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CONTEST - Two-player Rules Variant

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NativeTexan
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Joined: 03/04/2009

My first published game, Arctic Scavengers, has been quite successful so far and an expansion is under development. One thing that many customers have requested is an official rules variant that enables the game to work effectively for two players (the game is designed for 3-5). The expansion will include, among other things, an official two-player variant that has been contributed by the community.

I am running a contest from now until July 4th and I am accepting submissions for two-player rules variations. The winner gets recognition and free merchandise. The runner-ups get lesser prizes.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/415029

Anyone care to throw their hat in the ring with a 2-player variant?

Momerath
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Please Elaborate

I've looked at the rules, but reading rules is very different from playing a game. I think it would be easier if you briefly explained what part of the 2-player game is broken, so we all understand the challenge. Is is impossible to play this game with two players, or is it simply "not very fun"?

NativeTexan
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Playable, but hollow

The game is technically playable by two people. The trouble is that it ends up feeling a bit hollow because each round 1 person looks at the CR pile and you know each time that either you will win or your opponent will win. Additionally, the fact that one person commits their cards to the skirmish and THEN the other person does, easily leads to scenarios where one person sends 4 or 5 cards to the Skirmish and the other person sends none (i.e. oh, 4 cards? hmm... I won't bother this round). The end result is a functional, but largely hollow and dissatisfying skirmish.

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Thoughts...

NativeTexan wrote:
Additionally, the fact that one person commits their cards to the skirmish and THEN the other person does, easily leads to scenarios where one person sends 4 or 5 cards to the Skirmish and the other person sends none (i.e. oh, 4 cards? hmm... I won't bother this round). The end result is a functional, but largely hollow and dissatisfying skirmish.
I haven't read the rules, so if my recommendation is off-base, I apologize.

I think you could solve this problem by including blank "feint" cards in two-player hands. Each player has their hand of cards and three "feint" cards that don't actually do anything. These cards always return to your hand after you use them.

This way, even if I play five cards, you don't know if I'm going all in with a bunch of powerful cards, of if I have three feints and two wimpy cards to puff up my play. Doing this adds a layer of bluffing that should bring back at least a little fun and intrigue to the game.

You may need to put limits on the number of cards you can play if you do this. Otherwise, a player could go all in with the maximum number of cards and the second player would still know that it was pointless ("Let's see, you played nine cards? That means that you must have played all your bluffs and all your useful cards. I'll play nothing.").

Simultaneous play structures suggest an alternate solution: Have players select the cards they're playing secretly, then reveal their selections simultaneously. Imagine that each player has a little envelope, like the confidential case documents envelope you put the three clue cards in at the start of a game of Clue. At the start of a skirmish, you hide your cards in your "top secret orders" envelope and your opponent does the same. When you're both done, you reveal the contents of your envelopes simultaneously. This prevents one player from sandbagging when the other player hyper-commits.

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