|Posted by dimitri.horaites on April 29, 2017 at 3:20 AM||comments (0)|
I strongly believe that the right way to play Coup is with the reformation expansion. The Reformist/Loyalist mechanic adds so much to the game that it's hard to go back to normal coup. With that in mind here is a variant.
This variant must be played with the Reformation expansion. Remove Assassins, Captains and Contessas and replace them with Agents, Provacateurs and Barons. This variant can be played with either Inquisitors or Ambassadors.
Agent; Steal 1 or spend 4 to assasinate. Reaction: Siphon: When a player taxes force them to put 1 of the 3 ISk into the treasury. Siphon only happens once per tax.
Provacateur: Change someones side for free. This can be used for yourself or any player regardless of their side. If all players have the same side you can use your action to reveal two provacateurs and win.
Baron: Spend 1 to block assasination. Spend 1 to block someone changing your side.
Replaces Duke. Probably shouldn't be played with the above variant, but sure try it if you like.
Tax: Gain 3 income.
If a player asks for foreign aid they can Impose Tariff. This forces them to put 1 of the 2 coins into the Treasury Reserve instead. If caught embezzling with 1 satrap lose the game. If caught embezzling with 2 satraps reveal both and draw new cards the other player takes a hit.
|Posted by dimitri.horaites on March 15, 2014 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
So on the spectrum of games that "aren't for me" the card game war has to be near the top. It falls into the category of 100% luck, 0% Skill. On top of that it takes a while to find out who wins. Talk about pointless.
Lets fix it.
Step 1: Deal out a deck of cards to two players in two equal parts. That part is fine.
Step 2: Each player reveals the top card of their pile simultaneously. Determine who is winning. Cards are valued in order from 2 to King. Aces are higher than every face card and lower than every number card. Ties go to a duel (See step 4)
Step 3: The person who is losing now has a choice. They can Challenge or Run.
a) Challenge: The player that is losing may pull the next card from the top of their pile of cards. If that card is still not higher than the opponents card then all the cards revealed go to the bottom of the winners deck. However, if the revealed card is higher than the other player is now faced with the choice to Challenge or Run.
b) Run: If the player does not wish to challenge they run. The most recent card they revealed is placed on the bottom of their own deck. They then reveal the next card in their pile and give all cards revealed so far to their opponent. The opponent puts all such cards at the bottom of their deck.
Step 4: In the case of a tie the players immediately go to a duel. Each player draws and looks at the top five cards of their deck into their hand without revealing them to their opponent. (If they have less than 5 cards left they draw as many as they can).Then each player chooses one of the cards to place face down in front of them. Once both players have chosen a card they are revealed simultaneously. Then the losing player has the option to Challenge or cede.
a) Challenge: The player must now play a higher card, The other player may now challenge or cede.
b) Cede: instead of a challenging the player may cede. All cards revealed so far go to the other player. Both players put the cards in their hand back on top of their pile in whatever order they want.
Step 5: Calling Rout: At any time a player can call rout. If so the game is over. The other player reveals all of their cards. If they don't have all 4 suits represented they lose. If they do then the player who called rout loses.
And there you go! So why is this better? I tried to base the game on mostly simple binary decisions. The decision in normal play is always do I think the next card on my pile is better or worse than the card I just revealed. If it is worse than I should run and give up the worse card. If its better then I may want to challenge. I like tactical decisions.
The Ace mechanic is designed to make it so that even though the game has a slippery slope they can still come back from almost any position with good luck. In traditional war the game is actually done the moment that a player has all 4 aces. They cant lose but the game might continue for hours.
The win mechanic is designed to add subtlety to certain decisions and to create the possibility for broader strategies. Also, it increases the tension at the part of the game where your opponent is down to a small number of cards. You actually have to spend the most attention at this point to finish the game before one or two good cards in your opponents pile helps them turn the game around.
Other interesting considerations:
Try this and tell me how you like it!
|Posted by dimitri.horaites on September 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM||comments (0)|
When designing War is not Chess I wanted to have some things that I like in a game
|Posted by dimitri.horaites on September 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
There are three broad categories of games. Discussing them will help explain why I like the games that I do and what I am thinking about when designing them.
1) Games that are all chance and little to no skill:
Better Players don't beat weaker players. Planning even the current turn isn't meaningful beyond obvious choices.
a) Games with zero skill
All the fun in these games comes from playing pretend and I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way. I love playing pretend. My siblings and I had an amazing hour of playing Snails Pace Race just by overdramatically investing in a game we had no control over. Good times.
When there isn't an element of pretend I don't like this kind of game.
3) Games with little to no chance and 100% skill.
You earn every win. Thinking and Over Thinking are heavily rewarded. Unless there is a time limit competitive players should plan as much as they are mentally capable of ahead of each move. I find most of these games a bit tiring and slow.
To be clear, I don't hate these games. I'm not even necessarily bad at them. I like a game of probabilities and reversals of fortune partly just because it makes it easier to relax
|Posted by dimitri.horaites on September 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM||comments (0)|
So I was playing a very nice cooperative game the other day called Forbidden Island. In this game you play explorers trying to collect 4 ancient treasures from an island that starts to sink below the waves the moment you step foot on it. It has beautiful components, nicely scaling difficulty and is appropriate for kids, classrooms and your whole family. This game is one of the best cooperative games out there right now and its not surprisingly created by the same guy who created the smash hit board game "Pandemic".
There's a lot of reasons to love cooperative games.They are perfect when you are playing with the type of player who gets way too competitive or always gets their feelings hurt. They are great for when you just want to all work together on a puzzle and share a high five as a team. Is your family still holding grudges from the last time you played Risk or Monopoly? Try a cooperative game.
Cooperative is nice...
Cooperative can be challenging...
With a little modification a cooperative game can become downright evil.
Here's how to ruin one of the nicest, prettiest, most family friendly games out there by adding treachery and deceit. For the right kind of person, (wrong kind?) this should be a lot of fun.
Playing "Betrayal on Forbidden Island"
Step 1: Leave a man Behind? That's just more profit for me.
The most important change is to change the win condition. Currently you can only win if all players escape with all the treasures. Not a lot of room for treachery there. In fact, lets change the win condition so it forces treachery.
The New Win Condition: At least one player must not escape the island. If at the end of the game the players that have escaped the island have equal or more treasures than there are escaped players, the escaped players win. Anyone who doesn't manage to escape before one of the failure conditions loses. If there are a higher number of escaped players than there are collected treasures? Everyone loses.
If esaped players have all 4 treasures the game is immediately over and anyone left on the island is immediately lost.
If a treasure type is not available this does not end the game.
The game does not end when a player dies.
If all players escape, everyone loses.
New Rules: Players can escape from Fools Landing at any time by using the Helicopter Lift card. All other players who want to leave who are also on that space may do so. Once the player is gone from the island they stop drawing cards and cannot come back to the island.
A player who collects a treasure holds onto it and the treasure is only scored if they escape.
Note: So now some of the players must cooperate enough to get some treasures, while betraying each other enough to make sure that some of their "teammates" won't escape. Also, the escaped players don't need all the treasures, just enough to make a profit. (3 treasures split 2 ways is better than 4 treasures split 6 ways.) Finally, if the players who were left behind manage to escape after you have left them to die? Everyone is going to lose. A spiteful mechanic that forces you to really kill em.
Step 2: Let me hold that for you. (Betrayal Mechanics)
Now its time to give the players some additional rules that allow betrayal.
- Very Important: Players can't steal a treasure once another player has collected it. This helps prevent players camping at Fool's Landing waiting to snake the treasure that someone else collected. Instead it makes the people who actually get a treasure instantly allied versus the people who didn't
Also, some of the characters get additional powers. (For balance and fun purposes.)