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Star Wars: Imperial Assault» Forums » Variants

Subject: Flattening the snowball and giving more balanced rewards rss

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Rich Stokes
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Inspired by this thread:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1534387/balanced-xp

We are a group of fairly competitive players, all of whom want to win each mission. As is only right! And we're having a great time just over half way through the core campaign, with things I think 4/4 so far.

But a large contributor to that competitive feeling is the fact that the mission rewards for winning vs losing mean we all feel like we have to win at all costs. We're feeling that we'd have more fun if we were able to get away from the feeling that losing a mission will make the game far harder in the future. Most members of the group are very analytical and games are taking longer than we'd be happy with because people are trying to plan a lot further ahead than is really possible. The game is a little more stressful than would be ideal, because everyone feels like the stakes are little too high, week on week.

We'd all be having more fun if the win/lose rewards were flattened out a bit.

Has anyone tried anything which worked well for them? I know the missions are balanced to favour the losing side, but that doesn't really help here.
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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If the majority of players prefer the very strategic way to play, you don't have an issue. If you have an issue about turns taking too long, then say something about it - "I don't want to rush you, but you're trying to plan too far into the future."


The difference between the gained XP is not that big between winning and losing. Each side always gains 1 XP from a mission.

It is easy to collect extra crates if the rebels see they can no longer win. (But some missions may have secondary rewards for partial completion.) 100 or 200cr can really make a difference (at least if you skip marginal upgrades and save up credits for the really good items).

I think the biggest difference is the amount of influence the imperial player can save up if the rebels keep losing a lot (4 of 4 is not a lot). For that I have a house-rule that the imperial player can have only upto 4 agenda cards in play at a time. It prevents saving them for the finale.

Another one that I have tried is to give the rebels a free supply card draw at the start of a mission if they have lost the previous 2 missions.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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Yeah, as an Imperial player, I'm always drawn to getting more influence.

I'd look at it this way: Story missions kind of balance themselves out- if one side loses a story mission, the next is more likely to be just a little more in their favor.
Side missions are basically ways for the Rebels to gain a specific advantage, while the Empire tries to deny them that. Sometimes they'll win, sometimes they'll lose- then, of course, the Imp player can likely play an agenda mission and flip the tables. The game is balanced decently well, even if the objectives and game play are different for each side.

Finally, if you group really is pretty competitive, maybe skirmish would be a better mode for you. Campaign is fun- and contrary to what many claim, it can be played to win- but you have to be able to have fun with simply having the experience. If you can't do that, you probably won't enjoy campaign as much.
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Rich Stokes
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Let me clarify

We've played 8 missions and so far that's 4 to the terrorist and 4 for the government.

We are enjoying campaign fine and do not want to play Skirmish. Notwithstanding that this will not work for 5 players in a campaign.

We all feel that the campaign would be a lot more fun if there was less pressure to win "for the long term" rather than just for the joy of winning the mission for it's own sake (which is ultimately the point of the whole campaign). There's a point where you want to be able to just say "GGPO" and have fun with the rest of the mission. This is currently not so. A shift in philosophy for the players is not possible it seems. We are all analytical and know that the game is balanced, but cannot get out of the stress-born desire to optimise every move. 8 sessions have taught us this.

Our best guess so far is to just give the standard reward, plus half the winning reward for each player. That means the "special" rewards for rebels/imperials (characters or upgrades) kinda have to remain. they're baked too hard into the system and pretty much work OK for us. I'm thinking of XP, Influence and cash. Yes, that means half points, but we can book-keep that.
 
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Noa

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At that point, why not just make things easier on yourselves and just give everyone the winner's reward for each mission? Just winning the mission is enough of a reward right? Then everyone will stay even and there will be zero snowballing.
 
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Nolan Cluff

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We used Noa's strategy for the Hoth campaign. It works well as a balancer, not so well as power-creep manager. By the end, each of our heroes had so many cards to deal with that the game progress was rather slow. The up-side was that the final scenario was EPIC! I think the heroes won, but it was very close.

In the future we will use a modified version of this. Maybe we will double the xp cost of upgrades. In any case we will definitely be evening the rewards regardless of who wins.
 
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