The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Air Baron Advanced Variant

I’ve been playing games of “Semi-advanced” Air Baron with The Boy. (We don’t use the events, but do use the Government Contract). I like the events in theory, but they drag the game out….there are a few reasons:

  • Every time you draw an event chit, there’s no payout. By the end of the game, the average chit only pays a few dollars , but the hubs pay out up to 24 and the foreigns pay out up to 40. Jumbo profits? As much as 30 per player. But you’ve added  up to 5 “zero” value chits.
  • The random events all suck out money, which exacerbates the problem.
  • Because people are afraid of horrible events, they tend to have a loan or two (instead of running out of cash), which ties up money in interest.

So I’m proposing the following variant.

  1. Loans can be taken out an any time.
  2. Loans can also be advanced (If you have a $10 loan, you can go to a $20 loan before paying out).
  3. The most loans you can normally take out is the loan value of your market share, plus $10 if somebody can take out a higher loan.  However, If you need money for a random event, the government will step in to let you take a loan higher than your market share (but only then). Interest must be paid in your turn, as normal.
  4. If you bankrupt, you lose 1 turn for each $10 you had out, when it resets to zero. Then you can come back in.
  5. The event chits are modified as follows —
  6. Crash — The most you can lose in a crash is 10% of your market share.
  7. Fuel Price Fluctuates — Roll a d6. On a 5-6 the fuel prices falls, and each player GAINS 10% of their market share in value. Otherwise, the price rises and people pay 10% of their market share. [Yes, this is somewhat random; but this chit on average punishes market share but now only 1/3rd as much … and this can end the game when a boom hits].
  8. Local Competition — When you draw this chit, the drawing player gains a Market Research cube (use whatever token you like). You can spend a cube during any takeover attempt to reroll your roll or force your opponent to reroll. (You must be the attacker or defender. Players may not spend  market research if they are not involved). A bankrupt player loses market research cubes.
  9. Recession — As normal, but the end of game conditions are permanently lowered by $10 at the end of the turn (after the last player’s victory check).
  10. Strike — A player with less than half the leader’s market share will not be hit by a strike. Otherwise, as normal.

Super advanced variant — You can use the blanks to make new events, even a few events would change the game radically, since one or more events wouldn’t show up each time. (Or you could make them happen every $40).

Proposed events:

  1. Economy booms Pays out $$ equal to current government contract to each player.
  2. Foreign Trouble — The next foreign chip drawn does not pay out.
  3. Interest Rates spike — All players must immediately pay interest right now.

With 8 events, each game would have a different economic feel, some would be longer, some slower. I hope to try this soon. Been playing a lot of Air Baron recently and it can use a bit more variety … just not at the cost of an hour or two.


Written by taogaming

June 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Posted in Variants

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  1. I’ll print this out and try the altered base 5 this weekend. I haven’t played with them yet (only 2 games) because the kids planning ability hasn’t developed enough. These look nicely calmed down.


    June 7, 2012 at 7:48 am

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