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Atlanteon» Forums » Variants

Subject: Immediate (and fairly obvious) improvement rss

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Ben Bateson
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Atlanteon, as I and many others have found, is appallingly mathy and very prone to Analysis Paralysis.

Our very simple solution has been to shuffle one's tiles into a stack, rather than leaving them open to the opposition. After placing the towers, draw the top tile and play it to complete your turn (sub-variant: the Carcassonne 'two tiles in hand' rule).

Already, this has reduced AP to a normal level, improved long-term strategy and helped enliven an otherwise rather dull game. I urge all Atlanteon owners to try it.
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Gláucio Reis
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How does adding luck to a perfect-information game "improve long-term strategy"? Besides, for all AP it may have, in my experience the game lasts no more than 20 minutes! Of course, you can play it any way you like, but claiming this variant - which, by the way, completely changes the game - is an "obvious improvement" is quite presumptuous, to say the least.
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Matt Hulgan
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Calling it "mathy" is a bit of a stretch. 6 year olds can handle the math in this game. It's just addition after all.
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Ben Bateson
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OK, granted it's not advanced maths, but it can't be denied that the adding up is tedious and interferes with something that can be more chess-like.

The rationale behind this idea was that Atlanteon as it stands becomes far too reactionary: it's a game of careful manoeuvring, pushing your opponent into corners and any long term strategy tends to go hang. With a random tile draw (you could make a case for saying it's semi-random) the strategy becomes more focussed towards gaining a majority of control markers, not just one at a time (which always seems to be the case with the base game). And, if you think about it, there's precious little luck element if you play with a long-term strategy in mind. I realise that by mentioning probabilities, I'm sort of shooting myself in the foot, mathematically, but it's much more inviting to take an open line of play that will allow yourself a good move with whichever piece comes up, rather than the negative line of play which the base game demands.
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Jason Arvey
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ousgg wrote:
OK, granted it's not advanced maths, but it can't be denied that the adding up is tedious and interferes with something that can be more chess-like.

The rationale behind this idea was that Atlanteon as it stands becomes far too reactionary: it's a game of careful manoeuvring, pushing your opponent into corners and any long term strategy tends to go hang. With a random tile draw (you could make a case for saying it's semi-random) the strategy becomes more focussed towards gaining a majority of control markers, not just one at a time (which always seems to be the case with the base game). And, if you think about it, there's precious little luck element if you play with a long-term strategy in mind. I realise that by mentioning probabilities, I'm sort of shooting myself in the foot, mathematically, but it's much more inviting to take an open line of play that will allow yourself a good move with whichever piece comes up, rather than the negative line of play which the base game demands.


I hereby deny that the math is tedious. Atlanteon is in my top 100 games, whereas games similar to what you are describing (say, Carcassonne) are not. I play Atlanteon at Chinese restaurants while waiting for food to arrive -- if it were tedious, I'd never dream of doind such a thing. And as for chess... I don't see how adding randomness would make a game seem more like chess, which is, after all, a perfect information abstract.

I also disagree with you that Atlanteon is about pushing your opponent into a corner. I often try to safely stash my king in a corner early and then try to force my opponent's king into the vulnerable middle. This is a game about balancing your strength and weakness better than your opponent does. With a tile draw, it would just devolve into another "what can I do with this" game.
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Gláucio Reis
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ousgg wrote:
OK, granted it's not advanced maths, but it can't be denied that the adding up is tedious and interferes with something that can be more chess-like.

Sorry if it looks like I'm picking on you, but again, how does adding luck make a game more like chess?

Quote:
The rationale behind this idea was that Atlanteon as it stands becomes far too reactionary: it's a game of careful manoeuvring, pushing your opponent into corners and any long term strategy tends to go hang.

I disagree. You may play it that way, but it does not have to be so. Having all the tiles available does not preclude long-term planning at all. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Of course, you must react to your opponent's moves (not unlike chess), but focusing on one tile at a time is certainly not the best strategy.

Notice, though, that I'm not opposed to your variant. I just think it makes Atlanteon a totally different game. I might even give it a try some time. Or I might play Kingdoms, instead.
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Ben Bateson
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Don't worry, I'm not taking it as a personal attack. I know that BGGers, on the whole, are naturally a bit suspicious about home-made variants!

I think that both of you are overstating the randomness/luck element. Yes, there is a little more randomness in the tile-play, but having your own discrete draw deck means a good player should be able to make informed choices rather than rely on luck. I was thinking less like Carcassonne and more like Robber Knights, where the emphasis is placed on advance planning to use your later tiles efficiently.

I'll retract the 'mathy' comment if you insist, but it's hard to deny that the game is still a little dry.
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