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Subject: VARIANT - "Smart" Parasites and Flamethrowers Burn Parasites rss

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Sean Tompkins
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I'm quoting myself below regarding the impetus for my variant - but will cut to the chase for those who don't want to read the motivation.

Change #1: "Bugs" (what we call the parasites) move a little more intelligently. IF they are in a room with characters during their movement phase, they don't roll and move - they just attack. IF there are no players in the room the bug is in, check to see if an adjacent room (one that is legal for a bug to move directly to - ie, no locked doors) contains players. If there are players adjacent, move there and attack. If there is more than one adjacent room with players, roll the die until one of these rooms is indicated, then move and attack into that room. IF no adjacent rooms have players, then roll and move as per the published rules.

Change #2: A human can discard a fuel can, using one action point, to utilize his/her flame thrower to do one damage to a bug in the same room.

We tried this out in a game last night - and I'll continue to use the variant and report on how it worked. In our game the threat from the bugs was real and ever-present. In fact, most of the deaths came from the bugs, and most of the ammo was used up quickly defending against them. Searching was absolutely required because we needed ammo and fuel cans, but searching was dangerous because of it would spawn bugs. The host was able to infect two other people over the course of the game, and once that cascade happens it's going to be very hard for the humans to win. However, even with this the game came down to one critical turn where one of the infected was able to infect me (i had passed my gas cans to the person who could win the game the next round, so was out). My turn was next, and I was able to place the hive in a spot that required the winnable human to pass through two rooms where trades would be required with infected players, and when that happened he was stripped of enough gas cans to make winning impossible. Technically the game was a "loss" because the humans spawned a ton of parasites and left them to attack the infected on their dash to the finish, and everyone was dead after the alien turn - but it was a fitting conclusion for us. The map was particularly deadly because of where the security doors wound up - we were all trapped in a small area where we HAD to search red rooms to spawn more parasites - so I don't think every game will end with mass carnage from the parasites.


With change #1 the bugs become a real threat - people will start to die quickly, and people will move away from bugs.

seanp wrote:
There seems to be a real divide between players who want everyone to use an RPG-like "take the game rules as a framework to have a fun social experience" and the euro/board game community reaction of "find optimal path to victory". The game as designed was not made for crowd #2, in my opinion (and I'm mostly in that camp). I think there are tweaks that can be made to make it better for that crowd - but those in the first camp have to realize that telling camp #2 to not analyze the rules to figure out the best way to win is like telling water not to be wet. As the human team it makes sense to coordinate a plan, agree to it, and stick to it. It's what a team going into a base would do. The fact that it makes it un-fun means the game wasn't tested in that scenario, and no rules were put in place to prevent it.

If you take BSG as an example - there's a game where cooperation is imperative. Everything is stacked against the humans - even without active Cylon interference the game itself is working against you. That is supposed to be the case here, but really without the host mucking with things it's easy to win as the humans. In fact, it's pretty easy to win BY YOURSELF as a human. I think the game difficulty needs ramped up so that it's everyone against the game, with paranoia and suspicion added into the mix.

The Resistance takes all of the "you vs the game" elements out of it entirely - it's distilled down to "find the traitors". Some people in my group thus call it "BSG without the boring stuff" - they like the traitor mechanic but not all the board game elements. But here the way the game is designed is that you HAVE to root out the traitors -- it's statistically very low percentage that you'll go through the missions 1-2-3 fully resistance, so you'll have to figure out what team is the correct one to win the game.

I've had fun playing Panic Station, and think there's a fun experience there. But the rules as written, even in v2.2 don't make it a solid "gamer's game" by forcing the players to work together against the game, or to root out the traitors.
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Jay Lacson
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I like this.
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Brian Bankler
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As the host in that session (and a wet, watery gamer), I like these rules. Not perfect, but much better than before.
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Seth Trammell
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I am usually against changing the rules in this game, but i like that it adds an element of being ABLE to attack with your trooper, but at the high price of gas cans.
EDIT: It should be tested, of course.
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Brian Bankler
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Sethy295 wrote:

EDIT: It should be tested, of course.


Why start now?
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S. R.
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Interesting!
I had the idea of a similar variation on the theme in my thread here!

Although I proposed a change this way:
1. Parasites in rooms with Characters don't move.
2. Parasites in rooms without Characters orient themselves
a) if characters are in one room adjacent, they move there
b) if characters are in several adjacent rooms, they move to the room with less characters (less distracting noise)
c) if there are no characters in adjacent rooms, or if number of characters in adjacent rooms is equal, roll die (concused by the noise from different directions)

I previously had b) as ...with more characters...
However, this would not only mean that players would shun the parasites, but they would also shun each other. So trading would be more infrequent. This way, huddling together is actually better than being alone, and more trading will occur...



 
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Chris Wood
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I really like the priority aspect; the bugs will move to the room with less characters; weeding them out, and therefore there is safety in numbers. Very evil and scary.
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