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Yet another variant - Imperial strategy and ties to leaders


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#1 Harel

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 08:19 PM

My gaming buddies and I have never been happy with the Imperial strategy card, not even the two new offers in the expansion. None of the alternatives seems right - victory points and objectives should be seperated from the strategy cards in my eyes to avoid game-breaking and possible balance issues (I know many won't agree, and I indeed see the interest in having the imperial strategy card allow you to complete several objectives, but that's only good for the later stages of the game). We play with a mix of the old and new strategy cards and we really feel the best thing was to add another sort of resource - another thing you can buy/hoard, like technology,trade, tokens, and so on.

I came up with the idea of some changes to the leaders add on and tying it with the ISC. Here is my alternative rule:

ICS, main objective:

You may recruit one of your leaders from your reinforcement and place it on any one of your planets that has a space dock. You may spend six influence to recruit yet another additional leader. You may place this second leader in the same planet or any other planet with a space dock of your choice.

Secondary objective:

You may spend one token and four influence to recruit one of your leaders from your reinforcement and place it on any one of your planets that has a space dock.

In addition, the following changes to the leader game variants apply:

* All players start with no leaders.

* All leaders die automatically and are returned to the reinforcements without any dice roll. This applies if a ship that carries a leader is destroyed at any time, if a leader is found on a planet that has been succesfully invaded, or in the case of an agent, if it was sacrificed to act as a sabotage.

* Leaders can not be captured, that sub-rule is cancelled.

 

We have been playing with this variant for a while and it seems to be working, however I am still pondering game balance issues and influence cost. I would be very happy if people can try this rule and let me know what they think.



#2 Ugluk

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:50 PM

I personally against any mode that make someone Hire, or Resuscitate Agent Leader.

 

I don't see the point of commencing the game with no Leader.



#3 BigKahuna

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 11:36 PM

I think this version while certainly inspiringly fresh has some balance issues.

 

There are a number potential exploits but one that comes to mind right away would be the resurgance of secret agents. I tink that the sabatoge action card is without question the most useful cards in the game, secret agents which are effecitvly sabotage cards are probobly the second best leader (next to diplomat in my opinion) as a result. The idea that races that have secret agents would effectivly have a fresh supply of sabatoges when ever they want to would severly complicate things for races that do not. Same would be true abou diplomats, they are so tough to eliminate from the game, to have them resurface would really suck fo races that dont have one.

I like where you are going with the idea though, I just don't think you can balance out the secondary by varying the cost of hiring leaders. Keep in my that this is an 8 initiative card so by that it should be the most beneficial card to the owner and have limited advantages as a secondary.

I would keep the primary as is, simply put you get a free leader.

For the secondary you might try something along the lines of.

"Pay 1 strategy allocation counter to retrive any leader from your re-enforcement and put him into play on one of your planets in your home system. Activate this system, if your home system is already activated you cannot use this secondary".

The idea here being that their is a cost to get your leader both from a tactical perspective as well as a literal cost. A player will have to seriously consider whether or not a leader is going to be that important.

With this card I would recommend that you start the players with at least 1 leader each or something rather then no leaders.

One more thing that I wanted to suggest. When it comes to leaders their is always conversation about their balance as it reflects on the race. I think what would be cool is if you could hire leaders from another players pool. An imperial card might look something like this.

Use the primary as written by the poster adding "From your re-enforcement pool or the re-enforcement pool of any player that you have a trade contract with.

The secondary would read.

Choose A or B

A . "Spend 1 strategy allocation counter and 3 influence add a leader from your re-enforcement pool or the re-enforcement pool of one of your opponents with whom you do not have a trade contract with.  Place this leader on a public objective that player has not yet achieved.  This leader does not count as being in anyones re-enforcements.

B. "Spend 3 influence to hire a leader that is on a public objective which you have completed.  Place this leader on your homeword"

Again in this case I would start everyone out with a leader of their choice at the start of the game and use your rools for leaders removed from play.
 

 

 

 



#4 Beren_Erchamion

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 08:58 AM

GAMEBREAKING PROBLEM:

 

Agents are essentially a sabotage. This allows a player to give himself a sabotage for free or by spending 4 or 6 influence. That has some serious balance issues. The Bureaucracy card is just fine in my opinion. Imperial I should never be used (burn it) and Imperial II is just fun once in a while, but contributes to "bubble victories."



#5 hantei40

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 12:07 PM

Beren_Erchamion said:

" Imperial I should never be used (burn it) "

It DOES make a good backing for custom printed strategy card stickers



#6 BigKahuna

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 09:43 AM

Not sure what happen to my first post but it seems to be blank so I will try this again.

The basic problem with leaders is that its yet another static balance issue for TI3.  Not all leaders are created equal, obviously some are better then others and because each race is assigned 3, this means that their leaders either improve, or hurt them.  The result is that while sometimes it works in the right direction, more often it just strengthens the already too strong resulting in the weakening of the already weak.

I would suggest approaching the variant from a fresh perspective by clearing the slate and find a way to solve the static problem with leaders.  Make it more dynamic, but avoid the pitfall of luck of the draw like Distunt Suns.

Try something like this perhaps.

First eliminate the 3 leaders per race and linking of 'race' and 'leaders'.  Another words take all the leaders and put them into a single baggy.  Start out by giving each player a random leader from the baggy and then use some form of mechanic with the Imperial card to put leaders in peoples hand.. Perhaps the primary gives a leader to the owner of the primary and the secondary starts some sort of bidding war for a second leader.

THen create a list of all the leaders in the game and give each one a unique ability.

For example

Vek:  As an action exhaust the planet which Vek is assigned to.  You may immediatly build 2 ground forces.

If each of the 40+ leaders had a unique ability and getting leaders was based on a imperial card primary and secondary it would create a situation in which gaining leaders wasnt about luck, but what leaders become available in the game would be based mostly on random chance.

Leaders would then take the center stage in the game and have an effect that is more like Master of Orion II (for those that have played it) then what it is now.

The impact would depend on the abilities but I can easily think of 40 unique and useful abilities that could be designed to speed the game up, so when creating abilities for the leaders I would avoid doing things that might slow the game up.

 

Just an idea.



#7 Beren_Erchamion

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 10:44 AM

If you need ideas for that, try jgbaxter's custom leaders on the wiki.



#8 Harel

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:29 PM

Thank you for all the comments. This variant card + rule seem to be working for us so far, so i thought i could address some of the concerns raised here.

To BigKahuna - We are all very much pro-racial differences in the game. We play with the race specific tech cards, and we feel the leaders make the races even more diverse and different. Yes, they are not all created equal but all are useful and it all complements to give a very different feel for every race. Your optional idea, while good, will require people to remember an inordinate amount of different leader abilities, I would for one am somewhat hesistant about it.

To Beren - Yes, spies are basically a sabotage card. A good point. However, consider this with me - In this mechanic, a player can get one new leader for free a turn. In contrast, a player who chooses a different strategy card to focus on action cards will get four cards this turn, and possibly even more with tech. It does change the balance of the game a bit, makes action cards a bit more risky, making the player give more thought and consideration whatever someone will use up their spy. However, it's not breaking the game balance, it's shifting it a bit. It seems to work for us. Also, the player who can get two spies are the Ysril who's entire idea is to play around with action cards, so it kinda makes sense and keeps the differences.

Your point however made us reconsider things and we added a small clause to spies that also makes a lot of sense:

A spy may only be sacrificed to sabotage a targeted action card (one that targets a specific unit or system) if the system or unit is in the system the spy, or adjcant.

This makes the positioning of the spy and tactical consideration about the use of cards more interesting.

To Ugluk - The reason players start with no leaders is so players will have a reason to use the imperial card even on the first turn.



#9 Tawnos76

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 02:25 AM

I have played with buying of extra Leaders now for a while both in PBeM games but much more often in FTF games.  The group I play with has some variant Strategy Cards and one lets you obtain a Religious Leaders for your race or a different normal Leader if you want.  While we keep the rule that you may never have more than 2 of any Type of normal Leader on the board so if you want another Admiral you can get one but 2 Admirals is your max and so forth for the other normal Leaders.  The Religious Leader is relegated to one per Race.  We took the 2 per race rule for the normal leaders based on the fact that the Xxcha and the Yssaril have 2 of the same type.  Diplomats and Agents are the 2 most usual recruited types but with the Letnev or L1z1x getting out both Admirals is a plus as well. 



#10 Beren_Erchamion

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:24 PM

That variant you did with the Agents does balance it out a bit. May I expand upon it a little. I have seen something very similar before and liked the general idea.

 

Agents may sabotage ACs as followed...

Targeted on a system, planet or fleet: Agent must be in the system.

Targeted on a player: Agent must be in or adjacent to a system with that player's units.

Targeting ACs: No restrictions.

Targeting PCs: No restrictions.

 

This keeps Sabotages useful as they have no restriction to where they can be used and decreases the power of Agents a decent amount for games where they can be purchased. I think if you play this way, you could use your variant. You might also take a look at the Custom Strategy Cards on the wiki, specifically the Recruitment SC which is essentially what you have here. Personally, I think the Bureaucracy SC works just fine and I would never touch Imperial again. I mean, if you're going to change the ISC like you have, just rename it, print out a custom SC and apply it to the ISC. You can also get your own cardboard and do this. It works fine as I have seen it before.

 

My biggest bit of advice to you though is to take a look at the Recruitment SC. Would work wonders for what you have in mind.

 



#11 Harel

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 07:39 AM

Thank you Beren for the encourgment and the suggestion. I am afraid I can't find that custom strategy card anywhere... and I would love to. Can you advice? I did a series of searched and sifted throught the wiki forum.



#12 Tawnos76

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 09:55 AM

I could not find a jpg of any recruitment card but the idea is listed here iwht other variant Strategy Cards.

 

http://www.ti3wiki.org/index.php?title=Custom_Strategy_Cards



#13 Beren_Erchamion

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 06:51 PM

The Recruitment SC is in use in the Fundraiser game. (The game itself stalled, but I think this SC was a success).

 

http://www.ti3wiki.org/index.php?title=Fundraiser_1_PBeM_Strategies






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