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XCOM: The Board Game» Forums » Rules

Subject: Research Slots - Did I Miss Something? rss

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Ray Bonilla
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Is there any difference between slots I, II, and III for the Scientist? Is there a reason they are randomly assigned each round? I don't quite understand that and I feel like I missed something in the tutorial.
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Chris J Davis
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Not really. Only very minor things that I'm sure others can point out. I can only presume that the difference belonged to an earlier iteration of the game and didn't get fully phased out as it developed and/or is being reserved for something in an upcoming expansion.
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Francisco Gutierrez
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The come up seemingly at random during the timed phase, but must be resolved in order in the resolution phase.

Depending on what you research in slot I, it can help you research the card in slots II and III
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Jan Probst
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Kiel
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Just adds some unpredictability since you may want to research things in particular orders (eg to use that research autosuccess tech right away after researching it from slot 1) but may not know how many credits you can afford if you need to assign a lower slot late.
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Keith
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There's no difference except that the game makes you play them in random orders.

The randomness affects play when you have research that has carried over from the previous turn. You will sometimes have a previous research where you have to decide how many scientists to assign to it, but also have an even more important research in your hand. A lot of money can be spent between that first research assignment and the next one. It will cause you to second-guess how much money to spend on your already-filled research slots.

It's only there to add tension and decision making, and they're numbered only to make them randomize-able.
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Ray Bonilla
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Thanks. Kinda what I figured, but as I already see I misplayed about 3 rules during my first time through, I wanted to confirm this one that was nagging me.
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Robert Stewart
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The only time research order has an effect is when Alien Construction has been researched (or is researched this round) and, after successfully researching slots I and II, you can stop rolling one success sooner against slot III, making slot III marginally less likely to roll a loss.

Okay, also if you're prepared to Workshop the Alien Construction to use it no matter what, but that's going to be extremely rare - either you have Alien Alloys researched, 3 spare Scientists, and nothing else you might Workshop instead; or the game's run really long without you losing yet, so you'll redraw the Alien Construction next turn anyway because so many other techs have been researched; or you're confident the game's going to end this turn anyway, in which case there's no cost to exhausting the scientists anyway; or you're fishing for a specific tech and need to get as far through the deck as possible...


Okay, there are also occasional interactions with Satellite Uplink, where re-rolling a loss on Research I means you can't re-roll on Research II or III, but most of the time you want to save the re-roll for the Commander or Squad Leader - the guys whose losses cost money.
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Ozy Mandias
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Generally it is a good idea to put the higher priority items in earlier slots. This lets you use things like rerolls, added dice, and salvage abilities if needed to get the important ones done first. And if you roll well and happen to have any of those things left over, you are free to use them on less important research... as opposed to saving an ability for the Research III slot, not needing to use it, and having it go unused.

That said, it is a relatively minor advantage to the order. I would guess that expansions will have things that do things to the specific slots. (ie. 'Move all scientists from Research II back to the reserve')

rmsgrey wrote:
but most of the time you want to save the re-roll for the Commander or Squad Leader - the guys whose losses cost money.
Keep in mind that researching the right items is the key to winning, as research will almost always save more money in the long run than a successful turn on the other positions. The trick is balancing that long term research gain against the short term needs of each turn.

The only time we won on Hard, we ignored the mission for the first two turns and maxed out research instead.
 
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Robert Stewart
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OzymandiasX wrote:
Generally it is a good idea to put the higher priority items in earlier slots. This lets you use things like rerolls, added dice, and salvage abilities if needed to get the important ones done first. And if you roll well and happen to have any of those things left over, you are free to use them on less important research... as opposed to saving an ability for the Research III slot, not needing to use it, and having it go unused.


Salvage abilities and added dice both have to be committed before rolling, and apply to all subsequent rolls against that Task that round, so, generally, if you're going to use it on a particular Task, you'll use it before you know whether it's actually needed or not - there's no "roll an extra die, but if you didn't need it, reclaim the resources spent to pay for this effect". I suppose you could roll once against a Task and then decide whether to commit resources to it, but I have trouble convincing myself that that would ever be sensible.

Unless you're adding dice after the first roll, there are only two effects in the game which could care about research order - Satellite Uplink (if you're willing to commit it to research) and Alien Construction (where you want the Tech you're committing most Scientists to to be Research III).
 
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