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Subject: "Guns or Butter?" Variant rss

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Guns or Butter?
A game variant for Attack!

Attack! (without the expansion) is a game with many excellent ideas, but it lacks a satisfying endgame condition. Playing for a set amount of time is not very inspiring, and playing until one player is eliminated can lead to either a very long or very short game. In addition, there is no real goal for players to strive for other than to gobble up as many territories as possible once it is clear the endgame conditions are approaching (i.e. time is running out or one player is on the brink of extinction). Also, since only the territories you own at the end of the game count, endgame performance is far more significant than one’s performance in the beginning or middle of the game. The situation is simply begging for an extreme form of “bash the leader” syndrome. The “Guns or Butter?” variant is designed to address all of these, and a few other, issues with this otherwise excellent game.

Overview of Changes
New Victory Condition
“Guns or Butter?” introduces the Industry Track to the game. The goal of “Guns or Butter?” is to advance your token (an infantry piece of your color) to a score of 200 on the Industry Track. When a player reaches this score, the current turn is completed and whichever player has the highest score wins the game.

New/Revised Actions
Players still may take three Actions per turn. However, new Actions have been added, and some have been revised to better reflect the nature of the “Guns or Butter?” variant.

New Actions
Advance Industry Track – A player may choose to use some or all of their Production Points to advance their token on the Industry Track. Production Points must be used on a per card basis – in other words, Production Points on a single Economics Card may not be broken up. If you decide to use a 4 Production Point Oil card, all 4 of those points must go to advancing the Industry Track. One Production Point advances your token one space on the Industry Track. After you use an Economics Card to advance your token, flip it face down to ensure you don’t use those Production Points for any other purpose.

Economic Blitz – This Action replaces the Diplomatic Blitz, and represents an attempt to assume control of a territory through economic means. To take over a territory using an Economic Blitz, flip over the top Economics Card from the draw deck. In order to take control of the territory, you must pay triple the Production Points shown on the Economics Card. If you are able to pay this amount and choose to do so, place one free Infantry Unit in the territory and take possession of the Economics Card you drew. As with Advancing the Industry Track, you may not “split” Economics Cards used for an Economic Blitz. Flip the Economics Cards you used face down to ensure you do not use them again on this turn. You may only attempt an Economic Blitz on a territory that it adjacent to one which you already control. You may only attempt one Economic Blitz per turn.

If, for whatever reason, you choose not to or are not able to play the required Production Points for the territory, your Economic Blitz attempt will have failed and that Action has been lost. You may choose to invade the territory with a Move or Blitz Move. However, you may only do this if you have not used your Move and/or Blitz Move Actions for the turn, and doing so will require the use of an additional Action. In addition, two Infantry are added to the territory to represent their advance warning of your hostile intentions. If you choose not to invade, the card is returned to the bottom of the draw deck. Other players may not attempt to take control of the territory in any way until their turn.

Revised Actions
Build New Units – This Action is the same as in the standard game, with the exception that, after building all of your units, you must flip the Economics Cards that you used faced down. These Production Points will not be available for any other purpose for the remainder of the turn.

Trade – When you declare a Trade, it automatically opens a Trade Summit. The Trade Summit includes all players that have territories adjacent to yours and the player who controls the sea. Players who do not have territories adjacent to you and do not control the sea may not participate. During a Trade Summit, all players involved may trade Economics Cards freely with one another. The player who called the Trade Summit may declare it closed at any time, at which point no further trading is permitted.

Industry Track Bonus
When a player reaches 100, 150 and and 200 points on the Industry Track, he may draw a card of his choice from the Economics Card draw deck. This represents the increased efficiency of the player’s economy as he advances his nation’s industrial potential.

Invading Another Player’s Territory
If you successfully invade another player’s territory, you do not get a random card. Instead you may choose either a Suit (Population, Oil, Minerals, Factories or Rail Transport) or a Value, but not both. The
player who lost the territory must give you a card of either the Suit or Value that you named.

Edit: I have not had a chance to playtest this variant. Thus, the Industry Track scoring in particular may be way out of whack. Any feedback would be welcomed.
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