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Subject: PBEM rules rss

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Camelorn
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I have tried to play this game as a PBEM with me as athe moderator and 4 players. To be able to play it as PBEM i have introduced quite a lot of rules changes that are detailed below.

I used the excellent Vassal module to create screenshots after every role.

We played until somewhat into round 6 and then quit, because of several reasons:
- my players were perhaps not patient enough for PBEM and lacked motivation
- The rules changes proposed below do change the game quite a lot
- Especially the important roles of Regent and Warlord are not implemented well in PBEM

Nevertheless, here are our PBEM rules; use with caution:

Rules

This pbem works using the original rules which are modified by the following pbem-rules:

The following rules override the original rules. Their goal is to minimize the amount of mails that have to be send to keep the game flowing. These changes are not yet tested and thus might be changed at any time by the gm, even during a game.
Sequence of play
Beginning a round

GM sends the map to all players, with all 4 market dice already rolled, but not allocated. The throne player sends a mail to all, choosing the direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise), and choosing his first role
Choosing Roles

After the chooser has send his role-choice to all, every player sends his orders for this role to the gm (according to the rules for the roles given below). The gm puts the orders together and publishes the results and a new map to all players. The next player becomes the chooser, chooses one of the remaining roles and the process repeats.
Ending a round

Ending the Round happens when the last player chooses a role and everyone finishes taking a turn for that role. Then the following occurs:

1. If the Explorer role was not chosen, turn up 1 more sector tile.
2. Put all chosen roles back in the pool.
3. Each player receives 2 marks from the bank.
4. Pass the Direction card to the player who now holds the Throne card.

A new round begins and play continues.

The Game is Over when a player:

* places his last Empire token to establish control of a planet sector
OR
* takes the last Victory Point chit from the pool

Roles

Explorer

Every player gives an alternative of choices for his sector choice. For example a player who is 2 places in play direction behind the role-chooser, has to give 3 alternatives in descending order. The gm will grant the best fitting sector to any player, beginning with the chooser and progressing in game direction through the other players.
In addition every player will have to state where to place his sector on the map (for example: 'Southeast of Oshanil').
In addition the chooser has to state where to place the additional sector(s) not taken by the players.

Merchant

When choosing this role and sending his choice to all players, the Chooser also states how he will place 3 of the 4 dice on the market places, thereby fixing the cost of resources.
All players will then work out Harvest Food, Buy, Sell and Fund Metal/Energy Production as stated by the rules. They will send detailed infos of what they want to do to the gm.

Steward

Every player sends the gm, in which of his sectors he wants to remove one food to produce resources.

Engineer

Every player will send detailed infos of what they want to build to the gm.

Warlord

Every player will send detailed orders where his ships will move to the gm (for example: '1Cruiser, 2 Fighters from Sando to Plauton to Risk').
The gm will execute those orders beginning with the chooser and progressing in play direction through all players.
During fights, hits will be allocated in the following order:

* 1st hits on Dreadnaughts
* Fighters
* Cruisers
* Starbases
* 2nd hits on Dreadnaughts
* Empires

Regent

The Chooser's special power is one additional free empire token.
Gain Influence: Every player will send the gm, if he wants to purchse one (more are not possible!) Empire Token for 3 Marks in addition to the two influence markers he receives by default (The costs for these additional Empire Tokens do not rise as per the original rules).
Exert Influence: In the same mail every player will state, where he will place his tokens, in descending order. If he has stated a wish to buy an Empire token, an order for this token has to be given too.
Next the GM will place all Empire tokens and resolve conflicts as per the rules.

Scientist

This role can only be chosen, when either the Merchant or the Steward role has been chosen at least once.
Every player gives an alternative of technologies he wants to buy in descending order. The gm resolves these wishes starting with the Chooser and progressing in game direction through the players. Only one technology can be acquired per player during this role.

Technologies

Some technologies have to be discarded or changed for the pbem game.

Ambassador

When giving the orders to buy and place Empire tokens, you also state, which sector is your personal business.

Diplomat

Extra Influence Empire Token always costs 1 Mark.

Saboteur

Is taken out of game.

Time Warp

Is taken out of game.

Space Pirate

Take 1 food or metal resource from the pool, not from an opponent.

Long Range Scanners

Is taken out of game.
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Oliver Graf
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A bit additional info from me, as a playtester.

Camelorn wrote:

Regent

The Chooser's special power is one additional free empire token.
Gain Influence: Every player will send the gm, if he wants to purchse one (more are not possible!) Empire Token for 3 Marks in addition to the two influence markers he receives by default (The costs for these additional Empire Tokens do not rise as per the original rules).
Exert Influence: In the same mail every player will state, where he will place his tokens, in descending order. If he has stated a wish to buy an Empire token, an order for this token has to be given too.
Next the GM will place all Empire tokens and resolve conflicts as per the rules.


This was the first big problem in the game. We played using the rising costs and because of the PbEM the advantage of being the last was erased. So the last player had the highest costs and did not really know if he needs the extra token and where to place them. This did send me into stoneage. After this we changed it to the 'same cost for everyone' but I'm not sure if it is as good as the original. But we still have to play this game at the table to make this comparison.

Camelorn wrote:

Warlord

Every player will send detailed orders where his ships will move to the gm (for example: '1Cruiser, 2 Fighters from Sando to Plauton to Risk').
The gm will execute those orders beginning with the chooser and progressing in play direction through all players.
During fights, hits will be allocated in the following order:


This is very bad. Planning is not possible cause (again) you don't know what the players before did. Best solution might be move all players at the same time, colliding fleets stop (rest of move is not executed) and battle. But again I don't know if this is a better solution, we had no chance to test it.

So in conclusion I would say that the PbEM rules need work, especially because the two 'big' roles Warlord and Regent are not that easy to implement in a PbEM.
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Camelorn
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Find a short video made from the Vassal snapshots here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3955452
 
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Gr├ęgory Guazzelli
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hi,

Nice Pbem Game and video.

Congratulation for this ! I was myself involved in a Pbem one year ago ... but we have stopped the game after 3 round .. lack of motivation of my gaming group for the pbem play !

I have used saved files and pictures attached to my forum to manage the pbem game : http://www.vassalfactory.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=267&...

Regards,

Gr├ęgory
www.VassalFactory.org
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