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Subject: New initiative system being playtested rss

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Gregg Lewis
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First off, take a deep breath ... these rules are optional.

There's always been a small quirk that crops up every now and then, where a car (typically a fast build, like an interceptor with a D12 engine) will win initiative, earn the speedometer and then proceed to sit still for the turn.

Ive been working on an initiative tracker, to help with the turn flow and I decided to try a new approach to the player dashboard area: A gear shift. At present, it looks a bit like an automatic transmission gear selector, with 4,3,2,1,R,& N on it.

In play it works a like this: at the beginning of a turn, each player selects a gear to be in for the round. The gear you select determines which 'band'of initiative you are in and then initiative is determined for each gear. The slowest car in 4th gear will still be faster than the fastest in 3rd ... etc. the catch is is that you must commit to a minimum amount of maneuvers ... you cant be in 4th gear and not play at least x maneuver cards...even if that means you end up hitting something.

This also plays into attacks ... it will make it easier to track who is faster and therefore who gets a +1 defense ... and cars in Reverse or Neutral are at the bottom of the heap, meaning those interceptors that are moving slowly backwards (or not at all) are no longer magical beasts that somehow go really FAST while standing still.

there's alot to be woked out, but I wanted to get some player feedback on the idea.

-G, DFG
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Kyle
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This sounds somewhat like how the speed dials work in Crimson Skies.


I like it so far!
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Joshua Tumbry
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sounds great will have to give it a shot do you have updated dashboards for this yet?
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Shawn is boufalaxx
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Sounds interesting
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Gregg Lewis
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since it's optionsal, I made it a separate card, like the speedometer card.

foe42 wrote:
sounds great will have to give it a shot do you have updated dashboards for this yet?
 
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Gregg Lewis
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For making your own gearshift card:



Playtest rules coming soon.

-G
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Gregg Lewis
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So a little more behind the curtain: one of the most common requests/criticisms I get regarding the game, is a lack of 'simulataneous' action resolution and the burden put upon those who have high initiative.

This new system will allow players to have a little more direct influence over 'where' in the initiative order they want to be, because a lot of players DO NOT want to be first, they like to hang back and see how the chips fall before they choose their response ... which I understand. But in line with the current system, you will have to survive other's turns first. I think it adds an element similar to the use of skill points: it gives the players the ability to put a little english on the turn order, much like skill points taking some (or all) of the chance out of die rolls.

So far the different gears work like this (this is also the hierarchy of initiative ranks from first to last)

OD (Overdrive): 5+ maneuvers - YES, this means that you must have a D10 or D12 engine to qualify!
D3: 3-5 Maneuvers
2: 2-4 Maneuvers
L: 1-3 Maneuvers
R: 1-3 Maneuvers IN REVERSE!
N: 0-1*

The minimum # of maneuvers is mandatory (less with a penalty ~ let's table that for now). At the beginning of each turn, players can select what gear they want to be in before initiative is rolled. The players can go up or down by one incement from previous turn for free. If stopped from the previous turn, the player must spend an action token on the shifter to get going again ... or spend it to skip more than one gear up or down or coast (shift to N) if you choose to coast, you get max 1 maneuver, which MUST end in a stop (this is iffy ATM, but I am entertaining many ideas).

things that are being discussed:
• does accel bonus somehow buy you extra APs? are perhaps the ability to skip gears for free?
• possible way for slow cars to use OD, with some sort of damage possible?
• as mentioned earlier - what if situations arise where I WANT /NEED to go slower than anticipated? damage? penalty? public shaming?
• YOUR IDEA HERE
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Peter Wiles
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I haven't looked this game in quite some time and was wanting to dust it off. I came here to see what was new, and I thought this initiative idea was pretty interesting. I was curious if anyone had playtested it yet?

One concern I have is that the shifter adds a bit of bookkeeping that seems to go against the fast-play, and somewhat abstracted nature of this game. As the game currently plays, you can go from playing 6 maneuvers one round to playing just 1 on the next. So having to keep track of moving your shifter up or down kind of detracts from that.

One way to have a similar effect would be to create a set of "speed" tokens for each player, each token indicating the number of maneuvers you intend to do during the round. Going with your shifter values, it would be
Extreme: 5+
High: 3-5
Medium: 2-4
Low: 1-3
Stopped: 0-1

At the beginning of the round each person secretly selects one of these tokens and then everyone simultaneously reveals them. Initiative goes in the order of speed bands (high to low) with people in the same speed band rolling off. I don't really see the need for a reverse token, since they would just pick Low or Medium if they are moving in reverse.

This is repeated each round, without any restriction on which one you choose (i.e. not worrying about if the one you choose this round is one step up or down from what you chose last round). This seems to do what you want with initiative, but still be very fast and easy in execution.

I really like the theory of this (or the shifter) method of initiative determination. I recall when I first read through the rules a long time ago that it bothered me that initiative and speed were not really linked together.

I think that this does help to fix the issue of whether it really is advantageous to go first or not. As the game is currently set up, one could argue that there certainly are situations were it is best to go last, not first. It seems to me that with this alternative initiative determination, the higher initiative people might have a bit of an advantage because the other players have telegraphed their speed, so you can plan your move to make it hard to get to you with their available maneuvers. That advantage comes with a risk, however, since you may end up spinning out and letting the slow people pick at you. It also mitigates the "advantage" of going later in the initiative order. Sure, you can adapt to where everyone else has gone, but you have fewer maneuvers to do so with. Also, anyone who is stopped will probably have everyone else moved out of their arc by the time it gets to them, so it really discourages just sitting put.

Now, within the same speed band, it may be argued that you want to go last rather first. An easy fix for this would be to say that whoever rolled the highest in that speed band gets to decide if they go from high roll to low, or low roll to high.

It might be good to have some kind of mechanism for allowing people to move fewer maneuvers than they bid so they can avoid colliding with that car that suddenly appeared in front of them. Maybe expend a skill point for each fewer?
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Gregg Lewis
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There are some good ideas in here!

This will certainly be an 'add on' rule, as I do like the base game's streamlined play.

to echo some of your points, I mostly wanted to create a system that mitigated a few illogical byproducts of the current system and give the players a but of control/anticipation of where they wanted to sit in the initiative stack, instead of it being mostly random - I thought the die-size and bonuses would dictate this (which they do somewhat, but not to the the degree I anticipated) fast cars usually float to the top, but sometimes you don't want to be at the top!

Ultimately, I would like to find a version of this that doesnt add much time/fiddlyness/bookkeeping but still captures the essence of it.

-G
 
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chris pearse
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Just my thoughts on a simpler mod. to the initiative system. How about having a numbered counter for each car, so 1-4 with 4 players; then roll as normal for initiative. The winner then chooses his position in the order of play, and takes the appropriate counter. Keep the die rolled for initiative,to show who rolled best for all other aspects of the rules, like who gets the speedo.
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Gregg Lewis
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That's a pretty clever, elegant solution.

It actually would mesh rather nicely with the rules being outlined for the gearshift/initiative tracker add-on, since I am already producing 8 'vanity' license plates, numbered 1-8 ... these could serve as the tokens with no changes needed.

Pearsecj wrote:
Just my thoughts on a simpler mod. to the initiative system. How about having a numbered counter for each car, so 1-4 with 4 players; then roll as normal for initiative. The winner then chooses his position in the order of play, and takes the appropriate counter. Keep the die rolled for initiative,to show who rolled best for all other aspects of the rules, like who gets the speedo.
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