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Fleets: The Pleiad Conflict» Forums » Rules

Subject: Randomized Player Order rss

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Enoch Fryxelius
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We have receivied many comments and questions about our decision to have randomized player order in this game. Therefore let me explain why...

It has different advantages to be early or late in the player order depending on which phase you are in:
- Build phase: Here it could be a slight advantage to go first, but only if several players wants the same fleet or upgrade and it's already on the market from the beginning, then the first player can get that fleet first. Also, if all players want to buy the big fleets and the markets only turn up 1 big and then only small fleets, then the first has a bigger chance of grabbing that big fleet.
- Deployment phase: Here it is a significant advantage to go late or last in the player order! Then you can match your fleets against the opponents you want to crush or placing your fleet on an empty system that noone has claimed, thus you have a much better chance to position yourself to get VPs!!! Going last also mean that you can block an opponent from getting VP and avoid opponents with enough DPs to force you home.
- Diplomacy phase: Here it is good to be early, so you can use the effects you plan before someone else mess up the board with their actions.
- Battle phase: Here too it's good to be early, so you have the advantage of perform the stages before your opponent. Still, the initiative values on the fleets and the action cards are more important to win the battles than being first player.

After a couple of years of developing and play-testing we came to the conclusion that the advantages of being early or late in the player order more or less equal each other. Also, during a game to 7 VPs you typically play between 6-8 rounds and during that time you will get your chance of play both early and late in the player order anyway. It's also more fun when you don't always take your turn after the same player for the whole game.

So, we tried randomized player order and it was more fun and worked beautifully, so we kept that feature.
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Build phase: The first turn it is sometimes an advantage to go first because you have first pickings. This advantage is not very big because all fleets are good in different ways. Subsequent turns, the first player has first pickings, but only from the leftovers from last round, so that is not an advantage. There is a small advantage in knowing the new situation Before picking, but not much. And if you buy the 'best' fleet, maybe an even better one shows up for the next player. AND if you pick the 'best' fleet, then the next player can pick the 'best' upgrade instead, or even take an upgrade just to wait and see what fleets the others buy Before picking a fleet.

Deploy phase: As Enoch said, definitely an advantage to be late in turn order.

Diplomacy: Advantage to be able to do the first action Before anyone messes up the situation, but then you alternate turns, so you only have advantage for that first action.

Battle: See Enochs post. This advantage for the first player is migitated by the later players often being able to pick their fights better.

During playtesting we also tried a variant where you bid for player order, but found that it just took a long time, added AP problems and didnn't really add anything to the game. It runs much smoother now.

Cheers!

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Lord Alatar
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I might adjust this in my copy of the game giving each ship a number from 1-20. The highest number is the slowest and goes first on the board and then the next highest and so on... The lowest number is the fastest and fires first in case of a tie. This way you will know how fast each ship is when you buy them and there will be no need of a randomizer.
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Doug Birdwise
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lordalatar wrote:
I might adjust this in my copy of the game giving each ship a number from 1-20. The highest number is the slowest and goes first on the board and then the next highest and so on... The lowest number is the fastest and fires first in case of a tie. This way you will know how fast each ship is when you buy them and there will be no need of a randomizer.


Have you tried this variant and how did it work out?

I wonder if other placement and initiative rules might add some interesting variants, such as secret fleet deployment with simultaneous reveal, and secret paymens of Megacredits and/or Energy with simultaneous reveal to determine Initiative.
 
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