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XCOM: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: My more challenging options for all 4 player roles rss

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Geppo Muzzak
Italy
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I think TBG can be successfully improved to make it more in line with the PC game by use of some very simple changes in mechanics that do not involve patching for the app.

I am experimenting in solo game with:

Comms Officer:
I don't like the fact satellites can never be destroyed because since they do a lot of damage to the aliens they should be a primary target for them.

Chief Scientist:
Another thing I do not like is the fact scientists also never die. Exhausting a scientist and taking him back 2 turns later doesn't tilt the scales of balance in favor of the alien "player".

Squad Leader:
TBG is missing the routine anti-abduction and particular anti-terror missions of the XCom organization of the PC game version. We do have the skyranger but while it can affect one crisis card, it can't do anything against all other panic levels increasing due to UFOs continental activity.

Commander:
The Commander is mainly responsible for the coordination of budget use, as well as managing the global air defense. I think this is a role that entitles fewer choices than the man should be entitled to. I don't like that the officer training is automatically successful also.

So I am experimenting with a system where an alien die of 1 for the Comms Officer and the Chief Scientist rolls doesn't simply exhaust the tokens but sends them straight to the recruiting pool (destroyed/dead). A roll of 1 for the Commander is also entitled for training the officer... if you roll 1 on the alien die, the soldier doesn't become elite.

These resources are actually up for sale again with the excess budget where the Commander can buy them again (3€ for a satellite and 1€ for a scientist). A failure with any other alien die roll follows normal exhaustion rules.

In the first case I'm considering the aliens just basically destroyed the satellites, in the second, that a lab accident happened (an alien in containment broke free, a weapon being studied misfired, some chemical substance caused an explosion, some equipment broke down, etc.).

In regards with the Squad Leader and the Skyranger, he can use 2 extra soldiers on the Skyranger to drop down a panic level in a continent of his choice by 1 slot (this is a special ability that doesn't cost upkeep).

This requires a single alien die roll and if a 1 is rolled these 2 soldiers failed (and died) but this ALSO applies to the crisis card (if an alien die roll of 1 turns up, the crisis card is not discarded and the soldiers die).

The crisis card roll must be made by the Commander but the Skyranger anti-abduction die roll must be made by the Squad Leader.
Now, since the Squad Leader is now able to use FOUR soldiers on his special Skyranger ability, this will expose the base to weakness for lack of defenders. The Commander can use 2€ to repair the base and take off 1 damage. It is very risky because if you go behind a "red spot" and then take damage again next turn, the XCom suffer the Alien Plan effects AGAIN. Commander must roll the alien die and if 1 is rolled the repair fails (money is spent anyway).

So, I figured out that with every roll there should always be a chance of serious dire consequences but also thought about ways to rebalance everything through the Commander's choices (choices that cost money for scientists and satellites but also that may fail).

So let me recap:

(CS)
Alien die 1 = scientist killed.
(CO)
Alien die 1 = satellite(s) destroyed.

Both return to the pool (scientist costs 1 and satellite costs 3).

(Cdr)
Alien die 1 = base repair failed.
(costs 2. In case of success drop 1 damage)
Alien die 1 = skyranger crisis mission failed.
(both soldiers dead, crisis card NOT discarded)
Alien die 1 = soldier training failed.

*Cdr can buy scientists and satellites.*

(SL)
Alien die 1 = skyranger abduction interdiction mission failed.
(both soldiers dead. If successful drop 1 panic from continent of choice).

Let me know what you think.
 
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Robert
Germany
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First of all: Good thoughts from you

Here my 2 Cents:

1.) I think that XCOM difficult is high enough. Especially with the new expansion. I don't think, that it will become easier. Especially that you have 4 different difficult-levels.

2.) I think there is a reason behind the fact, that a satellites and a scientist can not be destroyed/die.
If a continent falls in panic, the UFO's in this continent switch to the orbit. So possibly you get a round with 6+ UFO's in the Orbit.
You will use 3 satellites for this situation in the next 2 rounds. So you have only 2 satellites left to use your tech-cards.
I think that 60% of all tech cards are used with satellites.

You are right, at the beginning you never run out of satellites. But the more the game progresses the more problems you've got with the satellites.



Did you tried a game with your House Rules? Can you finish an easy mission?
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Alexander Steinbach
Netherlands
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I think these can work in general with just 1 exception. 3 credits to buy back a satellite is just way too expensive. Why not just make it 1 credit like everything else?

Having to spend additional cash to replenish satellites and scientists is big enough. No need to make it completely unaffordable.
 
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Geppo Muzzak
Italy
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I am still in the conceptual phase at the moment.

Maybe the best solution is to add a sub-level to the alien die while leaving its mechanics untouched. The concept is simple: you're taking a higher risk with the rerolls against the threat level but this risk can also mean a critical failure with dire consequences. On the other hand these consequences allow us to add extra choices to each player during the resolution phase designed to counter them.

Higher risk but also higher reward because the choices of base repair and Skyranger extra mission actually shift the damage from one compartment to the other in the global situation.

My idea here is to add extra dice to the normal game and I'll call these the "mod dice" assigning a different letter to each, signifying that they do not necessarily need to be the same die.

(CS)
Mod die is 1Dx when 3 scientists are involved, 1Dy when 2 scientists are involved and 1Dz when 1 scientist is involved.

(CO)
Mod die is 1Dh when 3 satellites are involved, 1Dj when 2 satellites are involved and 1Dk when only one satellite is involved.

-------------------------

I think these cases should oppose one another in concepts: More scientists assigned means higher chances of success (more XCom dice) but also greater risks of lab accidents. So dice x, y and z should be progressing towards a smaller chance of critical failure.

I.e. 3 scientists = 1D8, 2 scientists = 1D10 and 1 scientist = 1D12.

Mod die to be rolled concurrently with each of the other dice rolls (so you're rolling 1 alien die, 1 mod die and 1 XCom die per scientist committed).

On the other hand, the orbital battle should work the exact opposite with the more satellites being committed allowing them to direct ICBM from Earth more efficiently against UFOs, thus granting a smaller chance of catastrophic defeat.
This means progression should be k, j h.

I.e. 1 satellite = 1D8, 2 satellites = 1D10 and 3 satellites = 1D12.

(CDR)
Mod die is 1Da when attempting to repair the base, 1Db for the Crisis intervention mission, 1Dc for the officer training roll.

a = 1D8
b = 1D10
c = 1D8

I would love to have a progressive failure chance here according to the number of soldiers delivered to the academy. However, the rule states there can never be more than 4 elite soldiers.
Fact is if the promotion is no longer automatic, then an entirely different roll is required... to succeed and not to have a critical failure in promoting and this must be an exclusive roll because in case of success it concludes the phase of promotion for the remaining soldiers.

In theory, then, the more soldiers you commit to the academy, the more likely one of them will show the qualities required to become an elite soldier. So... what I'm thinking about is to ROLL 1D4 for the mod die for each individual soldier but still be allowed only one to succeed. So the first one the CDR picks rolls 1D4 and if he doesn't roll 1 on the mod die that soldier becomes elite. No more rolls allowed for the academy. A possible progression could be that if you send 2 soldiers you roll 1D6 and with 3 soldiers you roll 1D8. Naturally the more soldiers... the less likely you will only roll ones (critical failure = no probomtions for anyone).

(SL)
Mod die is 1De for the Skyranger S&D mission.

In theory this should be a 1D10 (2 soldiers) but I think the best should be 1D4. Higher risk to be paid if you want to lower the panic level of a continent with the Skyranger. It is the same chance (but opposite) you have to fail with the promotion of a soldier from the academy.

Needless to say, the mod die can be rerolled as if it was an alien die through card/ability... and, again, all the mod dice can be reworked for the exact percentage we need (it's what the 1D100 or 2D10 are for, after all).

Some examples:

2 scientists committed, starting at threat level 1:
2X vs 1A and 1M rolls = 66% vs 12,5% (exhaust) and 10% (killed)

Threat level 2:
2X vs 1A and 1M second roll = 66% vs 25% (exhaust) and 20% (killed)

Threat level 3:
2X vs 1A and 1M third roll = 66% vs 37,5% (exhaust) and 30% (killed)

Threat level 4:
2X vs 1A and 1M fourth roll = 66% vs 50% (exhaust) and 40% (killed)

Threat level 5:
2X vs 1A and 1M fifth roll = 66% vs 62,5% (exhaust) and 50% (killed)

It's a tad too risky, don't you think?
And yet again... this is with the mod die = D10... but with the D12 it starts to make more sense ending with:

Threat 1: 8,3%
Threat 2: 16,6%
Threat 3: 25%
Threat 4: 33%
Threat 5: 41,6%

Interesting... without involving the D100 and while still involving a progressive AND dynamic increase on the critical failure chances, by merely shifting from D4 to D6, D8, D10, D12 and D20 there's a great deal of customization... not to mention the Mod die could even be taylored to the difficulty level.

Very very interesting.

Example with CO and a 3-Satellite orbital engagement.

3X vs 1A and 1M rolls = % vs % (exhaust) and % (destroyed)

1: 99% vs 12,5 % and 10%
2: 99% vs 25% and 20%
3: 99% vs 37,5% and 30%
4: 99% vs 50% and 40%
5: 99% vs 62,5% and 50%

Interesting...

Well... if you find errors in the maths feel free to correct me (I'll try not to look too embarassed about it, lol).


 
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Geppo Muzzak
Italy
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Will be posting Beta4 rules in the "Variants" section.
 
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