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Vegas Showdown» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant idea: deal out the event deck rss

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Doug Orleans
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Somerville
Massachusetts
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I just had a brainstorm for a Vegas Showdown variant. One of the things I miss in this game compared to other games in the planning/economic genre is asymmetric hidden goals: think of prestige cards in Princes of Florence, bonus power cards in Amun-Re, tycoon cards in Railroad Tycoon, or even the tickets in Ticket to Ride. I find this sort of thing can add both tension and variety, both of which seem to be slightly lacking in Vegas Showdown: in the 4-player game, at least, it seems pretty common for everyone to get all three of the basic layout bonuses, which makes this goal kind of boring. Another complaint I've heard is that the event cards are too random: for example, if Thanksgiving and Ladies' Night come up but the game ends before Slot King comes up, then a player who concentrated on slots gets the short end of the stick. The Master Designer event can also be a big windfall if one player happened to build diamonds early. Personally I don't mind this amount of randomness, but I can see how it might be frustrating given the amount of planning involved in the rest of the game.

So here's my crazy idea (totally untested, of course): before the game, deal out the event deck to all the players, who keep them in hand (hidden); whenever an empty premier space needs to be filled, the player with the dealer button chooses a card from his hand. A player may not play a card that ends the game unless he has no other choice.

I have no idea if this is balanced. Some cards are probably much more valuable than others if you can plan ahead for them; this might not be too bad, as long as there are enough valuable cards that everyone is likely to get a few of them. Perhaps some cards would have to be removed or tweaked, or maybe the deck should be separated into several fixed piles that are each dealt out randomly.

Other less drastic ideas: deal out half of the event deck, and each time a premier tile is needed, the player with the button can choose to either flip a random tile or play one from his hand. Or, simply deal out one or two cards to each player, but after flipping a random event, the player with the button can decide to play a card from his hand to replace it.

Of course, one could always just make up a separate set of goal cards that are dealt out and held until game end. This might be a good idea for an expansion product...
 
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