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Subject: Variant to mitigate bad dice rolls rss

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Nick Shaw
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Sometimes, you'll roll all the dice and not be able to do a single thing. Especially when you just need that one extra Tactical to be rid of that horrid threat that keeps wiping out your shields or sending your crew to the infirmary!

When that happens, it's often extremely frustrating. 5 turns in a row and you never roll even one of the dice you need?!

So, a slight variant, which makes the game ever so slightly easier (by giving you slightly more options when the above happens): You can use 2 unused dice to perform any 1 action. One of the dice you use must then be put in the infirmary.

Thematically, this is equivalent to 2 crewmen being aware that a job needs doing urgently, but no one specialised in the task is available; they therefore work together to perform the unfamiliar task. Doing it together means they achieve it, but doing an unfamiliar task injures one of them in the process.

You might think this is basically the same action as the Commander die (using one die to change another), which it is - except that the Commander doesn't cause the crew die to end up in the infirmary, and the Commander also allows you to reroll all unused dice [at least, on the standard ship], which this variant rule doesn't allow.

Hope this is helpful! Let me know any comments.
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Chris Lawson
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njshaw2 wrote:
You might think this is basically the same action as the Commander die (using one die to change another), which it is - except that the Commander doesn't cause the crew die to end up in the infirmary, and the Commander also allows you to reroll all unused dice [at least, on the standard ship], which this variant rule doesn't allow.
He's not dead Jim, he's resting!

I was going to comment that it's the same as rolling a Commander but with the downside that a Crew gets injured but you beat me to it

The fact that a Crew is sent to the Infirmary is a good addition, it's about right as a penalty. I know that I try and ensure that I keep Crew away from the Infirmary when I play, Threats such as the Bomber and Robot Uprising are usually my primary target when they appear.

It is true that it will make the game easier so I might decrease the number of Don't Panic cards to offset this. I like the fact that now you have a choice, possible a tough choice when you roll crappy dice.

It also brings the Infirmary into play a bit more or me. If this variant does get too easy, maybe a further addition would be to say that a Medical Crew can only return one Unit from the Infirmary (or at best, up to two Units from the Infirmary).
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Tony Go
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I have not tested this but here's what I'm thinking:

Because the infirmary/returned card is separate, on the back side I can make a version with an icon that shows you can "buddy up" and use a crew as any face if you send one to the infirmary.

This way it's 100% optional and doesn't interfere at all.

What do you guys think?
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Tony Go
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xris wrote:
njshaw2 wrote:
You might think this is basically the same action as the Commander die (using one die to change another), which it is - except that the Commander doesn't cause the crew die to end up in the infirmary, and the Commander also allows you to reroll all unused dice [at least, on the standard ship], which this variant rule doesn't allow.
He's not dead Jim, he's resting!

I was going to comment that it's the same as rolling a Commander but with the downside that a Crew gets injured but you beat me to it
Another distinction is that the Commander doesn't always have that ability in the other ships. So this variant is even more helpful to those ships.
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Rob Koch
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I think this is a great option as it allows those who want a real challenge to not allow the "buddy up" option. I also usually think "Infirmary = Bad" and try hard to not get someone sent there. I also have suffered the many turns not rolling anything useful (2 locked in scanners, 2 in Infirmary and all I roll are Engineers or science!?!? ) and would have opted to change the face of something.

A question on timing: Assume you have 3 dice in the Infirmary and decide to use the "Buddy Up" to create a medic (sending a die to the infirmary). Can I then use the Medic to return it or does it remain in the infirmary?



-Edit ... clarity/speling
 
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Chris Lawson
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Horror Leader wrote:
I have not tested this but here's what I'm thinking:

Because the infirmary/returned card is separate, on the back side I can make a version with an icon that shows you can "buddy up" and use a crew as any face if you send one to the infirmary.

This way it's 100% optional and doesn't interfere at all.

What do you guys think?
This is a trick question, right

I think it would be great if you would add this in as an optional rule (assuming you don't find any problems with the idea). Many thanks for considering it and many thanks to Nick for posting the variant!
Horror Leader wrote:
Another distinction is that the Commander doesn't always have that ability in the other ships. So this variant is even more helpful to those ships.
Even more reason for me to like the variant!

As I mentioned before, I think this adds a tough decision to the game. Yes, it makes it easier but at a cost.
 
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Chris Lawson
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robkoch2112 wrote:
A question on timing: Assume you have 3 dice in the Infirmary and decide to use the "Buddy Up" to create a medic (sending a die to the infirmary). Can I then use the Medic to return it or does it remain in the infirmary?
A good question.

I would say that you first return the Units from the Infirmary and then have the "buddy" crew be wounded. So yes, one crew will end up in the Infirmary.
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xris wrote:
robkoch2112 wrote:
A question on timing: Assume you have 3 dice in the Infirmary and decide to use the "Buddy Up" to create a medic (sending a die to the infirmary). Can I then use the Medic to return it or does it remain in the infirmary?
A good question.

I would say that you first return the Units from the Infirmary and then have the "buddy" crew be wounded. So yes, one crew will end up in the Infirmary.
This makes the most sense. As the injury to the buddy doesn't occur until after you take the action.
 
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Chris Lawson
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Only a sample size of one but I tried this variant to see how it played.

It seemed to be the easiest game I played so far despite the fact I rolled triple Threat twice in a row during the middle of the game just after being hit by Solar Winds!

I had a really troublesome sequence of Threats, I had Solar Winds activate along with Nebula and Distracted all happening within 6 or so turns of each other. That knocked me down to about 3 Hull and 0 Shields but during the rest of the game I seemed to be able to keep Shields and Hull close to max.

What the variant did do is offer so many choices that I seemed to be able to do most what I wanted whenever I wanted. Clearly not all the time but despite having a horrible middle game (in terms of Threat cards) I was able to recover and coast in an easy win. I was playing with 4 Don't Panics so that of course did help but even so.

I really liked the additional choices I had due to the variant. I need to try with maybe 0 Don't Panics next to see how that goes.

As mentioned, I did find it easy because I could get rid of Threat cards quite easily.

For example, you roll a
Tactical, Medical and 4 rubbish (non Threat Detected rubbish this is), then you can...
(BTW, a roll like this will occur about 30% of the time)

Buddy two (rubbish) die into a Tactical and send the other to the Infirmary.
Repeat this with two more of your rubbish die.
You will then have

Tactical, Tactical, Tactical
Medical
plus two die in the Infirmary

Spend the 3 Tactical to do 5 Damage (which will get rid off at least one if not two External Threat Cards).
Spend the Medical to cure the Units in the Infirmary.

So the variant turns a pretty rubbish roll into something very good. It means you can keep on top of External Threats very easily. I suspect the variant makes things a bit too easy. But it makes the game more controllable and (for me) more enjoyable as the chances of having a poor roll is now a lot less.

Maybe a change should be made to say that the "buddy" Units sent to the Infirmary can't be returned this turn. Makes the variant rule more complex but maybe it would help add a bit more tension.
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Frank Barnhouse
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You could also require that the 'buddies' have to be of the same role. That would enforce a further constraint making it a rare option rather than a guaranteed fall-back move.
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How often would you say you buddied twice (or more) in the same turn?

Perhaps only allow it once per turn?

A string of nasty threats early is scary but it also means those threats won't be showing up later!
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Horror Leader wrote:
How often would you say you buddied twice (or more) in the same turn?

Perhaps only allow it once per turn?

A string of nasty threats early is scary but it also means those threats won't be showing up later!
I was just thinking that - you could limit it to a once-per-turn action (much like Tiny Epic Galaxies does it with the converter, which can only be done once per turn - though in that case, you have to use 2 dice to change a 3rd).

I've played using this variant a good few times, and I find I don't use it all that often (especially when dice are getting scarce due to being locked in scanners / away missions / infirmary!), but I like the extra option it gives you.
 
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Horror Leader wrote:
xris wrote:
robkoch2112 wrote:
A question on timing: Assume you have 3 dice in the Infirmary and decide to use the "Buddy Up" to create a medic (sending a die to the infirmary). Can I then use the Medic to return it or does it remain in the infirmary?
A good question.

I would say that you first return the Units from the Infirmary and then have the "buddy" crew be wounded. So yes, one crew will end up in the Infirmary.
This makes the most sense. As the injury to the buddy doesn't occur until after you take the action.
Agreed; that's how I envisioned it; two buddies try to work the medical equipment, manage to figure it out enough to heal the injured, but end up slicing their hand on a particularly sharp console button. Or something like that.
 
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Chris Lawson
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Two more games but this time with 0 Don't Panics.

Both failures. Didn't seems to be able to use the Buddies as often as I did in the first game. The main problem seems to be being overrun with External Threats, couldn't kill them fast enough.

The first of these two games I still had about External 18 Threats left (face up and in the Threats deck). In the second I had about 12 External Threats left (face up and in the Threats deck).
MuseLament wrote:
You could also require that the 'buddies' have to be of the same role. That would enforce a further constraint making it a rare option rather than a guaranteed fall-back move.
You could but it might be just easier to say you can only Buddy once per turn.
Horror Leader wrote:
How often would you say you buddied twice (or more) in the same turn?

Perhaps only allow it once per turn?

A string of nasty threats early is scary but it also means those threats won't be showing up later!
In my first (easy win game) I seemed to double buddy a number of times (maybe 20% of the time). In my second and third games (the losses) it didn't seems to happen as often, maybe 10%?

These two 0 Don't Panic games seemed to be a lot more tougher than I thought they would be. Heh, maybe I should go to 1 or 2 Don't Panics

The game definitely still works with the Buddy Variant, I'm just trying to find the sweet spot in terms of difficulty. I used to be about 50/50 when using 3 or 4 Don't Panics before so maybe I should try 1 or 2 with the variant.

It certainly makes the turns more interesting as I have a bit more choice and a bit more control over the game.
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xris wrote:
robkoch2112 wrote:
A question on timing: Assume you have 3 dice in the Infirmary and decide to use the "Buddy Up" to create a medic (sending a die to the infirmary). Can I then use the Medic to return it or does it remain in the infirmary?
A good question.

I would say that you first return the Units from the Infirmary and then have the "buddy" crew be wounded. So yes, one crew will end up in the Infirmary.
The limit of 1/turn seems fair. You could enforce this by having an "incoming buddy" spot in the infirmary where you must place the buddy (for 1 turn).
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I thought of what you could call the "Buddy up" box: "Waiting Room"

In the recovery of dice you could add to move any dice in the "Waiting Room" to the "Infirmary". This would add a 1 turn delay and not let you move the dice from the waiting room when using the medic.
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xris wrote:

The game definitely still works with the Buddy Variant, I'm just trying to find the sweet spot in terms of difficulty. I used to be about 50/50 when using 3 or 4 Don't Panics before so maybe I should try 1 or 2 with the variant.
who i must suck at this game because i have about a 70% 30% win rate with out using this rule
 
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Nick Shaw
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michaelg316 wrote:
who i must suck at this game because i have about a 70% win rate with out using this rule
70% win rate?

What are other people doing that I'm not to get such a high win rate? I've won 3 times in total, over probably 30+ plays...
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i wish. no 70% lost but that is why i have so much fun with it. who doesn't love a challenge
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michaelg316 wrote:
i wish. no 70% lost but that is why i have so much fun with it. who doesn't love a challenge
Ah, ok. Yes, much closer to my experience. You're still doing better than me though.
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