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The Lamps Are Going Out» Forums » Rules

Subject: Tech Cards rss

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douglas southwell
United States
Kansas
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This is the most frustrating part of this game. Played several games now. In the first game no could draw a 1 card. After 3 years of play each side had only 2 tech cards apiece. In the second game one player got 2 tech cards out, while the other player ran through the entire deck fairly early.
Do you know how useless it is to attack someone who has artillery and air support and you have none.

I know the card draw system is to keep the game simple and easy, but all the players were just getting angry when they drew a card they couldn't use. The simple solution is only reshuffle the deck if you want to. Otherwise just create a discard pile until you want to risk reshuffling the techs back in.

The tech is the biggest dislike of the game. All the players went on and on as how the game captures that WWI feel, yet the universal thought on the tech draw was it sucked the life out of the game. Yet you need those techs to make the game a WWI game. Otherwise it is great system that I think captures the whole war like no other game I have played and I collect WWI games.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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New York
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Thanks for your opinions, Douglas!
The Tech draw procedure may not be for everyone, but we've described previously why it is the way it is. That of course does not stop you or anyone else from fiddling with it and inventing an alternative system that fits your particular interpretation of what should and could happen. Whatever you do come up with, please post it here and maybe others will like it as well.

Thanks again and I hope you keep playing the game.

Hermann
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Chris Friend
United States
Sierra Vista
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I didn't have the same issue. Over the course of a full game most of the "right" cards came up eventually. To me it "feels right". I like the way the Technology cards and especially the Event cards play.

As a side BTW I don't find air superiority to be much of an overall impact. Defender winning the first tie certainly won't change the course of a battle that much.
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Kirk Uhlmann
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Douglas,

I appreciate the feedback and other thoughts. As Herm alluded to, the variability and sometimes chaos of the tech cards (though they gave a reasonable distribution most of the time)provided a good feel for what the leaders must have sometimes felt not knowing what, or if, tech would come along to benefit their side or the other - and provided a lot of fun for our groups, whether for or against your alliance. In some cases, we had players screw up a good thing they had going because they got too cocky with the advantage they had in tech (I won't mention my own name).

A different system would need to work out the math if you wanted to make a more regulated but reasonable and realistic distribution.

A starting point might be each Alliance makes a tech draw every other turn and draws until they get the first usable tech (meaning every other turn you will get something). Bonus Tech Event cards are still used normally (might or might not get something). If a gas card is drawn, the following turn (the turn you wouldn't normally draw on) you make an extra draw (before replacing gas) and keep the draw if eligible but if not eligible, you don't keep drawing.

I'm not sure off-hand of the distribution of techs over the course of a game, and maybe it would have some problems, but it might be a good starting point if you want an alternative.

I hope you enjoy the game and I love the feedback!

Kirk
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Kirk Uhlmann
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Actually, Douglas, your idea about the discard pile is somewhat clever.

It might have a potential distribution problem like the suggestion above, but could also be something to give a try if you want to experiment.

Do as you say and create a discard pile with the unsuccessful draws. Adding those back to the eligible draw deck takes the place of your normal tech draw (redirecting your research). Bonus tech cards automatically force everything back into one deck prior to the bonus draw or perhaps that's your option.


Kirk

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douglas southwell
United States
Kansas
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I like that idea. I will try it in the next game to see how it works.
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Michael Wilding
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Old Tappan
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I was also bothered a little by the wide variation in technology distribution. I used the suggestions above and played though the event and technology decks several times using the following rules. The result was that both sides received all or most of their technologies by the end of the war which is historically accurate. I am going to try out these rules in an actual game and see what happens. Here is the rule I used -

Each turn during the Technology Advances phase a player can either (1) draw new card(s) or (2) combine the technology draw pile with the discard pile and reshuffle it to create a new draw pile. The deck does not automatically reshuffle when exhausted (the player uses option 2 for the turn). If a technology Event card is drawn the player may use option 2 instead of drawing card(s). A player can only draw from the remaining draw deck in a turn and may find that there are not enough cards left for all of the possible draw opportunities.

A player can only add one new technology per turn. If a new technology is added by an Event card bonus the player does not draw another card that turn during the Research Technology phase.

Players can examine the discard piles at any time.

----------------------------------------------
This approach results in both sides getting a lot of technologies spread throughout the game. Some players may like it.


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RJ
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Victoria
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Having just participated in a game that was a bit lopsided in tech development, I'd make one suggestion for the discard pile variant discussed above.

I would place undeveloped tech into a discard pile, but make it mandatory to reshuffle that deck once a usable tech is developed.

This way if fate is going against you, you'll progressively have more likelihood of gaining a tech, but you won't be able to put off the 2's and 3's to the side and then guaranteeing that you'll get all the 1's in a row somewhere in mid-game.
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douglas southwell
United States
Kansas
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Well tried this method in a new game the other day. What a difference not reshuffling the deck every turn makes. People were getting the 1 techs, but also the 2s and 3's also. So it was coming up as about 60% for a usable tech every turn. I can remember games were I would shuffle the deck and on the next turn draw the same unusable tech again. The other players liked this new method and we will keep using it, they felt like they were slowly making tech progress in the war.
 
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Chris Friend
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dougredshirt wrote:
Well tried this method in a new game the other day. What a difference not reshuffling the deck every turn makes. People were getting the 1 techs, but also the 2s and 3's also. So it was coming up as about 60% for a usable tech every turn. I can remember games were I would shuffle the deck and on the next turn draw the same unusable tech again. The other players liked this new method and we will keep using it, they felt like they were slowly making tech progress in the war.

I'll stick with the RAW but glad it's working for you.
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