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Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star» Forums » General

Subject: Does the expansion address 4/5 player downtime? rss

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Gregg Speers
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I previously owned Xia but we rarely play with fewer than four players and thus Xia rarely made it to the table. Has there been any discussion anywhere regarding addressing the player down time for 4-5 players or am I just resigned to skipping this KS?
 
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Brian M
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There's nothing in the expansion to reduce downtime.
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Ted Elrick
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StormKnight wrote:
There's nothing in the expansion to reduce downtime.


Untrue! From the reddit thread on the expansion:

Snappleman: Grabbing a new mission in the middle of a turn was always the single worst offender for slowing down the game. Has this been solved? Our house rule is that mission spots simply don't give you new missions, they are only used to start/end a mission. You get 3 new cards at the end of your turn as if you ended your turn on a mission spot and you can choose a new one from those if you wish.

[–]slaptacHammer Time! 4 points 8 days ago*

That has been passed through parliament, and is now an official rule.
Pulled from the beta rules:
When taking the “Draw Missions” (Minor) action - you draw the top 3 cards off the mission deck and place them face down in front of you without looking at them. You may take this (minor) action once per mission point per turn. After your turn ends (during other player's turns), you may look at all the mission cards you drew and decide which to keep before the start of your next turn.
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Brian M
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Quote:
When taking the “Draw Missions” (Minor) action - you draw the top 3 cards off the mission deck and place them face down in front of you without looking at them. You may take this (minor) action once per mission point per turn. After your turn ends (during other player's turns), you may look at all the mission cards you drew and decide which to keep before the start of your next turn.


blush

Doh. You are correct! I hadn't thought of that.

(It didn't help downtime for us, because we always forgot to draw them at the right time. But that was just us being forgetful. )
 
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Donn Hardy
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Some of the mods that affect combat could also affect downtime. If combat is more appealing, you are more likely to have to defend yourself on someone else's turn.
 
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Brian Torrens
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I think that choosing your missions at the end of a turn is a huge time saver. You should incorporate that into your game now! If you select your mission during your turn (ie. when you pick them up), you end up trying to decide if the ones you just picked up are better (easier to complete or perhaps closer to your current position) and hold up game play. Placing them face down in front of you and selecting them at the end of your turn lets you select one at your own pace and gives you something to think about when it is not your turn.
 
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Derek Dyer
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Quote:
That has been passed through parliament, and is now an official rule.
Are you taking credit for this rule?

Anyway the concept of looking at your missions on other players turns is not only a really common houserule, but the idea comes from houserules in much older games.

During the second session of Xia I was telling people that they should only be consulting their missions if they had no idea about what they currently wanted to do. Then maybe you wanted to check them out and formulate a strategy. However if you had anything else that you were working on, go ahead and focus on that and look through your missions on other players turns.

This was always naturally extended to ending your turn on a planet. Go ahead and work on your business phase while play continues.
 
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Owen Sullivan
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You guys forgot the huge one! You no longer lose a turn for dying in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 Ship! You just spawn with some damage depending on Tier.
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lordevilthefirst wrote:
You guys forgot the huge one! You no longer lose a turn for dying in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 Ship! You just spawn with some damage depending on Tier.


Missions is the worst offender no doubt. Then the ship loss.
 
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Derek Dyer
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lordevilthefirst wrote:
You guys forgot the huge one! You no longer lose a turn for dying in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 Ship! You just spawn with some damage depending on Tier.
You win. Owen Sullivan is the big winner today. Somebody give this guy some geek gold.
 
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Owen Sullivan
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Mabuchi wrote:
lordevilthefirst wrote:
You guys forgot the huge one! You no longer lose a turn for dying in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 Ship! You just spawn with some damage depending on Tier.


Missions is the worst offender no doubt. Then the ship loss.
True, missions slow the game down more, whereas the turn loss is just annoying. I know most people house ruled it away, but it's nice to see Cody has really looked at all the feedback since Xia release.

Haha I'm enjoying that sarcasm Derek ;)
 
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Derek Dyer
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Haha I'm enjoying that sarcasm Derek
I swear, no sarcasm. While missions may "slow down" the game, missing an entire turn is so much of a greater amount of downtime. Worse even if in a 4 player game, you miss a turn and have to sit thru 3x2 people analysing mission draws... FKYS
 
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Owen Sullivan
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Yeah it was brutal. I think the only reason it was in the original game was because the play testers Cody used were a small group who got really good at the game, so things flew by. Not the case with everybody else.
 
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Derek Dyer
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Quote:
Cody used were a small group who got really good at the game, so things flew by. Not the case with everybody else.
Yep, I totally agree. This is almost certainly the case. They also had a certain playstyle which affected values and decisions. It was also the case for my solid group of people playing it the first two months.

It's weird to find out that the "base" rules for Xia were fundamentally different in some areas, but were made more attractive to first-time players. Further that some of these expansion rules are stuff that were in the "Alpha" of the game but didn't make the cut for general distribution.
 
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Owen Sullivan
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I'm not sure why those things were changed, I could speculate but it doesn't matter. What does is Cody has taken serious consideration of the communities feedback and tinkering of Xia. At now he offers an expansion that not only adds new places/missions/ships(standard expansion stuff), but adds depth to every play style while leveling the playing field. Now you truly can be a criminal pirate. Now you really can mine effectively enough to challenge merchant players. Now you can explore the galaxy with all sorts of rewards and surprises. Now the galaxy is dynamic and changes with events. So freaking cool!!!
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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So are all these rules changes incorporated into the rulebook that shipped with the latest printing to those who backed the base game in the expansion KS?
 
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Nicholas Johnson
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Mission change helps a small bit but I think the big fix to downtime is no more turn loss on death. Most people I know are ok with the time between turns and my group in specific gets really proficient with rules and blazes through games. That being said, when you lose a turn, you double your downtime or even triple it and that hurts the most. Death at tier 3 could be so bad I wouldn't blame anyone for walking away from the table and coming back later.
 
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Kevin Nguyen
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So would anyone recommend it with 4/5 players after the expansion?

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Gamer D

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duy1250 wrote:
So would anyone recommend it with 4/5 players after the expansion?



I like Xia and the expansion is great but I will never play it with more than three players. Since the game length is directly proportional to the number of players a five player game basically takes 66% longer to finish. And since we usually play a full 20 point game that's just too long.
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Brian Torrens
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I am hopefully having a 4 or 5 player game this weekend. I was planning on setting the win condition to 14 or 15 FP, but It really depends on how quickly it goes. I played a two player game the other day with a new player and including setup and teaching, we completed a 20 FP game in 3 hours. If Xia makes it to the table this weekend I'll post how long it lasted.
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Edwin Woody
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dugman wrote:
duy1250 wrote:
So would anyone recommend it with 4/5 players after the expansion?



I like Xia and the expansion is great but I will never play it with more than three players. Since the game length is directly proportional to the number of players a five player game basically takes 66% longer to finish. And since we usually play a full 20 point game that's just too long.


This (in the experience of my group) is a game that speeds up with repeated plays. You might have your play group put in a lot of small games and then see if your turns have gotten fast enough to play with five. Because with five nobody gets all the ships they want and you see combinations at the third tier that you wouldn't otherwise see.
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Phogg wrote:
dugman wrote:
duy1250 wrote:
So would anyone recommend it with 4/5 players after the expansion?



I like Xia and the expansion is great but I will never play it with more than three players. Since the game length is directly proportional to the number of players a five player game basically takes 66% longer to finish. And since we usually play a full 20 point game that's just too long.


This (in the experience of my group) is a game that speeds up with repeated plays. You might have your play group put in a lot of small games and then see if your turns have gotten fast enough to play with five. Because with five nobody gets all the ships they want and you see combinations at the third tier that you wouldn't otherwise see.


And after everyone at the table has played the game at least once how long would you expect a 4p game to be with average speed players? How long with 5?

What about one experienced player and 3 first time players in a 4p game?
 
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Gamer D

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Phogg wrote:
dugman wrote:
duy1250 wrote:
So would anyone recommend it with 4/5 players after the expansion?



I like Xia and the expansion is great but I will never play it with more than three players. Since the game length is directly proportional to the number of players a five player game basically takes 66% longer to finish. And since we usually play a full 20 point game that's just too long.


This (in the experience of my group) is a game that speeds up with repeated plays. You might have your play group put in a lot of small games and then see if your turns have gotten fast enough to play with five. Because with five nobody gets all the ships they want and you see combinations at the third tier that you wouldn't otherwise see.


Most games speed up with repeated plays, that's not a trait unique to Xia. It also doesn't change the fact that Xia is basically an "X minutes per player" type of game. Fast groups might be 30 minutes per player for a 20 point game, other groups could be 60 minutes per player (eg 3 minutes per turn and about 20 turns to get 20 fame). But it's always "per player" so even with a fast group a five player 20 point game will take a lot longer than a three player 20 point game.

So no, you're not going to convince me to ever play this game again with five players. There are a number of games that work well with five or are even designed around having five or more players (eg Vast, Battlestar Galactica, Seven Wonders), Xia is not one of them. I'll stick with three player games of Xia or solo games, those are where the game shines in my opinion.
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Gert van Bruggen
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One of our greatest downtimes is when someone is going to buy a new ship and can't really decide what he is going to select?
 
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John Jordan
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FreakGIB wrote:
One of our greatest downtimes is when someone is going to buy a new ship and can't really decide what he is going to select?

If there's no imminent attack threat then you can give them until the end of the next player's Business Phase. You can also extend this to other Business Phase operations, which means players don't need to decide rapidly what they're intending to do next turn.
 
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