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Path of Light and Shadow» Forums » Variants

Subject: Building gives Defense rss

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wodan wodan
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Here's the idea:
A: Whenever a player completes a I, II, or III building, the territory they are in gets +1 Defense. (this is instead of the endgame VP)
B: Whenever a player completes a IV building, every territory of its associated realm gets +1 Defense, or for Exalted Domain, the realm of the builder's choice. (you still get endgame VP effect)

The purpose of this is to have Mercy strategies interact more with the board. My perspective is that as it stands, Mercy strategies are:
*Largely boardless and uninteractive solitaire experiences. (competing only indirectly with others via shared limited promote and recruit pools)
*Possibly a tad overpowered (can get 180 VP with only 1-2 small territories)
*Difficult to stop without suboptimal play (Mercy taking early promotes over building is bad for tempo, Cruel doesn't want most of Mercy's promotes)


With the proposed variant, Mercy is:
*Rewarded for taking and holding board presence. (as they can get potentially more total VP, but only if they're on the board)
*Punished for lacking or losing board presence. (as a greater proportion of their VP can be captured or destroyed)
*Broadly made to think more about where they want to be, what other players are doing on the board, etc etc. That goes for Cruel as well.


For reference, let’s say a Mercy player builds everything but the Zurd buildings and picks Hallowed Realm for Exalted Domain’s trigger.
*In the base game, the Mercy player would simply get a flat 12 points from their Level I-II-III buildings. There is nothing they could do to raise it higher, and nothing opponents could do to push it lower or take it from them.
*If you add in A, then its still 12 points, but they can score some of that multiple times... if they can take and hold the territory. If you add in B too, then its gives an additional 12 possibly recurring points, but with less control over where it is placed.
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v b
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VERY interesting idea! Love to hear what the designer thinks of it!
 
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Barry Miller
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I's also love to hear what the 40+ playtesters think of it, as they've played the game many more times than any of us have, so far.

 
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wodan wodan
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bgm1961 wrote:
I's also love to hear what the 40+ playtesters think of it, as they've played the game many more times than any of us have, so far.

I am not sure if boardless Mercy is actually overpowered. It possible that in the games I've played, they've gotten lucky, or didn't stumble over each other denying key promotions, or the Cruel player didn't opportunistically take advantage of their board negligence to score even more points. My impression is that boardless Mercy can reliably score 160-200 points and that Cruel strategies can't reach that without excellent luck in hands and dice, nor can they or other Mercy strategies stop it without self-sabotage, but I could be wrong.

What I am sure is that it is very uninteractive, even by the standards of deck builders. Cruel can do nothing against them but take their negligible territory... but the vast majority of their points are from elsewhere. Mercy can do nothing against them but take their key promotions... but its difficult to block someone from promoting all their supporters to Tier II, and denying some Tier III promotions just means they'll pick other ones that are equally powerful.

Of the variants I propose:
*Change A means that buildings give more points (+1 Defense is better than +1 VP as it can trigger 1-3 times) but it also means more risks (Defense can be captured or destroyed by opponents).
*Change B expands on this, like the Blessed Academy, rewards more spread out play, and unlike the Academy, can actually punish sticking to one territory.
*Thus being in one territory is a strategic choice with costs (can't get all the defense bonuses from IV buildings and probably give some to other players) and risks (puts all your eggs in one basket, if it isn't enough or worn down a Cruel can take your whole board presence). In short it is still possible but is more dynamic.
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Drake Coker
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Interesting ideas. To early for me to say if they are needed, but I like the thinking behind them.
 
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Jack Liu
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Seems like a good idea

I agree that the Mercy strategy is close to multiplayer solitaire and is safer at producing more points than Cruel. I scored 187 points in my first 3p game (would have been +20 more except my last hand didn't have a yellow guy to build the final yellow building) and this was with 2 mercy players and 1 Cruel.

I would also say Cruel setups are harder to execute/require more luck as you are more dependent on attack dice early on until you get your buildings (which are harder to build). Also Ruining lands you want to control for points sucks where as when Mercy does take 1-2 lands later on, they can build it back up for more defense & points.
 
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Garth Pickrell
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We are going to try this next time. What are your thoughts on 'A' on giving 1 defense to any of your controlled provinces (Level 1 to 3), as opposed to the one the leader is in? Too strong? Level 4, 1 defense to any Realm you control?
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Garth Pickrell
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So we had a 4-hander using wodan's variants. Building Lev 1-3 buildings gave 1 defense to any realm province that the leader was in. So if you were in Drakkon, but controlled Gull Harbor, you could increase its defense. Level 4 was +1 defense to all your associated Provinces of that building faction (which no one got to use). Two went Cruel & two Mercy. Mercy won with 142 pts. There did seem to be more interaction on the board. The winner held 3 provinces. Building was still critical for all 4 players, & people were mindful where there Leader was when building. There seemed to be more board action, which is what we loved, but this one a single play. We will be using the variant next time as well......
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Francois Bedard
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I am not sure about this variant:
The provinces already start at maximum defense, so new buildings will do nothing.

I propose a much simpler solution:
The cost of building a structure is increased by +1 for each player that has already built it.
 
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