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Alien Frontiers» Forums » Variants

Subject: Idea for increased strategic play, decreased tactics rss

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Rick Schryer
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Hi,

I've been thinking for a while about trying out a variant of AF with a twist. Allow players to openly pre-roll their next three turns in advance, refreshing this every turn. Alternately, creating a region on the planet that allows a player to secretly pre-roll their next turn. Has anyone tried a variant like this before, or was it attempted during play testing? I'd like to possibly get some feedback before trying it out.
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Mike P
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Since Alien Frontiers can have AP issues, especially when people are new, this sounds like it would take forever. I would only attempt it with people with lots of experience. Also, I'm not sure how you could roll 3 turns in advance without knowing how many dice you would have? You may have the right rolls to use the shipyard, but you could get blocked out of it.
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That style of play has not been attempted in play testing. As Fanaka noted, the ships you have available are subject to change so there's no way you could know how many ships you'll have three turns in the future.

If each player had two sets of dice, you could experiment with each player rolling their next turn as soon as their first turn is complete, but even here, you could lose a ship if a play discards a plasma cannon against you.

Tory had an idea for a 4-player variant where players sitting opposite each other took their turns simultaneously, but we haven't tried it out yet. Could be quite frantic if the two active players are both racing to use an orbital with limited available space. Tory's suggestion was that one player is always the alpha player. If a "collision" happens and both players try for the same dock, then the alpha player has precedence. A series of turns would be like this...alpha=bold

Active Players...Player 1 and Player 3
Active Players...Player 2 and Player 4
Active Players...Player 3 and Player 1
Active Players...Player 4 and Player 2
Active Players...Player 1 and Player 3
Active Players...Player 2 and Player 4
Active Players...Player 3 and Player 1
Active Players...Player 4 and Player 2



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Todd France
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CleverMojo wrote:
Tory had an idea for a 4-player variant where players sitting opposite each other took their turns simultaneously,

When I ran Heroclix, I used to run a "Cross-Map Caper" scenario with this exact premise. Admittedly it's apples and oranges, but I will say one of the things I enjoyed about the scenario was the chaotic nature, which confused players pretty easily. Based on that impression I'd say this may be a little more wild and wooly than your average strategy player would appreciate. Another comparison would be the difference between Chess and Bughouse...

Also, you have to figure out how to keep player B from just waiting till player A finishes so he can plan more thoroughly.
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pseudotheist wrote:
Also, you have to figure out how to keep player B from just waiting till player A finishes so he can plan more thoroughly.


Tory thought that having each player dock in alternation would do that. but so many times your play is a chain of moves that culminate in a final event, so I do not think that having alternating turn segments would work.

The downside to Player B waiting is that Player A may claim a dock that B wanted to use. I dunno. As I say, it has not been tested in AF, yet.
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Todd France
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CleverMojo wrote:
The downside to Player B waiting is that Player A may claim a dock that B wanted to use. I dunno. As I say, it has not been tested in AF, yet.

But so long as player A has priority, he can do that anyway...
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pseudotheist wrote:
But so long as player A has priority, he can do that anyway...


Player A would have priority only when both players physically reach for the same dock/card at the same time.
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Fred MacKenzie
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CleverMojo wrote:
pseudotheist wrote:
But so long as player A has priority, he can do that anyway...


Player A would have priority only when both players physically reach for the same dock/card at the same time.


So if Player A has analysis paralysis, Player B could do everything he wants, even though he is not the alpha player that turn, while Player A sits and thinks.
 
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Todd France
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Then the question becomes: Can you dock at a station you don't yet have the resources for? With 1 turn at a time, a player can "allocate" dice to the facility of their choice, while figuring out how to pay for them with the leftovers. No one loses out if he realizes that he can't actually pay for the location and re-allocates the dice. Not the case with simultaneous turns...
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pseudotheist wrote:
Then the question becomes: Can you dock at a station you don't yet have the resources for?


I'd have to say no. You'd need to stay linear instead of hopping around and resolving resources later.
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