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Subject: Expedited Exploration (faster variant) rss

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Bruno V
Canada
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Rationale
Most of the people I've played with agree that the Adventuring phase is not particularly thrilling and would prefer a shorter game time. I first considered giving predefined handouts before every encounter (for example a set amount of silver each phase to spend on levelling up or a pool of items, similar to the Insta-Epic variant but for every phase). Before settling for that and figuring out the proper amount of cash to hand out, though, I would prefer an alternative that maintains some level of randomness and risk, so here is my attempt.

Description
In short, Expedited Exploration completely ditches the Area and Setting cards. Instead, it uses one larger card that first serves as reference for the loot table, battle reward and available time, and more importantly features several standard locations that do not change throughout the game and simplify choices.

The benefits are threefold:
- Shorter setup time (less shuffling and sorting, fewer cards needed; all of manual page 4 is skipped)
- Less component handling (no more flipping, moving and discarding Areas, and no Setting deck)
- Fewer actions per phase (since no travel is necessary) and standard streamlined options combine to speed up decision-making

Downsides I can see:
- Less "personality" (flavor text, humor and variation)
- Some events become irrelevant
- Some unique effects are no longer present, though I tried to incorporate versions of most of them through the Prospection and Magic experiment locations

The finer details are all found on the large card below, which I will try to print at about 4x6 inches on a nice background illustration. Mechanically, there are no gameplay changes, just a different setup, so it can be treated as any other Area card (and Setting card). However it does not have secrets in its current iteration. Since players will always use all of their time in the same place, it would just be a free handout. Though one use it could have would be to implement lasting effects like "While this area is unexplored/If this area is explored..." so I'm not ruling it out.

We have yet to test this, but I thought I would post it early and see if others want to give it a shot and/or share their impressions!

 
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Robert Lavigne
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Interesting idea and I'd be curious to hear how it works for your group! I rather enjoy this game and hope the designer returns to it, but if it has one failing it's the structure and length of the adventure phase and - sadly - that's what keeps it from hitting our table anymore.
 
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