Duskwalker

No Distant Suns?

41 posts in this topic

15 hours ago, MikeEvans said:

Hey, Psi!  Fantastic to see you here.  I was hoping you'd make an appearance with the release of 4th edition.  I'll send you a private message so we can catch up.

Nice to see you both!

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Well no distant suns but I am looking at the planet and their traits. Cultural Industrial, and Hazardous. I can see a "distant sun" type expansion with a deck. When you go to a new planet pull out a card and if it has the corresponding trait icon you resolve that effect. So you can expect bad stuff to happen on hazardous planets so you know to avoid them if necessary. Which is better than the RNG from the last on. There was probing and razing but that was clunky to say the least.

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Does every planet have one of those three traits, though? If not, there'd need to be a fourth deck . . .

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Things that I don't see.

  • Twilight counsel (consular, spies and bodyguards)
  • Heroes Tokens (general, admiral, scientist, diplomat, spy)
  • Mercenaries
  • Shock Troops
  • Mechanized Units
  • Mines
  • Distant Suns (planet and space)
  • wormhole nexus
  • Promissory notes
  • The Lazax Scenario (understandably so)

And I am sure there is more.

It seems FFG is trying to drastically reduce mechanical bloat and the resulting constant rulebook checking in order to improve game-flow. It is good game-design, but I am not sure it is what the TI community wants.      

 

1 hour ago, pklevine said:

Does every planet have one of those three traits, though? If not, there'd need to be a fourth deck . . .

Every planet except home-worlds and Mecatol Rex

Marinealver likes this

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Duskwalker said:

It seems FFG is trying to drastically reduce mechanical bloat and the resulting constant rulebook checking in order to improve game-flow. It is good game-design, but I am not sure it is what the TI community wants.      

 

Well the problem is a lot of people think of the community as a single individual that wants a specific thing. Communities being composed by different people, often want different things. Many of those things are even contradictory to each other. 

Edited by Marinealver
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On ‎15‎.‎08‎.‎2017 at 2:11 AM, Chimonas said:

Well. Maybe this victory point is a distant sun marker?

 

 

IMG_20170815_015855.jpg

I think it is the Custodians-Token, because the Rulebook says you get 1 VP for it and it is also a Circle.

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Posted (edited)

I have always had a love hate relationship with Distant Suns.  They are thematically awesome, but come with quite a few drawbacks.  They can considerably extend the game as players have a greater chance of early game set backs.  This often soured people to the game and the extra length to an already exhausting game resulted in us skipping them the vast majority of games over the last decade.

I think Distant Sun tokens should have more conservative effects so that the set backs aren't as powerful or boons as strong.  I would have preferred it much more if distant suns were "properties" of a planet that had balanced positive and negative effects which could sort of shape aspects of play.

For example you could have Toxic planets that might limit how many ground troops you can have on the planet, but as a benefit the planet gives you a discount to purchasing technology.  Things along those lines.  The current distant sun effects like "everyone dies on landing" and stuff like that are just too harsh especially in the early game where something like that can set you back for several turns.  

Edited by BigKahuna

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I absolutely love Distant Suns, for the thrills of landing in the unkown - but gameplay wise I think it ensures that the first turns doesn't just become a calculated Landgrab. With Distant Suns, you have to consider the risks and whether perhaps scouting some of the planets is worth it - especially if you don't have enough forces to comfortably land on every planet. I think it adds a nice layer of risk-management to, especially, the early game.

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32 minutes ago, aermet69 said:

I absolutely love Distant Suns, for the thrills of landing in the unkown - but gameplay wise I think it ensures that the first turns doesn't just become a calculated Landgrab. With Distant Suns, you have to consider the risks and whether perhaps scouting some of the planets is worth it - especially if you don't have enough forces to comfortably land on every planet. I think it adds a nice layer of risk-management to, especially, the early game.

Agreed. My gaming group always use DS and find it to be exciting. I can understand they're not everyone's cup of tea though.

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48 minutes ago, aermet69 said:

I absolutely love Distant Suns, for the thrills of landing in the unkown - but gameplay wise I think it ensures that the first turns doesn't just become a calculated Landgrab. With Distant Suns, you have to consider the risks and whether perhaps scouting some of the planets is worth it - especially if you don't have enough forces to comfortably land on every planet. I think it adds a nice layer of risk-management to, especially, the early game.

That's true but risk management is something you do when you know the risk, not when its random.  This is kind of the issue from a mechanical stand point in a strategic game like TI3.  TI3 should be about winning based on smart actions, not on a flip of a coin.  I agree with you though, I always loved distant suns for its thematic exploration aspect, a core component of a 4x game, but I do believe FFG has an opportunity now to make this a more intrical part of the game without it being just a luck of the draw kind of thing.  After all, in TI, all races are not created equal and as such the impact of a bad distant sun token is different depending on which race you are.  For one race a bad draw is just a nuisance, for another its a devastating event.  

You don't manage "randomness", you gamble on randomness, its why combat is a gamble.  You roll dice, but even here you at least can predict your odds to some extent, you know going into any fight whether you have an advantage or disadvantage, so there is some semblance of risk vs. reward management.  But with Distant Suns, it really is just pure luck, at least as the mechanic is in TI3.

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Posted (edited)

Ok, so I have been arguing about Distant Suns on the various iterations of FFG forums since 2nd edition.  I'm literally talking like 14 years or more of this.  I've learned that if somebody likes Distant Suns, they are going to like it no matter how I argue it.  I might as well argue religion or politics.

That said, a few things:

4 hours ago, Rico01 said:

I think it adds a nice layer of risk-management to, especially, the early game.

Is there really any risk management, though?  I remember that somebody worked out once that if you play with Distant Suns, your best bet is to land on every planet with exactly 2 ground forces.  This maximizes your chances to take the planet without losing too much to things like Radiation or that one that ransoms your GFs for trade goods.  Probing just sets you back a turn, and Razing can end up really hurting you.  Just ignore all that chaff and take each planet with 2 ground forces.  Taking with more or fewer GFs is purely and inferior gamble.  It also always annoyed me form a thematic that a carrier can travel thousands of light years but doesn't have good enough sensors to realize that radiation levels are lethal to your troops.

I really like BigKahuna's post.  Everything he said was spot on, especially his suggestion for an exploration thematic that doesn't randomly f*ck you just for funsies.  Let players discover aspects to a planet that change gameplay and introduce meaningful decisions and put interacting with that planet firmly in the players' hands.  His "toxic planet" is a great idea.  Maybe have a tectonically unstable mining planet where you can get extra resources from the planet when you exhaust it, but it kills ground forces when you do that.  here could be planets with persistent effects that last until you do something.  For example, a "Hostile Locals" planet might cause you to lose a GF on the planet each time it is exhausted, but if you have a Dreadnought or War Sun in the system, you may take a Component Action to remove the token to represent bombarding the planet into submission.  Therefore, you could use the planet if you don't have a bombardment-capable vessel nearby, but have a good reason to bring one by if you don't want to hemorrhage infantry.  Maybe you opt to leave the locals on the planet if you think it's about to be taken by your opponent, so they can be a pain in THEIR *** in future turns..  Stuff like that.

With the advent of planets traits (Hazardous, Cultural, and Industrial) I could see distant suns as something where you draw from three different decks, based on the trait of the planet.  If you invade right away, you get a benefit but may also suffer a potential downside on the card.  If you probe (or maybe I'd call it "Sending a diplomatic envoy" first, you might be able to ignore any downside, or maybe get a better benefit.  THAT is better risk management than the existing system, in my opinion.
 

Edited by MikeEvans

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Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, MikeEvans said:

With the advent of planets traits (Hazardous, Cultural, and Industrial) I could see distant suns as something where you draw from three different decks, based on the trait of the planet.  If you invade right away, you get a benefit but may also suffer a potential downside on the card.  If you probe (or maybe I'd call it "Sending a diplomatic envoy" first, you might be able to ignore any downside, or maybe get a better benefit.  THAT is better risk management than the existing system, in my opinion.
 

And this is currently under development ...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1831449/distant-suns-replacement-mod-works

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1832904/alternate-ds-replacement-wip

Edited by IDragonfire

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