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Alien Frontiers» Forums » Variants

Subject: Reduced-randomness variant rss

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Derakon Derakon
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Disclaimer: this is just random neuron firings at this point; I haven't tried playing this way and have only played the game four or five times, period. So very likely this isn't balanced.

My goal was to reduce downtime a bit by letting players think about their turns while other people are playing. I've seen the "roll your dice secretly" idea which also seems good, if you have the dice. This is a completely different take trying to solve the same problem.

The basic change here is that your dice don't automatically get rerolled at the start of your turn. Instead, they change value based on where you placed them (apologies if I get the station names wrong; I don't own the game yet):

Solar Collector / Resource Market: die is reduced in value by 1
Alien Artifact: die is increased in value by 1
Raider's Outpost: lower die decreased by 1, upper die increased by 1 (e.g. 2-3-4 -> 1-3-5)
Lunar Mine: die is halved, rounding up (6, 5 -> 3; 4, 3 -> 2; 2, 1 -> 1)
Colony Constructor: Dice are rerolled
Colonist Hub: no change
Shipyard: one die reduced by 1, one die increased by 1

If a 1 is reduced, it becomes a 6; likewise if a 6 is increased, it becomes a 1. So putting a 1 on the Solar Collector gets you a 6 on the next turn, for example.

Because some of the stations were balanced on the assumption that e.g. rolling triples would be hard, the rules for some of the stations are tweaked:

Colony Constructor: requires 3 energy in addition to 3 ore (or: requires 4 dice of the same value?).
Shipyard: requires 3 dice of the same value.
Terraforming Station: requires a 6 and a 1; both are destroyed. But no ore/energy cost.

The overall idea is that, outside of the Colony Constructor, you know what will happen to your dice after you place them on a given station, so you can plan out what you'll do on your next action ahead of time.

My two major concerns are:

1) This approach might introduce degenerate strategies, in which case it ceases to be an interesting game.
2) It might actually make the problem worse, as people try to plan out several turns in advance. soblue

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Thomas Büttner
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Wiggle It!!!
My first thought was: Hello AP!

What I like about the game is the fact, that you just roll all your dice at the beginning of your turn and look what comes up.

On the second thought: Some ideas are really not good; for example: I normally place dice I couldn't use otherwise in the colonist hub. Woth your rules, they will stay the same. Not good.

In addition, since I KNOW what will come up next turn, I would constantly try to gain three identical dice for the colony constructor; or at least a pair to build a new ship.

In my opinion the "randomness" is quite small, since you have the alien artifacts, which let you manipulate your dice heavily!
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