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Mechs vs. Minions» Forums » General

Subject: Precalculation rss

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David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
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While you get 40 seconds to select your cards after they are dealt out, it's very tempting to look at your situation before the cards are dealt out and figure out in advance what cards you would like. (With not so many cards in the deck, your chance of getting what you want is often pretty good.) Does this violate the spirit of the timer? Obviously, in principle, you could figure out a ranked list of all of the cards you would like in order of desirability, which would make the time limit completely redundant.
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Paul Newsham
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Halifax
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In groups that tend towards this, I'd use the timer for a quick discussion phase, deal cards, then time again for the draft
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Chris Cantrell
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Every group is different, but I actually really appreciated this form of discussion. In playtests, these 'blind strategic discussions' felt more collaborative and were less prone to AP or quarterbacking - the two things the timer was designed to prevent. It added to the teamwork and engagement where I think groups had a chance to check in and cared about the decisions of their allies.

So this is very much in the spirit of what we intended, but if you feel your group is spending 5 minutes engaged in a mind-numbing discussion and the game is grinding to a halt, I would encourage you to avoid pre-draft chats.

Again, every group will be different.
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Mr Yorga
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I play with my kids and we don't use the timer. Things can get quite intense as it is and adding the timer in would just cause sibling arguments (the first player grabbing what they want because the clock is ticking, the sibling moaning as that was the one they really wanted etc.) Everyone generally knows what sort of card they want and we have a quick chat and negotiate around that and then move on (probably taking around a 40 seconds to a minute anyway). We don't have AP as everyone is excited to get to the Command Line phase; no-ones quaterbacking as they have their own command line to run.....it's just a sweet, sweet design.

We just had our backsides kicked by Mission 3 and I'm thinking maybe next time we go through the scenarios we'll maybe start to use the timer to see what happens.
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oystein eker
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Unspecified
sola
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We do not use it during strategic phase. It runs quick any way.

Just:

"I need to get rid of a damage card"

"I am close to the bomb, I need movement to push it"

Then we flip up each card with a short comment:

"This card removes damage"

Then we start the timer.




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Stephen Cooper
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Old Bridge
New Jersey
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Sometimes at the end of a round my command line is completely different, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from how I programmed it. Right before the draft I like to look over where I am and my command line to understand what my mech will do and what I would need. This takes 30-45 seconds I don't say anything out lout until the timer starts though. I thought this was in the spirit of the game and doesn't bog anything down.
 
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Will Buck
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Minnesota
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We have had the same experience, it's usually a quick 10 seconds of silence for everyone to consider which of the 12 possible cards would help them the most right now (and later, it's often a binary "I need a repair" or "I need to reprogram", or just a 1/3 of "I need to rotate" or "I need one more move"), and then going around the horn to vocalize that, and work out prioritization in case of conflicts (if 3 people need a repair, we recognize its unlikely to come up 3/5 red/blue)
 
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Kirk Wagner
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Maryland
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I have a group where the precalculation was becoming excessive. We started using the timer to limit the precalc, and then trigger the draft.

However, that was awkward if the precalc was short, as we now had to wait for the timer to finish, so it would be set for the draft.

So, I intend to get a second timer, likely for 1 or two minutes, to use solely for precalc.
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Stephen Cooper
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KirkWagner wrote:
I have a group where the precalculation was becoming excessive. We started using the timer to limit the precalc, and then trigger the draft.

However, that was awkward if the precalc was short, as we now had to wait for the timer to finish, so it would be set for the draft.

So, I intend to get a second timer, likely for 1 or two minutes, to use solely for precalc.


2 minutes is way to long IMO
 
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Riot Kades wrote:
Every group is different, but I actually really appreciated this form of discussion. In playtests, these 'blind strategic discussions' felt more collaborative and were less prone to AP or quarterbacking - the two things the timer was designed to prevent. It added to the teamwork and engagement where I think groups had a chance to check in and cared about the decisions of their allies.

So this is very much in the spirit of what we intended, but if you feel your group is spending 5 minutes engaged in a mind-numbing discussion and the game is grinding to a halt, I would encourage you to avoid pre-draft chats.

Again, every group will be different.

We played our first couple games and this was precisely our experience. The precalc phase was quite casual but useful, and at the same time we really appreciated the AP-combating timer for draft. If I was going to add a timer to anything, it wouldn't be precalc but programming, which can induce a touch of AP as well (we had 3, so one person had two cards eve round), but we were quite challenged as is so no need. :p
 
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Jason
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Ogden
Utah
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With my group, we flip the cards, read how they work (since not everyone is familiar, yet), and start the timer. While the timer is going we indicate if one (or more) of the cards is what we need.

I think it's funner if we're playing a little more loose, and there's only time to think about my command line.
 
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