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Subject: Game with 4 variant factions rss

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Today I tested out four of my variant replacement factions in a game of Rex. We had, in starting turn order, Sardakk N'orr, Mentak Coalition, Winnaran Administration, Yssaril Tribes, Emirates of Hacan, and Xxcha Kingdom.

(For reference, description of variant races may be found

Overview/Summary: The game lasted 3 rounds and ended in a joint win by the Emirates of Hacan and the Sardakk N'orr. I played as the Yssaril Tribes, the race that I was most excited about trying out. The group consensus was that the new races were balanced, though there were suggestions for some tweaks which I shall implement.

Round 1: I chose to put two 3s, two 2s, and a 1 on the Civilian space port to start, thinking that I was likely to fight there. One of the starting influence locations was directly in the path of the fleet, so I dropped some of my 0s there, realizing that one side effect of the Yssaril's ability is that they can collect influence with impunity, which nicely reflects their theme (in this case, sneaking around and gathering resources). The Hacan decided to reinforce their starting stronghold, so I dropped two 2s and a 0 in to cause some trouble. Nobody else was battling that round - the Winnu were building up forces in the Galactic council, and the Sardakk N'orr were moving in the direction of the Imperial Navy base. The Xxcha also moved into to Navy base with 7 or so units, but ultimately decided to turtle. I lost my battle, and my leader but managed to eliminate some of the Hacan units. The fleet wiped out my influence collectors, but I didn't care because they were zeroes.

Round 2: Ceasefire came up. The Winnu and the Xxcha allied, and the N'orr and the Mentak allied. This round, once again went for the influence in front of the bombardment fleet with some 0s. I also piggybacked into the council with the Winnu, who was establishing his moneymaking machine, and from there moved to the other influence drop. This time, the Mentak decided to contest the influence, and won. However, he was frustrated to discover that he gained no influence from his leader-execution ability, since my leaders were all worthless anyway. He also fought and defeated the Xxcha, though at a heavy cost in units. This turn, the N'orr advanced past the Navy base and toward the spaceport, since he was allied with the spaceport's owner. He gleefully pointed out to me that I would not be able to psyche him out into losing units with my Yssaril hit-and-run (or, more accurately, hit-and-die) maneuvers, because his stack was large enough that he could simply not dial anything and let his bonus strength deal with my threat. I began making plans to evacuate the spaceport. The N'orr also dropped units into Mecatol Power South, since I had already used my free deployment for the round and he had been worried that I would follow him there.

Round 3: Another ceasefire came up. The Mentak, who had taken heavy losses, switched alliances to the Xxcha-Winnu axis to gain the resources necessary to recruit his troops back. In response, the N'orr allied with the Hacan. We realized that they had 3 strongholds between them, and that the N'orr had an enormous stack of troops near both of the two remaining strongholds. Since I had little hope of fending off the imminent N'orr incursion, I made a deal with the Winnu to attack the Hacan in exchange for 4 influence. I evacuated the Civilian spaceport and went to the Hacan's stronghold to battle him once again. I also made a deal with the Winnu to attack the Imperial Navy base with my reserves in exchange for 2 influence; these deals were not fantastic, of course, but if he had refused, I still would have done so to stop them from winning. Unfortunately, in my battle against the Hacan, I made the fatal mistake of not dialing my maximum number of troops, and lost the battle. The other battles fared poorly as well, and the Hacan-N'orr alliance managed to take four strongholds despite our not-quite-best efforts (now that I think back, it was absurd that the Winnu did not attack the imperial navy base, since all of his troops were right next to it gathering influence in the council.

Reflections on the game:

- The Yssaril are not as powerful as I had thought. Their fog of war and card cycling abilities are good, but are more than balanced by their (literally) worthless leaders. They have problems fighting large numbers of enemies, but excel at raids on smaller groups and at influence collection from the board, since they don't care if their 0 value units die.

- The Mentak didn't really get to use his powers very often, but probably needs to start with another traitor. He was irritated that he couldn't gain anything from executing my leaders, since they were worthless.

- The Winnu player stayed in the council the whole game, funding his alliance. While he said that he had a good time, we all agreed that the source of income should be something else. We decided on making shielded territories provide income, to make those spaces more interesting and make it possible for players to stop the Winnu from gathering influence. Of course, stronghold spaces also count, but are more likely to be contested. The binding deals were a lot of fun.

- The N'orr also didn't really get to use his powers much, but his combat ability was pretty terrifying to the Yssaril, as a huge stack of his units was clearly almost impervious to any attempted attack by me. Very slow though. The player who played it said that it felt like a slower, tougher version of the Sol.

So the following changes will be made:
- Winnu gains 1 influence per unit in (non-council) shielded territory.
- Mentak Coalition starts with 2 traitors.

Otherwise, none of the factions were noticeably unbalanced, and all seemed fun to play.
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