Posted by: gschloesser | December 1, 1971

Carolus Magnus

This Year 2000 Spiel des Jahre finalist has received some criticism due to the luck factor involved in the dice rolling.  Two variants have been suggested to help alleviate or minimize this luck factor.

Carolus Magnus is a suprisingly different game designed by Leo Colovini and released by Winning Moves.  The mechanism of gaining the majority in various territories has been used in innumerable other games.  However, Colovini has given it a clever twist and added some other mechanisms which has resulted in a refreshingly different gaming experience.

Still, the game has its detractors.  Many claim that the dice rolling to determine the colored cubes players acquire each round is too heavily luck based and effectively ruins the game.  So, for those purists who would like to minimize this luck factor (although not entirely eliminate it), the following two variants have been proposed:

1) Ed Bonet suggests allowing the player rolling the dice to substitute a “crown” result for any one of the colors he has rolled.  If one or more crowns were already rolled, no substitutions are allowed.

Ed has played with this method and has found the results quite satisfactory.

2)  Bruno Faidutti, game designer extraordinaire (Ohne Furcht und Adel, Valley of the Mammoths, DemoCrazy, etc.) suggests that players roll the dice at the beginning of their turn, but actually take the cubes at the end of their turn.  Thus, players can plan accordingly, armed with the knowledge of which cubes they will be receiving at the end of their turn.

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