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Subject: Multiple engine activations for a single action? rss

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Randy D

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For an action, you may use any number of your armed activation tokens to activate a specific outfit's activation slots, and then combine the total of each individual die roll for that single action's roll value. This concept adds a fun level of strategy & risk, for while assigning more activation tokens provides a greater chance of yielding a larger total value (ie. more damage in a single attack, more shield protection, etc.), you also run the risk of wasting activation tokens that could have been spent elsewhere if the total value is higher than necessary. All this works well to add that strategy in the game.

However, it seems to make more sense to always only ever activate engines 1 token at a time. If your roll fell short, then use another activation token to try again. In this way, you never run the risk of wasting an activation token in the situation where fewer tokens would have been sufficient.

Now, there is a variant proposed where each player only takes 1 or 2 actions on their turn and in this situation I can see many examples where multiple engine activations on a single action makes sense (reaching exploration token before someone else, getting in position to attack before player can move away, etc.). But in the standard game, a player completes all their actions before the next player goes. And so, other than I suppose ramming, does it ever make sense to activate multiple engine spots during a single action?
 
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Tyinsar -
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Not unless I need to travel farther than a single activation will take me.


My biggest annoyance is wanting to go 4 spaces:
Activate engine and roll a 1 - need 3 more
Activate engine and roll a 2 - need 1 more
Activate engine and roll a 5 - only needed 1! angry

If I could choose to use the 5 result first then the others it might not be as frustrating but it's the nature of the game.
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Jonathan West
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No it doesn’t. But that suggests a game variant where, if not ramming, you could activate multiple engine slots and gain +1/2 movement automatically!?
 
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Randy D

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Jonathan9461 wrote:
No it doesn’t. But that suggests a game variant where, if not ramming, you could activate multiple engine slots and gain +1/2 movement automatically!?

You've piqued my interest. Although this does add an interesting decision, and potential risk-reward, in the game, it feels like it might be a little too unique & arbitrary for my tastes. Unique in the sense that this only applies to engine outfits while not ramming and not the other outfits (with all the components & rules for Xia, I prefer rules that apply across the board rather than specific to certain components), and arbitrary in that you get a seemingly arbitrary bonus for multiple activations (why 1/2?) regardless how many activation spots you choose to use at once. Also, its benefit can often be irrelevant if you rolled higher than you needed to roll to get to a spot for an action.

All that said, I like the creativity of this unique idea, and testing might actually reveal it to be good in the game, but my initial reaction is that it doesn't necessarily feel like something I would use in my games of Xia. But I'm sure there are Xia players who would enjoy adding this variant.
 
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Ira Fay
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randyd42 wrote:
in the standard game, a player completes all their actions before the next player goes. And so, other than I suppose ramming, does it ever make sense to activate multiple engine spots during a single action?
Yes! For example:

- You're trying to get to a sell space that's 7 spaces away.
- You have a tier 1 engine so you know you won't make it in a single activation.
- If you have 10 movement, you could stop by an explore token space or a mission space along the way.

If you activate your engine twice simultaneously, then you'll know in advance if you'll have enough movement to safely take the detour. If you activate one at a time, you won't.

If you look for situations like this, it can come up a lot. I'd say at least once a game for me.
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Jonathan West
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randyd42 wrote:
Jonathan9461 wrote:
No it doesn’t. But that suggests a game variant where, if not ramming, you could activate multiple engine slots and gain +1/2 movement automatically!?

You've piqued my interest. Although this does add an interesting decision, and potential risk-reward, in the game, it feels like it might be a little too unique & arbitrary for my tastes. Unique in the sense that this only applies to engine outfits while not ramming and not the other outfits (with all the components & rules for Xia, I prefer rules that apply across the board rather than specific to certain components), and arbitrary in that you get a seemingly arbitrary bonus for multiple activations (why 1/2?) regardless how many activation spots you choose to use at once. Also, its benefit can often be irrelevant if you rolled higher than you needed to roll to get to a spot for an action.

All that said, I like the creativity of this unique idea, and testing might actually reveal it to be good in the game, but my initial reaction is that it doesn't necessarily feel like something I would use in my games of Xia. But I'm sure there are Xia players who would enjoy adding this variant.


The +1/2 was meant to to suggest if you choose to use two markers you get +1, use three and get +2. It's a risk/reward thing - thematically you have momentum.

e.g. If your target space is 8 away and you have a D8 engine. You may try to roll D8 once, then again if you fail to get 8. But if your target is say 10 away you might choose to roll two, hoping to nett 9, plus the 1 bonus and you make it! I too am not sure if I'd choose to use it much. But sometimes you know you're gonna need lots of movement (e.g. you need to rush and fulfil a mission two or three sectors away). Then it'd be nice to get a bonus +2 for activating three engine markers.

Maybe it should even be +1/+3? After all, if you roll three bad rolls changing tactics may be tricky because you have only one armed marker left (e.g. if you rolled low on one or two engines, you might want to attack a nearby ship with two markers or do some mining/exploring with two shield markers, instead of travelling - if you've used all 3 on engines you only have 1 left and that's harder to do).
 
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Jonathan West
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ira212 wrote:
randyd42 wrote:
in the standard game, a player completes all their actions before the next player goes. And so, other than I suppose ramming, does it ever make sense to activate multiple engine spots during a single action?
Yes! For example:

- You're trying to get to a sell space that's 7 spaces away.
- You have a tier 1 engine so you know you won't make it in a single activation.
- If you have 10 movement, you could stop by an explore token space or a mission space along the way.

If you activate your engine twice simultaneously, then you'll know in advance if you'll have enough movement to safely take the detour. If you activate one at a time, you won't.

If you look for situations like this, it can come up a lot. I'd say at least once a game for me.


I suppose it may also determine the route you take - the longer safe route if you roll 2D8 high, the short risky route if you roll 2D8 low!
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Randy D

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ira212 wrote:
randyd42 wrote:
in the standard game, a player completes all their actions before the next player goes. And so, other than I suppose ramming, does it ever make sense to activate multiple engine spots during a single action?
Yes! For example:

- You're trying to get to a sell space that's 7 spaces away.
- You have a tier 1 engine so you know you won't make it in a single activation.
- If you have 10 movement, you could stop by an explore token space or a mission space along the way.

If you activate your engine twice simultaneously, then you'll know in advance if you'll have enough movement to safely take the detour. If you activate one at a time, you won't.

If you look for situations like this, it can come up a lot. I'd say at least once a game for me.


surprise How did I never notice this before??

In your example, I would either just head to the sell space, or attempt the mission point and give a "bad luck" sigh if I didn't roll enough to reach the sell space on my second activation. But here I could have rolled for both activations in advance to know ahead of time where all I could have gone. shake

Truth be told, ever since I found out about the "official" (from Ira) variant idea of choosing to either roll the die or simply take the half-die value as the result, I have used this variant in all my games and don't regret it one bit! I went from often rolling 1s & 2s on Tier 3 engines (and therefore unable to do anything for several rounds at a time) to actually being able to move around the board and do stuff, and even plan out my turns in advance for quicker play. When I felt the risk was worth it, I would then attempt engine rolls, but otherwise my dice curse has not been able to ruin this game for me.
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Trueflight Silverwing
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Tyinsar wrote:

Not unless I need to travel farther than a single activation will take me.


My biggest annoyance is wanting to go 4 spaces:
Activate engine and roll a 1 - need 3 more
Activate engine and roll a 2 - need 1 more
Activate engine and roll a 5 - only needed 1! angry

If I could choose to use the 5 result first then the others it might not be as frustrating but it's the nature of the game.


The real answer here is to buy a GTS or two and your problem is solved, lol.
 
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Tyinsar -
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ira212 wrote:
... it can come up a lot. I'd say at least once a game for me.

I agree that there are more situations where rolling more than one engine die at a time would be useful but “at least once” a game is still “not most of the time.”
 
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Tyinsar -
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Ender02 wrote:
Tyinsar wrote:

Not unless I need to travel farther than a single activation will take me.


My biggest annoyance is wanting to go 4 spaces:
Activate engine and roll a 1 - need 3 more
Activate engine and roll a 2 - need 1 more
Activate engine and roll a 5 - only needed 1! angry

If I could choose to use the 5 result first then the others it might not be as frustrating but it's the nature of the game.


The real answer here is to buy a GTS or two and your problem is solved, lol.

To be honest I’m surprised it took this long for that suggestion but there are times when you’re out of money (so have no GTS because I needed to get that T2/3 ship before someone else snatched it), your GTS is damaged (and you’re limping to a planet before the ice damage kills you), or you have a GTS (or 2) and you still roll 1s & 2s on a D12 engine.
 
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Gerry Smit
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randyd42 wrote:
ira212 wrote:
randyd42 wrote:
in the standard game, a player completes all their actions before the next player goes. And so, other than I suppose ramming, does it ever make sense to activate multiple engine spots during a single action?
Yes! For example:

- You're trying to get to a sell space that's 7 spaces away.
- You have a tier 1 engine so you know you won't make it in a single activation.
- If you have 10 movement, you could stop by an explore token space or a mission space along the way.

If you activate your engine twice simultaneously, then you'll know in advance if you'll have enough movement to safely take the detour. If you activate one at a time, you won't.

If you look for situations like this, it can come up a lot. I'd say at least once a game for me.


surprise How did I never notice this before??

In your example, I would either just head to the sell space, or attempt the mission point and give a "bad luck" sigh if I didn't roll enough to reach the sell space on my second activation. But here I could have rolled for both activations in advance to know ahead of time where all I could have gone. shake

Truth be told, ever since I found out about the "official" (from Ira) variant idea of choosing to either roll the die or simply take the half-die value as the result, I have used this variant in all my games and don't regret it one bit! I went from often rolling 1s & 2s on Tier 3 engines (and therefore unable to do anything for several rounds at a time) to actually being able to move around the board and do stuff, and even plan out my turns in advance for quicker play. When I felt the risk was worth it, I would then attempt engine rolls, but otherwise my dice curse has not been able to ruin this game for me.
This came up at least twice for me in PBF #1 here. Had I activated 2 dice I would know how far I can afford to detour. Or not and just head straight in....

Wow.
 
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Mark Minardi
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When towing the hulk back to the space station, you only move at half speed round down. If you roll a 5 you only go 2. If you know you will be going multiple dice rolls, roll them all at the same time and you will waste less rounding down.
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