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Subject: minimal distortion variant for opening game rss

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Alan Kwan
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The first two turns can be really important. But most of the variants around seem to distort the distribution too much. For example, grass-grass can be better or worse than grass-valley, depending on where you place, so I don't buy those variants which singles out the double draw and try to "fix" it.

I think this is all that is needed:

Before playing your first turn, draw and look at your card for your second turn.

I think most cases of "bad luck" can be dealt with well, if the player thinks about it. This way gives better 'training' to the players than those which permit mulligans or choice of which cards to play.
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Russ Williams
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Interesting idea. Perhaps even generalize this and say that before playing every turn, you draw the card you'll use on the following turn, instead of making a special case of the first turn!
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Werner Bär
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Karlsruhe
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russ wrote:
Interesting idea. Perhaps even generalize this and say that before playing every turn, you draw the card you'll use on the following turn, instead of making a special case of the first turn!

I bet this would easily double the playing time, without changing much.
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Russ Williams
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Werbaer wrote:
I bet this would easily double the playing time, without changing much.

Only one way to find out...!

For what it's worth, I've played several times with my no-randomness variant (simply choose which terrain you want each turn) and that didn't double play time. It's honestly not clear to me whether this "see what your next card will be" approach would/should make things go slower or quicker than the "choose whatever card you want" approach.
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Pater Absurdus
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Carrollton
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Werbaer wrote:
russ wrote:
Interesting idea. Perhaps even generalize this and say that before playing every turn, you draw the card you'll use on the following turn, instead of making a special case of the first turn!

I bet this would easily double the playing time, without changing much.


I think that it would change things pretty dramatically. Everyone's strategy would improve greatly by having that foreknowledge. Of course I haven't played the variant so I can't say that is definetaly true...
 
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Kathy Sheets
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Stuart
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We played at first with the house rule that you may redraw your 2nd card if it matches your first drawn card. After many plays we have discovered that it is not necessary since we should be playing our first card in such a way as not to compromise us if our second card turns out to be the same one. We just didn't understand the strategy at first. It's really a great game and doesn't need any tweaks now that we understand how it works.
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Alan Kwan
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The second card has special importance because it often determines whether the player gets a "free" placement or not. The usual complaint against bad luck is because the player gets locked in one area.

On later turns, opportunities for free placements are fewer, and often you can't change that through your play on the previous turn. Seeing the second card makes the most difference because the first card itself is always a free placement.

Also, it may in fact increase the luck factor by magnifying the advantage of any free placements. For example, if you let players see their fourth card before their third turn, those who are getting a free placement on their third turn might be profiting more from that information than those who don't because of the extra freedom they enjoy during the third turn.
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