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Looting London» Forums » Variants

Subject: Quicker variant to improve 2-player game rss

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Looting London is intended as a 2-5 player game, but how well does it work for two players? I enjoy the game with three players, but find that although it's a more tactical game with two players, it's really a touch too long for the weight that it is, and it needs to be 5 minutes shorter. This variant gives the tweak needed to provide precisely that.

The regular game uses 25 Evidence tiles, with 5 columns of 5 tiles. I suggest removing 5 tiles for the two player game, and playing with 5 columns of 4 tiles instead of the usual 5 per column. Knizia has set the game up to be finely tuned with numbers, and this does mean tinkering a little with that, but any imbalance is very slight and doesn't really impact game-play. How it works:

1. Remove the following five Evidence tiles:

Consider them prematurely destroyed Evidence! Note that no Green tiles are removed, since there are only three to begin with. In each of the other colours, between 2 and 4 points are removed, and also each of the four Witnesses are represented. The numbers aren't perfect, but close enough.

2. Set-up with five columns of four tiles each: (i.e. all the remaining Evidence tiles)

The rest of the game is unchanged. Having columns of four tiles instead of five tiles shortens the game by about 5 minutes or so. It preserves the overall balance of the colours and Witnesses sufficiently, and leads to a game that is slightly faster, and more tactical as both players fight for the bonus disks and if necessary destroy evidence to do so. The end result is a game that is just a little quicker, and feels just right for the weight that the game is.

There's nothing worse than a filler that starts to drag, and for a two player game, we've found this simple variant improves the game to be what it should be. It's not suitable for games with three or more players, however, since these require all the tiles in order to give all players an equal chance at winning or gaining bonus disks for majorities. Reducing the number of Evidence tiles in this way does seem to be an ideal solution for the two player game, however.
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