The problem I see with many 2 player variants is that the master has something to gain if the player doesn't guess the rule soon. This encourages the use of very difficult rules. The only solution I see is to create cards with rules and classify them in difficulty levels. Before the round starts the players then agree on a level and choose (or randomly take) a card from that level...
Otherwise, I like the variant. Playing for points might be fun too...
On Jan 11, 2008 11:25 PM, Guy Srinivasan <srinivgp@xxxxxxxxx
I know there are several 2 player Zendo variants up at various places, but nothing I found meets my requirements. Here are my requirements and a first draft to meet them:
a) There is a Master and a Student for each rule. Almost certainly the two people playing will switch roles for each rule and some kind of currency, probably points, will stay with players over multiple rules.
b) The rules should encourage the Student to correctly guess the rule as soon as possible.
c) The rules should strongly discourage situations in which the Student takes many, many examples/guesses to figure out the rule and gets frustrated.
d) The rules should encourage the Master to know beforehand how easy or hard her rule actually is.
My first draft:
Players alternate being Master and Student, and keep a running total of points throughout play. The current Master writes a standard Zendo rule and an integer, 10+, both hidden. This number is her guess at how many turns the Student will need to guess the rule, and actually represents a range. If the chosen number is X, the range is X through X+X/5. So 10-12, 11-13, 12-14, 13-15, 14-16, 15-18, 16-19, ... 20-24, etc. Play as in normal Zendo except that the Student has as many guessing stones as desired. The Student either builds a sculpture and asks that it be marked, or guesses a rule that the Master must find a counter-example to. Either counts as a turn. If the Student takes a number of turns less than specified by the Master's range, she gains +3 points. If the Student takes a number of turns within the Master's range, the Master gains +10 points. If the Student goes over the range, the Master gains +1 point.
This was fun, but it's a little sad that Mondo is missing, and the point values and range values can undoubtedly be tweaked. Thoughts?
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