Saturday, 1 November 2008

rules blunders

Maybe I should even call these royal blunders. Not that they are so severe that they make the game unplayable or make the gameplay experience very bad. Royal because I have played the games very many times (more than 150 games of Race for the Galaxy, and more than 200 games of Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper), and only now I realise my errors.

In the advanced 2-player game of Race for the Galaxy, if my opponent chooses 2 develop action, and I choose 1 or none, I still can do development twice, just that if I have chosen 1 develop action, then I only get the discount for the first development, and if I have chosen none, then I don't get any discount for either development. In the past I have always thought I was only allowed to do one development. Oops. The same principle applies to the settle action, which I have played wrong for more than 150 games. Now that I realise this, the game is even faster! If one player chooses 2 develop and the other chooses 2 settle, then there can be 4 cards added to one's tableau in one round.

Even when playing with this rule mistake, Race for the Galaxy already often feels quick, and indeed a race. Now it will be even quicker. Not that I mind. Indeed sometimes when your early card draws are bad, or you make the wrong call, deciding to pursue one strategy but keep getting cards that are not useful after you have made that decision, any effort will seem rather futile because there is nothing you can do to stop your opponent who has raced ahead. However, I find that Race for the Galaxy has many interesting decisions, and it's all about how to make the best out of what cards you draw. There are many options for you. So I don't mind being occasionally screwed by bad luck.

Now that Michelle and I have discovered this rule error, we find it has added some additional excitement to our games. Now we have to be even more careful of speed play, and we are watchful for opportunities for speed play ourselves. Interesting!

The other royal blunder, for Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper, is for a rarer situation, but I think it can mean the difference between victory and defeat. When you use a Scene card (a gavel card) to get a card from the discard pile, if that card you pick is a gavel card too, you can play it immediately. This is an exception from the rule of one gavel card per player turn. I have not played Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper after discovering this blunder. I wonder how big a difference this will make to our game.

I hope I didn't miss any rules for the other games which I have played more than 100 times - Carcassonne and Ticket To Ride.


Aik Yong said...

haha, the Race blunder isn't too bad... develop+settle strategies are still slow compared to consume-produce.

For me, I have rules problem with a game like 18xx or TI3... by the 5th or 6th game, you are still not playing correctly due to the huge number of rules and exceptions...

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Turns out this RFTG blunder does make quite a different to my games. The pace is noticably faster, and the games are more exciting. But indeed, consume-produce is still the strongest strategy if you can pull it off.