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Tau Ceti: Planetary Crisis» Forums » Rules

Subject: Regarding Damaged systems and movement rss

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Justin Allmon
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1. If a system is damaged, does each damage crystal reduce its effectiveness in terms of calculating costs or usefuless (like shields or computers) by the number of damage crystals?

2. If a system is completely damaged(I.E., a computer is a lvl2 and has 2 damage), a) can I move into a space with a hazard that system checks against (for instance into an asteroid field with a shield system that has an equivalent number of damage crystals as its level) and b) if (a) is ok, then how to I determine damage since anything I roll as a fail cannot be applied to that system?
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Mike Strickland
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1. Yes that's correct, each damage crystal deduces the power of that system by one. So for example if you have a Propulsion system with a power of three, and you incur two damage crystals in that system, its power is reduced to one.

2. Here is how I've been treating that situation (and this is something we need to add to the rules so it can be clarified); in this case you would still incur the damage to that system and it would be non-functional as it would be with full damage. The only difference is you would just have more damage to repair.
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Joe Pilkus
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Justin,

Great questions...and in the days ahead, I'll move them to the FAQ/Errata thread I started the other day. Regarding damaged systems, Mike and I have had a few conversations about them and we will provide better clarity. Unfortunately, many of our play-testers resolved damage almost immediately either to avoid long-term problems or to ensure that the7y could take advantage of the UPG action.

I'm leaning on the direction which Mike has mentioned...we never want to see a ship totally destroyed, but you can definitely damage a component well beyond its serviceable capacity (or you've clearly never owned a car laugh). To that end, a player who ignores damage may incur even more if they continue to travel around the system.

Again, great questions!

Cheers,
Joe
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Justin Allmon
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Ok, I have been thinking. If a system other than weapons or movement gets damaged beyond "usability" (i.e, damage = level) and you pile on more damage, there is no real incentive to fix it or you just make sure your actions pour damage onto the system because there is no effective penalty after the system is rendered "0" (to clarify, there is a penalty, but it does not punish players who trash systems because their strategy for points may not require that system and it means that any action taken that would damage that system is essentially a free action because, other than more damage to repair, it does not affect anything else in a direct enough way IMO). What if you said something like either a) damage applied over the max or max + 2 must be applied to a system to the left or right of the system or b) the total excess damage across systems cannot exceed Y or the only action you can take is repair or refuel.

I am just trying to think of a way to make excessive damage more meaningful and thematically/lore wise keep your ship more "pristine" to impress the authority.

Hope this helps. I have had as much fun working on scenarios like this to play test rules as playing the actual game. I am playing non solo first to really get the rules before I try the solo AI and NPC expansion
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Mike Strickland
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Justin,

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions!

While you'll need most systems (Weapons/Shields/Computers for battle, Shields/Computers to navigate through Asteroids & Cosmic Rays, Propulsion to travel faster, and Cargo to carry more during IMs), there are certainly times where you may not necessarily need to use a particular system. For example, if you're not really focusing much on IMs, then you probably won't care much if your Cargo is destroyed beyond recognition!

So you bring up a very good point that in those instances, there probably should be some sort of penalty to avoid applying excessive damage to a system you're not using. At one point during the game's development, a few play testers thought we should deduct points at the end of the game for damage, but ultimately we didn't want to make the point calculation too burdensome.

I really like your ideas, especially "a)".

Joe, what are your thoughts on this?

~Mike
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Joe Pilkus
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Justin,

While admittedly, I like the narrative which causes damage elsewhere, I'm not inclined to add more damage to other systems. Remember, however, that you can't UPG the system, if damaged. One idea which I captured from your and Mike's comments is that a better looking ship attracts better Specialists. Thus, the reverse is true. For every point of damage, add 1 TAU to the cost for the REC Action. Again, just an idea.

Cheers,
Joe

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Justin Allmon
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So i can test this, are you saying for every excess damage across systems (ex. Shields are level 2 amd have 3 damage and weapons are level 1 and have 3 damage) so the total would be the normal cost +3?

Also, not sure if this would help or hurt but would it be possible to use another commodity to offset the additional cost? Just an idea since we only are using 2 of the 6 commodities for alternative purposes other than objective cards and buy/sell. I am just thinking it may expand the buy/sell game so that commodities play more of a role and TCX demand has a greater affect across the system.
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Joe Pilkus
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Justin,

In retrospect, I might recommend +1 TAU for the REC action per 2 damage counters.

As for the use of Commodities, you absolutely can offset costs for UPG and that's right in the rules (i.e. Gold for Shields; Nano-Processors for Computers and Propulsion; etc.). Please let me know if I didn't describe that well in the rules.

Cheers,
Joe
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Justin Allmon
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your right about the other commodities. I wrote this at work and not looking at game or having just looked at the rulebook. Thanks for clarification. I will do this tonight and see how it goes.
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Joe Pilkus
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Justin,

Okay, great! That was one of the areas that I really enjoyed working on, as it provided greater utility for the Commodities. Yes, I'm looking to hear your thoughts after playing it.

Cheers,
Joe
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Justin Allmon
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Played it last night. It seemed like I had no problem recruiting IF I had cubes on the planets from building orbitals and could chuck a few more tau on the beginning when I was getting 10 or 15 extra resources and I would just repair what I wanted. The other player had fewer cubes and it was clearly more of a struggle to decide if I spent the tau to buy specialist to potentially solve a crisis or mess with another race as opposed to doing the upgrade to reduce specialist costs. Will keep playing with variant as +2 per damage showing and change # of players and see if it seems to make more or less of a difference.
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Joe Pilkus
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Justin,

That's great, as there should be a give-and-take in the game. Beyond the damaged systems, what are your thoughts on the game?

Cheers,
Joe
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Justin Allmon
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I really like the game. There seems to be enough paths to victory I do not necessarily feel like I get pigeon holed in to one specific set of actions to win. I was a little worried at first that once I started getting resources with the cubes someone would run away with it but that doesn't really happen as it seems, sans an insane amount of bad dice, once you get a cube or 2 in place, your tau and energy get boosted and you have options. Even though I may have to pay a lot for stuff, If I have a cube on a planet, it really mitigates that pain and lets me feel like I am moving forward. Looking forward to the expansion. Will definitely have to print PnP for expansion and play test some rules. I have enjoyed that as much as playing the game itself! Great job!
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Joe Pilkus
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Thanks, Justin ~ One of the things that I worked on the most with Mike was opening the aperture for many different ways to garner GPs, at the same time moving forward, from Resolving Crises, Building Orbitals, claiming Objectives, gathering resources (TAU and Energy); and several other areas. I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying yourself.
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Justin Allmon
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looking forward to the expansion. While I doubt I will ever get to a con to playtest, I would be glad to do it on my own if you have any ideas or need a few more sessions for expansion. It has been a blast working on this with you guys!
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Joe Pilkus
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Justin,

We certainly appreciate your assistance, as well!

Regarding the expansion, we hope to turn our attention to it later this year, but I'm currently working with Ernest Copley on his second WWII opus, The War: Pacific 1941-1945 along with an expansion for his first published game, The War: Europe 1939-1945. Additionally, I'm fielding play-test groups for Tradeworlds by Kris Kycia and editing rules for RedImp's latest Cthulhu-based game.

Cheers,
Joe

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