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Subject: Low Luck Variant rss

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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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I'm thinking about a low luck variant for this game: Every 3 points attack value are one hit. The rest is rolled - so an attack value of 8 would mean two auto hits, and two hits on the roll of 5 or 6 with two dice.

The small UFO with an AV of 3 would have one auto hit. The players can:
- depend only on luck and send one fighter: if they manage to roll twice 5 or 6 with two dice, they destroy it
- depend on little luck, and send two fighters, so with an AV of 4: one auto hit, and one hit on 5 or 6 with one die
- make it a sure thing and send 3 fighters, so with an total AV of 6: two auto hits, and destroying the UFO for sure.

The large UFO CAN be stronger than a Terror UFO, since it rolls two dice and has one auto hit (AV 5), but only with a chance of 11%. With 44% it will inflict only one hit, making it as weak as a small UFO, and with 44% it will inflict two hits.

I think, this is a nice variant, and I will definitely try this out!

How do you think about it?
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Vasilis
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As I am alarmed by the high percentage of luck in this game while the theme and the overall mechanics look good, I'll definitely try your variant.
I'm expecting to have the game in about three weeks but I've read the manual and I fear that it may be too luck-driven for my taste. I am an Ameritrasher by the way but I want meaningful use of randomness in my games and not a random 'screw you' factor.
I don't know if the game is not that much luck-driven but from the manual this is the feeling that I get.

It would be nice if the designer comes up with an official low luck optional rule too.

This game reminds me of the PC game X-Com one of the best games ever made and I was sold the moment that I heard about it. I believe that it needs an advanced rules expansion that will add complexity if this is possible.

Maybe the designer can post here and tell us if there are plans for an expansion. More complexity will be good for this game. Theme is good, the basic mechanics are good. I think that it just needs a little bit more complex mechanics to make it even better.

Your variant sounds nice and I'll try it ASAP.
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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Well, I don't know if more complexity will do the game good. I fear it would just add length to the game. As it is, it is quite complex. To make the combat even more complex would do no good, I think.
With a Low Luck variant you just decrease the amount of luck needed - you do not change the complexity of the game.

I don't know how to handle situations, where you just KNOW you will loose (when using the LL variant) - such as when your base is attacked by a Terror UFO. It's an Attack Value of 17, which means 5 auto hits and two possible hits!
You need at least 16 AV to successfully defend against this! And Luck! Even with AV 23 it is not a sure thing, that you successfully defend! (the Aliens roll two hits; the Defender rolls two misses -> 7 hits against 7 hits!)
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Dennis Schwarz
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maybe on the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one....
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Almecho wrote:
I don't know how to handle situations, where you just KNOW you will loose (when using the LL variant) - such as when your base is attacked by a Terror UFO. It's an Attack Value of 17, which means 5 auto hits and two possible hits!
You need at least 16 AV to successfully defend against this! And Luck! Even with AV 23 it is not a sure thing, that you successfully defend! (the Aliens roll two hits; the Defender rolls two misses -> 7 hits against 7 hits!)


Since the high luck factor in this game turned my off of it (combined with the fact that I wasn't impressed with the quality, size and one-sided-ness of the counters), I think this idea to decrease luck is a great one.
One more suggestion to the problem mentioned above is:
Make the 3AV = one auto hit an optional choice for the players side only to be made at the time of the attack (either before the alien attack rolls or after that for even more calculateable results). With this option the aliens won't have any auto hits, making their attack strength still an uncertainty, but the players would have the option of using 3AP to score an auto hit (for safety) or to use the 3 AP to roll normally and score potentially more hits if needed (or less if unlucky).
With this option it is in the hands of the players throughout the game to increase or decrease the luck factor a little bit when needed.

What bothers me even more than the luck during the fights is that there is only one deciding diplomacy roll each time you try to take over countries, since these are so important to win and to have options (=money) throughout the game.

With all the luck factors in the game (too many important factors depending on the luck of the dice IMHO) and the quality of the components, I must admit that this game (I had high hopes for) was a little disappointment for me at Essen this year, but reading this forum post shows that I have not given up completely, so convince me that it is good nonetheless
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Jacobo Cagigal Gonzalez
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Neva Kee wrote:
[q="Almecho"] What bothers me even more than the luck during the fights is that there is only one deciding diplomacy roll each time you try to take over countries, since these are so important to win and to have options (=money) throughout the game.


Don't forget that apart from the Diplomacy phase rolls, players have other ways to attract countries to the Alliance: Diplomacy cards and missions to countries attacked by large and terror UFOs.In the advanced game, also the Diplomat tokens.

Rebellion cards and missions to Alien countries could serve to turn them to neutral status.

Jacobo
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Brook Gentlestream
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Long Beach
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I think resolving as many 3:1 autohits as possible for the aliens is a good idea. I wouldn't auto-hit the player's rolls.

My rationale is that random value against a fixed number is pretty simple and straightforward for determining success or failure.

Random result vs another random result doesn't add very much to the equation, other than more time required to resolve.
 
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Matthieu BONIN
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Neva Kee wrote:
One more suggestion to the problem mentioned above is:
Make the 3AV = one auto hit an optional choice for the players side only to be made at the time of the attack (either before the alien attack rolls or after that for even more calculateable results). With this option the aliens won't have any auto hits, making their attack strength still an uncertainty, but the players would have the option of using 3AP to score an auto hit (for safety) or to use the 3 AP to roll normally and score potentially more hits if needed (or less if unlucky).
With this option it is in the hands of the players throughout the game to increase or decrease the luck factor a little bit when needed.
After an easy win at turn 3 with Thomas' variant, we tried this and it worked pretty well. Players should wait after the alien attack roll to decide if they use the auto hits; if not, they'd never risk to lose without having a chance to defend themselves, so they'd always chose to roll.
The game overall was really pleasant this way…

Thanks for the ideas to make this game even better!

Long live X-Com!
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