Friday, April 07, 2006

Fluxx

Fluxx is a great mellow game. If you're not familiar, you start with a basic rule (draw 1 card, play 1 card), and you can play new rules (from drawing and playing more cards, to randomly playing cards, to getting bonus's for certain game conditions, and so forth) in addition to goals and the cards you need to fulfill the current goal and win the game. The problem with it is that playing it is way more fun than winning it. You only need a combination of three cards (in general) to win the game, and the chances of having the right three cards at any given time are fairly random. So play consists of playing crazy rules and shtuff, and then at some point someone will be all "I win!"

The issue, I think, is two-fold. First is that player skill has very little to do with who wins. The second is that there is no way to effect someone else on their turn in order to keep them from winning if they have the right cards. So, you have a situation where the stated goal of play (winning the game) is at odds with the fun part of the game (playing crazy rule combinations).

Lesson? The goal of play and the fun part of play should at least have synergy and feed into each other. Ability to affect each other on a strategic level is necessary for challenge.

I'm thinking of house-ruling (heh) and playing where you keep a goal when you win it, but the game continues until the last card is drawn, and the person with the most goals wins. I want to see if this makes it into a more fulfilling game for my play preferances.

[Edit]

So, I've played a couple of games with my house rules, and I do indeed find it more fun. The changes are as follows:

Play normally. When you would win the game, instead take that Goal and place it on your side, out of play. Continue playing normally. The game ends at the end of the turn in which the last card is drawn out of the deck. Whoever has the most Goals on their side wins. Break ties by number of Keepers, and then by cards in hand.

To avoid an "infinite deck" combo, the card that reshuffles the discard into the draw pile is placed out of play once it is played. Or, hell, keep it in and prepare to be in for the long haul.

Alternately, you reshuffle the deck as per normal when you run out, and you set a number of Goals (5 is good) that you need in order to win. Whoever wins that number of Goals first wins the game.

It's totally still not a serious strategy game, but it does give an element of player-vs-player challenge that I find engaging.

Comments:
"player skill has very little to do with who wins."

Not true. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/105929
 
Hey Marc,

Thanks for the link! Very interesting, as far as it goes. I would say, though, that based on my experience playing with 3-5 people for any given game, the effects of everyone playing "tactically" at the same time tends to average out, making cards drawn just as important a factor. And the amount of player skill it takes to decide to play the Keeper that will win you the game rather than any other card in your hand is a very low threshold.
 
the effects of everyone playing "tactically" at the same time tends to average out...

You're absolutely correct.

I really like your house rules, in the update above. We'll be sure to give those a shot next time Fluxx comes out...
 
Cool. Lemme know how it goes.
 
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