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San Juan» Forums » Variants

Subject: New nerf for the Guild Hall rss

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Greg Jones
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There are a couple good ideas out there to weaken the Guild Hall. I will say a quick note about why it's worth nerfing, since I know someone will respond and say only noobs think the Guild Hall is overpowered. The Guild Hall is not an instant-win card. Even if you get the Smithy and Guild Hall in your hand early, which is the optimal scenario, it's possible to beat it, but usually you won't. The problem is not that it's possible to win with the Smithy / Guild Hall combination, because there will always be lucky draws in a card game. The problem is that it's possible to win without a whole lot of skill. It's pretty much obvious, just put down the Smithy and build, build, build production buildings.

The other ideas to nerf the Guild Hall do so by changing the Guild Hall. It occurred to me, maybe we can nerf the Guild Hall by changing other cards. My idea is really simple. The base VP values of Indigo, Tobacco, and Silver are reduced by 1 each. So they are worth 0, 1, and 2 points, respectively.

Effectively, if your strategy is to build whatever production building you randomly draw into your hand, it makes the Guild Hall worth 1.4 points for each production building, instead of 2, which I think is about right. It also affects players not using a Guild Hall, but they won't have too many production buildings, so it will probably only take 1 or 2 points.

I played a few games with this variant.

1st game, my opponent had a Guild Hall, and would have won by 2 with the normal rules, but lost by 2 with the modified rules. I had a fairly mediocre purple strategy, and his Smithy came late. So I think we played about equally on this one, and the result was acceptable with either rule.

2nd game, we went head-to-head with Guild Halls, and Smithies about halfway through for each of us. I got the Palace so I won. This one doesn't say too much about the rule change, since we both had Guild Halls.

3rd game, my opponent got Prefecture for his first building and Smithy for his second. He eventually built a Guild Hall. In this one, he won by 1 point even with the new rule, which I think is fair. He had just a tad more going for him than a basic Guild Hall strategy. I had early Carpenter and Quarry and was cranking out purples, but didn't get a lot that was useful or valuable. For my only big building I had the Triumphal Arch worth 6. I would have won if I had the City Hall, but only by 2.

I like the rule change because it made for some much tighter games even with a Smithy / Guild Hall combo.
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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The best nerf for Guild Hall is to include the expansions from Treasure Chest.

That way you don't have to houserule anything, it improves the game, and adds several other ways to win.
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