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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Space Mines - a variant rss

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Andrew Williams
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I'm currently playing through TI3 using different optional rules to see what works best with my group. Having asked here beforehand, the comments re space mines were fairly negative; they encourage turtling and are too random "whoa you just lost your carrier". So I didn't use them. However, I liked the fact they gave cruisers a "special ability", making them more unique, so mulled over some solutions.

Operation
Current: Roll 1 die individually for each non-Fighter ship entering the system (the active player must announce before each roll which ship he is rolling for). For each roll of 9 or 10, the ship is immediately hit. After all ships have been rolled for, remove one space mine token from the system and resume the action.

My suggestion: Roll 1 die. If the result is less than or equal to the number of ships moving into the system take that many hits. eg if you move in 4 ships, and roll a 3, you take three hits.

This gives some control over the randomness as players can choose which ships go first, cuts down on the amount of dice rolling and doesn't require players to state which ships they're rolling for. You could also tweak this and say that large ships (WS and Dreads)count as 2 and/or allow fighters to be sacrificed first depending on preferred danger level.


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Christopher Halbower
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How would you handle "Manuevering Jets"?
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Andrew Williams
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Good question, in truth I'd missed that.

But a suggestion would be to halve the ship count (round up), so 5 ships with MJ now count as 3, therefore max of 3 hits.
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Matt Epp
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I hate mines for exactly the reasons you stated.

For maneuverying jets, you could alternatively roll 2d10 and pick the lower result.

Giving out potentially 10 hits for 2 resources seems like a little too much.

I'd rather see mines only hit on a 10, and maneuvering jets gives immunity. Mines can still be worth it giving the cruiser a cool role, and also giving a better reason to get jets.
 
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Magic Octopus
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Fix from Shattered Ascension:

Roll dice equal to the number of non-fighter ships entering the system, and each 8+ is a hit that can be assigned to any ship in the fleet (including Fighters).

EDIT: Oh, and forgot to mention, that they are placed on the BORDER of a system, not in the system itself. That means that they only affect the ships moving in through that border. Also, they are neutral - creator needs to roll as well if he moves through.
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Christopher Halbower
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Eppic wrote:


For maneuverying jets, you could alternatively roll 2d10 and pick the lower result.


This won't work out so well. The lower result could cost you ships. For example, if you have 7 ships in a system and you rolled 7 and 8, you would be stuck with taking 7 hits.

The problem with this variant is that it's both good and bad to roll both high and low.

I agree with the rest of your points. I just don't see a solution to space mines that I really like (Shattered Ascension included).

But of all the annoying features of TI3 that need some tweaking, space mines are bit far down on my list.
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Matt Epp
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that's pretty good too. MJ still a -1 I guess.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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We like mines, but for pretty much all the reasons cited, so I don't disagree with them.
 
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Magic Octopus
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I forgot some significant stuff from the SA mod - I edited my post.
 
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Alwin Derijck
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magicoctopus wrote:
Fix from Shattered Ascension:

Roll dice equal to the number of non-fighter ships entering the system, and each 8+ is a hit that can be assigned to any ship in the fleet (including Fighters).

EDIT: Oh, and forgot to mention, that they are placed on the BORDER of a system, not in the system itself. That means that they only affect the ships moving in through that border. Also, they are neutral - creator needs to roll as well if he moves through.


This is exactly how we use the space mines.
It makes them more tactical. They are still a deterrent, but this is less likely to induce turtling since you are also blocking your own movement in a given direction. So the mines tend to get used if one has a stronger more aggressive neighbor. And, if someone wants to get to you, they can simply fly around the mines using a different adjacent tile (buying you a little bit more time).

 
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george mackenzie
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i use space mines alot, and quite like the orginal rules, as it is a deterrent. however a smart opponent can just send in 1 little destroyer and take out the space mine, then use warfare and move the big fleet in. however i quite liked the persons before suggestion that on a roll of 8+, u assign hits to any ship. makes it less costly then i think. however they can be great for smaller players who might be threatened by a bigger neighbour, and can be set up for that reason.

heaps of house rules could be made up with these, tailoring more to the groups preferences i think. (they are an awesome defensive detterent though)
 
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Marko Kemenj
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In our games we only add ability for the mines that they BLOCK MOVEMENT for any fleet who is passing THROUGH SYSTEM if that fleet (player) don't have ANTI MASS DEFLECTOR technology.

As you can see ANTI MASS DEFLECTOR technology is more useful now. Because mines didn't exist in original Twilight Box. After mines came as optional rules in Shattered Empire we came to conclusion that....in order to make ANTI MASS DEFLECTOR more useful we simply add ability above.

Even now they are not game breaking,overpower or anything else,after 8 years of play,and we play nearly every week. Try this guys...they are not ment to cripple you fleet,they simply cause your enemy to fear them.
 
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James Grider
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You prolly won't like how my group uses them, but I feel like chipping in.

We have decided, for this current game at least, that:
* mines be placed on borders
* they do belong to people (so you can't blow up your own mines)
* you roll for each ship (non-fighters as we don't count fighters as ships with our home rules) entering the system
* they hit on 7+
* the ship is DESTROYED if hit

We hadn't talked about MJ affecting them, yet, and I don't remember what that tech does exactly off the top of my head so I can't really give a guess as to how it would affect our house rules on mines.
 
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Starkiller
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The main complaints with space mines seem to be:
1)Takes to long to resolve for what it adds (individual rolls for each ship)
2) Excessive randomness in which ships are lost, which contributes to:
3) Encouraging turtling.

Here's an untested variant I'll add to this thread:
When moving a fleet into a system with a space mine, attacking player rolls 1 die for each non-fighter ship. (All at once, making this a quick process.)
Each d10-8 (8) rolled, player chooses 1 non-fighter ship as casualty, immediately placed in reinforcements.
Each d10-9 (9) rolled, player chooses 1 Dreadnought or Carrier or War Sun as a casualty, immediately placed in reinforcements. If player does not have DN, CV, or WS, all 9s are misses and have no effect.
Each d10-0 (0) rolled, player chooses 1 War Sun as a casualty, immediately placed in reinforcements. If player does not have WS, all 0s are misses and have no effect.

This
1) vastly reduces the time needed to resolve space mines;
2) gives player some control over which ships are lost, consequently:
3) reducing the tendency to turtle compared to RAW space mines. (They still slightly encourage turtling, though.)
I would also add that this variant:
4) reduces the effectiveness of mines against small ships, and:
5) increases the effectiveness of mines against War Suns. This, IMHO, is thematic and gives a slight variance to mines abilities I think is good.

Edit-Manuvering Jets. Hummm. How about d10-9 are ignored? Take casualties from d10-8 and player gets to choose any non-fighter ship as casualties, as well as losing a War Sun if someone ran the gauntlet with one!
[Edit-I originally also had d10-0 ignored, but I think I still want it included. I like having Mines retaining a small deterrent to powerful enimies even with manuvering jets. And it doesn't complicate the rules any more, because it was already a rule! Win.]

I should add the main reason I don't like Shettered Asension space mine rules is because they seem to remove all excitement from mines...see mines, roll to see how many fighters you loose. yuk My way, there is a bit of 'what if I roll d10-9d10-9d10-9'??? Excitement! But not crippling (barring catastrofic die roll) you can take that DN as a casualty and save the CV with ground forces...
 
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Jon Baxter
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Space mines are fine as is, if anything they are weak.

People fear them only because of an unlucky carrier hit.

Everything else is minor.

Don't be wimps.



Personally I usually play with the Enduring Space mines variant, they are only removed if they cause 1+ hits.

Then again I variant a lot (as many know, look for some updated stuff soon btw) so I understand people changing things to what they like.

My reasoning is simple, cruisers are weak value, space mines vastly increase that value, but space mines are weak... They cost 2 but can be removed for 0.2 (20% of the value of a destroyer on a 'mine sweeping' run (plus the CC which is relatively minor)).
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Starkiller
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jgbaxter wrote:
Space mines are fine as is, if anything they are weak.

People fear them only because of an unlucky carrier hit.

Everything else is minor.

Don't be wimps.

What about the time it takes to roll every die individually? In an already-long game, I can see many people (maybe not you) having a problem extending it for something aggravating....

jgbaxter wrote:
Personally I usually play with the Enduring Space mines variant, they are only removed if they cause 1+ hits.
.....

My reasoning is simple, cruisers are weak value, space mines vastly increase that value, but space mines are weak... They cost 2 but can be removed for 0.2 (20% of the value of a destroyer on a 'mine sweeping' run (plus the CC which is relatively minor)).

So to clarify:
Space Mines hit zero or one spaceship-mines remain.
Space Mines hit [one or] two or more spaceships-mines eliminated?
[Edited/corrected due to answer a couple posts down. Much cleaner.]
I like the sound of that...especially because my variant reduces the value of mines slightly.thumbsup

What do you do if the mines remain and the aggressor has taken over the entire system? Do you roll for mines when spaceships are built in system? Mines could feasibly remain for quite some time....tricky!

[Edit-He says follow space mine rules RAW-only activated when entering system-no other time. Almost too simple.]
 
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David Damerell
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jgbaxter wrote:
My reasoning is simple, cruisers are weak value


Not with Stasis Capsules, surely?
 
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Alwin Derijck
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jgbaxter wrote:

Personally I usually play with the Enduring Space mines variant, they are only removed if they cause 1+ hits.


At the cost of 2 resources per mine, I like the sound of this.

Could you elaborate?

 
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Starkiller
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Thinking more on Enduring Space Mines....
I'm guessing (will try this eventually) during a strong offensive-when a stronger player is taking systems semi-permanently-it will cause a small number of mines to remain in a players newly-conquered territory.

This sounds like a good thing to me...a tiny disadvantage to the stronger player.

Some may not like this, though.
 
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Jon Baxter
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akinfantryman wrote:

What about the time it takes to roll every die individually?


Negligible. It's half a round of a Space Battle at worst.


akinfantryman wrote:

So to clarify:

Space Mines hit two one or more spaceships-mines eliminated?


The Enduring Space Mine variant is simply if they don't do at least 1 hit, they remain.




akinfantryman wrote:

What do you do if the mines remain and the aggressor has taken over the entire system? Do you roll for mines when spaceships are built in system?


Follow the normal rules, they trigger like Space Mines would normally. Building wouldn't trigger them, neither would moving out.


akinfantryman wrote:
Mines could feasibly occasionally remain for quite some time....tricky!


Consider that more likely what will happen is that fleets will be a little larger moving into a mined tile, so they'd have more rolls and thus less chance to remain.

Sure they tend to remain for a turn or two longer than otherwise from my experience in using them in so many games.


=-= =-=

Yes, even with Stasis Capsules.

2 Destroyers vs 1 Cruiser, former always is better unless the primary reason for your Cruisers are as transports.

Tech will always depend on situation as well, but bang for your trade good is the destroyer without space mines or another key reason.



damerell wrote:
jgbaxter wrote:
My reasoning is simple, cruisers are weak value


Not with Stasis Capsules, surely?



=-= =-=


Alwin wrote:
jgbaxter wrote:

Personally I usually play with the Enduring Space mines variant, they are only removed if they cause 1+ hits.


At the cost of 2 resources per mine, I like the sound of this.

Could you elaborate?



Cruisers are not a viable build option without special situations, Space Mines balance that to a degree but are ineffective for their cost (1/10th their usefulness for cost more times than not). So do NOT remove a Space Mine that has not triggered a hit on at least one ship, no more destroyers pretending to be minesweepers.

=-= =-=


Space Mines balance Cruisers making them a viable build, without special circumstances (tech) or random situational need (tech to transport GF because you for some reason don't use Carriers), there's no reason to ever build a Cruiser unless you are out of other build options.

Space Mines however as pointed out are horrible, other than as a deterrent, and I'm telling you people should ignore that fear and ram those mines like in Galaxy Quest. Most won't, because the game lends itself not to direct combat (even if it is one of many viable strategies - YMMV), and people fear going in with a single Carrier for a planetary invasion after the space battle.

Shocking news; go in with 2 carriers, or just damn the odds.


As mentioned above, ability to transport from tech is an equalizer to some degree, however considering the situational nature of that need, it still doesn't go far enough to balance them, plus it requires a technology.

Smaller units are cheaper and more effective per trade good / resource, they are more flexible and more useful, they also intimidate your opponent psychologically- granted, that's probably equal to a big shiny War Sun or three Dreadnoughts hanging out by their border... but the thing of it is, wouldn't you rather look intimidating without looking aggressive... I would.


=-= =-=


The Minesweeper; People have mentioned to me about wanting to add minesweeping tech or ships or what have you. I'm not a fan of any of that, however what I'm probably going to try in the next game (although I don't feel it's needed at all) is to allow Cruisers to remove a Space Mine (as the last part of the turns action (so it must survive a Space Mine roll and all other ships have to roll as well) for 4 Resources.

Personally I like the concept but don't feel the need for Cruisers to remove mines, I'd also think that removing them for the same cost as laying them is both a bit broken and not very logical or thematic.

It would make the Cruiser of course an even more useful part of any fleet if it was the only ship that could remove a Space Mine (other than exploding on one of course).


 
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Starkiller
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jgbaxter wrote:
akinfantryman wrote:

What about the time it takes to roll every die individually?


Negligible. It's half a round of a Space Battle at worst.

Well....this seems to be one of the biggest complaints about mines....you may be in the minority here.


jgbaxter wrote:
akinfantryman wrote:

So to clarify:

Space Mines hit two one or more spaceships-mines eliminated?


The Enduring Space Mine variant is simply if they don't do at least 1 hit, they remain.

....+ more helpful explanations....

Ahhh, much cleaner/better.

jgbaxter wrote:
Sure they tend to remain for a turn or two longer than otherwise from my experience in using them in so many games.

Thank you so much...I do value experience! (Especially when it agrees with my theory.)


jgbaxter wrote:

The Minesweeper; People have mentioned to me about wanting to add minesweeping tech or ships or what have you. I'm not a fan of any of that, however what I'm probably going to try in the next game (although I don't feel it's needed at all) is to allow Cruisers to remove a Space Mine (as the last part of the turns action (so it must survive a Space Mine roll and all other ships have to roll as well) for 4 Resources.

Personally I like the concept but don't feel the need for Cruisers to remove mines, I'd also think that removing them for the same cost as laying them is both a bit broken and not very logical or thematic.

It would make the Cruiser of course an even more useful part of any fleet if it was the only ship that could remove a Space Mine (other than exploding on one of course).


I've wondered how necessary/useful minesweeper rules would be. I'm glad your experience agrees it does not seem worth it. If you do playtest it, let us know how it worked out.
 
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Alwin Derijck
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Thanks for all the comments.

We will be using the "enduring space mine" rule in next game.

cheers,
Alwin
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David Damerell
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jgbaxter wrote:
Yes, even with Stasis Capsules. 2 Destroyers vs 1 Cruiser, former always is better unless the primary reason for your Cruisers are as transports.


Bit of both; if _a_ reason for Cruisers is transports. Also, there's Fleet Supply density to consider.
 
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