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Subject: Do you like/dislike the order system and why? rss

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steve mathers
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Andy Day HATES the order system, and he will explain here... meeple
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Richard Sampson
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stevenmathers wrote:
Andy Day HATES the order system, and he will explain here... meeple
I think that should read "Andy Day somehow likes Forbidden Stars a lot even though he HATES the order system and has a lot of complaints about the combat system. He will explain here how that is possible ..."
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Austin Andersen
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I like it a lot. I feel in a sense it is what gives the game a RTS type feel. It's almost like I'm going to focus on this part of the screen and issue a command here. The only thing missing is a fog of war, which I don't miss one bit.

I could see how some people would prefer queues rather than stacks for determining the sequence in which the orders are performed. I believe that having a stack based system is better than a queue based system as I believe that it negates the first turn advantage that is present in many games. The stack based system reminds me of Magic: The Gathering and allows for reactions that can interrupt whatever was laid out by the previous player.

It's probably one of my favorite aspects of the game. If anything, it saddens me that we won't see any expansions expanding upon it.
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Peter Tan
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Yes I like it a lot too!

But I can understand why casual/family gamers might complaint about the combat downtime and the order stacking system.

The combat system is a minigame of DBG (where you buy cards into your combat deck) and TCG (where you think of the right time to play offensive/defensive/morale cards, surprising your opponent, etc).

Casual/Family players may not get this because of the number of processes they have to go through : they'll need some time to read the cards, think of the best way to play them...and heck, you'll even need to read your opponent's cards and see what they are trying to do!

Same for the order system, there isn't many boardgames with the stacking system which is not only very confrontational, but very mind-gamey as well especially against players who are competitive, or have experience in strategy games.

Think of it as an RTS, almost everyone knows how to use a mouse, BUT with asymmetrical races with variant powers, you'll need to read through the text of your race's upgrades and units you want to build/research first.

Remember folks, this is STILL an epic space opera game/RTS board game, with lots of cards to read and combos to discover.

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Paul Ferguson
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Who cares what Andy thinks. Someone else's opinion doesn't change my like for the order system, nor does it detract from the good and well designed mechanics. The order system creates a lot of strategy and second guessing in the game, it is the heart of FS. It is what makes it such a good game.
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Scott Randolph
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I think the order system is awesome, simulates Real Time Action.
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Pierre-Alexandre Fortin
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"The only thing missing is a fog of war, which I don't miss one bit."

I beg to differ: the orders tokens are the ultimate fog of war since it shadows the opponent's strategy and he/she can even used it to wrist cuff yours as well. This is pure genius.

My guess is during war, the strategy is more important than the battle results, and this is best recreated with orders and objectives.

I love the combat, but the fun is the strategy behind. Is it possible people prefers simple battle? Yes, then FS may not be the best game for them.
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Austin Andersen
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psychopaf wrote:
"The only thing missing is a fog of war, which I don't miss one bit."

I beg to differ: the orders tokens are the ultimate fog of war since it shadows the opponent's strategy and he/she can even used it to wrist cuff yours as well. This is pure genius.

My guess is during war, the strategy is more important than the battle results, and this is best recreated with orders and objectives.

I love the combat, but the fun is the strategy behind. Is it possible people prefers simple battle? Yes, then FS may not be the best game for them.


You know your opponent has 2 copies of each order token and that he/she can only use 4. Everything else is open information more or less. For the most part, the game is pretty open during most times. The only time there is uncertainty is when the order tokens are being played and when cards are drawn. At all other times, you know how much resources someone has, where they are, and what units and structures they have. You even have an idea as to what they could have drawn.

When I think of fog of war, I think of not knowing what resources an opponent has, what units and structures, or where they are at.

I don't consider the order tokens fog of war. I do agree though that they are genius and do disguise strategy some. A person that is very familiar with the game will still be able to deduce with some degree of success what order is being given where and when. This is great though, as it is what allows for bluffing.
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Liam (Away/AFK)
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Moved from Variants to General.
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steve mathers
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I love the planning aspect: of needing to plan the campaign for the turn by placing order tokens before resolution.

But I dislike the 'backwards thinking' part. It seems an unnecessary mental challenge.

I also dislike the 'gazump' that the turn order gives each player over the player(s) to their right, by allowing them to place their token on top.

I also dislike the 'XXXX-blocking' aspect of placing some random token on top of an opponents stack of tokens and effectively preventing them from doing anything for X number of rounds.




So the order stacking seems to be the basis for all my personal dislikes. Of course these aspects can and must be 'gamed' during play, but they seem more like side-effects of the stacking system more than desired mechanics, to me.

What do you think of disregarding stack order - when it is a players turn to resolve an order, they can resolve any order token they have placed regardless of stack order?

Furthermore, if you want 1st resolution advantage, you can burn two tokens of the same type, in the same area in order to claim it. Thus it becomes a strategic decision, if you really want to take it. You dont have to place both tokens at the same time, but at any time when someone is about to resolve a token in an area where you have two tokens, if they are of the same type you can say 'hold on, Im resolving this first', and reveal and burn both to resolve a single order. Obviously if the gazumped player has multiple tokens of the same type of their own in that area, they can then say 'aha - but I gazump your gazump' and continue to resolve.

I think a system something like the above would retain everything I like about FS, while go a long way towards eliminating the negative effects of the stacking system.
 
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stevenmathers wrote:

What do you think of disregarding stack order - when it is a players turn to resolve an order, they can resolve any order token they have placed regardless of stack order?


Not much, to be honest. To me, figuring out in what order to place the orders, and then having some idiot messing up my well crafted (?) plan by stacking his own tokens above mine is a big part of what gives the game its character and makes it fun!
The difficulty of planning and the uncertainties of carrying out an operation is what gives the rather small board its sense of "vast space"!

But to each his own... I just don't understand the need to change THIS game in the way you describe and remove one of its core elements. There are more than enough games without that chaotic aspect out there.
 
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Andy Day

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Benji68 wrote:
stevenmathers wrote:

What do you think of disregarding stack order - when it is a players turn to resolve an order, they can resolve any order token they have placed regardless of stack order?


Not much, to be honest.

This response, in a nutshell, is why o have held off posting my thoughts to this thread. Everybody here likes the RAW and to imply otherwise is frowned on. No thanks!

 
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Gylthinel wrote:
Benji68 wrote:
stevenmathers wrote:

What do you think of disregarding stack order - when it is a players turn to resolve an order, they can resolve any order token they have placed regardless of stack order?


Not much, to be honest.

This response, in a nutshell, is why o have held off posting my thoughts to this thread. Everybody here likes the RAW and to imply otherwise is frowned on. No thanks!



There is nothing wrong with not liking it, as everyone is entitled to their opinion.

If you find the stack confusing, I suggest laying out your tokens in a row as you would want them resolved going from left to right and then when you go to place them on the board, place from your row to the board going from the right to left. This will ensure that what you want to happen first happens first and things go in the order that you want. Things can still get muffed up, but at least any confusion factor should be gone.

It really isn't all that bad, if you have a system for organizing your thoughts. If the interruptions still bother you, you can always resolve the stack like a queue by resolving whatever token is on the bottom of the stack first. You end up losing a lot of the tactics in placing orders, but gain by having to make more strategic decisions as turns where you go first will become more important.
 
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Right...if a group prefers an HR (I'm the house rule / custom home brew ruleset King...or Duke at least...of TI3...so no criticism from me) where:

(As an example) - players place order tokens face down in a sector, NOT stacked, and may resolve ANY one order of their own on their turn that they wish, with no restrictions based on which player placed an order token in a system Last.

That's certainly a viable way to play, and if your group prefers that, then by all means...Play On! ("The Game is for the People, the People are not for the Game")

Personally, I like this game RAW, with the order token stacking mechanism...but honestly I only play a very small number of games RAW, this just happens to be one of them (FS).
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Dapperghast Meowregard
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Gylthinel wrote:
Benji68 wrote:
stevenmathers wrote:

What do you think of disregarding stack order - when it is a players turn to resolve an order, they can resolve any order token they have placed regardless of stack order?


Not much, to be honest.

This response, in a nutshell, is why o have held off posting my thoughts to this thread. Everybody here likes the RAW and to imply otherwise is frowned on. No thanks!



I mean, they seemed quite civil in their response, especially for the interwebs. They disagreed and provided a solid explanation as to why without so much as raising their voice. Also the burden of proof is kinda on you. RAW isn't automatically the best, but it's the way the game was made, so while it's fine if you prefer otherwise, it's kinda up to you to convince us why your house rule is superior. And "I can't say because some people might disagree with me." probably isn't the best argument .

Though personally I feel like removing the stack takes away a lot of the planning. Instead of "I need to shore up defenses on this planet, but if the Orks trump my Deploy they'll prolly take my factory, maybe if I strategize first to bluff them into thinking..." it's just "I'll need to Deploy there at some point during the turn. I get to act before the Orks? Cool STRATEGY DONE."
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Gylthinel wrote:
Benji68 wrote:
stevenmathers wrote:

What do you think of disregarding stack order - when it is a players turn to resolve an order, they can resolve any order token they have placed regardless of stack order?


Not much, to be honest.

This response, in a nutshell, is why o have held off posting my thoughts to this thread. Everybody here likes the RAW and to imply otherwise is frowned on. No thanks!



Why leave out my reasoning for the response? if you ask for opinions, you should be prepared to receive them. I gave mine because someone asked for it.

It sounds like you are under the impression that your ideas of house rules (compared to the ideas of an experienced game designer) were supposed to take the gaming world by storm - only the gaming world was not intelligent enough to see the way. How come?
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steve mathers
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Dapperghast wrote:
Gylthinel wrote:
Benji68 wrote:
[q="stevenmathers"]
What do you think of disregarding stack order - when it is a players turn to resolve an order, they can resolve any order token they have placed regardless of stack order?




Though personally I feel like removing the stack takes away a lot of the planning. Instead of "I need to shore up defenses on this planet, but if the Orks trump my Deploy they'll prolly take my factory, maybe if I strategize first to bluff them into thinking..." it's just "I'll need to Deploy there at some point during the turn. I get to act before the Orks? Cool STRATEGY DONE."



There two things going on here though - one is the actual strategic situation that is a combination of resources, objectives and dudes on a map, and the other is consideration of the consequences of resolving operations in stack order which isnt connecting to anything else in the game, as such. Does that make sense? Its a consequnce of turn order and the stacking mechanic rather than those consequences that emerge organically from the unfolding game situation.

Thats not intrinsically bad, but I it does add extra 'stuff' to think about during your turn. Quite a lot of stuff actually, and it can be a pretty long game.

I dont think there is a lot of milage to be had from requiring you to place your own orders in a queue. Certainly you need to place the right orders in the right spots, but the order you place them with respect to your other orders in the same area isnt really a fun puzzle - its just an opportunity to stuff something up in a frustrating way.

Now the order of resolution with respect to other players orders, on the other hand, is the meat of the question, isnt it? If you take away the stacking rule, that does away with someone having the ability to delay execution of your order(s), but it doesnt stop them from potentially resolving their orders before yours. They may still attack before you get to build reinforcements/factory/strategize, depending on the vagaries of turn order and (in my proposal) doubling down on orders to ensure trumping. The player will still be need decide which orders to resolve first and be faced with the anticipation of what their opponents will do and the order in which they will resolve theirs. None of that fun interactivity and guesswork goes away.

I guess the main thing is, getting to delay the resolution of someone elses orders, simply by virtue of having a token on top and choosing not to resolve it, is extremely powerful. too powerful, in my opinion for what it costs the blocking player - virtually nothing - just the happy circumstance of being after the blocked player in the turn order.

At this stage, my proposal is theoretical. In my mind the nature of the puzzle is changed slightly, probably for the better, and without the OP blocking mechanism, which I dislike. Ill get back to you after I try this variant. Im sure I can convince at least one of my mates to give it a run.


@Andy - come on dude, lets hear your thoughts, dont be shy
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Richard Sampson
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Steve, if you haven't tried A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition), I would highly recommend it. The way the orders work in that game is very close to what you are suggesting (the main difference is that GoT only allows one order per player in a region).
 
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steve mathers
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ras2124 wrote:
Steve, if you haven't tried A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition), I would highly recommend it. The way the orders work in that game is very close to what you are suggesting (the main difference is that GoT only allows one order per player in a region).


yep. Its a bit slow and static compared to FS, isnt it?

 
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stevenmathers wrote:
ras2124 wrote:
Steve, if you haven't tried A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition), I would highly recommend it. The way the orders work in that game is very close to what you are suggesting (the main difference is that GoT only allows one order per player in a region).


yep. Its a bit slow and static compared to FS, isnt it?

Static yes since the board is set, but slow? I would say that GoT has comparable to faster playing times at equal player counts and with faster combat, doesn't suffer from nearly as much downtime during battles as FS.

Personally I like FS better, but a significant part of that is the appeal of the stack. I think if I had a similar opinion to you regarding the stack, GoT would win out.
 
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got suffers from the same relatively static border problem that most wargames suffer from - the relatively long build up before any meaningful interaction. the first couple of turns are all about gathering resources, taking out neutrals and trying not to be one of players that gets involved in early combat and so suffers 'early mover' disadvantage of being weakened and then backdoored.

FS starts you out in hectic combat right from the start and favours the attacker by not requiring you to hold territory as a winning condition.

So it feels much less static and the 'buildup' is limited to the first turn, even if that. by the 2nd turn its on like donkey kong all overthe board.
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stevenmathers wrote:
the first couple of turns are all about gathering resources, taking out neutrals and trying not to be one of players that gets involved in early combat and so suffers 'early mover' disadvantage of being weakened and then backdoored.
I not sure what you mean by gathering resources since the only way to get "resources" to build troops are to hold territories that all players are competing for. In other words, the only way to gain more "resources" is to take away a stronghold/castle that an opponent holds or is likely trying to claim themselves, even in the early turns.

If you mean gaining power, then again I am not sure I see the difference there either. Consolidate power works very similar to Dominate in FS.

On top of that, GoT requires you to take an hold strongholds that everyone is competing for to win the game, leading to significantly more combat. In FS, since the goal is to simply get objectives and get out, there is often no need to hold territory for long periods of time. Instead you can focus your strategy on specific objectives one at a time, leading to less conflict, especially with multiple opponents at once.

However, I will concede that the game can be boring and slow at lower player counts which is where FS really shines so if your experience is limited to such games, perhaps that is why we don't see eye to eye.

Either way, we can agree to disagree. My initial point was that it was worth taking a look at since the order system there was maybe more to your liking. Since it seems you have tried the game, any further discussion is probably best suited for a thread in the GoT forums.
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stevenmathers wrote:
got suffers from the same relatively static border problem that most wargames suffer from - the relatively long build up before any meaningful interaction. the first couple of turns are all about gathering resources, taking out neutrals and trying not to be one of players that gets involved in early combat and so suffers 'early mover' disadvantage of being weakened and then backdoored.

FS starts you out in hectic combat right from the start and favours the attacker by not requiring you to hold territory as a winning condition.

So it feels much less static and the 'buildup' is limited to the first turn, even if that. by the 2nd turn its on like donkey kong all overthe board.


Steve - I get what you're saying but AGoT is just an awesome game, it's very different in some respects because it's all about "Poker face" and Diplomacy/back-stabbing...FS is All-Out War from the start ("On like Donkey Kong" as you said..."Classic" btw lol). I really like them both, I'd favor FS right now simply because I have played sooooo many games of AGoT.

My "2 cents"
 
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SFRR wrote:
stevenmathers wrote:
got suffers from the same relatively static border problem that most wargames suffer from - the relatively long build up before any meaningful interaction. the first couple of turns are all about gathering resources, taking out neutrals and trying not to be one of players that gets involved in early combat and so suffers 'early mover' disadvantage of being weakened and then backdoored.

FS starts you out in hectic combat right from the start and favours the attacker by not requiring you to hold territory as a winning condition.

So it feels much less static and the 'buildup' is limited to the first turn, even if that. by the 2nd turn its on like donkey kong all overthe board.


Steve - I get what you're saying but AGoT is just an awesome game, it's very different in some respects because it's all about "Poker face" and Diplomacy/back-stabbing...FS is All-Out War from the start ("On like Donkey Kong" as you said..."Classic" btw lol). I really like them both, I'd favor FS right now simply because I have played sooooo many games of AGoT.

My "2 cents"


Played the original Diplomacy? If you have 6 or 7 hours, its an 'experience' thats for sure. GOT is loosely based on it, but Diplomacy is the ultimate betrayl game because unless someone makes a 'mistake' during the first couple of turns by not grabbing enough neutrals, then the game is a perfect stalemate that can only be broken by cooperation / betrayl, because combat is entirely deterministic and based purely on numbers. i.e. 2 armies beats 1 army and even numbers is a stalemate where the situation doesnt change. Its a hugely static board setup that quivers with diplomatic tension, and all diplomacy is conducted in secret.

There are online diplomacy leagues where you put in turns on a daily basis and conduct diplomacy via email. perfect really. such a snake pit of a game.
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Andy Day

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Greetings,
 
I’ve been struggling to figure out how to respond to this thread in a concise way that isn’t reductive, but I haven’t had a lot of luck. I think that Steve did a great job of breaking it down, I generally agree with what he said.
 
I a further gree with most of what’s been written here, especially the question “who cares what Andy Day thinks?” Though this is a forum where people post their thoughts, so that’s a bit of a reductive statement (reductive being my word of the day I guess). Another poster wondered how I can like the game if I have bad things to say about combat and the order system? I’ll answer that first, and the first part of the answer is this: theme. I love space games, and have long looked for a space wargame experience that takes less time than Twilight Imperium. I never played 40K, but I enjoy its mythos and I’ve read a bit about it. I like the art, I like the plastic, I like the resource management, I like the balance of army building and base management, I love the warp storms, and I love the area control aspects of the game for various reasons. It has all the trappings of a great 3X game (there’s no eXploring, so it’s not 4X). So there is a lot to love about the game, which is why I critique parts of it. If I hate a game, I don’t critique it… I avoid it.
 
The planning phase takes a LONG time, and the payout for a successful planning phase isn’t very exciting. The cost/benefit just isn’t there for me. I don’t enjoy concocting my entire turn before I lay my first order; I’m not playing Robo Rally. That’s a lot of anxiety and pressure, and not the good kind that Tom and Eric talked about on the Dice Tower. One misstep can frak your entire turn, that isn’t fun! It also makes a large barrier for entry for new people, which I typically have at least one of in my group. I don’t find “blocking” to be a meaningful strategy in the game, it is an coincidental benefit, or a way to hoodwink a noob. Put another way: a ‘good’ player doesn’t get inconvenienced by a ‘block.’ Thus, when all is said and done, if my plan is to move my strategy from point A to point B, I do so, and my opponent’s tokens don’t stop me (though their army might). If that’s the case, I’d rather make the process easy and fast, rather than the counter-intuitive (pun intended) double-backwards-think that the FS order system requires.
 
The order system does have its occasional “wow” moments. But even a broken clock is right twice in a day.
 
Somebody mentioned A Game of Thrones. I absolutely LOVE the order system in that game. I have even pondered trying to mimic it with Forbidden Stars, but there are too many differences in the nuances of the game to make it satisfying. Which is a pity, because while I love the order system of Game of Thrones, I hate the game overall, so I would like a game that could “replace” it on my shelf. The search continues.
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