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Subject: Abolishing Zeus Cards rss

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Alex Carr
United States
Reno
Nevada
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My group found this particular part of the game very frustrating. In particular one guy got hosed by the discard all destiny cards one. Earlier someone got the no sea travel card which hindered him in not at all. I just don't think it adds much and am looking for something else I could do with the discovery tiles containing Zeus symbols. Any ideas?
 
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Scholle
Australia
St Ives
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BotD wrote:
My group found this particular part of the game very frustrating. In particular one guy got hosed by the discard all destiny cards one. Earlier someone got the no sea travel card which hindered him in not at all. I just don't think it adds much and am looking for something else I could do with the discovery tiles containing Zeus symbols. Any ideas?


Just remove that one card that discards all destiny cards (especially with new players). You're right, it's very harsh compared to the other cards. Other than that card the penalties are not that severe - just mildly inconvenient. Still worth going ahead in Zeus symbols to get the good stuff and avoid the bad.
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
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BotD wrote:
Any ideas?

Yes, play more. Once you all gain more experience you'll see that the effect of the Zeus cards tends to be spread out across the table. I'll admit that the loss of destiny cards seemss rather brutal compared to being forbidden to move across water, but again, it all depends on the context. If you collect many destiny cards and the end of the game is nearing with no 'discard destiny cards' having been drawn, the chances that it will appear are ever increasing; at the same time not being allowed to cross water can really bite at this time too: Atlantis is being invaded then, giving easy points and resources for modest time investments.

If one ignores Zeus symbols, one takes a calculated risk of investment which ought to made up in a different way. The symbols also prevent people from sitting quietly in a corner and not seeking each other out: in my games the Zeus token regularly changes ownership, and developments with Zeus tokens on them are quite sought after. And of course the destiny cards can be very helpful in a pinch.

In addition I'm not sure what effect removing the Zeus cards has on the strategy of intentionally inflicting damage on your opponents by collecting sufficient Zeus symbols and then continuously being the first to cross a destiny waypoint on the time track. This can work out rather insidiously, and I'm not sure unexpected hosage is a valid reason to start altering the game for.

If you want to muck about with the Zeus cards—which in my opinion is not necessary at all—I wouldn't go as far as removing them. What is biting your group's ass is their unexpected nature. I'd be in favour of giving the Zeus token and symbols the power of clairvoyance:
— the moment you (re)take the Zeus token, you are allowed to peek at one Zeus card;
— the moment you take a development with a Zeus symbol, you are allowed to peek at as many Zeus cards as there are symbols on the development; and
— if you discard a destiny card with Zeus symbol just like that (i.e., not using it in the resolution of a Zeus card), you are allowed to peek at one Zeus card.
If that still is not sufficient you can always decide to lay open the next one or two Zeus cards, depending on the position of the player in front or behind.
 
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Some Guy
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I have heard this complaint about the game, and frankly, find that it misses the point.

If you play the game to gather up Zeus points to protect yourself from being penalized, then you are using resources. That in itself is a calculated risk.

If you don't, then you need to use your destiny cards to avoid losing them. And, it is a calculated risk if you don't.

Seems very balanced to me.
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Chris Flood
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jonjacobmoon wrote:
I have heard this complaint about the game, and frankly, find that it misses the point.

If you play the game to gather up Zeus points to protect yourself from being penalized, then you are using resources. That in itself is a calculated risk.

If you don't, then you need to use your destiny cards to avoid losing them. And, it is a calculated risk if you don't.

Seems very balanced to me.


Generally, I agree with this.

But I think a reasonable variant for those who hate hidden information is to simply distribute the Zeus cards face up where they'll be played along the time track. The Zeus tokens remain important, because all the effects will happen, but there's now additional planning players can do to avoid or take advantage of them. I think it could add another layer of depth to the game, even though it removes some of the "suspense."
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Amos
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MULRAH wrote:
I think a reasonable variant for those who hate hidden information is to simply distribute the Zeus cards face up where they'll be played along the time track. The Zeus tokens remain important, because all the effects will happen, but there's now additional planning players can do to avoid or take advantage of them. I think it could add another layer of depth to the game, even though it removes some of the "suspense."


I think that this sounds like a very interesting variant. Anybody else have any thoughts on this?

Maybe I'll post up a variant thread later to root out some BGG comments on this idea.
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