Ellen Larsson
Sweden
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I think these variants, if combined, works nicely to increase the insentive for pre-attack play. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Aliens are not showing signs of infection for some time and may even be cured (but in their hearts and minds they're beginning to turn).

[1] Up until the point where they choose to attack for the first time, they may use one item card once, to disguise themselves, gain intel or defend themselves against misled attacks from other aliens. In this case, using the attack card does not technialy count as a revealing attack, even though players may guess. They still start in the alien sector, and may still move 1 or 2 sectors per turn. Alien role cards which can use certain items work as before, + this rule.

[2] Playing a ”Mutation” card as an alien which has not yet made a revealing attack cures the infection and the player becomes human permanently; thus losing all aliens traits and changing victory conditions.

[3]Playing the defence card sends the attacking player back to her starting sector, in addition to saving the attacked player. This makes the card useful, and aliens wary of the amount of cards on a player's hand.

Another favourite:
Pod cards are placed alongside each other on the table; not in a pile. When a player intends to use a pod, that player picks any of those cards.

Clarification rule:
You only draw a sector card for the sector you end in on your turn. (Thus, aliens do not amass item cards which would involuntarily reveal them and also choke the item supply for humans)
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Filip Falk Hartelius
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Have you found a need to incentivize Aliens to not attack? Most of the games I have played, the aliens will tend to wait quite a while before revealing themselves so openly by attacking.

Option [1] sounds interesting, but may swing the balance too far for the aliens, who only benefit. Is there a drawback for the aliens? Option [2] seems way too strong - that alien could remain alien, moving faster, until right next to the escape pod. Option [3] turns the Defence card from 'useful' into 'incredibly powerful.' I feel it's intended to give the human an extra chance, albeit slim one, whereas empowering it means that if you're lucky enough to draw it you are suddenly impossible for a single alien to stop mid- to late game.

I appreciate playing the pod cards like that add tension, whilst not actually changing the game at all.

As for the rule clarification, I'm assuming you're only mentioning it to highlight it? This should always be the case.
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Ellen Larsson
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Filip_FH wrote:
Have you found a need to incentivize Aliens to not attack? Most of the games I have played, the aliens will tend to wait quite a while before revealing themselves so openly by attacking.

In my (admittedly limited experience] this varies with different zones. I'd suggest it an optional 'scenario' addon to go with maps/zones you might find yourself not playing because of layouts where a more direct approach is favourable.

Filip_FH wrote:
Option [1] sounds interesting, but may swing the balance too far for the aliens, who only benefit. Is there a drawback for the aliens?


I was originally thinking it would also mean infected players either only move 1 sector per turn until they 'turn'/reveal their nature by attacking, OR have no alien role card effects until the reveal. But i wanted to playtest one part at a time to isolate causes and effects. Also, it works in the opposite direction as to incentivizing players to stay hidden, if that's the goal. Especially the first alternative might be too harsh?


Quote:
Option [2] seems way too strong - that alien could remain alien, moving faster, until right next to the escape pod.

Yes, and even if there's just one mutation card, it would on its own mean this way of cheesing a victory would be pure luck since it is a random loot, which is not good either in this case. For it to work, aliens would somehow be hindered in their movement capabilities (see the previous paragraph) which counteracts the intention to incentivize players against revealing themselves 'too soon'.

It could simply be revised to [2] Aliens still can't use mutation.

Quote:
Option [3] turns the Defence card from 'useful' into 'incredibly powerful.' I feel it's intended to give the human an extra chance, albeit slim one, whereas empowering it means that if you're lucky enough to draw it you are suddenly impossible for a single alien to stop mid- to late game.


I was worried it might turn out that way. I concider the card "theoretically useful in a few specific cases, but not really useful in actual gameplay", but might be missing some aspect. As for other possible changes, I'd like to avoid 'stun' type of effects to avoid growing complexity (player needing to remember to wait one turn amongst other things to keep track of). Maybe give the defending player an extra turn after using defence? Would that make sense?


Quote:
I appreciate playing the pod cards like that add tension, whilst not actually changing the game at all.
That's really the best, when things are modified as little as possible but still causing an effect experience-wise.

Quote:
As for the rule clarification, I'm assuming you're only mentioning it to highlight it? This should always be the case.

Exactly! I read a review that seemed to have this impression that aliens get more items because of movement, and wanted to make it clear, both to new groups i may be in and to whomever might read this.


Here's some other idea i've had:
[x] Aliens cannot attack if they've moved more than 1 sector the same turn.
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Joshua Kimble
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Stinktier wrote:

Here's some other idea i've had:
[x] Aliens cannot attack if they've moved more than 1 sector the same turn.

This is absolutely the best idea I've heard to balance the game! We tried this out with a 7-player game and it worked beautifully. We started the game with 4 aliens and 3 humans and played with your new rule (Aliens can only attack if they move 1 space). The game was very tense with 2 humans dying and 2 narrowly escaping. Perfect.

From now on, I don't think we'll play this game without that rule.
 
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