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Subject: Something to attack rss

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Sebastian Zarzycki
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In a 2p game, my impression was, that the game doesn't give me a lot of combat options. They are available ultimately, but rather in the end game, than early od mid-game. Comparing to other games (Eclipse comes to my mind first), I was wondering, why there's no "neutral" player or at least target, for other players to focus on. Ideally, the Factory could be one, but also some resources could present an option for battle (slightly harder to resolve, but probably doable with dice). Such battle target should be relatively hard (compare to Galactic City Center in Eclipse), so that it's not an easy prey. Since Factory gives you benefits (card and scoring), I would like to see it as a guarded facility - the first player to enter there, has to fight some specific enemy. I know that the game balances itself out later on, around the centre, since it's a desired spot, people will naturally attack and take over. But in 2p game, I felt that just a little bit more incentive to fight and/or make taking center more challenging, wouldn't hurt.

Thoughts on this?
 
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Lutz Pietschker
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rattkin wrote:
In a 2p game, … the game doesn't give me a lot of combat options.

That depends a lot on your relative starting positions.
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James Mathias
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Combat is an option, not a central conceit of the game. Thematically the factory is abandoned. Even in my 4 player games combat has been something that doesn't happen often or at all. And in all cases combat has been a mid to late game interaction. I believe this is by design.
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Israel Waldrom
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If you want additional targets, you could always try adding in an Automa opponent as well (Playing Scythe with any combination of humans and Automas – semi-official variant). Given that the Automa can spread out very quickly, especially at higher levels, it may well get to the Factory before either human player.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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I know it depends on starting position and I know that combat is not central to the design. I'm not trying to turn this game into something else. I just thought that some additional battle target in 2p game could be nice. Central piece felt like the obvious candidate.

Adding Automa is way too clunky and absorbing imho. The game burns brains well enough. Calculating the behavior of virtual opponent is just too much.
 
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Forsman
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try it solo, automa is pretty simple after yo play it once. adding it to a 2 player game adds some nice depth
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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No, thanks.
 
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Greg
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It seems like you are looking for an easier way to get a star from combat, not that the battle would be easy, but it would be close and you can get to it much sooner. If people really want to battle, they still can in a 2 player game. Maybe not as soon as you'd like, but unlocking certain mech abilities will get you around the board much quicker to be able to attack.

If you want something different, then you can certainly come up with a variant to suit your desire. It can be as easy as just having the first player that gets to the factory has to battle against 3 combat cards from the top of the combat card deck. So you move there, set your dial and card, then have the other player reveal the top 3 cards of the combat deck. If you find that to be too easy, then give the Factory a base combat value of 5 and still draw 3 combat cards from the deck.

Of course, certain factions get get to the Factory quicker than others, so it should be difficult to help balance that out.
 
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Jason Brown
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rattkin wrote:
I know it depends on starting position and I know that combat is not central to the design. I'm not trying to turn this game into something else. I just thought that some additional battle target in 2p game could be nice. Central piece felt like the obvious candidate.

Adding Automa is way too clunky and absorbing imho. The game burns brains well enough. Calculating the behavior of virtual opponent is just too much.

So, you want a neutral player to battle, but you don't want to use the neutral player the game comes with?
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Battle target != player. Have you played Eclipse?
 
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Greg
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rattkin wrote:
Battle target != player. Have you played Eclipse?


Well, this isn't Eclipse, and not intended to be played like Eclipse.

That said, I gave you a suggestion in my previous post to make it easy and not clunky.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Hahma wrote:

If you want something different, then you can certainly come up with a variant to suit your desire. It can be as easy as just having the first player that gets to the factory has to battle against 3 combat cards from the top of the combat card deck. So you move there, set your dial and card, then have the other player reveal the top 3 cards of the combat deck. If you find that to be too easy, then give the Factory a base combat value of 5 and still draw 3 combat cards from the deck.

Of course, certain factions get get to the Factory quicker than others, so it should be difficult to help balance that out.


Indeed that's a solution I've already considered, in almost the same form. Either that or predefined value. But I'm not going to implement it yet. The above was just my impressions. I'll wait and play few more games and see how it goes.

And, truth be told, it's not about just getting a star, though maybe underneath it all, it is. But my line of thinking was about something else. There are players who might want to battle and attack but they might be slightly reluctant to battle actual player (I'm not such guy, though). If they had another mean to do this, at least once, I would think it would help (it doesn't even have to yield a star). In Eclipse, for instance, you have alien ships that don't do much on their own, but rather serve as an incentive to fight and as a blockade. Early in the game I felt like I have mechs but have little to do with them, other than use them as glorified transport mean. Maybe if some encounters on the map were a different deck, with more hostile resolutions, that would do it.
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Seems to me like you are a bit defensive about the game. I'm not attacking anyone (pun intended). I'm just thinking out loud. I like the game :)

I would actually argue that Scythe is A LOT like Eclipse, in both playstyle and pacing. They obviously don't have to be identical.
 
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Greg
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rattkin wrote:
Seems to me like you are a bit defensive about the game. I'm not attacking anyone (pun intended). I'm just thinking out loud. I like the game

I would actually argue that Scythe is A LOT like Eclipse, in both playstyle and pacing. They obviously don't have to be identical.


I'm not being defensive, just pointing out that the game is what it is. And that it's not Eclipse, which it seemed like that is what you wanted with regards to battle a non-player target.

You never mentioned until the last post that part of the reason is for people to have another option other than attacking an actual player, because they may not like to do that. That is understandable for sure, though there are a lot of other ways to get stars in this game than combat, so combat isn't necessary to win for players that don't like to attack other players. Also, your post wasn't in the Variants section where you could be looking for ideas to help coming up with a solution for your concern. So here it looks like you are just complaining about an element of the game that isn't like Eclipse.
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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I'm not proposing a variant, that's why its not in Variant section. I'm also not actively looking for a variant. Just stating my observations and asking about how other feel about it. These days I could put it into review section and call it a review. It doesn't matter much. And "complaining" is way too strong word, which, again, no offense, leads me to believe, that you tend to get defensive about the game. There's no need to do that. I'm not trying to find a hole. I'm just interested with the design, maybe not even as a player, but as a designer. That's all it is.

I'm not saying that the battle target should be just for the sole purpose of enabling others to combat. And even then, like I said, some people might still to do combat (that is: building mechs, accumulate power and combat cards, spend them), but maybe not just exclusively with other players or at least not in the beginning.

I've already mentioned above, that the fact that central piece is uncontested just feels a little bit odd to me. Then again, I understand, that it's a reward for speed. If someone were to fight it, the loss in power could be too much, so the another adequate reward would have to be invented, and so on and so on, further imbalancing the equation.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll come back after few games.
 
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Greg
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Quote:
I would like to see it as a guarded facility - the first player to enter there, has to fight some specific enemy.


I think that when you said you would like to see the factory a certain way, it seemed like you were were looking for ideas to help with a variant. People were trying to help you out or explain the game isn't combat focused, you pretty much dismissed them.

So while you may think I'm being defensive, you are coming off as dismissive of the intent of the game and dismissive of people that are trying to help. I don't care if you like the game or parts of the game or not, really I don't. If anything, I was more trying to figure out what you were actually looking for in this thread and any defensiveness was more due to your being dismissive of people trying to help you and confused to what you really wanted here.


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Philip Morton
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rattkin wrote:
And, truth be told, it's not about just getting a star, though maybe underneath it all, it is. But my line of thinking was about something else. There are players who might want to battle and attack but they might be slightly reluctant to battle actual player (I'm not such guy, though). If they had another mean to do this, at least once, I would think it would help (it doesn't even have to yield a star).

One thing that I think having neutral opponents does in Eclipse is that it offers an outlet for all the military tech if you're not someone who wants to go ruin someone else's day. If you didn't have something to fight, about 2/3 of the techs would be wasted, as would the entire ship-blueprint mechanic.

Scythe doesn't have a very advanceable military. I think each faction only has one mech-ability that's directly combat related. There isn't as much "I have this cool gun now and I need to go use it on someone." If you built up on the power track a lot, I suppose you'd want to find someone to hit with it, but even there you can go for the alternative goal of hitting 16 power (and THEN go hit someone). Saxons as a faction are the only place where I've really felt pressure of "I should be getting out there and having combats", but since that's directly tied to stars, random non-star-giving NPCs would be pointless for it.

I also think that Scythe has....friendlier PVP than Eclipse or other 4x-style games. You're generally just sending someone back to their base, not destroying several turns' worth of production, unless the target foolishly leaves a giant pile of resources vulnerable. I feel bad winning big attacks against people in Eclipse and Clash of Cultures, I don't in Scythe.
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I've played both Eclipse and Scythe. In my opinion Eclipse is far more brain-burning than Scythe in terms of rules management and even Automa management. After one or two solo games against the Automa, it wasn't a big deal adding it into a 2-player game, and that was cool since neither human player had to attack each other (either "co-op" or "friendly competitive").

I realize you don't want to try it, but I'm providing my opinion and experience that it worked well and wasn't too tough for even dumb old me.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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I might try it out then.
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Ian Liddle
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Is there something inherently fascinating for you about Scythe's combat mechanics?

Eclipse has a LOT more going on with unit classes, tech and loadouts, so the imperative to fight creeps for newly discovered goodies is a core part of the game.

Whereas in Scythe, your "PVE" combat / exploration elements are streamlined / abstracted in Encounters. This makes sense as Scythe is all about the art.

That being said, I just played with an automa for the first time last night, and it really was very simple to run the AI. So I'm also very curious about adding one to a 2p game.
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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I wouldn't say Scythe is all about art.

I like that it's far easier and quicker to setup and play than Eclipse, while, to a certain extent, scratching similar itch. While Scythe mechanics aren't terribly innovative, they're still somewhat exciting. Since you can only spend 7 and fights happen relatively rarely, there's always a risk that the opponent has 5 card in hand, which makes fighting uncertain at best. I like it.
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Mark Watson
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I don't think Scythe's combat system is really suited for it. One of the big things in Eclipse is that despite the die rolls, you still have some idea of the level of opposition and the rough odds of being able to take out an alien ship with your own. Combat in Scythe on the other hand has no randomness beyond the combat cards. It'd be difficult to have the same thing - drawing X random combat cards off the top to defend the factory would be too random, and setting a given value is likely to just encourage players to go in high enough to ensure a win, so it'd be quicker to just implement a power tax.

It might be possible to do something by butchering the Automata - maybe a neutral mech on the factory that tracks power and use the Automata combat scale to fight whenever it's attacked?

Although if you want to encourage more combat in 2P just using the Automata as a third player is probably a more interesting neutral opponent. Alternatively you could just have both players start with their +1 speed mech already in play.
 
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Ian Liddle
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I think you're forgetting that you can bring more than one unit / combat card to the fight. :) I agree that the combat mechanics are very cool, but they're very contextual to the point that I can't really imagine early game skirmishes in the same way that Eclipse does.

As I understand it, it was Kotaku's feature of giant mecha backdropping 1920s-era pastoral agricultural scenes that got Jamey so inspired he wanted to make a game in / of / about that world. The art drove the theme, and much of the gameplay, as it became the board game incarnation of that intersection of inter-war giant robots and farming.
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Archonsod wrote:
drawing X random combat cards off the top to defend the factory would be too random


Define "too random".
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James Mathias
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rattkin wrote:
Archonsod wrote:
drawing X random combat cards off the top to defend the factory would be too random


Define "too random".


More random than perceived to be fair.

Though randomness can't be more or less itself.
 
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