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A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Variants

Subject: Limited reserve rss

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Tom
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The variant is simple: at the beginning of the game, you can't use your reserve. You have to settle neutral (grey) locations in order to unlock the space in your reserve, where each one grey location settled unlocks space for one card in your reserve, up to maximum standard 5 spaces.

We've played just one game with this rule but it was fun. On its own it probably won't help much, but we played it combined with few other rules variants that are available on Yucata (BrStartBateaux, NoGovStartLoc, ResLostLoc, FirstEditionBat + limited reserve). Limited governor + limited reserve might be enough too. And it's not difficult to track - you just need to take a look at the board and see how many neutral (grey) locations do you control - this is the number of your available spaces in the reserve (doesn't matter if they are villages or towns). You can freely governor their cards away, but only when you lose control of the grey location, one space in reserve is lost. Settling red/blue locations doesn't improve the space in the reserve.

This rule ties military potential (ability to keep numerous troops in the reserve) with settling, so the British player needs to settle a bit to be able to attack strongly or else he'll need to wait for his troops much longer, which was probably how the game was intended to be played.

Historically, the British launched an attack on Louisbourg from Canso, as it was easier for them to group their forces there. This rule makes the British settling Canso finally a non-futile move, as it improves their military ability by opening up another space in their reserve. More theme!

This was the game with the limited reserve (and other rules mentioned above): http://www.yucata.de/en/Game/FewAcresOfSnow/2519614
Second game in progress.
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Stefan K.
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sounds very interesting !
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Clyde W
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Isn't this just an autowin for aggressive French settling strategy then?
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Tom
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I've played just one game, so it's impossible for me to answer this question. However, the game didn't seem unbalanced, actually, it felt much more balanced than our previous games with the rules mentioned above but without this new rule. If I had a better draw in the last round, I could have been able to launch a siege on Louisbourg and possibly win. It doesn't seem to hurt the British as much as I thought before playing, the military stratgy should still be viable. It would certainly be easier without Bateaux in the British starting deck, when you can't just automatically put it in the reserve. Or without the ability to put the lost locations in reserve, which favours the French.

It would be interesting to see how solely limited governor + limited reserve works.
 
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Tom
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Ok, we've played another two games with the same rules: the British won both of them on points, by settling, developing and raiding. French settling race is counterable, if the British abandons Nova Scotia route.
http://www.yucata.de/en/Game/FewAcresOfSnow/2520596
http://www.yucata.de/en/Game/FewAcresOfSnow/2520562
 
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Tom
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http://www.yucata.de/en/Game/FewAcresOfSnow/2527034 - a very hard-fought win by capture of Quebec, but that's how it should be. The French could have very well won on points until the last rounds. Maybe it's premature to speak so, but this combination of rules fixed the game for me.
 
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Clyde W
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Can you summarize the exact combo for us?
 
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Tom
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I've played all my games with the following combo:

Limited reserve described above,
No governor for starting locations,
Lost locations can be put in reserve,
Bateaux in British starting deck,
Bateaux in French starting deck,

the rest of the rules are standard 2nd edition rules.

All of them can be implemented on Yucata with the first one needed to be used voluntarily and it's necessary not to exceed the current space in reserve. When playing face to face, it's described in the rulebook how to punish the player who exceeds 5 spaces in reserve, but on Yucata it's impossible when a player exceeds his current space under this variant.

It's quite possible that both Bateaux in starting decks won't be necessary (those are only additional changes to which I'm accustomed since playing with them long before I came to the idea of limited reserve), so you can drop those, which should be welcomed particularly by the holders of the 2nd edition, I guess. You can also drop the "Lost locations can be put in reserve" rule, if you feel the combination favours the French. The key are certainly the first two rules: limited reserve and limited governor.

However please note that I'm not out4blood and my opponent is not out4brits, so our strategies were certainly sub-optimal. But my games were all tense and exciting, so I'll continue to play this way. If I find out the game is still imbalanced, I'll report it.
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