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Subject: Overcoming potential turn order advantage - variants rss

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Joey V

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Some newer players email me a lot indicating that, for their group, the final round of turns inevitably becoming a brawl as each player attacks the person with the Ovoid, and a combat alien who goes last having the highest chance of winning, even if they didn't know where the Ovoid was until that point.

1. This doean't happen for my group that much because we conceal information really well and the Temporal Displacer gets used to end the game most of the time.
2. There are several ways to mitigate the turn order including Cataleptic Fog, trap inside Cloaking Orb*, and hiding on another player's toxic planet.
3. In a 48 turn game, players have more time to build defensive strategies, and Gazmae has probably used her hypertokens up already. (New players play to only 36 and it is still a great game length for most people.)

*I house rule that I get the envelope back if I successfully trap you using a cloaked trap or a trap on the planet I hold, but technically I would lose the envelope according to the rules.

Would love to hear your thoughts and new variant ideas:

Variant 1: The final round of turns, give the last player 1 action (plus free actions) only, second-to-last player 2 actions, etc. up to 4 actions for the player 4th from last.

Variant 2: *When the Chaos Clock reaches zero (without the Temporal Displacer taking it there) all players in reverse order take a 1-action turn (plus any free actions). Then whoever holds the Ovoid in-hand is the winner.*

So in this variant, you can access an envelope to pull the Ovoid from behind a trap or vault. You can attack one more time, but only if you are in the right place. You can teleport to someone's toxic planet. You can utilize a Planetary Transceiver to reach into your remote base. You can take several actions with Amnion Power Flux or Quantum Accelerator. But you can't really dramatically alter your initial end game strategy because you won't have enough actions.

I haven't tested these but I bet some groups will like the idea (unless it doesn't work!)....

joey
 
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Joseph Courtight
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If it is a concern I think the easiest solution is to forbid use of the hyperspace tokens on the final turn.

Since this means you need to think ahead to ambush the player with the ovoid.
 
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José Rech
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I thought about a variable ending game, involving the dice. Something along the lines of the variable game ending of Clash of Cultures. I think that adds tension and would make the ending unpredictable.

The initial idea would be something like that: at the beggining of you turn you roll the dice to check game ending, if all dice rolled are mirros, the game ends.

Turn 8 - roll 4 dice (very low probability, but could happen)
Turn 7 - roll 3 dice
Turns 6 and 5 - roll 2 dice
Turns 4 to 1 - roll just 1 dice
After that, if no mirror was rolled, the game ends as normal.

Or something like that. What do you guys think?

In addition, a variant-variant could be: play until the mirror is rolled, without a fixed ending, but this could drag the game a lot of turns, depending on luck.
 
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Joey V

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José, people might hold the Ovoid in fear of the game ending! The displacer is intended to be a way to stir things up a bit, force people to go for the Ovoid a round or two early, knowing the game could end. Adding dice to it might be too much?

Probably all these variants should wait until we build the community bigger first. But I can't help but think of ideas. I'd try anything.
 
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Joey V

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Dalek5 wrote:
If it is a concern I think the easiest solution is to forbid use of the hyperspace tokens on the final turn.

Since this means you need to think ahead to ambush the player with the ovoid.

I was just tossing forward some thoughts-- As I mentioned, this isn't a concern unless you are playing a very short game with new players.

In demos I show the game to only 24 turns and limit planets to 8, and each player starts with 2 hypers.

joey
 
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José Rech
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Well, we all have less games of Chaosmos than you. You should be able to predict those things a little better =P

But I think the idea is the same as the Temporal Displacer, the game could end earlier. In my mind it wouldn't be too much, but I don't know, I might be wrong.

Maybe this would need a card - an "Temporal Adjuster" - to cancel or skip rolls. So one could hide the ovoid in the last turns, staying safe the universe would not collapse until his very last moment. Or skip the roll to ensure to have time to get the Ovoid if he hasn't it. Would be another key card in the game ending, like the Temporal Displacer. But that would need an expansion and would change the endgame dynamics a little more than a "variant". That would put a target to the Ovoid owner attack too. As soon he sees the player who holds/uses that card, he would try to get it to make the game possibily end earlier.

I just think that the other solution - extra actions - can lead to two "bad" scenarios.
1) You just do nothing, because nothing is possible;
2) You would be the last one to attack, leading to the same problem people complaint.
 
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Joey V

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Yeah, its hard to predict how things will subtly change. In all the variants discussed, card values will shift. In the "bonus actions" variants, all cards with the word "amnion" in the title will get more valuable, since they save actions.

I like to build up to a crescendo and end the game strongly, so rolling dice to end it seems imperfect. (I have played many games of Twilight Imperium and I definitely DON'T like when a card is flipped that says "game over." So in that game we just play forever until there's a winner.) Way back before the Kickstarter, the Temporal Displacer could actually be moved forward or backward, but backward slowed the game down.

There's actually a really cool variant in the rulebook already called Time Crunch that lets you control the ending better:

TIME CRUNCH - Time itself is in flux! The Biocosm is collapsing at an ever-changing rate, and it’s up to you to influence the flow of time to your advantage.

Clicking the Clock: During your turn, you may spend actions to click the Chaos Clock down. Reduce the clock by 1 for each action spent. (Remember to also click the clock when you end your turn.)
Saving Actions: If you spend at least two actions clicking the clock during your turn, gain a chaos token at the end of the turn. Spend a chaos token as a free action to gain an additional action on your turn.
Reversing Time: The Temporal Displacer may be used to move the Chaos Clock forward or backward!


joey

joserech wrote:
Well, we all have less games of Chaosmos than you. You should be able to predict those things a little better =P

But I think the idea is the same as the Temporal Displacer, the game could end earlier. In my mind it wouldn't be too much, but I don't know, I might be wrong.

Maybe this would need a card - an "Temporal Adjuster" - to cancel or skip rolls. So one could hide the ovoid in the last turns, staying safe the universe would not collapse until his very last moment. Or skip the roll to ensure to have time to get the Ovoid if he hasn't it. Would be another key card in the game ending, like the Temporal Displacer. But that would need an expansion and would change the endgame dynamics a little more than a "variant". That would put a target to the Ovoid owner attack too. As soon he sees the player who holds/uses that card, he would try to get it to make the game possibily end earlier.

I just think that the other solution - extra actions - can lead to two "bad" scenarios.
1) You just do nothing, because nothing is possible;
2) You would be the last one to attack, leading to the same problem people complaint.
 
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