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Subject: Scoring cards Variant (for a little more control) rss

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Alex Limoges
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To get just a little more control over the apparition of scoring cards, whenever a scoring card is played by a player, shuffle it with the pack of cards of the next era instead of putting it in the the used card pile. This way, you still don't know when a scoring card will appear, but you konw for sure it's gonna come up only once per era.

EX: The "Europe scoring" card is played by the US on turn 2 (Early War). The VP's are counted, then the "Europe scoring" card is placed somewhere inside the Mid war pack of cards (which is then shuffled).
 
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Allen Doum
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Making things more predictable does not seem to be what this game is about.

In practice, the cards are shuffled on turns 3 and 7. This leads to two situations:
1. The scoring card is played in turns 1 or 2, and will appear again once between turns 3 and 7.
2. Less likely, the card will be played in turn 3, and can't show up again until turn 7.

similar situations occur based on the the turn 7 reshuffle.

So a card will probably show up 3 times. Once before turn 3, again before turn 7, and most likely again in the Late War. If it delayed until turn three, It will skip the Mid War, and likely only show up twice. This is not a huge difference, IMO, particularly given that all regions will score if you get through turn 10, making each region (of the three big ones) score 3 or 4 times per game.

 
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Alex Limoges
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Again, it's a very simple variant. The reason I use this, is that last time, the Europe scoring card appeared on turn 1, then again on turn 3, still in the early war. The variant is almost the same, but it ensures that a scoring card is just about certain certain to appear in each period, and absolutely certain to appear only once per period. It does not make it's appearance more "predictable", and I agree it's not needed.

I do admit that the change is quite subtle, but I find it useful. It settles both the "double early turn out" that I described, and the (pretty rare) situation that you described, where a card shows up on turn 3 and will not be back in the deck before the next reshuffle on turn 7, thus, maybe never again.
 
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Charles F.
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I am perfectly happy with the scoring regime. By ensuring the card cannot pop up for a long while as your variant does, means that people will more myopically focus on those regions which are still in the deck. Not desirable, IMO.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Each to his own. I would guess your variant favours the USA (postponing scoring to the later stages of the game). It increases Predictablity if scoring cards come out early: If a region is scored on turn 1 or 2 it won't be scored on turn 3, allowing more planning...

Also, scoring could happen for the same region in turns 3 & 4, or in 7 & 8. Under the official system scoring could happen in turns 2 & 3, or 6 & 7.

It has other effects: you are down by 3 more cards in the reshuffle on turn 3...

I will play the rules as written for now, but maybe return to this after a few more games.
 
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Alex Limoges
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Charles,

I do not think that the variant "ensures the card cannot pop up for a long while". If you think about the actual rules, it is possible, for example, for the card to turn out on turn 3, then never again (it stays in the discard while you shuffle the mid war pack with the early war cards reshuffled on turn 3. It is shuffled on turn 7, then the late war cards are added on turn 8, making it possible for the card never to show up again).

If anything, it's the contrary, as it ensures that the scoring card is in each of the different period's packs (from it's appeareance on). As Philip says, I agree that it may also help the US, since it makes so that no scoring card show up twice in the early war period. It might be just enough to tip back the balance...

The idea is just to help planning a bit: with the little variant, you know the card is going to show up in each period, and it's going to show up only once. You just don't know when.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Just as a technical quibble, your system is just as likely to lead to no scoring card appearance after it appears turn 3, and more likely than the official one to lead to no scoring appearance after it appears in turns 1 or 2.

The scoring card could, in your system, appear in the early war and get shuffled into the midwar, from which it might never emerge.

Anyway it will be interesting to read what happens when you try it out in a game or three.
 
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Alex Limoges
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I'm not sure I get your point, Philip. Let's see:

Europe scoring appears on turn 3 (after the early war deck was reshuffled). It is scored, then immediately added to the Mid War deck which is then mixed with the actual deck of early war cards at the start of turn 4. Therefore the Europe scoring card IS necessarily in the new formed deck.

No ?

I mean, somewhere by turn 7, all the cards of the new formed deck of Mid-war/early war will have been used, so the Europe card will have turned out again...
 
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Philip Thomas
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Aha, my mistake... ignore my previous post as it makes no sense.
 
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Alex Limoges
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To sum things up, here are the differences between the actual rules and the variant.

If we take any one scoring card that first appears in the early war pack (say “Europe”):


ACTUAL RULES


When “Europe scoring” shows up for the first time…

A)On either turn 1 or 2 ----- MAY appear again on turn 3 (Early war)
(then see B)
Or (if it does not reappear on turn 3)
----- WILL appear again between turns 4-7.

BUT, if on turn 7 --- will not turn out again.

...Or (if it reappears between turns 4-6)
----- MAY appear again on turn 7
---- and then MAY appear again between turns 8-10.
Or
---- If it does not reappear on turn 7
---- MAY appear again between turns 8-10.

OUCH !

B) On turn 3 ------------------ MAY turn out between turns 7 to 10, or NEVER again (may skip Mid war or-and Late war). (In rare cases, then, “Europe” could turn out on turn 3 for the first time, then never again).


CONCLUSION: “Europe scoring” will show up from 1 (very rarely) to 4 times (very rarely) in a 10 turns game; IN MOST GAMES, it will appear either 2 or 3 times.


VARIANT

When “Europe scoring” shows up for the first time…

On turn 1, 2 or 3 (Early war) ----- WILL appear again between turns 4-7 (Mid War)
----- MAY appear again between turns 8-10 (Late War)

CONCLUSION: “Europe scoring” will show up 2-3 times in a 10 turns game.


I mean, I really don’t think it affects the spirit of the scoring system, and it really does not make so that the cards may not turn out as often.

But just look at the two systems of probability shown before: to get to the same number of appearances (2 – 3 times), and with very similar “turn-appearance frames” (basically, 1-3, then 4-7, then 8-10), the variant eases planning a lot and is very easy to follow, while the first one is a complex system of “if’s and “but’s” that complicates planning for no reason (in my humble opinion, that is).

 
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Steve Hope
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I think it's an interesting variant, Alex. Not sure I'd play with it because it adds a tiny increment of fiddliness to the game, but I can totally see playing with it if you can reliably remember to shuffle the cards back in. Seems quite reasonable.
 
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Alex Limoges
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Well, thank you. I just think, being used to the European type of games, that making it a bit easier to track down the Scoring Cards can help the strategy...
 
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Allen Doum
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Solipsist wrote:

But just look at the two systems of probability shown before: to get to the same number of appearances (2 – 3 times), and with very similar “turn-appearance frames” (basically, 1-3, then 4-7, then 8-10), the variant eases planning a lot and is very easy to follow, while the first one is a complex system of “if’s and “but’s” that complicates planning for no reason (in my humble opinion, that is).



Play the way you like, of course. This game has enough varibles that it will not play the same way twice, anyway. But, IMO, you are on a slipery slope here. Why stop with just the scoring cards? The same probabilities effect all of the non-* cards, for example Decolonization could also show up from one to 4 times. Wouldn't restricting it to 2 or 3 times make the game more stable? snore
 
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Philip Thomas
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Actual rules: May appear on turns 1, 2 or 3. If on turns 1 or 2, may appear on turns 3,4,5,6 or 7. If on turn 3, may appear turns 7,8,9 or 10, or not at all. If on turns 4,5 or 6, may appear on turn 7,8,9 or 10, or not at all. If on turns 7,8,9 or 10, it won't appear at all thereafter.

So maximum number is 3 times, not 4 times, minimum number is 1 times. Your system is either 2 or 3 times, depending on whether it turns up in the Late War (where there are enough cards that not all cards will occur).

Remember everything is scored at the end...
 
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Alex Limoges
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Yes, I mean, I know we could do that for every card and in the end, it would change the game a lot, but I think the scoring cards have a different status here. In some of the games that I played, their rather surprising appearance or lack thereof played a mjaor role in the final result, and we thought that just a little more predictability could be useful...
 
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Richard Irving
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Quote:
So maximum number is 3 times, not 4 times, minimum number is 1 times


Actually a Early Scoring card could appear 4 times--if you get through enough cards if you have to get a shuffle while dealing out the turn 10 cards: Play in turn 1/3, shuffle, turn 3/4/5/6, shuffle, turn 8/9, shuffle (maybe), turn 10.

You would need several discards/8th card plays due to the Space Race or other events and/or play of "Ask Not What You Do For Your Country". I have had a shuffle required during the Turn 10 deal in one of my games.

I don't recommend changing the scoring card handling--I don't think it makes that big of a deal. In any case, there are other ways to void a scoring card--an event that forces a random discard or US play of Defectors to counter Soviet play of a Scoring card in the Headline Phase.
 
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Allen Doum
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rri1 wrote:
Quote:
So maximum number is 3 times, not 4 times, minimum number is 1 times


Actually a Early Scoring card could appear 4 times--if you get through enough cards if you have to get a shuffle while dealing out the turn 10 cards: Play in turn 1/3, shuffle, turn 3/4/5/6, shuffle, turn 8/9, shuffle (maybe), turn 10.

You would need several discards/8th card plays due to the Space Race or other events and/or play of "Ask Not What You Do For Your Country". I have had a shuffle required during the Turn 10 deal in one of my games.


I had wondered if that was happening. The possiblity of a reshuffle in turn 10 adds some additonal considerations of playing "*" events in the Mid War, and the play of discard events, especially "Ask Not...".

Haven't got that far in a game yet, myself.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Yes I was looking at turn 10 shuffle options last night. Removing all starred events by turn 6* and then discarding as much as possible in turn 7 runs through the cards quick enough for this.

It also led to another observation: if you remove all Early War starred events in turns 1 and 2, the discard pile remaining is only just large enough to deal turn 3. If you also remove the scoring cards from said discard pile, you won't have enough cards!

*Obviously not including Late War ones, though for full churn you should have them all removed in turns 8-9.

 
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Alex Limoges
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Maybe, but is it even practically possible that all cards with an "*" of thge early war deck have been taken out of the game that early ?
 
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Allen Doum
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Solipsist wrote:

Maybe, but is it even practically possible that all cards with an "*" of thge early war deck have been taken out of the game that early ?


Yes, but it is highly unlikely as cards discarded or "spaced" are not removed from the deck, in additon to the cards that are played only for Ops.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Yes, it definitely is practically possible. Whether it is likely is another question: standard advice is not to play starred events for your own side.

The discards and space race can be used for non-starred events, if you are setting up the system. Blockade force a USA discard, for example, but he can discard Socialist governments... Five Year Plan doesn't happen until the starred events are used.

Actually, this churn method is helpful to USSR, because it guarantees the three early war scoring cards turn up again turn 3. Neat.

After that, remove starred events in Mid-War. Now the draw pile will be exhausted in turn 6, so the discards come out again! Then in Late War you will get the discards appearing turn 10.



 
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Alex Limoges
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I played again yesterday using the variant. Frankly, it works really well... It does help the US, but just a bit, and we did not come close to be out of cards on turn 3.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Oh, I don't think you will in a normal play environment...

More seriously, what happens if a scoring card is discarded? (to Five Year Plan, or later on if someone has the ability 'May discard held card' from the space race). Does it go into the next bit of the war, or into the discards?
 
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Alex Limoges
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It has not happened yet, but we would put it in the next pack of cards as if it was scored.

Have you tried the variant ?
 
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Philip Thomas
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No, not yet. I am having enough problems sticking to the rules as written (twice, after a couple of games, I have discovered myself to be playing erroneusly). I haven't noticed scoring cards being that much of a problem on turns 3 or 7 in the base game. But it is far too early to tell.
 
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