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Inception: Solo card game» Forums » General

Subject: Level 4 Infinite Recruiting: A more "elegant" solution rss

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Tanner Thetford
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All,

Love this solo game. However, I found on level 4 I mostly ignore the C-display and build up my characters to defend against the "Attack Cobol Engineering" cards. The only convince card that will hurt you is Mal Attacks and she doesn't go back on the bottom of the deck, so you can safely ignore her. Then I found the infinite cycle of recruiting Eames, Ariadne, and Yusuf. The rules have a "meta-rule" to deal with this situation, but if you leave "Sedate Fischer" in the deck you circumvent this meta-rule, and the +1 in nearly inconsequential for 4 turns of building your hand/C-display/weapons (especially considering once you actually recruit 3 new members sedating Fischer is MUCH easier).

You could re-meta to include "Sedate Fischer" or you could adjust the text on 4 cards to solve the problem.

"Recruit Yusuf"
Convince Yusuf:
First Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Bottom of Deck
Second Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Bottom of Deck
Third Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Yusuf refuses to join the team (Discard)

Make the same changes for Eames and Ariadne.
Adjust the Level 4 goals to read Recruit or Dismiss Yusuf, Ariadne, and Eames. Sedate Fischer.

Thematically, if you have tried to recruit any of them 3 times and you fail, they give up on you and your plan. For gameplay, you can ignore the recruit cards only twice before things begin to really get pressing. I found after I put Ariadne on the bottom of the deck for the second time I was throwing grenade launchers into the C-display and pulling out all the stops just to get enough Convince so that I wouldn't lose them for all game. I feel it instills just the right amount of urgency.

For practical purposes you also might want to add a card to keep track of how many times you have failed to recruit. You only need to keep track of the first 1 you see since the other 2 will always follow afterwards.

Also, for the record I won on challenge mode with these adjustments. Rather than making the game harder, I feel that they just reflect the designer's intentions.

Let me know what you guys think!

-tanner
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Lines J. Hutter
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EDIT: July, 29th 2013.
Adressed and updated with V1.5


Tanner, thanks a lot for your input.

I admit I never liked this meta rule.

I thought of a solution similar to yours:
Reduce the C-Value you need to convince Ariadne, Yusuf and Eames by 2 (or maybe just 1). Then, for each convince you fail it's increased by 1, just like the Fisher "Inception" cards.
This would be a bit more consistent with the rest of the game, and it would be kinda gambling if you fail to recruit a character on purpose.

Also the lower C-value could make Level 4 a bit easier and shorter. I always wondered if this Level takes a bit too long. But no one complained yet ;-).

So my solution is pretty similar to yours but I haven't tried it yet.
You wanna give it a try or two and tell me how it feels?

I'm not a friend of leaving characters behind. I think you should enter level 3 with all of them.

Also congratulations on your win on challange mode!
Well played!
 
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Tanner Thetford
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Just played with this variant. A few thoughts.

I could now recruit Yusuf the first time I saw him, although I opted not to as he would have been 1 more Character to try and get weapons that I didn't have. Also, I hadn't seen Mal Attacks yet so I didn't want to burn my entire C-display on him so early. No difference here between my variant and yours in terms of gameplay decisions.

I picked up Yusuf on the second time through as my first recruit. His 2 convince bought me enough to pick up Eames on my third time through. Again no differences here between our variants in terms of gameplay decisions.

By the time I pulled Ariadne for the 3rd time I noticed that I had 19 Convince stacked up if I burned everything. Being only at 16 I ended up waiting 2 more turns to stack up my guys before I went for it. I could have waited 3 more turns if I wanted to, but I decided to go at C18 just in case I pulled a Flashback for my next turn (If I would have had a glass of water in hand I would have waited until C19). Here is the gameplay decision difference between variants.

Ultimately, I felt like I was "gaming the system" instead of playing by the intention. However, I am NOT going to adjust my play to be less optimal simply to reflect perceived designer intention. I feel that it is important to have the rules reflect the designer intention to be beyond "gaming."

Frankly, it felt better than the RAW but I still felt like I was abusing it. In terms of my very limited experience it seems that if you don't recruit by the 3rd time seeing them, you are beginning to abuse the system.

In your variant what happens if you fail to recruit? Do you simply lose? If so, you could easily apply that penalty to my variant and you still wouldn't have to worry about leaving characters behind.

I feel ultimately that the penalties are not strict enough for failing to convince, and that lends itself to abuse. If the penalties aren't more strict I think it will remain a problem. Therefore, I prefer to play with my variant for now. If you began to lose weapons or something more drastic after failing to recruit for the third time I think the abuse would stop. You simply have to reduce that incentive, and make it beneficial to recruit everyone as soon as you can (or close to that) to maintain the pacing with the other 4 levels (which I find superb btw.)

All in all, thanks for a fun game on one of my favorite movies!
 
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Lines J. Hutter
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Tanner, thanks again for your input.
Looks like you convinced me

I´m planning to make an updated version of the game with these changes. This would include changes on the 3 Recruit cards and the goal card as well as some changes in the rulebook.

Here are two thoughts I want to share and need an opinion before I go for it:

1. Should the character enter the game "weak" (instead of "healthy") on a successful 3rd attempt?

2. I´m still not a fan of playing through the game with one or more characters missing. I´m not even sure if it´s doable at all. There are also cards that refer to specific characters, especially Ariadne ("Ariadnes Dream", "Ariadne follows Cobb", etc...). Wouldn´t it be strange if these crads show up without the character having ever joined the team? (Okay, this can also happen if the character dies mid game...)
Would it be better to end the game ("you lose") if you fail to recruit one character on Level 4. This might be hard but maybe it´s better than chase the player through the rest of the game with hardly any chances to win?

Sidenote:
Since I´ll be working on the rules anyway, if one of you more familiar with the language wants to do a proof-reading let me know.

Thanks and enjoy the game!
(and rate it if you feel like it *hint->Tanner*
 
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Tanner Thetford
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Entering weak is a brilliant deterrant. With the limited availibility and power of the First Aid card there is no way that you can afford to bring them all in at weak. I like this idea much better than leaving anyone behind. How about if you fail on the third time through they automatically join at weak? Something like:

"Recruit Yusuf"
Convince Yusuf:
First Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Bottom of Deck
Second Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Bottom of Deck
Third Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Put Yusuf in play (weak)

If you are going to do this, I would probably drop the C value for each character by 1. At their printed values it is very difficult to recruit any of them on the first time through. however, I think dropping them by 2 makes it too easy, and raising it after failed attempts makes it a little fiddly (especially with only 1 "spinning top" tracker card in the deck). I think dropping them by 1 and leaving it fixed would probably be just right.

If I have opportunity I will try this variant out tonight.

Also, if I rate your game then I will feel obligated to rate all my games and that would take a lot of time!

-tanner
 
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Lines J. Hutter
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Man, that's teamwork! I'm glad you like the idea. I'm not sure if there should be a third chance to get the player healthy. Especially if we lower the C-value by 1.

Here are two suggestions. Only minor changes but you'll see what I'm looking for:

"Recruit Yusuf"
Convince Yusuf:
First Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Bottom of Deck
Second Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Bottom of Deck
Third Attempt: (No roll needed)
Put Yusuf in play (weak)

or:

"Recruit Yusuf"
Convince Yusuf:
First Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Bottom of Deck
Second Attempt: C 14
Succeed: Put Yusuf in play (healthy)
Fail: Put Yusuf in play (weak)

The first version would put the card back to the bottom of the deck and you'd have to play through it again till you draw it a third time. Feels a bit lenghty. Version 2 would be a short cut.
 
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Lines J. Hutter
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Okay, managed go do some playtesting today.
I definately prefer version 1 together with reducing the recruit C-values by 1.

Not sure about the wording of third attempt. Maybe something like this would be more consistent:


 
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Tanner Thetford
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Awesome. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, this weekend has been crazy. I think the above looks good, although cosmetically making the third attempt C 0 seems a little redundant. My gut says that version 1 would give sufficient time without feeling like I am abusing the system, but it seems you already settled on that. I will try this out right now as a matter of fact . . .

Edit: Alright, I believe you've done it. This was a much better solution and matched the pacing of the rest of the game perfectly. In fact I lost my first game since my initial learning game (Lost level 2 and 3 while in limbo). Bravo.

Only problem now is that I will have to write all over my lovely new cards. :'(
 
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Lines J. Hutter
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luv2breformed wrote:
Only problem now is that I will have to write all over my lovely new cards. :'(


Don´t worry, I´ll upload new PnP files and update the ArtsCow version.
For players already owning the ArtsCow version I´ll make a printable version of the 3 cards. Put it in front of the original card if they´re sleeved or stick the text part on the original card...
 
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Tanner Thetford
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Lines42 wrote:
luv2breformed wrote:
Only problem now is that I will have to write all over my lovely new cards. :'(


Don´t worry, I´ll upload new PnP files and update the ArtsCow version.
For players already owning the ArtsCow version I´ll make a printable version of the 3 cards. Put it in front of the original card if they´re sleeved or stick the text part on the original card...


Mine are sleeved. Perfect.
 
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Lines J. Hutter
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I updated and uploaded all necessary files today.
Minor change - lot´s of work.
Most are pending approval, the rulebook is already up.
(Maybe you want to have a look at the bottom of the last page )

In the meanwhile you can download the ArtsCow fix-up file here:
http://www.lines42.de/Material/V15CardsForArtsCowV11User.jpg

I hope it works for you.
 
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Tanner Thetford
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Lines42 wrote:
I updated and uploaded all necessary files today.
Minor change - lot´s of work.
Most are pending approval, the rulebook is already up.
(Maybe you want to have a look at the bottom of the last page )


Awww schucks, you didn't need to go and do that. blush

Now I might just have to rate all my games just so I can rate yours! Overall, I am just happy I could help make a fun game even better. Thanks for taking the time to make and refine it!

-tanner
 
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Lines J. Hutter
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I know I didn't have to do that, but I wanted to.
I shelved this issue for a while so I'm happy you "pushed" (not intentionally of course) and came up with this idea.

So, thanks.

No need to rate if you don't want to, no problem.
Just have fun with the game.

Did the ArtsCow solution work somehow?
 
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