6 NimmtEach player is given one token to use during the game (or, if you're into heavy drinking, each time they collect cards). The token may be used once at the appropriate time and discarded.
- DRAW - when drawing new cards
- PLACE - when placing a card face down
- REVEAL - after cards are revealed, before anyone plays
- PLAY - when playing your card
- TAKE - when taking a pile
- DRAW draw 3 additional cards, and discard 3 back into the deck
- DRAW switch hands with someone after looking at your cards
- DRAW pick 3 cards from the deck, and receive the remaining cards randomly
- PLACE discard a card instead of placing
- PLACE force another player to play their lowest or highest card
- PLACE Switch cards with any player
- REVEAL Add or subtract up to 3 from your card
- REVEAL Switch a card you played with one from your hand
- REVEAL Reveal your card after all others have been played
- PLAY Discard top card from pile, replace with yours
- PLAY Add sixth card to pile without taking it
- PLAY Place lower card under any pile
- TAKE Discard up to 2 cards from the pile, take the rest
- TAKE Place one card from the pile on top of another pile, take the rest
- TAKE Take pile, replace with same number of cards from hand
- Powers (like Avalon Hill's), but lesser and permanent, dealt randomly to each player like Cosmic
- May buy 5 shares, instead of 3
- May take two tiles and choose one
- Pay $100 less for one share
- Trade shares in for money at no charge
- Always make merger decisions first
- Determine which chain of equals sizes merges into which
- Get one free stock in any new chain
- Place a hotel marker on a single hotel during your turn. The next turn you must place an adjacent tile. No one else may do so.
- Pay $100 to the bank to trade up to 3 stock in for cash value
- Trade stock in or money for donation cards worth VP's. When receiving money, can trade in for VP's, like PoF. Winner has most VP's
- Other ways of earning VP's: donating hotel time, hotels on rivers, etc...
- Add decks of cards with events: conventions, taxes, management baliouts, strikes
- Insider cards will pay you to merge a hotel at a certain size (2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-10), earning you bonus cash
- Sell stock to other players, form coalitions to force sales if majority holders, etc...
- Trade in shares in size of holdings order
- Payoff 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%
Carcassonne: Hunters & GatherersGive each player one bridge token, a piece the size of half a matchstick. Color is unimportant.
In place of placing a meeple, a player may place his/her bridge token such that it lies over a waterway. The two meadows are considered one.
The bridge token does two things: 1) it makes it slightly easier to break into others meadows, and creates situations that require much deviousness and guile. 2) it makes the least interesting peieces on the game, namely those with two river sides and nothing else, more interesting.
As a side note, another variant we play is that the sacred stone is worth 2 meeple points in a field. We find the game to be pretty dull when one player's lucky pick just ends the game right then and there, especially true in 3 player games.
GoaGoa is a great new game about colonizing and spice shipping by Roger Dorn. Unfortunately it has a few problems:
- The (almost) complete uninterest in what other players are doing with their actions, which is already a bit of a drag in Princes of Florence, but much worse in Goa, since there are many more actions between auctions.
- There is an imbalance between the luck elements and the strategy.
The strategic object of Goa is to acquire more actions than your opponents. Good play will gain you 1/3 to 1/2 an action over your opponents in each of eight rounds. Unfortunately, the luck elements: founding a colony by flipping cards and pulling expedition cards to gain bonuses result in gains or losses of far more than an action, can wipe out many turns of good play. If that is the type of thing you like, read no further.
I have tried small changes to fix Goa, but they don't seem to be helping.
First attempts at solutions
- Two colonists instead of one when failing to colonize.
While this solves the problem of "double" failure on the first round, it doesn't solve the problem of failure altogether. In thematic terms, failure due to bad luck is a reasonable possibility. But in a strategy game, bad luck has to be a minor loss, affecting your strategy, but not so severe that you lose the game (several actions) because of it. Getting two colonists should help this, because if your next flip is average, and the one after that is good (in an ideal random environment), those two colonists should have made up your loss. The problem is that it is never an ideal environment.
The other problem is that the action can be seen as "get two colonists" instead of found a colony, which makes it out of line with the other actions that progress, such as ships.
- Changes to the money track based on number of players.
See my first proposal on BGG. I think this is the right idea, but people still don't tend to use it. This could just be groupthink. Also, different groups have different bidding styles and the exact number is hard to guess, just like the "pay to advance" card is based on costs that might be over or under useful depending on how the money supply is going.
- Draw up to hand size limit, not discard down.
This change works well and is correct (and the original rule, according to Roger Dorn).
- Colonizing is still too much of a crap shoot.
- Card worthiness is too luck dependant. It is not (just) that some cards are better than others, which is true, it is more that some cards are inherently worthless at certain points. If you pick them, and others pick the others, you will be losing up to two effective actions per card draw, possible more. Way too much swing.
- According to some, the entire action system is a bit boring. Obviously Princes of Florence is also "not as good as Puerto Rico", but then, what is?
- In 3 player games, once you are down in the auctions, the rich guy and the flag holder will just trade tiles back and forth, making it very difficult to reenter the competition. This is a problem in 4 player games as well, although less so.
- Other issues with the money in the game.
- Change the card track to: 1/2, 1/3, 2/3, 2/4, 3/5, so as to ...
- Founding colonies is done by playing expedition cards (number of colonists on card), plus colonists, plus colonist track. This will eliminate the "bad" cards, by making all cards potentially useful. I need to look at the cards to see if there is a "bad" card with only 1 colonist on it, as that will still be a difficult card to use. This will also eliminate the card flipping problem.
So as not to drag the game down at the start, each player is dealt four expedition cards to begin the game, selects two and discards the others.
The starting player is the player who discards the highest number of colonist points, ties going to the player who discards the most tigers.
Instead of the above, how about: automatic success for first colony when colonist track is at first level, second colony when at second level, etc... (see below for what to do with extra colonists).
Or how about: pay 3 GP to make up the difference for all lost colonists.
Or: Founding colonists is kept the same, except no flipping. Always add 4 to your attempt.
Or: Founding colonists is only an action if it succeeds. You get one attempt per turn.
Optionally: Whenever a player picks a card, pick two, select one and discard the other.
Note: The "flip an additional card" expedition card will become: take up to 2 of: colonists, ships, spices, no more than 1 of any type. The dark blue "flip" tile from phase B will become: take up to 4 of any: colonists, ships, spices, no more than 2 of any type.
- The symbols on the expedition cards will be ignored. Instead: Most ships = 3 VP, Most spices = 3 VP, Most money = 3 VP
Each colonist card has a dual spice symbol (ten cards, ten combos). Choose whichever colonist you want when taking colonists. The "3 colonist" cards have five symbols, one single of each spice symbol, no limit to how many you have.
For each spice symbol you match to 3 spices, you gain 1/3/6/10/... points at game end. Each symbol can only be used for one match.
- The money track should be as follows: 2 players: 4,6,8,10,12, 3 players: 3,6,9,12,15, 4 players: 2,6,10,14,18
Note: The "pay money to advance cards" should be scaled to the money acquired on the money track levels 2 to 5. E.g. to move from 3rd to 4th track in a three player game will cost 12.
- After the auctions and before the actions, each player can buy free actions for 8//9//10 ducats each. This was actually suggested by the Richard Dorn in another context.
- Once each during the A phase and once each during the B phase, each player can buy a tile for 12//15//18 ducats as a free action during his turn.
- If you win no tiles in an auction, you can take your choice of 8//9//10 ducats or a free action card. This may alleviate the third player problem, although it may give other problems (or may even be beneficial; needs to be playtested).
- You can discard expedition cards for ducats, the matching symbols giving the amount of money, the way they used to give victory points. This counts as playing an expedition card (only one expedition card played per turn).
Other very radical ideas
- Role cards. At the beginning of each round, the player with the most money/player with least number of points/player with the highest cash progression/... picks a role for the round, followed by the next, etc... The roles are:
- Cartwright: gain one more ship when producing ships
- Harvester: gain one more spice when producing spices
- Tax Collector: gain one level higher money when collecting taxes (+4 if on highest level)
- Merchant: take 3 more cards when gaining cards and then discard 3 cards
- Governor: add 1 to your attempts top found a colony
Other roles to consider:
- Farmer: you have space more one more spice of a type you already produce
- Captain: pay 1 less ship when progressing
- Broker: pay 2 GP instead of any spice when progressing
- Cultivator: swap plantation tiles with the supply
- Dealer: discard your expedition cards and pick the same amount of new ones
- Governor and phases. There are six action types (build ships, harvest, ...): each player chooses an action and all players perform it, etc... Chooser gets a privilege. This is actually a nice idea, but it would really make it like PR. A different possibility is that only one of each action type can be taken each round (only one player can produce ships, etc...)
Princes of FlorenceFor 4 players or 5 players, remove the last unbought profession card.
For 3 players, remove University, Theater and Chapel, and the profession cards dealing with them. Play with 2 of each building. Play with 5 Jesters. When bidding, treat all landscapes as a single unit, the winner of which gets to build one of them.
PR style buildings for PoFSIZE (Cost/Cost with 1 Builder, PP bonus, num available)
1 square (300/100 Fl, 1 PP, 2)-
- Garden Shed: take a park as an action (1/round)
- Forest House: take a forest as an action (1/round)
- Lakeworkers: take a lake as an action (1/round)
- Custom's House: bonus cards are free
- Scribe: Freedoms are free
- Bunkhouse: As an action, exchange a profession card in your hand with someone else's played work
- Stage: +100 Fl / work (cannot be exchanged for PP)
- City Hall: All Prestige cards are worth +2 PP
- Stadium: All Bonus cards are worth +2 WV
- Construction House: Pay 200 Fl less per building
- Bathhouse: Works with lakes are worth +2 WV
- Landscaping: Works with parks are worth +2 WV
- Ranger's Hut: Works with Forests are worth +2 WV
- Guild Hall: All works +1 WV
- Statue (2 x 2 square)
- Market (4 x 1 rectangle)
- Town Hall (2 x 3 rectangle)
RaNadine's Jewish version of Ra, called "Lo Ra":
Scored after each of three Yovels:
- Most: +5
- Least: -2
- Keep all after scoring.
- Qty: 25
- (Disaster, 2: Torch)
- Animals: Bullock, Ram, Goat, Dove, Pigeon
- For 3 different: +5
- For 4 different: +10
- For 5 different: +15
- If None: -5
- 5 of each.
- Discard all after scoring.
- (Disaster: Pig, 4)
- Per tile: +1
- Keep all after scoring. Menorah tiles are scored only if at least one Jug of Oil is owned.
- Qty: 25
- (Disaster: Spear, 2, destroys oil first)
- Jug of Oil
- Per tile: +1
- Discard all after scoring.
- Qty: 12
- Per tile: +2
- Exchange for a tile, or discard all after scoring.
- Qty: 8
- Per tile: +3
- Discard all after scoring.
- Qty: 5
- 1-6 Different: +1 each
- 7-11 Different: +2 each
- 12 Different: +25
- 3 Same: +8
- 2 Same: +3
- 3 of each
- (Disaster: Chariot, 2)
- Or it can be used to cancel all disasters for one round, then returned to bag without being scored
- Qty: 1
- Highest sum: +5
- Lowest sum: -5
- Cause auctions, end game, rectangle formation
- Qty: 30