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Distinct and upsidedown planets.


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#1 crimhead

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 01:24 AM

As I'm sure we've all noticed, each planet has a back and a front and each set of planets has five distinct fronts.  I'm sure there is a variant to come which takes advantage of this.  Does anybody know any old school rules or famous house rules that use a similar mechanic?  Any wild guesses?

The five categories of planets remind me a bit of the five classes of moons.  I suspect all planets will begin face down and when you conquer a planet you you turn it face up.  Then I'm not to sure.  There could be five decks of small powers and effects much like the moons - draw from the appropriate deck when you reveal the planet.  Or maybe no deck, but rather one prespecified imbued power for each planet type.  Possibly this would replace actual moons.  Maybe FFG thinks moons are to distracting from the main objective.

I can't wait to see what they've got up their sleeves! 



#2 Adam

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:14 AM

I really doubt this will ever be used in any functional way.  Seems like it is just for aesthetic purposes.  They are way too difficult to tell apart from across the table, especially when ships are covering up most of the surface area.  Would be a neat concept though.



#3 crimhead

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:42 AM

If they work like I say, you won't need to distinguish them at a glance.  You give a detailed look when they're first exposed and then the main offensive player draws an ability for the appropriate geotype.



#4 Just_a_Bill

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 03:25 AM

Adam said:

I really doubt this will ever be used in any functional way.  Seems like it is just for aesthetic purposes.  They are way too difficult to tell apart from across the table, especially when ships are covering up most of the surface area.

Have to agree there.  Tops are different for visual appeal; bottoms are the same (and not full color) to minimize production cost.  End of story.

The idea is interesting, but starting with all the planets face-down would make for a less attractive table layout. Plus, these components take some physical punishment over time (dents from ships, dings from being dropped and rolling off the table), and would easily become "marked".  I also suspect that the registration is not as tighly controlled (or controllable) on the cardboard components as it is on the card backs, so differences in margin or concentricity would also be a tip-off.

I wouldn't want to see players fighting over colors because you can tell what the backs are on three of the green planets, while the red ones still all mostly look the same.  And, unlike worn cards, worn planets could not be fixed with upaque sleeves.



#5 crimhead

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 12:06 AM

Adam said:

I really doubt this will ever be used in any functional way.  Seems like it is just for aesthetic purposes.  They are way too difficult to tell apart from across the table, especially when ships are covering up most of the surface area.  Would be a neat concept though.

Just_a_Bill said:

The idea is interesting, but starting with all the planets face-down would make for a less attractive table layout.

You can't both be right - the background colours can't be both difficult to distinguish and essential for aesthetics.  I don't imagine you've ever actually paid much attention before I sure hadn't.  But I tested it yesterday, and I challenge you both to do the same.

We played last night, and I made a point of trying to notice planet surfaces.  First of all it was easy to distinguish the various faces - even from across the table - with minimal effort and attention.  Second, some players had there planets mixed some face up and some face down.  This also required a minimal amount (but more than no amount) of effort and attention to notice.  Conclusion?  The surface are easy to discern if you try to, yet the backs are easy not to notice if you aren't trying.

As for the backs becoming marked, isn't this the same way moons were handled?  I don't see how this would be worse than moons.  Regardless, the planets don't have to start face down in order to utilise the colour distinctions.  They can start face up, and offer a one time effect that you activate by turning face down.  Or you could start with extra abilities and lose them as you lose home colonies on corresponding planet types.  Or simply leave them face up, and make the rule that win with a one foreign of each geo-type.  The later makes for a longer game but also more interesting ally dynamics and ship stacking tactics.

There is lots could be done with these planet faces - both official and house.

Just_a_Bill said:

Have to agree there. Tops are different for visual appeal; bottoms are the same (and not full color) to minimize production cost. End of story.

 

Sounds like speculation to me.  Personally I'm inclined to think the faces are different for a (mechanical) reason, otherwise why not make the faces all the same to minimise production cost?  Like adam points out,  you don't notice these unless at a glance.  Time will tell.

 



#6 Just_a_Bill

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 11:07 AM

crimhead said:

You can't both be right - the background colours can't be both difficult to distinguish and essential for aesthetics.  I don't imagine you've ever actually paid much attention before I sure hadn't.  But I tested it yesterday, and I challenge you both to do the same.

Who said they were essential for aesthetics? I only said the table would be "less attractive" (mainly because you'd be switching from four-color to duotones). And yes we certainly can both be right: "difficult to distinguish across the table" is not mutually exclusive with "more attractive than the flipsides".

crimhead said:

As for the backs becoming marked, isn't this the same way moons were handled?

Apples and oranges. There are 100 moons but only 5 planets per color. Moons get occasional use; planets get constant use. Moons hold far fewer ships on average.  Nobody uses moons in every game.

But regardless, some moons are marked!

crimhead said:

Sounds like speculation to me.  Personally I'm inclined to think the faces are different for a (mechanical) reason

Sounds like speculation to me. ;-)



#7 The Warp

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 03:29 PM

There was no plan for the different sides of the planets.  That shouldn't stop people from coming up with some.

redamedia.com/warp/altplanet.php



#8 crimhead

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 10:58 PM

Just_a_Bill said:

 

Who said they were essential for aesthetics? I only said the table would be "less attractive" (mainly because you'd be switching from four-color to duotones). And yes we certainly can both be right: "difficult to distinguish across the table" is not mutually exclusive with "more attractive than the flipsides".

The planets are only more attractive to the extent that those extra colours are actually noticed.  If they are noticed for their good looks they are as easily noticed for game mechanics (easier even as we look for game mechanic indicators).

@ Jack - way to burst my bubble!  Thanks for the clarification and the link though.






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