Jason Sallay
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So last night we played an epic 5 player - 6 hour game that was super close (2 players fighting to finish that turn, 1 player could finish in another turn, 1 middle of the pack, 1 trailing at 13 FP)

We used 'threaded actions', what that means is:
* Each player could do 1 or 2 major and unlimited minor actions on their turn.
* Passing ended their turn that round.
* Could not take 0 actions, must do at least one major action or pass.
* Impulse was a minor action
* Mine/Salvage/Harvest - Any number of rolls were all part of one action
* (rule reminder) Activating an engine with multiple arm markers is only one action.
* After all players have passed, perform any business phase, then each player ran their NPC, then round ended.
* Start player token moved to the right (counter-clockwise) after each round, play of course went left (clockwise).

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Exploration
Xia came out very late, almost at the bottom of the stack.
There was some concern about other people coming and stealing your exploration tokens.
Sometimes people would move to the edge of a border with a standard action then wait till their next turn then explore action 1, move action 2.
Because of the two action limit there was a LOT of people blind jumping even deep into the stack, created a lot of tension. This was in part because stopping to scan, was less efficient. Stopping at a point and scanning two adjacent sectors did not happen even once. Now scanning one sector at the start of a turn, and then moving to claim FP and/or blind jumping into a second sector became the most common way of exploring.

2) Combat and dying/respawing.
Only one player ended up going combat strategy and that was a late game come back mechanic for him. He did kill both point leaders, netting 6 FP and delaying them, putting him solidly in 3rd place with one more turn chance of winning.
Combat is very possible even with threaded actions
There was some debate about how respawing should work.
Argument A: Beginning of the round was the start of every players turn thats when everyone respawns.
Argument B: When a player goes to take their first action in a round thats when their turn 'starts' and thats when they respawn.
I strongly favour B: because otherwise you can have a situation where a player ends the round at one hit point and the attacker can kill them and they lose their complete round before even acting under A. B is how I will play it in the future. (feel free to ask if this is not clear or more logic required).

3) NPC's
Once again NPC's felt under powered in the late game.
I would not run the NPCs at the end of the round again. I would have them activate after the the owner passes.
After the game a couple of players campaigned to have more NPC actions, to have them move around the board more and engage in more combat. I may test running them after owner passes and then again in player order at the end of the round for two activations total per round.
I will likely house rule using the different tier of NPC's from the solo game - maybe upgrading after the first player hits 11 or more FP?

4) Over all feedback
All the players said they preferred the threaded actions as it kept the game flowing and players more involved at the table. I will teach the game using normal rules for new players, but for people who have played before I am totally going to continue to use threaded actions if everyone agrees

Going forward these are the rules I am going to use/test:
* Each player can do 1 or 2 major and unlimited minor actions on their turn.
* Passing ends a players turn that round, when passing owners activate their NPC and then perform their business phase if applicable and any end of turn actions (rearming markers, etc.)
* Can not take 0 actions, must do at least one major action or pass.
* Impulse is a minor action
* Mine/Salvage/Harvest - Any number of rolls are part of one action
* (rule reminder) Activating an engine with multiple arm markers is only one action.
* After all players have passed the round ends. Start player token is moved to the right (counter-clockwise).
* Start a new round, playing to left (clockwise).
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Tyinsar -
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Grande Prairie
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Sounds something like: Has anyone tried interlaced actions to reduce downtime? Though I have not compared these closely.

FoxmanFX wrote:
So last night we played an epic 5 player - 6 hour game ...
So it decreases the time between (shorter) plays but did it actually make the whole game time any shorter?

We usually just play to a preset time - then one last round. We've had both high and low score games with this method but in general everyone seems happy with this.

Anyway, what I really wanted to post is that I see so many ideas that sound interesting but then no one follows up after trying it so thank you for the report on this. I don't think I'm ready to try this yet but I'd be grateful to hear what other tweaks you implement after more sessions.
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Chris J Davis
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Tyinsar wrote:
Sounds something like: Has anyone tried interlaced actions to reduce downtime? Though I have not compared these closely.

FoxmanFX wrote:
So last night we played an epic 5 player - 6 hour game ...
So it decreases the time between (shorter) plays but did it actually make the whole game time any shorter?

We usually just play to a preset time - then one last round. We've had both high and low score games with this method but in general everyone seems happy with this.

Anyway, what I really wanted to post is that I see so many ideas that sound interesting but then no one follows up after trying it so thank you for the report on this. I don't think I'm ready to try this yet but I'd be grateful to hear what other tweaks you implement after more sessions.
A variation of this is our default way of playing now (I'm the guy who started the other thread you linked to), and pretty much everyone I've played with prefers it. It doesn't reduce the length of the game (you're still taking the same number of actions), but there's less of an epic gap between your bouts of activity.
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Daniel Rodriguez
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Tyinsar wrote:
Sounds something like: Has anyone tried interlaced actions to reduce downtime? Though I have not compared these closely.

FoxmanFX wrote:
So last night we played an epic 5 player - 6 hour game ...
So it decreases the time between (shorter) plays but did it actually make the whole game time any shorter?

We usually just play to a preset time - then one last round. We've had both high and low score games with this method but in general everyone seems happy with this.

Anyway, what I really wanted to post is that I see so many ideas that sound interesting but then no one follows up after trying it so thank you for the report on this. I don't think I'm ready to try this yet but I'd be grateful to hear what other tweaks you implement after more sessions.
A variation of this is our default way of playing now (I'm the guy who started the other thread you linked to), and pretty much everyone I've played with prefers it. It doesn't reduce the length of the game (you're still taking the same number of actions), but there's less of an epic gap between your bouts of activity.
The last few times I've played I've also used the variant that is in the post above. It doesnt shorten the game length but, as mentioned above, it dramatically shortens the down time which is what was killing this game for us. I would not ever go back to playing the original way.
 
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Jason Sallay
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Tyinsar wrote:
Sounds something like: Has anyone tried interlaced actions to reduce downtime? Though I have not compared these closely.
Yes that was the post that I was testing out thanks for linking! Tweaked for my own preferences. I found that leaving NPC's and business phase until the end didn't feel right for me and created some lag time at the end of the round. And leaving combat as a normal action didnt seem to hinder the combat at all. Going forward if you pass early in the turn get your business phase done to reduce the lag time at round end.

Tyinsar wrote:
So it decreases the time between (shorter) plays but did it actually make the whole game time any shorter?
No it doesnt reduce time, in fact it likely increases game length as you have to add in extra time to pass the turn and next person to start up playing. However for keeping everyone involved and having fun its a huge improvement, I feel the Pro's out weigh the Con's in this case.

I will keep plugging away at it and keep tweaking as needed
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Trueflight Silverwing
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The only issue I see with this is if there is a lot of combat. Normally you would start with all your markers armed, and be able to use them for shields to defend yourself. They can still be ranged after combat by spending the energy, but off you use two for your engines earlier in the turn, you more only have two remaining for the torn to use for your shields.

It may only effect a small percentage of the players out there, but it is still something worth considering.
 
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Jason Cook
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Though it would effect combat, it seems like it would just make the combat-focused player have to fully dedicate to it because their target would have the chance to adjust their behavior to try to flee if they wanted. This would of course delay them from what they were trying to accomplish but prevents them from being forced to start their turn very limited on energy because they were forced to arm shields, maybe multiple times, to survive an onslaught from a pirate player that focused on them with multiple shots.

I have not yet played a multi-player game of this but we're supposed to play tonight and I'm pretty sure I will use this variant from the start because from what I can tell there would be a HUGE amount of lag time for the non-active players while someone takes their entire series of actions.
 
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Trueflight Silverwing
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There really isn't that much down time. Maybe for your first game or two, but generally people are planning their next turn when it isn't their own. Figuring out where you want to go, what you plan to do. Generally you are also keeping an eye out on what new systems are popping up, any new trade routes that appear, what other players are doing in terms of their builds and things.

Lots to pay attention to and the more you play the faster the turns will go. In a normal 3 or 4 player game with experienced players, I often find that I don't have enough time in between turns to plan for my next one before it's my turn again.
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Mark Minardi
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Ohio
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Question: can a person just do delaying actions, such as one scan a round or one mine a round so that he can move and attack after his prey has used his charged markers and can no longer defend himself? Or if you are just waiting for your prey to come to you so you do not have to move and have more actions for attacking?

Sometimes it is better to go first, sometimes not, can the lowest FP player choose to hand off the first player token?
 
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