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Subject: Special Faction Powers rss

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Peet Smith
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I'm kind of surprised that no-one has come up with something like this, so I feel obligated to come up with my own.

Ares Inc. (yellow)
Ares Inc. is known throughout human space as a premier manufacturer of arms and armaments. Their soldiers are equipped with superior weaponry as a result.

Power: Artillery. Whenever Ares Inc. makes an attack, the Ares Inc. player may choose an adjacent hex where he has humans and there are no enemy units. Any humans there that have not fired this turn may fire as if they are in the battle, though they may not be removed as casualties.

Zyborg Technologies (green)
Zyborg Technologies is the undisputed leader in biological technologies, from medicine to cybernetics. Each employee of Zyborg gives a tissue sample to the company upon being hired. In case of death Zyborg can create a clone of the original person as long as it can upload that person's memory file through there sattelite network.

Power: Cloning. For every two humans that Zyborg Technologies loses in any particular battle (round down), the Zyborg player may place 1 free human in one of his home base spaces in his next deploy phase.

Galactic Syndicate (red)
The Galactic Syndicate is a large umbrella company with interests in a wide variety of fields. The Galactic Syndicate specializes in investing capital and has connections throughout the banking and finance industries.

Power: Banking. For every two Rubium (round down) that remains unspent after you purchase units on your turn, you immediately gain 1 Rubium.

Black Helix Enerprises (blue)
The secretive Black Helix Enterprises is believed to have vast secret research facilities hidden throughout colonized space. Their science teams are insidious, and relentless in their search for data, even going so far as to sacrifice other Black Helix employees as 'test subjects.'

Power: Research. Whenever the Black Helix player draws an energize card for losing a battle, he may draw one extra card if at least two of his humans died in the battle. He also gains two extra Rubium when he collects income from mines as long as he controls the monolith.

What do you guys think?
Let me know if anyone plays with these.

Peet
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mar hawkman
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I'm not sure if making them color specific is a good idea. Flavor-wise these feel kinda like the factions in Risk: 2210, but the way they work is a bit more like the Alien powers in Cosmic encounter.

Ares, Zyborg, and Helix all seem to be tailored aorund the "humans as connon fodder" approach that's common to most players. Not really saying it's bad. That does seem to be one of the best strategies. Also they do work in different ways so it'd not get too boring. Having some that give benefits for having lots of other kinda of units might be nice as well.


Hmmm.... How do you like this idea?
Dark Genome Industries
Dark Genome Industries spends much time researching how best to utilize the unique properties of Alien DNA. It's rumored that they've secretly begun gene splicing experiments.

Power: DNA Bank. Whenever a Rock Strider(1), Lava Leaper(2), Rubium Dragon(3) is KIA gain (x) Rubium.
 
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Peet Smith
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marhawkman wrote:
I'm not sure if making them color specific is a good idea.

Actually, you have to, because the company names are already printed at the top of the player's aid cards. If you want a different company you need to print a new player's aid card for it.

marhawkman wrote:
Hmmm.... How do you like this idea?
Dark Genome Industries

There isn't such a company in the game, unless you want to swap out one of the cards for this one.

marhawkman wrote:
Power: DNA Bank. Whenever a Rock Strider(1), Lava Leaper(2), Rubium Dragon(3) is KIA gain (x) Rubium.

I was actually thinking about an ability like this for Black Helix, but I decided that I wanted some way for them to get extra energize cards instead.

YMMV. Try it this way if you like... though you do need to specify which creatures getting killed gives you the bonus (do you mean your own creatures, creatures you kill in battle, or just everyone's?).

Peet
 
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mar hawkman
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Oh... I thought those names sounded familiar.... (likes the game but doesn't own a copy)

Hmm... Maybe make 3-4 different abilities representing different branches of each corporation? Heck we could even have special names for them.

why Am I suggesting this? Having a small pool of faction abilities to choose from gets boring quick. It also makes for an easily determined "best" faction.

As for the DNA Bank ability.... I'll go with theirs. So the updated ability text would be: Whenever a Rock Strider(1), Lava Leaper(2), Rubium Dragon(3) is KIA by one of your unit gain (x) Rubium at the end of the turn.

Continuing:
Exploration speculators: Whenever you gain control of a mine you get it's value in Rubium.

What does YMMV stand for?
 
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Peet Smith
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YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary.
 
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mar hawkman
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Ah, okay. How's this modification of the idea? The basic premise is that, since these organizations are galactic mega conglomerates, each has several subsidiary companies. While the subsidiary companies are part of the main corporation, each has its own specialties. I figure 4 abilities for each conglomerate would be best.

So the revised table of abilities:

Ares Inc. (yellow)
Ares Inc. is known throughout human space as a premier manufacturer of arms and armaments. Their soldiers are equipped with superior weaponry as a result.

Main Branch: Power: Artillery. Whenever Ares Inc. makes an attack, the Ares Inc. player may choose an adjacent hex where he has humans and there are no enemy units. Any humans there that have not fired this turn may fire as if they are in the battle, though they may not be removed as casualties.

Battlebot Ltd.: Power: Armor suits. Your humans are not restricted from moving by terrain.

???: Power: ???

???: Power: ???
--------
Zyborg Technologies (green)
Zyborg Technologies is the undisputed leader in biological technologies, from medicine to cybernetics. Each employee of Zyborg gives a tissue sample to the company upon being hired. In case of death Zyborg can create a clone of the original person as long as it can upload that person's memory file through there sattelite network.

main branch: Power: Cloning. For every two humans that Zyborg Technologies loses in any particular battle (round down), the Zyborg player may place 1 free human in one of his home base spaces in his next deploy phase.

Zyberware: Power: Cyber augmentation. Once per battle you may add to a die roll the number of humans you have in the battle.

???: Power: ???

???: Power: ???
--------
Galactic Syndicate (red)
The Galactic Syndicate is a large umbrella company with interests in a wide variety of fields. The Galactic Syndicate specializes in investing capital and has connections throughout the banking and finance industries.

main branch: Power: Banking. For every two Rubium (round down) that remains unspent after you purchase units on your turn, you immediately gain 1 Rubium.

Exploration speculators: power: Rapid Developement. Whenever you gain control of a mine you get it's value in Rubium.

???: Power: ???

???: Power: ???
--------
Black Helix Enerprises (blue)
The secretive Black Helix Enterprises is believed to have vast secret research facilities hidden throughout colonized space. Their science teams are insidious, and relentless in their search for data, even going so far as to sacrifice other Black Helix employees as 'test subjects.'

main branch: Power: Research. Whenever the Black Helix player draws an energize card for losing a battle, he may draw one extra card if at least two of his humans died in the battle. He also gains two extra Rubium when he collects income from mines as long as he controls the monolith.

Genome industries: Power: DNA collection. Whenever a Rock Strider(1), Lava Leaper(2), Rubium Dragon(3) is KIA by one of your unit gain (x) Rubium at the end of the turn.

???: Power: ???

???: Power: ???

Alright: That's 2 for each faction. Questions? (Please?)
 
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mar hawkman
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One small clarification: You don't use both abilities. You choose which branch will be represented in this game.
 
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mar hawkman
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I did some testing. I tested the Ares Inc. "Armor Suits" ability against Zyborg Tech's Cyber augmentation.

The result? a bit mixed. Ares got a lot of mileage out of being able to put humans ANYWHERE. Where as Zyborg got a lot of mileage out of getting free battle stimulants.

The results? Ares was better over all, but the ability was more of a hindrance to the opponent than an actual help. It made for a pretty effective hindrance though. It was especially interesting seeing how "Armor Suits" interacted with "Cyber Augmentation". Cyber augmentation does not work in lava or the monolith. Those are the only areas where Armor suits helps Ares. Hehe... It makes for an interesting duality. One side rules one part of the map the other rules the rest. Odd but in a good way.
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JT Call
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I like these ideas. The game is great as is, of course, but it's always fun to feel like your team is unique for one reason or another. Likewise, new faction powers require you to create new strategies that are dependent upon which team you have and which faction you are playing against, which gives the game some extra replay value.

That being said, I think I'd try a different tack with the Black Helix Enterprises team. Pardon the comparison, but I'd compare the current factions to different character stats in an ADAD game.

Ares Inc. specializes in fire power, which tranlates into ATTACK STRENGTH.

Zyborg Industries specializes in recovering lost units and regenerating men, which translates into CONSTITUTION.

Galactic Syndicate specializes in acquiring Rubium, which (arguably) translates into having high HEALTH or possibly WISDOM.

I suppose with the current configuration Black Helix Enterprises would specialize in acquiring Energize cards...which is like having spells...which translates into INTELLIGENCE. But some of BHE's powers are also focused on obtaining Rubium, and that doesn't sit as well for me. It works, technically, but I always considered Engergize cards to be the great equalizer for people getting their butts kicked (with the exception of those sitting on the monolith), and giving them to BHE sort of tips the scales.

With that in mind, I was wondering if Black Helix might instead specialize in speed and movement (which are also important aspects of this game). Perhaps BHE humans can move two spaces instead of one...or move for free through controlled territories. That would mean they'd have a leg up in the early game and would be able to maneuver their low level units faster than everyone else. In ADAD terms, this would translate into DEXTERITY.

I suppose I'm a geek for using those terms, but this is the right place for that sort of thing.

Thoughts on the speed variant? I'll submit a file to the Nexus Ops forums with things articulated more clearly (along with most of what you and marhawkman have been discussing).
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JT Call
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Alright. I posted the file. Let me know what you guys think:
http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/63899/nexus-ops-optional-f...
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mar hawkman
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I like your ideas. As I mentioned earlier we don't need to restrict ourselves to one ability per color. I'd love to come up with 4 per color if possible.

the monolith power idea is really cool. it ups the importance of controlling the monolith.
 
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JT Call
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True, you could definitely add two or threee more powers for each faction. For example, I was toying with the idea of giving landmines and turrets to Ares Inc. (something to make it costly to attack entrenched units and/or to dissuade other units from moving through hexes that Ares once occupied but may no longer control); I also wanted to give Zyborg technologies some cybernetic/robotic powers (instead of just being about genetics).

The problem with that tact, though, is that the game might then become about which team has the best set of powers (and less about playing Nexus Ops as it was intended). To keep that from happening, you'd have to restrict the teams to choosing only one power per game (or one standard power and one monolith power, as illustrated in the file I submitted). Then you'd have a list of four powers to choose from when starting the game and you'd pick the one you like and use just that one power.

I'm still not sure how I feel about having lots of powers to choose from, though. You could spend 20 minutes deciding what power to choose and then, once your opponent chose his power, you'd spend another ten minutes wondering if you'd picked the right power to match his choice...and on and on. It sort of invites analysis paralysis and detracts from the purity of the original game.

And yet, if done right...

I don't know. For my taste, I'd stick to one faction power (consistent throughout the whole game) and one monolith power (which can be gained and lost in a single turn). I might go so far as to suggest a third power that the different factions could purchase for one time use (something like landmines for Ares, robots for Zyborg, investment CDs for Galactic Syndicate, and steroids for Black Helix), but I wouldn't want to do anything more than that. It's got to have a cost/benefit ratio and too much benefit with too little cost removes the opportunity for meaningful choices to be made throughout the game: do I put a unit on the monolith because I want my opponent to stop getting his monolith power, or do I try kill all of his units on the monolith so I get my to use my own monolith power? Do spend Rubium on a weak unit I can use this turn, or save it in an attempt to buy a better unit next turn?

I agree, though, that more faction powers can be more fun. They just need to be controlled in such a way that they merely flavor the game (instead of changing it into something completely different...like a bastardized version of Strange Synergy).
 
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mar hawkman
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Actually that was the idea. Each corporate branch has it's own ability, and you have to choose which corporate branch to play as. I'd make it a blind choice each player chooses theirs and then finds out what their opponents have.

Maybe instead of a one-shot power, make it an ability they must spend rubium to activate?

Honestly, after playing Risk 2210 with factions, and playing Cosmic Encounter in general, I don't really worry about making the "best choice", it's more a matter of choosing one that I can strategize with.
 
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