Jan Frey
Germany
Wiesbaden
Hessen
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It is a known fact that the game doesnt´t scale well with different number of players. While I feel it well balanced with 3 players, it becomes easier with 2 (soloplay is just broken), while 4 and 5 players is hard and then hell.

Analysis:
Since the hive-deck is almost a constant, the time to build up your deck/burn through the hive-deck drops from 19,5 turns on a 2-player (36 turns on solo!) to just 9,5 turns on a 5-player game (already taking into account the drone-deck). So, you have roughly double the time to build up on a 2-player game compared to a 5-player one.

On the other hand, the total number of health increases from around 10 to 50. Also you can make more use of the "coordinate" skill with more players. So there are at least some mechanics that counterweigh the shortend buildup a little...

We have read a lot of suggestions here on the forum and tried out a few more. Our aim was a simple variant, which sticks to the core mechanic as well as scales well over the course of the game. In the end we came up with the following solution, which works quite well for us:

Solo:
- 5 cards instead of 6 (thanks to Fred Methot)
- strike phase before action phase (thanks to Fred Methot)
- coordinate: like "Valiant" BUT it must be used in the following turn or discarded (we tap the card at the start of the turn to indicate this). You can actually play more than 1 card in this way BUT you can only ever use one in your turn.

2-player:
- strike phase before action phase

3-player:
- vanilla

4-player:
- after the 2nd mission-objective every player gets one turn without the hive-phase.

5-player:
- after the 1st and 2nd mission-objective every player gets one turn without the hive-phase.

What we really like about the 4- and 5-player variant is the sence of accomplishment after each mission objective, which actually adds to the flavor the game: "Get ready - the next wave is about to hit us any minute now".

We still loose more often than not, however it is almost always a close game - which is what we strive for, right?

The 2-player variant still feels too easy at times BUT when "they cut the power" it becomes really scary devil

With both rules in place, the solo-variant feels juuust a little too hard, but it is possible to win.



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Eironn Pua
Philippines
Quezon City
Metro Manila
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Huh. I've already played this a lot of times but only with two players. I have never won a game. Still love it, though.
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David Lesouef
France
Ermont
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zintars wrote:
Solo:
- 5 cards instead of 6 (thanks to Fred Methot)
- strike phase before action phase (thanks to Fred Methot)
- coordinate: like "Valiant" BUT it must be used in the following turn or discarded (we tap the card at the start of the turn to indicate this). You can actually play more than 1 card in this way BUT you can only ever use one in your turn.

2-player:
- strike phase before action phase

Interesting but in this case, some cards become uninteresting.
Newt, for exemple, cancels the next strike this turn. If the strike phase is placed before action phase, this card is really uninteresting.

The better way, imo, is to place the Hive Phase after action phase (and place 1 or 2 card in the complexe during setup). You have the same effect (strikes take place immediately when a card arrives in the combat zone), but Newt (and 3 others Ripley cards) stay interesting.

Setup:
1+ card in the complexe.
Turn:
1. Action Phase
2. Hive Phase
3. Strike Phase
4. Discard/clear phase

zintars wrote:

- coordinate: like "Valiant" BUT it must be used in the following turn or discarded.
You mean Vigilant? Very interesting, especially if we only have 5 cards in hand.
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Artur Baginski
Germany
49074 Osnabrück
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Jan, have you ever tried the easy adjustment introduced in the Predator Box? Do you feel your variant is a lot better than those?
 
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David Lesouef
France
Ermont
Unspecified
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Johnny_Bravo wrote:
Jan, have you ever tried the easy adjustment introduced in the Predator Box?
What are they?
 
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Mariusz Kosecki
Poland
Elbląg
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judograal wrote:
Johnny_Bravo wrote:
Jan, have you ever tried the easy adjustment introduced in the Predator Box?
What are they?

These, I suppose:
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David Lesouef
France
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Ok. Thank you.

Good variant but not to increase the difficulty of 1 and 2 players games.

For 1 or 2 players I usually play without Drone card and i win easily each time...
This is why the variant for 1 player seems good.
 
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David Lesouef
France
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zintars wrote:
Solo:
- 5 cards instead of 6 (thanks to Fred Methot)
- strike phase before action phase (thanks to Fred Methot)
- coordinate: like "Valiant" BUT it must be used in the following turn or discarded (we tap the card at the start of the turn to indicate this). You can actually play more than 1 card in this way BUT you can only ever use one in your turn.

I just tested this variant (+ positioned the Hive phase just after the action phase).
Finally I lost my first single player game! Cool! ;-)

I could not get the second objectif (first movie).
I said that 2 "Shedding Skin-Xenomorph" arrived in the combat zone. 2x7 attacks, is hell, especially with 5 cards in hand.

I have to try it again, but I wonder if being limited to 5 cards in hand is not enough. Put the Strike Phase just after the Hive Phase may be too difficult if you are limited to 5 cards.

Anyway, thank you for this variant that seems fix solo play.
 
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Julien Regnard
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What changes the most with player count is how many new hive cards enter the game while you cycle through your deck.
With one player, at the beginning 2 hive cards enter the complex while you cycle through your deck.
With two players, 4 hive cards enter the complex.
6 hive cards for three players.

When playing solo, if you increase the size of the starting deck, for example doubling it, you cut the cycling speed of your deck by half, and 4 hive cards enter the game before you have any chance to see the cards you gained/recruited.
I suspect reducing the hand size to 5 cards may cause some side effects, like impossibility to survive certain enemy waves whatever you do (after all you change the max possible strength of your hand).

Increasing the size of the starting deck you may achieve a similar difficulty adjustement with no changes at all in the mechanics.
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Tom Eklund
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juls2 wrote:

Increasing the size of the starting deck you may achieve a similar difficulty adjustement with no changes at all in the mechanics.


This! I guess increasing the number of grunts and specialists in the starting hand for 2 player game for example could do the job better than changing core rules of the game like changing the order of phases.
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Andrej Swidsinski
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Hey guys just wanted to thank your for your work with this rule variant.
Your rules are very clean in desing and super effective.
I´ve played according to those rules ever since I read them and they worked very good for my 4 and 5 player games. Your set of rules should be added to the rule book when they release a second edtion.
 
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