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Eclipse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Two player tech randomness, Improved hull. rss

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Sicnarf Sic
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Love the game and do find the base game and expansion very well balanced (Excluding supernova and Rockets of celebration)
My issue is with tech randomness in 2 player games mainly relating to improved hull and a little with Advanced robotics.

From reading the forums was thinking of trying the following.
1)In two player games if you draw a tech of which two copies already exist in play discard the tech and draw again.
And this maybe
2)Swap position and costs on the tech board of Improved hull with Fusion source. Also swap position and costs of Advanced Robotics and Orbital.

Reasons
Played some two player games and hit the following problem in some games.
Player one goes first and researches improved hull. Rest of the game no more improved hull comes up. This messes up player two rather badly. Improved hull hurts the most of all techs in my opinion as unless they get a weapon tech the improved hull player cant they are in trouble. Two plasma cannons come up, two positron computers, Two phase shields. Great no advantage there then one plasma missile shows up. Double crap if player two buys it then player one buys phase shields to complement improved hull any missile boats are hard countered. However if player two does not buy it and player one buys missiles instead, player two can buy phase shields but without improved hull to soak the few 6's that get through he is most likely going to lose fights. So player two is forced to buy plasma missiles even though they may get no use from them, all because of lack of improved hull from round one.

One game, mirror match with Magallan one player got Improved hull round one and second turn advanced robotics. Then both improved hull and advanced robotics never showed up again for the rest of the game. (Quantum grid did, twice on the same draw) I'm all for randomness but that is a hard game to try and win and the behind player will not even know how far they are behind till about turn 5 when both techs have not shown up.

I really like the idea of increasing the cost of improved hull in all games 2-9 player games because as it currently stands it forces someone to pick Orion early, to stop first turn improved hull Orions, increase the cost and that problem goes away.

The variant I'm trying to make would not totally eradicate only one person with improved hull but should reduce the likely hood to a much lower percentage. Rule one for redraws feels like it's balanced without the mess of putting tiles in the bag or removing them but rule 2 may be too much. Any input appreciated.

 
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Silver Bowen
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Austin
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Might as well go completely nonrandom. Just put everything out from the get-go. Less exciting, IMHO, but more 'fair'.
 
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Chase Toffee
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I don´t really get it... Why do you think that if the other guy gets IH and you don´t, that its so much harder?
Then make initiative based fleet with computers and drives plus cannons/missiles. Or you could make asome squishy super drive ships and swarm his hexes. or then again depenging so much which race you are playing, just turtle. I´ve won with 60 points by turtling only and it was a 6 player game, never even fought once : D had 1 chokepoint and the whole fleet there ^^.
Plus, for example a mechanema missile fleet is awesome, only computers, missiles and interceptors : ) and you dont even have to care if you lose them beacuse of the cost fo 2 materials, eventually your enemies lose more when just biting at them with those darn missiles ^^
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Jeff Molander
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I play mostly one on one with my girlfriend, and what I've found is that there are a few techs where if someone gets a chance to grab them early and it doesn't come up again, it can really give them a huge advantage. These techs are, in my opinion, plasma cannon, fusion source, gauss shield, and yes, improved hull. However, increasing the cost doesn't address the problem fully, in my opinion. The problem is that they're not coming up a second time, not that they're inexpensive. One player being able to grab techs quicker because they go first is just part of the game, it's incentive to pass first. We also play where whoever picks their race first goes second, so that's incentive to let the other person pick first.

Anyway, we have been house-ruling what we call redundant techs. Redundant techs are any techs that come out when they can't possibly all be bought, either because there are more tiles of the tech than there are players, or because some races start with them. For example, in 2P, if someone is playing humans, then they start with starbase. So if our starting techs contain two starbases, one of them is redundant. So we set it aside and draw something else. We do this every time we draw new techs, every turn. The only problem is that this gets old in the mid to late game, setting aside a lot of techs. So we do it until there have been a total of seven redundant techs set aside throughout the game, and then we stop (this usually happens around turn 5 or 6). By that time, we usually have all the stuff we absolutely need on the tech board. And setting aside redundant techs means that we draw more relevant techs and address the problem of early one-sidedness in tech acquisition.
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