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Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » Variants

Subject: Attack of opportunity (aka, attacking out of turn) rss

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Jeremy Dorman
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One of the things that bothers my group a lot is that you must wait until it is your turn to attack a player, meaning other players can sail right past you with no threat of attack. This bothers me mainly from a theme perspective, but also a game mechanic perspective.

Say you have a player with a comfy trade route. Each turn he jumps from one planet to the next, and back again, selling his wares. This entire time, there is another player's ship, positioned in the path between these two planets. The game rules do not allow him to attack the player, giving the trader some sort of magical protection from trade route pirates. He stops at the planet between turns, rinses and repeats. No threat of attack from wannabe pirate players.

I realize the trade route exploit is fixed via the expansion, Xia: Embers of a forsaken star, but there may be other reasons one would like to attack an innocent passer-by.

It is my opinion, that game play would be better and more thematic if players could declare, once another ship, NPC or player, came within range of their weapons, that they wanted to attack. The player would be able to attack as normal, and defender would be able to defend as normal, spending all of the requisite energy. The player defender would then have the option to return fire or continue moving. If, after the defender makes another move (rolls more movement dice), he is still within range of another player (or the same player), he will be vulnerable again to attack.

I believe this is a house rule that could add some real danger to the universe, for those players that desire a more "wild west" style galaxy.

Thoughts?
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Bruce Gazdecki
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It makes sense to a point.

At the same time, space is 3 dimensional and huge. Just because he is passing by on a the x-y frame of reference doesn't imply he's flying at the same level on the z-axis.
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Matt Robertson
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Perhaps design a outfit "Proximity Sensors" that would allow a ship to do this. The outfit would need to be appropriately expensive.

And then perhaps another outfit to counter this, such as a "Cloaking Device". Could be the start of an arms race.
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Andrew J.
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Bixby wrote:
Perhaps design a outfit "Proximity Sensors" that would allow a ship to do this. The outfit would need to be appropriately expensive.

And then perhaps another outfit to counter this, such as a "Cloaking Device". Could be the start of an arms race.


I love this idea!
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Ira Fay
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Exalder wrote:
No threat of attack from wannabe pirate players.
If the trade route is so predictable, can't the pirate attack on their own turn?

Exalder wrote:
The player would be able to attack as normal, and defender would be able to defend as normal
If it's near the end of my turn, I have 0-1 active markers left. If I move past you, can I still use my shields even though I don't have active markers? If the answer is "yes," then you're adding a lot of complicated rules about mid-turn re-arming. If the answer is "no," then you've just hugely powered up the pirate strategy since basically every ship would be vulnerable near the end of a turn.

More importantly, this is an issue for gameplay speed. There is already an issue of downtime. I'd be worried that this makes turns last even longer.

Overall, I think it's an intentional design choice that combat favors the defender. A fully healthy target is going to be hard to take down. The key with piracy is picking the right targets. In the expansion, there are some good new outfits that support piracy, as well as new ship powers. The respawn rule change will also make players more willing to take risks and possibly be destroyed, which is also good for the pirate player.

I strongly encourage any one who likes XIA to check out the expansion, and of course house rules are always welcome if the game isn't exactly balanced to your tastes.
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David Forby
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Given the fact that you can attack within the boarders of a planetary shield and that their is no "Landing", I am perfectly fine with this. The spaces on the board represent vast distances and aproximates. Also, in case it wasn't clear, the ships engine is basically a limited point to point FTL drive, with energy for multiple "jumps". Those "Jumps" are approximately one space on the board. The system is VAST and in order for the planets and trade and the like this must be multiple systems. Yes, only one Sun but consider that a Giant Pulsar, if you go into it's vast space, you are dead, no Save. Scanning is basically picking up all the nav data on the system, then using standardized computers. Each system "Drifts" around, so until discovered it is a mystery. Once discovered, it is mapped and shared with the interstellar community.

So, indeed, you may not be "in sight" if you are next to or even temporarily in the same square. You cannot occupy the same square, mostly for sake of keeping the game organized but, if there is a reason, it is to prevent problems with pirates and assuming that all others are pirates. So you keep your distance. Much of this information is not really important to the mechanics of the game. It is a sandbox game and there is a lot to do and a lot to cover.

Also, because it's a sand box game, you can make this house rule of a "proximity alarm" kit and "enhanced sensors" or a "Cloaking Device" if you wish. It adds to the game and could make for some interesting game play but I would only do so for advanced players and players that are wanting to have the extra interaction. People have made an alien invasion rules for a semi-co-op. People have made new ships or made stuff from other fiction, most notably Star Wars. Why not much Star Trek? ah well. But if you want a game with more tactical stuff, you could just as easily bring this into a full roleplaying game or miniatures game, Where the sandbox is bigger and wider.

I say, Mod until your heart's content. Have fun, this is why we purchased the game. We enjoy it for what its, can tweak it, and it can give us ideas on going further. Bring your creativity and fun. And hey, if you are not too busy, post about it, we would all like to hear it or even play it but mostly just hear about it and see if there is something that sparks our creativity.
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Derek Dyer
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If this is something that you want to do, them Mach Horror is available and is armed with a Sentry Gun.

Quote:
He stops at the planet between turns, rinses and repeats.
Stopping on a planet does not protect him from attacks.
Quote:

This bothers me mainly from a theme perspective, but also a game mechanic perspective.
The problem that I have with your statement "bothers me...from a theme perspective": is that you are the one choosing how to picture this in your head. This happens a lot in Roleplaying games. Someone pictures something a certain way, and then wants to make rules based upon that perspective. The problem is that there is more than one way to picture things. Not that any of these perspectives are invalid, but the only thing that is important is the mechanics. So you have to work within the mechanics and then describe the action in a way that makes sense.

So from a theme perspective things are all happening at the same time. You both flew your ships, and he flew past you. What speed were you both traveling at (rhetorical/unanswerable)? What makes you think you can even aim and fire in the amount of time you have available?

From a mechanics perspective, on the surface, this looks like a free way to get extra actions. This is really great if you're a combative player, but it's surely not helping the less aggressive player(s). If you can do this, then they should be allowed to make free Mining rolls whenever anyone else makes one... or come up with some other fair action that fits their play style.

Mixing theme and mechanics: You're fully allowed on your turn to pursue their ship and attack it. This is just how the game works, and nothing is stopping you.

By creating this rule, you're just going to have ships go around you, and never be adjacent. If you extend this to missiles too, that pretty much makes missile outfits mandatory. Not having them is simply a subpar playing choice. Whenever you remove choice or options from a game, you make it less fun.

Quote:
If, after the defender makes another move (rolls more movement dice), he is still within range of another player (or the same player), he will be vulnerable again to attack
How many additional actions do you plan on giving people. I would never consider this rule for Missiles. The way I see it being balanced for Blasters would never actually work. You would have to declare yourself ready, and pre-activate your Blaster(s). If this was the case, then certainly nobody would ever move adjacent.

-------------------------------
So best case scenario you could allocate specific actions, which you would have to keep in reserve, unused, and then use them as an interrupt later. That's moderately balanced, but if they decide to go the other direction instead, you've just wasted a turn. After the new wears off, and people figure out how to avoid this rule, you're likely to see a steady decline of "Readied Actions", and eventually the rule will just become an unused relic. So it just increases the complexity of the game, with no real reward.

You're better off just planning, reacting, and responding within the confines of normal turns.
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