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Canopus

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Everything posted by Canopus

  1. This is two different audiences. There are many Euro-style solo games around which don't work that well if you want to attract your family. Quoting Josh: They know what they're doing. To attract new players who might like to move miniatures and roll dice casually, you don't go Gloomhaven. (Recall that the Gloomhaven author is also publishing a stripped-down version of his game this year...) Let's see how the next AI iteration looks like, if they follow that route.
  2. Collaborators in WWII were those who actively collaborated with an enemy occupation of their own country -- or who were accused of doing so after the occupation was over. Fugitives were those who fled from that same occupation. In SW lore this perfectly fits to the Empire era or immediately after its defeat. I guess there are many possible characters from all sources. It marginally might fit to the sequel era, There is one possible character (DJ), but that's about it. A Phoenix cell has to be Rebels. Sky Academy is Imperials. So the bet is on SV for the third pack. All have some ships which don't have a lot of pilots, yet. FO and Res could get missing reprints elsewhere, or packs not listed here. The RazorCrest has to appear. A squadron pack could also be dual-faction, and it could contain actual scenarios and a story, so who knows with those titles?
  3. Did you use Paul's last revision of the mod? I think you are right. To help the AI, I gave it TIE/fo (TL, shield) and TIE/sf (missile turret), and TIE/x1 for player ships (need TL for 3rd die). I expect that player ships start weak and level up during a campaign, while the AI gets more HP and 'boss' ships with tailored AI rules.
  4. Thanks, Paul, suddenly this has become playable! In a match with those revisions, I actually lost (generic TIE/x1 vs TIE/fo+TIE/sf alpha-scenario as above, about 75 vs. 170pt) with one solo ship left. In another incomplete match the AI also was decent. Disclaimer: I'm not a good player. (But I guess the FFG Solo mode is targeted at casual gaming anyway.) And this is a very small data set. The revised AI has a tendency to close in on player ships. It avoids the board edge if left alone, the rule 'count edge as obstacle' makes a huge difference. Sometimes it manages to form kill-boxes if the player is not careful. It does like to hit obstacles, but I don't see this as a fundamental problem. Some moves overshoot, but then the ship will try to turn around. If unstressed, a solo ship can target-lock and shoot missiles, because it doesn't suddenly look elsewhere. There is still an issue with the attitude roll and action selection. There are too many evades which just weaken AI attacks. Maybe rolling a red die instead of a green die for choosing the attitude would be an improvement? Probably this won't win against HotAC AI, but it is quick and easy. I can resolve most AI moves and actions within seconds without pre-measuring. About the stress rules: would it make sense to also try a blue bank of the same speed, if a white turn is chosen? Some dials don't have blue turns, so stress will stick. And if I apply this rule: some ships will never use their red 1-hard, is this intended? I hope that FFG can adopt some of this for a future campaign or whatever. Comparing this vs. FFG AI, eyeballing two arcs instead of one is as easy and straightforward as rolling another die.
  5. I did some further testing with @pheaver's version as written earlier in this thread. Squads: 2 TIE/x1 (no upgrades) against 3 TIE/fo and 2 TIE/sf with concussions. Before, I had tried the same match using the FFG AI. A few rules might need some tuning: what means "obstacle in front arc" if there is no obstacle in the front arc because the ship is near the board edge. And what happens if the solo ship is stressed and has to choose an advanced maneuver? This case is covered only in the FFG rules. Otherwise, I like the approach to choose a different speed if stressed. The AI moves appear somewhat less erratic. But: the new outcome was even more in the player's favor: zero damage, all enemy ships destroyed. No missile shot by the TIE/sf. The two matches lasted longer - up to 17 rounds. Probably I was just too cautious, but the AI ships also had a tendency to run away. Once a solo ship is on the opposite side of the board, struggling to turn around, it will likely find a side-side constellation of solo-tally, which can result in 'fastest turn away from tally'. With the enemy force hiding in a corner, I could pick off the ships one by one ... of course, this is just two test matches. Solo AI vs HotAC AI - hilarious! Without using any distance information, the solo AI is doomed. But I still think pre-measuring AI moves should be avoided, to speed up the game. The other issues are too many lost actions (stress/asteroids), and the random attitude not matching the board state - maybe this can be improved?
  6. Canopus

    What’s your theme?

    A RPG party: (resistance 4) BlackSq: knight CovaLeia: wizard Kaz: rogue Zizi: ranger?
  7. A few thoughts, after a couple of solo games - both the proposed escalation mode, and full squads. Yes, the AI is dumb. The AI will self-stress and hit obstacles. Most AI shots are unmodded. Flight patterns are often chaotic. Some time ago, I did play through the whole HotAC campaign. That AI is much better and a greater challenge. But: I don't really want to play HotAC again solo. Lookup tables for each ship, arcs, distance bands, directions, pre-measuring, measuring again, checking for reposition fitting, avoiding obstacles ... The new FFG AI: roll dice, move/action, repeat. Standard rules, simple tables. Playing solo in casual mode, I have no intention of spending 90% of the game time on executing the AI turn. In many recent boardgames, the solo (automa) game mode is similar. They speed up the AI turn, partly by simplifying rules, while accepting silly decisions. OTOH, computer-based AI (FlyCasual) can be programmed as smart as possible since the player doesn't have to work for the AI. That said, I guess there is some space for improvement without sacrificing the simplicity of the alpha. The forward/bullseye approach is a weak spot. The random attitude rarely fits the game state. Low-ini patrol ships should not evade, just focus? Secondary weapons don't work because of missing locks. If the AI ships have good dials (blues!) and move after the player, it starts to make sense. The most decent game was against an AI composed of TIE/fo and TIE/sf. (One sf even got a missile off once...)
  8. Basically, without contradicting previously written rules, the devs could add rules that either an action card remains in play until any lingering effect has been resolved (could be temporary placed besides the artefacts in the play area), or that certain card effects do or do not stack. The written rules deliberately exclude the rule of six from repeat effects, so this is unlikely to change. To resolve lock-down constellations would also require modifying rules, so this is also unlikely to change.
  9. The Sting pairs well with Miasma (common), to be played in the turn when the Sting is sacrificed. In effect, both players lose a turn but the player with the Sting gets 6A for free. Better still if there is a Key Hammer in the same hand, to repeat the effect, or Chota Hazri etc. to forge nevertheless. I may guess that in 1/2 of the decks where it appears, the Sting is dead weight, but in the other half it can become rather useful. The cards have to be available at the right time, however.
  10. So we have two conflicting interpretations? That's what I thought first. But: if the active player (B) is actually controlling the artefact, wouldn't this rule set in: The active player B would have to transfer the card to the appropriate out-of-play zone of his opponent A, the owner of the card.
  11. Poltergeist: Mobius Scroll: Player A has Mobius Scroll in play. Player B plays Poltergeist and uses A's Mobius Scroll. B archives up to two cards from his hand. Where does Mobius Scroll go? To A's discard pile, because it gets destroyed. To B's archive, because this the effect of using Mobius Scroll. In the archive, the card is out of play and can't be destroyed. (When it leaves B's archive later, where does it go then?) To A's archive, because it has changed control (did it?), and leaves play by going to B's archive. By the Control rule, it goes to the Owner's appropriate out-of-play zone instead, which is A's archive. There, it can't be destroyed.
  12. Which says: That should be a most welcome addition, but the author misses the point. There are various starter boxes available. Why does none of them provide a complete deck? I got into the game with the two-player starter. It allows for immediate play and gives a decent taste of game mechanics. But even after adding some single-player starters and boosters, the game appeared too much arbitrary and luck-driven for my taste. Recently, I gave it another try and got a second copy of the two-player box. The game now feels much more tactical and balanced. Elites and doubling cards does make a difference. But why would anybody who's not familiar with the game (or reading the FFG forum) buy two identical copies of a starter box? I don't play competitively - even if I wanted, there is not a single SWD player left at the FLGS. This is now an occasional family game. It has great theme, mechanics, and variety. But: If FFG wants to sell SWD to casual players, they have to issue *complete* starter boxes with two elite characters and, say, 40 cards per player to choose 30 from (even if the price is higher). It is the initial experience that gets us hooked. For more variety and competitive play, boosters are available - and anybody who got hooked will buy them, anyway. (I don't think that the CCG/LCG distinction is relevant. All of this comes after the starter box.) The KeyForge starter box is complete and guarantees variety (four decks!). Then, endless (random) expansions. That looks promising.
  13. We have played many scenarios and editions of the D&D boardgame series, and as far as I can tell now (two scenarios), Discover is similar enough that it may be compared to those. Similarities include the overall setting (co-op without overlord player, up to 4-5 characters, survival, exploration&fight), scenario game time and difficulty, structure of the game flow (survive a number of turns, then some boss fight/scene), random tile layout, fight structure and rewards, random regular (negative) environment effects. The main difference is than in Discover, fights and overall randomness are toned down while planning (crafting, traveling on the map) plays a larger role. OTOH, less randomness implies less variety on replay. The uniqueness of the game is an abstract category, so far. I don't think that this is really important. The perceived replay value of a single copy depends on whether a known script still allows for a new, different and challenging game each time. Trading for a new copy makes sense only if the game scripts and basic mechanics really differ between games, and you don't miss the old one. I'm not sure whether this is the case. I could imagine a different development, if the game succeeds: (fan-made) custom scenarios and campaigns that combine more than one copy/biome. The basic mechanics appears to be solid and generic enough to support this.
  14. Finished the 2nd scenario (Valley), two players this time. We were playing cautiously and dragged it over more than the full night deck, but it turned out that we could have just rushed it and likely won in about four days. This scenario apparently has four possible final scenes, so there is some variety for replay.
  15. Yes, but those were referring to places visited earlier. To re-visit them, we would have spent a lot of actions - hardly worthwhile if you trigger the end condition anyway (and still well-prepared).
  16. My box came with Valley and Bayou. We played a first scenario with four players. We could win the scenario with one casualty. The scenario was a lot of fun, with important decisions on positioning and teamwork mid-game, and a decent amount of tension towards the end. Good parts: rule set is streamlined and mostly clear; the interaction between monsters and players becomes interesting if monsters are not defeated immediately; hunting game works as a variant of fighting monsters; deciding the clan chief for the next turn is relevant; multiple functions of campfires; managing four types of damage instead of a standard hit point count (for characters) adds both to fluff and depth of gameplay. Slightly disappointing (only in our scenario?): visiting landmarks was mostly pointless - to make any use of the benefits, a lot of backtracking was needed. Simply gathering resources and crafting turned out to be more relevant to the overall success. Also, the final part was a straight boss fight for which previous decisions mostly didn't matter at all.
  17. Canopus

    Another blog

    The variance in the cards (what they do, how much gain and risk, combos) appears to be large and strong. As long as a metagame doesn't exist or consists of more than a few OP card combinations, I don't think that the value of any deck will be expressible as a number. The real question is whether player skill is more important than luck of the draw. I'm confident that it is, the designers should know what they are doing. Maybe there is no useful strategy at all, just practice. Player skill could consist of the ability to quickly analyze possible game situations, react accordingly, and take opportunities where they appear. It may not even depend on knowing a deck well, if the opposing deck and move is as important for the next step as the own hand.
  18. Canopus

    Another blog

    I appreciate what you wrote in the blog, I'm in a very similar situation. It looks like KF is tailor-made for people who appreciate the style and depth of MtG and its friends but don't like to invest a lot of time or money in a single game. There are 100s of good games to play and discover, so why stick to only a few?
  19. 7th continent got excellent reviews, but it also was described as requiring a lot of patience and "not for everybody". Also, it is not available by standard distribution channels, and it doesn't get further translations. The concept is intriguing, so this is a more accessible realization of the same general idea? That doesn't fail regarding depth of game-play? I didn't play 7th Continent. Is there a chance that another game can do well in this genre? One could compare this to Descent (with App as Overlord), Gloomhaven, or the D&D boardgames, but those are all battle-oriented ... This game rather looks like a re-incarnation of classic point-and-click PC adventures? A price tag of $60 for a modern game is standard and reasonable. You would expect good-quality components and quite a few hours of play, minimum. The 'uniqueness' idea fits the theme, but it is secondary. Main question: will game mechanics and story progression be successful in attracting players and keeping them engaged?
  20. Targeting computer: "You asked for a lock on that X-Wing? That ship's out of range, but I have locked that asteroid to the left for you. Thank you for flying Sienar Fleet Systems."
  21. Canopus

    Multiplayer?

    Thanks, found that thread. Multiplayer was not dismissed but postponed because card interactions became too complicated. So, we may expect rule clarifications for multiplayer later - maybe specific decks for multiplayer (decks are unique anyway) ...
  22. Canopus

    Multiplayer?

    Could this game work as-is with 3 or 4 players? The rules wouldn't need to be changed, apparently. Pro: the win condition is gathering resources, it's not free-for-all player elimination which can easily feel unfair. Cons: there are some AoE cards which could become too strong. I guess that the possibility was considered, but discarded. What do you think?
  23. I'll probably buy a starter and two additional decks to play with family or friends, then let's see how often this gets pulled off the shelf. Even if the game is played frequently, I could imagine that getting more than some dozen decks becomes less and less interesting as soon as individual cards keep reappearing. At that point, I'd rather look at future expansions - say new Houses and new mechanics.
  24. I'm sure they considered this seriously. Like, at the time when they started with 2.0, which got priority - prequel factions next, then epic 2.0 (hopefully). Co-op campaigns with re-designed epic ships, up to seven factions?
  25. Which ships (pilots) are performing better than expected, for their points, which ships (pilots) don't seem to fit anywhere?
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