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Subject: Component Card Replacement rss

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Kirk Brownridge
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Sometimes you end up with a set of components with which it will be impossible to win.
Could be that they are all low point value, or that the components that would allow bonus points from the front and back of the machine are just not available.
When this happens, the player with the poor components loses a bit of interest in the game. Although, they do have the option of trying to sabotage the other players and to bring everyone else down with them, but that's not always a good way to play.
What we came up with, and we're still playtesting this, is a way to replace a component you don't like. It takes a total of 3 actions to replace the component, as we don't want to make too easy, but still remedy an occasional unwelcome circumstance.
The player wishing to replace a component must first "activate" the component by playing the required scientists. At the point of activation, the player instead discards the component, leaving the scientist cards played on that component face down in the inactive area. This counts as one action. As second action, the player can then draw 2 component cards from the deck. They select one of them and place it in their inactive component area. The remaining component is discarded.
As a third and final action, the player may keep up to half (rounded up) of the scientists played on the previously activated component. These scientists are played on the new component and the remaining scientists are discarded.
 
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Kaboda
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Interesting variant that I could see being a nice advanced play.

Could you give some examples of components draws that would make it impossible to win? Seems to me that everyone will be close to the same with the drafting of components. Although I guess with more players there is a chance 2 or 3 people get good starting hands that only have 1 or 2 good components in them and if those people are lumped together I guess you might have a skewed distribution.

I haven't gotten the chance to play the game yet but from looking things over I didn't see having low scoring components as an issue. You would just need to modify your strategy a bit was all I was thinking. If they were lower level then their activation cost would most likely be easier to get. Hence just rush to complete the whole machine first to end the game quickly and those with bigger components might only have one or two up. You'd also try to sabotage other players components as well.
 
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Kirk Brownridge
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In a three player game, I ended up with a machine composed of 4x 0 point components and 1x 3 point component.

In another instance, the machine end gave extra points for Engineer components, but not a single one was available to select.
 
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Kaboda
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How did you end up with that many 0 point ones? There are only 5 in the deck if you add in the completely useless components that is. So that means there should have been at least a few better choices in the hands for most of your choices during the drafting phase.

In that second instance someone was paying attention to your machine and taking the cards you needed. Also probably got unlucky shuffle and deal!

I almost think that a good additional rule instead of the swap out would be some form of group mulligan. Something along the lines of every looks at the 5 dealt to them and if they don't like then call out mulligan. If 2 or more players say they would like to mulligan then discard, shuffle and re-deal out the drafting starting hands. If only 1 says mulligan everyone discards 2 cards and draw back up to 5. Maybe added bonus if all players want a mulligan give the option to redraw their starting machines as well.

The reason I say instead of the swap out as that seems like it would take some the drafting strategy out of the game if someone can swap things out during play. Granted the way you have the swap rules it is a bit expensive so maybe not that big of a change.

 
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Kirk Brownridge
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In the first instance, it was mostly my own fault to test out an extreme situation.

In the second, of the 15 cards dealt, not a single one was Engineer. So I didn't mean that no Engineers came up in the hand of the individual player, I meant no Engineers were dealt for anyone.

So maybe a Mulligan would be in order for that situation.
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Kaboda
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Ouch! Yeah maybe a mulligan rule is before picking your fist card call out each of the types one by one to ensure there is at least one of each type in that deal.
 
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