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Subject: Why so many Ancients? - Idea for Discovery Tile Bag rss

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Jeremy Diachuk
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If you happen to draw every single Ancient hex in the game without discarding it, and don't manage to destroy any Ancients at all, the maximum number of Ancient ships in the game is 14 (5 in the Core, 4 in the Ring, 5 in the Rim). Keep in mind that if any are destroyed, they become available for new explorations, so you would have to literally explore every single such hex without defeating any Ancients for this to happen.

Yet the game comes with 21 Ancient ships. Were 7 additional Ancient ships really necessary? It would have been pretty cool to have some blank ones or something, for people who wanted to design more powerful Ancient ships to use instead of the double-ancients, for example (there are three such tiles, so you'd still have had room for extra basic ships and extra blank ships).

I'd ask the same question about the Colony Ships, but I suppose there weren't many extras and there's not really much else you can do with the Colony Ship idea since they're really only used for one purpose...

Anyway, just was wondering. Also to give people some incentive to vandalize some of their Ancient Ship pieces for customized game components, since there are so many extras.

I wish there were 12 extras though, since I really want to just put the Discovery Tiles into a bag and use some other token as a dummy Discovery Tile instead that you cash in for a draw from the Discovery bag as soon as you claim it. However, there are 11 possible Ancient spaces plus the galactic center, so 12 tiles would be needed just in the rare case that all such tiles come up and nobody is able to take them yet. And making the Discovery Tile dummy token the same size as the Ancient Ship pieces would be thematically appropriate, too.



To be honest, the best idea is probably to put a Discovery Tile icon on the back of every Ancient ship tile. Then, instead of actually placing a second tile on the hex to indicate the Discovery Tile, just turn over the last Ancient defeated on a hex to indicate the presence of a Discovery. Then when a player claims the hex, this tile returns to the supply and they draw a Discovery tile from the Discovery Tile bag, and can either keep it as VP or turn it in for a Discovery benefit as usual.
This way, even if all Ancient ships come up, you still have 6 leftover tiles (instead of 7, since you still would want one to be underneath the GCD, unless you wanted to put a Discovery Tile icon on the back of that, too - I personally wouldn't, since then the GCD would be raised a little bit by having it on top of another chit, which I like since it makes it look more important) and you also don't have to worry about shuffling those dang Discovery Tiles anymore.

If someone could design a Discovery Tile icon that could be printed out and pasted on to the back of the Ancient Ships, it would be hugely appreciated. What say you all?
 
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David Hoffman
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I know the explanation for the additional Colony Ships was it allowed them to save money by using a single die-cutter as opposed to multiple. It's possible the same applies here.
 
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Jeremy Diachuk
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Yes, but the extra tiles for Reputation and Discoveries and Technologies were all blank. Only the extra Ancients and Colony Ships were left as-is.
 
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Kämmen mein schnurrbart
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The extra pieces could be there for future expansions.
 
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Purple Paladin

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Some hexes have 2 antients on them; 2 skulls.
 
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Jeremy Diachuk
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Purple Paladin wrote:
Some hexes have 2 antients on them; 2 skulls.


I am aware of this. My calculations included them.


As for future expansions: That could be the case. However, I doubt it'll be necessary to have both sides of the Ancient ships, so I think my proposal is still a good one.
 
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Steve W
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It's a pretty neat idea. I'm not totally sure the one-time shuffle of discovery tiles at the start of the game is any worse than the time it'd take to hunt for the correct discovery tiles mid-game, but I really like the idea of using the flip side of ancient ships for some sort of hidden info as a type of variant.

I think a cool variant on your variant would be to have unique ancients! Slightly different ancient arrangements, maybe including MoO favourites like space amoebas and space dragons .
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Jeremy Diachuk
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I just find it difficult to shuffle tiny cardboard tiles that aren't square (such that the curved edges give away information about their order if they aren't all stacked up in the same way, if any are accidentally revealed while shuffling, and this is a problem when I cannot shuffle them effectively while also keeping them lined up).

It takes a little bit of time to shake the Discovery bag and put your hand in and take one out, but I find that almost more exciting than just picking up a face-down tile and looking at the underside of it.

It even means that if we wanted, we could make the weaker Discovery tiles worth more (for example, the double-Ion Cannon is usually considered one of the worst Discovery tiles, along with the Technology one, except in rare cases) and this way it won't give away which Discovery tile it is hiding underneath an Ancient even though we could put a 3 VP on the back instead of a 2 VP.
 
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Seth
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taggedjc wrote:
I just find it difficult to shuffle tiny cardboard tiles that aren't square (such that the curved edges give away information about their order if they aren't all stacked up in the same way, if any are accidentally revealed while shuffling, and this is a problem when I cannot shuffle them effectively while also keeping them lined up).


You could use a bag like the two included in the game to shuffle with, or you can shuffle tiles by placing them in the box top, holding it above your head, wiggling it around to slide the tiles about then reaching in blindly.
 
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Jeremy Diachuk
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That doesn't help, because when you go to grab one to put it on the board, you have to put it on the board without seeing the reverse side, which is impossible to guarantee since you won't know what side you're looking at until after you've seen it. And no, just putting it back if you draw it "upside down" isn't going to work, since it will let you know perhaps which Discovery Tiles other people didn't choose to take (such as being able to tell if the Axion Computer is still available and nobody gave it up in exchange for 2 VP).
 
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Joseph Cochran
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taggedjc wrote:
That doesn't help, because when you go to grab one to put it on the board, you have to put it on the board without seeing the reverse side, which is impossible to guarantee since you won't know what side you're looking at until after you've seen it. And no, just putting it back if you draw it "upside down" isn't going to work, since it will let you know perhaps which Discovery Tiles other people didn't choose to take (such as being able to tell if the Axion Computer is still available and nobody gave it up in exchange for 2 VP).


We draw from a bag. You can tell by feel which side has the sharper cuts on the corners and therefore which side has the 2VP shield on it and pull the tile out with that side up. I almost never get it wrong, and nobody cares about the once-every-other-game that I do and have to redraw (it's usually a +resources benefit of which there are multiples so nothing's really given away).
 
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Antti Autio
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taggedjc wrote:
That doesn't help, because when you go to grab one to put it on the board, you have to put it on the board without seeing the reverse side, which is impossible to guarantee since you won't know what side you're looking at until after you've seen it. And no, just putting it back if you draw it "upside down" isn't going to work, since it will let you know perhaps which Discovery Tiles other people didn't choose to take (such as being able to tell if the Axion Computer is still available and nobody gave it up in exchange for 2 VP).

Discoveries are public anyway (you have to show the bonus side to all players even when taking the VP) so that last point doesn't really matter.

This "Carcassonne rule" (ie. show your tile to everyone so they can "advice" you) applies to both hexes and Discoveries. I know it's not really spelled out in the rulebook as well as it could be, but this is the way the designers play the game, so I believe that's the way it's intended to be.
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