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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Shields and Weapons too expensive? rss

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Zenjoy
Australia
Perth
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Realize its my third "variant post" so far, but my head is racing with thoughts on how to make this game more interesting and (as I feel) more balanced.

Currently I feel the rate of Production in most games are good, and culture is acceptable (it can rush a bit depending on how you develop yourself, but that's how the game plays).

However I do feel Research is often lacking. And while I feel the cost of the Advancements are acceptable, I feel the Shields and Weapons lose in that they get very expensive very fast.

As it currently stands, upgrading you shields to level 1 costs as much research as it does to build 3 research labs or to develop your most expensive Advancment (and still cost +1 more over that!).

To get to Shields 2 you need spend even MORE research, taking it to a total of 14 Research (aka = 6 + 8). And thats just the first two levels out of five. I have heard some players have pooled all their Research tokens into doing this, forgoing Advancements to do so, but that seems lacking for me.

If you're the Klingon's its not too big an issue. You will always hit on 6. And for 3 Research the Romulans can do the same with their Disruptors. Thus, a player could spend 14 Research only to have their "invulnerability" shut down for only 3 Research. That seems VERY extreme as far as cost goes.

Thus I have started to wonder, should we just reduce the cost of these?

I'm not saying make them cheap! But I am suggesting it may be better if they were more affordable. Thus I am thinking of proposing the following to my group:

Weapon Upgrading is -1 Cheaper (making it 3, 5, 7, 9 = 24 instead of 4, 6, 8, 10 = 28)

Shield Upgrading is -2 Cheaper (making it 4, 6, 8, 10 = 28 instead of 6, 8, 10, 12 = 36)

This brings the cost of the weapons more in line with the cost of Advancements (starting a 3 + 5 = 8 to get to 3+ hits) which feels more comfortable, and shields also becomes more cost effective but still costly.

This in turn would leave more Research available for Advancements to be completed.

Finally, this would also make Disruptors a little more useful if Shields become too powerful due to their lower cost.

Thoughts? Please counteract. I feel this is a worthwhile variant, but same time I want to be certain before I take too much action.
 
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Tommy Roman
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I have also thought a lot about the scaled pricing of weapons and shield upgrades, but have assumed the designers made it this way for an (undisclosed) reason.

I don't have many games under my belt yet, but within my play group none of us have yet fully researched either upgrade tree. Usually we just get one or two levels. I've spent most of my counters on building additional research nodes and advancing projects (which is a particularly important source of additional culture tokens for the Romulans).

The upgrade design could have been different:

-Values remain the same but you can spend a mix of production and research tokens to purchase them;

-Reduce research costs but require minimum ascendancy advances to purchase them (i.e. 2 ascendancy for level 2 weapons/shields, 3 ascendancy for level level 3, etc.);

-Like above, with reduced costs but require minimum number of research nodes for upgrades;

-Upgrade costs are similar, but not exact, across the different races (i.e. shields are a little cheaper for the Federation and weapons a little less expensive for the Klingons/Romulans).

I'd like to hear more about your practical experiences with the modified costs you suggested.



 
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Maldus Alver

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IMHO I have never been a fan of a resource devoted entirely to research. I find it the weakest part of 4x games like Eclipse. Research isn't something you can necessarily quantify but that is getting off on a tangent.

Thing is in Ascendancy research is the middle resource. You can't build ships with as that is production the common resource, and you need the rare culture resource to win the game. Research is not as common as production and you don't win the game on research alone. A research rush will always lose to a culture rush strategy. Add to that research could be used to advance projects which could help you in the culture department (Romulans are a good example). So unless you are planning on a supremacy victory, You would want research on project rather than weapon/shield upgrades.
 
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Jon Snow
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I want to play the game more, and I've played it more than 10 times already, before adding such changes. This is because while very early players report upping weapons and shields like crazy, my group is just starting to do it now, as just a part of an overall strategy. The balance between player strategic options seems to have been pretty carefully thought out, and changes are coming in the near future with the expansions.

While I'm not afraid to tinker, and we've tried out some of the official options, I don't feel that this is a game to mess with yet. But hey, you're free to do as you wish, and I hope you'll report back to us on your several proposals on different threads here!
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William Hardy
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I, too, am reluctant to tinker until I've played many more games, but I also think research tokens are too scarce given everything you need them for. The usual strategy is to forego projects unless you have a bunch of phenomena to exploit. On the other hand, production quickly runs out of control, even for multiple players (unless they're all belligerent), and I've had to import tokens from other games to represent multiple production tokens. I like the idea of using some of these towards projects, perhaps 2 or 3 production equals one research, playable during the building phase (as usual). What worries me about this, and several of the suggestions above (e.g. using Ascendancy level) is that they may accelerate any growing advantages (the rich get richer, faster).
 
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Tim Earl
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In our games thus far, people have started projects early, with great effect. Projects which give you a culture or command token are in high demand, and some of the ones I remember people investing in were Cloaked Orbital Mines and the one where each fleet can ignore the first hit in combat. Also the Federation one that gives you research for a trade agreement.

We've definitely seen people upgrade weapons and shields, but not as much. In our last game, the Federation upgraded both twice, so they had a huge advantage.
 
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Ryan Long
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I dont know if cheaper would make a big difference... Last night we played 3 player and I cleaned up as the federation, all because they left me alone with my science nodes. I was able to upgrade my shields and weapons relatively quickly. and honestly once you get a level ahead of someone, let alone 2 levels, its almost game over unless they can upgrade as well. I guess cheaper would make the game run faster. Hard to say. My group was kind of upset with how big of an advantage of having 1 or 2 levels above another in a weapon/shield stat was. But thematically, it would make sense. I mean if you see your enemy upgrading their weapons and shields, you'd be thinking yikes, I better do the same. I think in our next game, people will watch that more closely.
 
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Mauro ErCima
Italy
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ALOHA in the last game all player see many expensive Weapon & Shield cost,we play with house rules -1 at weapon for Klingon & Romulan and -2 Shield for federation. But with 4/5 Research node after first step is too expensive,two ideas :
- -1 cost x Ascendacy token for weapon
- -1 cost x Research node for shield
Do you think?
 
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