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Subject: Variant race - Darlok (the Spy Race) rss

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Ivan Alaiz
Spain
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I just designed this and it is yet to be tested, I will update the thread as playtesting goes but I would really appreciate input either by playtesting or initial thoughts.

The concept of the race is the MOO Darlok race, and introducing the mechanics of "Stealing Technology" and "Sabotaging Ships"

Starting Sector:
Any Spare Human sector


Special Rules:

Different blueprints: No Dreadnoughts

Nobody Likes spies: Start with the traitor card

Special Action: Steal Technology
During setup Set 1 blank tech token aside.
During a research action you may only choose technologies that someone else has researched already, pay the normal cost and take it from the reserve (or from next turns draw if playing with that variant), if not available take it from the bag, if not in the bag either once per game you may use the blank tech token set aside during setup to mark it.

Special action: Sabotage
During an Inf action they can flip two colony ships to blow 1 ship in any non contested sector or any sector with a Darlok influence disk, pay the ship cost in materials to do so. Ships without a cost cannot be blown.

Influence action only resets 1 C ship.



Early Thoughts:

I thought of this as they could be really fun to play, having the capacity to affect things going on on the other side of the board.

The Research approach is very powerful being able to copy even 1 rare technology per game, but it is also self limiting as the player cannot research any technology not already researched by anyone.

The Sabotage action can be really powerful and screw someone up but the price is high as both the target and the Darlok player lose the equivalent resources and the action, and it has limited offensive capabilities as the Darlok have no dreadnought blueprint.

Starting with the traitor card may be too harsh but I wanted to reflect the fact that they should have a harder time making friends given their reputation...
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Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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THE traktor card makes it impossible for them to Exchange Ambassadors until someone else is betrayed. That sounds harsh.

Perhaps allow them once per game to flip two Colony ships to get rid of THE traktor card. Since those ships are especially useful at the start of the game, it gives the player the difficult choice of when to get rid of the card.

Or a bit more extreme; the race starts with four colony ships, but can give up two ships permanently to get rid of the traitor card. So it can do so twice per game (but it uses the option to sabotage enemy ships).

You could think of giving the race a discount on technology if they steal it from a race that they have exchanged ambassadors with. Story wise, it would be easier to steal from a race that you have access to, and mechanics-wise, it stimulates the player to get rid of the traitor card.

Questions:
* Can the race sabotage Ancients (if it would want to)? The Galactic Defense Center? The mothership of Vanish's race?
* Does the race get VP for sabotaged ships? I would say it doesn't.

Edit: I see that you already answered my first question in your original post.

Edit 2: Traktor card? One day in the not too distant future, I'll put my iPad's automatic spelling corrector up against the wall and have it shot.
 
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Ivan Alaiz
Spain
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Hi As I see it you only get VP for killing ships in combat so no.

To answer your first question in case it's not evident for others, ships with no cost cannot be sabotaged.

The initial traitor does seem harsh but i thought I'd rather err on the side of caution when trying to balance it...

Not having ambassadors is a drawback but not as good as not having to worry about getting the imp hull or the neutron bombs... that's a very powerful thing.

If the traitorncard nerf proves too big instead of complicating it I am thinking about letting the darlok do normal researches as well as the spy ones to balance it out it may be simpler than the solutions you are proposing to get rid of the traitor...

 
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