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Terrain effects variants

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#1 supremespleen



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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:42 AM

 Crossposted from the BGG forum…

So, I was a little disappointed to see how minimal FFGs rules for terrain interaction are and I was thinking of interesting "space terrain" that might modify gameplay a bit. Join me in brainstorming cool ways to spice up the board!

As far as FFG goes, passing through or landing in an obstacle (read: asteroids) causes your ship to lose an action and has the potential for damage or loss of attack. That's all well and good, but what about spicing things up a bit?

Disclaimer: I haven't played yet, but after reading the rules twice, here are a few terrain pieces that I think might add a cool wrinkle to the game. Love to hear your thoughts. I don't think these should all be used at once, and in fact, perhaps they should be used sparingly. Just might create some interesting situations.

Dust Clouds, Storms and other Anomalies
I'll be representing dust clouds these on the table with blobs of colored, clear plexiglass (if I can ever get them to not look dumb). The colors are mostly arbitrary. It's up to you whether these effects result from ending a move with a base overlapping or just passing through the cloud.

Red dust clouds: These dust clouds disrupt ship targeting computers, creating a wildly distorted image for the pilot. Pilots affected by the red dust clouds are unable to obtain target locks and fire with one less attack die.

Green dust clouds: These temporarily shut down more advanced navigational systems, resulting in difficulty pulling off complex evasive maneuvers. Pilots affected roll one less defense die.

Blue dust clouds: These dust clouds affect shields. They could:
(a) Generate up to 1 unit of shielding per game on a ship that passes through the cloud
(b) Removes 1 unit of shielding on a ship that passes through the cloud

Purple dust clouds: These are nearly impenetrable both to the naked eye and sensors. Ships within dust clouds cannot be fired upon but cannot fire out either.

Ion storms: These replicate the effect of an ion cannon.

Asteroid clusters/belts: These larger groups of asteroids can require skilled piloting to enter, but offer some protection from pursuers. Entering a belt or asteroid cluster requires the pilot to take 1 stress token. A pilot with a stress token cannot enter the asteroid belt. Lose one attack die firing at a pilot within an asteroid belt or cluster (I feel like this one could be changed or fleshed out more).

#2 Highball



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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:15 AM

I saw the original post on BGG, but as I haven't signed up there yet I can't post there.


The one variant to the base game that we have used that has been interesting and added some complexity and fun is Moving Asteroids.  As part of the "placing objects" portion of the setup, when one player places on object, the other player can choose to place an arrow we made that has a 1 or 2 on them.


Placement order:

  • Player 1 places first asteroid.
  • Player 2 places an arrow on the first asteroid determining the direction it moves and the speed it moves at, then places the second asteroid.
  • Player 1places an arrow on the second asteroid and places the 3rd asteroid.
  • …continue until all asteroids are placed and arrows assigned.


Rules Modification:

  • We have played only two games with this modification, but we had more fun with the asteroids moving after all ships moved and immediately before the attack portion of the round begins.  This allowed for some mild added tension in determining if your ships could fit into a turn around moving objects.
  • When an asteroid moves off an edge of a map we used a yard stick to track a straight line back to the opposite edge of the map and it reappears on there, simulating being in an asteroid field.  This can be eliminated, but we found if you didn't do this players just tended to fly slowly until most obsticles are off the map.
  • The only sticking point we had was what happens when two asteroids collide.  First we played it so a bigger one destroys a smaller one.  It is by far the easiest way to resolve this.  Second game we played a "billiard ball" method, such that they would change direction based on how two billiard balls would react (i.e.: straight on collisions would reverse direction, glancing blows caused them to go off at angles).  This second variant was a lot of fun, but there was some wasted time disputing how exactly they would be redirected.


Let me know what you guys think of this.  It is a fairly simple variation that doesn't add a whole lot of time to the game.  I can't wait to use this mechanic in a game with the Falcon.

#3 Highball



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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:43 AM

Sorry, I just remembered (we did this two weekends ago) that we said at the end of our last game that the asteroids should likely move first to still keep the penalty (not getting to take an action if you run into an asteroid) intact.

There is some complication with possibly taking damage from an asteroid moving into you, then moving into another asteroid (or the same one if you didn't plan well).  So our final rules for this are still up in the air.

#4 DavicusPrime



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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:50 AM

I like the moving asteroid concept a lot.  It would make maneuvering a lot more hazardous and spice things up once you get the basic game figured out.

One other option for collisions is to simply ignore them.  Abstracting the third dimension the way most space combat games have to do allows you to ignore collisions and have them simply pass over each other.

You could mix things up via an Attack Die roll:

  • Blank and Focus = No change, they pass by at different altitudes.
  • Hit = Collision and bounce (simplify the angles to avoid disputes - 180 degrees if direct, 90 degrees if at an angle)
  • Crit = Destruction (larger asteroid becomes 2 smaller ones that deflect by 90 degrees in opposite directions, small ones destroyed outright).

I'm filing this idea away for future Scenarios.


#5 Doc Savage

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 09:49 AM

I like what you have come up with, Highball. I would avoid asteroid collisions and go with the asteroids at different elevation rules. I would say that any ship that passes through an asteroid has a chance to get hit (unless they have deflector shields) and they should roll 1 die of damage.

Visit DocSavageTales.blogspot.com for cool stuff!

#6 Highball



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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:17 AM

Doc Savage said:

I like what you have come up with, Highball. I would avoid asteroid collisions and go with the asteroids at different elevation rules. I would say that any ship that passes through an asteroid has a chance to get hit (unless they have deflector shields) and they should roll 1 die of damage.


Yeah, this is likely the simplest way to resolve it to keep the game moving along, but seeing asteroids interact with each other is kind of cool.


I have been asked to possibly run recurring games at a FLGS and I want to create a list of scenarios to spice it up as week-after-week of your 100 point team vs mine can get old.


Here's what I have so far:

  • "Normal" 100 point game
  • 100 point Imperials Only
  • 100 point Rebel Only
  • Asteroid Field - Described above in earlier post.
  • Asteroid Belt - All asteroids placed in a 6"-12" wide strip in the center of the table and all of them move in the same direction across the table.  When they exit the field they reappear on the other side.  This would effect both players equally and set up a Frogger-like game of trying to get a clean pass through the field.
  • Minefield - Place 6 space mines (kind of like sea mines) that float in place.  Number them 1-6.  At the end of each round roll a D6.  On a 4-6 one of them explodes (determined by another D6).  The mine attacks everything within a range 3, using 3 dice in range 1, 2 in range 2, and 1 in range 3.  No defensive dice are rolled.  No matter how many hits or crits are rolled, if at least one hit comes up that target takes one damage (or shield token).  Anything more than 1 damage tips the scales too far into the Rebel's favor.
  • Hungry Hungry Hippo - A modified version of the Satellite scenario in the rulebook where every ship can pick up satellites by those rules and return them to their starting area for bonus points (10 each too much for a 100 point game?).  Use 6 satellite tokens for this spread evenly across the board, or place them in a line in the center.

Do you guys have any other ideas?

#7 AncientAngel



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Posted 13 September 2012 - 03:01 PM

Why don't you just put in place a collision check. Speed of the craft moving into the asteroid is the attack value. The Pilots skill value is the defense value and apply the values as normal.

#8 DavicusPrime



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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:12 AM

Here's my latest idea:

Table Effect: Nebula/Dust Cloud

Game Play Effects

Planning Phase

  • No change.

Activation Phase

  • Actions: Target Locks can only be made in Range Band 1-2.
  • Collisions: Obstacles remain the same.  When ships pass through each other or overlap bases, treat as if colliding with an obstacle except that the A-Die roll's results is apply to both ships.  Reason: Reduced visibility and sensor interference make ship to ship collisions more likely.

Combat Phase

  • All ships gain an additional D-Die at Range Band 3 due to difficulty spotting and tracking targets.
  • Actions: If at the start of the Combat Phase, a target locked ship has moved beyond range band 2 from the ship locking them, the lock is broken and the tokens removed immediately.

End Phase

  • No change.


Table effect = a condition that effects the entire play area.


#9 Highball



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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:23 AM

I like it a lot! 


For now while there is minimal target lock on the Imperial side this could hurt the rebels more, but it seems realistic and that's what counts most to me.

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