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The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31» Forums » Variants

Subject: House Rules to tweak team balance? rss

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Mark Ehlke
United States
Wisconsin
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Hello! I'm curious if anyone has any variants to tweak the difficulty for each team. Comparing to Dark Moon, which has a variety of tweaks to make for a more tense game even among different groups. In our group the infected players simply played it straight and hid for the entire game, making the final helicopter ride a crapshoot because we didn't successfully clear more than 1 player. We'd like to have a rule to push things a little more in the survivors' favor.
 
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Tom Swift
United Kingdom
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Did the infected players enjoy the game? Sounds like it would be boring for everyone if they played that way.

The number of blood tests at the end is determined by how many missions have failed, this ought to encourage the infected players to sabotage things. You could tweak the number of blood tests, I'd try doubling them so instead of 0, 1, 2 it's 0, 2, 4.
 
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Brian G
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Minnesota
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I just came up with this and we're scheduling a game to try it. I'm going to propose that anytime you would hand in a card face down, you instead are FORCED to hand in two.

* Contributing to a mission
* Contributing to a Thing fight
* Discarding a card to draw a new one when you are not on a mission
* Discarding a card to replace with a new, random one as Captain

All of these situations would now require two cards to be discarded. While it would make a lot of missions even easier, passing missions has never really been a problem. It would also make certain missions, like the ones where you randomly draw from the pile, even riskier as people will likely be forced to play a card they know won't help.

This allows aliens to play a little sneakier, like saying "Well I can give one petri dish, but I can't give two, so I'm going to mess up our odds." It also makes hand management a HUGE concern. You're now going to be giving up good cards simply because you are forced to do so at 2x the normal rate of discard. Additionally, if you end up with two sabotage cards in hand, you almost have to stay back from a mission to exchange. Otherwise, you can play two cards to pass the mission, sure, but if there's a Thing fight, you are now going to HAVE to play at least one sabotage.

We're going to try it soon and see if I've stumbled on gold or a giant pile of smelly, bad idea.
 
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August W.
United States
Novi
Michigan
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I like this idea.

I also play that the additional blood samples are passed out when the infection tracker advances instead of the objective tracker to force imitations to fail missions to get partners.
 
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JC Ford
United States
Arizona
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I only just ordered the game, but I've read a lot of comments about balance issues. If we find balance to be a problem, what I will try first is this:

Makeshift Blood Test Kits
Max: 1 to 5 (Number of players minus three)

How to create them: When the team returns to the Rec Room after a successful mission in which no sabotage card was played and during which the captain did not use either of his/her captain powers. The captain can decide to set aside the components of a makeshift blood test kit. The kit requires a copper wire and a petri dish. Every player provides a card. The captain looks at the cards in secret, selects two in secret and sets them aside face down as a makeshift blood test kit.

When a captain forms a team for a new mission, if that mission requires a copper wire or petri dish for success, the captain can choose to dismantle one makeshift blood test kit and replace one of his/her own cards with the card that is required for the mission. The other card from the dismantled kit is discarded.

This rule starts stacking the odds in the humans' favor if the players are just sailing through missions without challenge. It lets the captain decide when to set a kit aside and gives an imitation captain more possible avenues for subtle sabotage.

For instance, the cards the imitation captain sets aside could be two random cards. If the pair is not copper wire and petri dish, it cannot be used as a test kit.

Or an imitation captain can dismantle a makeshift test kit and secretly discard the useful part instead of using it to succeed a mission.

At the end of the game, the final captain will reveal the cards set aside as makeshift kits. The total number of blood test kits will be those remaining from the infection tracker, those provided by flame thrower cards and the makeshift kits created throughout the game.

I only just ordered the game, but I've read a lot of comments about balance issues. If we find balance to be a problem, what I might try first is to award bonus blood test kits for missions that succeed without sabotage. That way the imitations cannot simply hide and play straight.

This rule gives you a couple of ways to adjust its strength:
- For instance, you could impose a cap on blood test kits.
- Or you could award kits only for certain missions, such as those that have copper wire or a petri dish as the requirement.
- Or destroy a bonus kit when a sabotage card is played, whether it is handled successfully or not.

This way you can create a sort of tug-of-war over blood test kits, forcing humans and imitations to go all out for survival.
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Francesco Padovani
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Zombull wrote:
I only just ordered the game, but I've read a lot of comments about balance issues. If we find balance to be a problem, what I will try first is this:

Makeshift Blood Test Kits
Max: 1 to 5 (Number of players minus three)

How to create them: When the team returns to the Rec Room after a successful mission in which no sabotage card was played and during which the captain did not use either of his/her captain powers. The captain can decide to set aside the components of a makeshift blood test kit. The kit requires a copper wire and a petri dish. Every player provides a card. The captain looks at the cards in secret, selects two in secret and sets them aside face down as a makeshift blood test kit.

When a captain forms a team for a new mission, if that mission requires a copper wire or petri dish for success, the captain can choose to dismantle one makeshift blood test kit and replace one of his/her own cards with the card that is required for the mission. The other card from the dismantled kit is discarded.

This rule starts stacking the odds in the humans' favor if the players are just sailing through missions without challenge. It lets the captain decide when to set a kit aside and gives an imitation captain more possible avenues for subtle sabotage.

For instance, the cards the imitation captain sets aside could be two random cards. If the pair is not copper wire and petri dish, it cannot be used as a test kit.

Or an imitation captain can dismantle a makeshift test kit and secretly discard the useful part instead of using it to succeed a mission.

At the end of the game, the final captain will reveal the cards set aside as makeshift kits. The total number of blood test kits will be those remaining from the infection tracker, those provided by flame thrower cards and the makeshift kits created throughout the game.

I only just ordered the game, but I've read a lot of comments about balance issues. If we find balance to be a problem, what I might try first is to award bonus blood test kits for missions that succeed without sabotage. That way the imitations cannot simply hide and play straight.

This rule gives you a couple of ways to adjust its strength:
- For instance, you could impose a cap on blood test kits.
- Or you could award kits only for certain missions, such as those that have copper wire or a petri dish as the requirement.
- Or destroy a bonus kit when a sabotage card is played, whether it is handled successfully or not.

This way you can create a sort of tug-of-war over blood test kits, forcing humans and imitations to go all out for survival.


This sounds like a very cool idea, have you tried that already? In your mind is it possible to assemble just one makeshift kit or as many as possible?
Also do you think that this could work at any player count?
 
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Francesco Padovani
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Sorry, I’m an idiot xd, just realized you already answered those questions. Still curious though if you tried this idea out.
 
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