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Cry Havoc» Forums » Variants

Subject: "Fixing" the Machines rss

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Richard
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So now I also got the game and after reading almost everything in these forums about the game and after playing it for myself it really seems the Machines got some difficulties to gain momentum.

What could be an easy fix to buff the machines without throwing off the balance of the game?

My first thought would be to change the default skill of the machines.

Instead of "Moving City" the default skill could/should be "Transform".

I think that would help the Machines a lot, so they never need Recruit, have the resources they need always at the battle front (where they want to be), and it would be an existing game element, nothing new and fancy, nothing difficult.

What do you think?
 
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Grant Rodiek
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If you enjoy the game more doing so, make it so!
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Dustin Boatman
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Why make it the default? Just play with more than one skill card like the rules say and throw in Transform.
 
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Richard
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Pathosis wrote:
Why make it the default? Just play with more than one skill card like the rules say and throw in Transform.


The rules say you get non-default skills only on a random basis, so you wouldn't be guaranteed to get "Transform".
 
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Alex Banks
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It sounds to me like the 'issue' people have with the Machines is simply that they have no easy way to score extra points like the Pilgrims and Humans do, so not sure if giving them more firepower will necessarily change this.

Do people think that if they earned a point when using their Shredder Drones and/or Orbital Sniper that might help? Basically the same as if they had fulfilled an Attrition objective.

My rationale is that this would probably give them a few extra points a turn, which over the course of a game might push them closer to the extra amounts the Humans or Pilgrims might get. It also fits with their aggressive playstyle.

Just to clarify, I've researched and ordered the game but not played it yet myself, so my thoughts are based purely on what I've heard about the game and seen in a couple of playthrough videos. It may be that when I play the game myself I'll think there are no balance problems!
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Grant Rodiek
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Alexthebanks wrote:
It sounds to me like the 'issue' people have with the Machines is simply that they have no easy way to score extra points like the Pilgrims and Humans do, so not sure if giving them more firepower will necessarily change this.

Do people think that if they earned a point when using their Shredder Drones and/or Orbital Sniper that might help? Basically the same as if they had fulfilled an Attrition objective.

My rationale is that this would probably give them a few extra points a turn, which over the course of a game might push them closer to the extra amounts the Humans or Pilgrims might get. It also fits with their aggressive playstyle.

Just to clarify, I've researched and ordered the game but not played it yet myself, so my thoughts are based purely on what I've heard about the game and seen in a couple of playthrough videos. It may be that when I play the game myself I'll think there are no balance problems!


You can use the shred drones and snipers to weaken a territory such that you can all but guarantee you win it in a battle. That 2 points, the crystals, and any attrition/prisoners give you "easy points."

Giving someone bonus points just for using the shred drone is OP and leads to a less interesting game. The shred drones have a role, they just don't immediately score.

I saw someone use their move skill and shred drones to capture 3 territories in one action, with a massive Crystal point swing.
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Richard
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HerrohGrant wrote:
I saw someone use their move skill and shred drones to capture 3 territories in one action, with a massive Crystal point swing.


Could you please provide details on how the machine player did this exactly?
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Grant Rodiek
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alder99 wrote:
HerrohGrant wrote:
I saw someone use their move skill and shred drones to capture 3 territories in one action, with a massive Crystal point swing.


Could you please provide details on how the machine player did this exactly?


I'm on my phone in Napa about to spend the day with friends. I'll have to go into detail later. Summary.

Machine created 3 battle regions by moving into territory.
Machine activated structures.

Kill Unit. Now control.
Build and activate new one (shredder). Repeat.
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Alex Banks
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HerrohGrant wrote:
You can use the shred drones and snipers to weaken a territory such that you can all but guarantee you win it in a battle. That 2 points, the crystals, and any attrition/prisoners give you "easy points."

Giving someone bonus points just for using the shred drone is OP and leads to a less interesting game. The shred drones have a role, they just don't immediately score.

I saw someone use their move skill and shred drones to capture 3 territories in one action, with a massive Crystal point swing.


I'm sure you're right, they definitely give 'subtle points', in that they help you win regions, and by extension the crystals in that region when scoring happens. This is all theory-crafting, so I'm probably missing tons of in-game variables

It does seem though that the Humans and Pilgrims default Skill (and their buildings, which both gain them the territory/crystals they respectively need) generates immediate, guaranteed points. You're right that the Machines should have the most regions when scoring comes around (which isn't necessarily every turn), but in that case they need to have gained regions with extra crystals to match the amount the Humans and Pilgrims have been gaining through other means.

To be clear, I'm super excited for this game - I love the theme, the whole vibe reminds of an RTS like Starcraft. Maybe it's that mindset that makes me immediately start looking into little balances, games like Starcraft were constantly messing with that kind of stuff!
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Alex Banks
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HerrohGrant wrote:
I'm on my phone in Napa about to spend the day with friends.


And you're still messaging us? You're such a legend!

Really appreciate your constant activity and engagement with the community. I can't think of many other hobbies where I'd get to talk directly with one of the creative talents And before you say it, I know you're not the only designer on the game, but is still awesome!

Have a great day Grant.
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Grant Rodiek
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Alexthebanks wrote:
HerrohGrant wrote:
I'm on my phone in Napa about to spend the day with friends.


And you're still messaging us? You're such a legend!

Really appreciate your constant activity and engagement with the community. I can't think of many other hobbies where I'd get to talk directly with one of the creative talents And before you say it, I know you're not the only designer on the game, but is still awesome!

Have a great day Grant.


Trying! Plus my wife isn't looking *darts eyes*

Look -- we worked crazy hard for a very long time on this. Huge team (check my recent blog!).

But, you guys are also spending $75 on it. It's a partnership of fun (#synergy #marketing) and we're trying to help you guys have a blast with this game we love. It's relatively easy to get on the forums to help, so we're trying to do our part. You guys are why we're here.
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Dustin Boatman
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alder99 wrote:
Pathosis wrote:
Why make it the default? Just play with more than one skill card like the rules say and throw in Transform.


The rules say you get non-default skills only on a random basis, so you wouldn't be guaranteed to get "Transform".


You can also pick your skills, it doesn't have to be random.
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Grant Rodiek
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Pathosis wrote:
alder99 wrote:
Pathosis wrote:
Why make it the default? Just play with more than one skill card like the rules say and throw in Transform.


The rules say you get non-default skills only on a random basis, so you wouldn't be guaranteed to get "Transform".


You can also pick your skills, it doesn't have to be random.


I agree! Me and Ignacy aren't in your house! Pick your favorite skills, especially once you know the game. Mix it up. Have fun, and do so with our blessing.
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si Mon
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HerrohGrant wrote:
Pathosis wrote:
alder99 wrote:
Pathosis wrote:
Why make it the default? Just play with more than one skill card like the rules say and throw in Transform.


The rules say you get non-default skills only on a random basis, so you wouldn't be guaranteed to get "Transform".


You can also pick your skills, it doesn't have to be random.


I agree! Me and Ignacy aren't in your house! Pick your favorite skills, especially once you know the game. Mix it up. Have fun, and do so with our blessing.


You won't be in my house helping me playing the game ? Now we are talking bad after service
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Don Liles
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Grant, you and Ignacy are always welcome to come to the house though.
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Grant Rodiek
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daliles wrote:
Grant, you and Ignacy are always welcome to come to the house though.


Bay Area for life!
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Mad Halfling
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HerrohGrant wrote:
Pathosis wrote:
You can also pick your skills, it doesn't have to be random.


I agree! Me and Ignacy aren't in your house! Pick your favorite skills, especially once you know the game. Mix it up. Have fun, and do so with our blessing.


Not played it yet (should be tomorrow, hopefully), but I was thinking default + 1 random + 1 chosen - that way you get some variety but also get to inject some synergy.

Out of interest: from a design point of view, was there any reason behind making all the extra cards random rather than letting players choose them?
 
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Grant Rodiek
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It's a bit of weird psychology, but we did it to force variance. If the rule says: pick your favorite, MOST people will pick the same one, then go "man the game is always the same!"

But if you tell them to randomize it? Folks will, at least initially, and they'll see the breadth of the game and more experimentation.

Really, a lot of design is encouraging folks towards having a great time.

Now, I totally expect and hope folks DO just pick their favorites, especially once they've tried things. But we tried to encourage variance from the outset.
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Tomas Inguanzo
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The number of skill cards used seems like a simple handicapping method. If one faction always loses/wins then let them have one more/fewer skill card than everyone else.
 
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Mad Halfling
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HerrohGrant wrote:
It's a bit of weird psychology, but we did it to force variance. If the rule says: pick your favorite, MOST people will pick the same one, then go "man the game is always the same!"

But if you tell them to randomize it? Folks will, at least initially, and they'll see the breadth of the game and more experimentation.

Really, a lot of design is encouraging folks towards having a great time.

Now, I totally expect and hope folks DO just pick their favorites, especially once they've tried things. But we tried to encourage variance from the outset.


That makes perfect sense and isn't weird at all. Personally, I'm loving trying different strategies more and more in repeat plays of games.

Thanks for takng the time away from rules queries to answer this.
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Grant Rodiek
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Mad-Halfling wrote:
HerrohGrant wrote:
It's a bit of weird psychology, but we did it to force variance. If the rule says: pick your favorite, MOST people will pick the same one, then go "man the game is always the same!"

But if you tell them to randomize it? Folks will, at least initially, and they'll see the breadth of the game and more experimentation.

Really, a lot of design is encouraging folks towards having a great time.

Now, I totally expect and hope folks DO just pick their favorites, especially once they've tried things. But we tried to encourage variance from the outset.


That makes perfect sense and isn't weird at all. Personally, I'm loving trying different strategies more and more in repeat plays of games.

Thanks for takng the time away from rules queries to answer this.


Doing my best! Happy to answer anything about our process, philosophy, etc. It's fun to talk shop.
 
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