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Exodus: Edge of Extinction» Forums » General

Subject: Using expansion's techs in base game rss

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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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We really enjoy Exodus in our 5-player sessions, but we faced serious balancing issues using the factions. I understand this is not a design flaw, but a different asymmetrical gameplay approach.

We prefer balance and symmetry in our games, so we decided to stop using the factions. With the faction exclusion we were deprived from the extra desirable techs that come with the faction boards cry So I was wondering if there is a way to assimilate some of those luscious techs and ship upgrades into a non-faction game and make them available to all! I also understand that new custom tech boards, new upgrades board and more upgrade tokens would have to be made, but I truly believe that it's worth the effort.

My progress so far...

New High council board UPDATED*




New expanded tech board UPDATED*



Balancing Tweaks

All players start with the Following techs: Commandos, Escape pods, T-Modules

Rule Change for Escape pods: For each result of 5 or 6, you may immediately deploy 1 population from a ship destroyed in combat on the planet in the same hex.

Rule Change for Hyperspace Drive: A Hyperspace Drive allows your ships to move up to four hexes away.

* UPDATE 5/10/16 Changed some techs and costs
 
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foksieloy
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Each one of those is balanced within the faction. A fleet of hyper space engine advanced cloaking emp cannon ships sounds like a game where nothing will ever happen.
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MM BR
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I did it too, I also excluded some techs from base game to make space to the new techs:

Excluded basic repair and landing maneuvers (everyone is considered to have it, no cubes necessary). Replaced the slot with Spaceports and T-Modules.

Also Fringe Singularity is considered to be in play.
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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mmmarcelom wrote:
I did it too, I also excluded some techs from base game to make space to the new techs:

Excluded basic repair and landing maneuvers (everyone is considered to have it, no cubes necessary). Replaced the slot with Spaceports and T-Modules.

Also Fringe Singularity is considered to be in play.


Replacing some old and obsolete techs with new sounds like an excellent idea!

I'm not very sure about making available Fringe Singularity for all, have to playtest this. I would definitely make available Commandos and Escape Pods techs. For Escape Pods the player would need to roll 1 die for each population. For each result of 5 or 6, you may immediately deploy 1 population from a ship destroyed in combat on the planet in the same hex. More realistic

This is a first draft of the prices for incorporating the new techs:

Tech Prices
Dark Energy Shield 25cp
Hyperpace Drive 25cp
Clone Factories 15cp
EMP Cannon 14cp
Interceptors 8cp
Space Defense Systems 5cp
Space Ports 5cp
Strategic Bombers 5cp
Expert Banking 8cp
Advanced T-Modules 7cp
Expert Research 7cp
Advanced Research 4cp
Target Scanner 2cp
T-Modules 4cp


Upgrades Prices
Dark Energy Shield 10cp 1ph
Hyperspace Drives 5cp 2ph
Clone Factories 1cp 2ph
Space Ports 5cp 1ax
EMP Cannon 5cp 2ph
Space Defense Systems 1ph
T-Modules 7cp
Advanced T-Modules 4cp

Edit: Removed Fringe Tactics (seems to be a game changer to me)
Added EMP cannon (too epic to ignore ), Expert Banking (cp boost) and Expert Research (tech boost with interaction).
Now there are 14 techs, which means just 2 more columns on the player's sheet.

Edit2: Subsituted Quantum Reflection with Hyperspace Drive. To balance HD I made the following rule tweak: A Hyperspace Drive allows your ships to move up to four hexes away. Price 5cp, 2ph
 
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foksieloy
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I'd given it some thought, and I think probably the best way to play without factions, but with the new techs is to create a new tech board using all the factions boards.

Then when a player uses the research action and wants to buy a tech on that board (announcing the tech he intends to buy), all players bid using usual bidding rules (you have to pay any CP that you bid). If the player using the action wins the bid, he gets to buy the tech, otherwise he has to buy a tech on his own board.

Since he places a cube in the tech, other players can no longer buy that tech, so it is relatively easy to deny any powerful combos by either outbidding the player, or by getting the tech yourself.
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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foksieloy wrote:
I'd given it some thought, and I think probably the best way to play without factions, but with the new techs is to create a new tech board using all the factions boards.

Then when a player uses the research action and wants to buy a tech on that board (announcing the tech he intends to buy), all players bid using usual bidding rules (you have to pay any CP that you bid). If the player using the action wins the bid, he gets to buy the tech, otherwise he has to buy a tech on his own board.

Since he places a cube in the tech, other players can no longer buy that tech, so it is relatively easy to deny any powerful combos by either outbidding the player, or by getting the tech yourself.


Thank you for giving some thought

Using all the new techs with a bidding mechanic sounds like the most fair thing to do. But having a bidding phase whenever a Research action is taken, this would really slow the game down.

Also adding so many techs would add to downtime and would also lead to some chaotic situations. On the other hand, having just 2 more rows of new techs (14), keeps the gameplay smooth and provides a nice variety of new techs for all players to freely choose from.
 
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foksieloy
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leviathangr wrote:
But having a bidding phase whenever a Research action is taken, this would really slow the game down.


Only when the player wants to buy a public tech. No bidding if he wants to buy normal tech.
 
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MM BR
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I played once with this as a new columm:

Clone Factories 22 CP
Phasium Alloy 16 CP
Axinium Alloy 11 CP
Commandos 7 CP
Advanced Repairs 4 CP
Escape Pods 2CP
T Modules 1 CP

Also:

I removed Basic Repairs (everyone repair 1 point of damage of each ship on upkeed stage) and replaced with Spaceports.

I removed Landing Maneuvers (no test needed to land on planets) and replaced with Space Defense Systems

I consider Fringe Singularity to be in play.

And next game I want to add the following:

Everyone can use the Retreat option: after any round of combat, in reverse turn order, a player can declare the retreat, the other player fire with every ship and distribute damage as usual (the retreating fleet don't get to shot back) and every remaining retreating ship is moved to a adjacent system.
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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mmmarcelom wrote:
I played once with this as a new columm:

Clone Factories 22 CP
Phasium Alloy 16 CP
Axinium Alloy 11 CP
Commandos 7 CP
Advanced Repairs 4 CP
Escape Pods 2CP
T Modules 1 CP

Also:

I removed Basic Repairs (everyone repair 1 point of damage of each ship on upkeed stage) and replaced with Spaceports.

I removed Landing Maneuvers (no test needed to land on planets) and replaced with Space Defense Systems

I consider Fringe Singularity to be in play.


Very nice customization! This is exactly what I mean.

I'm using a similar approach, but with 2 tech columns instead of 1. The techs I consider in play are Commandos and a slightly altered Escape Pods.

I finished editing the Tech&Upgrades boards and I have asked the designer for permission to upload the files.

mmmarcelom wrote:
And next game I want to add the following:

Everyone can use the Retreat option: after any round of combat, in reverse turn order, a player can declare the retreat, the other player fire with every ship and distribute damage as usual (the retreating fleet don't get to shot back) and every remaining retreating ship is moved to a adjacent system.


Retreat option for everyone uh? wouldn't that alter the gameplay much? I mean I wouldn't care too much for engaging in a battle since I can always get away from it...
 
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leviathangr wrote:
Retreat option for everyone uh? wouldn't that alter the gameplay much? I mean I wouldn't care too much for engaging in a battle since I can always get away from it...


It really needs some (or a lot) of playtest, and I forgot to say that just like Expert Maneuvers, you give the other player 1 VP for each ship that successfully retreat.
 
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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The designer (Andrei Novac) gave me approval to upload the files. Yeeeyy!

You can check them on the first post. They are not final or playtested yet, so any ideas (for tech prices, upgrades, balancing etc) would be highly appreciated.

Thanks everyone for your input!
 
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Andrei Novac
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I am totally in favor of this idea - playing with expansion techs in the base game - but without the retreat option. Retreating changes the combat drastically and as someone pointed out before, it need heavy testing. Also, some technologies lose some of their power while other become overpowered, at least at a fist glance.
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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anovac wrote:
I am totally in favor of this idea - playing with expansion techs in the base game - but without the retreat option. Retreating changes the combat drastically and as someone pointed out before, it need heavy testing. Also, some technologies lose some of their power while other become overpowered, at least at a fist glance.


Thank you very much for helping out Andrei!

I agree with you about retreating. It may remove the winner-takes-it-all effect, but it will affect the gameplay tremendously. Playtesting will show..

About the techs, which ones do you think are overpowered? Would it help making those OP techs more expensive?
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Andrei Novac
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Not sure yet, I would have to play at least once this variant to offer sound feedback, but anyone else is welcome to join in and talk about it
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Rainer Ahlfors
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I'll run some tests and simulations this weekend as well, to see if I can help iron out any potential quirks.
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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So here is some feedback after a 4-player session:

1) Overall, it was a very balanced game. Everyone was excited with the great variety of techs to choose from. The only drawback was that they needed a little more time after their early-game research actions, but after a while they got the hang of it.

2) All players complained about the high price of the clone factory tech, so I will reduce it to 7cp (from 15)

3) The advanced T-modules made the normal T-modules redundant. So instead of removing the latter I'm thinking of making T-modules an already researched tech for all players to start the game with. This would lead to lower the price of the adv. T-modules to make them more desirable.

4) These changes result to an empty tech slot. I'm thinking to fill it up with the following tech:

Axinium Alloy:The costs of all your ships are reduced by 1 Axinium (same price at 12cp).

This tech could really help a player who has no axinium planets nearby at the start of the game.

Any ideas and suggestions will be much appreciated
 
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Alwin Derijck
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Would be great if you could upload a tested version as a variant file at some point.

Interesting read.
 
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MM BR
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leviathangr wrote:
2) All players complained about the high price of the clone factory tech, so I will reduce it to 7cp (from 15)


I think Clone Factory is expected to be high cost, because like Expert Politcs (16 CP) and Master Politcs (22 CP), it's one of those techs that is game changing if you pick it in the early game. They all increase the number of actions you can play per turn.

I think something betwenn 16 and 11 CP is a good price, since the original is 18 CP (mainly because of the Sirius Theocracy ability to use cubes from any planet to power secundary actions) and is an alternative choice to Expert Cloning (that gives a single cube per turn without having to spent an action on upgrade)

You could balance it by lowering the upgrade cost for the factory.

Also, consider that you can make multiple factories (one on each planet) with a single action.

For example: If the tech cost 16 CP and the upgrade cost 1 Phasium, you have to spend 16 CP on the tech and with a single action, build 3 factories for 3 Phasium and get 3 extra cubes each following round. It's a lot more powerfull than the single cube from the Expert Cloning, but requires planning (since you spent the phasium that you would use for shields and have to be carefull because, just like WMS, your factories can be stolen).
 
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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Alwin wrote:
Would be great if you could upload a tested version as a variant file at some point.

Interesting read.


Will do. A little more playtesting and I will come up with a final version.

Thank you for your interest!
 
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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mmmarcelom wrote:
leviathangr wrote:
2) All players complained about the high price of the clone factory tech, so I will reduce it to 7cp (from 15)


I think Clone Factory is expected to be high cost, because like Expert Politcs (16 CP) and Master Politcs (22 CP), it's one of those techs that is game changing if you pick it in the early game. They all increase the number of actions you can play per turn.

I think something betwenn 16 and 11 CP is a good price, since the original is 18 CP (mainly because of the Sirius Theocracy ability to use cubes from any planet to power secundary actions) and is an alternative choice to Expert Cloning (that gives a single cube per turn without having to spent an action on upgrade)

You could balance it by lowering the upgrade cost for the factory.

Also, consider that you can make multiple factories (one on each planet) with a single action.

For example: If the tech cost 16 CP and the upgrade cost 1 Phasium, you have to spend 16 CP on the tech and with a single action, build 3 factories for 3 Phasium and get 3 extra cubes each following round. It's a lot more powerfull than the single cube from the Expert Cloning, but requires planning (since you spent the phasium that you would use for shields and have to be carefull because, just like WMS, your factories can be stolen).


Very good points. I really like the idea of lowering the Clone Factories upgrade cost instead of the tech cost.

I will try it next time like this: Tech=15cp Upgrade=3cp 1ph

Thanks for your input!
 
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Jonathan Yiakoumi
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Updated first post according to new values.
 
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