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Subject: Revised Crossroads cards rss

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Chris J Davis
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This is something I've been meaning to get around to for a while, and I've now finally done it. Here are what I came up with to act as replacements for the Crossroads cards:



So I wanted some feedback. But here's the semi-embarrassing bit: I designed these cards shortly after Exodos was released (about 6 months ago) and so now can't remember my justification for a lot of the things I included in them. There are a couple of things I remember, though:

* Definitely to reduce, though not eliminate, the amount of trauma dished out at the Crossroads phase.

* To make the trauma that is dished out at X-roads more predictable in its targets.

* To always make the accumulation of trauma a negative thing, whether you receive the "correct" type of trauma or not.

* To make the cards more balanced regardless of whether they are dealt to a human or Cylon player.

The only rule change when using these cards should be obvious: when you resolve the card, you only resolve the text following "Cylon" if you're a Cylon player and "Human" if you're a human player.

Anyway - thoughts?
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David F
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Very nice ideas. I like how you made it such that dumping your bad trauma on the Crossroads card gives a neutral/negligible effect, so you have to balance selfish with altruistic play. Also, you're more encouraged to get down to 0 trauma now (instead of stopping once you at at 1-and-1), because you can then pick the beneficial option on the Crossroads Card without penalty (of getting rid of good trauma).

Card-by-card:

Scanned - Looks great. Though keep in mind Cylons do sometimes want the benevolent to happen, if the CFB is completely full, and/or the Pursuit Track isn't at start. Maybe also reset the Pursuit Track for Order a Retreat.

Miraculous Return - I LOVE "I Believe". I think you should restrict it to the new character being only somebody who was already executed :p, and no regain of OPG if already used. The +1 morale is already good enough for humans. Regaining an OPG can be too powerful, especially if you don't restrict the replacement character.

It's a Trick is pretty weak. I think "then you draw a trauma token" isn't necessary.

Disturbing Vision - There is absolutely no reason for a cylon to place a benevolent token on here... that needs to be changed. What have you done? is fantastic though.

Strange Music - Nothing But Static is just to complete your personal goals, right? In that case, I think it's better for it to just say to reveal your personal goals, since a human can completely prove his innocence that way without any ill effects.

I Hear It is fine, though by distance 8, it'd probably come down to a "add one more player to the losing team" situation. I think the last-card-cylon situation needs to be fixed in a separate, earlier way, but this card is fine.

The Opera House - This is great. Having it affect only morale is another idea, since a human/cylon can just play the bad trauma and decrease/increase the most insignificant resource. Seems a little too flexible/powerful if any resource can be chosen.

Perjury - The cylon effect on the benevolent is completely useless. Either remove that text completely or put in another ability. I agree strongly with your 1:5 exchange rate between trauma and skill cards (as opposed to 1:1 with the game).

===============

Also, need clarification on the "give the trauma you played on this card to..." cards as to what happens if no trauma was played on the card (I assume just give a bad trauma from the pool).
 
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Chris J Davis
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Thanks for the feedback! You forgot one, though: Testimony.

A few responses below:

selwyth wrote:
Very nice ideas. I like how you made it such that dumping your bad trauma on the Crossroads card gives a neutral/negligible effect, so you have to balance selfish with altruistic play. Also, you're more encouraged to get down to 0 trauma now (instead of stopping once you at at 1-and-1), because you can then pick the beneficial option on the Crossroads Card without penalty (of getting rid of good trauma).

Card-by-card:

Scanned - Looks great. Though keep in mind Cylons do sometimes want the benevolent to happen, if the CFB is completely full, and/or the Pursuit Track isn't at start. Maybe also reset the Pursuit Track for Order a Retreat.


Good one - will do.

Quote:
Miraculous Return - I LOVE "I Believe". I think you should restrict it to the new character being only somebody who was already executed ,


I think I made it like that simply in case no one had been executed that game, and the text for making it otherwise sounded messy. I'll think about it, though.

Quote:
and no regain of OPG if already used.


I think this is important to add some kind of real gameplay significance to that character returning. To make it "feel" as if that character has returned with a purpose (as Starbuck did in the show). So I think I'll keep this in. If anything, I'll remove the +1 morale.

Quote:
The +1 morale is already good enough for humans. Regaining an OPG can be too powerful, especially if you don't restrict the replacement character.

It's a Trick is pretty weak. I think "then you draw a trauma token" isn't necessary.


I really wish I could remember *why* I put that part in. I agree with you that it seems unnecessary - I really wonder what I was thinking (I'm sure there was a good reason at the time).

It may have been something like this: it's to force the Cylon player to think about whether to place an antagonistic trauma or not; if they don't have much trauma, then they can place an A-trauma without worrying. If they do have, say, 2 trauma, they may want to consider placing a B-trauma instead.

But I'm not sure.

Quote:
Disturbing Vision - There is absolutely no reason for a cylon to place a benevolent token on here... that needs to be changed.


I imagine my reasoning was that it at least gives the Cylon a 50% chance of getting rid of their B-trauma. But now I agree - it seems weak (and a little boring).

Quote:
What have you done? is fantastic though.

Strange Music - Nothing But Static is just to complete your personal goals, right? In that case,


I wish I could remember.

Quote:
I think it's better for it to just say to reveal your personal goals, since a human can completely prove his innocence that way without any ill effects.


I think that was actually the point of it. I think it was supposed to be a Cylon detector at distance 7, with some uncertainty from the FF cards.

Quote:
I Hear It is fine, though by distance 8, it'd probably come down to a "add one more player to the losing team" situation. I think the last-card-cylon situation needs to be fixed in a separate, earlier way, but this card is fine.

The Opera House - This is great. Having it affect only morale is another idea, since a human/cylon can just play the bad trauma and decrease/increase the most insignificant resource. Seems a little too flexible/powerful if any resource can be chosen.


I wanted to make the Opera House actually be significant.

Quote:
Perjury - The cylon effect on the benevolent is completely useless. Either remove that text completely or put in another ability.


It's not as useless as you think what with other Crossroads cards referencing "the player with the most trauma" (which is what I think my reasoning was at the time), but you're right in that it may still be pretty weak.

Quote:
I agree strongly with your 1:5 exchange rate between trauma and skill cards (as opposed to 1:1 with the game).

===============

Also, need clarification on the "give the trauma you played on this card to..." cards as to what happens if no trauma was played on the card (I assume just give a bad trauma from the pool).


Can't remember.
 
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David F
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bleached_lizard wrote:

Quote:
Perjury - The cylon effect on the benevolent is completely useless. Either remove that text completely or put in another ability.


It's not as useless as you think what with other Crossroads cards referencing "the player with the most trauma" (which is what I think my reasoning was at the time), but you're right in that it may still be pretty weak.


I see. It's still pretty weak though, since it's useless if this Crossroads Card is played before the "most trauma" card(s) (or maybe the latter won't get played at all).
 
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Chris J Davis
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How about these?



EDIT: Upon re-reading them, I've amended the antagonistic effect on The Opera House to this:

"Decrease any resource by 1.
Human: If it was not the lowest resource, decrease it an additional 1."
 
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Final amendment (includes changes to The Opera House and Strange Music):

 
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David F
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Looks awesome! I'd happily play with these. You even made Testimony and Perjury interesting.

Being a perfectionist, I just have a few minor quibbles left:

Scanned: Lose 1 morale on Order a Retreat is kinda un-thematic. How about Human: take the last card in the Loyalty Deck (so there are 2 of those floating around).

Miraculous Return: This one is awesome sauce! Both the benevolent and antagonistic are great. My ideal wording for Miraculous Return is for it to be "must be an executed character" (if nobody has been executed, too bad), and the player who takes the new character must take the last loyalty card.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Choose any human player to exchange their character for any other character who was human and executed. That player's once-per-game ability is available again, and that player must draw the top card of the Loyalty Deck (do not replace it).

That last part is because everybody thought Starbuck was a cylon.
Never mind, too weak. And more thematic to have "Human: Draw 1 Loyalty Card" for It's a Trick.



Disturbing Vision: Didn't catch this earlier. There is almost no reason for a human to pick the benevolent on this one.

Strange Music: Still think the benevolent effect is too beneficial for humans because I dislike game effects that reveal loyalty and hinder the deductive elements of gameplay (hey, XO me with abandon!), and that "Reveal all of your Personal Goals" is good enough. They are automatically completed! Not too thematic though.

How about this.

Strange Music
Nothing But Static - Human: Draw the top card of the Loyalty Deck (do not replace it).

I Hear It - Human: Reveal and discard unused "Not a Cylon" Loyalty Cards until you reveal a Final Five Loyalty Card. Resolve its text as if you had just examined this card.
Cylon: (what you already have)
 
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David F
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Just saw your Strange Music update. Those are good too.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Disturbing Vision: Why not? It's basically a choice between playing a good trauma to get rid of a bad trauma and discarding 5 cards, or playing a bad trauma to get rid of it and give it to someone else.
 
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David F
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If I have few cards, I'd gladly pick the benevolent.

If I have more than 5 cards, I can't ever fathom throwing 5 cards away to put a fellow human at risk. The only times I'd do that is border cases where I'm a hidden Cylon, or I'm a human and the human with the most trauma is a confirmed hidden Cylon.

Also, I edited my Miraculous Return comment.
 
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selwyth wrote:
Looks awesome! I'd happily play with these. You even made Testimony and Perjury interesting.

Being a perfectionist, I just have a few minor quibbles left:

Scanned: Lose 1 morale on Order a Retreat is kinda un-thematic. How about Human: take the last card in the Loyalty Deck (so there are 2 of those floating around).


The "lose 1 morale" thing is supposed to represent the fact that the fleet now knows there are other Cylons amongst them (whether they're good or bad doesn't matter).

I don't want too many of the same effect appearing on different cards, plus that effect wouldn't properly fit on the card anyway.

Quote:
Miraculous Return: This one is awesome sauce! Both the benevolent and antagonistic are great. My ideal wording for Miraculous Return is for it to be "must be an executed character" (if nobody has been executed, too bad), and the player who takes the new character must take the last loyalty card.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Choose any human player to exchange their character for any other character who was human and executed. That player's once-per-game ability is available again, and that player must draw the top card of the Loyalty Deck (do not replace it).

That last part is because everybody thought Starbuck was a cylon.
Never mind, too weak. And more thematic to have "Human: Draw 1 Loyalty Card" for It's a Trick.


Again, don't want too many of the same effect of different cards, plus I was trying to avoid the issue you raised earlier of having a player joining the losing side at the last moment.

Regarding executed "may" vs. "must": if you choose a character who wasn't previously executed during the game, then it means that character has never been played during the game. If that is the case, who is to say that character *wasn't* executed earlier in the game ("in the background", so to speak)? You can simply say that the character has returned from being executed at some earlier unseen point in time.

So Miraculous Return will be staying as it is, I'm afraid. Though if you *really* want, I can make up a special version just for you and e-mail it to you.


Quote:
Disturbing Vision: Didn't catch this earlier. There is almost no reason for a human to pick the benevolent on this one.


Addressed in my above post.

Quote:
Strange Music: Still think the benevolent effect is too beneficial for humans because I dislike game effects that reveal loyalty and hinder the deductive elements of gameplay (hey, XO me with abandon!), and that "Reveal all of your Personal Goals" is good enough. They are automatically completed! Not too thematic though.

How about this.

Strange Music
Nothing But Static - Human: Draw the top card of the Loyalty Deck (do not replace it).

I Hear It - Human: Reveal and discard unused "Not a Cylon" Loyalty Cards until you reveal a Final Five Loyalty Card. Resolve its text as if you had just examined this card.
Cylon: (what you already have)


Also already addressed.
 
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selwyth wrote:
If I have few cards, I'd gladly pick the benevolent.


I did consider making it "you may discard 5 cards to discard a trauma token" (i.e, you *must* have at least 5 cards to discard the token), but decided it made for more interesting decisions if I allowed the variable number of possible cards in hand to be a factor to take into account.

Quote:
If I have more than 5 cards, I can't ever fathom throwing 5 cards away to put a fellow human at risk.


I don't understand what you mean. If you are choosing the option where you are discarding 5 cards, you are not putting a fellow human at risk at all.
 
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David F
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Sorry, I mean I will always choose to discard 5 over putting a fellow human at risk. No 5 cards are worth the risk of getting a team member eliminated. Especially so if the human who would get eliminated has more than 5 cards himself.

Again, not counting borderline cases such as having five 5-to-6 strength cards in hand, hidden cylon making the choice, and hidden cylon having the most trauma.
 
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selwyth wrote:
Sorry, I mean I will always choose to discard 5 over putting a fellow human at risk. No 5 cards are worth the risk of getting a team member eliminated. Especially so if the human who would get eliminated has more than 5 cards himself.

Again, not counting borderline cases such as having five 5-to-6 strength cards in hand, hidden cylon making the choice, and hidden cylon having the most trauma.


What if the human player with the most trauma only had 1-2 trauma tokens?

What if it was the difference between you or him being eliminated?

What if you had nothing but bad trauma anyway?

What would you suggest instead?
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:

What if the human player with the most trauma only had 1-2 trauma tokens?

What if it was the difference between you or him being eliminated?

What if you had nothing but bad trauma anyway?

What would you suggest instead?


1. Way too risky, especially in tandem with other trauma-giving cards.

2. Rare. This only matters in the unlucky and unlikely case where a 2-trauma swing between you and a fellow human actually matters. If I were a human and staring at this card. I'd only see the top allows me to discard 1 bad trauma and 5 cards, and the bottom allows me to discard 1 bad trauma and possibly eliminate a human... gulp

3. That is a problem inherent with all Crossroads Cards (and as I mentioned, your cards do a far better job of getting players to go from 2 trauma to 0 trauma, instead of just sitting at 2 because the printed Crossroads Cards are such a crapshoot in terms of benevolent/antagonistic).

4. Any team-wide benefit would work, for example moving another player out of Sickbay, having every human draw 2 cards etc. Can't think of anything thematic right now.

Though really, I'm just nitpicking at this point. Any of these is better than the ones in the game (e.g. Disturbing Vision).
 
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selwyth wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:

What if the human player with the most trauma only had 1-2 trauma tokens?

What if it was the difference between you or him being eliminated?

What if you had nothing but bad trauma anyway?

What would you suggest instead?


1. Way too risky, especially in tandem with other trauma-giving cards.

2. Rare. This only matters in the unlucky and unlikely case where a 2-trauma swing between you and a fellow human actually matters. If I were a human and staring at this card. I'd only see the top allows me to discard 1 bad trauma and 5 cards, and the bottom allows me to discard 1 bad trauma and possibly eliminate a human... gulp

3. That is a problem inherent with all Crossroads Cards (and as I mentioned, your cards do a far better job of getting players to go from 2 trauma to 0 trauma, instead of just sitting at 2 because the printed Crossroads Cards are such a crapshoot in terms of benevolent/antagonistic).

4. Any team-wide benefit would work,


You mean team-wide *penalty* (as the antagonistic effects are supposed to be bad for the humans)...?

Quote:
for example moving another player out of Sickbay,


Moving another player *into* sickbay might work, but then you're giving them a trauma anyway.

Quote:
having every human draw 2 cards etc. Can't think of anything thematic right now.


That's the thing - in this case, receiving trauma is the thematic option.

Quote:
Though really, I'm just nitpicking at this point. Any of these is better than the ones in the game (e.g. Disturbing Vision).


I think it's okay to have 1-2 cards where the options are a little lop-sided. They will still have an effect in those edge cases that you mentioned.

I'll have one final re-think when I get home this evening. If I can't think of anything better I'll upload a PDF of the cards tonight.
 
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How about this for Disturbing Visions/What Have I Done?

"Either send the human player with the most trauma (excluding you, your choice if tied) to sickbay OR execute that character."

This could probably be both the human and Cylon effect, I think.
 
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Okay - how about this as the final, FINAL version (Testimony also updated)?

 
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David F
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Strange Music - The Cylon text doesn't seem necessary for I Hear It. That only matters if it's a Personal Goal, and that's rare enough in the first place, even rarer for the Personal Goal to actually matter. I'd rather you take the vacated space to add, "Take the last... If it is a "You Are a Cylon" OR a "Final Five"..."

Quote:
You mean team-wide *penalty* (as the antagonistic effects are supposed to be bad for the humans)...?

No, team-wide benefit. I was talking about the benevolent effect of Strange Vision. The antagonistic is fine (and your new one is great).

Quote:
Moving another player *into* sickbay might work, but then you're giving them a trauma anyway.


? You don't get a trauma for going into Sickbay, only for starting your turn in it. Since all trauma tokens and allies are gone after Crossroads, there's no way to gain trauma by going into Sickbay during Crossroads.

The recurring theme in your cards is that the antagonistic allows the human to get rid of bad trauma at the cost of a team-wide penalty, while the benevolent gives a team-wide benefit at the cost of not getting rid of bad trauma. Discarding your own trauma and 5 skill cards isn't much of a team-wide benefit. This is especially so since the antagonistic part (sending somebody to sickbay) isn't that bad.
 
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selwyth wrote:
Strange Music - The Cylon text doesn't seem necessary for I Hear It. That only matters if it's a Personal Goal, and that's rare enough in the first place, even rarer for the Personal Goal to actually matter. I'd rather you take the vacated space to add, "Take the last... If it is a "You Are a Cylon" OR a "Final Five"..."


The Strange Music card is only supposed to represent someone *becoming* a Cylon/FF, not revealing themselves as one. The only reason the card forces it for the YAAC card is to address the well-known problem with the new execution rules.

The Cylon text is for exactly what you point out: personal goals. It's to ensure the bottom half of the card has a decent enough chance of being negative. And with only one jump cycle to go until the end of the game, it increases the chance the Goal *will* have an effect, if drawn.

Quote:
Quote:
You mean team-wide *penalty* (as the antagonistic effects are supposed to be bad for the humans)...?

No, team-wide benefit. I was talking about the benevolent effect of Strange Vision. The antagonistic is fine (and your new one is great).


Is the balance between the new effects better, then?

Quote:
Quote:
Moving another player *into* sickbay might work, but then you're giving them a trauma anyway.


? You don't get a trauma for going into Sickbay, only for starting your turn in it. Since all trauma tokens and allies are gone after Crossroads, there's no way to gain trauma by going into Sickbay during Crossroads.


Of course, I forgot - we play that you collect the trauma as soon as you enter Sickbay. It was always a bit cheesy that you could get around the problem of being sent to Sickbay with a simple XO, and the fact that you could get around the trauma *as well* made the problem even worse. So we made it that you can't escape the trauma.

Quote:
The recurring theme in your cards is that the antagonistic allows the human to get rid of bad trauma at the cost of a team-wide penalty, while the benevolent gives a team-wide benefit at the cost of not getting rid of bad trauma. Discarding your own trauma and 5 skill cards isn't much of a team-wide benefit. This is especially so since the antagonistic part (sending somebody to sickbay) isn't that bad.


Well, if preventing another player on your team from being eliminated from the game is such an enormous team-wide benefit as you've stated previously, then surely preventing yourself from being eliminated from the game is just as much a team-wide benefit, no?
 
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David F
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I meant that this text "Cylon: Otherwise, give that card to any human player" was unnecessary. I agree with what you are doing with the other text. But the Cylon: text only matters if 1) the bottom card is a Personal Goal, and then only 2) if that resource matters (both are extremely rare by themselves, let alone together). It makes a Cylon always want to choose the benevolent.

I think Disturbing Vision is balanced toward the other side now. Your earlier version had me always wanting to choose benevolent. Now I always want to choose antagonistic because sending somebody into Sickbay while getting rid of my bad trauma is a no-brainer (assuming that you don't get trauma for going into Sickbay, of course).
 
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selwyth wrote:
I meant that this text "Cylon: Otherwise, give that card to any human player" was unnecessary. I agree with what you are doing with the other text. But the Cylon: text only matters if 1) the bottom card is a Personal Goal, and then only 2) if that resource matters (both are extremely rare by themselves, let alone together). It makes a Cylon always want to choose the benevolent.


I'll try to think of a way of giving the negative more bite.

Quote:
I think Disturbing Vision is balanced toward the other side now. Your earlier version had me always wanting to choose benevolent. Now I always want to choose antagonistic because sending somebody into Sickbay while getting rid of my bad trauma is a no-brainer (assuming that you don't get trauma for going into Sickbay, of course).


I'll put a "and gain 1 trauma" clause on the version I upload to BGG, then.
 
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Okay - hopefully this is the last revision:

 
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These look really cool. Has anyone tried playing with them yet?
 
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thrakkemarn wrote:
These look really cool. Has anyone tried playing with them yet?


I've tried once, though it was a rather strange (4-player) game. The entire game took 1 hour 10 minutes... with the humans winning. We drew three 3-distance cards in a row (without even needing to scout), so jumping a total of 9 distance. The only resource in the red was fuel. Only Boomer had accumulated 1 extra trauma from the one turn she had spent in the Brig since the SA Phase.

At the end of the game we discovered that there was also no Cylon due to the new execution rules (and my modified Strange Music card wasn't one of the four to be dealt out), though we don't think this would have had a huge effect on anything considering the incredible luck the humans were having.

Basically, the X-roads cards didn't really come into it. Hopefully will have another, more interesting, opportunity to test them out soon.
 
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