Talk:Tower War

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Had fun with Tower War this evening. Here are some quick questions:

1) Skirmishes: a) If the skirmish is a tie, what happens? The way we played it, nothing much. No one has to play a pyramid (the deficit to be made up by the loser of the battle). b) Is it illegal to play a Joker in the first skirmish of a battle? If not, what is its value?

2) Battles: Do you still use the shared suit multiplication scoring when totalling for battle scores? (We did.)

3) Exhausting the deck: a) Do you pick up your discard pile and use it if you reach the end of your deck? (We did.) b) If so, do you shuffle? (We didn't.) If not, what do you do?

Aquarius Rising uses four-pyramid supports as a matter of course, and its houses are surprisingly stable. The three-pyramid supports of Tower War make much more fragile structures, so that the dexterity element was more critical than I had expected it to be. We had more games lost through Tower-tipping than otherwise, although exhausting a given size of pyramid was the next most pressing threat. The "Advanced Drafting Rules" definitely made for a better game. --Carthoris 01:19, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

1a) You played this correctly. No one adds a pyramid if there's a tie.
1b) You can't play a joker in the first skirmish of a battle.
2) Right, shared suits are still multiplied when determining the winner of the battle.
3) When you need to draw and the deck is empty, you reshuffle your discard pile and it becomes your new deck.
Thanks for the comments! I'll edit the rules to add in the bits I left out. I'm glad to hear you like the game. Your experience closely mirrors mine, with the only difference being that my towers don't collapse as often. That's entirely due to the fact that most of the games I've played were teaching games using the basic drafting rules, though. The extra levels the tower gains due to the extra stash from the advanced rules make a huge difference in stability. I completely agree that the advanced rules make for a better game. - brilk 02:28, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Here's another: I just noticed that we did advanced drafting "wrong." We added third-stash pyramids to either or both of the piles. That seemed to work well enough. Is there a reason why pyramids should only be added to one of the piles, as indicated in the rules? --Carthoris 16:30, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Adding pyramids to a pile is a balancing mechanic for the cards. If you're adding pyramids to both sides, it's no longer just about balancing the cards. It's also about which pyramids are more valuable than which other pyramids, depending on how many pyramids of each size each player has drafted. I don't think that the difference in value between a large and a medium pyramid for each player will ever be notable enough that it's actually a relevant decision in the draft. It adds extra complexity to the game without adding any value.
As with anything, though, feel free to house rule it however you wish. The only real effect of adding pyramids to both sides is that you burn through the third stash faster, so it's not like it breaks the game or anything. - brilk 18:07, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
It can burn through the third stash faster, if the leading player loads the draft that way. But here's why it seemed useful to me: If player two decides to take the pyramid-laden pile every time, player one can put pyramids on both, to ensure that he gets some himself.
I understand that player one is trying to create a balance between the two piles, so as to be satisfied with the "leavings." That can be done with cards alone, so once there are pyramids in the mix, why not let them complicate both sides of the "equation"?
On a related note, we played that the players had to keep their pyramid supplies visible, but the alternative has merits too. You might want to make an explicit rule about that one way or the other. --Carthoris 18:43, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't think you understood my last response, so I'll try to go into a bit more detail here. Like I said, though, this is not something that breaks the game and you should just play however you want.

"It can burn through the third stash faster, if the leading player loads the draft that way."

Adding a pyramid to both piles has the same balancing effect as adding no pyramids to either pile. That's my point when I say that doing so burns through the third stash faster. You're essentially just handing each player extra pyramids at various points during the draft.

If player two decides to take the pyramid card every time, player one can put pyramids on both, to ensure that he gets some himself.

The whole point of adding pyramids is that one player gets better cards while the other gets extra pyramids. The player with better cards will win more skirmishes in the war, thus will end up adding fewer pyramids to the tower. A player has no need to get extra pyramids if he is already getting superior cards.

I understand that player one is trying to create a balance between the two piles, so as to be satisfied with the "leavings." That can be done with cards alone, so once there are pyramids in the mix, why not let them complicate both sides of the "equation"?

I've seen quite a few sets of five cards that couldn't turn into a balanced split. I'm actually perfectly fine with that, since it's one of the things that keeps the game interesting. The goal of the extra pyramids isn't just to make things even on each side of the split, though. They're also used as incentive to get your opponent to take a pile so that you can get two more hearts, or for various other reasons that should become obvious with more play.

Adding pyramids to both sides doesn't really complicate things or add any interesting decisions. As I explained in my previous response, a small on one side has essentially the same value as a large on the other. Unless your goal is simply to increase the number of pyramids in each player's stash, you're better off only adding pyramids to one pile.

- brilk 22:42, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

A player has no need to get extra pyramids if he is already getting superior cards.
Point taken. --Carthoris 20:32, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Since a Joker is an "exact copy" of a previously-played card in that skirmish, does it provide the protection of "doubles"? (I had previously played "no," but the question just occurred to me, and would be good to clarify either way.) --Carthoris 23:57, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, using a joker counts for doubles. - brilk 16:09, 12 April 2012 (UTC)