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Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » General

Subject: Expansion impact on "missions-strategy" rss

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Felix Brause
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Something that just came to my mind after playing Xia yesterday.

The expansion comes with 11 new sector tiles and 32 new missions cards.

How do you guys think it will influence the early game strategy epxloring and doing missions? The original game comes with 52 mission cards and 21 sector tiles. So both pools will be added to significantly.
Adding to the problem to get the right missions anyway, especially in the early rounds, will it be the "death" of missions?

Or do you guys find a way around that? maybe drawing two and keeping one. Or allowing to have more inactive missions in front of you, so you can keep some?

Also i noticed while i was checking the kickstarter page. In the stretch goals are 4 new sector tiles... but no mission cards regarding these sectors? Was that clarified/corrected/adressed in one of the kickstarter updates and I just forgot?

CanĀ“t wait for the expansion. What are your thoughts about the missions in the expansion?
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Nate Johnson
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In my experience both playtesting the expansion, and using a bunch of custom map tiles to enlarge the board, missions can slow down a bit. BUT, the expansion also adds the ability to hold more missions and swap them out more often, kind of like you mentioned (if that's what you prefer). The new missions being added simply offer more variety and most of them felt very natural to add to the mix. I wouldn't say the mission deck is more diluted or less appealing.
Overall, I think missions are just as valuable as before. Exploration gets a bit more interesting with the new tiles and mechanics introduced. With new exploration rewards and the chance for an asteroid or a gravity well to throw you off makes it a bit more risk vs reward. In my opinion, there are a LOT of improvements introduced with the expansion, even solo play missions/"campaign". I'm a huge fan of the original base game, but the expansion makes it even better. And the fact that the modules of the expac don't have to all be used makes it very customizable. If you find you don't like some aspect, just take it out!
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Derek Dyer
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Quote:
How do you guys think it will influence the early game strategy epxloring and doing missions?
The expansion comes with a new set of exploration tokens, which improves exploration. It doesn't make it more or less of a winning strategy, about the same really, but it makes it more interesting.

Early game, missions are much harder. However I want to be clear that in vanilla Xia, missions are probably too good (too effective at winning the game), so that strategy could stand to be weakened a little bit. While the expansion adds enough tiles to probably overshoot bringing it down to the sweet spot, it adds a couple things that hopefully brings it back to being pretty close. I've played Solo quite a bit (which is tough, the margins are really tight between winning and losing), and a couple campaigns I've gone very mission heavy (with Solo rewards, and strategy).

So the expansion adds two things with regards to missions. First, is the M-Comp or Mission Computer. This is a single square mod that goes in your hold, and with it you can hold an additional active mission.

Quote:
Or do you guys find a way around that? maybe drawing two and keeping one.
I'm confused by this statement "draw two and keep one". In standard Xia you draw three mission cards and may keep one (or zero).

In the expansion they've added a common houserule, that speeds up play. When you pass a mission spot and want to draw, you do so and set the cards to the side. After your turn ends you have until the start of your next turn to go through these missions and decide which to keep. So yes, that means if you hit 3 mission spots, drawing 3 cards for each, you will have 9 cards to look through and figure out your next move, which is pretty nice.

Quote:
Also i noticed while i was checking the kickstarter page. In the stretch goals are 4 new sector tiles... but no mission cards regarding these sectors? Was that clarified/corrected/adressed in one of the kickstarter updates and I just forgot?
I don't know if it was ever addressed, but what makes you think that those sectors do not already have mission cards that target them?

Those additional sectors were fully playtested, in effect they were always intended to be in the game. Sure theoretically they might have been left out if the expansion had been less popular, and maybe Cody was surprised by the response to the KS, but I wasn't. At one point I asked Cody if those were all the sectors we were going to get, or if any might be added as additional goals, and he told me that those were all the sectors that had been playtested so there wouldn't be any more for this expansion.

I believe that there were still changes made after playtesting, and it's likely that some of the target/delivery locations for missions were changed before the final printing. I can also add that after just quickly going through most of the missions, only looking at the "Deliver:" line, I found at least 4 missions that end in those sectors, a couple of them at Samara Gate. So rest assured that those extra sectors are not any different from any of the other sectors added by the expansion.
 
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Ira Fay
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Missions are still nicely balanced with the expansion, and the new sector tiles definitely have missions that target them. Also, several new missions effectively start at "any planet" or "any place you can get certain cargo types", so there are some missions that can start at a variety of locations. The language on the cards aren't "any planet," but since the mission is to deliver a blaster/missile somewhere, it effectively starts at "any planet." These sorts of missions make missions feasible even in the early game, though of course you'll still need to find the delivery spot.

Also, the mission computer mod is key for a mission strategy, which lets you hold more missions simultaneously. In playtesting, we've found that players who want to go with a mission strategy really enjoy this.

Of course, missions require you to travel around to different locations. We've added a 3rd gate (Samara Gate) which keeps the galaxy a bit smaller, and there are some events that facilitate travel (wormholes). Also, perhaps most importantly, there is a new mod for engines called the GTS which gives you +2 per engine activation, up to the maximum value of that engine. It's extremely good, and we fully expect most players to use them on their ships - that's as intended, since the galaxy is bigger, and moving around doing stuff is fun. While the GTS supports other strategies as well (pretty much everything requires you to move around the galaxy), it certainly helps with missions too.

Finally, I'll note that missions in the solo campaign are also balanced, since there is a solo campaign upgrade path that supports missions and exploration, and there is a "free" explore that happens at the end of each round in the solo campaign. I've found missions to be perfectly viable even in a solo game, when you're the only one doing the exploring.
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Felix Brause
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Calinor wrote:

Quote:
Or do you guys find a way around that? maybe drawing two and keeping one.
I'm confused by this statement "draw two and keep one". In standard Xia you draw three mission cards and may keep one (or zero).


... sooooooooo. I checked the rules and now I have some explaining to do before the next round of XIA. We always drew one mission...

With three missions to choose the additional missions are not as diluting as I imagined.
Everything is fine !!!
Cheers and thanks for the rules refreshment
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Derek Dyer
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Quote:
With three missions to choose the additional missions are not as diluting as I imagined.
No it's not terrible, but even drawing 6 missions a turn, there are plenty of turns that do not advance your mission strategy. Easily 25-33% of the time you get nothing that's interesting.

One strategy that you can employ with an M-Comp, is to hold onto one mission and work on it while you draw as many missions as you can each turn to fill the other slot with an easy-medium mission.

You do need to keep two things in mind however. First, you cannot draw missions unless you have an empty slot (the base, or bonus slots from M-Comp). Second, when you are looking at your missions it's effectively too late to discard any active mission that you have (face up or down).

That second part is important to keep in mind. Whether you decide to look at the three missions from a mission spot right now, or wait until the end of the turn, discarding a mission is an action (albeit a minor action). In order to take that action on your turn you would have to end the action of drawing missions, if you've ended your turn then you can't take actions and cannot discard any active missions.

TL;DR: This means if you can have two missions, and you have one already, then you cannot keep two from any draw pile your looking through, whether it is 3 cards during your turn (while passing a mission spot), or 12 cards at the end of your turn after hitting a bunch of mission spots.
 
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Ira Fay
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[q="Calinor"]
Quote:
when you are looking at your missions it's effectively too late to discard any active mission that you have (face up or down).

...

discarding a mission is an action (albeit a minor action).
Hmm. It's possible I missed this in the base rules, and I can double check with Cody, but I believe design intent is that you can discard active missions at any time, not as an action. Derek, can you point me to the section that makes you think discarding missions is a minor action? I might have missed something...

Thanks!
 
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Derek Dyer
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Page 14, Mission Details

Abort Mission: A player may discard his current Active Mission by taking a Jettison Cargo (Minor) Action.

----------------------

During testing I wanted the rules on missions to be tweaked so that you could draw missions regardless of whether you had empty slots or not. My reasoning is that with an M-Comp you don't just gain a second slot, you gain the ability to work on a mission and draw as many cards as possible to farm an easy/quick mission for your second slot, rinse and repeat. It's a fairly powerful boost.

This change would allow anyone to continue looking for a good, quick, completable mission, while half finishing one mission and hoping for a delivery to be discovered.

It seemed like a way to balance having an M-Comp or not when the universe is still too small to get good target/deliveries. I understand why Cody didn't want to change the rule, to keep mission picking streamlined and reduce the downtime with them. I've also considered the fact where the situations where this rule change would bring the most balance is with more players, and with more players the board is going to be revealed much more quickly.
 
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Carlos de Miguel
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Calinor wrote:

(...)
First, is the M-Comp or Mission Computer. This is a single square mod that goes in your hold, and with it you can hold an additional active mission.


I think the M-Comp allows you to take 2 additional active missions, not 1 ...
 
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Derek Dyer
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Quote:
I think the M-Comp allows you to take 2 additional active missions, not 1 ...
Good catch, it certainly does.
 
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Ira Fay
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Calinor wrote:
Page 14, Mission Details

Abort Mission: A player may discard his current Active Mission by taking a Jettison Cargo (Minor) Action.
Cool, thanks for that reference! I figured I was missing something.

I looked over the expansion rulebook, and in the "Rules Changes" section, in the Mission Drawing / Discarding section, there is a sentence:

You may discard active missions at any time.

So, I think we're all good now. Discarding active missions can happen at any time, even if it's not your turn. That wasn't relevant in the base game, since you could only gain/lose missions on your turn, and only hold 1 at a time. But with the expansion, you are dealing with missions off-turn, and you can have more than one.

In the expansion, this is possible:
1 M-Comp (so 3 mission slots total)
2 active missions on your turn, 1 slot open, so you can take the Draw Missions action.
During your turn, take the Draw Missions action 2 times, so you now have 6 mission cards you haven't looked at.

When your turn ends, you now look at the mission cards. You can:
Keep your 2 previous missions + 1 new one
Keep 1 of your previous missions + 2 new ones
Keep 0 of your previous missions + 3 new ones

And I guess you could technically keep fewer than 3, but since you can discard them at any time later, there's no reason not to have 3 when it's not your turn. When your turn starts, you may discard 1 to make an open slot so you can take more Draw Mission actions.
 
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David Forby
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One thing that I have found. Choosing the missions after your turn does mean that you cannot get a mission, start it, and possibly complete it on the turn that you draw it. It slows that part down. Also, some that I played with were confused. By the sounds of it, if you pass a Mission spot, ALWAYS get mission cards unless you are already on a mission or have a good mission to do. Since it is a minor action you need not worry about getting missions. So in your travels, hit as many mission spots as you can and then have a stack of cards to go through to pick the right one for you at this time.

Waiting to look through the missions does slow down actually doing the missions a bit but the time savings on the game is worth it over all.

Also,since learning of the 4,000cr starting with the expansion. I like it. I have made that standard of all my games. It makes it easier at a start.
 
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Ira Fay
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Matrix4b wrote:
Choosing the missions after your turn does mean that you cannot get a mission, start it, and possibly complete it on the turn that you draw it.
Absolutely true. The other benefits to missions in the expansion (M-Comp, GTS, Samara Gate, events like Wormholes, etc.) balance it out nicely. And of course, the game time savings is worth it by far.

That said, in solo play, the solo player has the option to view mission cards immediately (or wait until after their turn, if they prefer). So, this option to draw it, start it, and possibly complete it still remains in the solo game, since there are no other players to delay by making the decision immediately. Even in solo play, sometimes you prefer to wait until after your turn since you can buy an MComp during your business phase and keep more missions.

Matrix4b wrote:
By the sounds of it, if you pass a Mission spot, ALWAYS get mission cards unless you are already on a mission or have a good mission to do.
Absolutely right! Though usually it will cost a few extra points of movement to reach a mission point, if you're not otherwise going for missions, so there's often a little extra movement cost (though you're right it's a minor action so you don't need to stop if all you're doing is drawing missions).
 
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Carlos de Miguel
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ira212 wrote:

I looked over the expansion rulebook, and in the "Rules Changes" section, in the Mission Drawing / Discarding section, there is a sentence:

You may discard active missions at any time.

Ira, I guess the rulebook you're looking at it will be different than ours (I hope it will be the final version).
I don't see that sentence in the rulebook that Cody uploaded at kickstarter page to proofreading...
 
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