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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Trade Agreement betrayal penalty rss

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Jason Ellis
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After having played a game, I feel like the trade agreement rules need a couple house rules to give them more weight. As they stand now, they feel a little tacked on.

One clarification I would house rule (and reviewing the other trade agreement thread it seems this is the general consensus even though it's not clear in the actual rule book) is that you have to negotiate the swapping of trade agreements and agree to accept your opponent's. In the rules, it sounds like you just hand them one regardless if they agree or not.

As always, you can revoke your own trade agreement or swap it per normal.

If you betray an opponent that you have a trade agreement with, I feel there should be a penalty levied in the rules. Taking an idea from Eclipse where you receive the traitor card that is worth -2 VPs, if you betray an opponent that you have a trade agreement with, then you should loose an Ascendency token or some number of culture resources as you have proven you are not that civilized.

I feel this add a bit of weight to the trade agreements, but I'm curious to hear other player's thoughts and suggestions.
 
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Marc Bennett
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GamerGeekJason wrote:
After having played a game, I feel like the trade agreement rules need a couple house rules to give them more weight. As they stand now, they feel a little tacked on.

One clarification I would house rule (and reviewing the other trade agreement thread it seems this is the general consensus even though it's not clear in the actual rule book) is that you have to negotiate the swapping of trade agreements and agree to accept your opponent's. In the rules, it sounds like you just hand them one regardless if they agree or not.

As always, you can revoke your own trade agreement or swap it per normal.

If you betray an opponent that you have a trade agreement with, I feel there should be a penalty levied in the rules. Taking an idea from Eclipse where you receive the traitor card that is worth -2 VPs, if you betray an opponent that you have a trade agreement with, then you should loose an Ascendency token or some number of culture resources as you have proven you are not that civilized.

I feel this add a bit of weight to the trade agreements, but I'm curious to hear other player's thoughts and suggestions.


if it costs me an ascendancy to remove a now unwanted trade agreement, the simple fact is i will never issue a trade agreement. many aspects of this game are intentionally simple because it is a core set and many aspects just come naturally through player interaction.
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Tim Earl
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We've only played one game as well, but I don't see the need for this.

The trade agreement, in our case, provided a balancing mechanism as one player had better luck with the planets he discovered. The other two players linked up quickly and swapped trade agreements so they could build fleets to go out and challenge the 3rd player. At one point, he did try to entice one of the allies to take back the TA and form one with him, but he didn't bite.

So I think it worked well as written. We'll see how it plays out over time.
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Dan Weber
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I'll need to play it a few more times before I feel like the trade agreements are too easily broken. I do see where you're coming from, though.

It seems awfully simple to enter and break them, but that may be the point. The big benefit is production at the end of the turn AND only if allowed by the rival movement through his controlled areas. The decision to break one and therefore lose that steady stream of production seems like at this point a good enough reason to not want to break them. It really doesn't do much for you except at the end of the turn, that movement thing is where game negotiation would take place. But I'd need to see them played out over longer periods of time. I know in our game it wasn't until I hit like my 6th planet I was able to find production nodes so using a TA as soon as I could would be a good idea.

The game does seem to encourage a goodly amount of interaction via hegemony, invasion, combat as well. They may be easy to add/remove since they aren't going to be in effect all that long during games once players find each other, depending on how interactive each player is.
 
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Craig S.
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This should probably be in the "Variants" forum, since there is no rules question being discussed.
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Tommy Roman
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I have raised a question like this before:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1632052/request-clarificati...

but the answers people were kind enough to share still don't completely address my central issue with the current mechanism: there is not a significant cost to betrayal other than the attacker loses the TA with his/her opponent (and then will more likely than not revoke their own TA to avoid given their opponent free resources). The end effect is that the attacker unilaterally decides to deny both players expected resources that turn.

I am not labelling this mechanism "broken", but it does seem superfluous. More than resources are lost in this transaction: trust and time are casualties, too. This could be a very engaging aspect of the game, but the absence of consequences for the betrayer feels like the rules were never finished. I wish that the rules were adjusted so the opponent would receive resources from the betrayer's TA immediately (thematically capturing the attacker's freighters as spoils of war). As an alternative, the betrayer could lose one culture token (not ascendancy) as a penalty. This would give them pause to consider their actions balanced against the race to a supremacy victory.

I probably wouldn't have an issue with this trade mechanic if they're were 4 or more players. I just think the dysfunction is at its worst in a three player contest.
 
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Tim Earl
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tommygunn2011 wrote:
I wish that the rules were adjusted so the opponent would receive resources from the betrayer's TA immediately (thematically capturing the attacker's freighters as spoils of war).


How is that thematic? If you're going to break a trade agreement, you're probably going to prepare for retaliation by making sure you don't have any ships in vulnerable positions when you do so.
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Jason Ellis
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Klaxas wrote:
if it costs me an ascendancy to remove a now unwanted trade agreement, the simple fact is i will never issue a trade agreement. many aspects of this game are intentionally simple because it is a core set and many aspects just come naturally through player interaction.


I was thinking some more and Ascendancy is kind of rough, so was thinking of trying the house rule with the loss of two culture.

This isn't as rough, but you sacrifice your reputation (culture) if you betray a trade agreement. Thematically and gameplay wise, this presents some interesting scenarios where an opponent might revoke their trade agreement with you, but you decide to just swap out yours with a lesser one, keeping an "uneasy peace" between the two of you and forcing him to really decide if he wants to risk open hostilities.

Again, just a thought.
 
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Jason Ellis
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csouth154 wrote:
This should probably be in the "Variants" forum, since there is no rules question being discussed.


My apologies, I don't post here often, so you're probably right. If an admin would like to move it that would be great.
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Tommy Roman
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cheng wrote:
tommygunn2011 wrote:
I wish that the rules were adjusted so the opponent would receive resources from the betrayer's TA immediately (thematically capturing the attacker's freighters as spoils of war).


How is that thematic? If you're going to break a trade agreement, you're probably going to prepare for retaliation by making sure you don't have any ships in vulnerable positions when you do so.


While I'm sure that a player evaluates many variables to support their decision to betray their rival by attacking them, perhaps not all the stars align and they decide that the gain from the attack is worth the loss of one or two ships. Or maybe that the sudden withdrawal of ships from a rival's sector is the tell to an impending attack? But perhaps the most persuasive factor in the decision to betray is the current lack of consequence.
 
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Liam
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Moved from Rules to Variants.
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Marc Bennett
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GamerGeekJason wrote:
Klaxas wrote:
if it costs me an ascendancy to remove a now unwanted trade agreement, the simple fact is i will never issue a trade agreement. many aspects of this game are intentionally simple because it is a core set and many aspects just come naturally through player interaction.


I was thinking some more and Ascendancy is kind of rough, so was thinking of trying the house rule with the loss of two culture.

This isn't as rough, but you sacrifice your reputation (culture) if you betray a trade agreement. Thematically and gameplay wise, this presents some interesting scenarios where an opponent might revoke their trade agreement with you, but you decide to just swap out yours with a lesser one, keeping an "uneasy peace" between the two of you and forcing him to really decide if he wants to risk open hostilities.

Again, just a thought.
what if they have no culture? you are looking for a cost in the rules and its not there, but there are other costs. reputation is not measured by culture, the klingons have a poor reputation for being aggressive bastards but they can still have a strong culture. the cost in reputation is already represented but not by a game mechanic it is imposed by the other players, they are the ones that you have a reputation with after all.
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Maldus Alver

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I always find the Traitor card in Eclipse something of not really a big deal. Sure people pull it but usually it is passed around until it lands on either the pirate or the lowest scoring player who was never going to win anyways. I sort of wish there was like a penalty for being allied to the traitor in Eclipse like -1 so that the traitor card would be much more punishing.

As for Trade well I wished that there was a little more complex not just the 1-2-and 3 production (some research would have been nice). I don't know the trade agreements feels too close to Twilight imperium where it is just trade goods, thing is twilight imperium had diffrent trade values. Maybe after the Ferengi expansion come in there would be a little more to do with trade but who knows.
 
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Tim Earl
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Marinealver wrote:
As for Trade well I wished that there was a little more complex not just the 1-2-and 3 production (some research would have been nice).


The Federation has an advancement that does just that. I was the beneficiary of that in a game where I (as the Klingons) never found a planet that could take a research node.
 
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James J

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GamerGeekJason wrote:

One clarification I would house rule (and reviewing the other trade agreement thread it seems this is the general consensus even though it's not clear in the actual rule book) is that you have to negotiate the swapping of trade agreements and agree to accept your opponent's. In the rules, it sounds like you just hand them one regardless if they agree or not.


Maybe the other thread you are referencing is very new, but I don't recall hearing this interpretation before. Going back and re-reading the Trade rules, I guess you could say that a trade card can be forcibly given, but that's not how I interpreted it. If I don't want to accept a trade card initially, I won't. Once I enter into that agreement, however, I'm stuck with it until such time as I betray them. It doesn't make sense thematically or mechanically to force someone into an alliance simply because you ran into each other.
 
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Tabula Zero
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GamerGeekJason wrote:
After having played a game, I feel like the trade agreement rules need a couple house rules to give them more weight. As they stand now, they feel a little tacked on.

One clarification I would house rule (and reviewing the other trade agreement thread it seems this is the general consensus even though it's not clear in the actual rule book) is that you have to negotiate the swapping of trade agreements and agree to accept your opponent's. In the rules, it sounds like you just hand them one regardless if they agree or not.

As always, you can revoke your own trade agreement or swap it per normal.

If you betray an opponent that you have a trade agreement with, I feel there should be a penalty levied in the rules. Taking an idea from Eclipse where you receive the traitor card that is worth -2 VPs, if you betray an opponent that you have a trade agreement with, then you should loose an Ascendency token or some number of culture resources as you have proven you are not that civilized.

I feel this add a bit of weight to the trade agreements, but I'm curious to hear other player's thoughts and suggestions.


I too think there should be a mechanical penalty for breaking a trade agreement. What I think I am going to apply is as follow:

"when you break or betray a trade agreement, you immediately pay the aggrieved party a number of resources (of your choosing) up to the value of your trade agreement."

You can still break it but it will cost you something. This means you have to be extra carefull when trading the 3 resource agreement. Less so with the 1 resource one.
 
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