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Subject: Speeding things up rss

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C Bazler
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What do you guys think about allowing the following rules modification to not only speed up the game (and thus shorten it considerably), but also to make it less likely that you lose your whole turn from a bad draw/die roll:


Two actions are given per turn, as normal, but you are allowed to repeat an action (move, buy, consider missions, attempt to fulfill mission).


This way, if on your turn you move one spot and are stopped by the Alliance, you can spend your second action to move again. If you need to recruit a crew member with some negotiation icons, and you draw three cards with no luck, you can use your second action to try again without wasting your turn. The same goes with fulfilling missions.

I liked the game, but hated having to 1) draw/roll for an action, 2) fail, and 3) lose the rest of my turn. This happened over and over again to everyone playing our first game. I feel this one change would actually make me want to play this game more, because as it is, I am not that crazy about it.

Do you see any balance problems that this change might cause? It will make the game easier, of course (by making certain goals easier to complete) but that's kind of the point.
 
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Chris G
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Play it that way and find out. I think the only exception I would make is still restricting it to 1 work action per turn. That would give a potential unfair advantage to people that are lucky to get multiple actions that are all located in the same spot.
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reed makamson
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i would change it to you could repeat an action only if you've attempted it previously this turn and it failed(full stop, attempt botched, etc.). so if you do fulfill a work action, you can't work again that turn. but if you're stopped by alliance you can use you second action to try to move again.

as for double dealing, i'd say only if you bought/hired/accepted no cards on your first deal action.
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C Bazler
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reebomak wrote:
i would change it to you could repeat an action only if you've attempted it previously this turn and it failed(full stop, attempt botched, etc.). so if you do fulfill a work action, you can't work again that turn. but if you're stopped by alliance you can use you second action to try to move again.

as for double dealing, i'd say only if you bought/hired/accepted no cards on your first deal action.
That's a good compromise, and would work with Chris G's suggestion by allowing players to reattempt a failed work action, but wouldn't allow them to fulfill two different work actions on the same turn.
 
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Ron Shirtz
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Without having the actual game in front of me, and never played yet, I still have a concern that the last player, like in the game Monopoly, may suffer an undue disadvantage with all the other players getting way out front with those extra turns.

Does anyone who has played the game think this is a possible concern?
 
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Bob
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How about allowing 3 actions per turn with no repeats?

We have more than 20 games under our belt using the rules as written. For us the game is fine, but nothing stops anyone from tweaking it to their own liking.
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Stephen Williams
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Ashitaka wrote:
How about allowing 3 actions per turn with no repeats?
The primary concern of the OP is losing turns due to failing the first attempt, so I'm not really sure how this would help. If anything, it would exacerbate the problem by making him lose MORE actions from the failure.

I like the idea of "you can repeat the same action only if you failed the first time." I'll play RAW for a bit when I first buy the game, but I'll keep this one in mind in case we find it too lengthy due to failed actions.
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Bob
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Stewi wrote:
The primary concern of the OP is losing turns due to failing the first attempt, so I'm not really sure how this would help. If anything, it would exacerbate the problem by making him lose MORE actions from the failure.
The idea behind 3 actions was to offer the potential of having increased flexibility following a failed attempt. Giving the OP more flexibility seems like a good idea without unbalancing the game.

Per the OPs post "I liked the game, but hated having to 1) draw/roll for an action, 2) fail, and 3) lose the rest of my turn." This is confusing because failing a job doesn't end your turn unless it was your second action. If doing a work action is your first action, you still have a second action thus your turn is NOT over yet.

edit: how about modifying an existing Story Card or creating one that meets your needs? GF9 recently released a new Story Card called First Time in the Captains Chair. Having played this a few times, 2-3 players should be able to complete it in roughly 2 hours.
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Chris Campos
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Ashitaka wrote:
Stewi wrote:
The primary concern of the OP is losing turns due to failing the first attempt, so I'm not really sure how this would help. If anything, it would exacerbate the problem by making him lose MORE actions from the failure.
The idea behind 3 actions was to offer the potential of having increased flexibility following a failed attempt. Giving the OP more flexibility seems like a good idea without unbalancing the game.

Per the OPs post "I liked the game, but hated having to 1) draw/roll for an action, 2) fail, and 3) lose the rest of my turn." This is confusing because failing a job doesn't end your turn unless it was your second action. If doing a work action is your first action, you still have a second action thus your turn is NOT over yet.

edit: how about modifying an existing Story Card or creating one that meets your needs? GF9 recently released a new Story Card called First Time in the Captains Chair. Having played this a few times, 2-3 players should be able to complete it in roughly 2 hours.
Your turn might not be over technically, but if you get a full stop in the middle of nowhere, even if you have an action left you can't do anything with it because of the "no action twice" rule. If you're at a planet that serves no purpose other than providing a mission point and you botch a mission, you're in the same boat. You could fly away from your mission point, but what good would that do you?
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C Bazler
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kashre wrote:
Your turn might not be over technically, but if you get a full stop in the middle of nowhere, even if you have an action left you can't do anything with it because of the "no action twice" rule. If you're at a planet that serves no purpose other than providing a mission point and you botch a mission, you're in the same boat. You could fly away from your mission point, but what good would that do you?
Yes, thanks, that's what I meant. Several times I found myself in a position where moving away from a remote planet would have been a waste of time and fuel unless I wanted to simply abandon my work order. Of course, once I had spent two turns trying unsuccessfully to complete the mission, I felt that giving up would have only been a greater waste of those two turns.

I think I'll try the suggestion of only allowing a repeated action if it's during the same turn as 1) a full stop 2) a botched attempt or 3) a draw action that resulted in no purchases/missions collected.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys!
 
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Bob
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kashre wrote:
Your turn might not be over technically, but if you get a full stop in the middle of nowhere, even if you have an action left you can't do anything with it because of the "no action twice" rule. If you're at a planet that serves no purpose other than providing a mission point and you botch a mission, you're in the same boat. You could fly away from your mission point, but what good would that do you?
Them's the breaks. There should be risks when traveling The Verse and the game does a pretty good job of capturing this aspect. Should we allow repeat actions for: Evade (no other movement is possible), Botched Misbehave Attempts, Botched Goal Attempts, etc.? Where do we draw the line when something goes amiss?
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C Bazler
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Ashitaka wrote:

Them's the breaks. There should be risks when traveling The Verse and the game does a pretty good job of capturing this aspect. Should we allow repeat actions for: Evade (no other movement is possible), Botched Misbehave Attempts, Botched Goal Attempts, etc.? Where do we draw the line when something goes amiss?
I draw the line when I am no longer having fun. At one point during my first play I said "for each turn I waste sitting in this spot, failing work attempt after work attempt, this game loses half a point on my rating." I stopped at 6.5.

I do not believe in the "purity" of a game's rules, and I have no qualms about changing them when the difference means playing the game or never touching it again. As it stands now, I would probably not request this game again, and I would likely turn it down if offered unless a change were made.
 
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C David Dent
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If a job is buggin' you move somewhere else and do another job in between. A job isn't abandoned when you do that, but is merely "postponed" It stays active, taking up one of your three slots but you can stop working it, go elsewhere, buy something that will help you complete the job and then go back to it.
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Bob
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cbazler wrote:
... during my first play I said "for each turn I waste sitting in this spot, failing work attempt after work attempt, this game loses half a point on my rating." I stopped at 6.5.
Sorry you had a bad experience, but based on this it sounds like you didn't do yourself any favors. There are tips on navigating The Verse on the back of the rulebook. Before you attempt Jobs and Misbehavin, you need a good mix of crew (professions), skills and gear. Having those green keywords covered is vital. If staying in place and failing doesn't work, then it's helpful to go elsewhere and acquire more crew and gear.


Hope this helps if you play again. Either way, have fun and Game On!

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Rules change: you only get one action per turn.

Benefits:

- you can now burn twice in a row
- if another player is shopping or checking out jobs, you can let them deliberate while allowing the next player to start his turn. No more waiting 5 minutes while a player takes a long think about what job to take or what items to buy!

Haven't tried this yet IRL.
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I haven't played a ton of non-solo games, but most of them have been impacted by a full-stop at some point.

Way I see it, that's life in the 'Verse. It kinda sucks, but in a game with winners and losers, there's always going to be some parts that suck.

Having said that...

Buy and Deal: Especially as expansions come out, I can see an argument to make the number of cards you draw (and therefore the discard pile) larger. Right now, there are 25 cards in each deck, so it can take up to 8 turns or so to get through a single deck. Assuming expansions generally increase the decks at a rate of 5 or so (as Breaking Atmo will do), it won't be long before there are 40 or more cards. That's not terrible in a homogenized deck (like Silverhold), but if you're looking for a relatively rare resource (eg, Inara/Saffron on Osiris), it could be a game-losing move.

Same thing with dealing with contacts, especially if your leader provides a particular type of bonus.

By the way, if you're on a planet, without a job, you can always do make-work. With few exceptions, that means that if you had a bum Deal or Buy action, you can at least make $200 if you want to stick around and try again.

Work: I don't think you should be able to work the same job twice in a row on the same turn. If you fail, you need to head back to the ship, re-plan, and start fresh.

The trick, to me, is making sure you're equipped for the jobs. Personally, I try not to touch jobs with multiple Misbehaves until I have at least a +5 or so in all three categories.

Fly: This is often the most painful option, since a full stop may often leave you in the middle of nowhere. One solution is to always fly through planets whenever possible. More than once, I've been full-stopped on the way to something better and been forced to do make-work instead. On one hand, VERY annoying. On the other hand, VERY thematically appropriate.

Personally, I'm hoping that, rather than modifying the core rules, future expansions will offer options to offset some of these problems (eg, maybe ship upgrades like "Cortex connection" that lets you Deal remotely, or a "Shuttle" that let's you spend fuel to go on a shopping run...).


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Philip Thomas
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Wouldn't it be possible (if you could repeat the same action) to earn $400 a turn just be sitting on a planet and working it?

I haven't played the game so I don't know if $400 a turn is enough to compete, mind.
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I think it depends on the story card and the competition, but I don't think it would generally be that great, especially in the endgame.

A solo game lasts no more than 20 rounds, and I think a regular game will generally go 20-30. 8000-12,000 isn't enough to get you the resources you need for most job cards, unless you're very luck and/or your competition is terrible.

On the other hand, it MIGHT be a game-changer early on, when you're scrabbling to put together a crew. I could see captains parking on a supply planet and doing make-work for a few rounds to get some expensive goods. That would make for a VERY slow start to the game, but would spike things up pretty quickly afterward.

Personally, I feel like that would be thematically inappropriate, since it's about playing it safe, and that ain't life in the 'Verse.
 
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C Bazler
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Wouldn't it be possible (if you could repeat the same action) to earn $400 a turn just be sitting on a planet and working it?

I haven't played the game so I don't know if $400 a turn is enough to compete, mind.
Yeah, I don't think this would be a viable strategy, considering you'd have to sit there doing nothing for several turns in a row to make as much money as one work contract. Plus, who would play that way?

I still like the idea of repeating only failed or interrupted actions, though. I'm also intrigued by the suggestion of only allowing one action per turn, which would theoretically allow multiple identical moves in a row, but with other players being able to act in-between.
 
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Several Harken and Ammon Duul contracts are $800 or less. That is just 2 turns double working. Niska contracts go up to $4000, but I'm guessing they take a fair few turns to complete, and you have to buy gear and crew (and pay your crew, or give them shore leave), whereas you can earn your $400 a turn with your starting captain. Keep the $3000 you start with and you get to $12,000 in 23 turns with no risk whatsoever.

Now, I agree, anyone playing this strategy all-game-long has missed the point of the game! But on the other hand I don't see why anyone would ever do a Harken or Ammon Duul job when they can do this, unless they need to be Solid with either...
 
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James Fung
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I like the one action per turn rule as it addresses this problem and reduces the time between turns.

However, there's at least one other effect: say you're travelling between Georgia and Red Sun. If it doesn't cost me more turns, I generally stop at Persephone or the Space Bazaar or some other intermediate point to look at the supply deck or get some jobs. It fits the theme of the show to stop off at planets along the way.

But with one action per turn, there's no reason to do that. Players would just find the shortest path and fly it, maybe maneuvering to avoid the alliance or reavers.
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And THAT is probably one of the reasons the game designers gave us two actions per turn.

I think two may be the optimal number, since you are often flying/something or something/flying (this is the better dynamic, so you don't lose an action on a bad Nav result).

Another issue, I think, is that if everyone gets a single action, it would actually slow the game down, especially if players use "downtime" to start/finish Buying or Dealing.

A single action is like lightning as long as everyone keeps moving, but will slow down considerably when something else comes into play, I think.
 
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Steve Zgwortz
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We came up with a slightly different, and really simple, variant - Each turn, the player gets just one action. It's effectively the same thing as being able to repeat actions, only separated by turns. More importantly, it guarantees that if they do a Deal or Buy action, they pass the Dinosaur immediately. (Whereas in the repeat action variation, if they do a Deal or Buy on the first action, you have to wait for them to finish it and at least start the second action before you can continue...)

Sped up the game a bit, but *felt* like it was sped up even more because no player spent too much time waiting for the other players. Of course, because you can repeat actions from turn to turn, there are a lot of side effects:

- Work actions to get $200 become mostly worthless unless you're so desperate for money and don't have time to go somewhere to do a job to get it.

- The item decks were picked through much faster than usual.

- The worst things in the Fly and Misbehave decks didn't delay players quite so much.

That said, the few times we've done it this way, the game still seemed fairly balanced, so it's worked for us so far. I'm considering trying one slight variation to this change, which is that you still get only one action per turn, but you cannot do the same action three turns in a row. (i.e. you can Buy, and then Buy again, but then you have to do *something* else before you can Buy again...) That would keep the general speed up, but perhaps fix or at least reduce the impact of the side effects mentioned above. On the other hand, you then have to keep track of the type of action each player is doing from turn to turn.
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Love the idea of only doing 1 action per turn. You guys already hit a lot of the benefits, so I won't go in to those. I am going to try this change the next time I play, but I suspect that the repeat buy action will be a little overpowered.
 
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I'll be curious to see how the various single-action playtests go compared with the existing game. I think it changes the dynamic of various actions, especially shopping. As the game is currently designed, shopping is often sort of an opportunistic "well, it's on the way" or "well, I needed to be here to deal anyway..."

I suspect that individual turns will seem faster, but the games may actually be longer, as people try to plow through to a quick victory with half-baked crews.
 
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