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Subject: Duplicate tech and expansions rss

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Todd France
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With the first expansion coming out with non-duplicate tech cards, has anyone given any thought to taking out some duplicates of the existing tech? I think I like leaving doubles of all the die manipulation tech, as they seem to be the "core" of the tech cards, but I'm seriously considering pulling out the second copies of Space Crane and Holographic Decoy when the deck gets bigger. There's nothing more annoying than seeing 2 Holographic Decoys in play, and not having either of them. I'd really love to hear any designer/playtester opinions on this, but of course all opinions are welcome.
 
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Michael Mesich
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Since the deck is getting bigger, aren't they automatically going to become rarer draws anyway?
 
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Mike P
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I was wondering if they would tell us to cull out the duplicates as further expansions come out. I'll leave them in for now, though.
 
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Randall Bart
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mmesich wrote:
Since the deck is getting bigger, aren't they automatically going to become rarer draws anyway?

His point is that it dilutes the die roll manipulators. We had a six player expansion playtest once. There was a clear need for a third set of die roll manipulator cards.
 
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Michael Mesich
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Barticus88 wrote:
mmesich wrote:
Since the deck is getting bigger, aren't they automatically going to become rarer draws anyway?

His point is that it dilutes the die roll manipulators. We had a six player expansion playtest once. There was a clear need for a third set of die roll manipulator cards.


I'm pretty sure his point is that he's unsatisfied with how often and plentiful the Decoys are (especially when he doesn't get one of them himself) and is hoping the expansion cards give him an excuse to cut the decoys and cranes down to one each.



 
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Todd France
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Well, my main point was to see if anyone else had considered tweaking the current card set in light of the new cards. I was throwing out Holographic Decoy as an example. But I do personally do get a feel that there are "core" cards that manipulate the dice, and "non-core" cards that do other interesting things. I'd also say Resource Cache, Data Crystal, and Plasma Cannon feel "non-core" to me, though I wouldn't cut Data Crystal down to one card because it's also a Field Generator card, and I wouldn't cut down Plasma Cannon because it can be a very critical card to have, especially in larger games. Oddly enough, even though Mind Control Helmet is an expansion card, it's power feels "core" to me.
 
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Todd...and there you come to the conundrum...getting rid of core cards will affect the entire game, regardless of the new expansion cards. I did a few tests with removing duplicate original deck cards and found it way too limiting. Weaker cards have stronger discard powers and stronger cards are too useful to drop the duplicates.

The card that seems the easiest to drop is the Temporal Warper but the catch is that as the deck becomes larger it becomes more useful for its discard power.

As for the Holographic Decoy...even that is balanced a bit now with the Smuggler's Alliance faction allowing players the possibility of stealing BOTH tech and resources.

At times, I think Tory is thinking much further ahead than my mind can grasp. I'd hate to play chess against him*.




* actually, I'd hate to play chess against anyone, but I needed a thinky game to complete the metaphor
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James 3
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i do think the Holographic Decoy is odd to have only 2 in games with 3 players. often ends up where one person gets raided mercilessly. Dropping to 1, or adding a decoy per player seems like a good fix to this imbalance, but i just play things as is. Will have to try out factions to see how i feel about it.
 
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Andrew Walters
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I think one Decoy is far too few, but I also think it's okay to have less than "one for everyone." If you're getting raided, raid someone and take the decoy, no brainer.

Raiding is powerful, but it requires a mighty die roll. People hate to "waste" a raid just getting the decoy. It's a good defense.

If you're getting raided, you need to fight fire with the fire, or get the decoy, or both.

If you're getting raided and have too few ships to get the roll you need to raid then you are falling behind and you should point out to people that they're letting their opponent win if they waste the raid on you.

I can certainly see how some people might not like the Raid, it's pretty "un-euro".

Andrew
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Brandon Freels
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Okay, time for me to respond. The following has been tried out by our playgroup:


We play with only one Space Crane and one Mind Control Helmet. Our argument is that neither of these cards has a discard ability so once one of them is in play it is pretty much here to stay. And as said in other threads, it is fun thematically to fight for THE Mind Control Helmet or THE Space Crane.


As for the Holographic decoy: We have played it a few times with only 1 Decoy for 2-3 players. While "odd man out" gets taken care of, we found that it reduced the opportunity to go for a Mother Lode strategy with the Orbital Market and/or Space Crane. The Market is already getting underused in our games and further castrating it doesn't seem like a good idea. So we went back to playing with 2 Decoys and let the odd man out deal with it.

With 2 players it is just a strategy of play. Do both players decide to have a Tenderheart Carebear game or does a player get so far ahead in the race that he risks spending a turn and taking/discarding the decoy for the raiding boon later?

If you play with anything from Factions, definitely keep both Decoys in as there are now ways to get around them (Oscillation Capacitor, Smugglers).


Here is what is in our Alien Tech when we play the Main Set + Factions + The Interstellar Council:

22 Main Set ATC
1 Space Crane
1 Mind Control Helmet
8 Factions ATC
1 Seismic Detonator
10 Interstellar Council ATC
2 EXTRA Temporal Warper ATC

This makes the deck 45 cards and with 4 Temporal Warpers it keeps the TimeWarp ratio at about 11:1, the same as in the base game. It makes cycling needed more and it is not a sure thing to get the exact tech you want. So grab a Temporal Warper to go fish now or later. It also makes the "1 discard / turn" rule come into play more, which I find sublime. We find that it works out fine as the Alien Tech Deck gets bloated. And if Dark Space Explorers are in the game, it really is not going to be an issue.

I feel that Temporal Warper does not get the respect that it deserves. A WildCard fish through the discard pile is great. And a free fleet re-roll if you control Pohl...



 
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James 3
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andreww wrote:

I think one Decoy is far too few, but I also think it's okay to have less than "one for everyone." If you're getting raided, raid someone and take the decoy, no brainer.

Raiding is powerful, but it requires a mighty die roll. People hate to "waste" a raid just getting the decoy. It's a good defense.

If you're getting raided, you need to fight fire with the fire, or get the decoy, or both.


We just found the game somewhat devolved in a 3 player with 2 decoys in play and an odd man out, and that it created a lot of unfun moments. damned if you do, damned if you dont, and the game became about a tug of war of decoys or you had to find a strategy that never accumulated resources between turns, or just cross your fingers. having 1 decoy in 3 player games and 2 in 4+ would fix it so that there are always at least 2 exposed to share the hate...
 
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Rich Riley
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The overlooked solution, I've found, is for one of the people with a decoy to steal the other player's decoy, thus discarding it and opening them up to raiding from the odd player out. Then sit back and watch the amusement.
 
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