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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » Variants

Subject: 2-player Variant Ideas (untested) rss

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Mark Ramsey
Canada
North Delta
British Columbia
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This variant is mostly focused on the set-up of a 2 player game. I've thrown in some (untested) rule changes/ideas that I think could help balance things out a bit.

Player 1 is in charge of initial galaxy set-up.
- The three starting home-worlds are removed from the planet deck, and all planets / phenomena are shuffled.
- Player 1 places one planet tile face-down in the centre of the play area (galactic centre).
- Player one then builds outwards from the centre tile in 2 directions, placing space-lanes and planets (face-down) until there are two routes from the centre planet, each at least 3 systems in length, and terminating with an open-ended space lane. Face down systems are revealed when explored.

- Player 2 gets to choose at the end of which route they will place their home-world. Player 1 places their home-world at the other open end. So, in this set-up, First Contact is established at the start of the game.

- The unused home-world is then shuffled back into the planet deck. All planet draws from now on are drawn from the bottom of the pile (to conceal the location of the 3rd home-world).

- When the 3rd home-world is encountered, it should be treated as a Warp-Capable Level 3 Civilization. (Still thinking about some kind of AI mechanic to make them more interesting / relevant).

- Trade Agreements. I like the idea of an open-auction (current player starts the bid, bidding continues until someone is out) to establish a (randomly picked) Trade Agreement with the NPC faction (only revealed after bidding is complete). A random card could come back up for re-auction every time somebody takes the lead on Ascendancy, or a player could force an auction anytime an Ascendancy token is purchased if they wish. (Of course, if you attack the NPC home-world, you would lose that trade agreement). I think that for the two player game, adjacency should not be required to establish trade agreements (either between players or the NPC). The players have the option to establish Trade Alliances between themselves if they wish.

- Ascendancy. Players are only permitted to purchase 1 Ascendancy token per game turn. This could slow down a run-away leader and limit how often the NPC Trade Agreement comes up for auction.

- It makes sense to me that victory conditions would remain the same - you'd have to control all three home-worlds or reach 5 Ascendancy to claim victory.

I've tested none of the ideas above - I welcome feedback, alternate suggestions, etc. It feels to me like there's a good 2-player experience in here somewhere!

 
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Maldus Alver

Washington
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I think that the NPC idea could be issued in expansion. With the current format a couple immediately come to mind.
-Bajorans: Act as a neutral space faring race that has the misfortune of being in a vital system both strategically and vitally that all the major powers in the galaxy vie for control over it.
-Borg: more like a terror that will start attacking and assimilating planets in a random order.
-Dominion: Welcome to the Gamma Quadrant, but to be honest your ships are an unwelcomed site. Try to conquer or colonize the gamma quadrant in the middle of marauding JemH'adar and changling infiltraitors sabatoging. On top of that they have powerful ships that can if the founders decide about it invade your homeworld.

Thing is that all NPC factions have to be a playable faction in 3+ players game. Just that in a 2 player game these factions would not be allowed.
 
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Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
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There's a much simpler way to handle 2 players - just remove Trade Agreements from play.
 
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Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
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DarrellKH wrote:
There's a much simpler way to handle 2 players - just remove Trade Agreements from play.
We did that over the weekend. My wife won as the Klingons on turn 3 after my big fleet got destroyed by the crystalline entity at the end of turn 2 and then she won the initiative, connects the empires and I could not roll higher than a 3. It sort of worked, just not as a 4x game. We probably screwed things up, but she liked winning.
 
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Shrouded In Mystery
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I would say you could even keep trade agreements if you wanted. Just change supremacy victory to: you must control the enemy home system + each system where they have a starbase). You could also just make it a majority of their starbases to save time, ie - in they case they had all 3 then 2/3 would be sufficient.
 
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