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Subject: YCU variant rss

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Matthew Hopkins
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Bloomington
Indiana
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Let me preface this by saying I do not own this, have not played it, but am giving strong thought to buying it.


From reading some of the reviews on here, I get the impression that the YCU can possibly hit players hard in the early game, giving other players an early, and perhaps insurmountable lead. I know know there is some disagreement that the YCU can cause unfairness in the game.

I am the sort who avoids house rules most of the time, and thinking about house rules before evening playing the official rules seems like a sin, but this game really makes me think about using some variants right out of the gate.

Anyway, running with the idea one review mentioned about house ruling it, I had a few ideas that I would be curious to hear back from others on:

1) Delay the YCU phase until turn 2 or turn 3. This could allow players a chance to be better prepared for YCU attacks if/when they come. It also could fit thematically, as the gang uprisings go unnoticed for a while by the VCU or not considered a real danger immediately.

2) Put in a randomizer to determine if YCU patrols occur. What I have in mind is this: Round 1: no chance of YCU patrol. Round 2: 3 in 6 chance of a YCU patrol. Each round there after, the chance increases by 1 (so 4 in 6, then 5 in 6 chance). Once the first patrol happens, then it will always happen as per the official rules.

3) Add a layer to the YCU phase where players can influence the pattern of YCU activity, in order to steer them away from their own gang members or onto other gang members.

What thoughts do people who've played this game have on any any of the above house rules/variants?
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Seth Trammell
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Benton
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While I am somewhat of a purist, I would recommend playing the game as is first.
I have played the game about five times and love the YCU as is. I think one should either be ready for a biggish battle at the end of the round or not have a space they'll cry over if they lose.
Still, the choice is yours.
 
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Mike Slabon
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While I like the variant rules you posted, I personally would not change anything. The Yugai can be bribed if you don't want to fight them. If defeated, and you roll a three, more Yugai show up in the game. In one of my sessions, the Yugai showed up 4 times.
In another, I had a gang member who gathered 3000 ARCs per turn. By the time he had 15,000 ARCs, I put him into my hand when the Yugai showed up and bribed all but one patrol.
Interesting strategy: in the last turn of the game, say with only a few Renown remaining, because the Renown is rewarded after the patrol phase, you can use this to your advantage. Engage other players in combat to a point where they no longer have a draw pile, then wait for the Yugai to show and see what happens. In a game I played, a few players lost control of developments, which in turn, forced them to lose out on Renown rewards. Renown also changed hands because of the dice roll results on the Yugai defeat table.
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Philip Gross
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Joe at Plaid Hat posted a good analysis of the YCU distribution: http://www.plaidhatgames.com/news/232

It was my suspicion at first, and confirmed after multiple plays, that a few basic strategies protect heartily against early Yugai hits. As long as the game teacher preps his group on those basics, the game will go fine.

The key turn 1 strategies, in brief:

1) Refresh by round 4 if you lack battle-worthy cards
2) No more than 1 dude per square past your starting space
3) Recruit at least once

Of course, with some brazenness, deck control and luck, an experienced player could still advance across the center by turn 2...just don't come crying if you get stomped.
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Chris Schenck
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I love it when the YCU come stomping through the areas near my entry point. When you see a YCU adjacent to your entry spot, you know that NO YCU unit will ever hit that spot again for the rest of the game. This is also true of any spot along the perimeter of the board.

So make a mental note of the spots where the YCU land. Build developments in those spots and you'll no longer complain of the "luck" of the YCU phase. Luck is the cry of players who haven't taken the effort to make some basic observations.

Here's the frequency chart of the YCU invasions in the 2 and 4 player games -- courtesy of the wonderful article by Joe Ellis linked in a previous post. If you build in the "1" spots after the YCU have been there, you'll never face them there again.


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Joseph Arthur Ellis
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Thanks for posting my article here. Yeah all I have to say is try it as is first. The review and the other thread i've read that are anti-YCU... I just don't get what they're saying AT ALL regarding that issue. It's a really fun part of the game, and even if you have some trouble the first turn or two, it doesn't set you back in any ways important the the longterm.

Honestly if it bothers you too much I'd say the best variant would be to just skip the YCU phase in round 1. By round 2 everyone should be ready for them.
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Matthew Hopkins
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Thanks for all the posts about the variants and the true nature of the VCU in the game.


We've played our first game with the offical rules. I was green, opponent was red

VCU did not feel unbalanced or harsh at all to me, as some reviews had lead me to believe, so I do not see me using the variants I proposed to lessen the VCU effect.

Although variant #3(influencing the pattern of VCU raids) could be fun to try.

In our game, I kept two gang member pieces in each space for the first two turns of the game, in the thought that I should stay strong against any VCU raids. My opponent received all the VCU activity, and was able to handle it without too much trouble, being a combat focused gang

The effect on our game was that he had spread out more, and had 5 buildings in his possession to my 3 buildings. He proceeded to take buildings from me and then destroy them with his gang leader.

My fear of tough VCU raids made me play cautious, and set myself up to be crushed by my opponent.

Live and learn.

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Steven Alexander
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I got a chance to play the game one time this weekend and we didn't have the YCU imbalance issue. Yes it is just 1 session, but I wanted to chime in.

I thought it was interesting because during one phase the YCU landed in such a way that created a sort of blockade between another player and myself. He was going to attack me, but with the reprieve I was able to reinforce and prepare. A little lucky yes, but it was fun!
 
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paul virgo
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cbs42 wrote:
I love it when the YCU come stomping through the areas near my entry point. When you see a YCU adjacent to your entry spot, you know that NO YCU unit will ever hit that spot again for the rest of the game. This is also true of any spot along the perimeter of the board.

So make a mental note of the spots where the YCU land. Build developments in those spots and you'll no longer complain of the "luck" of the YCU phase. Luck is the cry of players who haven't taken the effort to make some basic observations.

Here's the frequency chart of the YCU invasions in the 2 and 4 player games -- courtesy of the wonderful article by Joe Ellis linked in a previous post. If you build in the "1" spots after the YCU have been there, you'll never face them there again.




love the table mate nice one cool

ok I have recently just got this game and have played 3 games this weekend and love it..... after watching the reviews I all so was very wary of the YCU and to be honest was expecting them to do a lot more damage only in one game did they slow one of the players down (blue) in early game and the red player came in and hammered him some more which was harsh but pretty cool as then the yellow (me) and blue player then went all bruce lee on the red player and then ruined his game which was hilarious....

if any thing the way my 3 games have played out I want more from the YCU in like round 3 onwards because my games apart from the last one have not had much PVP combat....

So here's your variant which I might try out next time I play as each game has had only 5 rounds....

round 1 - 0 YCU co ordinate card
round 2 - 1 YCU co ordinate card
round 3 - 2 YCU co ordinate card
round 4 - 3 YCU co ordinate card
round 5 - 4 YCU co ordinate card

this would be good fun.... devil
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Philip Gross
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That looks like fun to try, but I don't think it would lead to more PvP combat...the several Yugai that don't land on your dudes will block you from reaching an opponent. Most likely it will just butter up whoever was holding the middle.
 
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Chris Schenck
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While I certainly don't think the YCU portion of the game needs to be 'fixed' at all, it's always fun to play around with variant ideas. So how about this type of thing to reduce the impact of the dice:

• Each player has a sheet of paper containing a list of all of the YCU Chart results (the dice roll made after defeating YCU). When you defeat a YCU, you may PICK a result from your list and apply the effect, then mark off the result so you can't pick it again. Obviously, players will pick the beneficial results first, which provides two game dynamics:

1) Players who get targeted by YCU early will have a small benefit to offset the early-game interference.

2) The more that a player tangles with the YCU, the more detrimental it becomes, thematically representing the YCU cracking down on the most troublesome players (from the YCU perspective).

If a player happens to mess with the YCU more than 6 times, it can just be resolved with the normal dice roll at that point, after all results are checked off the player's personal YCU results list.
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paul virgo
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mistergross wrote:
That looks like fun to try, but I don't think it would lead to more PvP combat...the several Yugai that don't land on your dudes will block you from reaching an opponent. Most likely it will just butter up whoever was holding the middle.


I no it will not lead to more pvp.... but will lead to more fights
 
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