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Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » Variants

Subject: How to "House Rules" Xia: Legends of a drift system. rss

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Joshua Thomas
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The new Xia Expansion, Embers of a Forsaken Star, is hot on Kickstarter and it looks to rebalance the game in some great ways. But most of us who have Xia, or a have a friend who has Xia, don’t want to wait to implement these fixes. So let’s look at some bug fixes the Expansion provides and how to house rule your un-expanded game of Xia. It’s pretty easy and most of these house rules are designed to speed up the flow of this already long game.

There will also be rules for a 2 player version at the end of this post.

Disclaimer: If some of these Ideas exist in another list, I apologize. Many of these are ideas I came up with while playing the game. I’m sure many people have come up with these ideas long before I did. Think of this more as a quick reference guide then.

MOVEMENT
Forsaken Star: New ship upgrades that will adjust the minimum number of spaces you move! You must have an engine upgrade already to place this new upgrade on top of.

House Rule: For lvl 1 engines roll a d4+2, lvl 2 rolls a d6+2, and lvl 3 rolls a d10+2. We’ve also played with a lvl 3 d8+4. Now you’re truckin. This ensures that you always move at least 3 spaces! Never again will you have a 1 space hop. Never again!!!

MINING
Forsaken Star: Haven’t seen much in the way of this. There is the new cargo pod that attaches to the outside of your ship and gives you 3 more cargo spaces!

House Rule: For mining only, instead of taking damage equal to your dice roll you only take one damage, non-avoidable. It seems silly to risk blowing up your ship just for the chance of getting 1 resource cube. Come on! Moving into dangerous environments still have a normal roll. And salvaging still grants the "role 1-3, your ship explodes." That seems reasonable…

COMBAT
Forsaken Star: A new upgrade makes attacking cargo ships a lot more fun! Also fixes the Cargo method of winning the game being way too easy. Then there’s the armor plating upgrade that slaps 3 more hit points on the outside of your ship.

House Rules: I see nothing wrong with the combat system, however, if you’re itching to try something new how about this D&D approach; Instead of using the dice the weapon says to use try a mixture of smaller dice. Take the lvl 3 missile and roll 2 d10s or 5 d4s. Ouch! Play with this kind of rule with the other weapons and lvls and see what you and your friends prefer. Maybe a lvl two ship gets a +1 to all weapon rolls and a lvl 3 ship gets a +2 to all rolls.

SMUGGLING
Forsaken Star: Not sure if they consider this to be a problem. You may not think this is a problem either.

House Rules: Smuggling is tough. I’ll give it that. And Xia lets you know it. You must role a 12 or higher to be successful and earn your reward. If not, you fail and your bounty increases. I get that the reward is bigger than a lawful shuttle mission but is it really worth it? Here are several options to make being bad feel so good.

Option 1: Just lower the success roll to 10 or higher.

Option 2: Roll an 8-11 and you get half the reward but also 1000 credit bounty. All other rolls keep the same rules.

Option 3: “Shinny.” The higher your bounty the better you get. This represents your ability as an outlaw. The roll starts out as normal, 12 or higher is a success. For every 1000 credits bounty you obtain lower that roll by 1. If you have a 4000 bounty on you your success roll is now 8 or higher. If you’re still alive after this, shame on the other players. Make sure the enforcer goes after the outlaw with the highest bounty if two outlaws are in range.

Option 4: “I got a bad feeling about this.” The higher your bounty the harder it is to complete smuggler missions on Lawful or neutral planets. This represents the Law tightening its grip on the Outlaws. This is the exact opposite of option 3. Start the success rate at an 8 or higher roll. For every 1000 bounty you have raise the success roll by one. So a 4000 bounty now requires a 12 or higher roll.

Option 5: Double the reward. If you have to bust through a planetary shield in order to complete a smuggling mission, double the reward. Either double the credits earned or add 1 extra FP. At least this way if you fail you know you were doing it for a huge boost on the leader board. Dice rolls remain as they are on the mission card.

CARGO HAULING
Forsaken Star: Cargo hauling has been the easiest and most boring way to win Xia! The first time I played the game my friend beat me with a ship that only ever had an engine upgrade. Forsaken Star adds a lot of new goodies to modify cargo strategy and I can’t wait to see how the economy board works!

House Rule: This is one rule I’ve seen on other reviews and even Youtube videos. Put a cube of each color in a draw bag. Once a ship has delivered cubes of a corresponding color to a planet, draw a random cube from the bag and place it on that planet. That is the new demand for that planet. This will make the trade routes fluctuate! Maybe you have cargo that’s no longer needed anywhere! You’ve wasted money and time and you jettison your entire hold. Or maybe you are in a race to beat someone with the same color cubes to a planet before it’s demand changes! Now that’s a game.

2 PLAYER MODE
Forsaken Star: There’s going to be 2 player support and I’m sure it’ll be awesome.

House Rules: But I’m not waiting. I’ve played Xia with just 1 other person and we had a ton of fun. First, each player gets two ships… And that’s it. The rest of the game is played the same.

Ok, here are some more options. You can decide whether each player’s ships can interact with each others. For Example, my friend attacked his own ship. It was good for his attacking ship and happened to be an attack of opportunity.

Also, make sure you alternate between players. Player 1 ship 1 goes first, then player 2 ship 1, then player 1 ship 2, then player 2 ship 2. This gives you a chance to snatch up those cubes the player 1 ship 1 jettisoned and prevents ship combos. Like both of Player 1’s ships ganging up on one of yours.


Final Thoughts

I love playing Xia, with or without house rules, and think it is well deserving of its place in the top 200 games on BGG. Each time I play it it’s like I’m a real ship captain writing my own sci-fi adventure!

I hope you enjoyed these house rules. I know there are more out there. Let me know what you think in a comment and if you use any of these rules let me know how your game went.

Some Corrections made to this list on 31 July, 2017.


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Not sure why you are claiming the majority opinion out of thin air. I very much appreciate the expansion and so do many people judging from the kickstarter.

Game is easily moddable and easy to create house rules so go for it, but I like dealing with rules that are balanced and tested professionally/in-depth because I do not have a lot of time to test my own rules and without playtesting house rules can ruin a game.
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Joshua Thomas
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What I meant was the expansion has bug fixes for the original game. I probably could have worded that better. I am looking forward to the expansion as well. I like the way it updates the way the game is played.
 
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Derek Dyer
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Quote:
What I meant was the expansion has bug fixes for the original game.
Not really. It has Errata on 3 ship abilities, that's about it. I wouldn't argue if you wanted to say that the Economy Board fixes something, it certainly fixes the game for more playstyles, and forces more diversification which makes the game more fun. However it wasn't broken before.

Movement: Your rule is fine, but the difference between something like this and the Mods is that Mods have a cost. You have to buy them at the beginning of the game, or go to Nyr to get them. You're just giving everybody something free. Like I said, that's fine, and it's fair... but it changes the math, which can change more things that you had intended to change.

Quote:
It seems silly to risk blowing up your ship just for the chance of getting 1 resource cube.
I mine all the time. 25% of the time you will succeed on 3 of 4 rolls, and failing once makes it pretty cheap in energy to shield. That's *four* cargo cubes. If you could only mine once per turn, then it might be a pretty bad decision, but when you can fill your entire hold, taking 1 damage isn't going to cut it. I'll grab a couple Armor Mods and then I just go get 8+ cubes at zero risk.

Quote:
Moving into dangerous environments still have a normal roll.
You never have to move through a dangerous hex.

Cargo Hauling: Select any thread dedicated to this at random...

However you want to play Xia, have fun. I do however like to add counterpoint incase you haven't thought about your ideas enough, or other people are tempted to simply adopt some random houserule that they read. Not every change is good for every game, and the more you combine the farther you get from an "average" Xia experience.
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Jo Bartok
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Some of them made it into Embers
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