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Posthuman» Forums » Variants

Subject: Co-op/Solo Variant rss

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You may call me
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It took a while but I finally identified why Posthuman isn't a home run for me.

To be clear, I actually like the core mechanics of combat and tile placement with encounters. The solo game is actually quick and enjoyable, if light. You can easily house rule it to give yourself more time to explore by adding the seasonal cards that you officially remove back in and treating them as non events. I haven't done this but I'm guessing they will give you a little more leeway in exploring.

However, what bugs me about this game is the following:
It is a competitive game that you play against the game and not really against other players. That multiplayer solitaire thematic game doesn’t work well for me.

To elaborate, whether I win or lose is more dependent on the tiles, encounters, supplies I draw than what player A, B or C did. If I draw a couple of bad encounters and get sent back to my starting tile, it had nothing to do with my fellow competitors. If I draw 5 mutant scars and turn into a mutant, once again, the other players had nothing to do with that. The only thing that really matters (trading seems to have minor impact) is that they are ahead or behind me on the journey track because they have fared better against the game than I have.

So, in this competitive multiplayer solitaire game we are each playing against the game. Essentially against an AI. That's one of the reasons why turning into a mutant, to most people, is like losing. And keeping everyone else from winning doesn't feel like a victory. Which, let's face it, is more like being a spoiled sport. "I can't win, so neither can you!"

The obvious solution to this is to make the game co-operative and have everyone work together instead of competitively.

Here are my thoughts on a co-operative variant which obviously could also be used for solo with several characters:

Co-operative variant proposal:

Victory condition:
All human characters must reach 10 journey points by the end of the round when the Fortress card is drawn.

Setup:
Setup is like in the official Solo variant with the following change:
One starting tile for the whole group. Characters explore and travel on one common map. All characters place their meeple on the same starting safehaven. All characters also place their meeple on the journey progress track.

Players may stay together or explore in different directions on the map by placing tiles and moving into the zones.

Journey points are scored when completing a tile, not a zone.

Phases:
Event Resolution
The same as solo.

Eating:
The same but characters in the same zone may share food.

Declare Action:
The same.

Trade:
Only characters in the same zone. Characters can freely trade anything except skills, especially useful if the characters will split off in different directions next round.

Action:
When the Move action is selected, all characters move before encounter cards are drawn. Therefore, if characters end up in the same zone together, they fight the encounter as a group. All other actions are the same.

Combat:
1 - Characters each draw a number of encounters as specified by the zone when more than one character is in the same zone. For example, a zone that has one encounter icon, but 3 characters there would draw one encounter card for each character. Therefore, there would be 3 encounter cards drawn. Each character draws an encounter which they place facing them, just like in the regular game. They will fight that enemy during melee.

- Narrative events/skill tests must be performed by each character. (For example, against the Siren encounter everyone must make a mind test.) Each character must resolve the card on their own even if the first character would defeat the encounter. (For example, character A passes the mind test against the Siren and defeats her, character B and C still need to make a test and if they fail, they get the penalty.) Only one character needs to defeat the encounter to reap the rewards.

- During ranged combat, characters can opt to shoot at any of the enemies the group is facing, therefore even enemies drawn by other characters. Melee combat is with the enemies that specific character drew. Melee combat stays the same (3 individual rounds whether defeat or not). If a character's enemy dies in ranged combat, they can aid a fellow character. However, they must wait the first 2 rounds of melee, but can then make an attack in the 3rd/last round of melee against one of the enemies facing another character.

1.1 - Evade: To successfully evade, the character with the lowest speed must successfully pass an an evade test against the encounter card with the highest speed amongst all the encounter cards drawn in the round. Characters evade as a group or not at all. Evading forces a redraw of all the encounter cards drawn in the round.

1.2 - XP goes into a common pool shared by all characters.

2 - Encounter level is team based, and based on the player highest on the journey track.

3 - Once all zones on a tile are completed you draw supply cards as per the regular rules and the rewards are for the whole group. You do not draw supply cards for each individual character. For example, a tile with 3 supply icons is completed by 2 characters. They draw 3 supply cards, not 6. That means that supplies will be much scarcer to balance out that players will move up the journey track much faster. Once a tile is complete, you place a dead zone forage token as per usual rules. Should a character that completes a tile, stay on the tile to forage while another character enters the zone, first the character forages and then an encounter will trigger for all characters still on that tile/zone.

4 - Once a character gets (3) mutant scars they turn into a mutant. Optional: Draw a mutant ally card immediately which joins the current combat encounter.

5 - If a character reaches 0 health or morale, lose 1 journey point. Otherwise, the rules remain the same.

----------

I've only playtested this once and it seemed to work well, but of course, I'm sure it can use some tweaking. Try it out and post any suggestions, tweaks or questions below.
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Lenny Raaymakers
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Sounds good to me. Just. One quick question (I'm sure there'll be more): would the team also split the XP earned when it comes to levelling up? I guess either way would be good. I'd probably allow less experienced players to use more XP than myself.

Yep, sounds like this is worth a play test!
 
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You may call me
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When levelling up, you would still do it individually but drawing the XP from the common pool. So, if there are 5 XP in the pool, Character A can gain a skill for 3 XP but no one else can because there would only be 2 XP left. Hope I answered your question.
 
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Davide Banchini c/o SELED
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Quote:
The obvious solution to this is to make the game co-operative and have everyone work together instead of competitively.


I agree and found your proposal interesting. One thing that need to be better elaborated is the mutant-player thing, after all it's the theme of the game.

Even if, for me the good parts of the game are the tile adventuring, the combat, the character management with the great variety of things, weapons, equipment, xp advancement etc. The encounters in general. My first thought was in fact, once a player mutates: game over, the whole party lose. But it's not a viable option. We would lose an important part of the core concept.

I would like the mutant to be a renewed member of the party. Maybe without stuff (weapon and equipment) and some limitations but still a player that shares the same goal of the other players (who says all mutants are on the dark side?).

I had some crazy idea (just wandering thoughts) like a roll for the mutant (maybe every turn?) against mind that if failed he will still use a mutant card against the other players, instead if successful he can cooperate as normal.

But these are only brainstormed thoughts, nothing tested yet.



 
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