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Race for the Galaxy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Want to make prestige simpler... might this work? rss

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Chris J Davis
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Cross-posting here as I fear the BoW forums may be a bit dead (last post over a month ago)...

We basically stopped playing RftG after Brink of War was released as it felt like the game had become so bloated with strange rules (looking sharply at takeovers) that it just wasn't that much fun any more. It also felt as though prestige was too similar to VPs, just with a bunch of extra rules attached to it.

So loathe as I am to remove cool components from a game, I was wondering if they could be put to some other, simpler use that made them more distinctive compared to VPs. Maybe something like this:

Prestige are available from an unlimited pool. They are worth half a VP each at game end.

A player keeps his Prestige/Search card beside him face up as a reference (it can no longer be used for its search function). He also places spent prestige tokens on it to indicate his current prestige level.

When a player selects his action card for the turn (before revealing), he may place prestige tokens on it to indicate that he wishes to use one of the bonus abilities shown on the prestige card. The number of tokens he places must be equal to or greater than his current prestige level.

After revealing actions, if the number of prestige he placed on his action card is equal to his current prestige level, he chooses one of the bonuses shown for his selected action and uses it instead of the bonus shown on the action card. For example, if he chose Explore +1/+1, he could instead get Explore +6/+1 (not Explore +7/+2). Obviously, some bonuses are useless when this option is chosen (this is deliberate).

If the number of prestige tokens he placed on his action card is greater than his current prestige level, he chooses one of the bonuses shown for his selected action and uses it in addition to the bonus shown on the action card. Using the same example above, the player could get Explore +7/+2.

Once the bonus has been used, the player discards all tokens from his prestige card, then places the tokens he used to receive the bonus on the card instead, indicating his new prestige level.

That's all. Thoughts? Anything completely broken about it?

Oh, and before I forget: no "it's perfect as it is, don't touch it" posts, please. Although I'm confident that the game is perfectly balanced, there are simply these aspects of it that I don't like, and I'm notorious for changing games so they're more to my liking. If you don't like the idea of variants, move along - there's nothing for you here.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Though looking at it again, I fear now the Phase IV bonus would still be too powerful even if it cost +1 prestige each time you used it... soblue

Maybe the Phase IV power could be changed to mean something else...?
 
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Bill Reed
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Why not just play the base game? Why add in expansions that have may the game less fun? If you liked it before, go back to what you liked.


WMReed
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Jason Carlough
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wmreed wrote:
Why not just play the base game? Why add in expansions that have may the game less fun? If you liked it before, go back to what you liked.


That's very good advice, I did just that a while back and am now enjoying the game again
 
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Chris J Davis
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wmreed wrote:
Why not just play the base game? Why add in expansions that have may the game less fun? If you liked it before, go back to what you liked.


WMReed


That's what I was going to do at first, but then saw all the cards I was removing that could otherwise have cool functions and tried to find some way of allowing them to remain.

So thoughts on the variant idea...? And how to make it work if you think it wouldn't...?
 
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Brandon M
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bleached_lizard wrote:


That's what I was going to do at first, but then saw all the cards I was removing that could otherwise have cool functions and tried to find some way of allowing them to remain.

So thoughts on the variant idea...? And how to make it work if you think it wouldn't...?


You can at least play with the first two expansions without adding any new rules (specifically, goals and takeovers). Not sure if the same can be said of The Bring of War, I didn't play it enough to tell.
 
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Chris J Davis
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I'm thinking I may just redesign the Prestige card to fit my purposes...
 
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Chris J Davis
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Okay, how about these ideas as powers for each phase; you can pay your current prestige level for the first power, or your prestige level +1 for the second power (in both cases, in addition to the normal bonus you get from the action card):

I: +1/+1, keep-all-and-discard-from-hand
II: -1, -1/2 (round up)
III: -1, +1 (military)
$: +1 card, sell up to 2 trade goods
IV: +1VP, gain VPs equal to your prestige level
V: +1 card, place an extra trade good on a windfall world

Or something like that...
 
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Michael Link
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I don't think you're going to get a lot of love from any regulars on this site regarding any variants that nerf/change prestige. After playing with it for a while, you will learn that it is highly well balanced and elegantly fleshes out the strategy space of RftG.

During the last two PBFs, there was some nice discussion about the merits of a single prestige for prestige leader vs. consuming for 3 cards (via Galactic Power Brokers or the use of the Prestige Action). This is a good example of about how you should be valuing prestige for the most part...3 cards is at least as valuable.

Takeovers are quite complicated, as you mention, but they are also completely optional. My recommendation is to play BoW with prestige rules as written, but just keep goals and takeovers off. When comfortable with the prestige, add them back on (or not, if you prefer).
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Chris J Davis
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theright555J wrote:
I don't think you're going to get a lot of love from any regulars on this site regarding any variants that nerf/change prestige. After playing with it for a while, you will learn that it is highly well balanced and elegantly fleshes out the strategy space of RftG.

During the last two PBFs, there was some nice discussion about the merits of a single prestige for prestige leader vs. consuming for 3 cards (via Galactic Power Brokers or the use of the Prestige Action). This is a good example of about how you should be valuing prestige for the most part...3 cards is at least as valuable.

Takeovers are quite complicated, as you mention, but they are also completely optional. My recommendation is to play BoW with prestige rules as written, but just keep goals and takeovers off. When comfortable with the prestige, add them back on (or not, if you prefer).


I'm certainly not arguing that it's not perfectly balanced. I agree with everyone here that pretty much everything about RftG is perfectly balanced. I just don't find it a very interesting mechanic - it's just far too much like Victory Points. I feel it would be better if Prestige were a resource you could spend to achieve some other interesting effects (and more than just once per game), rather than basically just being identical to VPs with a whole load of other rules around them.

Oh well... I may try to work on something, I may not... Depends how the mood grabs me. I'm far from entirely satisfied with the ideas I came up with above.
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