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Subject: Too many cards and not enough actions rss

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Liz Burton
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I've noticed that at least a couple players seem to have huge hands of cards by the end of the game. I was wondering if anyone had thoughts about the following variants.

(I've only played a handful of times, so nobody shoot me for suggesting a variant. I really like the game, but it seems like it could use a little tweaking to make it that much better.)


d10-1 Each player may take 2 actions per turn (but may only buy one horse). Additionally, a player may draw a card as an action.

I like this idea because it lets people do things with extra cards (more plays!) or extra money (more bets!). Also, if someone gets screwed out of cards and money at the beginning of a game--which happened to me once--they have a chance to get back in the game by drawing a card for an action.

It also gives players more strategic options, though it could also lead to AP (if I move horse #6 back two spaces, then horse #3 is tied for the lead and I can use this second card to have him move forward a space, etc.). That's certainly a possibly downside.



d10-2 Each player may do the "discard two cards for $5" an unlimited number of times as their one action.

I like that as it doesn't modify the game much, but gives players a way to cash in their unneeded cards near the end of the game.



Thoughts?
 
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Josh
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I noticed the "large hand of cards" thing in the few 3 player games I've played. Not sure if this happens w/ more players? The discard action definitely seems like the weakest of the 4 actions, and is only used if you have nothing else better to do. The weakest cards give $5.

My Ideas:

1. Discard 2 for $5, or 3 for $10(or 4 for $15? Too much/OP? Also, there is a card that let's you discard up to 4 cards for $5 a piece).

2. Make the discard 2/$5 action a separate, optional phase after actions, but before drawing. This is like taking 2 actions a turn, as long as one is the discard action.

3. I thought of the 2 actions idea as well. My stipulation was that you can not take the same action twice. The foreseeable problem is that in larger groups, the "later-in-turn players" get screwed. So I didn't like this one. One action a turn seems better cause it spreads more evenly over the entire game. Also, playing a card and placing a bet seems OP.

3a. An idea that stemmed from the 2 actions idea, is an extra action token. Like the re-roll token. Give one to each of the players later in turn order in a 5+ player game. Use the token once to get an extra(but different) action. Can't be used until at least 1 horse has entered the "NO BETS" area?

This thread has a variant that would cut down on card draw/hand size:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/874244/allowing-bigger-b...]

plays for keeps wrote:
What if you are allowed to bet $10 on a horse, but than you do not get to draw a card that turn.


Brainstorming is fun, hope this helps
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I played a 4p game where one player complained that he lost his only card b/c someone rolled a 0-move and the wrong horse. I wondered how he had only 1 card left when the rest of us had 5 to 8 cards. THAT player bought 4 horses and ended up having a higher chance of having his cards being swiped... down to nother apparently.


As for your variant, I'd be worried about AP, although there are those who take a long enough time to play 1 card anyways. I suppose the intent is to have a better buffer in case someone takes a random card from your hand, and that you weren't meant to play that many cards over the course of the game anyways.
 
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Liz Burton
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frog213 wrote:
2. Make the discard 2/$5 action a separate, optional phase after actions, but before drawing. This is like taking 2 actions a turn, as long as one is the discard action.

3. I thought of the 2 actions idea as well. My stipulation was that you can not take the same action twice. The foreseeable problem is that in larger groups, the "later-in-turn players" get screwed. So I didn't like this one.


2 - Yeah, maybe just making the discard action an extra "free" action at the end of the turn would solve the problem. Ooh, I like that idea![b] I think this will be the variant I'll try.

3 - You could be right that 2 actions could be far too powerful for the earlier players. Now I've been thinking about different 'powers' for each player based on player order (not that I want to add such a layer of complexity to this simple game!), like an extra $5 or one extra action, or some such thing. It's probably too much to try to do all that.

ackmondual wrote:
As for your variant, I'd be worried about AP, although there are those who take a long enough time to play 1 card anyways. I suppose the intent is to have a better buffer in case someone takes a random card from your hand, and that you weren't meant to play that many cards over the course of the game anyways.


Yeah, that's a big issue. I don't want to add AP into this game!


I think that "discard 2 cards for $5 is an optional free action at the end of each turn" is a simple, clean variant that lets people turn cards into money without too much altering of the game play. I'll try it in my next game.
 
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Josh
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manutd03 wrote:
frog213 wrote:
2. Make the discard 2/$5 action a separate, optional phase after actions, but before drawing. This is like taking 2 actions a turn, as long as one is the discard action.


2 - Yeah, maybe just making the discard action an extra "free" action at the end of the turn would solve the problem. Ooh, I like that idea![b] I think this will be the variant I'll try.


If the option is at the very end of turn, then it adds to the length of the game. This is a bad thing. You draw your card, which you can then use to discard for $5. This adds AP. The card you draw at the end of your turn should be studied while it is not your turn to speed things up. Also, w/ my variant, the 2/$5 discard is no longer an action option during the action phase. I don't think this is the better variant now that I've played a 5er. If you can discard every turn for free, it will be too easy to avoid having no money. I would stay away from any sort of "double action" variant.

After playing a 5 player game last night(regular rules/no variants) I can say that going later in turn order does not hurt that much at all. Our winner was player #4. If anything, going later in turn order just makes it harder to buy #9, which I've yet to see not finish 1st or 2nd in every race. =\

If the discard action needed a small buff, I would go w/ the discard 3 cards for $10 option, which that may be too much? The player who won our game used the discard 2/$5 action twice in the game, and almost never had more than 3 cards in hand. I was the only player sitting on the typical "giant hand."
 
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Liz Burton
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frog213 wrote:
manutd03 wrote:
frog213 wrote:
2. Make the discard 2/$5 action a separate, optional phase after actions, but before drawing. This is like taking 2 actions a turn, as long as one is the discard action.


2 - Yeah, maybe just making the discard action an extra "free" action at the end of the turn would solve the problem. Ooh, I like that idea![b] I think this will be the variant I'll try.


If the option is at the very end of turn, then it adds to the length of the game. This is a bad thing.


Ah, yes. To clarify, the optional 'discard 2 cards for $5) would be after the regular action phase but before the card draw. Then you'd have everyone else's turn to consider whether or not you wanted to discard at the end of your turn.

What I'd really like to see, instead of any variant, is another 4-5 copies of the "discard 1-4 cards for $5 each." If most players had a high chance of drawing one, I don't think there'd be any 'too many cards!' issues.
 
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Liz Burton
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Just to update, our house variant is now twofold:

1) As an action,a player may draw a card.

2) After the action phase (but before the end-of-turn card draw), a player may discard 2 cards for $5 as a free action.


Seems like this keeps a good action balance while helping with hand management and cash flow.
 
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Jo Bartok
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- Low interaction
- Game plays you more than you play the game
- Luck of draw in terms of action cards
- Action card piles at the end of the game

Some suggestions:
- 8 cards hand limit
- New action: draw a card
- 2 actions per turn (buy, bet, draw 2 cards, play card, discard 2 cards for 5 cash; buy may not be the first of the 2 actions and may only be used once per turn; passing is out as it is not required anymore)
- No more automatic action card draw
- At the end of your turn checks for 8 card hand limit, discard rest
- Sprint works all time but sprinting by another player's dice roll is limited to 1 and the owner must discard an action card to enable the sprint, else your horse cannot sprint during another players turn.
- Players start with different amounts of cash: 1st to 8th: 20, 20, 25, 25, 30, 30, 45, 45 to balance out the issue of horses bought away in front of their noses and on average getting less turns than the others.

It still misses bluff, much more push your luck, some take that (especially there are some cards like move a horse back 3... and then there are others a lot weaker and not enough of the weaker ones). So i'd be grateful for more or better suggestions.
 
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Jo Bartok
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Played a lot faster but number 1 had some benefits from going up front early cause action cards are very relevant as discards for 1 point sprinters during other's turns. Also no one discarded cards for cash until very late cause of that.

Some new and old house rules:
- 8 cards hand limit
- New action: draw a card
- 2 actions per turn: buy, bet, draw 2 cards, play card, discard 1 card for 5 cash;
- only up to one buy action per turn
- You may throw away 2 cards at any time to cancel another players card play. That player discards the action card instead and may do any other action (even play an action card again). Canceling a card may be canceled in this way (e.g. if you pile up cards to protect your cards, okay, if you don't you might get screwed over if you wanna move ahead by good cards).
- At the end of your turn checks for 8 card hand limit, discard rest
- Sprint works all time but sprinting by another player's dice roll is limited to 1 and the owner must discard an action card to enable the sprint, else your horse cannot sprint during another players turn.
- Players start with different amounts of cash: 1st to 8th: 20, 20, 25, 25, 30, 30, 45, 45 to balance out the issue of horses bought away in front of their noses and on average getting less turns than the others.
- Players start with 1st to 8th: 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6 action cards
 
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