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Subject: Variable Planet Size & "Fog-Shrouded Planet" Variants rss

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Michael Tieman
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Panorama City
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My wife & I have been playing quite alot of 2-player Alien Frontiers. We decided to add a couple of wrinkles in our latest session (which she won...again):

1. Variable Planet Size - when only 2 players, use 6 sections of the planet; when 3 players, use 7. The unused portions can be marked with a colony from a colour not in play. Pull the Territory Counters from a bag (I use the great bag from Tomb) to randomly determine which sections are in play.

2. "Fog-Shrouded Planet" - similar to the first, you put the Territory Counters in a bag. They are not placed on the planet to start. When you colonize using 1 of the 3 Orbital Facilities, you do not choose where you land. Instead, you select a randomly chosen Territory Counter from the bag. If you wish, you may 'use scanners to pierce the shroud of Fog surrounding the planet': pay 2 fuel to select 3 Territory Counters from the bag:choose 1 and return the other 2

We played with both in effect the other night & it was fun, but it does not make this great game better, just a bit different. The Asimov Crater was hotly contested, with alot of Alien Card play to move colonies and fields on & off the territory. The smaller planet & limited selection made for earlier conflicts than we previously had.
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David Witzany
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Nameit23 wrote:

2. "Fog-Shrouded Planet" - similar to the first, you put the Territory Counters in a bag. They are not placed on the planet to start. When you colonize using 1 of the 3 Orbital Facilities, you do not choose where you land. Instead, you select a randomly chosen Territory Counter from the bag. If you wish, you may 'use scanners to pierce the shroud of Fog surrounding the planet': pay 2 fuel to select 3 Territory Counters from the bag:choose 1 and return the other 2

I like this rule a lot. You could also allow people to spend enough that they get to choose exactly the territory they want to colonize.
 
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These are very neat ideas. Good job!

One idea that Tom (one of out local play testers) came up with is to take three or four colonies from an unplayed color and randomly seed them on the planet just like you seed ships to add competition for the docking ports. You do not get the bonus from those territories until your colonies outnumber the seeded colonies.
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Clint Herron
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Bethel
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CleverMojo wrote:
One idea that Tom (one of out local play testers) came up with is to take three or four colonies from an unplayed color and randomly seed them on the planet just like you seed ships to add competition for the docking ports. You do not get the bonus from those territories until your colonies outnumber the seeded colonies.


I *like* that -- quite a lot.

Would you be able to use those seeded colonies with the Data Crystal to get the territory bonus?

That could make an early Data Crystal card VERY powerful.
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Brad Metz
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Re: Variable Planet Size & "Fog-Shrouded Planet" Variants
We tried this last night in a 4 player game and it was super fun. We may have modified your rule somewhat in that when you place a colony, you're "discovering" a territory through random draw. Once a territory is discovered, players may choose to colonize that territory. So the random draw is only to place a colony on a territory that doesn't already have one. We'll probably play this way from now on since it drives up card use and early game player tussling.
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