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A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Variants

Subject: Outside the box rss

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TS S. Fulk
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After reading this blog post about Mythotopia and Doctor Who (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/10893/kublacon-and-pro...) I had an outside of the box idea.

Martin stated at Kublacon that the non-random and historical setup of Snow makes it "impossible" to fix.

Here's my take to randomize the game a bit:
1. Use no Governor of start locations (edited twice)
2. Shuffle the Empire Decks.
3. Reveal 3 Empire cards at the start of the game. (# can be adjusted with play test)
4. At the start of each turn, the player reveals 1 more Empire Card (# can be adjusted with play test)
5. You can only buy revealed cards and neutral cards (always revealed)

This would randomize the setup, represent logical problems, and still help the Brits by the end of a long game.

What do you vets think?

Edit: There could be a set 3 cards that are available 1st--example: governor, militia, native (french)/ranger (brit)

6. New action: Logistics---reveal the top 2 cards of your Empire Deck.
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Tom
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Some time ago there was a similar suggestion of the 'Empire Cards Market' and it didn't grab too much attention. I generally like this idea (and at the same time disagree with Martin Wallace - I believe that with a certain amount of unpredictability in the cards flow the game can be balanced), however the recent developments of playtesting suggest the combination of No Governor Starting Locations with Bateaux in the British deck restricts British military startegy too much, so adding also this modification could be superfluous.

By the way, I don't know why MW defends the broken strategy with the argument of the game's historical correctness. AFAoS covers more time span in the history than just the French and Indian War, actually, over 100 years of colonies development in America and in 1650 it wasn't one hundred per cent sure the British will win eventually by conquering Quebec. It wasn't even one hundred per cent sure just before the final battle. The British had the overall advantage in the new world but the French did some mistakes before losing Quebec and with their different approach the histiory could have been different, a bit at least. While the game provides the British with a one hundred per cent probability of winning *regardless of what the French do* during those over 100 years and this is certainly not historically accurate.
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Clyde W
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Wait, are you saying restricting Brit military is a good thing? It's the only way they can win at the moment, against strong French play.
 
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Ken Dilloo
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Yeah, I have been testing the variants with no governor starting locals, and Brits start with Bateaux. It is way too much. As brutal and unstoppable the Hammer is, I don't think it is a major, or elaborate fix.

There isn't a shortage of ideas, there is a shortage of people with the will to find the right balance. If this quote, from Martin, is accurate, that is very discouraging.
 
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Clyde W
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It's in Martin's best interests to fix the game (assuming he wants to sell more copies). If he declares it unfixable, this is a bad sign indeed.
 
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Tom
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clydeiii wrote:
Wait, are you saying restricting Brit military is a good thing? It's the only way they can win at the moment, against strong French play.
Well, currently it's certainly too strong But the French settlement should be slowed down somehow too, probably.

I believe that No Governor starting locations is the needed minimum, as otherwise Pemaquid and St.Mary's are sure candidates to being governored ASAP, so basically are useless cards. With No Governor Starting Locations, the British needs to find them some use.

Ken, if No Gov Starting locations alone is not enough and starting British Bateux alone is not enough either, while those two combined are too much, maybe it would be worthwhile to keem them combined and now add to them something to make the life a bit more difficult for the French. 1st Edition French Bateaux maybe?
 
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Ken Dilloo
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Nothing is unfixable. But, you hit on the rub, that to fix HH, it may then not ever work with equally matched opponents. Obviously a French advantage, in the game, is better than a broken strategy, but not sufficient either.

It may be that cards may need to be altered, to find perfect balance, and that might never happen.
 
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Ken Dilloo
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Ugg, who knows? We need people to play this out. Both is too much, without a doubt. Bateaux to the Brits only buys some time, as they just govern that too. Start locations looks more promising, but is it possible to go HH against a good opponent? Is that Pemaquid-Boston (Pemaquid Pile driver) then too much?

It might take something like altering cards and/or connections.

Edit: as of now, I am uncertain if no govern starts is too much.

solkan1 wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
Wait, are you saying restricting Brit military is a good thing? It's the only way they can win at the moment, against strong French play.
Well, currently it's certainly too strong But the French settlement should be slowed down somehow too, probably.

I believe that No Governor starting locations is the needed minimum, as otherwise Pemaquid and St.Mary's are sure candidates to being governored ASAP, so basically are useless cards. With No Governor Starting Locations, the British needs to find them some use.

Ken, if No Gov Starting locations alone is not enough and starting British Bateux alone is not enough either, while those two combined are too much, maybe it would be worthwhile to keem them combined and now add to them something to make the life a bit more difficult for the French. 1st Edition French Bateaux maybe?
 
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Tom
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bigloo33 wrote:
Ugg, who knows? We need people to play this out. Both is too much, without a doubt. Bateaux to the Brits only buys some time, as they just govern that too.
There is also a possibilty of a gentlemen's agreement of not governing any starting cards, not only locations, which I like. Or no governor at all as a built-in option on Yucata. While Bateaux in the French starrting deck should interfere with Pemaquid Piledriver a bit (one lost action at least).

I agree, there are lots of options to test. I'll try to find the time to play a game or two on Wednesday.
 
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TS S. Fulk
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6. New Action: Logistics---Reveal the top 2 cards of your Empire Deck.
 
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Ken Dilloo
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Try simply No Govern of Start Locations. I think the French will have an advantage with that, but it feels more like a game again.
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Tom
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Isn't it exactly what Noahboa tested? Here's Tim's opinion:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/8804328#8804328
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Ken Dilloo
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Must have missed that one. Anyway, it is a good place to start. Players' skill and card draws are tough variables to test around.
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TS S. Fulk
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bigloo33 wrote:
Must have missed that one. Anyway, it is a good place to start. Players' skill and card draws are tough variables to test around.

The thing that I like about the random cards is that skilled players will have to adapt their strategy and maybe wait with the hammer buying the French time. If things draw right they can go with the hammer. A good Brit can still win, but I admit that the luck of the draw might play a major role in them losing.

Chock it up to poor logistics.
 
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tssfulk wrote:
bigloo33 wrote:
Must have missed that one. Anyway, it is a good place to start. Players' skill and card draws are tough variables to test around.

The thing that I like about the random cards is that skilled players will have to adapt their strategy and maybe wait with the hammer buying the French time. If things draw right they can go with the hammer. A good Brit can still win, but I admit that the luck of the draw might play a major role in them losing.

Chock it up to poor logistics.
Hrm. I'm skeptical. That's the whole point of deck-thinning: to reduce the "bad draws" and ensure nearly non-random draws.
 
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TS S. Fulk
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clydeiii wrote:
tssfulk wrote:
bigloo33 wrote:
Must have missed that one. Anyway, it is a good place to start. Players' skill and card draws are tough variables to test around.

The thing that I like about the random cards is that skilled players will have to adapt their strategy and maybe wait with the hammer buying the French time. If things draw right they can go with the hammer. A good Brit can still win, but I admit that the luck of the draw might play a major role in them losing.

Chock it up to poor logistics.
Hrm. I'm skeptical. That's the whole point of deck-thinning: to reduce the "bad draws" and ensure nearly non-random draws.


That't the whole point. Some of us find thin decks EXTREMELY boring (I don't play Dominion). The random draws are for what's logistically available to purchase. It's for the THEME. You'll have to think on the fly and plan with what's available.
 
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Oh. Sorry. I wasn't understanding your point. Yes, I 100% admit that limiting your pool of purchase options from the empire deck radically alters the game. The question is, does it destroy any chance the Brits have for winning? They need to be able to draft military in order to stave off the French settling out for a quick and easy win. Or do you not play aggressive French settlers when you're Brits? Have your French opponent play that way with the random purchase pool and see how the game breaks down for Brits.
 
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clydeiii wrote:
Oh. Sorry. I wasn't understanding your point. Yes, I 100% admit that limiting your pool of purchase options from the empire deck radically alters the game. The question is, does it destroy any chance the Brits have for winning? They need to be able to draft military in order to stave off the French settling out for a quick and easy win. Or do you not play aggressive French settlers when you're Brits? Have your French opponent play that way with the random purchase pool and see how the game breaks down for Brits.

Having the reveal 2 empire cards as an action would stall the Brits a bit, as they might choose that action if there aren't enough mil available.

I haven't tried it yet. My main gaming partner doesn't like Snow that much. If it hurts the Brits too much, you could increase the size of the initial reveal and have it be reveal 2 cards at the start of your turn (still having the Logistics action of reveal 2 cards).
 
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