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Subject: Design Notes #1: How Stations Work rss

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Geoffrey Engelstein
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I'm going to be periodically posting a series of design notes explaining different concepts, prior to the official rules posting.

The key concept of the game is the way that the various stations are activated, so I figured I would start there.

There are six stations: Engineering, Helm, Weapons, Shields, Sensors, and Tractor Beams.

Each Station has 3-6 special dice that it uses, color coded for that station. Engineering dice, which are also called Energy dice, are normal D6's. The rest are custom.

Here's a rendering of the custom Station dice:



When Energy and Station dice are rolled, you may roll and re-roll them as many times as you like until you are satisfied with the result. You may choose to re-roll dice individually if multiple dice were rolled.

Whenever Energy Dice are available on the Energy Display, Engineering may roll and give any dice to the corresponding Stations matching that number, as shown on the Engineering Display and each individual Station Display.

This is what the Engineering Display looks like:



The Station dice MAY NOT be rolled until that Station receives Energy Dice. When a Station receives Energy Dice you may immediately begin rolling one die for each Energy die in the Energy section of the Display. For example, if Engineering places two ‘4’s on the Shield Display, the Shields player can start rolling two Shield dice.

You can roll and reroll Station Dice as many times as you want, as with Energy dice. When you are satisfied with one or more dice, place them onto the correct area of the Displays (more on that later), and return the same number of Energy dice back to Engineering by placing them anywhere on the Engineering Station Display. Engineering can immediately start to roll the returned Energy dice to give them back out to Stations.

Dice that are placed on a Station Display (except Engineering) can no longer be rerolled. You can remove a die from a Station Display at any time. However, you won’t be able to put it back onto the Display until the Station receives more Energy Dice.

This is really important to understand, so let's walk through an example. (Some of this example references symbols on the Station dice you don't understand, but you'll get the idea)

Engineering has three available Energy Dice. The Captain has instructed the team to try to get a Weapon lock, and move the ship into firing position. Engineering rolls the three Energy Dice, and gets a ‘1’, ‘2’, and ‘4’. She passes the 2 to Sensors and rerolls the other two dice until she gets a 2 and a 5, passing the 2 to Sensors and the 5 to Helm.

As soon as Energy Dice are received by the Stations they can begin to roll their Station Dice. Sensors rolls two dice since they have two energy. Helm has one energy die, and so only rolls one of the Helm
Dice.

After rolling and rerolling, Sensors eventually gets a Single Lock and Double Lock result, and places them on the Sensor Display. As soon as those dice are placed, the Energy Dice are returned to Engineering, placing them on the Engineering Display. In the meantime Helm has rolled a ‘Forward’ result and placed it on the B Slot of the Helm Display, returning the Energy die back to Engineering.

As soon as Energy Dice as passed back to Engineering she can being to roll them again. She does not need to wait until all of them are returned.

The quick flow of energy dice through the ship, and getting them to the right stations at the right time, is a critical part of victory.

I'll be back next time with more details on how the Helm Station works!
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Joseph Arthur Ellis
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Thanks Geoff, I am REALLY excited for this one already. More previews please!! :) A video of gameplay in action would be spectacular.
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Brian
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So, what happens if engineering rolls a '6'?

Is that a wild, or a reroll?
 
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Christian K
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Thanks for your post. I just learned about this yesterday and it looks like so much fun.
 
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Brian Engelstein
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lankyb wrote:
So, what happens if engineering rolls a '6'?

Is that a wild, or a reroll?

For now it's a reroll. For now...

Brian
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Esteban Fernandez
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lankyb wrote:
So, what happens if engineering rolls a '6'?

Is that a wild, or a reroll?

My guess is that 6 is the 'fail' state, if there are only 3 dice, no locked dice but some delay/punishment mechanism
 
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Esteban Fernandez
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SpaceShark wrote:
lankyb wrote:
So, what happens if engineering rolls a '6'?

Is that a wild, or a reroll?

For now it's a reroll. For now...

Brian

Haven't seen this post, so maybe it's a reroll at the start of the game, it makes sense to punish the player if he rerolls too much, so I still guess there is some punishment with the 6s

My guess is that those dice get locked until the Chief Engineer can fix it
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Geoffrey Engelstein
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Sixes simply must be re-rolled. Although as Brian hinted, we are playtesting an expansion that lets you use them.

We experimented with various locked die mechanisms but they just slowed things down and took away the fun and we tossed the idea pretty quickly. The focus was on streamlining and speed.
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Jeffrey
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Why are the engineering dice standard gaming dice instead of custom like all the others? Every other station looks right at the symbols on their dice to know what they do, but the engineer needs to match the number on her die to the station that number represents.
 
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Geoffrey Engelstein
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LocutusZero wrote:
Why are the engineering dice standard gaming dice instead of custom like all the others? Every other station looks right at the symbols on their dice to know what they do, but the engineer needs to match the number on her die to the station that number represents.

We looked at putting the symbols on the dice, and mocked some up. But it turned out to be more of a learning curve to decipher what you were looking at, and the standard D6's definitely worked best during playtests.

The other station displays show the die face that is required for them, so folks will often say "Give me 2's" when they need sensors, or something like that. The association of the number with the station becomes second nature very quickly.

Geoff
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Christopher Yoder
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So excited about this game. It's at the top of my wishlist by a long shot.
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Michael Weber
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Thanks for posting this - looks like an absolute must-buy!

Will this be available at Essen 2013?

Thas
 
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Geoffrey Engelstein
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Mixo wrote:
Thanks for posting this - looks like an absolute must-buy!

Will this be available at Essen 2013?

Thas

Yes, it will be at Essen.

Geoff
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Leandro Simonetti
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engelstein wrote:
LocutusZero wrote:
Why are the engineering dice standard gaming dice instead of custom like all the others? Every other station looks right at the symbols on their dice to know what they do, but the engineer needs to match the number on her die to the station that number represents.

We looked at putting the symbols on the dice, and mocked some up. But it turned out to be more of a learning curve to decipher what you were looking at, and the standard D6's definitely worked best during playtests.

The other station displays show the die face that is required for them, so folks will often say "Give me 2's" when they need sensors, or something like that. The association of the number with the station becomes second nature very quickly.

Geoff

Did you put the symbols only? Not the colors? I'm being a "nitpicker" here, but "Give me greens!" sounds cool either!!! Mmm... but then color blind people would be left behind... OK, I think I can live with standard D6!

Can't wait!
 
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Dennis Schwarz
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leandrosz wrote:
engelstein wrote:
LocutusZero wrote:
Why are the engineering dice standard gaming dice instead of custom like all the others? Every other station looks right at the symbols on their dice to know what they do, but the engineer needs to match the number on her die to the station that number represents.

We looked at putting the symbols on the dice, and mocked some up. But it turned out to be more of a learning curve to decipher what you were looking at, and the standard D6's definitely worked best during playtests.

The other station displays show the die face that is required for them, so folks will often say "Give me 2's" when they need sensors, or something like that. The association of the number with the station becomes second nature very quickly.

Geoff

Did you put the symbols only? Not the colors? I'm being a "nitpicker" here, but "Give me greens!" sounds cool either!!! Mmm... but then color blind people would be left behind... OK, I think I can live with standard D6!

Can't wait!

Maybe there is a way to combine colors and numbers that is easy and quick to read without being too confusing and cluttered.
I personally cannot think of a reason, either, why the color coding wouldn't work as well, either...? What were the problems for the playtesters with this?
 
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Vincent Perry
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Geoff this game looks way fun...I tried space cadets but with my group, the setup time and learning curve made it DOA. This game looks like it it more my group's speed. I'm really looking forward to trying this one out. Also the group on group aspect seems pretty novel for a boardgame as well.

I'll be keeping my eye on it!
 
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George Breden
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[
The other station displays show the die face that is required for them, so folks will often say "Give me 2's" when they need sensors, or something like that. The association of the number with the station becomes second nature very quickly.

Geoff
[/q]


Hmmm ... I'm not too excited about that. I'm sure I'd rather not hear "Give me 2's!" during a game such as this, which I think would benefit by keeping as many ties to the theme in it as possible. So much better to hear "Send energy to sensors!"
 
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Dennis Schwarz
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a_flying_possum wrote:

Hmmm ... I'm not too excited about that. I'm sure I'd rather not hear "Give me 2's!" during a game such as this, which I think would benefit by keeping as many ties to the theme in it as possible. So much better to hear "Send energy to sensors!"

Seconded - the immersion would be even higher, when the vocabulary fits the theme. The game sounds sooo cool that this would just be the icing on the cake, but still - a cake with icing is even better than one without
 
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Dusty S
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Sounds like a blast! Can't wait to play it!
 
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