getting this to the table with large numbers of players is the threat of the game length making it overstay its welcome. Our group is made up of slow players and they're also fairly intolerant of growing into a game (and I only get so many "new game" suggestions).

I see the variant for a game ending with seven districts instead of eight. Are there serious reasons that I'd want to avoid playing a game only to six districts? ....or even just to five?

I can only see two issues. First, here would be a greater difficulty of getting a set of five different colors. In addition, the reward of four points for finishing first would be proportionately higher owing to the smaller cumulative value of the all one's districts. Second, luck might play a larger role in the game because card draws would play a larger role than strategy as there would be less time to use roles and plan districts thoughtfully.

I already know that it is recommended to use the Diplomat over the Warlord for a shorter game. Are there serious reasons why I wouldn't want to reduce the districts needed to win to six or five? Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this, folks.


As a stickler for the rules right there, I'd prefer to play to 8 irregardless, but among my slower groups, with 4p to 5p games taking 1 to 1.5 hrs, 6p games taking 1.5 to 2 hours, and 7p to 8p games taking 2 to 3 hours, the tradeoff becomes increasingly worth it more and more.

There are indeed issues with the 4/2pt bonuses becoming easier, and the diversity bonus becoming harder. Some untested tweaks I can think of off the top of my head for 5 districts include: reduce the completed bonuses to 3/1; and only require 4 different colors for the 3pts.

For "to 6" games, I think it could go either way. I sure haven't changed the bonus scoring for my "6 games". Would likely NOT do it to 7.

Push come to shove, Citadels has sort of migrated to the label of "euro social/party game" where I take a lot less stock in the outcome of the game and just focus more on conversations and/or food. In cases where there are long downtimes, i especially won't feel guilty about whipping out electronic devices and checking email, or palying other games.
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Igor Brígido B. Sales
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If you want shorter games you should:

Play to end the game at 7 districts
Use the Diplomat instead of the Warlord

This should give you less playtime.
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James
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ackmondual wrote:
For "to 6" games, I think it could go either way. I sure haven't changed the bonus scoring for my "6 games". Would likely NOT do it to 7.

Thanks much for your thoughts, Ackmondual. As a rookie with Citadels it's good to know that my suspicions were on target with regard to point balance. Still, if I'm reading your post correctly, it appears that you have played games to six districts. At least I know, then, that it's not an unprecedented, game-breaking variant (for some unforeseen reason)!
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Andy Miller
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Go ahead and play to five or six and don't worry about the effects on scoring! The fun of the game is in the role selection, not the points. I have never played a game where the first to finish does not also have the most points, so worrying about the end bonuses is silly given the lightness of the game. This game is best played without too much analysis (except the 2-3 player version, which is great fun, and a completely different game!)
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Geert Vinaskov
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The fact that the 4/2 point bonus for getting to the required number of districts gets better when you play to less districts isn't necessarily a problem.
If ending the game gives you a better bonus, players will be more eager to end the game, meaning it will play faster.


And the real reason to make the endgame bonus for diversity better isn't because it's harder with fewer districts, it's about motivating players to build many and cheap districts, thus ending the game even faster.


If it's worth something, I posted my houserules in the variants today. It includes playing to six buildings, and it plays perfectly fine for us.


And for the records, I've often seen "to eight" games end, with the person who got to eight first, not winning. This especially happens when the condottiere destroys the most expensive building of the player who just reached eight with the most buildings. If this happens a few times, groupthink may evolve in such a way that "racing with cheap districts" is perceived as a bad strategy.
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Tom
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Geert Vinaskov wrote:
This especially happens when the condottiere destroys the most expensive building of the player who just reached eight.

Which I believe isn't allowed.
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Geert Vinaskov
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xTomer wrote:
Geert Vinaskov wrote:
This especially happens when the condottiere destroys the most expensive building of the player who just reached eight.

Which I believe isn't allowed.
Yes, It might be. I was doubting when I wrote it (nowadays we always play with the superiour Diplomat). Lazy as I am, I couldn't be bothered to look it up.

I couldn't remember if the rule was:
- The condotierre can't destroy buildings of the player who just got to eight.
or
- Once a player gets to eigth, the game will end after this turn. Even if the condottiere destroys his eight building.


Thanks for reminding me about the rules!
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xTomer wrote:
Geert Vinaskov wrote:
This especially happens when the condottiere destroys the most expensive building of the player who just reached eight.

Which I believe isn't allowed.
I believe that's aka Warlord? Well, we're already dealing with variants (ableit official ones in the rulebook). Only other way to destroy a district in a city that reaches the end game condition is to use the Armory/Powder Room, which oddly enough does circumvent that rule.
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Chris Hawkins
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How about increasing the gold/card draw in the action phase? Maybe 3 gold or 3 cards. Or even allow a combination of gold/cards, as long as the total is 3. You might need more gold tokens.
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James
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That's clever; I hadn't thought of that. I'll have to think some more to see what other implications it would have for gameplay. Thanks for the idea, Chris.
 
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Belthus wrote:
How about increasing the gold/card draw in the action phase? Maybe 3 gold or 3 cards. Or even allow a combination of gold/cards, as long as the total is 3. You might need more gold tokens.
Since $$ is public, I'd buy different types of gold tokens and use them as a different denomination. I'd go with 5, but some groups, it's rare to see above 5, and if they do, they either spend it ASAP, or get theived. $3 each for the other denomination may be about right.
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