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Clash of Cultures» Forums » Variants

Subject: Making it less complex --> less downtime rss

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Paul Rieder
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I have played the game aroun 6 times by now. I like it, but I notice that the turns during the end game take too long for my patience. Personally I feel I am sometimes overwhelmed by the number of objectives. Since you can usually do either the civil or the military one, having 7 objective cards means, you have to consider 14 objectives! On top of that you have to keep an overview on your action cards.

That is a lot. And sometimes I forget from which card I wanted to use the military one etc. I think this also happens to the other players. I like the objective cards but I am thinking about reducing their number.

Let's say: No objective Card (OC) at the beginning. Then, people only get an OC for the first three turns. With 'Writing' you can get your 4th OC. Action cards are taken as usual.

This still means you have to consider 8 objectives (if you do not fulfill the objectives early on).

One could argue, that if you fulfill objectives early, you have less cards to deal with. However, I don't like adjusting my whole playing style to the objectives from the beginning. I prefer to consider other things, like e. g. terrain/player position. Furthermore, if you are unlucky and most of your objectives are not easy to fulfill, you end up having all your cards on your hand at the end. Meaning, you are in a worse position than others (vp-wise) and at the same time the game is more complex for you.

Do you have any other idea how to speed up the game? I thought about using a timer. However, the game is simply complex. Especially, once everyone is trying to utilize their 4th action. It is hard to speed up your turn.

I have had many 3p games. Could it be that 4p is faster because people have more time to prepare for their turn?

Thanks for your input.
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Mike
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I have found that there are always several objectives that I can just reject as unattainable with my current game. I just do not worry about those and work toward the ones that fit with the theme I am going with during a particular game. The great thing about drawing more objective cards is that I get more chances of drawing one that I already have part way completed. I don't think it is intended for you to try and complete them all, but maybe 3 to 5 out of the numerous ones available.
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Moe45673
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TheDarkKnight wrote:
I have found that there are always several objectives that I can just reject as unattainable with my current game. I just do not worry about those and work toward the ones that fit with the theme I am going with during a particular game. The great thing about drawing more objective cards is that I get more chances of drawing one that I already have part way completed. I don't think it is intended for you to try and complete them all, but maybe 3 to 5 out of the numerous ones available.


This!
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Steve Williams
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Saxofaxo wrote:
And sometimes I forget from which card I wanted to use the military one etc. I think this also happens to the other players.


A trick I like to use is to turn the ones I plan to score militarily upside down in my hand. The other players usually do not notice this so it doesn't really give anything away.

I would strongly recommend against reducing the number of objective cards, as this greatly weakens the Military Conquest strategies. My favorite way to play is to eschew Wonders, Scoring every single one of my objectives, and then in the last round or two, invade and snatch a Wonder from another player using triple move turns, often snagging a Roads boost from a captured city or two along the way. This isn't the best or even a common way to play, but you should avoid eliminating options from your players.

The game really shines with 4 players, I feel this is the sweet spot.
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alan beaumont
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Less blitz in your krieg please
IncrediSteve wrote:
....in the last round or two, invade and snatch a Wonder from another player using triple move turns, often snagging a Roads boost from a captured city or two along the way.
Presumably with a freshly raised Army, because units that battle can't move again in that turn.
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Steve Williams
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Correct. The maneuver takes an entire round usually. Or rather, same armies, just not in one turn. Technically they can see it coming, but it still usually catches them by surprise when you march clear across the board. Doing it with ships is even better.
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alan beaumont
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Like a wolf on the fold
IncrediSteve wrote:
Technically they can see it coming, but it still usually catches them by surprise when you march clear across the board.

I envy you your opponents! laugh
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TheDarkKnight wrote:
I have found that there are always several objectives that I can just reject as unattainable with my current game.


It's also easy to forget that Objective cards are one of the things that can be traded between players.
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Paul Rieder
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Mmh,
I like the idea of turning the objectives upside down, which I want to fulfill militarily. That definitely would improve the overview.

Perhaps I might just cut down on the last two objectives one receives. They anyways, bring in a lot of luck. At that stage you can get objectives, that you have already fulfilled or are about to.

However, that is not my main concern.

Ignoring objectives, that I feel diverge too much from my plans, is hard. Because there is always the option of doing the military one.

Less objectives could mean less reason for military intervention. I can see that. Though, I am not sure if I mind.

Thanks for your input.

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Stephan

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In my last game (a 4 player game), I used a timer. I downloaded a free game timer for my phone. I set it to 3 minutes for each turn. It was great. It helped players have a sense of urgency about their turns, help remind them to think ahead, and helped the game flow well.
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Tom Pensyl
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Once I have things lined up to fulfil an objective, I set
it aside in a different pile. Then I can concentrate more
on the unfulfilled ones.

Another thing I find helpful is to get a few pieces of paper.
I write down the recurring stuff like collecting from trade
routes, for example. Then I try to plan out at least two
actions and write them down. So when my turn comes around
I don't have to start at the beginning to figure out
what to do.

For useless objectives, I try to trade them off to someone else.
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Denny Lau
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You could, during setup, have all players start with 7 OCs and draft one and pass the cards around until each player is left with the 7 OCs they drafted. Then shuffle these 7 cards and each player will pull random from the cards they drafted. This will allow each player to better plan toward a certain style of play.

If you don't like the idea of knowing all of your objectives, just draft a smaller amount and pull from the source deck later in the game. Say 4 cards instead of 7.
 
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Brian Goodman
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How about having each player do one action a turn instead of three a turn. You increase the number of turns you have in a round to nine to compensate for the lost actions, and whalla.. you have a game where there is less downtime since everyone can only do one action anyway.
 
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Steve Williams
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That probably makes Advances that allow for free actions too powerful, since you could now hypothetically get 9 of them per round instead of 3. If you errata them or make changes you're now defeating the purpose of making things simpler.
 
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Ioannis Agoras
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Downtime in the last turns IS actually a nuisance, especially with AP -prone players.

I think the proposal of having each player take 1 action and go aroynd the table 3 times for a turn deserves some playtesting. It would also address the "now was it my 2nd action or my 3rd one?" confusion that also does seem to happen, especially when you have free actions and combos and such.

To avoid what Steve correctly recognises as a problem, you could simply limit free actions to 1/turn.
 
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Stephen Martin
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You could always hand out one objective to everyone, then institute a rule where a new objective is obtained every time a previous one is completed, with non-combat objectives still only claimable during a status phase. Writing+Government gives you an immediate draw and a hand size of two.
 
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Gandalf the Greyjoy
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koutalis wrote:
To avoid what Steve correctly recognises as a problem, you could simply limit free actions to 1/turn.

That would be a huge nerf.

My proposition: have 3 charges for each available free action per turn. But only 1 free action can be spent per round. You would need 3 simple tokens though, but that wouldn't complicate things much.

How I would incorporate "1 action per player" variant is that 1st player has two dice: D6 for marking which round it is and D10 for marking which turn it is. Every time he takes his turn D10 advances +1. If D10 reaches 10 the round is over and status phase takes place, then D6 advances +1. This way the number of actions for each player is exactly the same as in original rules.

But the main impact of "1 action per player" variant would be nerf for suprise attacks. Attacked player will always have time to prepare his defenses. Attacker should always calculate if defender has enough economy to build up. Military would no longer be such power, which is not that bad in my opinion, unless it would lead to some weird situations like every battle is 4vs4 and anything else is unlikely to happen.

What else would change? Any ideas? Has anyone tested this variant?
 
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