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Subject: Freely Rearranging/Discarding Machine Parts rss

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Jared B
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On page 7 of the rules, under "Building Your Invention," there are two odd rules:

#3 At any time, you may freely rearrange any/all of the Machine Parts in your Invention, including your Inventor Cockpit. Machine Parts that you are unable to properly connect back to your Inventor Cockpit are discarded.

#4 At any time, you may discard unwanted Machine Parts from your Invention.

First of all, when it says "at any time," does this include after someone plays a Boost card that references machine size or incomplete connections, but before the effects resolve?

Second, what's the purpose of these rules, beyond exploiting Boosts as above? To me, it seems to take away all of the strategy of machine construction, and my group chooses to ignore both rules. Is there any reason we shouldn't?
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Chris Laudermilk
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I think that once a boost card has been played, you must resolve that as a single action. Other than that, any time means any time.

If you are going to play a boost card on yourself with limits on machine size, you may want to drop a card to make your boost card work better (I'm thinking something like Mass Ejection or Jump Jets(?)--don't have the cards in front of me right now).

Aside from the boost card effects, and during draft or damage phase it really doesn't matter either way IMHO.
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Paul Saxberg
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Firstly, regarding house rules, you are of course always free to play the game however you prefer... it's your game now, after all!

The Roxley playtest team *has* been playing "at any time" to mean literally at any time, including in response to a Boost card being played (e.g. to chop off parts to render yourself less susceptible to attack). (There are a couple of expansion cards this is a good tactic against.) I will call Orin's attention to this thread, however, in case he wishes to overrule this.

In general play the purpose is just to provide players with some flexibility. Many people get frustrated with the inability to place "puzzle pieces" onto their machine during gameplay... this provides a specific balance of restriction vs. freedom. If you prefer it the other way, by all means do so (just make sure that everybody at the table knows before you start the game, in case any of them are used to playing the other way.)

One other specific way I frequently see players use this rule: say you have an Aerostat that is full of dice, and you draft a new Aerostat. Simply chop off the old one, play the new one in its place, and it's almost as good as venting the whole thing.
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Orin Bishop
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We felt that the interesting part of machine construction was balancing the ratio of bronze connector parts to other parts (which also helps force more interesting combos than just "get dice, use them to move" if you could have only gold and silver parts).

In our playtesting, getting a part you need, but being unable to attach it, was too random and frustrating, and not necessarily related to good planning (since you have no control over the valve orientations you draw or are passed), so this is the primary purpose of the discard/rearrange rules. Choosing whether to discard to make room is also more tactically interesting I feel than simply being unable to attach a part.

The reason it is "at any time" is mainly that we have a general philosophy of not restricting player actions unnecessarily. Also if rearranging was only allowed during drafting, a player might obsessively rearrange to minimize incomplete connections on the off-chance that it might become relevant later, and we felt that being able to just leave your machine in a configuration that looked cool was more fun (and less punishing to new players who might not know about such effects).

That said, if your group doesn't find it frustrating to get a part that they are unable to attach, and prefer planning ahead to the choice of whether or not to discard, I see no other issues. Maybe try a game as intended and decide which method your group prefers!
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