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Rules Suggestion: Strada Romana

Posted by Eisley on 11th November 2009

In my review about Strada Romana, I mentioned that I had some thoughts on how the two-player game may be better with a different scoring system and said I would post them here.

The main scoring mechanism is the number of different completed contracts multiplied by the most completed contracts of any one colour. So, that’s (number of different) x (most of one).

In our 2-player game, this system meant we both immediately grabbed one of each colour (to maximise one aspect of the score) and then focussed on collecting one (or two) colours. It was easy to get one of each colour because the other player can’t grab enough to stop you.

By grabbing one of each immediately, each contract in the one (or two) colours we were primarily collecting were worth 6 points each. Collecting any other colours were worth nothing (apart from potentially hindering the opponent). As the colours we were primarily collecting were different, we both racked up a load of points. We did try to collect each other’s colours too to reduce their points, but the opportunities can be small as it depends on what’s on the board.

I can see that with more than 2 players, players will fight over the colours more and it would be harder to collect a full set of different colours; however, with two players it’s easy to get one of each so you specialise in one colour and there’s little point collecting other colours. This, in turn, means interaction is low as you’re not competing for colours much.

One thing we would do differently next time is maybe grab cubes or tiles on the colour the opponent is going for because making it impossible for the opponent to get the completed contracts they want maybe worth the minus points for owning them ourselves.

However, we both thought a scoring mechanism more like (Genial/Ingenious) may make it more competitive for two-player games. That method of scoring is calculated based on the number of full sets (i.e. one of each colour) of completed contracts. So, if you have 2 red, 4 green, 3 yellow, 5 white, 3 brown and 1 blue, then you only have 1 complete set. We thought maybe 5 points for each set.

It may even be better to give points for each set of 5 different colours (so a player who grabs all of one colour can’t easily lock the other player out from getting a full set). This could be instead of, or maybe in addition to, the 5 points for each set.

So, in summary, either:

    6 points for each set of 6 different colours
    or 
    5 points for each set of 5 different colours
    or
    5 points for each set of 6 different colours
    plus 3 points for each set of 5 different colours

We thought this might be a better scoring mechanism for two-players as it would increase the competition over different colours and make all complete contracts important (rather than having some collectable but worth nothing).

I posted these thoughts on BoardGameGeek and the game’s designer contacted me to say he would take a look at them which was really nice.

Anyone have any thoughts?

James.

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