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Codex: Card-Time Strategy» Forums » Rules

Subject: Choosing Spec upon building Tech II building inquiry. rss

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James Mathias
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I understand how this works, but I don't understand why it's implemented Mechanically or Thematically.

I start the game with three heroes, and three specs available to me, but as I upgrade and build up to Tech II, I'm limited to a single spec for the rest of the game.

Thematically that doesn't make any sense at all.

Mechanically, I cannot see a reason you would need to have your options limited by 2/3rds.

Can anyone shine some light on this for me, am I missing something important?

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Jason Reid
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Well, just to be clear, you're only limited on your Tech 2 & 3 Units. You can still play all your heroes, spells, and tech 1s.

Balance-wise, AFAIK, it's to allow for some semblance of counter-play by your opponents. Remember that because of the way turns and card flow work in Codex, you pretty much have to "pre-counter" things through your tech choices. Adding 15 new card options at tech 2, instead of 5, would impact that part of the game pretty drastically. e.g. I know that if you've gone Tech 2 Present, or Feral, your units will be pretty expensive so I should do what I can to limit your gold. If you've gone Anarchy, I need to worry about Haste and Stealth so maybe I should build a Tower.

If you want, you can build a tech lab to give you 10 options instead of 5, but then you've got an extra liability to account for in that building, need to spend the gold, and can't use your add-on slot for anything else. So there's a tradeoff to having more options.
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James Mathias
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jasonwocky wrote:
Well, just to be clear, you're only limited on your Tech 2 & 3 Units. You can still play all your heroes, spells, and tech 1s.

Yes true, sorry I should have been more clear in my post.

jasonwocky wrote:
Balance-wise, AFAIK, it's to allow for some semblance of counter-play by your opponents. Remember that because of the way turns and card flow work in Codex, you pretty much have to "pre-counter" things through your tech choices. Adding 15 new card options at tech 2, instead of 5, would impact that part of the game pretty drastically. e.g. I know that if you've gone Tech 2 Present, or Feral, your units will be pretty expensive so I should do what I can to limit your gold. If you've gone Anarchy, I need to worry about Haste and Stealth so maybe I should build a Tower.

So mechanically this is to narrow down the possibilities for your opponent's sake?

This seems weird to me, and a bit counter-intuitive, take Magic for example. If I'm running a three color deck, and then half way through was mechanically forced to limit myself to only casting spells of a single color, why build the three color deck in the first place?

jasonwocky wrote:
If you want, you can build a tech lab to give you 10 options instead of 5, but then you've got an extra liability to account for in that building, need to spend the gold, and can't use your add-on slot for anything else. So there's a tradeoff to having more options.

Yes, I'm aware of this, it just seems like a strange limitation on the game. Perhaps I'll feel differently after a few plays.

Thanks for the response I appreciate it.
 
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David Sirlin
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The point of the whole system is that you have access to more options than you use in any particular game. Just like in Starcraft or Wacraft, your army might have 30 different types of units that are possible to make, but it's infeasible to make all 30 every game. In those games, you choose a subset each game you play.

Also in those games, you specialize by building the appropriate building. Usually their are three main branches to the tech tree there, like the Protoss's Robotics Facility / Stargate / Templar Archives, for example.

In Codex it's normal to have 1 hero at first, and eventually one type of tech II. So that's 9 possible different standard starts. You can then make a 2nd and 3rd hero in the mid and late game scenarios.

For many years of development, it was possible to build a second tech II building. But after years of playing the game, we had to ask: "is this necessary?" It was a misplay close to 100% of the time. It's quite a challenge to make clean user-interface for the game as well. The layout used to have spots for 3 different tech 2 buildings and 3 different tech 3 buildings. It was a lot of space for something that was used about 0% of the time (with the occasional exception of bad plays). Was it really worth it to support multiple tech trees AT ONCE that you shouldn't even really use? It seemed like quite a strain on UI and just a trap play.

I removed the ability to do that, simplified the layout of the boards and playmats, and created the Tech Lab add-on. This actually made it MORE POSSIBLE to play multiple tech 2s than had ever been possible in the history of the game. Instead of paying an extra 4 gold for a second tech2 building, it now only cost *1* gold to access a second spec.

This went from combinations of two tech IIs happening about 0% to...well I don't know what % it is now actually. Still low, but there are legit plans that use it.

So I guess the answer to the question overall is that a full set of Codex options is not analogous to an MtG deck. It's more analogous to 3 or more decks. And you specialize each time you play for the same reasons you do in RTS video games (if you commit to something, it becomes more possible for opponents to interact with it and counterplays mean something). And that the actual system of the game actually offers MORE ability to mix tech II specs than if we allowed you to build multiple tech II building for each spec.
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trevor

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It plays very similar to an RTS game to me. Ive probably played maybe 1000 games of StarCraft and at least 3/4 of those games are decided at tier 2. That's where you make your heavy investment, that where one good counter play can swing the game. Typically, you have to commit to a strategy at tier 2 in an RTS. If you get to tier 3, it can win you the game. But most experienced StarCraft players will tell you games are won and lost at tier 2, and like David said you have to commit to robo/archives/stargate.


Edit : David explains it better than I ever could.
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James Mathias
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Sirlin wrote:
The point of the whole system is that you have access to more options than you use in any particular game. Just like in Starcraft or Wacraft, your army might have 30 different types of units that are possible to make, but it's infeasible to make all 30 every game. In those games, you choose a subset each game you play.

Also in those games, you specialize by building the appropriate building. Usually their are three main branches to the tech tree there, like the Protoss's Robotics Facility / Stargate / Templar Archives, for example.

In Codex it's normal to have 1 hero at first, and eventually one type of tech II. So that's 9 possible different standard starts. You can then make a 2nd and 3rd hero in the mid and late game scenarios.

For many years of development, it was possible to build a second tech II building. But after years of playing the game, we had to ask: "is this necessary?" It was a misplay close to 100% of the time. It's quite a challenge to make clean user-interface for the game as well. The layout used to have spots for 3 different tech 2 buildings and 3 different tech 3 buildings. It was a lot of space for something that was used about 0% of the time (with the occasional exception of bad plays). Was it really worth it to support multiple tech trees AT ONCE that you shouldn't even really use? It seemed like quite a strain on UI and just a trap play.

I removed the ability to do that, simplified the layout of the boards and playmats, and created the Tech Lab add-on. This actually made it MORE POSSIBLE to play multiple tech 2s than had ever been possible in the history of the game. Instead of paying an extra 4 gold for a second tech2 building, it now only cost *1* gold to access a second spec.

This went from combinations of two tech IIs happening about 0% to...well I don't know what % it is now actually. Still low, but there are legit plans that use it.

So I guess the answer to the question overall is that a full set of Codex options is not analogous to an MtG deck. It's more analogous to 3 or more decks. And you specialize each time you play for the same reasons you do in RTS video games (if you commit to something, it becomes more possible for opponents to interact with it and counterplays mean something). And that the actual system of the game actually offers MORE ability to mix tech II specs than if we allowed you to build multiple tech II building for each spec.


Thanks David, explains it perfectly. I'm no longer confused by the choice.
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Tristan Brunet
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I think you're looking at it the wrong way. You're not limiting yourself when building a tech II building : you're expanding your possibilities, but in a more specific direction, which is quite typical from a tech tree, especially in a RTS game (hence the "tree" image, for this "branching" part). Going to tech II or III is a choice, and one that requires you to narrow your aims. Once again, that's an inherent part of Codex' strategy.
And there's always the Tech lab...

You don't begin with any tech II or III card in your deck (unlike your Magic comparison), so you don't limit yourself here. You're just required to "specialize" when you reach the higher tiers, which force you into a decision that introduce some reading of the current state of the game, and of your opponent's strategy. The "metagame" part of magic is thus put back into the game.

Edit : hyper ninjaed by the designer himself...
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trevor

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I do agree with tristan, having you specialize in a tech allows you to develop a counter. Where in MTG your just screwed if you don't have a counter to begin with. Personally, I love it, one of the most agonizing and deepest decisions is where to tech to. Plus, you still have tech 1 options so your not totally limited.
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Tom D

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This just reminded me that I have a quick question about the tech lab. If I already have tech 2 built and I build the tech lab on my turn, can I play tech 2 cards from that spec immediately or do I need to wait for the following turn?
 
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Liam Culvert
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Any tech buildings or Add-Ons finish building at the end of your turn
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