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Subject: What Buy/Sell variant would you recommend? rss

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Randy D

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I just received this game and was hoping to play it next week. Some plays might only be 2 player but I've read the reviews on that and it looks like it should still be quite fun. I've been reading up on the different variants regarding buying/selling goods and wanted to get a feel from the fans regarding each to determine which, if any, would be good to try out.

1. No Change: Resources are unlimited as players can buy/sell any type as often as they like. I hear this can result in the chance of optimally placed planets which, when it occurs, pretty much dictates a buy/sell strategy to win.

2. Economy Board: The economy board from the expansion where resources are limited and players get rewarded for producing an in-demand good. This looks a clever way to prevent the issue in #1 from happening and incorporates the feel of a dynamic universe. However, since the expansion is not yet out, I have also heard of other simple ideas.

3. Changing Demands: Once a player sells goods at a planet, draw a random cube and place it on that planet. That is now the type of good that planet buys. I like how simple this is and it reminds me a little of Merchants & Marauders. This also adds tension to beat other players to a planet.

4. Limiting the Player: Whenever a player sells multiple goods of a type at a planet, place that cube beside the player indicating the player cannot sell that same type until they have sold a different type. This also is a simple implementation and I like that. Because the player, and not the board, is affected, this seems like it allows players to plan out strategies a little more than #3.

These were the 4 variations I had seen described and I like the simplicity of some as well as the dynamic nature of others and was just wondering what the fans out there recommend.
 
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Team Ski
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We always play #3.......

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Bern Harkins
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We have tried several methods, but ever since we first tried it, we only use the economy board (#2). This solves the short trade route balance problem, and the differing starting conditions make the econmy interesting and dynamic.

Take a circle of paper. Write the colors around the perimeter, clockwise, in order... holo (pink), spice (orange), plasma (blue), cyber (purple), and terra (green).

Roll a D6 for each space, and start with that many available cubes.

Purchased cubes come from the board; scavenged, harvested or mined cubes come from the bank.

When someone sells cargo, an equal number of cubes for the next group clockwise is produced (never exceeding six available cubes of any color).

If there are no cubrs of a color available, put a 1000cr coin in the space; this goes to the next person to cause this color to be produced, by selling from the space before it.

We're not sure just how Loathe and Smuggler's Den work, but we have been taking the cubes from the economy, but NOT producing any for sales. This tends to encourage scavenging, harvesting and mining.

Hope that helps...


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Ira Fay
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Radulla wrote:
We're not sure just how Loathe and Smuggler's Den work, but we have been taking the cubes from the economy, but NOT producing any for sales. This tends to encourage scavenging, harvesting and mining.
That's how they work! Buy from the economy board st Smuggler's Den, but when you sell at Loathe, they just disappear from the economy...
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Derek Dyer
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Just go with good ol' #1 when you first play. Seriously there is no reason to change rules right out of the gate. The game is perfectly fine as is.

Then add the Economy Board when you feel ready.

You could wait for the expansion to add it, or just draw one up on a notecard. It doesn't have to be fancy.

Number 3 is a club, it's a brute force method to change the rules. I do not think it is fun, nor does it "balance" the game. It changes the game, and if everybody playing prefers it that way, then you should play it that way, but it's a different game with different strategies.

5. There's another "change" you can make that has little impact to the actual gameplay: When placing planetary tiles draw a new tile if an adjacent planet shares a commodity. As long as you prevent "neighbor trades" from happening the game will be fine. I do the same with gates, having two gates next to each other is lame.

In the event that someone runs a short trade route (2 sectors away) and can make some decent money, it should take them a reasonable amount of time to accomplish that. This should be perfectly balanced with what anyone else can accomplish in that amount of time. A person doing missions and maybe a single trade/harvest along the way will make less money but more FP, someone running a pirate strategy could make even more FP and less money still.
 
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Edwin Woody
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We haven't printed an economy board yet.

When playing with only two players, we move buying and selling to the business phase. Both may be done from either planet location. Part of the reason for this is that we intend to eventually add planetary satellite bases to our game that will trade as normal.
 
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Michael Hartwell
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Our group tried the economy board last night, using the rules described in this thread and the coin reward rule in the Kickstarter video.

Honestly, it was spectacular. Instead of merely fixing a problem with the game, this made the game better. We found ourselves choosing to purchase from specific planets in order to make a profit and seize the goods that were available.

I'm extremely impressed by the simplicity, logic and elegance of the economy board. Bravo for whomever created this solution.
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