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This was a bit of a disaster, as you can probably see from the photo of the board at the end of the game here. But it's good to shake things up, try some different rules, even if they fail.
Trying to lower the score for 2 and 3 player games, this was too far. The only way to buy anything was to die. And with the third and fourth slots the same, items were either scored at the top, or the middle.
Glass Gems as Claim Markers
These were supposed to be shiny and pretty, but in reality they were just hard to see (again, look at the photo).
Wounded Animals Flee 1 Space (diagonal OK)
This didn't come up that I remember, we'll try it again. A little funky only having diagonal movement in one place in the rules, but easier to describe than the whole "move 2 spaces if possible, otherwise 1, only pass through empty spaces" mess.
2 Player Board Setup with 3 Players
Tried the tighter board setup, with mountains surrounding the village in a corner, that had been intended for 2 players. Now that we don't have to leave room for everyone to compete for Largest Territory, a nastier setup like this might work.
The only goal of note this time was Over the Harvest Moon, which is a really cool idea pulled from hearts/spades to have a player try to get only Gather points. Aside from being way off with the village track (impossible to achieve) it really messed with the game. I played it, so I ran around just trying to gather things, ignoring Rabbits, Deer, etc. It raced the end of the game, making it unsatisfying.
To Try Next
- Same board setup - this might be right for 3 players, but this test was so off it's hard to tell.
- Village: 1-2-2-3-4 - I tried this out in a solo "2 player" game, it worked well.
- Try the "Harvest Moon" approach as a legitimate tactic, gathering tons of information about the board.
- Wounded animals flee 1 space (diagonal OK)