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Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » Variants

Subject: Evolving Board Ideas rss

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Randy D

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I saw somewhere on this board it was suggested to place a debris marker on any hex where a ship is blown up. This debris marker not only covers up whatever was below it (mission point, buy/sell space, etc.) making it inaccessible as though it was damaged in the explosion, it also is another space where players can perform the salvage action.

I really like this idea because it makes the board evolve over time in a very thematic way based on the events in the game. And this change can have unexpected results (require players pass through debris field in order to enter planet), which can in turn affect players' decisions. Plus, it is a very simple thing which does not add any extra time or complexity to the game. All these are pluses in my book.

I definitely will start playing it this way, but was wondering if the debris marker should remain for the rest of the game or if it is temporary and is removed after someone salvages from it. The idea here is that one successful salvage action is enough to obtain all useful parts from a single ship explosion and any covered up location (ex. buy/sell space) that was damaged in the explosion was able to rebuild/repair in that time making it accessible again.

In thinking of other ways to have the board change over time in thematic ways, another idea occurred to me and I wanted to throw it out to the fanbase to see what y'all think of it.

Whenever a standard salvage/mine action is performed on a hex, a marker is then placed on that hex to indicate the next action on that hex should be a little more difficult. The idea is that the more a debris field or mine is picked through, the less available resources become. The odds of getting damaged shouldn't change, only the roll value that equals a success should change based on how many markers are there (how many times it was salvaged/mined). For example, the first player to mine a specific hex applies the normal D20 result (1-10=DAMAGE, 11-20=SUCCESS). If they roll a 15, they are successful and take the cargo from the supply but also place a token on the hex to indicate it was successfully mined once. The next time they mine, while 1-10 still causes damage, they need to roll 12-20 for success (a roll of 11 does no damage but yields no cargo). If they roll a 12, then they successfully take another cargo from the supply and place another marker down, which increases the requirement for success another value (13-20). I suppose you would need to cap this so they don't become extremely difficult, so maybe it stops at 15-20, at which point 15-20 will always yield cargo regardless how many more times it was mined.

What this seems like it would do is create greater tension in a race to be the first ones at these various locations to claim the easier rewards first. In the games I've played, there really wasn't any tension over these spots since we knew we could always get there any time in the game if we wanted. Another thing it would do is lessen the cargo-trolling situation where a mine appears near the planet that buys that cargo. In a few games I played, it actually occurred where the mine appeared very close to the planet that bought that cargo and so the player won the game by just going back & forth between these 2 spots -- stocking up on mined cargo & selling it. And lastly, this would also cause the board to evolve in a thematic way over time as well.

However, while I like this concept, it does seem like it could deter players from even going the mine/salvage route later in the game if the mines/debris fields have all been salvaged/mined to the point where they don't feel worthwhile anymore.

What do you think:
Good idea? Potentially good idea with suggested tweaks? Bad idea?
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Steve Beeman
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My problem with this is that space is huge. A one space hex is still quite a large amount of usable space in staying with the theme.
 
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SteoanK wrote:
My problem with this is that space is huge. A one space hex is still quite a large amount of usable space in staying with the theme.


I think sometimes a little theme can be sacrificed in the name of a fun mechanic.

In Twilight Imperium, the board represents a much larger area of space than that in Xia (i.e, the whole galaxy vs one single system), yet somehow one fleet of ships in one system blocks another fleet of ships in another system. Can't they just use the few dozen light-years either side to go around?
 
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randyd42 wrote:
I saw somewhere on this board it was suggested to place a debris marker on any hex where a ship is blown up. This debris marker not only covers up whatever was below it (mission point, buy/sell space, etc.) making it inaccessible as though it was damaged in the explosion, it also is another space where players can perform the salvage action.

I really like this idea because it makes the board evolve over time in a very thematic way based on the events in the game. And this change can have unexpected results (require players pass through debris field in order to enter planet), which can in turn affect players' decisions. Plus, it is a very simple thing which does not add any extra time or complexity to the game. All these are pluses in my book.

I definitely will start playing it this way, but was wondering if the debris marker should remain for the rest of the game or if it is temporary and is removed after someone salvages from it. The idea here is that one successful salvage action is enough to obtain all useful parts from a single ship explosion and any covered up location (ex. buy/sell space) that was damaged in the explosion was able to rebuild/repair in that time making it accessible again.

In thinking of other ways to have the board change over time in thematic ways, another idea occurred to me and I wanted to throw it out to the fanbase to see what y'all think of it.

Whenever a standard salvage/mine action is performed on a hex, a marker is then placed on that hex to indicate the next action on that hex should be a little more difficult. The idea is that the more a debris field or mine is picked through, the less available resources become. The odds of getting damaged shouldn't change, only the roll value that equals a success should change based on how many markers are there (how many times it was salvaged/mined). For example, the first player to mine a specific hex applies the normal D20 result (1-10=DAMAGE, 11-20=SUCCESS). If they roll a 15, they are successful and take the cargo from the supply but also place a token on the hex to indicate it was successfully mined once. The next time they mine, while 1-10 still causes damage, they need to roll 12-20 for success (a roll of 11 does no damage but yields no cargo). If they roll a 12, then they successfully take another cargo from the supply and place another marker down, which increases the requirement for success another value (13-20). I suppose you would need to cap this so they don't become extremely difficult, so maybe it stops at 15-20, at which point 15-20 will always yield cargo regardless how many more times it was mined.

What this seems like it would do is create greater tension in a race to be the first ones at these various locations to claim the easier rewards first. In the games I've played, there really wasn't any tension over these spots since we knew we could always get there any time in the game if we wanted. Another thing it would do is lessen the cargo-trolling situation where a mine appears near the planet that buys that cargo. In a few games I played, it actually occurred where the mine appeared very close to the planet that bought that cargo and so the player won the game by just going back & forth between these 2 spots -- stocking up on mined cargo & selling it. And lastly, this would also cause the board to evolve in a thematic way over time as well.

However, while I like this concept, it does seem like it could deter players from even going the mine/salvage route later in the game if the mines/debris fields have all been salvaged/mined to the point where they don't feel worthwhile anymore.

What do you think:
Good idea? Potentially good idea with suggested tweaks? Bad idea?


I like it, with only one small caveat: I'm not a fan of fiddly bookkeeping. If you can tell me a way to track this that is relatively fiddly-free, then I'm in.
 
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My only issue with the explosion idea is that if somebody had that mission point as an objective, then you victimize that person. This could be sorted by allowing the action to be done from an adjacent hex in the same way as if a player was on that spot.

-Ski
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
My problem with this is that space is huge. A one space hex is still quite a large amount of usable space in staying with the theme.


I think sometimes a little theme can be sacrificed in the name of a fun mechanic.

In Twilight Imperium, the board represents a much larger area of space than that in Xia (i.e, the whole galaxy vs one single system), yet somehow one fleet of ships in one system blocks another fleet of ships in another system. Can't they just use the few dozen light-years either side to go around?


The difference between these games is in TI you are representing an entire species and fleets of ships. Xia you have one tiny ship in a larger space system. You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.
 
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SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.


shake
 
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SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.

I think "scale" in this game is obviously very relative. The planets obviously are not that close together (or close to the star), but having huge gaps wouldn't make for as fun of a game.

Real life nebulae would be GIGANTIC in relative scale to the planets, not tiny little wisps of cloud.

I think if "scale" is your primary argument against the OP's suggestion, I think it's that you are thinking scale really matters in this game that is in error.

If you want to introduce scale, based on the size of the planets you'd need to be playing on a board that is the size of a moderately-sized town at the very least.
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Regarding the idea for mining becoming more difficult, I thought maybe this would work:

You would need a large number of black disks about the size of one hex on the board.

When mining/scavenging/etc (I'll just say "mining" from now on to refer to all of these activities), instead of only being able to mine at the one single assigned space you can normally mine on on each tile, you can instead mine on any space showing the relevant feature on that tile (so for example, you could mine on any space showing asteroids on a mining tile).

When you mine a space, you place a black token on it to show that that specific space has now been mined (it cannot be mined again).

For each black disk on a tile, increase the number needed to successfully mine the tile by 1 (or maybe only for every 2 disks on the tile, increase the success number by 1).
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.

I think "scale" in this game is obviously very relative. The planets obviously are not that close together (or close to the star), but having huge gaps wouldn't make for as fun of a game.

Real life nebulae would be GIGANTIC in relative scale to the planets, not tiny little wisps of cloud.

I think if "scale" is your primary argument against the OP's suggestion, I think it's that you are thinking scale really matters in this game that is in error.

If you want to introduce scale, based on the size of the planets you'd need to be playing on a board that is the size of a moderately-sized town at the very least.


This. But I couldn't be bothered to explain it.
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bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.

I think "scale" in this game is obviously very relative. The planets obviously are not that close together (or close to the star), but having huge gaps wouldn't make for as fun of a game.

Real life nebulae would be GIGANTIC in relative scale to the planets, not tiny little wisps of cloud.

I think if "scale" is your primary argument against the OP's suggestion, I think it's that you are thinking scale really matters in this game that is in error.

If you want to introduce scale, based on the size of the planets you'd need to be playing on a board that is the size of a moderately-sized town at the very least.


This. But I couldn't be bothered to explain it.


You're both still missing what my argument was. You were using TI as an example of how scale doesn't matter since you can't move past your opponents fleet of ships, yet for that exact reason is why it doesn't make sense to add this debris rule here in Xia. You CAN move through enemy ship spaces in Xia. The scale is not the same, since in TI you are using fleets to defend planets when a small ship in Xia can run circles around planets/enemies.
 
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SteoanK wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.

I think "scale" in this game is obviously very relative. The planets obviously are not that close together (or close to the star), but having huge gaps wouldn't make for as fun of a game.

Real life nebulae would be GIGANTIC in relative scale to the planets, not tiny little wisps of cloud.

I think if "scale" is your primary argument against the OP's suggestion, I think it's that you are thinking scale really matters in this game that is in error.

If you want to introduce scale, based on the size of the planets you'd need to be playing on a board that is the size of a moderately-sized town at the very least.


This. But I couldn't be bothered to explain it.


You're both still missing what my argument was. You were using TI as an example of how scale doesn't matter since you can't move past your opponents fleet of ships, yet for that exact reason is why it doesn't make sense to add this debris rule here in Xia. You CAN move through enemy ship spaces in Xia. The scale is not the same, since in TI you are using fleets to defend planets when a small ship in Xia can run circles around planets/enemies.


And what we're saying is that in both games the scale is irrelevant and there are many things that don't make sense in regard to the scale, so it's not worth fussing about.
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bleached_lizard wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.

I think "scale" in this game is obviously very relative. The planets obviously are not that close together (or close to the star), but having huge gaps wouldn't make for as fun of a game.

Real life nebulae would be GIGANTIC in relative scale to the planets, not tiny little wisps of cloud.

I think if "scale" is your primary argument against the OP's suggestion, I think it's that you are thinking scale really matters in this game that is in error.

If you want to introduce scale, based on the size of the planets you'd need to be playing on a board that is the size of a moderately-sized town at the very least.


This. But I couldn't be bothered to explain it.


You're both still missing what my argument was. You were using TI as an example of how scale doesn't matter since you can't move past your opponents fleet of ships, yet for that exact reason is why it doesn't make sense to add this debris rule here in Xia. You CAN move through enemy ship spaces in Xia. The scale is not the same, since in TI you are using fleets to defend planets when a small ship in Xia can run circles around planets/enemies.


And what we're saying is that in both games the scale is irrelevant and there are many things that don't make sense in regard to the scale, so it's not worth fussing about.

This. If you wanted to consider scale in this game, or any game:
- Asteroids should have no effect. The idea of dense "asteroid fields" like you see in Star Wars is not really something you see in real life. Dodging an asteroid would be simplicty itself - no different than dodging another ship. Only if you were trying to MINE one would you potentially have issues.
- Debris would have no effect. Sure, if you are getting close enough to salvage stuff you MIGHT run into a cluster of debris, but if you were just flying around, dodging debris would be easy - no risk at all, really.
- Dodging a comet would be no problem.

The fact is, scale is not a factor in this game, nor should it be. If you are complaining about the OP's idea to add debris to a destroyed ship because of "scale", then you should have the same issue with pretty much EVERY piece of debris or asteroid on the board, and should be complaining that the nebulae are far too small.

This game wasn't meant to be "realistic" in any way, so things that wouldn't make sense "scale wise" in the real world are just fine here.

And yes, you can move through spaces with other ships in this game because "space is big". Yet, somehow, you can't END movement on a space with another ship, because apparently it's not THAT big.
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.

I think "scale" in this game is obviously very relative. The planets obviously are not that close together (or close to the star), but having huge gaps wouldn't make for as fun of a game.

Real life nebulae would be GIGANTIC in relative scale to the planets, not tiny little wisps of cloud.

I think if "scale" is your primary argument against the OP's suggestion, I think it's that you are thinking scale really matters in this game that is in error.

If you want to introduce scale, based on the size of the planets you'd need to be playing on a board that is the size of a moderately-sized town at the very least.


This. But I couldn't be bothered to explain it.


You're both still missing what my argument was. You were using TI as an example of how scale doesn't matter since you can't move past your opponents fleet of ships, yet for that exact reason is why it doesn't make sense to add this debris rule here in Xia. You CAN move through enemy ship spaces in Xia. The scale is not the same, since in TI you are using fleets to defend planets when a small ship in Xia can run circles around planets/enemies.


And what we're saying is that in both games the scale is irrelevant and there are many things that don't make sense in regard to the scale, so it's not worth fussing about.


Sure, whatever makes the game fun for you, do that. However, I am pointing out how because of the scale and a specific rule in the game, hurting a whole space on the board doesn't make sense.
 
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SteoanK wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.

I think "scale" in this game is obviously very relative. The planets obviously are not that close together (or close to the star), but having huge gaps wouldn't make for as fun of a game.

Real life nebulae would be GIGANTIC in relative scale to the planets, not tiny little wisps of cloud.

I think if "scale" is your primary argument against the OP's suggestion, I think it's that you are thinking scale really matters in this game that is in error.

If you want to introduce scale, based on the size of the planets you'd need to be playing on a board that is the size of a moderately-sized town at the very least.


This. But I couldn't be bothered to explain it.


You're both still missing what my argument was. You were using TI as an example of how scale doesn't matter since you can't move past your opponents fleet of ships, yet for that exact reason is why it doesn't make sense to add this debris rule here in Xia. You CAN move through enemy ship spaces in Xia. The scale is not the same, since in TI you are using fleets to defend planets when a small ship in Xia can run circles around planets/enemies.


And what we're saying is that in both games the scale is irrelevant and there are many things that don't make sense in regard to the scale, so it's not worth fussing about.


Sure, whatever makes the game fun for you, do that. However, I am pointing out how because of the scale and a specific rule in the game, hurting a whole space on the board doesn't make sense.

Again, I ask - how does it make any less sense than all the other hazard spaces on the board?
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:
You're still not thinking in terms of scale properly.

I think "scale" in this game is obviously very relative. The planets obviously are not that close together (or close to the star), but having huge gaps wouldn't make for as fun of a game.

Real life nebulae would be GIGANTIC in relative scale to the planets, not tiny little wisps of cloud.

I think if "scale" is your primary argument against the OP's suggestion, I think it's that you are thinking scale really matters in this game that is in error.

If you want to introduce scale, based on the size of the planets you'd need to be playing on a board that is the size of a moderately-sized town at the very least.


This. But I couldn't be bothered to explain it.


You're both still missing what my argument was. You were using TI as an example of how scale doesn't matter since you can't move past your opponents fleet of ships, yet for that exact reason is why it doesn't make sense to add this debris rule here in Xia. You CAN move through enemy ship spaces in Xia. The scale is not the same, since in TI you are using fleets to defend planets when a small ship in Xia can run circles around planets/enemies.


And what we're saying is that in both games the scale is irrelevant and there are many things that don't make sense in regard to the scale, so it's not worth fussing about.


Sure, whatever makes the game fun for you, do that. However, I am pointing out how because of the scale and a specific rule in the game, hurting a whole space on the board doesn't make sense.

Again, I ask - how does it make any less sense than all the other hazard spaces on the board?


Because the debris from one little ship doesn't equal an asteroid field.
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Regarding the idea for mining becoming more difficult, I thought maybe this would work:

You would need a large number of black disks about the size of one hex on the board.

When mining/scavenging/etc (I'll just say "mining" from now on to refer to all of these activities), instead of only being able to mine at the one single assigned space you can normally mine on on each tile, you can instead mine on any space showing the relevant feature on that tile (so for example, you could mine on any space showing asteroids on a mining tile).

When you mine a space, you place a black token on it to show that that specific space has now been mined (it cannot be mined again).

For each black disk on a tile, increase the number needed to successfully mine the tile by 1 (or maybe only for every 2 disks on the tile, increase the success number by 1).


I'm not a fan of fiddly book-keeping either and would not apply a variant like this if it couldn't be a simple matter.

I originally was thinking of pairs of double-sided tokens with numbers (1/2 & 3/4). The first time a spot is mined the first token is placed "1" side up. The second time it is mined, then token is flipped over ("2" side up). The third time it is replaced by the other token "3" side up, and the fourth time it is mined, the token is flipped over ("4" side up). After this, the token just remains on the "4" side up every time it is mined. When you roll, you simply add the face up number to the base required value to succeed (ex. face up "2" means you need greater than (10+2) to succeed).

Another idea is to use a die to represent this value. The benefit is that everything is summed up into a single marker, but the downside is that it takes of space on the hex.

However, I like your idea as you get a better sense of the good/easy mining spots being taken up by seeing those surrounding sections getting marked.
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SteoanK wrote:

Because the debris from one little ship doesn't equal an asteroid field.

How many trillions of ships would have had to be destroyed to make a debris field that would actually be dangerous enough to pass through as represented on the board?

That's my point. Yes, I agree, one ship destroyed wouldn't REALLY be much debris to dodge. But it would take an astronomical number of destroyed ships to make the printed debris fields "realistic".

The same with asteroids. Scale obviously isn't really factored into the game mechanics. If you want to talk scale, it doesn't matter if it's one ship or hundreds of ships - neither one, in the scope of scale, would matter one bit.
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:

Because the debris from one little ship doesn't equal an asteroid field.

How many trillions of ships would have had to be destroyed to make a debris field that would actually be dangerous enough to pass through as represented on the board?

That's my point. Yes, I agree, one ship destroyed wouldn't REALLY be much debris to dodge. But it would take an astronomical number of destroyed ships to make the printed debris fields "realistic".

The same with asteroids. Scale obviously isn't really factored into the game mechanics. If you want to talk scale, it doesn't matter if it's one ship or hundreds of ships - neither one, in the scope of scale, would matter one bit.


Debris doesn't mean just destroyed ships. But space has a lot of debris in it already.
 
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Teamski wrote:
My only issue with the explosion idea is that if somebody had that mission point as an objective, then you victimize that person. This could be sorted by allowing the action to be done from an adjacent hex in the same way as if a player was on that spot.

-Ski

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The player can select a different mission if things happen that make their current mission more difficult, but if they really wanted that specific one, they could always salvage the debris to remove the token and make the mission point accessible once again.

Refresh my memory, can Rikishi potentially block a mission point?
 
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Just a thought, I CAN see a way for this to work and be interesting while adding a little something. I don't think it should have the same or anywhere near as a rough penalty as a normal salvage/debris field.

Something like you can travel through it fine, but if you choose to land and try to salvage anything you have to roll for it. On a 1 you take damage, 2-10 you can find't anything useful. 11-20 gain a small benefit (1 cube) and remove the salvage space.

I'd also keep in mind blowing up another player can often be beneficial already because they might have cargo. In fact unless a mission states for you to blow someone up I hardly ever see a reason to do so UNLESS they have cargo I want.
 
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SteoanK wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
SteoanK wrote:

Because the debris from one little ship doesn't equal an asteroid field.

How many trillions of ships would have had to be destroyed to make a debris field that would actually be dangerous enough to pass through as represented on the board?

That's my point. Yes, I agree, one ship destroyed wouldn't REALLY be much debris to dodge. But it would take an astronomical number of destroyed ships to make the printed debris fields "realistic".

The same with asteroids. Scale obviously isn't really factored into the game mechanics. If you want to talk scale, it doesn't matter if it's one ship or hundreds of ships - neither one, in the scope of scale, would matter one bit.


Debris doesn't mean just destroyed ships. But space has a lot of debris in it already.

Not nearly enough to cause the kind of navigational hazards that the game indicates, especially for one who just wants to go through it.

On a "true scale", space is very, very, very empty. If you want to go from point A to point B, you can do so in almost a straight line every time. Even dodging something as big as a planet is pretty trivial.
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Luke Masouras
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Syracuse
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I love the idea! I will be using it.

All games are abstractions anyway and this does not negatively affect the game in any way, it just added to the theme. And I do not see it adding any more booking.

Thanks, Randy!
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Trogdor The Burninator
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I've been using Debris Field Tokens (for destroyed ships) for while now, with the following ruling:
-when destroyed within a Planetary Boundry, both Debris and Cargo are incinerated.
-Outside Planetary Boundaries: if Debris Field Token is covering a "useful space", player must make a standard Debris Field roll before accessing said space.

Alternate rule: player may fly adjacent to "useful space" and access it by spending 1 extra movement point. This avoids the situation where a player would have to make a Debris Field roll, then make a separate Salvage/Mining/Harvest/Excavate roll.

In regards to the "scale" discussion...how am I supposed to dock inside the Kiln when my ship is clearly larger than the space station?
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Fed Aykin

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randyd42 wrote:
In a few games I played, it actually occurred where the mine appeared very close to the planet that bought that cargo and so the player won the game by just going back & forth between these 2 spots -- stocking up on mined cargo & selling it. And lastly, this would also cause the board to evolve in a thematic way over time as well.



Do I assume correctly that you don't have the expansion? It addresses short trade routes using the economy board.
 
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