I've enjoyed Balloon Cup quite a bit, though I feel there may be a bit more luck than it initially seems, and certainly more than some other flag influence games
. That's ok with me though. It's fun, and there is some opportunity for clever play. It's been pointed out that the whole mountains/plain flipping thing is artificial and irrelevant since you can play cards on either side. The mountains/plains thing isn't 100% irrelevant because of this rule, but it's really close. Supposedly, it is because of a change to the rules in the development of the game. Hearing about this change, coupled with the other change (3-for-one exchange), I decided to try the game by the "undeveloped" rules. Those being:
- Once a balloon of a color has been claimed, any further cubes in that color have no value. There is no 3-for-one exchange.
- You may only play cards on your own side of a particular "flag", until your side is filled up, at which point you may play on your opponents side.
It's still fun, and it's definitely a little different, as a hand full of extremely high or extremely low cards isn't always a good thing. I'm not sure how different it is, as the game still felt fun and light and seemed to come down to a bit of luck, but I'll play it again under the variant.
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