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Steampunk Rally» Forums » Variants

Subject: Our House Rules rss

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David G

Colorado
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We have been playing a lot of Steampunk Rally lately. Fantastic game. We have a few house rules, some of which came from ideas we read about here at BGG. Here’s the summary:

We love creating card combinations to propel Inventions. Every once in a while, though, we run into a situation where playing a single card on it’s own, usually a Boost Card, has a disproportionately large effect. Whenever this happens, we consider a house rule for the card. Here is the wording we use on the cards, followed by an explanation:

Catalytic Reactor:

Revised Text = VENT 1 HEAT DIE. Also, discard any number of Machine Parts from your Invention. For each Part discarded, gain the dice shown in the corner of the card.
(Original Text = VENT 1 HEAT DIE. Also, discard any number of Machine Parts from your Invention. For each Part discarded, gain 4 dice of the color shown in the corner of the card.)


We found that once a player had a Catalytic Reactor, they would simply place as many random cards onto their machine as possible, and then in one fell swoop they could turn them in for fistfuls of dice. Players would be rolling dozens of dice, and moving dozens of spaces based on this single card. Our house rule allows you to trade in the card for dice as if it were a fresh card received in the Draft Phase (without the Cogs option.) You can still use this card to great advantage by ditching used-up parts for dice, but you won’t get the huge fistfuls, and it comes at a higher price (i.e. competing against expelling parts for damage) when played with our house-ruled ‘Terrain Beyond the Finish Line’ (see below.)

Disintegrator Ray:

Revised Text = Each of your opponents receives DAMAGE (Maximum of 4) for each Machine Part on their Invention over 6.
(Original Text = Each of your opponents receives DAMAGE for each Machine Part on their Invention over 6.)


Occasionally someone would lay this card down and do enormous amounts of damage to large machines. We didn’t think it was appropriate for one card to kill an opponent’s entire strategy. Getting hit for 9 damage by one card sucks. I imagine this card (or the threat of this card) is the designer’s way to warn players against building enormous Inventions, but we enjoy the occasional hulk.

Repair Claws:

Revised Text = Playable During Draft Phase Only
(Original Text = Playable During Vent Phase Only)


Players would spend a few Cogs to drop their 4’s, 5’s and 6’s down to 3’s, and then Vent their machine clean. In certain situations, it’s overly powerful compared to your normal Boost Card. With the revision, the card can still be powerful, but it can’t be manipulated to a ridiculous extreme. The revision has Inventors play the card at the end of the Draft Phase, before they have spent any Cogs on Venting.
(In our games now, Inventors who keep this card will hold onto it until they can vent between 6 and 12 pips, which seems in keeping with the power of the other Boost Cards. Someone could theoretically manipulate the Pips a full Vent Phase in advance, which would negate the house rule, but nobody has tried that yet.)


Terrain Beyond the Finish Line:

1 TERRAIN on every space beyond the finish line that doesn’t already have TERRAIN.

In our games, the winner was always whoever could put together the biggest move on the final turn, usually using Rocket Boosters. Nothing wrong with this, but we found that adding Mountains at the end of the race will limit huge moves that go well beyond the end of the track. More Terrain encourages machines to shed pieces, coming to a skidding halt trailing a smoking mass of debris. Fun stuff.
Additional damage to your Invention compounds the damage produced by the Rocket Boosters, usually making it a more costly card to use. We were going to initially house rule Rocket Boosters to do one additional damage (2 total), but the Terrain Beyond the Finish Line house rule seems to have taken care of the issue without altering the card.
The Swiss Alps track’s first space beyond the Finish Line is a 2 TERRAIN. We leave that alone, and every other space gets a 1 TERRAIN. The Hoverdrome doesn’t have any Terrain beyond the finish line, so every space gets a 1 TERRAIN.
(Since we have implemented this rule, the furthest an Inventor has gone has been the very last space in the Village. It’s sort of a point of pride to see who can get off the end of the track first…)



A rule we are considering:
Disintegrator Ray & Particle Beam:

Only shoot at Inventions ahead of you.

It seems fair that you only shoot the leaders. The sticking point is that sometimes an Inventor is physically behind you, but ahead of you in “potential movement” (i.e. unused parts on their Invention), and is going to surge past at any moment. We debated the idea that the Inventor could choose to shoot either forward or backward, but not both. That would allow the leader to still use the card. However, we pretty much always play shooting forward only.
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-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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I like these ideas. I haven't played enough with the same people to see much issue yet, but some cards definitely seem more powerful than others. I especially like the damage after the finish line idea and thought something similar might be good. Why did you decide on 1 per space versus some varied combination /randomized setup?
 
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Tieske Molenaar
Netherlands
Abcoude
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Nice, should did this been posted in variants?
 
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Chris Laudermilk
United States
Orange County
California
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Interesting ideas. My group has not seen any of the issues to the extent yours has. Yes, the three Boost cards can be powerful & are nice to use, but we haven't seen them completely blow out a game (your group seems to make enormous machines?)

Yes, this should be in Variants.
 
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Matt Smith
United States
Orion
Michigan
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I really like the idea of terrain after the finish line, and will use the provided terrain tokens to spice up the final round a bit.
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David G

Colorado
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tasajara wrote:
Why did you decide on 1 per space versus some varied combination /randomized setup?


Just because it's simple to know that each space has one damage, rather than try to mark spaces with different values.
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