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Subject: AG-8 rss

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David Griffin
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I have to admit I don't grok this one. The pattern seems to result in this ship being destroyed every time (barring fabulous luck).

It does very well till the internal threats start and then it can't generate enough dice to take care of them. Then either threats or internal threat infirmary cards reduce you to no dice and you eventually die because the internal threats sending dice to the infirmary works for grabbing dice from the drones.

6 dice just isn't enough for this ship. Or else, there have to be more that can be done with the dice you do roll or you need to be able to recall drone dice without rolling a med die.

Am I missing something?

EDIT: tried it with 8 dice and got to the super boss ship but it fried me in one turn with a 6. I gave myself 1 extra hull and was able to destroy it so 8 dice seems pretty balanced. But 6 is just too few with the need to lock in 2-3 of them all the time. Not worth playing with 6 unless you're looking for something you can only win with colossal luck.
 
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Stephan Beal
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carbon_dragon wrote:
I have to admit I don't grok this one. The pattern seems to result in this ship being destroyed every time (barring fabulous luck).

It does very well till the internal threats start and then it can't generate enough dice to take care of them. Then either threats or internal threat infirmary cards reduce you to no dice and you eventually die because the internal threats sending dice to the infirmary works for grabbing dice from the drones.


LOL - i played this ship for the first time ever about 4 hours ago and this was the exact same for me. i had two drones in place, one scan-locked, then two internal threats each sent crew to the infirmary, two turns in a row.

But now that i think about it... maybe one could move a drone die (as a crew member die) to the infirmary? Probably not, i guess.

carbon_dragon wrote:
6 dice just isn't enough for this ship. Or else, there have to be more that can be done with the dice you do roll or you need to be able to recall drone dice without rolling a med die.


+1 to that.
 
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David Griffin
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sgbeal wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
I have to admit I don't grok this one. The pattern seems to result in this ship being destroyed every time (barring fabulous luck).

It does very well till the internal threats start and then it can't generate enough dice to take care of them. Then either threats or internal threat infirmary cards reduce you to no dice and you eventually die because the internal threats sending dice to the infirmary works for grabbing dice from the drones.


LOL - i played this ship for the first time ever about 4 hours ago and this was the exact same for me. i had two drones in place, one scan-locked, then two internal threats each sent crew to the infirmary, two turns in a row.

But now that i think about it... maybe one could move a drone die (as a crew member die) to the infirmary? Probably not, i guess.

carbon_dragon wrote:
6 dice just isn't enough for this ship. Or else, there have to be more that can be done with the dice you do roll or you need to be able to recall drone dice without rolling a med die.


+1 to that.


I tried a few strategies with reprogramming drones and 2 vs. 3 vs. 4 drones but the ability of the internal threats (or external ones) to send drones to the infirmary and the difficulty to get them back out there were just too unbalanced. Without that last bit of bad luck though I would have won with 8 dice. It felt pretty right. It's still awkward having rolled dice that are ONLY useful for so limited things. I would want to use weapon dice to fire (not just the drone) and to repair and to remove threats etc. But you just can't put 2-4 dice of 6 locked into the drones with the infirmary and threats in the mix and end up with a good experience.

Nice idea but it's not right yet.
 
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David Griffin
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Adding dice to the game is the "easiest" solution to the "this ship runs out of dice too easily" problem, but getting more dice isn't easy for a custom dice game. What other solutions can we have to change the ship to work with 6 dice. Note that this is brainstorming.

1. Not lock in the dice for drones? Seems overpowered and you'd need a way to keep track of what drones you have.
2. Allow user to reprogram the drone with ANY dice (See Equilibrium on Mononoware). Helps because you don't always get a command dice. Not sure it is enough.
3. When a threat sends a dice to the infirmary, don't allow it to grab a drone dice. This allows you to possibly finish out a game even after you lose all your dice (except the drones) instead of dying slowly (or quickly).
4. Allow you to return a drone die to returned in order to do it's action 3 times (Death blossom mode if you get the reference -- man am I old).
5. Put player created guns, repair, and so on back onto the ship so that the crew (such as there are) can actually do things in addition to what the drones are doing. Hard part is fitting it into the drawing but it might be possible.
6. Allow the command die to not only reprogram a drone but also change an unassigned (unused) die. This would be helpful for internal threats to keep them from being quite so destructive. I know you have the re-roll thing (by the way does that re-roll the command die too?) but just changing the other dice OR changing it's own face to any other die would help enormously.

So we wouldn't do all of these (or maybe any of them) but some of them or even one of them might make the difference without losing the different way this ship plays. But going from invincible to dead is just too frustrating for this ship IMHO.
 
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Tony Go
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Have you tried removing cards like Friendly Fire and other heavily punishing internal threats? Piloting the AG-8 is very much about how to balance crew and drones. If you roll a medic and you're doing fine with 2+ tactical drones and full hull, go ahead and recall your drone and keep it around as crew. Because drones get locked into their positions and are not rolled, this means they are serving valuable needs while NOT having the potential to be rolled into threats. You can see how this would result in a very powerful ship were it not for the it's weakness against internal threats. A bunch of drones also makes for a very passive, non-compelling gaming experience.

While I admire the versatility of board games to adapt to their players, the game is winnable with the AG-8. What I will say is that the deck is mostly the same from game to game. If you're sailing smoothly, know that internal threats are in there and they will show up. Be prepared. I mean, while playing one of the other ships, how convenient is it to have Friendly Fire show up on a turn in which you didn't roll any tactical dice at all. It's funny how inconsequential one card can appear under the right circumstances whistle
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David Griffin
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Horror Leader wrote:
Have you tried removing cards like Friendly Fire and other heavily punishing internal threats? Piloting the AG-8 is very much about how to balance crew and drones. If you roll a medic and you're doing fine with 2+ tactical drones and full hull, go ahead and recall your drone and keep it around as crew. Because drones get locked into their positions and are not rolled, this means they are serving valuable needs while NOT having the potential to be rolled into threats. You can see how this would result in a very powerful ship were it not for the it's weakness against internal threats. A bunch of drones also makes for a very passive, non-compelling gaming experience.

While I admire the versatility of board games to adapt to their players, the game is winnable with the AG-8. What I will say is that the deck is mostly the same from game to game. If you're sailing smoothly, know that internal threats are in there and they will show up. Be prepared. I mean, while playing one of the other ships, how convenient is it to have Friendly Fire show up on a turn in which you didn't roll any tactical dice at all. It's funny how inconsequential one card can appear under the right circumstances whistle


Thanks for responding. What are the chances of you doing a few videos for the ships other than Halcyon?

No I haven't removed cards yet but I'm playing with all the panic cards in. My easiest solution to get a winnable but still challenging game is to just add 2 dice.

Regards Friendly fire, I actually played it so that I couldn't discard it until a turn where there WAS a tactical die at first. It was only watching someone else play that I realized I could discard it if there no tactical dice that turn.

As far as recalling drones, my experience so far is that it's MURDER to roll an engineering dice and ANYTHING else I can put in the drone such that I have been VERY hesitant to recall drones. Maybe that is just me rolling. As I suggested above, some kind of better way to change the few dice you end up rolling would help but you may be luckier than I am.

My brainstorming above is partly to get comments on what you and others think of the various options -- not solely to "fix" the ship, but rather to understand the game better -- to see how each option would change the play experience and the challenge level. The greater understanding will help me play even with unmodified ships.

The ships I'm messing with in Variants are also more for understanding about what aspects of the ship do to the play. When I designed a bunch of ships for my own use in Star Trek Attack Wing it really helped me to understand how various designs in the real ships worked and how to play them better.

From an in-story perspective, it's hard to see the AG-8 as a replacement for the Halcyon (more like the reverse). And the alien ship likewise seems as if it would be more like an emergency replacement than a one of a kind superior one. But we might see differently if we can see how you handle it in a game (win or lose, it's the strategy that counts).

EDIT: Well I've won with 6 dice with AG-8. I very much tried to recall drones, add them, reprogram them as smart as I could but of course you do not typically know what is coming. I suspect telepath is something I should learn to use more especially with AG-8 and Mononoaware. But the ship's weaknesses make it hard to play (which is I guess the intention).

The 2 threat positions, the inability to remove a threat with a med dice, the inability to change a die with a command die and so on make the ship unique but also somewhat crippled. Add to that the loss of 2-3 dice almost all the time of 6 and it's a ship you need both prescience and luck to win with.

Still I can't say it's a bad design because it depends on what the objective is. If the objective is to make it harder to win and to create a ship that requires a different style of play, it works. But you have to be the kind of person who doesn't mind losing most of the time.
 
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