Dustin Crenshaw
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I often get asked what are the house rules I use in starcraft, so I figured I'd post them here. Here are our three changes (we play only with expansion).

*** Game Clock & Events
You no longer draw an event card if your turn is skipped. If you didn't get any event cards in a round, one will be burned off the top of the deck (Forbidden Stars rule).

*** Research step is slightly changed.
When you buy technology cards that get added to your deck - instead of drawing 3 cards, you may remove a number of cards permanently from your deck/hand/discard equal to the number of tech cards added. (These cards go on the bottom of your tech deck, and are free to buy back during research if you want them back)

*** No Instant Wins
All instant win conditions are changed to gain 5 conquest points.


The last one had a huge, great effect on the game. I was expecting something minor, instead it took starcraft from around #10 on my list to #1. No more turtling, ignoring things right next to you. Everyone is fighting often, pressing more. It's just a fantastic effect on the game that everyone I play with loves.
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Domenic
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SeerMagic wrote:
I often get asked what are the house rules I use in starcraft, so I figured I'd post them here. Here are our three changes (we play only with expansion).

*** Game Clock & Events
You no longer draw an event card if your turn is skipped. If you didn't get any event cards in a round, one will be burned off the top of the deck (Forbidden Stars rule).

This sounds like a variant for advanced players. It seems that drawing an event card is compensation for the loss of tempo for the player whose turn is skipped. For experienced-enough players, the fact that you may lose tempo is just part of the action selection/placement process, so taking out the compensation ups the tension a bit. I'm happy to get StarCraft to the table, but I don't get to play often, so I should stick with the beginner rule.

If the "burned" card is The End Draws Near, I assume you count it as played?

Quote:

*** Research step is slightly changed.
When you buy technology cards that get added to your deck - instead of drawing 3 cards, you may remove a number of cards permanently from your deck/hand/discard equal to the number of tech cards added. (These cards go on the bottom of your tech deck, and are free to buy back during research if you want them back)

Interesting. I think this change simulates being better StarCraft (RTS) players. I surmise that using the good stats on a card simulates micro-management of that unit, using your limited focus, while using the bad stats simulates allowing the unit to fight automatically. For a novice StarCraft (RTS) player, adding in more technologies and special abilities will further stretch thin their focus, which is represented by having a larger combat deck. For an expert StarCraft (RTS) player, the entire tech tree is memorized already, so while the player can't be everywhere at once, progress on the tech tree does not negatively impact focus.

Quote:

*** No Instant Wins
All instant win conditions are changed to gain 5 conquest points.

The last one had a huge, great effect on the game. I was expecting something minor, instead it took starcraft from around #10 on my list to #1. No more turtling, ignoring things right next to you. Everyone is fighting often, pressing more. It's just a fantastic effect on the game that everyone I play with loves.

I'm curious to hear more about this one. You're saying that under the old rules, some people would turtle, planning to win by special victory even while being far behind? So that under the new rules, the 5 CPs would not be sufficient, and they have to be active? In my experience (mostly in 2p games), being aggressive is rewarded, so turtling just results in getting stomped. Does the Aldaris special victory play as written? Or does Aldrais get +5 CPs if the game ends without another winner?

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Jonathan Folkert
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#1 One of the things that I love about Starcraft is the ability to control (to some extent) the length of the game via event card draws and blocking. Removing the ability to speed the game up through blocking would be a negative in my book. I'm curious: was there an issue in your games that this house rule is addressing?

#2 I've wondered about a deck thinning mechanic myself. This would be worth a try.

#3 It seems that you're trying to prevent a player from hunkering down in a corner for the entire game, then emerging at the last second to snag a special victory. This sounds like a valid concern, although I have never seen it happen in our games. When I play for Aldaris special victory (for example), the times that I just ignore victory points and try to burn the event deck as fast as possible, it doesn't work. Twice, I repeat, twice, I have completely emptied the Stage 3 deck (via blocking with Will of the Conclave), only to have another player reach 20 points that very round. I've found that playing for points, even when pursuing special victory, is crucial, if only to prevent a player from winning through normal victory first.

In short, I can't remember a player ever winning with special victory who was more than 4 points behind the leader (i.e., the situation in which this rule would make a difference). It may have happened, but it certainly is extremely rare. Perhaps this is just a difference in your play group (we usually never have more than two players picking special victory in our games anyway). Would you consider fleshing out the reasoning behind this one a little more?


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Jonathan Folkert
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Also: nice to see some activity on these forums after a while!
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KirovThug wrote:
Also: nice to see some activity on these forums after a while!


and nice to see such friendly responses to variants for an experts game, since they are usually frowned upon.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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dommer2029 wrote:
If the "burned" card is The End Draws Near, I assume you count it as played?

I'm curious to hear more about this one. You're saying that under the old rules, some people would turtle, planning to win by special victory even while being far behind? So that under the new rules, the 5 CPs would not be sufficient, and they have to be active? In my experience (mostly in 2p games), being aggressive is rewarded, so turtling just results in getting stomped. Does the Aldaris special victory play as written? Or does Aldrais get +5 CPs if the game ends without another winner?


Correct.

And yes, we had a turtle issue with 1 player. Aldarais gets 5cp.
 
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Dustin Crenshaw
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KirovThug wrote:
#1 One of the things that I love about Starcraft is the ability to control (to some extent) the length of the game via event card draws and blocking. Removing the ability to speed the game up through blocking would be a negative in my book. I'm curious: was there an issue in your games that this house rule is addressing?

#2 I've wondered about a deck thinning mechanic myself. This would be worth a try.

#3 It seems that you're trying to prevent a player from hunkering down in a corner for the entire game, then emerging at the last second to snag a special victory. This sounds like a valid concern, although I have never seen it happen in our games. When I play for Aldaris special victory (for example), the times that I just ignore victory points and try to burn the event deck as fast as possible, it doesn't work. Twice, I repeat, twice, I have completely emptied the Stage 3 deck (via blocking with Will of the Conclave), only to have another player reach 20 points that very round. I've found that playing for points, even when pursuing special victory, is crucial, if only to prevent a player from winning through normal victory first.

In short, I can't remember a player ever winning with special victory who was more than 4 points behind the leader (i.e., the situation in which this rule would make a difference). It may have happened, but it certainly is extremely rare. Perhaps this is just a difference in your play group (we usually never have more than two players picking special victory in our games anyway). Would you consider fleshing out the reasoning behind this one a little more?



#1 - Is something they changed with forbidden stars, and I liked it. Again a few smart players would abuse the clock in this way. And it's silly to reward someone in this way, when having multiple turns later and/or going last can be a very good thing.

#3 - We have a very good Aldaris player. And he always turtles. But by switching the rule, in general it's made everyone much more aggressive and lead to a much funner, tense game.
 
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SeerMagic wrote:

*** Game Clock & Events
You no longer draw an event card if your turn is skipped. If you didn't get any event cards in a round, one will be burned off the top of the deck (Forbidden Stars rule).


My game group tried the exact opposite and tried to introduce the rule in FS as we do not like that there is no compansation for blocking orders.

Quote:

*** No Instant Wins
All instant win conditions are changed to gain 5 conquest points.


The last one had a huge, great effect on the game. I was expecting something minor, instead it took starcraft from around #10 on my list to #1. No more turtling, ignoring things right next to you. Everyone is fighting often, pressing more. It's just a fantastic effect on the game that everyone I play with loves.


We always played without the special victory conditions. I never liked them and they always seemed unbalanced. But your variant seems like a goog idea as it offers more choice in the stage I leadership cards (we simply removed the cards from play).
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SeerMagic wrote:
I often get asked what are the house rules I use in starcraft, so I figured I'd post them here. Here are our three changes (we play only with expansion).

*** Research step is slightly changed.
When you buy technology cards that get added to your deck - instead of drawing 3 cards, you may remove a number of cards permanently from your deck/hand/discard equal to the number of tech cards added. (These cards go on the bottom of your tech deck, and are free to buy back during research if you want them back)


After playing a lot with deckbuilding games we came with this idea too and it helped a lot.

We never tried to play without the win conditions but I find it interesting to find.
 
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In regards to your second rule: Reckon this only allows the return of technology cards to the tech deck from deck/hand/discard? Regular combat cards have no indicated value at the bottom, hence are free to buy back? Or is this more to phase out combat cards of units you don't use (for example: remove Terran factory unit cards when most of the map are air-only locations etc...). Thanks in advance for the input!
 
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Dustin Crenshaw
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FierceBirdOfFlame wrote:
In regards to your second rule: Reckon this only allows the return of technology cards to the tech deck from deck/hand/discard? Regular combat cards have no indicated value at the bottom, hence are free to buy back? Or is this more to phase out combat cards of units you don't use (for example: remove Terran factory unit cards when most of the map are air-only locations etc...). Thanks in advance for the input!


You can phase out starter cards. They are free to buy back later (though still require the action).
 
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Loïc Guglielmino
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SeerMagic wrote:
*** No Instant Wins
All instant win conditions are changed to gain 5 conquest points.

Do you add the 5 CP on step 8 of Regrouping Phase (so after Gain CP and Check normal victory steps)? Or during the Gain CP step?
 
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Dustin Crenshaw
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McQueen wrote:
SeerMagic wrote:
*** No Instant Wins
All instant win conditions are changed to gain 5 conquest points.

Do you add the 5 CP on step 8 of Regrouping Phase (so after Gain CP and Check normal victory steps)? Or during the Gain CP step?


Still during special.
 
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Loïc Guglielmino
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Ok ty!

And each turn (if always true) or the first time only?
 
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Dustin Crenshaw
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McQueen wrote:
Ok ty!

And each turn (if always true) or the first time only?


First time only.
 
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instinctive
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A couple of questions:

(1) How often do players choose the Stage I special victory conditions with these changes? They make the conditions weaker, on the other hand maybe they don't get opposed so much, so I could see it going either way.

(2) Is the game clock change necessary now that special victories are worth only 5 5CP? Could Aldaris still turtle to victory even with just the 5 CP bonus and the event deck played standard?

BONUS questions about some common optional rules:

(3) Does your group allow Queens to Infest even if there is no battle?

(4) Does your group give Nukes Collateral Damage?
 
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instinctive wrote:
A couple of questions:

(1) How often do players choose the Stage I special victory conditions with these changes? They make the conditions weaker, on the other hand maybe they don't get opposed so much, so I could see it going either way.

(2) Is the game clock change necessary now that special victories are worth only 5 5CP? Could Aldaris still turtle to victory even with just the 5 CP bonus and the event deck played standard?

BONUS questions about some common optional rules:

(3) Does your group allow Queens to Infest even if there is no battle?

(4) Does your group give Nukes Collateral Damage?


(1) It's been pretty mixed. So we feel 5 is the perfect number.
(2) Probably not. Aldaris was not the only reason for the change. Getting more actions later in turn than other players is already an advantage. Also, it makes doing research a tougher choice later in the game.
(3)(4) We play them as is. But we've been feeling Nuke needs to be more powerful.

 
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Andre Metelo
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It is interesting seeing questions on the Special Victory conditions.

Without the expansion, we had plenty of messed up win from way way behind victories that actually made some people decide not to play the game ever again.

Ever since we got the expansion, nobody has chosen the special condition in stage I as it sets you back considerably. May be it is my fault, as I tend to hunt down the players that pick that choice, but in general no matter the player count, the games end a couple of cards shy of getting to stage III, or in the 1st round of stage III.

Which makes the special condition victory really tough to get, and hold long enough.

Just out of curiosity, how long is the game taking for you guys? For us it typically goes by within 6 or 7 turns at the most, with almost no blocked orders if we see a special win in play.

 
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Dustin Crenshaw
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metelo wrote:
It is interesting seeing questions on the Special Victory conditions.

Without the expansion, we had plenty of messed up win from way way behind victories that actually made some people decide not to play the game ever again.

Ever since we got the expansion, nobody has chosen the special condition in stage I as it sets you back considerably. May be it is my fault, as I tend to hunt down the players that pick that choice, but in general no matter the player count, the games end a couple of cards shy of getting to stage III, or in the 1st round of stage III.

Which makes the special condition victory really tough to get, and hold long enough.

Just out of curiosity, how long is the game taking for you guys? For us it typically goes by within 6 or 7 turns at the most, with almost no blocked orders if we see a special win in play.



Not sure. Game hasn't ended by clock in awhile though.
 
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