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A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Variants

Subject: Another Attempt to Balance the Game rss

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Marcus Watney
United Kingdom
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I originally posted this in the Rules section, but haven't received a meaningful response, so I am repeating it here, inviting comments and tests.

My recent experience with a skilled opponent is that the problem isn't just to do with a British ultra-thin deck, but with the power of Merchant. This action repeatedly performed in the early turns allows the British player too quickly to build a massive army that the French have no chance to defend against (particularly in a long coastal siege).

My proposed solution is (as well as the two established tweaks designed by other players) to limit the Merchant action to the Ship cards with a full-frame picture of a vessel on them. I haven't tested this yet, but I reckon by slowing the growth of the British treasury in this way the French will have time to build a viable settlement expansion threat forcing an expansion response from the British. The idea builds on the fact that miltary conquest requires money while settlement expansion does not.

Incidentally, my second edition game includes two British Ships but the card manifest says there should only be one. Which is correct?

Also, does anyone know if the Shuffle Schedule can be used with Yacuta? I have a suspicion that that system may shuffle and deal without being asked. If it can't be used on-line, please suggest an alternative tweak.

So please try out these three proposals simultaneously and give me your opinions.


Limited Governor
(purpose: make ultra-thin decks less achievable)

The Governor may only be used to remove an at-start location (darker border) if the location has been lost to raid or settlement.


Shuffle Schedule
(purpose: discourage use of ultra-thin decks by creating a disadvantage to every shuffle)

Shuffling the discard pile is still triggered when there is no card in the draw pile to draw, but now the actual shuffling is delayed until the very end of the turn, after a player would have drawn from the new pile.


Merchant Limitation
(purpose: make the drafting of a very large army slower to achieve and therefore less attractive)

The Merchant option can now only be performed using one of the full-frame Ship cards (two British, one French) drafted at a cost of 6.


 
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Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
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You played this against an aggressive French settlement strategy? I think it handicaps the Brits too much. The trick in balancing this game is to make it so the Brits can't steamroll military and the French can't steamroll settling. If you fix one, you typically make the other stronger.
 
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Tom
Poland
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mjawatney wrote:
Also, does anyone know if the Shuffle Schedule can be used with Yacuta? I have a suspicion that that system may shuffle and deal without being asked. If it can't be used on-line, please suggest an alternative tweak.

It can't be used at Yucata, shuffling and dealing occurs automatically there. However, you can try the other two modifications there, maybe they would be enough? Also, it would be worthwhile with this variant to put one of the ship cards into the British starting deck, but at Yucata you would need to use one action and money to draft it (surely as a first action, I suppose).
Note that this will also affect the flow of the French deck, as sometimes the French use merchant action to remove from hand some cards they don't need at the moment or just to shorten the waiting for a certain card from their draw pile (and get 1-2 money at the same time). With this variant they won't be able to do that.
 
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