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Subject: Reinforcement Variant rss

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Xagyg
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I have this idea that during the reinforcement phase, allies may add additional ships to the defense or offense (not exceeding a total of 4 - of course) ONLY from colonies existent in the defense's home system. Cards and ships can be played in any order, and ships cannot be removed from the alliance once they have been committed.

The only problem I see with this is why couldn't the defense do this wth their ships if the allies can? There must be some explanation but I can't think of one. Any suggestions?
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Jack Reda
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There may be an alien in this concept... flesh it out!
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Xagyg
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The Warp wrote:
There may be an alien in this concept... flesh it out!


Great idea Jack, thanks for the tip ... an alien would provide the appropriate reason.
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Xagyg
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SCRAMBLER

You have the power to mobilize. As an ally, when reinforcements are called for, you may add additional ships taken from your colonies on the defense's home system, to the alliance. Reinforcement cards and ships can be played in any order, and once committed ships cannot be removed until resolution is complete.
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Andy Leber
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xagyg wrote:
SCRAMBLER

You have the power to mobilize. As an ally, when reinforcements are called for, you may add additional ships taken from your colonies on the defense's home system, to the alliance. Reinforcement cards and ships can be played in any order, and once committed ships cannot be removed until resolution is complete.


Nice. So as an alien power, we're saying you CAN add more than the normal 4 ships? (Provided they come from the offense or defenses system?) If so, will there be a limit? Or can you add as many as you feel like risking?

I really like this one.
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Xagyg
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Holmes108 wrote:
If so, will there be a limit? Or can you add as many as you feel like risking?

No limit. As many as you feel like risking. At this stage I am thinking always from the defensive system (ships close by, you see) regardless of whether you are allying with the offense or defense.
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Xagyg
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Wild: you can ally with the defense during the reinforcement phase even if you weren't invited as an ally.

Super: reinforcement ships can come from colonies on offensive and defensive systems.
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Just a Bill
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I actually liked the version 2 you posted, for the flexibility and because it gave you something to do in the early game when you don't have foreign colonies to draw from yet; where did it go?

Below are some suggestions for tightening up the wordings and formatting. Instead of "when encounter cards are called for" it would be safer to just throw this into the "after revealed" window with everything else. Also, "from the defense's home system" will get thematically screwy with things like Will and when a player is trying to reclaim a home colony, so I think you want to define this as "same system as targeted planet". Finally, there's no need to say the ships can't be removed later, since there's no mechanic that would allow that anyway. Also, the Wild needs a few safety features. Suggestions:

You have the power to Mobilize. As an ally, after encounter cards are revealed, you may use this power to increase your ships in the encounter. You may bring additional ships from any of your home colonies, subject to the normal limit for an ally (usually 4), and/or you may bring any number of additional ships from your colonies in the same system as the targeted planet, even exceeding that limit.
Ally Only – Optional – Reveal

Wild: If you are not a main player or ally, after encounter cards are revealed, you may ally with the defense even if you were not invited.
Not Main Player or Ally – Reveal

Super: When using your power, you may add any number of additional ships from your colonies in the home systems of the offense and defense.
Ally Only – Reveal

Note that if Will is encountering red in green's system, this power can add a few ships from his own home system (up to 4 total in the gate) and then can add any number from his colonies in the red system, the green system, and Will's system. That's kinda cool.
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Xagyg
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Thanks for the rewording and improvements Bill. I removed version 2 because I wasn't sure if it was necessary and didn't want to rush into changes without letting the initial idea/s settle somewhat. My old version 2 follows, but it looks like you capture all of this (and more) in the version you posted- which is really fantastic - thanks! I am happy to call your refined version, above, the "official" version (for now anyway).

SCRAMBLER Version 2 (old) Bill's revision above is the latest version

I have a slight modification to the previous version regarding taking some ships from home system - looking for opinions - I think it is a slight improvement but not sure it is necessary

You have the power to mobilize. As an ally, when reinforcements are called for, you may add additional ships to the alliance. If you have less than 4 ships allied, you may bring the total up to 4 by taking the additional ships from colonies on your home system. In addition, you may take as many ships as you wish from your colonies on the defense's home system, and add them to the alliance. Reinforcement cards and ships can be played in any order, and once committed, ships cannot be removed until resolution is complete.
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Just a Bill
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I think your version 2 revision is excellent. Before that, the player had to wait until he was an ally in an encounter in a system where he already had another colony of 2 or more ships. If he wants to keep that other colony defended with at least 2 ships remaining, then he had to have at least 3 or 4 on that colony for his power to mean very much.

The additional ability to take ships from home colonies is what makes it work for me. Now, regardless of the seating order, I can always ally with 1 ship and wait to see what the other allies are going to do and what the encounter cards are before deciding if I'm really contributing 2, 3, or 4 ships. When helping the offense, I start with minimal risk but can opt for something akin to a +3 reinforcement if I have the ships available. When helping the defense, the same is true and, once I'm confident we're going to win, I can dial up my rewards to 2, 3, or 4.

If I have well-defended colonies in the same system as the targeted planet, even better. Now I might get 7 or 8 rewards or go "all in" with my available ships to get something like a +8 reinforcement.

One way to look at Scrambler is that it's like a weaker cousin to Amoeba, with the following benefits: (a) you get invited to ally more often, (b) you get extra rewards (which Amoeba does not), and (c) perhaps most important, you get to 'ooze' after cards are revealed. That's big.

EDIT: And you never have to get stung for more than one ship by a main player who invites allies knowing he's planning to lose!
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Xagyg
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Thanks for the post. WOW, you really opened my eyes to the possibilities with that mental playtesting in your last post. It's exciting to read! Your mind must be programmed for CE! Thanks again.
 
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Xagyg
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Are there any thoughts on naming? I am ok with Scrambler, but Interceptor is also good. Both seem to get across the right vibe (as long as Scrambler is associated with scrambling in a hurry to get somewhere - rather than scrambling to mix something up - and not to be confused with the Tech Scrambler technology card). Or maybe something more metaphoric/abstract? Or let it lie as Scrambler to keep a lid on this potential can of (naming) worms.
 
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Jefferson Krogh
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I like the name "Scrambler." It carries a fun sense of chaos and emergency.
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Xagyg
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
I like the name "Scrambler." It carries a fun sense of chaos and emergency.


Thanks for that feedback. Ok, let's rule out Interceptor (for being somewhat sterile). Overnight, I thought of another option, Raptor. But unless it's a big winner, then Scrambler it will be.
 
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Just a Bill
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"Scrambler" made sense to me, especially with the military connotation of quickly dispatching fighter craft to respond to a crisis of some kind. I'm a notorious name/theme nitpicker and I didn't have any issues with it.

Now you just need a good history. I started to put together some notes and ran into a problem: how do you write the story of aliens that are trained, courageus, and ready to respond at a moment's notice ... but only as an ally?

That led me to thinking that maybe it's not so much that they can't defend themselves physically, but rather that it's not politically acceptable. So here's some grist for the mill; borrow, modify, critique, or ignore as you please:

The dedicated quick-response forces nicknamed "Scramblers" dutifully defended their homeworlds for decades, ultimately shaping a lasting peace that fostered unprecedented vitality and productivity. Ironically, this safety and affluence gradually wooed the civilian population into apathy, and eventually contempt, for those who had sacrificed to make such a life possible. Now, these noble outcasts willingly come to the aid of all who are in need — all except their own, who will no longer have them.
 
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Xagyg
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Ok. Great, so we'll stick with Scrambler. Now ... the history ... thanks for having a go at the description Bill. (need time to think).

EDIT:

The dedicated quick-response forces nicknamed "Scramblers" dutifully defended their homeworlds for centuries, ultimately shaping a lasting peace that fostered unprecedented vitality and productivity. With the realization that many more alien forces were in existence vying for galactic control, the Scramblers started looking outwardly,utilising and developing their superior logistics and support systems for deep space exploration and conquest, to the detriment of local system defense. In local conflicts of distant star systems, Scrambler is often called upon to mobilize forces to help its friends in times of emergency.

I am not sure it should be to the "detriment" (but I am ok with it). As an example of how this might happen ... e.g. Space exploration / conquest = $1000 Trillion. Local system defense - "not that important right now", therefore $500 Million. If you get my drift.

It doesn't explain why its power can't be utilized "as the offense". But does the description need to explain everything? A bit of abstractness is ok, right?

I guess one could argue that as an ally, Scrambler is reacting to a call of help, rather than a planned deliberate attack as an offensive player, where presumably, well-formed plans have been laid (and hence the forces have been deliberately allocated - i.e. already mobilized). Hmm... this argument might be a bit weak.
 
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Xagyg
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Wishful thinking I know, but if there is anyone out there in artwork land who wants to have a crack at what Scrambler might look like, I would love to see what you come up with.
 
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Xagyg
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Bill Martinson wrote:
I started to put together some notes and ran into a problem: how do you write the story of aliens that are trained, courageus, and ready to respond at a moment's notice ... but only as an ally?


Well, I must say, that got me thinking about what would happen if we changed it to "as a main player or ally" and scrapped the 4 from home system and just made it "as many ships as you wish from your colonies on the targeted system". I suppose that would make Scrambler some sort of super Amoeba when the target is its home system. I think I should stop thinking about this.
 
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Just a Bill
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Yeah, don't worry about it. I went through that same thought process and then stopped myself before I started suggesting changes. I don't think you want to make this into an Amoeba knockoff; it's interesting the way you designed it. Just find a way to write a history you're happy with and you'll have a decent homebrew.
 
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Xagyg
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Right. I like the history you proposed (it has the CE flavour to it), the only thing that didn't sit well with me is that these guys are outcasts. I understand the motivation for proposing it. Maybe I'll warm up to it in a few days - I'm probably thinking about it too hard right now. Thanks again for your very helpful input.
 
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Just a Bill
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Like I said, use whatever you want from this history. I just wrote it that way because I enjoy a story with some poignancy, and the "noble outcast" concept seemed to have a bit of emotional resonance. (I guess it also seemed appealing because of the parallels to the modern American culture of consumption and self-gratifiation.) But it's your alien ... anything that doesn't appeal to you I can always recycle somewhere else. After all, electrons are still free. ;-)
 
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Just a Bill
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xagyg wrote:
Wishful thinking I know, but if there is anyone out there in artwork land who wants to have a crack at what Scrambler might look like, I would love to see what you come up with.

Most of the homebrews in my set have artwork I've found on the internet, using Google and by trolling the 3D galleries on sites like cghub, cgchannel, and the like. Just be sure you stay within the bounds of the "fair use" provisions of copyright law, and don't distribute those images to anyone else (even for free).

Here's what I'm putting on Scrambler in my own play set. (I don't generally like to use human-looking images, but I'm making an exception here because the guy's expression seems to fit the storyline I was thinking about.)

http://cghub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5527

Anyway, you can find a lot of great stuff out there by poking around. Just don't publish anything you build without obtaining the artist's permission (some will give it, and others will scold you for even asking).
 
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Xagyg
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Like I said, use whatever you want from this history. I just wrote it that way because I enjoy a story with some poignancy, and the "noble outcast" concept seemed to have a bit of emotional resonance.


Well, it is good. Better than anything I could think up.
 
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Xagyg
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Here's what I'm putting on Scrambler in my own play set.

Thanks for the tip on artwork. And that image looks very cool.
 
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