Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » Variants

Subject: Hyper System - Quick Game Variant for Embers rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Justin Tockey
United States
Sand Springs
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Hi everyone, first time poster here,

I just wanted to see what folks thought of a game variant that we've been enjoying recently. We call it the “Hyper System” and the purpose of this game variant is to eliminate early game lag and fix some of the balance issues facing certain professions.

The couple of times we've played this with 4 players we've noted that the game moves much faster and we’re able to get to 20 FP in under 4 hours no problem.

First, the game begins with all sector tiles revealed allowing NPCs to assume their roles immediately. Players are also able to complete all missions and develop an end-game strategy from turn #1. (Edit: This has changed, the game does not begin with sectors revealed, see edit notes below.)

Also, planets and gates are placed uniformly which ensures that nothing in the galaxy is more than 4 sectors away and really helps with game flow and balance.

To setup: remove The Lost Sector tile from the game. Place Xia in the center of the table and separate the sectors into three piles: planets, working gates, and all others then shuffle all three piles.

Begin by placing six random sectors around Xia, aligning with the edge markings. This is the first orbit and should look like this:



To build the second orbit, place the first working gate adjacent to two sectors in the first orbit. Continue placing sectors in the second orbit clockwise in the following pattern: gate, sector, planet, sector. Repeat this twice more until the second orbit is complete and should look like this:



The third orbit is not a complete ring. Instead place two random sectors adjacent to each working gate then bookend the two with planets. The third orbit should be: planet, sector, sector, planet, space, space; repeated 3 times. The finished board will look like this:



Ensure that each Planetary Shield Entrance is accessible without going off the tiles. All exploration tokens, relics, comets, and NPCs are placed on the board before the game begins.

Let me know what you think.

(Edit: A lot of folks were concerned with the loss of exploration in this variant so we worked out a way to bring it back while keeping the overall effectiveness of the Hyper System.

Simply follow the setup described above but instead of Xia in the center place Nyr in the center. Also when building the orbits, place all sector tiles face down and, when finished, flip the third orbit planets face up so players will have somewhere to spawn. Final setup should look like this:



Players then pick the planet spawn point at which they’d like to spawn just before their first turn and start exploring inward towards Nyr from there.)
11 
 Thumb up
6.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Sena
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
Re: Hyper System Game Variant for Embers
I will most likely try this the next time we play this.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyinsar -
Canada
Grande Prairie
Alberta
flag msg tools
Playing games
badge
Kilroy was here
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Hyper System Game Variant for Embers
Firstly that’s petty good for a first post thumbsup

Interesting idea. I do something similar sometimes by limiting exploration to the spaces from the center tile - usually Nyr - but I have a few Dev. Kits so I can make a full hex. Anyway, you didn’t post this to hear about that.

As for your idea. I do find it interesting and it could be a fun setup. However, it completely removes the exploration element - and the fun of blind jumps. If you could bring those back in but keep elements of your setup it could be fun. It’s well thought out but it’s a more static setup than I’d want to use all the time (always knowing where the gates are etc.

(spelling edit: “of” not “or”)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Tockey
United States
Sand Springs
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Re: Hyper System Game Variant for Embers
Thanks for the feedback, Tyinsar! I would love to be able to complete the third orbit with extra Dev sectors.

I totally agree that it removes the enjoyment of exploring the galaxy and allowing it to unfold naturally.

The only issue is by the time the whole galaxy is explored and players start figuring out how they want to win you’re already 2 or 3 hours in and I always worry about player burnout. (Especially the ones who’ve had some bad rolls!)

Hyper System lets us get to the hardcore action a lot faster and roughly at the same time. What we lose in exploration is made up for with more intense player interactions.

If we have time for a longer, more epic adventure then we’ll play vanilla but, if not, Hyper System works great!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harvey Cohen
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Hyper System Game Variant for Embers
TockOhead wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, Tyinsar! I would love to be able to complete the third orbit with extra Dev sectors.

I totally agree that it removes the enjoyment of exploring the galaxy and allowing it to unfold naturally.

The only issue is by the time the whole galaxy is explored and players start figuring out how they want to win you’re already 2 or 3 hours in and I always worry about player burnout. (Especially the ones who’ve had some bad rolls!)

Hyper System lets us get to the hardcore action a lot faster and roughly at the same time. What we lose in exploration is made up for with more intense player interactions.

If we have time for a longer, more epic adventure then we’ll play vanilla but, if not, Hyper System works great!


I think this is a good option to offer my play group. It makes Xia a different game but that's ok because maybe sometimes they may want something different. Sometimes it will be a slow exploration game, and sometimes more of a Firefly sort of game. I like having two options.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cody Miller
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Justin! This is a really cool variant! I can tell that you've put lots of thought into it, and that your goal is really to put your player's enjoyment first! Great work Justin!

I had one question - where do you have your players start?

Cheers, -Cody
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Tockey
United States
Sand Springs
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Sasachaz wrote:
I had one question - where do you have your players start?

Cheers, -Cody


Hi Cody! Wow, I never expected the original designer to reply... haha. I'm a huge fan of your game!

We've allowed players to select a specific planet for their initial spawn with subsequent spawns being the standard D20 roll. If they choose Loath, Smuggler's Den, or Kei then they begin the game with a bounty!

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyinsar -
Canada
Grande Prairie
Alberta
flag msg tools
Playing games
badge
Kilroy was here
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TockOhead wrote:
Hi Cody! Wow, I never expected the original designer to reply...

Cody and Ira (co-designer on Embers and main designer on Missions & Powers) are both active on BGG - though sometimes Cody gets wrapped up in projects - and most of us are more than okay with that since we’re eagerly awaiting the next one.

If you want an interesting look at the history of Xia look it up on Kickstarter - the updates on the original one have been my best experience on that platform.

Edit: Also check out Faroffgames.com for great modding resources for Xia.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Kiefer
United States
Fremont
California
flag msg tools
badge
It's all about the theme!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I too added development tiles. And everyone starts with a tier two ship, a tier one ability, 10 points and 6,000 credits I ruin through 4 events and put out four titles. Players get to choose their starting points.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyinsar -
Canada
Grande Prairie
Alberta
flag msg tools
Playing games
badge
Kilroy was here
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TockOhead wrote:
...
We've allowed players to select a specific planet for their initial spawn with subsequent spawns being the standard D20 roll. If they choose Loath, Smuggler's Den, or Kei then they begin the game with a bounty!

I’m just thinking of ways to make this work. How many plays have you done this way and at what player count? I’m asking because I suspect the last player would be at a significant disadvantage in a 5 player game - I would expect the first player to rush for the jump gate point(s) and then they and the next two would scoup up a large portion of the exploration tokens (usually stopping to scan or damage / death from blind jumps slows this down). how has that worked?

Edit: by the way, I’m calling this “the triple hammerhead system.”
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Tockey
United States
Sand Springs
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Tyinsar wrote:
TockOhead wrote:
...
We've allowed players to select a specific planet for their initial spawn with subsequent spawns being the standard D20 roll. If they choose Loath, Smuggler's Den, or Kei then they begin the game with a bounty!

I’m just thinking of ways to make this work. How many plays have you done this way and at what player count? I’m asking because I suspect the last player would be at a significant disadvantage in a 5 player game - I would expect the first player to rush for the jump gate point(s) and then they and the next two would scoup up a large portion of the exploration tokens (usually stopping to scan or damage / death from blind jumps slows this down). how has that worked?


We’ve played three times, once with three people, twice with four. We let each player choose their initial spawn planet and we all chose different quadrants so there were plenty of exploration tokens available.

You definitely move across the board faster scooping up tokens but even with the revealed sectors there’s still plenty of risk since most of them are within borders. We still die plenty, sometimes on the first or second token.

You bring up some valid concerns with a five player game. Maybe one way is to allow players to choose a starting spawn planet just before they begin their first turn so they can base the decision on proximity to any available opportunities. Also, you could remove the gate FP because, thematically, they’ve already been in use (revealed system idea).

Would that clear it up? I’ll run a test tomorrow and see!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyinsar -
Canada
Grande Prairie
Alberta
flag msg tools
Playing games
badge
Kilroy was here
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TockOhead wrote:
... allow players to choose a starting spawn planet just before they begin their first turn so they can base the decision on proximity to any available opportunities. Also, you could remove the gate FP because, thematically, they’ve already been in use (revealed system idea).

Would that clear it up? I’ll run a test tomorrow and see!


Yeah, I was thinking of those same changes.

I look forward to hearing how it goes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Tockey
United States
Sand Springs
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Okay, so this morning's test taught me two things:

1. Playing 5 players by yourself and trying to remember a strategy for each one is exhausting. I had to write them down and reference it each turn.



2. It takes a LOT longer to play this way than with 5 actual players where turns can overlap.

Otherwise, it was a successful test of the following rules variant for Hyper System (Triple Hammerhead):

1. Allow players to select their primary spawn planet just before their first turn.
2. Remove the working gate FP.



I played through the first three turns at which point all of the 26 exploration tokens had been collected. Each player was able to collect at least 4 tokens and upgrade their ship (except for one who had some really bad rolls) by turn 3.

3 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Rouse
United States
Thibodaux
Louisiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I personally love exploring and that tense moment of wondering if I just blind jumped into the sun. But a lot of players I introduce to the game get hung up on their missions not having the target sector in play or their goods not having a place to sell. This might be a good idea to try so others enjoy it more.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Minardi
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
I like this concept, as I would guess that I would like these layouts in general. Would it make sense to place these tiles upside down? You could follow the set up instructions just not reveal the chosen tile. The gates would be sort of obvious, though. You could have the benefit of compact layout with no "too close" planets, but still get the anticipation of blind jumping, though not fearing the sun. You could start with Nyr in the center if you really wanted to save the sun for instant death.

Perhaps you could place the sun right side up, then place all others upside down. You could then start on any tile, the player going first chooses first, etc. You would know where the gates are, but not be able to get the fame point until two are exposed. It might put back a little of the exploration feel.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Tockey
United States
Sand Springs
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
GoUDGo wrote:
I like this concept, as I would guess that I would like these layouts in general. Would it make sense to place these tiles upside down? You could follow the set up instructions just not reveal the chosen tile. The gates would be sort of obvious, though. You could have the benefit of compact layout with no "too close" planets, but still get the anticipation of blind jumping, though not fearing the sun. You could start with Nyr in the center if you really wanted to save the sun for instant death.

Perhaps you could place the sun right side up, then place all others upside down. You could then start on any tile, the player going first chooses first, etc. You would know where the gates are, but not be able to get the fame point until two are exposed. It might put back a little of the exploration feel.


I love this idea, it might be a good compromise between having nothing revealed and having everything revealed. I’ll play around with some of these options to see which ones work best and post an update tomorrow. Thanks Mark!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Tockey
United States
Sand Springs
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Who am I kidding, I couldn't wait until tomorrow.

So I followed the setup for Hyper System only I placed Nyr in the center and kept everything face down except the planets in the third orbit to give the players somewhere to spawn.



I kept the rule that players are allowed to choose their initial spawn planet but they can only choose one that hasn't been chosen already.

This bring the possibility of exploring, scanning, and blind jumping back into the game without interrupting the balancing effect of having everything uniformly distributed.

The only concern I have is this will slow down players who want to jump right into missions their first turn but exploration tokens really are more lucrative in early game and it only take a turn or two to reveal the sectors.

I can't wait to get my buddies over here to try this out. It feels really good to me, I think this fixed it... thanks again to Mark!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Minardi
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
TockOhead wrote:
Who am I kidding, I couldn't wait until tomorrow.

So I followed the setup for Hyper System only I placed Nyr in the center and kept everything face down except the planets in the third orbit to give the players somewhere to spawn.




Justin, you don't have to expose the planets for starting. You know where they are, so pick one of the third orbit planets to spawn at, turn it over and see what you get.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Rupp
Germany
Cologne
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GoUDGo wrote:

Justin, you don't have to expose the planets for starting. You know where they are, so pick one of the third orbit planets to spawn at, turn it over and see what you get.


But that might screw those who pick the outlaw planets?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Tockey
United States
Sand Springs
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Elk of Legend wrote:
GoUDGo wrote:
Justin, you don't have to expose the planets for starting. You know where they are, so pick one of the third orbit planets to spawn at, turn it over and see what you get.


But that might screw those who pick the outlaw planets?


Good point. Even in the original rules each player starts with their own sector revealed.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Minardi
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
In the normal game you pick starting sectors randomly. If you get an outlaw planet so be it. In this set up it is even easier. You know where other planets are. No big deal really.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Miller
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I prefer not knowing what sector may come up. It keeps you searching for missions as you have to adapt to what comes out or more often what isn't out yet. I like the tension of blind jumps too so never knowing makes it more tense which is what you need for this long of a game.

In also like the variety of how the world can look if you pull sectors per the rules. You may have a long skinny world or multiple branches..the possibilities are endless. That's what I like in sandbox type games.

Only variant I have used which is used for two people is getting NPC ships out faster. I'm going to use that variant probably for all player counts. The faster the NPCs come out the better.

YP mentions it here:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1420550/value-2-player-play]2 player NPC Variant

Interesting option however and if it works for your group do it! It reminds me of how the Eclipse tiles come out.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.