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Subject: Tweaks to Cannon Boosters and Luxury Cabins, etc. rss

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Allen Michaels
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Glen Ridge
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We play with 5 or 6 players mostly. This causes some obvious scarcity of components, but even without that, there seem to be two components that rarely get used. You could say that all components are not meant to be equal, but these two get shunned.

Cannon Boosters: So far my group hasn't used them - even in a build - yet. The trade off for losing a cannon, -1 cred and leaving an open connector (likely on the front) for only +3 doesn't seem worth it. Maybe we're not seeing the value of having it when you need it, but no one has even picked it up yet. We are thinking of making this +4 (+5 might be too much)...just so that it gets used and adjust from there to see if it's overpowered. Meanwhile, Engine and Shield boosters are used pretty frequently, and considered 'valuable' pieces.

Luxury Cabins: In our group, these only get selected because there are no standard cabins left. If they were lying right next to each other, the standard is the preferred choice. The Luxury Cabin gets you one less crew, no flexibility to put an alien in there, can't be repopulated with Stasis...for only 1/2/3 credits. Doesn't seem worth it.

Now...it seems the game values a human from 1.33-1.66 credits via Abandoned Station cards. This is from all decks. So, one could argue that it is actually GOOD to use LuxCabs on flight 3 since you seem to get more money for them. But we never seem to have enough crew to go around. No one complains they have too much crew (usually). At the same time, 1 credit for Class 1 is less than this value -- and on a small ship, why would you ever use it? You can also argue that the abandoned ship valuation is lower that what a human is really worth, since they come into to play in other situations. We are thinking of increasing the reward to get to a point where the gamble makes sense. Right now, it's not even a close decision. Maybe like 2/4/6?

In both cases, you could say that the 'market' will determine how valuable it is. If Luxcabs go to an extreme 5/10/15 (or Cannon Boosters to +8) - you can bet they will be viewed as premium tiles. My goal is to get to a more balanced decision (agreeing that not all components are created equal)...but the comparison between the other boosters (or a standard cannon setup) and the standard cabin should be acknowledged. I'm looking for 'tough/interesting' decisions, not 'no-brainers'...and I feel we're there. But maybe we don't see the value.

It may change with what cards are seen prior, but right now this is where we're at. Anyone else have these same tweaks in mind (or others)?

Thanks.


Summary of proposed individual tweaks we're thinking about

Cannon Boosters:
- Increase bonus to +4.
- First use make cannon inoperable (mark it). Doesn't fall off.
- Booster doesn't melt cannon at all. Bonus reduced to +2.

Luxury Cabins:
- Increase payout to 2/4/6. (or something similar)
- Allow two VIPs per cabin, "room-rate" is still 1/2/3 (large games make crew scarce)
- Combo of above - Two VIPs per cabin, payout is 1/2/3 but per VIP that survives.
- Treat Lux Cabin as standard cabins (in large games) or have it be player option (paint a few humans gold to track!)
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David desJardins
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As I wrote in the other thread, I agree the boosters don't seem to be popular. Maybe they could give the same effect, but disable rather than destroy the affected component. I.e., the cannon you boost would be inoperable for the rest of the voyage (mark it somehow), but wouldn't actually fall off.

As for the luxury cabins, sure, they are probably worse on average than the regular cabins, but so what? I don't see a problem there. Sometimes it's still the piece that you need.
 
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Chris Smith
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I've seen someone buy a cannon booster in a game, and avoid consequences that shredded the rest of our ships...It's not really the games fault if people undervalue them

Why would you build a luxury cabin into a tiny ship thematically anyway They're the kind of thing I'd expect on a huge cruiser where there's space to spare.

I think they're pretty cool anyway....
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Allen Michaels
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Boosters:
@DaviddesJ
For sure, they would be bought more with your suggestion. Another consideration is don't destroy the cannon. Shield boosters don't. Maybe it adds +2, with no melt? Hmm...that might be better than just a purple alien.

@Chris:
I'm sure they've worked, and it's true we may be undervaluing them. It might just need some extra juice to get people to start using them and see how they could save their skin...and perhaps adjust back down once you see the value.

For the luxury cabins:
I agree...sometimes it's the piece you need. Sometimes you put in the structural component...or a shield booster where you don't have shield just because you need to finish your ship. The luxury cabins are cool...I like the concept. I just wish they paid off more. I mean, I'm ok with having some components just be better:
Combined Cargo/Batt. Cargo/Armor. Cannon/Engine. Bi-direcitonal. Multi-alien environment. Those are pretty much better than their counter-parts. But those are pretty special.

For the more abundant components, the trade off is more subtle:
Double Cannons/engines need a battery.
Triple Cargo/battery holds are better than doubles, BUT the connections are worse.

With cabins...the trade off doesn't seem there. Also...there are only 4 of them. And there are pretty nice tiles that are that rare (Armored Cargo, Thrusters, All the Boosters, Solar Panels, Crubots and Furnaces). I guess we feel they should be a little more special or have a better risk/reward.

With 6, we have to use them, because cabins are in short supply anyway. But the thought is never "Ka-Ching! A Lux Cabin!" or "Hmmm, one less crew, but a nice payoff?" - and I want the group to have that interesting choice.

I feel the "hmmm" decision is there with double/single stuff and the engine booster...the triple batts/cargo is tough to fit it, so you may have to let it go. But you do have some "Ka-Ching" tiles like Solars and combos where we definitely set aside when we find them.

Anyways....thanks for the thoughts! Keep em coming and we'll try them out.
 
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Robert Stewart
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My advice would be to simply try grabbing a cannon booster or two next time you build and see what effect it has on your ship. It may be that you decide they currently really are not worth it - in which case go ahead with a variant.
 
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Jack Reda
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One of the things I played around with in the Space Routes variant was the value and effects of different components. So, for instance, a route would have a bigger bonus for the Luxury Cabins, but Slavers would take more crew members, or some other kind of risk.
 
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Christopher McArthur
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necroing this old thread to ask if anyone ever tried this and how did it work out?
 
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