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1st game coming - house rules catchup

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#1 instinctive



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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:43 PM

We'll play our first game over the holidays, I'm pretty excited. I've read the rules multiple times and been all over the forums. It will probably be 3 or 4 players.


I'd like to catchup on the house rules people like, particularly with respect to the conspiracy. By now I imagine you hardcore players have tried many variations. What works for you?


(NOTE: I am fine with base game "detective" theme... I think it fits the dystopia perfectly.)


Here's what I'm pretty sure about:


1. Get a Jump on the Case: choose starting player, per FAQ.

2. Broadcast Square: take lowest puzzle piece, get no bonus.

3. Raymond: use all four memory cards, distributed CCW.

4. Evidence Chits: all located on sheet to identify who placed it.


Here's what's under consideration:


5. Placing Leads: a lead cannot be placed in a district adjacent to the district of the placing player's detective, unless no other legal location exists. (I worry that this might make it too easy on the phasing (not placing) player?)


6. Murder Resolution: considering leaving the rules "as is," I liked the comment someone made about using Jimmy, and placing your own "Red Herring" -1 on Strong and +1 on Weak... seems to add scope for gameplay?


7. The Conspiracy: much talk on the forums about how much better it is to pursue the Conspiracy rather than Evidence. I'm considering the following suggestions, either separately or in combination:


7a: Add an "empty" stack of puzzle pieces, so Digging Deeper is a requirement to play any tile.


7b: All favor link bonuses are halved. So 3 links to James Levy and 3 Society favors would be 4.5 points not 9.


7c: Conspiracy Tokens are worth 3vp (or 2vp??) instead of 4.


As I said above, I'm hoping the vast experience you have all had with the game by this point will provide guidance on which house rules have worked well for you. Thanks!





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#2 subochre



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Posted 14 December 2013 - 05:22 PM

Well, if I were to recommend any, they'd be your 1 and 2.  A lot of the rest are ultimately matters of taste, and I'm generally of the opinion that one should get a sense of the game more or less as intended before deciding what to change about it.  (For that matter, even having an overpowered Broadcast Square only becomes a problem once your players figure out how useful it is and start abusing it.) 


Regarding lead placement, it's worth emphasizing that under normal circumstances, the placing player will be the last one to get a shot at that lead, so making them place it farther away usually just puts it more directly into other players' hands.  As for the conspiracy, yeah some people definitely think it's too valuable--personally, I disagree--but those groups that find themselves caught up in a conspiracy rush usually do so for the bingo VPs, so if your group ends up in a similar dynamic, I'd recommend 7c as the most direct response.  7b probably isn't a good idea, as favors are pretty well balanced as is.  As for Raymond, using all the memory cards is a reasonable tweak in principle, but Raymond is so hard for new players, he probably won't need it just yet; hell, you might just want to leave him in the box and stick with the other characters for your first game

#3 instinctive



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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:47 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Maybe we'll keep the Conspiracy as is for now, and I'll share what I've heard on the forums and we'll see how it plays out. And a good point about placing leads, probably I'll leave that as is as well.


For detectives, I was thinking of leaving Caprice in the box because all the "look at cards" events seem like they would really really slow the game down when none of us has played before, so we don't know the cards. And for her dark cards, we don't know the plots to name. Her character seems to require pretty good meta-knowledge about the game.

Edited by instinctive, 15 December 2013 - 10:49 PM.

#4 subochre



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Posted 16 December 2013 - 07:56 PM

Hm, good point...even apart from the question of card knowledge, Caprice is definitely The Other Tricky One (though for her "name a plot" dark cards, we usually just refer to them as "[Detective], Green/Blue/Orange," so the only thing to remember there is that Raymond doesn't have any orange cards).

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