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Tvboy

3-player Skirmish Map

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FINAL VERSION

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The custom map thread got me inspired again to try to create a feasible 3-player map, even though we all know it's impossible. But I went and started messing around in vassal again, mainly focusing on core tiles and still coming up against the same problems as before, so I looked to see if the expansions had anything I could use, mainly Jabba's Realm and Heart of the Empire since those are the 2 most popular expansions right now. Jabbas Realm actually had a piece that fit and solved one of my problems, and having the extra small 2x2 pieces also gave me more options. After messing around for a couple of hours, I think I actually have something that could work. 

I really like the idea of the losing player being able to partially reshape the map at the end of the round to help them maybe catch up in the next round. Would love to hear people's thoughts on this. 

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NEW MAP VERSIONS IN COMMENTS BELOW

Edited by Tvboy

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There are rules for placing doors if someone is wondering.

There was a silent update (a week or so after the previous release) of the IA Campaign module with some color-correction applied, so the tiles from various expansions should match a little better, maybe.

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Not sure how I feel about having the terminal adjacent to the green deployment zone, as they do t have to move at all to get their extra command card. And that also means Chopper can System shock someone potentially in their deployment zone before they move.

But I see why you chose to place it there... so as not to favor one side or the other.

What if you moved both the terminal and the door one room south? And then speread the two crates touching out either 1-2 spaces each so they both can’t be controlled by green with a 4 move and an open door?

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This is great!  It's kind of like the idea I was saying the other day about randomly opening and closing doors at the end of each round but I like that this version let's the player with the least VPs actually choose where to put the doors.  Better idea.

What do you do if there is a draw?  both or all three players can place a door?

Also there probably needs to be a way to open doors.  if they are locked can you not open them for the rest of the game?  Maybe something like "spend 1 (or two) movement points and an action to open a door", otherwise you might get figures who are locked in a hallway and not able to get out until that player is losing again--  I can imagine Vader getting trapped, might be kind of funny actually...  Or maybe the doors just stay for one round and then automatically open...  Just some ideas.

 

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46 minutes ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

What do you do if there is a draw?  both or all three players can place a door?

It’d be initative order right? So whoever is first on that list gets the door bonus.

Rather than have the doors be an interact to open, I think they should have heath and a defence die, something like 4 health black die. It makes it annoying enough that people will be discouraged from undoing your hard work, but not so annoying that Vader ends up trapped behind a door.

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Timing conflict resolution (Initiative in this case) decides timing conflicts, it doesn't break ties. I would interpret the rules that all players that have the least VP are eligible and resolve the ability in the initiative order. (Unless a limit is placed on the doors that can be placed at the start of each status phase.)

 

Edited by a1bert

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Good feedback everyone, I’ll make another post addressing everything when I get out of class.

As for ties for lowest player, I will reword the rule so that it doesn’t trigger if there’s a tie. “If a player has less VPs than every player...”

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9 hours ago, a1bert said:

There are rules for placing doors if someone is wondering.

I was inspired by the mission Freedom Fighters from the Bespin Gambit campaign where the Rebels can place doors down anywhere on the map, so my intention was for it to work the same way. I only found the rule in the rules reference about closing doors, but that's not what I was going for. 

 

8 hours ago, Palomarus said:

Not sure how I feel about having the terminal adjacent to the green deployment zone, as they do t have to move at all to get their extra command card. And that also means Chopper can System shock someone potentially in their deployment zone before they move.

But I see why you chose to place it there... so as not to favor one side or the other.

What if you moved both the terminal and the door one room south? And then speread the two crates touching out either 1-2 spaces each so they both can’t be controlled by green with a 4 move and an open door?

I had considered moving the terminal to the center room, but the problem is that room is completely exposed from east west and south to either the red or the blue team. That vertical wall only serves to protect red and blue teams from each other so that they can choose to avoid one another by going north. It can protect green from one side or the other, but not from both. 

I placed the door there to balance out Green's superior starting access to the map and also to make it harder for the other 2 players to bum rush green's deployment zone. It basically forces green to travel a similar distance as red and blue to get to the center of the map, and also evens out the possible exits from their deployment zone. Moving the door south would basically give Green immediate control of the center of the map and it would be very hard for red or blue to attack there or go after those objectives without exposing themselves to an immediate counter attack. One alternate location I had for the green terminal was 3 spaces to the immediate left of green's deployment zone, since red has a slight disadvantage because of the impassable terrain leading into the southern map tile, but then I felt like that would incentivize red and green to always want to fight each other to protect that terminal so I kept the green terminal in a more neutral spot that hopefully could be taken by either red or blue when the green door opens. 

I probably should move those middle 2 objectives 2 squares south though and spread out like you suggested, just because where they are now means that green has easy round 1 access to 6 of the 8 objectives while red and blue only have easy access to 4 each. I might move the 2 objectives that are closest to green 1 space south and 1 space towards the middle to compensate. I might also just change the rules so that the green deployment zone door opens at the end of the round no matter what. 

2 hours ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

This is great!  It's kind of like the idea I was saying the other day about randomly opening and closing doors at the end of each round but I like that this version let's the player with the least VPs actually choose where to put the doors.  Better idea.

What do you do if there is a draw?  both or all three players can place a door?

Also there probably needs to be a way to open doors.  if they are locked can you not open them for the rest of the game?  Maybe something like "spend 1 (or two) movement points and an action to open a door", otherwise you might get figures who are locked in a hallway and not able to get out until that player is losing again--  I can imagine Vader getting trapped, might be kind of funny actually...  Or maybe the doors just stay for one round and then automatically open...  Just some ideas.

I'm going to reword the mission so that there can't be a draw, good catch. Also you make a good point about it potentially being an NPE if a player who's stuck in the middle gets one or more of their figures trapped in a hallway. But I don't want the doors to be easily removed, and if they're too hard to remove than they basically become permanent. Also I don't want green to be able to open their door on round 1. I like your idea that maybe all the doors should just open at the end of the round. Then maybe each player that has less points then another player could place a locked door and those doors have like 5 health and a block or something. 

I'll go back and tinker with the map and mission rules a little bit and post up my updates. 

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Naturally the Bespin Gambit book (and the Consolidated IA Rules) have the rule for placing doors due to the Freedom Fighters mission. (Was too lazy before to look it up.)

The Bespin Gambit, Rules said:

Some missions allow heroes to place doors. Doors must be placed on exactly two edges. A door cannot overlap a wall or another door.

 

Edited by a1bert

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Very nice map! Have you considered alternative victory conditions? When playing three players, it tends to get to a state where the leader gets ganged up on and an alternative win condition may help with that. 

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9 hours ago, Ram said:

Have you considered alternative victory conditions?

you could have something like at least 10 VPs must come from each other player?  that might work...  so you could just get ALL your points from one player.  I thought 10 (from each) because there are also objective points etc...  

But I think the doors idea would help the losing player anyway... 

An alternate mission (for the same map) could be similar to the Tarkin Labs, with a twist.  In this mission the player that has less points than both other players gets some attacking or defending bonus, maybe power tokens or even an experimental weapon (like an extra red dice or something).  Or, one extra attack dice for one figure and one extra defense dice for one figure (just for the round).  In this mission you would also get rid of the doors altogether since it is a different mission on the same map.  What do you think TVboy?

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Maybe something like:

ARMS AND ARMOR

At the end of each round each player scores 2VPs for each crate they control.  Then a player with the least VPs may add an attack dice of any color to one figure and a defense dice of any color to a different figure.  These dice can be used for one round only.

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53 minutes ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

Maybe something like:

ARMS AND ARMOR

At the end of each round each player scores 2VPs for each crate they control.  Then a player with the least VPs may add an attack dice of any color to one figure and a defense dice of any color to a different figure.  These dice can be used for one round only.

That sounds interesting, but it would be difficult to track. I would word it like:

"At the end of each round, each player discards any claimed neutral mission tokens and scores 1 VP for each token discarded this way. Then a player that has less VPs than 2 other players may claim 2 neutral mission tokens from the supply. While a player is attacking or defending, they may discard a claimed neutral mission token to add 1 die of their choice and of the appropriate type to the dice pool."

The wording also means that the bonus becomes unavailable once 1 player gets knocked out.

I was also considering making the 2nd mission a pick up and deliver/hold variant rather than a stand and control just to add some variety. I like the idea of scoring a modest number of points at end of round for each figure that's holding a crate rather than having to deliver them to a specific location for a big payoff, although I'm okay with slightly accelerated points gains to offset the slower nature of multiplayer games.

I'm curious to hear what people think about the new terminal layout. I feel like 2 terminals for each player is a good idea, since each player has 2 opponents it makes sense to offer more command card draw. It also increases the strategic tension on defending your own territory vs trying to invade someone else's to snag one of their terminals. 

10 hours ago, Ram said:

Very nice map! Have you considered alternative victory conditions? When playing three players, it tends to get to a state where the leader gets ganged up on and an alternative win condition may help with that. 

I am okay with the 2 losers ganging up on the winner because then eventually the person that's ahead stops being ahead and another player becomes the target of the other 2, that shifting power dynamic is what makes multiplayer games fun and interesting. However your observation does make me realize that I probably shouldn't be giving the 2nd place player the power to spawn doors just because the middle player might actually be way ahead of the 3rd place player and very close to the 1st place player. 

The idea of implementing points quotas from each player is an interesting one. It would probably have to be its own mission centerpiece though. Also it would be difficult to implement without feeling overly complex, or overly hamfisted that it feels like it's forcing players to play suboptimally.

Edited by Tvboy

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21 hours ago, Tvboy said:

A1bert I redownloaded the vassal module but the tiles still have wonky colors.

Downloaded and checked the current mod. Ok, the biggest change is in the core tiles - interior tiles are no longer purple and match the interior tiles of other set (and forest tiles have better contrast and less purple too). It seems I didn't redo the Jabba's Realm tiles, and they are a bit brighter and more yellow.

Back to the regular programming.

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Alright, I had a less "hamfisted" idea to encourage attacking of each other player (not just ganging up on one)...

"During setup each player claims two mission tokens matching the other players' deployment zone colors.  A player may spend an action to drop a mission token whose color matches the deployment zone color.  Players gain 5 points for each dropped mission token.  At the end of each round, a player that has less VPs than 2 other players may claim 2 neutral mission tokens from the supply. While a player is attacking or defending, they may discard a claimed neutral mission token to add 1 die of their choice and of the appropriate type to the dice pool."

The idea is that "blue" player for example will have incentive to drop his or her red token in the red player's zone and his green token in the green players zone.  This will cause some action in both zones, plus defending his own blue zone from having the green players blue token dropped or the red players blue token dropped.  No need for any control, it can just be dropped like the camera's in the ISB mission from a year ago.  I thought 5 points is good motivation to get in there and drop them.  Then the other part with the free dice is purely to help the losing player rather than give any VPs. 

What do you think?

Also, I like your idea of just carrying the objectives. 

One final thing:  in the four player game the winner is the first to 60 pts...  would this 3 player mission still be first to 40? 

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My responses in the quote box in bold and new idea below.

3 hours ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

Alright, I had a less "hamfisted" idea to encourage attacking of each other player (not just ganging up on one)...

"During setup each player claims two mission tokens matching the other players' deployment zone colors.  A player may spend an action to drop a mission token whose color matches the deployment zone color.  Players gain 5 points for each dropped mission token.  At the end of each round, a player that has less VPs than 2 other players may claim 2 neutral mission tokens from the supply. While a player is attacking or defending, they may discard a claimed neutral mission token to add 1 die of their choice and of the appropriate type to the dice pool."

So that would basically replace the crates as the objectives on the map, otherwise there's too much going on, but it seems like an interesting objective. Probably needs some templating, I had to read through it a few times before I got it. I wonder if maybe a single action makes it too easy to sprint in with urgency or something and dunk on somebody the end of a round though without actually committing any other resources. Without the crates and if you make it harder to score like maybe requiring 2 actions, you could up the points reward to 10 each. 

The idea is that "blue" player for example will have incentive to drop his or her red token in the red player's zone and his green token in the green players zone.  This will cause some action in both zones, plus defending his own blue zone from having the green players blue token dropped or the red players blue token dropped.  No need for any control, it can just be dropped like the camera's in the ISB mission from a year ago.  I thought 5 points is good motivation to get in there and drop them.  Then the other part with the free dice is purely to help the losing player rather than give any VPs. 

What do you think?

I'm wondering though if this actually discourages collusion between 2 players or just encourages it.  After all this objective has nothing to do with attacking figures, so there's no reward or penalty for 2 players both attacking the 3rd and just letting each other score in their DZs and preventing the 3rd player from doing so.  

Also, I like your idea of just carrying the objectives.

I would prefer there to be stationary objectives at least for the door mission, since it would be headache inducing for players to have to track mobile objectives and constantly spawning doors. Stationary objectives also lets us have more control over where the activity happens, and letting the players effectively move those incentives around mid-game weakens our control over that as designers. Retrievable objectives would make for a fun alternative and I think would work best with the extra dice mechanic you introduced. 

One final thing:  in the four player game the winner is the first to 60 pts...  would this 3 player mission still be first to 40?

That's a good question that I hadn't thought about. I would probably default to 40 but playtest both and see when the game ends on average with both. I think ideally we'd want the game to go 3 rounds, so if 40 points is consistently ending the game on round 2 then it should be bumped up to 60. Hmm maybe just test it at 50. IDK. 

Here's another idea, we could also implement a mechanic similar to the bounty tokens from Jabbas Realm. 

Quote

Enemy of my Enemy

During setup, each player claims a bounty token. While a figure is defending, if its owner has a bounty token, apply pierce 1 to the attack results. When a figure with figure cost 3 or more belonging to a player with a bounty token is defeated, discard that bounty token and the player that defeated that figure scores [?~4?] victory points. 

At the end of each round, if no player has a bounty token, each player claims a bounty token from the supply. 

Obviously you can tweak the benefits of attacking/defeating a figure on a bounty player, but this would incentivize players to attack the player that has been getting the least amount of heat in the game. I think a figure cost restriction is important because it's too easy to just randomly kill a 2 point smuggler or hired gun or officer and get a huge reward from it. Not sure if it would be a good idea to also apply some kind of penalty to attacking a player that doesn't have a bounty token, like maybe -1 surge or something. That would probably only work if bounty tokens refresh immediately i guess. 

I feel like this could be in addition to a normal crate objective system and probably replace the extra die thing. Also this is something I literally just thought of and haven't actually run through it in my head yet how that would actually play out. 

edit: okay now that I think about it, either you give players a juicy reward when they cause someone's bounty token to be discarded and refresh them only at the end of the round, or you apply a passive debuff to someone who's attacking a non-bounty player, but then bounty tokens have to respawn immediately as soon as there are none left, but you can't mix the 2 mechanics, otherwise it's possible for players to get that juicy reward multiple times in a round, or the debuff sticks around for an entire round while nobody has any bounty tokens. I think I'd prefer the juicy reward (on top of the passive buff) just because players enjoy rewards and hate being punished (focus on carrots, avoid using sticks).

editedit: okay wait actually, if you make the bonus reward for discarding someone's bounty token small enough, like 2 points, then it wouldn't be too bad to have players scoring that multiple times a round on top of the normal objective scoring. Maybe reduce the objectives down from 8 to 6 and have the normal objectives be pick up and deliver+discard so there's a limited number of those points to gain.

Okay, ignore all of that edit crazy talk, I was getting way too into my own head and started spiraling. Plus when I tried to write it all out as mission text it was comedically long. How about this:

Quote

Enemy of my Enemy

When no player has a bounty token, each player claims a bounty token. 

While a figure is defending, if its owner has a bounty token, apply pierce 1 to the attack, otherwise apply -1 surge. Then if that figure is defeated, its owner discards their bounty token. 

A figure can interact to retrieve an adjacent crate token. When a figure carrying a crate enters a deployment zone, discard that crate and that player scores 4 VPs.

 

Edited by Tvboy

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You make some really good points!  To be clear I was thinking of a second mission for your map, not replacing your crate mission (whether or not you make the crates stationary).  I really like your original mission (Trap Doors)!  I wasn't trying to overhaul that one because I think that's good how it is, I was just thinking of another one, like how all the skirmish maps have two missions.  So yeah, for Arms and Armour (or whatever name it would be called) I wasn't thinking of even having the crates, just the points from other deployment zones... along with the losing player getting extra dice to keep things even...  so,

Mission 1 (Trap Doors) would have crates for VPs and doors to help the losing player.

Mission 2 (A and A) would have putting something (somehow, not sure) in deployment zones for VPs and extra dice to help the losing player. 

It's just an idea but I'm gonna try your map in about a month when I am back home with all my IA stuff!  I'm excited because we often have 3 players. 

Oh, I kind of got the deployment zone idea from the Obi Wan map I think, a while back... but it had a fun increasing points thing where if you interacted with 1 patron it wasn't many points but if you interacted with all 4 it got up to 20 or so. 

Anyway, really cool map and really cool mission!  Hope you didn't mind that I was piggy backing off your cool map and just throwing around ideas for another mission... 

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5 hours ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

You make some really good points!  To be clear I was thinking of a second mission for your map, not replacing your crate mission (whether or not you make the crates stationary).  I really like your original mission (Trap Doors)!  I wasn't trying to overhaul that one because I think that's good how it is, I was just thinking of another one, like how all the skirmish maps have two missions.  So yeah, for Arms and Armour (or whatever name it would be called) I wasn't thinking of even having the crates, just the points from other deployment zones... along with the losing player getting extra dice to keep things even...  so,

Mission 1 (Trap Doors) would have crates for VPs and doors to help the losing player.

Mission 2 (A and A) would have putting something (somehow, not sure) in deployment zones for VPs and extra dice to help the losing player. 

It's just an idea but I'm gonna try your map in about a month when I am back home with all my IA stuff!  I'm excited because we often have 3 players. 

Oh, I kind of got the deployment zone idea from the Obi Wan map I think, a while back... but it had a fun increasing points thing where if you interacted with 1 patron it wasn't many points but if you interacted with all 4 it got up to 20 or so. 

Anyway, really cool map and really cool mission!  Hope you didn't mind that I was piggy backing off your cool map and just throwing around ideas for another mission... 

No, I really liked your feedback and ideas and I totally got that this was all about a 2nd mission to go along with the first door mission. I think the extra dice for the loser thing is a cool idea, but now that I've thought of it, I really really really like the idea of using Bounty tokens in skirmish in basically the same way they were intended for in campaign, to discourage players from singling out another player too much. 

I'll post an updated map and some mission cards later.

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B: Enemy of my Enemy
If the Junk Droid (or Jax) is defeated, the controlling player discards their Bounty token. (I'm not worried about using Probe Droid Self-Destruct to get rid of a Bounty token.)

 

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5 hours ago, a1bert said:

B: Enemy of my Enemy
If the Junk Droid (or Jax) is defeated, the controlling player discards their Bounty token. (I'm not worried about using Probe Droid Self-Destruct to get rid of a Bounty token.)

 

Is there a shorter way to say non-companion figure? I’m at my word limit. XD

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