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Author Topic: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities  (Read 4355 times)

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Jayne Starlancer

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BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« on: October 21, 2012, 12:46:19 pm »
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There are several interesting fan-made cards in the TS variant section of BGG. In addition, Prowler has created a variant that adds an additional "Olympics Phase" and random optional cards.

I think there are three great directions to take variants. First, groups of around 3 cards that can be added (1 Early, 1 Mid, 1 Late) to the decks with the current optional cards. Each group could have a theme.

Second, alternative sets of optional cards, each set intended to provide balance in a unique manner.

Third, a Mid War variant that uses only the standard Mid War cards and a larger set of variant cards just for this scenario. This is the option that excites me the most, but it would also require the most work to create.
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() | (_) ^/

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Re: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 08:42:11 am »
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There are several interesting fan-made cards in the TS variant section of BGG...

What is your philosophy with regards to variants?  By what standard do you classify them as "interesting" or not?

I, myself, am relatively stingy when it comes to variants.  I usually only introduce them if I am convinced that a given variant increases the elegance of a game, which I hold to be one of the highest and most rare qualities in the gaming world.

Additional mechanics usually do not help in this area, IMHO, but I've been proven wrong before.

EDIT: Great profile pic, btw.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 09:45:45 am by () | (_) ^/ »
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Jayne Starlancer

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Re: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 11:22:52 am »
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By interesting I mean something that I find to be... of interest? I didn't mean anything particularly specific, and each person will find some things more interesting than others.

Personally, my favorite cards in Twilight Struggle are those that do things besides add or subtract influence. While they are not always the most useful cards, I enjoy events like SALT Negotiations, all the war events, and Tear Down This Wall. I find these sorts of events more thematic and fun to play than Nasser or Fidel.

Variants can either be used to make a game more complex (and usually less elegant), but I often ask myself, "Why not just play a more complex game?" That is what intrigues me about variant cards in Twilight Struggle... they make the game different without making it more complex or convoluted.

In addition, the idea of a Mid-War scenario interests me because it would mean a shorter playing time. Twilight Struggle is not a long game to begin with my any means, but a short scenario, under 2 hrs consistently (and often under 1 hr) would be a welcome addition.
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rrwoods

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Re: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 01:49:18 pm »
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Complexity and elegance are related but separate concepts.  They aren't orthogonal but they aren't on the same line either.  It is possible for elegance to create complexity (Go, Chess) and vice versa (Magic: the Gathering, Dominion, Twilight Struggle).

I personally don't like variants for the same reason I don't like house rules -- they often become "understood" as part of the game, to the point where people forget how to play the original (Monopoly, but who plays that game anyway... and most billiards games) and the original is usually more strategically interesting (because of complexity re: house rules and because of lack thereof re: variants).
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Nightlyraver

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Re: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 02:36:15 pm »
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The Late War scenario in the Deluxe Edition rule book is pretty good for a shorter game...
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Jayne Starlancer

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Re: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 11:50:30 pm »
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The Late War scenario in the Deluxe Edition rule book is pretty good for a shorter game...

I would agree, but I find it annoying to set up... having to sort through all the cards and then put all that influence out on the board. It's obviously not as long as playing the first 7 turns, but it would be nice if we could come up with a more, shall we say, elegant variant.
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Re: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 06:56:33 am »
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... but it would be nice if we could come up with a more, shall we say, elegant variant.

We shall!
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lambolt

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Re: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2014, 06:03:07 pm »
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The most interesting ideas as topics I've read seem to be:

Fischer-Spassky chess game (olympics type card but with IPs awarded, not VP)
Able Archer 83 (close to nuclear war, some kind of DEFCON manipulation)
Non Aligned Movement (removing influence)
Operation Condor (south america entry)
Arpanet (could include a cool way to move influence round across the globe)
test of the TSAR bomb
Houston, we have a problem

If I had to make one myself, I'd go with the Chess match which could be an asterisked event in the mid war, US/USSR event, invite opponent for game and roll dice, proposer gains +2, winner gets to place X influence in (Europe), if opponent refuses to play, remove X influence from (some subset of countries, probably within Europe only)

or, the Houston card which would do something like push a player back on the space race track

ARPANET could be a cool network thing where you can move influence around within any countries directly connected to the USA with influence (i.e you can trace a path back to the USA using only countries including US influence already).
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lambolt

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Re: BGG Variants & Other Possibilities
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2015, 01:29:24 pm »
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The Late War scenario in the Deluxe Edition rule book is pretty good for a shorter game...

I would agree, but I find it annoying to set up... having to sort through all the cards and then put all that influence out on the board. It's obviously not as long as playing the first 7 turns, but it would be nice if we could come up with a more, shall we say, elegant variant.

the cards are a pain (though I wonder if you could buy an extra deck from GMT) but I did a poster print of the board with the influence marked on and all the event cards and stuff added

here it is if you want to have a look at it

http://postimg.org/image/dwpnmxvcz/

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