Author Topic: Gathering Wind Roses (Die Windrosen) Info from the Four Corners of the Earth...  (Read 97 times)

Offline kothmann

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I just got the 6-tile Wind Roses mini expansion and have been researching everything there is to know about the tiles, the gameplay, and especially Variants.

WikiCarpedia has the tiles (below) and the official rules, which are very simple: 3 points at time of placement of a Rose tile if placed in the quadrant shown on the tile, with quadrants initially defined by the orange start tile and then by the blue rose after it is placed.  There is only one set of official rules, but there are two versions of the tile art: HiG with German compass directions N-O-S-W; and Spielbox with only N-S directions:

Let's start with the most relevant links I found:

  • 2012-Sep-28: Breaking news of the initial release.
  • 2013-Jul-13: Die Windrosen: Original + Extras (Expansion) Twelve additional beautiful PnP Wind Rose tiles.  Thread includes a River Wind Rose tile as well!
  • 2013-Sep-18: Go with the Wind (Variant) Requires meeples to be placed in the quadrant of the most recently placed Rose.  Development history is fascinating, as documented here and here.
  • 2013-Nov-16: Barbarian Report (Review) Informative early review.
  • 2014-Oct-10: Mixing Spielbox & Cundco Versions (Variant)  Some novel rules for using both versions of the tiles at the same time.
  • 2015-Feb-22: The Explorers (Variant) The Roses become features that are occupied by an Explorer meeple who stays in place until the end of the game, earning one point for each tile placed in the corresponding quadrant.
  • 2015-May-15: Element of the Week #36 General discussion of how users play with the Roses.  Favorite observation: the official rules award points with no relation to meeples!
  • 2016-Feb-20: Unnamed (Variant)  A feature completed in the active quadrant earns a 3-point bonus.  This was a delayed post within the brainstorming thread that culminated in Go with the Wind (link above).  It wasn't really a clear set of rules as much as an idea for further exploration.
  • 2016-Feb-26: Campaign Report (Session Report) "Windroses is an expansion in desperate need of a rules boost..." Interesting play-test report on the Unnamed variant (above), which did not to work well in a small (50-tile) game.
  • 2016-Feb-29: Completionism Poll  Lots of users provided interesting comments about this expansion.
  • 2016-Apr-15: Favouritism Poll #5: Start Tile Great argument that the Orange Wind Rose is the best start tile.
  • 2017-Sep-05: True North (Variant)  Rose tiles must be placed in an orientation with north actually pointing north!  The novel mechanic that follows placement of each Rose is a special round in which each player may move a meeple onto a different feature in the corresponding quadrant of the landscape, (even if that feature is occupied).  There are many fascinating user comments and even a couple of play-test reports (on page 2).
  • 2021-12-19: Windrose Quadrants (Variant) Points or "one-time phantom" awarded for meeple majority in the quadrant defined by the Rose at the time of placement.  More of a musing than a variant? But it is simple and novel.
  • 2021-12-29: Geodetic Roses (Variant) Adds or Subtracts 5 points from completed features that include the active wind rose tile, based on whether the tile was placed in the correct orientation and quadrant.  (I developed this one after the original post here.)

There seems to be more or less unanimous agreement that the tiles are lovely, but the official rules are "rubbish", and all of the variants abandon the weak incentive to place the rose tiles in the quadrant depicted on the tile.  Most people seem to like the elegance and simplicity of the expansion, and none of the variants requires additional tiles, tokens or other elements.

Many of the variants (Go with the Wind, Explorers, Unnamed) preserve the official notion that quadrants are defined by the orange start tile, until it is usurped by the blue rose, with new rules relating to placement of meeples, or of tiles, or scoring of completed features, respectively, within the active quadrant.  These variants all extend the action beyond the turn when the rose tile is placed.

Two variants (True North, Quadrants) define quadrants relative to the position and orientation of each successive rose tile, and retain the official mechanic that all action happens at the time of placement.

One very interesting idea, initially suggested in the Unnamed variant and formalized in True North, mandates that rose tiles always be placed with north aligned to the original direction of north on the orange start tile.  This is certainly thematically and aesthetically pleasing: a true wind rose shows the variation of typical wind speed with direction, and thus would have a fixed sense of "north", and the landscape looks great when the roses are aligned.  One difficulty with this approach is that, particularly early in the game, there may be only one or two--sometimes zero--legal placements of a rose, resulting in more frustration than fun, although the problem seems to be ameliorated in games with a lot (120+?) of tiles.  See the here, here, and here for more discussion.

It appears that the rose quadrant tiles were not designed to support consistent orientation, because they all have a city on the north edge and a field on the east edge.  So, in a typical early game setup, there may be only one or two (sometimes zero!) compatible locations for a tile that is properly aligned.  Here is a photo of a 3-player game at the point when a first rose might be drawn, illustrating the challenge:

I'm still playing with all of these ideas in search of a favorite way to use these beautiful tiles.

Would love to hear of other thoughts, links I missed, and especially good (or bad) variants or even just house rules that may never have been shared with the world...

« Last Edit: December 29, 2021, 02:28:29 PM by kothmann, Reason: Added Geodetic Roses »

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