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Yesterday I played Dominion for the first time ever (there are some of us still out here). Of course, it brought to mind Star Trek TOS.

I found Dominion's endgame condition(s) more interesting than ST:TOS. Dominion ends when either the supply of Province cards is empty or three other supply piles are empty. Then players count their points and find out who's won. In ST:TOS, as we know, the game ends when a player reaches 300 points by completing missions. This player is the winner.

The Province cards in Dominion seem to me analog to the mission cards in ST:TOS, so I thought: what if we adopted as an ending condition for ST:TOS something similar to Dominion? The game would go on as long as there are cards in the Space deck; when the deck is empty, players would count their points and discover the winner.

Has anyone tried something like this? My guess is that the game would be too long with a full Space deck, so this variant would only be feasible with a smaller deck. If you agree, how many missions would you include in the Space deck?
 
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David Jones
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What I've noticed from playing so far is that once you've built your deck correctly, you can complete almost any mission from the space deck, except maybe Doomsday (which, technically, is an event). So, in some sense, playing out the mission deck would simply be a race to who gets their deck build into the "sweet spot" first. However, there is a card in the starbase deck that gives you an extra explore if you complete a mission via diplomacy, meaning you complete two missions per turn. The player(s) who acquire that card would have a greater advantage over those who didn't, so then you're looking at a situation where the ability to get that card is luck based (on whose turn did it flip...) Its an interesting idea and I won't say its unbalanced without actually trying it first, but I would be concerned about balance issues.

400 is a rather long game, so as you mentioned, if you want to run the space deck dry, you need to be prepared for a marathon session or run the game with fewer cards. Cards average 50 points per mission/event, so the simple method is to run six missions per player to get to 300. But, then this also causes problems because if one players draft mission is in the deck and another player's isn't, you have an unfair advantage in that one player has a "protected" mission. So either don't play draft or draft directly from the space deck so nobody's missions can get swiped.
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davypi wrote:
What I've noticed from playing so far is that once you've built your deck correctly, you can complete almost any mission from the space deck

I had the same feeling. I would't say that the missions are "easy"; but there is a sense that the power of your deck here grows exponentially, while in the other DBGs I've played (Ascension, Dominion) the power of your deck grows "linearly", on a more controlled pace.

davypi wrote:
So, in some sense, playing out the mission deck would simply be a race to who gets their deck build into the "sweet spot" first. (...) Its an interesting idea and I won't say its unbalanced without actually trying it first, but I would be concerned about balance issues.

Let me know if you ever try this endgame variant and what your impressions were. Compared to the other DBGs, the ending of ST:TOS seems a little anti-climatic. And there is no way to gauge a player's performance, you either are the winner or one of the losers. With an open-ended scoring finale, there will be a winner, but he can compare his performance to the others and also to his own in past games.

davypi wrote:
Cards average 50 points per mission/event, so the simple method is to run six missions per player to get to 300. But, then this also causes problems because if one players draft mission is in the deck and another player's isn't, you have an unfair advantage in that one player has a "protected" mission. So either don't play draft or draft directly from the space deck so nobody's missions can get swiped.

Good idea. In fact, my concern with a smaller Space deck is the increased frequency of events and battles. What will be the impact on the game's difficulty?

EDIT: Minor corrections.
 
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