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Dominant Species» Forums » Variants

Subject: Official "Cardless" Variant rss

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Chad Jensen
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Some folks have expressed a desire for Dominant Species to play a bit shorter. Others for it to be less 'swingy' by way of the card effects. This variant addresses both. It encompasses four minor changes to the base rules. Here's how it works.

1) When setting up the game, steps G and H [page 4] are modified as follows:

"Remove the Ice Age card from the deck of Dominance cards and place it face up next to the board. Put the remaining Dominance cards face down atop it. Draw the top five cards of this draw pile and place them face down in the Available Dominance Cards section of the game board."

2) The first bullet of the Reseed step during the Reset Phase [page 20] is modified as follows:

"Draw enough new Domination cards off the top of the draw pile to fill each empty space of the Available Dominance Cards section of the board. If a card comes off the the draw pile face down, place it on the board face down; if it came off the draw pile face up (only the Ice Age card), place it on the board face up. If there are not enough cards remaining in the draw pile to fill up every card slot, fill up as many as you can; the rest will remain vacant."

3) Step 5 of the Domination action [page 16] is modified as follows:

"If there is a dominant animal on the tile being scored, that player must select one Dominance card (if one is available). If the chosen card is face down, the player simply puts it on the table in front of himself. If the chosen card is the face up Ice Age card, perform its text effects as per the rules as written, then the player puts that card in front of himself, face down. (Players collect cards in this manner throughout the game, to be scored at the end of the game.)"

4) Finally, add a sentence to the end of the first paragraph in the Endgame section of the rules [page 20] as follows:

"After scoring all tiles, each player earns bonus VPs (see page 3) based on the number of face down Dominance cards in their possession."

-------------------------------

This variant will thus have no card effects -- instead, a chosen Dominance card will simply add to that player's final score.

Having no card effects means that players don't need to evaluate the cards from turn to turn, instead concentrating solely on strategic and tactical board considerations. Players need not feel they are "being screwed" or "picked on" by detrimental card effects. Further, without Action Pawns being added to the game via Intelligence, Parasitism and Omnivore, the game will be foreshortened. Indeed, players can remove any number of (non-Ice Age) cards from the deck during set up -- each multiple of 5 cards kept in the box will shave about a turn off the total game length.

Enjoy! And let us know what you think.
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Nate Straight

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Clever.
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Allen Doum
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NateStraight wrote:
Clever.
And simple.

However, I would be unlikely to use these, except in a game with experienced players vs. noobs.
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Luke Stirling
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This is all well and good, but it doesn't answer an important question. If I use this variant, what mechanic can I blame for my losing of a game?!
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Curt Carpenter
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I like it.
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Curt Carpenter
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paralipsis wrote:
If I use this variant, what mechanic can I blame for my losing of a game?!

Bad element pulls, of course!
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Warren Smith
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Cool and the gang.
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James To My Friends
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Chad Jensen wrote:
Players need not feel they are "being screwed" or "picked on" by detrimental card effects.


People who find the cards too harsh should be shot.
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Chris Berger
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voynitsky wrote:
Chad Jensen wrote:
Players need not feel they are "being screwed" or "picked on" by detrimental card effects.


People who find the cards too harsh should be shot.


Really? You want to murder people who have a different opinion than you?
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
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arkayn wrote:
voynitsky wrote:
Chad Jensen wrote:
Players need not feel they are "being screwed" or "picked on" by detrimental card effects.


People who find the cards too harsh should be shot.


Really? You want to murder people who have a different opinion than you?


He was just trying to demonstrate something harsher than the cards. :-)
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Jonathan Harrison
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arkayn wrote:
voynitsky wrote:
Chad Jensen wrote:
Players need not feel they are "being screwed" or "picked on" by detrimental card effects.


People who find the cards too harsh should be shot.


Really? You want to murder people who have a different opinion than you?

Come now. He didn't say shot to death.

Wake up without a funnybone today?
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Einmal ist keinmal
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arkayn wrote:
voynitsky wrote:
Chad Jensen wrote:
Players need not feel they are "being screwed" or "picked on" by detrimental card effects.


People who find the cards too harsh should be shot.


Really? You want to murder people who have a different opinion than you?

Really? You thought his words were to be taken literally?
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J. Chris Miller
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Desiderata wrote:
arkayn wrote:
voynitsky wrote:
Chad Jensen wrote:
Players need not feel they are "being screwed" or "picked on" by detrimental card effects.


People who find the cards too harsh should be shot.


Really? You want to murder people who have a different opinion than you?

Really? You thought his words were to be taken literally?


Really? You didn't realize he was ALSO being sarcastic?



Cool variant. I must admit, the cards are pretty harsh during your first times playing the game as they seem game-ending. I can see this being an awesome variant to use with new players. This is currently my favorite game, I just love the interactions.
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Chris Berger
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I kind of feel like you're playing a joke on us. My issue with the cards is that certain cards create such a huge swing effect that the outcome of the game can depend on just one or two cards too heavily. Not that the cards as a whole are terrible. I would think that removing the cards from the game completely would make for kind of a boring game.

To go a little less whole hog, but still address the "problem" (in quotes, because I agree that it's far from obvious that it's a big problem) of heavy swing effect in the cards, I would do this:

-Put one eyeball spot next to the Dominance cards. This spot is resolved before the Domination action and after all other actions. When resolving this spot, the player takes back his action pawn and turns one face up Dominance card face down.
-A player who chooses a face down Dominance card scores 3 VPs, without executing the text on the card. (alternately, they could keep it and score bonus VPs as in your variant, but with far fewer face-down cards, I think they wouldn't end up being worth many points.)

That way, a player who doesn't get the first spot in Dominance can defend against one particularly nasty card, but you don't lose the entire aspect of the cards in the game.

To make the game shorter - I think the easiest solution is just to discard any unclaimed Dominance cards at the end of the turn. Or your variant that you've already stated - remove Immigrants, Omnivore, Parasitism, and Intelligence.
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Lam Chungwah
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Translated into Chinese:
因為有些玩家很想能夠讓【優勢物種】的遊戲時間可以短一點。為了遊戲時間可以短一點,可能還是要從改變卡牌應用模式下手。本變體規則就是為了兼顧兩者而設計的。當中在基本規則中有4個輕微的改變。大家可以參考參考:

1)當進行「遊戲設定(Game Setup)」時,步驟G和H [規則書第4頁]作如下修改:
將「冰河時期(Ice Age)卡」從優勢卡牌庫中先移出來,並面朝上放在遊戲圖板的旁邊。然後把其餘的25張優勢卡一起洗勻,再把已經洗勻的優勢卡,以面朝下方式放到「冰河時期卡」上面。從這個抽牌堆上,抽出最上面的那5張卡牌,把它們面朝下分別放在遊戲圖板的「可選取優勢卡」區(Availale Dominance Cards section)上。

2)在「重置階段(Reset Phase)」,「再生(Reseed)」步驟的第一點[規則書第20頁]作如下修改:

從抽牌堆上面,抽取足夠新的「優勢卡」,來填滿遊戲圖板的「可選取優勢卡」區的每個空置格子。如果從抽牌堆抽出的卡牌是面朝下的話,就將該卡牌以面朝下的方式放在「可選取優勢卡」區上;如果從抽牌堆抽出的卡牌是面朝上的話(只有「冰河時期卡」是面朝上),就將該卡牌以面朝下的方式放在「可選取優勢卡」區上。如果在抽牌堆中,沒有足夠的剩餘卡牌可以填滿每個卡牌格時,盡可能填補即可,其餘的就讓它空著吧!

3)優勢(Domination)行動 的第5個步驟[規則書第16頁]作如下修改:

如果在計分板塊上,有一類動物取得優勢地位的話,該動物的所屬玩家必須選取並執行一張「優勢卡」(如果可以,選擇一張可使用的)。如果玩家所選擇的「優勢卡」是面朝下的話,該玩家就單純地把卡牌奕在自己面前即可。如果玩家所選擇的「優勢卡」是面朝上的「冰河時期卡」時,執行「冰河時期卡」的如規則書上所寫一樣的文本效果,然後該玩家把「冰河時期卡」放在自己的面前。
(在整個遊戲中,玩家以這種方式獲得的卡牌,將在遊戲結束時計分。)

4)最後,在「遊戲結束(Endgame)」章節[規則書第20頁]的第一段最後加上以下一段文句:

「在所有板塊計過分數之後,每位玩家可以按照各自擁有的面朝下「優勢卡」張數來獲得「勝利分數獎勵」(請參考規則書第3頁的獎勵分數表。)」

-------------------------------

因此,在這個變體規則中卡牌是不會有效果的:取而代之的是,被選擇的優勢卡只單純增加玩家的最後分數而已。

卡牌沒有了效果時,玩家便不需要在每個回合去思量卡牌了,可以單純地集中精神在圖板上的策略和戰術的競爭上。玩家不再覺得像被卡牌整了一樣的不滿。此外,少了因為卡牌「智能 (Intelligence)」、「寄生 (Parasitism)」及「雜食動物 (Omnivore)」而被添加到遊戲的「行動指示物(AP)」,遊戲時間將更為縮短。事實上,玩家更可以在「遊戲設定(Game Setup)」時,從優勢卡牌庫中移除任意數量的(非冰河時期)卡牌:每移除5張卡牌將可以少掉約一個回合的遊戲長度。
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Bill Robot
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I look forward to giving this variant a try. It looks great though I think there will be some unintended consequences. For instance players (in our group) will often score an area where someone else dominates simply to maximize points. This will, I think, happen far less often.
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Troy Adlington
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This might save the game for me.

I found it all too chaotic for the amount of strategy it felt like I should be able to employ.

I'm a big fan of the game's predecessor so I was a tad disappointed this was so.

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Jesse Miller
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Troymk1 wrote:
I'm a big fan of the game's predecessor



?
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Steven
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yossarians wrote:
Troymk1 wrote:
I'm a big fan of the game's predecessor

?


Sorta, kinda, but not really: Tyranno Ex
 
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Troy Adlington
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yossarians wrote:
Troymk1 wrote:
I'm a big fan of the game's predecessor



?


The action selection is directly taken from Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
 
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Steven
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Troymk1 wrote:
yossarians wrote:
Troymk1 wrote:
I'm a big fan of the game's predecessor

?

The action selection is directly taken from Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery


? I don't know that you can chalk up a pretty standard worker placement mechanic to AoE3...
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Chad Jensen
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arkayn wrote:
I kind of feel like you're playing a joke on us.

Indeed I am not, and I'm more than a little disappointed that someone might feel that way.

This is nothing more than an alternative way to play the game that addresses some of the concerns that have been voiced in the forums over the past year or so -- and by what I feel is certainly a minority of the overall player base, I might add. I and many others will continue to play the game as written because that's what we prefer. I present this variant as an *option* for those who might prefer it. Please don't read into it any ulterior motive or sinister intent.

There are certainly many other options -- yours, for example -- any of which folks are free to try out on their own.
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Arthur Dickie
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arkayn wrote:
Really? You want to murder people who have a different opinion than you?


Doesn't everybody?
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I disagree....you die now!
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Lawrence Low
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I am totally shocked! But wellllll....it's totally unexpected but kinda brilliant. The cards are a major attraction for me, but hmm... maybe I'll try arkayn's variant someday, sounds like a middle ground to me between Chad's cardless variant & the full Monty version. No comments before trying, although I suspect it'll taste a bit like a 10 course feast without sugar, salt & seasoning for me

There'll be so much LESS take-that! & screwage for sure.

HMMM... I also thought of a variant : I wanna shuffle in the Home Support card from A Few Acres of Snow. When I get it, I can draw 3 Dominance cards right away, and use em whenever.... Yesssssssss! Imagine the extra tension! The death battles for Initiative! devil
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