I played it once at 5 players, and missed the rule about keeping a single token between each round. This is an analysis of the difference and I want to discuss the variants with you all to see potential for a house rule for a better game design. This meant that each player bluffed at least once every round and it was very fun and dramatic. Also almost the entire pool was used for each player rather than having lots of the pool unused after the game, making it less about RNG luck and more about good bluffings. I was abit frustrated that there even was a single token left in the pool after the game since it was a raid or diplomacy token for some players that never saw light of action, the game was amazing but that feel was the worst for the session. The standard intended variant of the game must have 6 tokens left in the pool after a game, which could potentially all be the best tokens in the game, even the Clan specific one, must be boring to not be able to experience them during a full game.Now that I see that players always keep a single token between rounds I cant see many scenarios where I would want to use a bluff token, carry over an army to next round is almost always wasted opportunity, one can always make use of armies, navies and everything to bolster and attack.Saving a combat token to next round means that one does not use real power that might achieve progress, using the bluff token does not only deny power to one self this turn but even the next turn since one loses additional potential tokens, a token that might have been the best token over all.Regarding Clan balance: Also Dragon Clan Ability to throw back a token into the pool can be used more interestingly when most tokens are drawn during a game, since there is such a risk to throw back a strong token if it might never be drawn again. Still I as Dragon Clan never used the ability in such a way, I always drafted for stronger tokens.Lions Clan Ability seems to be way better when using all of the tokens each round. I dident notice the effect tho, maybe since Lion Clan fought all other players during my game, but all clans did the same and most ended up with a similar score. 6 token each round variant(30turns over 5 rounds):
-All Bluff tokens are used each round, adds lots of drama and excitement.
-Less RNG and more skill based play. Most tokens will be drawn over 5 rounds, with only 1 remaining in the pool after 5 rounds, this remaining token might still be a Diplomacy or Raid which is unfortunate, still less unfortunate than if 6 tokens were remaining in the pool.
-Larger chance to experience your own Clan unique token when you play the game, brings more flavor to the game
-Dragon Clan can viably use its ability more interestingly, to draft away strong token back into the pool with a likely chance to draw it again later rounds. Cons -If tokens like Diplomacy or Raid is drawn it cannot be saved to later rounds, Its very likely they will have use every round since there are more tokens out as well each round. And this Con can be fixed with the option for a clan to be able to pass during placement, allowing a carry over as in a standard game.
-Lion Clan seems to be way better off in this variant and might be OP. 5 tokens each round with 1 Carry over (original variant with 25 turns):
-If tokens like Diplomacy or Raid is drawn it can be saved to later rounds. Cons
-RNG, several tokens will never be drawn, if Diplomacy and Raid token is never drawn its very damaging and also less interesting choices. 1 or more unique Clan token are likely to never show up during the game, which are reasons one wants to try a certain clan. -Dragon Clan should not use its ability to draft away strong token back into the pool, since several tokens will never be drawn at all. Best to draft for a better hand right in the moment. Other
-The game will be shorter with 25 turns rather than 30, but that is neither a clear con nor a pro.