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Subject: alea two player variant rss

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Werner Bär
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Karlsruhe
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The games last 6 rounds instead of 4.

In addition to a third neutral color, add a fourth one, of which 4 x 1 influence marker are used.

Placing of the neutral influence markers doesn't happen as a whole at the start of phase; instead, they are placed according the following rules:

At the start of phase 2, place 2 tokens of the 3rd colour and one of the 4th colour.
Then each player plays one influence card, and the next 2 + 1 tokens are placed.
This sequence is continued until all 12 (8 + 4) neutral tokens are placed.
(players may continue to play cards, if available)

The first 2 tokens of the 3rd colour are placed at the tableau with Louis XIV, as in the normal 2 player rules. For each additional placement of 1 (4 times) or 2 (3 times) neutral tokens, an influence card is drawn to determine the placement (re-draw for wild cards).

(translation and re-wording of the rules variant '2 Spieler' from the alea home page)
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Werner Bär
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Note: This variant was introduced by 'Frodo' in the german Spielbox forum. Rüdiger Dorn (the author) stated that the thing he didn't like about this variant was the fact that he didn't have this idea before releasing the game.
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W. Eric Martin
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Apex
North Carolina
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Werner, I have a question about this variant:

Werbaer wrote:
At the start of phase 2, place 2 tokens of the 3rd colour and one of the 4th colour. Then each player plays one influence card, and the next 2 + 1 tokens are placed. This sequence is continued until all 12 (8 + 4) neutral tokens are placed. (players may continue to play cards, if available)


So do players use the influence cards from their hands to place neutral markers, then use any remaining cards to place their own markers? If so, the next paragraph confuses things.

Werbaer wrote:
The first 2 tokens of the 3rd colour are placed at the tableau with Louis XIV, as in the normal 2 player rules. For each additional placement of 1 (4 times) or 2 (3 times) neutral tokens, an influence card is drawn to determine the placement (re-draw for wild cards).


Does the phase go as follows?

Player 1: Place 2 markers of the 3rd color with Louis XIV, then play an influence card and place the 1 marker of the 4th color on that specific tile.

Player 2: Play an influence card and place 2 markers of the 3rd color and 1 of the 4th color in some combination.

Player 1: Play an influence card and place 2 markers of the 3rd color and 1 of the 4th color in some combination.

Player 2: Play an influence card and place 2 markers of the 3rd color and 1 of the 4th color in some combination.

Player 1: Now that all neutral markers are on the board, play an influence card as normal, either placing 1-3 markers on the board or reclaiming markers from the general supply.

Player 2: Etc.

—OR—

Do players simply place 2 markers of the 3rd color with Louis, then flip influence cards one at a time, placing 1 marker of the 4th color, then 2 of the 3rd, and so on until all neutral markers are placed? The description in the two paragraphs seem to contradict each other.

Also, do players go through this sequence in each of the six rounds? I assume if a neutral player wins the sixth board then you draw an influence card to determine where the marker goes.
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Werner Bär
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I rewrote the text at present at alea, thinking it was too long and too explicit. Well, i should have known better. Here a very long form:

The order in each phase 2 is:

Place 2 tokens of colour 3 at the tile with Louis.
Draw a random influence card, and place 1 token of colour 4 at the corresponding tile.

Player 1 plays an influence card from his hand, and places his tokens.
Player 2 plays an influence card from his hand, and places his tokens.

Draw a random influence card, and place 2 token of colour 3 at the corresponding tile.
Draw a random influence card, and place 1 token of colour 4 at the corresponding tile.

Player 1 plays an influence card from his hand, and places his tokens.
Player 2 plays an influence card from his hand, and places his tokens.

Draw a random influence card, and place 2 token of colour 3 at the corresponding tile.
Draw a random influence card, and place 1 token of colour 4 at the corresponding tile.

Player 1 plays an influence card from his hand, and places his tokens.
Player 2 plays an influence card from his hand, and places his tokens.

Draw an influence card, and place 2 token of colour 3 at the corresponding tile.
Draw an influence card, and place 1 token of colour 4 at the corresponding tile.

Player 1 plays an influence card from his hand, and places his tokens.
Player 2 plays an influence card from his hand, and places his tokens.

There are no more neutral tokens to distribute.

If the players have cards left, they continue to play them, as usual.

If you draw a joker when drawing a random influence card, simply draw a replacement card.

Board six: the variant rules don't mention an action when a neutral wins board six. I think placing an additional marker at this point would only increase the luck element, and wouldn't do it.
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Douglas S
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Thanks for posting this!
 
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Andrew Bellavie
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I played this variation this evening, excellent game. Very fun, 6 rounds is wonderful, tough plays. Thank you for sharing this.
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