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Subject: An opinion on the Agenda cards rss

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Ben Garrod
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I think that there's too much focus on these faction cards as a means to win. Without them its nearly if not completely impossible to win.

For the non faction cards, there is 7 different cards and there is only 1 of each. For the faction cards, there are 8 of each faction. I think there'd be a better experience if there was a more even distribution. Maybe having a selection of 3-4 of each card and then randomly selecting X cards depending on # of players (11 for solo, 15 for 2 player, 19 for 3 and 23 for 4). That way you get the same number of cards, but the makeup of the distribution of the cards in the game varies game to game. You would not have to always rely solely on the faction cards as a means to win.

Also I had a gameplay variant thought in regards to the faction cards and declaring loyalty. I was thinking it could be an interesting mechanic that when you declared loyalty, you could actually sacrifice the card to push the opposing faction back one spot on the track. Give players a way to push back when a particular faction is close to winning or running away from the other. The sacrificing of the card would send it to the discard. You would not have to do it, you could just declare loyalty without sacrificing the card, but then the faction positions would remain where they were.
 
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Den Ell

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Have you tried that mechanic? If so please let us know the results. I guess my only question would be: Why not just advance the other faction token? It would do pretty much the same thing, and you'd be closing the points distance between the 'supposed winning' faction and the 'supposed losing' one making it more difficult for any player who was counting on that 'winning faction' to not meet his/her goals.
 
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Ben Garrod
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I have not tried the mechanic yet.

The idea is that it allows you to push back the end game. We've had most games so far end with the factions winning, not a player. There's plenty ways to advance the factions, to advance the game to the end. There's no method that allows you to push back the factions to give a player more of a chance to win.

The other part of this is that farther along the game gets, the more spots the factions jump when they advance. You can get to the point where only a single action by that faction will advance the game and end it. This would allow you to push it far enough back that it would take two advancements.

 
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Christopher Scatliff
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ironwulvt wrote:
We've had most games so far end with the factions winning, not a player.


I've never had a game end this way. I've never had a game even come close to ending this way. I suspect that this is more a function of your group's style. If you focus exclusively on side quests in the early game, somebody is going to get to the point where they have enough agendas to claim victory long before the main story ends.

In fact, this has been the main flaw of my games is that they end on points long before either faction even comes close to winning (which has been a common complaint).
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Mark Blasco

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One option I've thought of is to let the game go until one faction is in the red, and then score, whoever has the most points wins. That way you have a chance to try to move the factions down the track to counter someone trying to rush to win before they end the game, and also allows more time for the story to unfold. I haven't tried it (I've just played solo so far), but it seems like that might solve this issue for some people.
 
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Aaron Day
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markblasco wrote:
One option I've thought of is to let the game go until one faction is in the red, and then score, whoever has the most points wins. That way you have a chance to try to move the factions down the track to counter someone trying to rush to win before they end the game, and also allows more time for the story to unfold.

We did this the last time we played. I simply lied to the other players as to the rules. What I noticed is that the final quests push the tokens up by +2 and +3 spaces. Meaning later in the game it's easier for the losing faction to gain back any lost ground. I was pushing Shields and was winning all game but the Star came back on the final quest to pull out a victory. The game literally came down to one failed die roll to determine the winner. My failed roll.
 
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Honestly my next playthrough will have agenda cards removed entirely. My last scenario ended before the story did which I don't like, The agenda cards are inherently random and incredibly imbalanced and make it impossible to actually play competitively (that is, the best player might or might not when, depends on the random agenda cards everyone was given). I think I'll find the game much more fun as an "experience" vs a competitive game.

This will allow me to go with any faction I choose instead of being coerced into following a particular faction at random.
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Christopher Scatliff
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TheKingOfAverage wrote:
Honestly my next playthrough will have agenda cards removed entirely. My last scenario ended before the story did which I don't like, The agenda cards are inherently random and incredibly imbalanced and make it impossible to actually play competitively (that is, the best player might or might not when, depends on the random agenda cards everyone was given). I think I'll find the game much more fun as an "experience" vs a competitive game.

This will allow me to go with any faction I choose instead of being coerced into following a particular faction at random.


Just trying to understand... so the game will not have any winners or losers? Just played for the experience and story? That's pretty novel and I can't find anything at all troubling about that.

Or are you substituting a different system for player evaluation?
 
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Pierre G
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You may as well combine the two... Instead of finishing the game when enough points, it finishes either when a faction wins, either at the full end of quest...
And to keep competition, the player having the most reputation is the big winner
 
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Christopher Scatliff
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Or set the victory condition as "three fully-powered agenda cards" where fully-powered is defined as 1) a faction agenda card of the winning faction (not leading - this is only possible once main story is won), or 2) a non-faction agenda card with its optional goals maxed out. Multiple people could qualify for this simultaneously when the main story ends.

Just brainstorming.
 
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Smoo wrote:
TheKingOfAverage wrote:
Honestly my next playthrough will have agenda cards removed entirely. My last scenario ended before the story did which I don't like, The agenda cards are inherently random and incredibly imbalanced and make it impossible to actually play competitively (that is, the best player might or might not when, depends on the random agenda cards everyone was given). I think I'll find the game much more fun as an "experience" vs a competitive game.

This will allow me to go with any faction I choose instead of being coerced into following a particular faction at random.


Just trying to understand... so the game will not have any winners or losers? Just played for the experience and story? That's pretty novel and I can't find anything at all troubling about that.

Or are you substituting a different system for player evaluation?


I would use the cards only for enemy activation. They are just too inherently random and easy to stack odds against players regardless of "skill" and allow the game to end in the middle of a story by essentially stating "and then the player character was so influential they said stop fighting and everyone listened so the rest of the interesting stuff in these cards don't matter" which is so incredibly unfulfilling to me even when I happen to luck out with winning cards.

As for winners and losers, it depends on the person. If you wanted to be the vilified bad guy siding with the slavers for instance, and the slaves won, you might feel like you lost. My hope though, is this allows people to not focus on the random agenda cards dealt and instead have more FUN picking and choosing quests at their leisure instead of rushing faction quests, and backing whichever faction they wish when they do pursue it.

Compared to the possible alternative where in a 4 player game 3 people are dealt shields and 1 person is dealt the star and the 3 others rush the faction quests to "win", I think the idea of removal sounds far more enjoyable. It's puts the focus away from that.
 
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Christopher Scatliff
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TheKingOfAverage wrote:
Compared to the possible alternative where in a 4 player game 3 people are dealt shields and 1 person is dealt the star and the 3 others rush the faction quests to "win", I think the idea of removal sounds far more enjoyable. It's puts the focus away from that.


Anybody who is rushing a faction based on owning a single copy of their loyalty card hasn't put much thought into the victory point math.
 
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Ah sorry I didn't mean all 3 only do that from the start. Here's the situation I'm talking about:

Since 3 have that faction card at the start it will generally be the quest completed (that is, unless the scenario has that quest harder to complete, which is different discussion) and then by around quest 2 or perhaps 3 of this some of those 3 people will have received a second agenda card. It is highly likely at least one of them received a duplicate. At this point it's typically rushed. I've yet to see a player rush before they have a win condition, but with 2 faction cards matching an already ahead faction that's going to happen.
 
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