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Re: [Unity_Games] Re: Session Report: Unity Games 6

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  • J C Lawrence
    On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 23:32:54 -0000 ... Hehn. If I work hard enough I may yet catch up. ... Rather than reshuffling all the time we just spread the cards in a
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 29, 2003
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      On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 23:32:54 -0000
      brosiuse <clairebrosius@...> wrote:
      > --- In Unity_Games@yahoogroups.com, J C Lawrence <claw@k...> wrote:

      >> Samarkand

      >> The cards suck. Badly. They are small, fiddly to handle, and a pain
      >> to constantly shuffle (you're supposed to reshuffle the stack on each
      >> discard).

      > We play Samarkand with two variant rules that are designed to address
      > what we perceive as flaws in the printed rules. I found it
      > interesting that you commented on both of these flaws.

      Hehn. If I work hard enough I may yet catch up.

      > We play that you only reshuffle the stack when someone needs to draw a
      > card and there are none left in the draw pile.

      Rather than reshuffling all the time we just spread the cards in a mess
      at one end of the table. Sold cards were just stirred into the mess,
      and the mess then well stirred. It seemed to work as a way to honour
      the mechanic, but really just accentuated the lousy bits design.

      I thought about just not shuffling the deck (or stirring) on each trade,
      but didn't like the idea. Not shuffling would have meant that the
      probability of drawing a particular card was relatively constant until
      the draw pile exhausted and players discarded down. Conversely with
      reshuffling on each market sale the probability of drawing a particular
      card type changes (sometimes violently) with each trade.

      Take an example case where the draw pile falls say to 12 cards and a
      player trades in 6 lamps. With your variation nothing changes with the
      draw pile probabilities due to the trade for immediately subsequent
      players. PlayerFoo drawing a card after the trade has the same draw
      probabilities as he did before the trade. With the constant reshuffling
      rule all subsequent players would instead have a minimum guarantee of a
      50% chance of drawing lamps after the shuffle (it would presumably be
      lower before the shuffle), while the probabilities of all the other card
      types would have dropped massively. This makes trading when the deck is
      small a useful screw mechanic if you think other players are trying to
      buy different cards than you are trading in.

      > We also play that the 12-card limit only comes into play at this point
      > in time. So you wait until the draw pile is empty and need a card.
      > At that point everyone discards down to 12. You reshuffle and
      > continue on.


      >> nip in for the $10 collection, but the dice factor -- the only way to
      >> travel at speed -- adds so much randomity while also being so
      >> exceedingly attractive that it seems to overwhelm the rest of the
      >> game's sound design points.

      > We make the price for a die roll $10 instead of $5. We think that
      > typically the die is a bad choice even at $5, but we'd like to reduce
      > die rolling (too much of it ruins the game.) At $10 a pop, you won't
      > see nearly as much die rolling.

      This makes sense. I like it. The dice rolls are just too cheap,
      especially when you've a hand of cards to trade and just want to get to
      the right city.

      J C Lawrence
      ---------(*) Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
      claw@... He lived as a devil, eh?
      http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/ Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.
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