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Subject: Using AoS Expansions with Steam rss

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Anthony Simons
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I know it has been frequently stated that some expansions just will not work with Steam. This is usually down to the special rules accompanying such a map, but sometimes the topology of the map itself coould cause difficulty.

I don't necessarily have any of the answers, but I thought it would be a good idea if we start this thread so we have somewhere to post suggestions for variants to facilitate the use of AoS expansions with Steam.

I'll kick off by throwing out some general suggestions; feel free to discuss them but please try and avoid making this another AoS vs Steam thread. I don't think comments suggesting, for instance, that we should just use AoS expansions for AoS would be helpful.

The biggest problem the expansions pose is city growth instead of production. If any expansion has special production rules for use with AoS, they will usually be difficult to translate into Steam terms.

My own Northern England map included a rule which brought goods into ports should one of the production rolls produce nothing. To approximate this as best as I possibly could for Steam, I have suggested that in the absence of city growth and/or urbanisation being chosen for a city on their half of the board, one or two cubes are drawn and placed.

Another facet of the Northern England map meant that some cities had extra production. This is difficult to simulate; I could have gone for allowing an extra city growth action for each, but instead I opted for extra goods cubes placed at the start of the game - such that the cities concerned start with twice as many as other cities.

I know there are a few maps with special locomotive rules; Japan for instance. I've not had the pleasure of playing Japan yet; but I don't see any reason that locomotive changes would upset things too much when the function is much the same in the new game.

Building and shipping rules have not really changed from the original game either, so I see little point in changing them when adapting expansions; you may disagree, feel free to post a reply.

Special actions are another can of worms; some of the changes might be difficult to translate. If anybody would like to shed light on any other sticking points (and perhaps suggest a conversion solution) please post below.
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Rob White
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Ted's Barbados and St. Lucia maps came in the mail yesterday. I tried Barbados (the solo game) for two games last night. It seemed to work well with Ted's tweaks for Steam. Obviously, it can't be fun as a multiplayer. But still cool. One thing I'm not sure about is whether there are supposed to be 2 cubes or 3 cubes on each supply space.

Haven't tried the St. Lucia 2-player map yet.

So I'd say, no tweaks necessary (other than Ted's published changes) for the Barbados map.

{And I'd like to second your hope that this won't become an AoS vs. Steam fight.}
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Rob in Richmond wrote:
Ted's Barbados and St. Lucia maps came in the mail yesterday. I tried Barbados (the solo game) for two games last night. It seemed to work well with Ted's tweaks for Steam. Obviously, it can't be fun as a multiplayer. But still cool. One thing I'm not sure about is whether there are supposed to be 2 cubes or 3 cubes on each supply space.


"All rules are standard Steam rules unless indicated below."

Since nothing is indicated below, I would assume 2 cubes - as per the Base Game rules - which also happends to be the Standard Game rules.
 
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Christopher M
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Sometimes the best way to avoid an issue is to not mention it at all.
 
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jim b
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Anthony, would this be a good place to discuss stuff like changing goods supply distributions during setup, and/or map density analysis in general?

Or, would you prefer to stay focused on specific AoS Expansions here?
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FYI, there is a document forthcoming from Mayfair regarding Steam map development & sales (mentioned by Alex Yeager here). Might be useful in deciding how to retrofit maps intended for AoS.
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Anthony Simons
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jimb wrote:
Anthony, would this be a good place to discuss stuff like changing goods supply distributions during setup, and/or map density analysis in general?

Or, would you prefer to stay focused on specific AoS Expansions here?

It's unusual to see this request; most people would just go ahead and discuss it anyway. I appreciate your asking, but this is a public forum so I don't see that I have a choice.

Quite clearly this could be something that has affected the way prior AoS expansions have been designed. I'm happy to discuss it.
 
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jim b
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Quote:
It's unusual to see this request; most people would just go ahead and discuss it anyway.

I didn't mean to be obsequious, you bleeding git!

Quote:
I appreciate your asking, but this is a public forum so I don't see that I have a choice.

Of course. (Although bgg moderators might help against trolling - and one might fairly argue that some popular Steam reviews have been trolled - but let's leave it at that.)

As you probably noticed, I mentioned a goods supply issue in the current Scotland session discussion - but most people don't play Scotland w. that setup adjustment. Since it's not really on-topic it dilutes the Scotland discussion; meanwhile, players wouldn't necessarily look there to review or explore a goods supply discussion in the first place. (Some archeology: the AoS history accidentally diverges on this issue for Scotland, in my reading.)

It is relevant to maps and variants more broadly, though (especially smaller variants, in this case). So, thanks - will do.
 
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Rob White
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Great Dane wrote:
Rob in Richmond wrote:
Ted's Barbados and St. Lucia maps came in the mail yesterday. I tried Barbados (the solo game) for two games last night. It seemed to work well with Ted's tweaks for Steam. Obviously, it can't be fun as a multiplayer. But still cool. One thing I'm not sure about is whether there are supposed to be 2 cubes or 3 cubes on each supply space.


"All rules are standard Steam rules unless indicated below."

Since nothing is indicated below, I would assume 2 cubes - as per the Base Game rules - which also happends to be the Standard Game rules.


But it's 3 cubes in the base game if you have 4 or 5 players. 2 cubes if you have 3 players. There is no base game for just one player, so I can't say for sure that it's two cubes.

Rob
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Mark Crane
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Does anyone have a link to Ted Alspach's conversion notes?
 
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Anthony Simons
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Ted's designer page might help:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamedesigner/6046
 
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craniac wrote:
Does anyone have a link to Ted Alspach's conversion notes?

Not sure if this what you're looking for, but Ted has Steam rules posted in the files sections of his maps here on BGG.
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Mark Crane
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pastabatman wrote:
craniac wrote:
Does anyone have a link to Ted Alspach's conversion notes?

Not sure if this what you're looking for, but Ted has Steam rules posted in the files sections of his maps here on BGG.


Thanks, that is what I am looking for.
 
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jim b
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fellonmyhead wrote:
I know it has been frequently stated that some expansions just will not work with Steam. [..] The biggest problem the expansions pose is city growth instead of production. If any expansion has special production rules for use with AoS, they will usually be difficult to translate into Steam terms.

I know you're discussing how to adapt these expansions well in Steam here - and a good thing too.

I also wanted to tackle this problem from the other side - how to use 'classic' goods supply in Steam (and production, etc), so people can also play these expansions using traditional supply mechanics.

I posted the result as a variant today, 'Steam Classic' - with both on-board and off-board setups. Complete Play-instructions are included.

I'll add some photos and try to improve (to make it more useful for newbies), but if anyone is interested or can help review this, I'd really appreciate it.
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Anthony Simons
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jimb wrote:
I posted the result as a variant today, 'Steam Classic' - with both on-board and off-board setups. Complete Play-instructions are included.

You can find Jim's variant suggestion here.
 
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Anthony Simons
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Using AoS Expansion 2 - Germany and Western USA with Steam
Right, let's start with something relatively easy; here are my suggestions for Age of Steam Expansion #2: Western US and Germany.

______________________________________________________________________

Germany

Foreign Terminals: No change will be required under Steam; the supply and demand is altered by this rule and is unaffected.

Set Up: Again no change required; there should be plenty of cubes to cover the alternate City Growth setup in Steam and the demand cubes for Foreign Terminals.

Action Change: The Engineer action is changed for this expansion; use the change when playing with Steam. Do no change the action number for Basic.

Track Building: The restrictions imposed for this map carry over well into Steam; no requirement for change.

City Growth: Again, normal Steam rules apply in most cases and the special Berlin ruling can still be observed.

______________________________________________________________________

Western US

Set Up: Goods set up can be used as per the expansion rules. Players will start at 0 income as normal, but with $10 in hand.

Urbanisation: Follow the rules as written for the expansion; also do not add goods cubes to the urbanised city. If playing using Basic rules, Urbanisation costs $4 and not $6.

City Growth: Compensating for the lack of growth during Urbanisation, this action may be taken by up to two players. If playing under the Basic rules, the turn order for both choosers would be reversed (first chooser behind last chooser).

Goods Movement: This will be as written in the expansion rules.

Build Track: As indicated in the Steam rules.

Transcontinental: The income bonus will be distributed as normal, however players can choose to take it in VPs or income (the whole bonus of course, just like in Steam).

Tiebreakers: As written; though players might like to look at the income track before cash-in-hand, and draw lots rather than hunt for a die to roll.

______________________________________________________________________

Already reading that back I am having doubts that duplicating the City Growth action is the right way to compensate for the loss of griwth through Urbanisation. I would consider just using Urbanisation in the normal Steam fashion, but that would remove what I see as a key characteristic of the map. Any thoughts?
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John Bohrer
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fellonmyhead wrote:
Any thoughts?

It is ludicrous. How about Steam rules using the 1830 map? Perhaps Chicago Express? Enlarge any hex map to the right size and make up rules. A victory Lost? 18AL? Steam over Holland!
 
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John Bohrer wrote:
It is ludicrous. How about Steam rules using the 1830 map? Perhaps Chicago Express? Enlarge any hex map to the right size and make up rules. A victory Lost? 18AL? Steam over Holland!


Yes, God forbid people start buying all the age of steam expansions and using them with Steam, leaving Age of Steam (and Winsome Games) all alone in the cold devil
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Anthony Simons
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John Bohrer wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
Any thoughts?

It is ludicrous. How about Steam rules using the 1830 map? Perhaps Chicago Express? Enlarge any hex map to the right size and make up rules. A victory Lost? 18AL? Steam over Holland!

I appreciate your contributing to the thread, John; I would appreciate it more if there was an actual contribution. Could you elaborate on what is ludicrous? Specifically could you elaborate on how ludicrous it can be to adopt an expansion from one game to another with very similar core mechanisms?
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John Bohrer
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maaikefest wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
It is ludicrous. How about Steam rules using the 1830 map? Perhaps Chicago Express? Enlarge any hex map to the right size and make up rules. A victory Lost? 18AL? Steam over Holland!


Yes, God forbid people start buying all the age of steam expansions and using them with Steam, leaving Age of Steam (and Winsome Games) all alone in the cold devil


That must explain why Age of Steam Expansion: Eastern US & Canada is selling so well!!
 
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John Bohrer
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fellonmyhead wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
Any thoughts?

It is ludicrous. How about Steam rules using the 1830 map? Perhaps Chicago Express? Enlarge any hex map to the right size and make up rules. A victory Lost? 18AL? Steam over Holland!

I appreciate your contributing to the thread, John; I would appreciate it more if there was an actual contribution. Could you elaborate on what is ludicrous? Specifically could you elaborate on how ludicrous it can be to adopt an expansion from one game to another with very similar core mechanisms?


If you don't like those contributions, how about getting Martin to provide Steam rules for AoS: England & Ireland? That would provide *some* clue!
 
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Anthony Simons
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John Bohrer wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
Any thoughts?

It is ludicrous. How about Steam rules using the 1830 map? Perhaps Chicago Express? Enlarge any hex map to the right size and make up rules. A victory Lost? 18AL? Steam over Holland!

I appreciate your contributing to the thread, John; I would appreciate it more if there was an actual contribution. Could you elaborate on what is ludicrous? Specifically could you elaborate on how ludicrous it can be to adopt an expansion from one game to another with very similar core mechanisms?


If you don't like those contributions, how about getting Martin to provide Steam rules for AoS: England & Ireland? That would provide *some* clue!

I have studied the Ireland expansion in detail and will be posting my suggested changes for use with Steam here later this evening.
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John Bohrer
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fellonmyhead wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
Any thoughts?

It is ludicrous. How about Steam rules using the 1830 map? Perhaps Chicago Express? Enlarge any hex map to the right size and make up rules. A victory Lost? 18AL? Steam over Holland!

I appreciate your contributing to the thread, John; I would appreciate it more if there was an actual contribution. Could you elaborate on what is ludicrous? Specifically could you elaborate on how ludicrous it can be to adopt an expansion from one game to another with very similar core mechanisms?


If you don't like those contributions, how about getting Martin to provide Steam rules for AoS: England & Ireland? That would provide *some* clue!

I have studied the Ireland expansion in detail and will be posting my suggested changes for use with Steam here later this evening.


Nothing from Martin? Gee, why not?
 
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Anthony Simons
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John Bohrer wrote:
Nothing from Martin? Gee, why not?

I don't know, why don't you ask him yourself?. Another non-contribution; I'd appreciate it if you stopped this right now; I requested that nobody turn this into a mudslinging thread right at the beginning and so far everybody has respected that, except you. Do you have anything useful to say?
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John Bohrer
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fellonmyhead wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
Nothing from Martin? Gee, why not?

I don't know, why don't you ask him yourself?. Another non-contribution; I'd appreciate it if you stopped this right now; I requested that nobody turn this into a mudslinging thread right at the beginning and so far everybody has respected that, except you. Do you have anything useful to say?


Sure. Before you screw up my expansion, screw up Martin's expansion. Paintball is not Combat; Steam is not Age of Steam. Don't put tits on a bull.
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