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High Frontier» Forums » Variants

Subject: Hidden Agenda rss

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Victor Caminha
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I just posted the text below at the yahoogroups and noticed WORD really screwed things up. So here's a cleaner version.

After a few plays I noted that’s a pity the map has so many interesting sites which rarely grace a visit from daring robonauts, like the Saturn Aerostat, Europa’s Subsurface Ocean and until the new map, the Halley Comet. Also, I always liked in games the existence of secret goals (like those in Twilight Imperium). So, why not use this concept as an additional rule to encourage some alternative spacefaring?

Please keep in mind the following text was not tested in any way and it was just the product of a little brain-exercise over the last two days. Here are the guidelines:

Each Player receives, at the game setup, two Hidden Agenda Cards, which contain a special goal, which if achieved, grants bonus victory points (scaling up proportionally in the difficulty of the goal). In order to avoid dread combos, each player will maintain just ONE Hidden Agenda card, which will be decided according to the game setup:

a) Standard setup (players begin with 4 WT only): When a player creates his first rocket stack, he decides which Hidden Agenda card to keep, discarding the other, face down.

b) Express Setup (players begin with 4 WT and 6 white cards): At the game setup, each player discards one Hidden Agenda card, face down, and keep the other.

There are 24 Hidden Agenda card concepts below. Most of them are revealed at the game end, though some must be shown in the course of the game, either because it will be needed to keep track of the goal or because it portrays some kind of restriction the player must follow in order to achieve the victory points.

I tried to avoid goals which would be readily combined with other unconventional sources of VP (I.E Glory and Space Ventures), but I haven’t tested any of them. Some may be too easy to build a strategy around Space Ventures, other may be so hard to reach that may well be unfeasible in a game (especially those relating to Uranus, Neptune and beyond), so please don’t take them too seriously.

Note: I haven’t decided how many VP each card will give, though some have a suggested (and untested) number in parenthesis. I thought about a lower limit of of 4 (for the easiest ones) and an upper limit of 8-10 (for those of extreme difficulty).

1 - Inner System Aerostat Colony
Goal: Colonize Venus Aerostat Site
VP: 3
Note: This card has a lower value because the site already confers 2 VP as a science site, not to mention the colony’s extra VP.

2 - Outer System Aerostat Settlement
Goal: Claim and leave a human-crewed outpost at Saturn or Uranus
VP: 4
Note: Leave the outpost at game end . You can industrialize the site without compriomising the goal.

3 - Cometary Explorer
Goal: Try to Claim sites of the three different colors (Red, Yellow and Blue). This includes all sites which begin with "Comet", as well the Hermes binary, Morper and Phaeton.
Special: After your first busted attempt at claiming one of the above sites, reveal this card and leave a disk of your color below the black disk marker to indicate your attempt. Repeat this procedure at future failed attempts. You don’t need to successfully claim the sites to fulfill this goal.
VP: 4

4 - Carbonaceous Specialist
Goal: Claim five "C" sites.
VP: 7
Note: While this goal seems easy, it impedes the conquest of Space Ventures and forces you to use all your disks if you want to create a single NON-"C" factory.

5 - Inner System Industrialist:
Goal: Your industries must be near the Sun. Add Solar Power Modifier of each factory site. You gain the VP if the total sum is ≥ 0.
VP: 5

6 - Outer System Industrialist:
Goal: Your industries must be away from the Sun. Add Solar Power Modifier of each factory site. You gain the VP if the total sum is ≤ -6.
VP: 4

7 - Expert Prospector
Goal: Exclusively industrialize sites with Hydration ≤ 2.
VP: 3

8 - Lower Gravity Endeavor
Goal: Exclusively industrialize sites of size ≤ 3.
VP: 4

9 - Higher Gravity Endeavor
Goal: Exclusively industrialize sites of size ≥ 6 and WITHOUT an aerobrake route.
VP: 4

10 - Master of Supports
Special: Reveal this card right before your first "Industrialize" operation.
Goal: All your black products must be support cards (generators, reactors and radiators). You can discard this Hidden Agenda card if you decide to retool to or industrialize a new thruster, refinery or robonaut.
VP: 3

11 - Supreme Refiner
Special: Reveal this card right before your first "Industrialize" operation.
Goal: All your black products must be refineries. You can discard this Hidden Agenda card if you decide to retool to or industrialize a non-refinery card.
VP: 5

12 - Reckless Entrepreneur
Goal: Industrialize at least two sites whose *only* entrance AND exit routes pass directly through a hazard
VP: 7
Note: This specifically prevents the use of yellow dotted lines to achieve the goal.

13 - Jovian Scientific Complex
Goal: Industrialize at least two of the following science sites: Callisto: Subsurface Ocean, Europa: Subsurface Ocean, Io: Gish Bar Mons, Io: Loki Patera.
VP: 5

14 - Saturnian Conglomerate
Goal: Exclusively industrialize the moons of Saturn and/or Saturn Aerostat
VP: 7

15 - Martian Civilization
Goal: Colonize all the three sites of Mars
VP: 8
Note: The high value for this card means a way to compensate the 12 VP for three "C" industries. Note also this also prevents the gain of Glory VP. A possible rush strategy?

16 - Space Consortium
Special: Reveal this card just before making your first Open Market operation in which you decide to sell a black card.
Goal: Every time you earn WT for selling a black card, you can allocate some or all of the disks earned into this Hidden Agenda card. This disks aren’t usable anymore (use blue or red disks or any other token if need be) and represent an extraterrestrial economic venture.
VP: At game end, you gain 1 VP per 5 WTs worth of disks.
Note: Perhaps then VP value is too low, but I wanted to avoid the risk of making a lunar sale strategy too powerful with this card.

17 - Wild Resource Miner
Goal: Exclusively industrialize "D" sites
VP: 5
Note: Please bear in mind of the usually low number of "D" sites

18 - Brute Force Pioneer
Special: Reveal this card after building your first rocket stack.
Goal: From now on, you are allowed to use only thrusters with fuel consumption of 3+ (even if you do not need to burn). You can discard this Hidden Agenda card if you decide to use a thruster with less fuel consumption).
VP: 5
Note: You are allowed to carry more efficient thrusters in your stack so long you don’t use them.

19 - Solar Sail Navigator
Special: Reveal this card after building your first rocket stack.
Goal: From now on, you are allowed to use only Solar Sails as thrusters (even if you do not need to burn). You can discard this Hidden Agenda card if you decide to use another kind of thruster.
VP: 6
Note: You are allowed to carry other thrusters in your stack so long you don’t use them.

20 - Determined Colonizer
Goal: Every factory you have must also have a colony.
VP: 6
Note: This Hidden Agenda card effectively prevents you from undertaking Space Ventures and achieving Glory.

21 - Long Range Constructor
Goal: Exclusively industrialize factories located in different, non-adjacent heliocentric zones.
VP: 5
Examples: You can build a factory in the Mars Zone (-1), Jupiter Zone (-3) and Uranus Zone (-5). Or you can industrializy at Venus (+1), Mars (-1) and Jupiter (-3) or beyond.

22 - Uranus Subsidiary
Goal: Industrialize at least one site at Uranus Aerostat or its moons
VP: ?

23 - Neptunian Investment
Goal: Industrialize at least one site at one of Neptune’s moons.
VP: ?

24 - The Solar Frontier
Goal: Claim a site at Pluto, Charon or at the Kuipfer Belt
VP: ?
Note: Still undecided about the location


That’s it. Comments?

Victor Caminha


Edit: Altered or created the VP value for several Hidden Agenda cards, and changed the concept of Long Range Constructor for ease's sake. The only cards i won't imput values are #21-23, since I need to test the newest expanded map.
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Wulf Corbett
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One of the reasons I always lose this game is that I always pick somewhere interesting to go, and leave it too late to catch up on VP...

Europa's ocean sounds nice for next time...
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Matthew Eklund
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
One of the reasons I always lose this game is that I always pick somewhere interesting to go, and leave it too late to catch up on VP...

Europa's ocean sounds nice for next time...


One of the players in our group is just like that. He treats the game more like a sandbox than a competition... every game he pushes the tech to its limits and usually does something so clever or impressive that we cant help but root for him. And he still usually places 2nd or so. I love playing with him b/c I cant wait to see what he comes up with next... next time we're using the newly arrived ubermap. Who knows what he'll do with it.
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Matthew Eklund
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As to the hidden agendas... neat idea. I always thought it would be cool to have a new component deck of agendas or victory cards or something that could spice up the late-game auctions.
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Flane
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The agendas could have some overlapping goals so that players might need to use a bit of force.... Or, the overlapping agendas have goals that can be shared to solicit opportunistic cooperation.

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Victor Caminha
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First of all, I made some tweaks in the rules above, summarized in the EDIT at the end of the first message. Unfortunately, as I am currently without PC (undergoing technical repairs, hopefully won't have to decomission all of it), I can only work at it once per day at a cybercafé. Perhaps next week I can create an archive with the hidden agenda cards.

Wulf, that's exactly what I wanted to encourage: going to some cool, albeit less efficient, routes.

Quote:
The agendas could have some overlapping goals so that players might need to use a bit of force.... Or, the overlapping agendas have goals that can be shared to solicit opportunistic cooperation.


That's a very nice idea. Some goals already have some points in common, like the Carbonaceous Specialist & Martian Civilization, Inner System Industrialization & Solar Sail Navigator. For those who are interested in heavy negotiation, this can offer some new ideas. How much you are interested in paying off PRC to claim jump a site which you suspect is crucial to another player's agenda?
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darksurtur
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This is very nice. I think some of the "exclusively" goals might work better with a minimum (at least two) ... or maybe not. I'm not sure how that would play out in a real game.
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Victor Caminha
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Quote:
I'm not big on the inner industrialist scoring so well. There are already a lot of rewards for going inward -- most of all that it's cheap and easy with the sails


You mean the possibility of early glory VP with Eureka? In any case, I agree it can be lowered. A edited it to give a reward of 5 VP.

Quote:
The Outer System Aerostat Outpost should probably call for a Colony, not an Outpost. You can only have one outpost, and having yours "used up" could make this card nearly unworkable


I understand the crippling effect of limiting the outpost. But I thought the need of having an ISRU 0 to claim and a good thruster to reach Saturn Aerostat would mean this goal would be reached closer to the end of the game. Because of this, I consider the idea of having to add an refinery to industrialize the site would be actually harsher. Strategically speaking, though, I can be wrong. Thoughts?
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Victor Caminha
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Just bumping this topic to warn the Hidden Agenda file is up

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/66341/hidden-agenda-va...

BTW, I lowered to 4 VP the Inner System Industrialist. Thanks to Dan Lokemoen for the heads-up!
 
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Fel Barros
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Outstanding idea, Victor.

I also love "hidden" goals and having some of those as extra vps sounds really good.

Onto buying the game.

Btw, some cards with the goals would be nice.
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Victor Caminha
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Thanks, Fel. I still have to test them (my last games were learning sessions) and I hope I can refine the VP count from experience. Good luck in your search for HF!
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Jeff Chamberlain
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I haven't tested these hidden agenda cards, but from looking at them and comparing to my past experience with HF games, the VP points for many of them don't seem to adequately reflect the relative difficulty of the objectives. Some of them are next to impossible in a competitive game due to the fact that the game is very likely over long before the agenda has any reasonable chance of being achieved (particularly the ones that involve deep space sites) yet reward close to the same VP value as agenda's that are fairly easy to achieve. It looks like these agenda cards would simply add another random element of the form: the player who gets the easy to achieve agenda cards usually wins (assuming all else is equal). The idea of the agenda's is cool, but the fact that games tend to end abruptly before much deep space stuff can get accomplished seems to render them not very useful as an addition to the game.

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Victor Caminha
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Well, I may well be wrong in the value acessment of the cards and maybe some of them can be really unfeasible. When I test them I can post here my impressions.
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Richard Smith
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Re: Hidden Agenda - Saturn's Aerostat Outpost.
>> The Outer System Aerostat Outpost should probably call for a
>> Colony, not an Outpost. You can only have one outpost, and
>> having yours "used up" could make this card nearly unworkable


> I understand the crippling effect of limiting the outpost. But I
> thought the need of having an ISRU 0 to claim and a good thruster
> to reach Saturn Aerostat would mean this goal would be reached
> closer to the end of the game. Because of this, I consider the idea
> of having to add an refinery to industrialize the site would be
> actually harsher. Strategically speaking, though, I can be wrong.
> Thoughts?

Why not say you can satisfy this Hidden Agenda with either an outpost or a colony? That way, which ever is easier will satisfy it. This is a tough goal and I don't think allowing either will unbalance things.

Warm regards, Rick.
 
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