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Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » General

Subject: How Many Blank Sectors to Include? rss

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P C
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Loving base game and Embers. I'm getting some development kits shortly and I'm just wondering, how many dev kit empty sectors of space do people include in their games?

Table space is not an issue. I have three kits coming, should I chuck all nine blanks in and prepare for 'Xia: Extended Travel Simulator'?
 
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Team Ski
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Trust me, one is enough! You put any more blanks in there and the game will become nigh unplayable with some planets being stranded out in the middle of nowhere and a few unfortunate players who have them as mission goals more than unhappy. One is enough.

-Ski
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Scott Lewis
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I've used the extra blank sectors from the Dev Kit in quite a few games, and I couldn't disagree more with the "nigh unplayable" comment. It plays just fine with the extra empty sectors, and in our games it's never caused any trouble.
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Barry Miller
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With the expansion (32 sectors) I include three or four additional blanks (maybe even five depending on our mood). We build the draw pile so that one comes up within a group of every five or six tiles, if that makes sense.

It's funny, but what Team Ski claims above as "unplayable", is exactly the reason that we use the blanks! We like the notion of a remote planet. Much more thematic that way! Introduces more complex choices for the player to make when empty space "gets in the way".

Also, we never did like how "busy" (and gaudy) the Xia galaxy looks with only one blank tile in the mix. By throwing in a few more blanks, it spreads out all that "business", so at least from an aesthetics point of view, the galaxy juts looks better. But we haven't found it to be a game breaker.

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P C
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Thanks for all the feedback so far, makes for interesting reading.

I am leaning more towards including more than one blank sector for the exact same reasons that you have Barry. However does anyone who includes more blanks ever find that individual player ships are too remote from each other? Significantly impacting the usual Xia close melting pot?
 
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Scott Lewis
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Valgar wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback so far, makes for interesting reading.

I am leaning more towards including more than one blank sector for the exact same reasons that you have Barry. However does anyone who includes more blanks ever find that individual player ships are too remote from each other? Significantly impacting the usual Xia close melting pot?

For us, it has never been a problem. If you want to get close to another player, you will.
 
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Team Ski
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Valgar wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback so far, makes for interesting reading.

I am leaning more towards including more than one blank sector for the exact same reasons that you have Barry. However does anyone who includes more blanks ever find that individual player ships are too remote from each other? Significantly impacting the usual Xia close melting pot?


Again, if somebody want to attack ships and they are all 5 sectors away, well, then you have a problem. I Truly think it affects play balance.

-Ski
 
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Scott Lewis
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Teamski wrote:
Valgar wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback so far, makes for interesting reading.

I am leaning more towards including more than one blank sector for the exact same reasons that you have Barry. However does anyone who includes more blanks ever find that individual player ships are too remote from each other? Significantly impacting the usual Xia close melting pot?


Again, if somebody want to attack ships and they are all 5 sectors away, well, then you have a problem. I Truly think it affects play balance.

-Ski

That can happen just as easily with or without extra blank sectors. If you used the Dev Kit sectors to make non-blanks, you would have exactly the same "issue".

The play balance of this game isn't so ultra-fine-tuned that it's going to make much difference in practice. And the chances of getting a whole slew blank sectors all bunched up, while possible, are not that high.
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Team Ski
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sigmazero13 wrote:

The play balance of this game isn't so ultra-fine-tuned that it's going to make much difference in practice. And the chances of getting a whole slew blank sectors all bunched up, while possible, are not that high.


LOL! Funny you should mention it. The last 3 games I played had all of the blanks grouped together even after being well shuffled.

-Ski
 
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Scott Lewis
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Hmm, very weird I don't think I've ever had more than 2 of the blanks next to each other.
 
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Barry Miller
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What the two of you are talking about above is exactly why I construct the sector draw stack so that the blanks are spaced out, as I briefly mentioned in my post above.

Here's a bit more detail:

For instance, when using six blank tiles:

1) Shuffle the Sector tiles (except for "Nyr" and the core "Empty" tiles) and distribute into six piles of five each.

2) Then add one blank tile to each of the six piles, and shuffle each pile. Then stack the piles on top of each other to form the draw stack.

That way, the blanks are distributed through-out the draw stack.


Or if that's too many blank tiles for your liking, then adjust the numbers as you desire, such as:

When using four blank tiles:

1) Shuffle the Sector tiles (except for "Nyr" and the core "Empty" tiles) and distribute into two piles of seven each and two piles of eight each.

2) Then add one blank tile to each of the four piles, and shuffle each pile. Then alternatively stack the piles on top of each other to form the draw stack.


And for five blank tiles, you would shuffle the blanks into five stacks, etc.


And finally, if you don't want any blanks in your setup tiles, then setup the game normally first, then do the above steps, adjusting for the number of tiles remaining in the draw stack.


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Trueflight Silverwing
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I play with 3 dev kits (each has 3 blank sectors in it, so 9 total). We like the fact that it spreads out the game a bit and makes blind jumping a bit more appealing and fun.

That said, it does hurt the ability to run missions early on, but that is fine with us. I like the fact that you need to explore and find things first. Also, as Ira mentioned in anther thread, they are addressing this with the new missions in the upcoming expansion.
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Edwin Woody
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Teamski wrote:
Valgar wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback so far, makes for interesting reading.

I am leaning more towards including more than one blank sector for the exact same reasons that you have Barry. However does anyone who includes more blanks ever find that individual player ships are too remote from each other? Significantly impacting the usual Xia close melting pot?


Again, if somebody want to attack ships and they are all 5 sectors away, well, then you have a problem. I Truly think it affects play balance.

-Ski


I have never seen distance as a problem because in Xia the ships can move.
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Momo Momo
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Honestly, Valgar, only you can answer that question. Chuck 'em all in, and find out for yourself. If it's too much, take some out on the next playthrough.

The way the game works, it doesn't really matter how well the tiles have been shuffled. If one player is exploring in one direction, and another is exploring in a different direction, alternating between the two, there is a good chance blank space tiles can end up next to each other. Like I said in another thread, my games almost always end up with the two gates side by side.

It's random. It's unpredictable. It's wild space! It's Xia!
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P C
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It does indeed seem that people are having many different experiences with the blank sectors. I look forward to receiving mine, and I think I'll start with four blanks and see how we go.

Thanks for everyone's feedback.
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Tyinsar -
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If limited for table space I like to add 5 blanks for a total of 37 tiles (base = 21, Embers = 11, Dev kit tiles = 5). It makes a perfect hex shape, doesn't spread out too oddly, and keeps the universe a decent size and distance apart.

You can start out with all the unexplored space tiles upside down or make a rule that you can't go more than three tiles from the Kiln.

Here's some randomly laid out tiles as a sample of what the explored map might look like:
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Adam Rouse
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I thought the blank sectors were for people who wanted to make their own tiles. Didn't realize people included them as blanks. We did that our first couple games by mistake, then took them out.

Maybe it'd be worth putting them back. I don't think they caused any problems. It was just a bit disappointing to flip over a blank tile, whereas at least if you flip a tile that's bad for you, it's always entertaining to see someone accidentally blind jump into the sun.
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Jason Sallay
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With the embers expansion we start as normal then if any spots are still open next to Nyr after placing starting tiles, we fill up all spaces with blanks.

Also we play that if gate would be placed adjacent to a gate we redraw, same with blank tiles. Unless there is no other option of course

We use 3 dev kits worth of blank tiles.
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