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Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » General

Subject: Runaway Player: Easy Tiger + Salvage rss

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Jason Sallay
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In the last several games one player in our group has frequently run away with the game, one point finishing a 20 FP game with the second place sitting at 11 FP.

They take Easy tiger, find the closest point to sell Cyber to a salvage point (usually only 1-2 sectors away) and start salvaging runs making money hand over fist. I've tried chasing them down with Swamp Rat + T3 missile, but I can't keep up and other people are scrambling around trying to mine or trade or missions. If I focus on them, I fall behind in FP and credits and upgrades, if I ignore them they run away.

Are we missing something, is there a rule there? Because that combo, which seems to come up frequently enough, seems broken.

For the record its the Easy Tiger's ability to reroll one die per turn. The player salvages until full of Cyber or rolls less than 4. If they do they reroll then take off and go and sell the Cyber. One point they did roll two 3's in a row but thats only once in many runs.

Its to the point we are thinking of coming up with some house rules to reduce the impact of this combo.
 
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Carl Hanson
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Do you consistently get setups where the planet that buys Cyber is within a sector or two of a salvage point? It seems like if it was any further than that and it would slow them down enough to keep the game competitive since they would only be gaining on FP every other turn or so, which you should be able to keep up with using most strategies.
 
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Robert P
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I don't think anyone will accuse Xia of being a balanced game. However, it is a fun game. Exploiting little shortcuts like that is clever the first one or two times you encounter it, but if you do it every time you play, I believe you detract from the gaming experience and decrease everyone's overall fun.

I know the Economy Track (introduced in the the Embers of a Forsaken Star expansion) was supposed to correct the "buy-sell-buy-sell" loopholes that players can encounter when two complimentary planets are spawned right next to one another.

However, when it comes to acquiring resources in the wild (not through buying and selling) I don't believe there are any fixes. You could always keep the Easy Tiger out of the game (of all of the ships, I believe it's ability to re-roll a die is the most objectively powerful).
 
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Ira Fay
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Are you using the Embers expansion? In the base game, getting early Cyber is one of the best ways to make money, and Easy Tiger is particularly good at it. With the expansion, there are many more easy ways to get early money, like picking up 2 exploration tokens, or sifting Relics for 2K + a bonus. Also with the expansion, there are 11 more sectors added, so the odds go down of drawing one of the 2 sectors that generate Cyber with one of the 2 sectors where you can sell Cyber.

Also, the player who picks their Tier 1 ship first should go last in the turn order, which is also a balancing factor. All the tier 1 ships are intentionally not created equal, which helps to balance the benefit of going first.

If you don't have access to the expansion, please note that a reprint will be happening soon, so look out for an announcement on that.

And I'll also mention that yes, Easy Tiger's ability is quite good, and along with the reprint, there might be something to add that shakes up the ship powers... More on that hopefully soon!
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Ira Fay
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Also, I'll mention that if the ship blows up with Cyber on it, remember to place all that Cyber on the board - it can be a big help to any other player who comes to pick it up for free.

And, nothing stops the other ships from getting early Cyber either. The 15% chance of blowing up is often worth the risk in the early game, and once you have your ship outfitted with a bit more powerful stuff, you can branch out into other strategies more easily.
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Jason Sallay
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turambur wrote:
Do you consistently get setups where the planet that buys Cyber is within a sector or two of a salvage point? It seems like if it was any further than that and it would slow them down enough to keep the game competitive since they would only be gaining on FP every other turn or so, which you should be able to keep up with using most strategies.


At 2-3 sectors it does slow them down a little. The spending for fame points is less an issue than loading up and getting 5-7k Cr on a run, fulling upgrading to the Manchester before anyone else can get a Tier 3 ship.

ira212 wrote:
Are you using the Embers expansion?

Yes, we are using the expansion. However with a good first Cyber run under the belt of Easy Tiger now with a Tier 3 engine, a +2 GTS and a couple of cargo pods, it makes a good stab at upgrading to a Tier 2 then Tier 3 ship, even with a 4-5 sector run to make, far earlier than anyone else.

ira212 wrote:
Also, the player who picks their Tier 1 ship first should go last in the turn order, which is also a balancing factor. All the tier 1 ships are intentionally not created equal, which helps to balance the benefit of going first.

Yes - and if that player doesnt get the Easy Tiger, they usually do well

ira212 wrote:
If you don't have access to the expansion, please note that a reprint will be happening soon, so look out for an announcement on that.

Right now I'm borrowing a friends copy, looking forward to getting in on the kickstarter! Hope there is a whole package deal

ira212 wrote:
Also, I'll mention that if the ship blows up with Cyber on it, remember to place all that Cyber on the board - it can be a big help to any other player who comes to pick it up for free.

True, sadly this player has only ever failed once

ira212 wrote:
And, nothing stops the other ships from getting early Cyber either. The 15% chance of blowing up is often worth the risk in the early game, and once you have your ship outfitted with a bit more powerful stuff, you can branch out into other strategies more easily.

Good point, I'll keep that in mind!

robnixilis wrote:
However, when it comes to acquiring resources in the wild (not through buying and selling) I don't believe there are any fixes. You could always keep the Easy Tiger out of the game (of all of the ships, I believe it's ability to re-roll a die is the most objectively powerful).

That is kinda why I was wondering about the possibility of house-ruling something to either boosting mining to compete with Easy Tiger/Salvaging or to limit the power of the salvage runs a little...
 
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Jacob Williams
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Someone did a house rule where Easy Tiger's re-rolls could only be used on die rolls that come from outfits.

Maybe give that a try?
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Jason Sallay
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ChromiumAgeCollector wrote:
Someone did a house rule where Easy Tiger's re-rolls could only be used on die rolls that come from outfits.

Maybe give that a try?


Interesting.... not sure I like the feel of that though.

I was considering the following changes. Anyone have any thoughts?

1) Salvage rolls: Costs one Energy to make a Salvage roll.

Logic: Still can make 4-5 rolls and pick up some cyber. Doesn't change the overall risk of failure (1-3 on d20). Changes risk/reward decision process on 'do I roll again?' (will I run out of energy?). Low maintenance (no new outfits, rules paste ups, etc.) Doesn't prevent early game runs of cyber for all players, doesn't over target Easy Tiger (kill a fly with a ban-hammer).

2) Mining/Excavating/Harvesting rolls: Allow players to recharge shields with energy after making the roll.

Logic: Encourages more mining/excavating/harvesting rolls. Risk/Reward changes with spending of energy (more chance of late game stranding). Alternate strategy to running away with trade (buy/sell 6 cubes on a planet/turn, board drained of resources for all players but one). More FP available, reduce game length somewhat. Uses existing mechanic (normally used for combat) so low maintenance (no new outfits, rules paste ups, etc.).
Note: Enviro-Max shield would be likely over powered in this situation.
Possible Solution: Enviro-Max shield can only be used 1/turn. When recharging flip outfit from MAX side to non-max side when recharging from non-combat recharge.
 
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Jacob Williams
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I'm not a fan of those changes. How about increasing the probability of death to 1-5?
 
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Bern Harkins
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From page 15 of the rulebook:

"The hazardous remains of past battles and derelict ships to try to find something of value in the old wreckage:
• 1-3 (Failure): The ship is immediately destroyed. (A leftover space mine or unstable reactor has detonated!) This cannot be prevented with Shield Outfits or Special Abilities.
• 4-20 (Success): The ship receives one Cargo Cube
of the type displayed on the Salvage Space. Players
may attempt to Salvage a single Salvage Space multiple times within their turn."

Tac-x cannot be used on a salvage roll. The rule's a bit hidden, but it makes a huge difference.

Tac-X and Easy Tiger have the same chance of destruction as any other ship.
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Jason Sallay
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ChromiumAgeCollector wrote:
I'm not a fan of those changes. How about increasing the probability of death to 1-5?

I prefer to avoid rules paste ups if possible. Your idea of only using the reroll only on outfits is simple and low maintenance which I like. But it nerfs other non-salvaging rolls, such as trying to get through planetary shields which I prefer to avoid.
 
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Jason Sallay
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Radulla wrote:
From page 15 of the rulebook:

The hazardous remains of past battles and derelict ships to try to find something of value in the old wreckage:
• 1-3 (Failure): The ship is immediately destroyed. (A leftover space mine or unstable reactor has detonated!) This cannot be prevented with Shield Outfits or Special Abilities.

Tac-x cannot be used on a salvage roll. The rules a bit hidden, but it makes a huge difference.


Well dangnabit I suspected I was missing something! There we go!

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Jacob Williams
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Radulla wrote:
From page 15 of the rulebook:

"The hazardous remains of past battles and derelict ships to try to find something of value in the old wreckage:
• 1-3 (Failure): The ship is immediately destroyed. (A leftover space mine or unstable reactor has detonated!) This cannot be prevented with Shield Outfits or Special Abilities.
• 4-20 (Success): The ship receives one Cargo Cube
of the type displayed on the Salvage Space. Players
may attempt to Salvage a single Salvage Space multiple times within their turn.

Tac-x cannot be used on a salvage roll. The rule's a bit hidden, but it makes a huge difference.

Tac-X and Easy Tiger have the same chance of destruction as any other ship.


I think you are interpreting this incorrectly. What is meant is that the destruction of the ship can't be prevented by abilities that heal ships (e.g. Krembler). Tac-X is rerolling the die, thus making the 1-3 result never happen.

You'll probably disagree with my rebuttal, which is fine, Cody and/or Ira can clear up if I am incorrect.

FoxmanFX wrote:
ChromiumAgeCollector wrote:
I'm not a fan of those changes. How about increasing the probability of death to 1-5?

I prefer to avoid rules paste ups if possible. Your idea of only using the reroll only on outfits is simple and low maintenance which I like. But it nerfs other non-salvaging rolls, such as trying to get through planetary shields which I prefer to avoid.


To be clear, it wasn't my house rule. It was one another BGGer suggested a while back.

FoxmanFX wrote:
Radulla wrote:
From page 15 of the rulebook:

The hazardous remains of past battles and derelict ships to try to find something of value in the old wreckage:
• 1-3 (Failure): The ship is immediately destroyed. (A leftover space mine or unstable reactor has detonated!) This cannot be prevented with Shield Outfits or Special Abilities.

Tac-x cannot be used on a salvage roll. The rules a bit hidden, but it makes a huge difference.


Well dangnabit I suspected I was missing something! There we go!



Don't pop that champagne just yet...
 
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Jason Sallay
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ChromiumAgeCollector wrote:
To be clear, it wasn't my house rule. It was one another BGGer suggested a while back.


No worries I meant your suggestion of that house rule, didn't intend to imply it was or wasn't your idea.

ChromiumAgeCollector wrote:
Don't pop that champagne just yet...

Unless I hear otherwise that looks RAW (read as written) to me and clear no special abilities can be used to prevent it. But that's just my 1db1db
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Jacob Williams
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FoxmanFX wrote:
Unless I hear otherwise that looks RAW (read as written) to me and clear no special abilities can be used to prevent it. But that's just my 1db1db


I did some digging, and there is a thread where a poster claims to quote from a geek mail between him and Cody where Cody says Tac-X can't be used on salvage. However, Cody hasn't confirm or denied from his account. Though, he did post later on that thread and didn't correct the record.

It's going to suck if I've been playing this wrong for years now....
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Bern Harkins
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It's a very easy rule to miss. The only place it appears is in the Salvaging section on page 15... would have been nice to have it right on the Easy Tiger's power card.

We missed it for our first few games, making the ET/Cyber stronger than the other strategies. We eventualy caught it, but then peple would forget, and want to see the rule in print, and I would flip throught the rulebook, grumbling about never being able to find this reference because it ony appears in ONE PLACE.

It's a logical place, but it could be logically mentioned in the borders section, the special actions section, on the power card, in a FAQ... I've seen much worse rulebooks, but failing to make this rule clear is a real shortcoming.

So get ready to be terrified again when you go poking about those salvage sites... In the narrative we weave around the game, we don't do unstable reactors; we say, "Oh, you woke up one of the damaged AI battleshps, and it chased you down. What... a... SHAME!"
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Momo Momo
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FoxmanFX wrote:
Radulla wrote:
From page 15 of the rulebook:

The hazardous remains of past battles and derelict ships to try to find something of value in the old wreckage:
• 1-3 (Failure): The ship is immediately destroyed. (A leftover space mine or unstable reactor has detonated!) This cannot be prevented with Shield Outfits or Special Abilities.

Tac-x cannot be used on a salvage roll. The rules a bit hidden, but it makes a huge difference.


Well dangnabit I suspected I was missing something! There we go!



Don't tell your buddy about this rule, though, until he attempts his 'strategy' again. Stop him. Correct him. Show him the rulebook. Glory in his facial expression. And bask in his sudden change of demeanor.
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Momo Momo
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KarpetRydOFunk wrote:
FoxmanFX wrote:
Radulla wrote:
From page 15 of the rulebook:

The hazardous remains of past battles and derelict ships to try to find something of value in the old wreckage:
• 1-3 (Failure): The ship is immediately destroyed. (A leftover space mine or unstable reactor has detonated!) This cannot be prevented with Shield Outfits or Special Abilities.

Tac-x cannot be used on a salvage roll. The rules a bit hidden, but it makes a huge difference.


Well dangnabit I suspected I was missing something! There we go!



Don't tell your buddy about this rule, though, until he attempts his 'strategy' again. Stop him. Correct him. Show him the rulebook. Glory in his facial expression. And bask in his sudden change of demeanor.


And then tell us about it, obviously.
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Ira Fay
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FoxmanFX wrote:
Yes - and if that player doesnt get the Easy Tiger, they usually do well
So many it's not so much that this is a completely broken strategy, but just that this happens to be a good player?

You might want to check out this simulator I created to help balance things during development of the expansion: http://irafay.com/xia.php

If you click the "Show Salvage" checkbox, you'll see how many sectors, on average, you'll need to reveal before finding a way to Salvage and sell it. If you compare that to relics, you'll see that it's often more likely to have some relic tokens available sooner. Of course, exploration tokens are all over the place. With the expansion, certainly Cyber can bee a good strategy when it comes up early, but there are also several other valid, early strategies.

FoxmanFX wrote:
Right now I'm borrowing a friends copy, looking forward to getting in on the kickstarter! Hope there is a whole package deal
Cody is handling those logistics, but I'd certainly expect to see a way to buy the base game + expansion + whatever new thing is in the kickstarter.

Radulla wrote:
From page 15 of the rulebook:
"The hazardous remains of past battles and derelict ships to try to find something of value in the old wreckage:
• 1-3 (Failure): The ship is immediately destroyed. (A leftover space mine or unstable reactor has detonated!) This cannot be prevented with Shield Outfits or Special Abilities.
I'll confirm with Cody what is design intent was. I didn't work on the base game, so I'm not sure, but this is a very good point, and might be a nice balancing factor for the Tac-X... To be honest, I myself didn't realize this until just now, so clearly it's an easy rule to miss. I'll add it to the FAQ either way, once I hear back from Cody. Thanks!
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Ira Fay
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I just confirmed with Cody: no Tac-X to save you from Salvage!

It's a slight power down to Tac-X, and that seems just fine to me...

I'll update the FAQ sometime soon. Thanks for bringing up this topic!
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Jacob Williams
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Thanks for the clarification!

I've been playing it wrong all these years
 
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Ira Fay
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Me too!
 
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Momo Momo
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Not me!


I only got the game a month ago. ;}
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Ivan Alaiz
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I am thinking about the wider question on preventing abuse of short runs based on mining, harvesting and the like...

I am wondering if ira and Cody have tried using the market to limit not only buying but selling as well. (In the previous example if the market is full of terra then cyber could not be sold)... or at least cyber would start filling up and then when it is full too cyber could not be sold.

Maybe preventing sell is too harsh but why gain fame for bringing raw material that it’s over abundant for example?

Makes sense from an economic perspective if the market is flooded with a raw material at some point there are no buyers...
 
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Jason Sallay
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KarpetRydOFunk wrote:
Don't tell your buddy about this rule, though, until he attempts his 'strategy' again. Stop him. Correct him. Show him the rulebook. Glory in his facial expression. And bask in his sudden change of demeanor.


Bwhahahahah I already told her and she was all sad face about it
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