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Subject: Full Featured Fast Play Variant rss

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elite six
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Summary: Skill cards are drawn at the end of a player's turn, not the beginning. This decreases the amount of time a player uses to decide his or her course of action, no time is spent at the beginning of the turn to think about how he or she could use his new cards (instead thinking about these new cards after their turn has ended). Maximum time save effect on newer or analysis paralysis prone players, minimal effect on hardened veterans. Short play-tests of a few turns (not full game) seem to indicate savings of 15-30 minutes or more over the course of the entire game. The reason for this variant is my gaming group doesn't have the time it used to. C'est la vie. Thoughts welcome!

Rules Modification:

Game Turn - Receive Skills Step p. 9:
This step is moved to occur after "6. Prepare for Jump Step." It is the last thing a player does before his or her turn ends.

Setup - Receive Skills p. 5:
Player 1: The starting player starts with 7 skill cards (normal skill draw set + additional card(s) of the character's type roughly distributed across the various available skill types) but does not draw cards during his or her initial turn.

Players 2-3: Regardless of how many total players there are in the game, players 2 through 3 all start with 4 cards in hand. They draw normally.

Players 4-6: Players 4 through 6 start with 3 cards in hand. They draw normally.

Comments: These different starting draw rules are needed to approximate the net skill cards available for each crisis in the early game due to the introduction of the draw at end of turn mechanic.

Hand Limit and Discarding p. 15: If a player has more than 10 Skill Cards in his hand at the end of Step 6. Prepare for Jump Step, then he must discard down until he has only 10. This discard occurs prior to the drawing of skill cards.

Comments: The last rules change in the timing of the discard allows for one to theoretically stockpile past 10 cards for one turn, much like the base games - he basically would draw after the forced discard, but then be forced to discard down to 10 on the next player's turn after the next player's action and crisis.

Sickbay: The sickbay's effect only applies when a player starts his or her turn there. It applies for the duration of the player's turn even if he moves out of the sickbay during his movement.

-----

Variant Analysis - Turn & Net Skills Available For Crisis Comparison (Assuming 5 Skill Card Characters):
3 Player Stock Game
1: 11
2: 16
3: 21
4: 26
5: 31
6: 36

3 Player Fast Play Variant
1: 15
2: 15
3: 20
4: 25
5: 30
6: 35

6 Player Stock Game
1: 20
2: 25
3: 30
4: 35
5: 40
6: 45

6 Player Fast Play Variant
1: 24
2: 24
3: 29
4: 34
5: 39
6: 44
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Sebastian Roehrig
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I guess I`ll give this a shot once. Sounds good as an introduction variant.
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elitesix wrote:
Summary: Skill cards are drawn at the end of a player's turn, not the beginning. This decreases the amount of time a player uses to decide his or her course of action, no time is spent at the beginning of the turn to think about how he or she could use his new cards (instead thinking about these new cards after their turn has ended). Maximum time save effect on newer or analysis paralysis prone players, minimal effect on hardened veterans.

Rules Modification:
Game Turn - Receive Skills Step p. 9:
This step is moved to occur after "6. Prepare for Jump Step." It is the last thing a player does before his or her turn ends.

Setup - Receive Skills p. 5: The starting player starts with 6 skill cards (normal skill draw set + additional card(s) of the character's type) but does not draw cards during his or her initial turn. All other players start with 4 skill cards and draw one less skill card than normal on their initial draw.

Hand Limit and Discarding p. 15: If a player has more than 10 Skill Cards in his hand at the end of Step 6. Prepare for Jump Step, then he must discard down until he has only 10.

Comments: The last rules change in the timing of the discard allows for one to theoretically stockpile past 10 cards for one turn, much like the base games - he basically would draw after the forced discard, but then be forced to discard down to 10 on the next player's turn after the next player's action and crisis.

-----

Short playtests of a few turns (not full game) seem to indicate savings of 15-30 minutes or more over the course of the entire game. Effects on balance remains to be seen, but balance effects seem to be minimal over the course of the game due to the change affecting both human and cylon players equally, though there is a slight difference on the net skill cards available for the first two crises; however the effect diminishes after that (you can math it out but that's the reason the starting skill card hands and initial turn skill card draws are a little funky - in order to mitigate this effect).

Thoughts welcome!

p.s. The reason for this variant is my gaming group doesn't have the time it used to. C'est la vie.


You don't get AP when a player takes his next turn? Sure, he had nearly a whole round of turns to look at his cards, but if he has to use them between those 2 moments, then he'll be spending time on what cards to put in.

In some cases, it sounds like you may as well skip a player's turn and just go straight for the crisis step
 
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elite six
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ackmondual wrote:

You don't get AP when a player takes his next turn? Sure, he had nearly a whole round of turns to look at his cards, but if he has to use them between those 2 moments, then he'll be spending time on what cards to put in.

In some cases, it sounds like you may as well skip a player's turn and just go straight for the crisis step


We do...but we definitely get AP when newer players draw their cards - they legitimately want to read them before deciding what action to take on their turn. You are correct in that there's still some AP when a new crisis comes out, even if players have previously had time to look at their skill cards. This just cuts down the time between player card draw and their action, though it doesn't eliminate it completely as you point out.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Tampere
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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How long the games were originally now that you save 15-30 minutes?

Your changes sound like what we accomplish simply by a player getting/giving skill cards to the next current player while other players are updating the jump track, putting away discards, and handling the CFB.

Of course the players want to read every card they get, but outside of their own turn they can only plan what to do anyway, and only when their turn actually comes decide, because the board will be fairly different then.

Getting to know the skill cards makes checking on your options quicker and speed up the game.

(We play a game with all expansions to Kobol in 2-2.5 hours.)
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Kwijiboe
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elitesix wrote:
ackmondual wrote:

You don't get AP when a player takes his next turn? Sure, he had nearly a whole round of turns to look at his cards, but if he has to use them between those 2 moments, then he'll be spending time on what cards to put in.

In some cases, it sounds like you may as well skip a player's turn and just go straight for the crisis step


We do...but we definitely get AP when newer players draw their cards - they legitimately want to read them before deciding what action to take on their turn. You are correct in that there's still some AP when a new crisis comes out, even if players have previously had time to look at their skill cards. This just cuts down the time between player card draw and their action, though it doesn't eliminate it completely as you point out.


Don't throw all expansions skill cards at new players?

If you've agreed to introduce new players, you've got to give them time. Otherwise, provide them less fat to chew on.

Additionally, In a small amount of cases, drawing cards at the end of turn can insulate the current player from negative crisis effects. Or the current player becomes incredibly vulnerable to skill cards such as Force Their Hand: automatic mutiny or forced to spike the check.
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elite six
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Kwijiboe wrote:


Additionally, In a small amount of cases, drawing cards at the end of turn can insulate the current player from negative crisis effects. Or the current player becomes incredibly vulnerable to skill cards such as Force Their Hand: automatic mutiny or forced to spike the check.


Given the opposite nature of these effects, would you say the overall difference in current player vulnerability is the same? Or would you say that the player has greater or less vulnerability as compared to the base draw at the start of turn mechanic?
 
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Kwijiboe
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elitesix wrote:
Kwijiboe wrote:


Additionally, In a small amount of cases, drawing cards at the end of turn can insulate the current player from negative crisis effects. Or the current player becomes incredibly vulnerable to skill cards such as Force Their Hand: automatic mutiny or forced to spike the check.


Given the opposite nature of these effects, would you say the overall difference in current player vulnerability is the same? Or would you say that the player has greater or less vulnerability as compared to the base draw at the start of turn mechanic?


Not sure I understand your question.

A player is more vulnerable to "Current player discards 3 cards" when he has his full complement of cards.

Let's say the Current player has 2 cards at the beginning of his turn. He discards 2 cards since that is all he has.

He then draws his 5 cards per your variant rules, saving 1 card from hitting the discard pile. The player is insulated from the negative effect.

Consequently, a player is more vulnerable to discard effects when he has all of his cards in his hand. If discards effects hit before the player draws cards, he is insulated from the penalty.

OTOH, players tend to hold onto certain cards due to their strength and ability: these could be the cards the player was holding onto (the 2 cards). If the player had their 5 card draw, they would have a better ability to hold onto their stronger cards. So, it cuts both ways.

There's other effects that can negatively affect the game: one being Force Their Hand (mentioned above).
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elite six
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You answered my question! Thanks.

Edit:

After play testing another shortened game length variant, this variant has lost favor with me personally...the "Half-Length Post-Sleeper Variant" cuts down game length a lot more.
 
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