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Finca: El Razul» Forums » Variants

Subject: Making Drought Tiles More Interesting rss

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David Short
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Here are the official rules regarding Drought Tiles:

Official Expansion Rules wrote:
* “Drought” fruit tile: if a player wants to deliver fruit to a community where this tile is located, he gives up only one donkey cart, but no fruit.

He takes the tile that counts as a 2-fruit tile at the end of the game. However, Drought is not included in the assigning of the Finca tiles.

After that, the player removes from the game two pieces of wooden fruit of each kind from the general stock. In case the supply of one kind is not sufficient, the rule as described on page 5 of the instructions applies (putting back fruit).

According to these rules, a player can do what this image accurately depicts:

Image courtesy of lacxox

By using one "max 10" action token, a player can deliver 10 fruits, but receive 14 points for it. Likewise, a player could use one donkey, deliver the normal 6 fruits and receive 10 points for it. As if that wasn't enough goodness already, this player would receive the benefit of having those Drought tiles count toward two possible strings of tiles that are needed to acquire the Bonus Scoring Tiles.

Not only is that way too powerful (and lucky if you're the next player after two drought tiles are revealed), but it comes with no negative or downside at all. This is very unfortunate and leaves me desiring a more compelling ruleset for the Drought tiles.

Which leads me to my variant: The Drought tiles should function exactly as outlined above with one small alteration. Instead of counting as 2 VP's at the end of the game, they should do what they have written on the tile: count as -2 VP's.

So, at the end of the game, the Drought Tiles would be worth 2 negative points to your total points. But, they still come with benefits: They could have helped you gain a Bonus Scoring Tile (of which the smallest is 4 points, which is a net gain of at least 2 points). They could also help you deplete a stack of tiles, so that you can acquire a certain Finca Tile that you know you have majority in. Also, they can still be used to screw other players out of their fruit.

All and all, this is only a small tweak to the original rules, but at least it will make people think twice before jumping in and grabbing every Drought Tile.
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Michael Basil
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I think the idea is interesting and I will give it a go next time we play. The last time we played we made the tiles count towards your limit in delivering fruits and that worked but it seem more thematic to play your way. How has this gone in your plays?
 
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Steve Duff
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Not bad.

It does seem like this or the "drought tile takes up 2 spaces of your 6" needs to used.
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Ralph T
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Not sure there's reason to take the drought tile if it's -2. The bonus tiles' point differential is not much (just one point in a two player game) and 2 tiles are not hard to get. You could say the tile is wild. Or you could say the tile counts as a tie breaking fruit for determining who wins a finca tile.
 
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David Short
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ralpher wrote:
Not sure there's reason to take the drought tile if it's -2. The bonus tiles' point differential is not much (just one point in a two player game) and 2 tiles are not hard to get.

What do you mean by this? Bonus Tiles could score you up to 7 points, and at the worse, as little as 4 points. That's a point differential of at least 2 points.

ralpher wrote:
You could say the tile is wild. Or you could say the tile counts as a tie breaking fruit for determining who wins a finca tile.

As I stated in my OP, the tile doesn't need anymore benefits. It is too good as it is, hence the reason for my variant.
 
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Ralph T
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The tile is worth -2, and as a two for bonus tiles. In two and player games, the drought tile is not going to be worth taking because it's a net loss. In three player games you can break even, but it seems unlikely that not having a two tile will change you from first to third place in the bonus tile race. As I said, the two tile is one of the least valuable tiles, because it's so easy to fulfill, and you can do it after fulfilling a larger 3 or 4 tile.
 
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David Short
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ralpher wrote:
The tile is worth -2, and as a two for bonus tiles. In two and player games, the drought tile is not going to be worth taking because it's a net loss. In three player games you can break even, but it seems unlikely that not having a two tile will change you from first to third place in the bonus tile race. As I said, the two tile is one of the least valuable tiles, because it's so easy to fulfill, and you can do it after fulfilling a larger 3 or 4 tile.

I'm not following you at all. How is it a loss when you got it for free and it can help you get bonus tiles? Do you mean finca tiles?
 
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Ralph T
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It's a loss because it's worth -2 points. And it probably won't be worth any points in the bonus tile race because the 2 fruit tiles are not hard to obtain.

The house rule of treating them as occupying 2 of your cart (I still think this is the actual rule, and the designer was just confused about the question), the gameplay speeds up because the tile, while not always taken right away, is taken and forces players not to horde, this rule seems like it would slow the game down because there could be one or two provinces which don't get taken because of the penalty--and won't be taken unless there's a screw the opponent opportunity, which is going to be exceptionally rare [and note that I take out 4 fruit of each type in 3 player, and 8 fruit in 2 player games],. I mostly play two player and the games tend to be very close. -2 is too much of a penalty.
 
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David Short
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ralpher wrote:
It's a loss because it's worth -2 points. And it probably won't be worth any points in the bonus tile race because the 2 fruit tiles are not hard to obtain.

I don't think you're understanding the situation. You get the drought tile FOR FREE. You don't have to pay fruit for it. So, you save on fruit, you have the potential of depleting a tile stack in order to get finca tiles AND you are that much closer to getting significant points thru bonus tiles.
 
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Ralph T
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I understand it's for free. The advantages don't outweigh the -2 penalty. I don't understand this penalty. You might as well just say it's worth zero points and it's free to take.

Have you tried playing just counting the drought tile as taking up two space?
 
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Steve Duff
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You haven't played with my wife. She loves to scarf up the low tiles to prevent sequences.

All it takes is for someone to buy an extra one or two of them, and others to be either hidden under piles that aren't in demand, or out of the game before it started.

Sure, doesn't happen all the time, but it does occasionally.
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