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 House Rules/Variants 
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Mini-Boss
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Joined: August 27th, 2012, 5:11 am
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A recent conversation on Facebook discussed alternate rules for unit activations. I collect the various proposals here. I have taken the liberty of suggesting changes to abilities that interacted with the ready queue. Note: If the mode does not use the Ready Queue, read "linked slot" as "take a second turn immediately after your current turn with the designated unit".

Extended Queue
Additional Materials? No
Ready Queue used? Yes
The ready queue's length is set to equal the highest number of units among all players, players with fewer units are given enough Placeholder Cards to fill their queue. Units are not added to the queue at the end of each turn, instead, when the ready queues are empty (start of the game or end of a round), players take turns setting their queue, placing one unit at a time.
Link: Units may only be moved to the linked slot from the ready queue

Round Robin
Additional materials? No
Ready Queue used? No
Players take turns activating units, all units must be activated before a new round begins. Players keep tracker cards in a ready pile (zone) and move them to an idle pile as they activate. Players gain enough of Placeholder Cards to equalize the number of tracker cards amount all players.
Link: Units may only be moved to the linked slot from the ready pile.
Knockback: Units affected by Knockback are moved from the ready pile to the idle pile.

Reverse Queue
Additional Materials? No
Ready Queue used? Yes, same number of slots as outlined in the rules.
The ready queue and the idle section are swapped; the ready queue becomes the idle queue and the idle section becomes the ready section. All units begin in a ready section. At the beginning of a turn, a unit is moved into the active slot. After activation, units in the idle queue are moved right one space and the active unit takes the closest slot. When a unit is in the last (rightmost) idle slot, it is moved to the ready section at the end of the activation. Placeholder cards are only used when there are not enough units to fill the queue.
Link: Both units are placed in the same slot (leftmost) on the idle queue after the linked unit's activation. A placeholder card is not generated.
Knockback: Ready units that are affected by Knockback are placed in the leftmost idle slot. If a unit is affected by an effect that prevents it from being ready, it shares the rightmost slot of the idle queue with any cards that are moved into that slot.

Free Activation
Additional Materials? Yes, Activation Tokens (two colors recommended to track alternating turns)
Ready Queue used? No
Players take turns activating units. When a unit is activated, place an activation token on the unit's tractor card. Units with activation tokens may not be activated. At the end of your turn, remove one activation token from each unit that did not activate.
If you are unable to activate a unit, choose one action per the placeholder card. A unit with an activation token is idle, a unit without an activation token is ready. For two and three slot games, activate one unit per turn, for four and five slot games, activate two units per turn.
Link: Treat both activations as a single turn for the purpose of removing tokens.
Knockback: Place an activation token on the affected unit. If an effect prevents the unit from being moved into the ready queue, put two activation tokens on that unit instead.


August 26th, 2016, 6:13 pm
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Mini-Boss
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Joined: August 27th, 2012, 5:11 am
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My personal thoughts on thoughts and concerns on the above rules:

Extended Queue
Pros/Cons: Not much different from official rules. This variant ensures all units in a cadre will see some activation (provided they survive until their first turn). Potential for counter-setting the queue could bog the game down for some players as the tactics are moved much more to countering activations.

Round Robin
Pros/Cons: Focus on objectives in Relic Knights means cheap units are more desireable over stronger units, as the number of full activations a player can make will often determine how quickly objectives can be completed.

Reverse Queue
Pros/Cons: Slightly higher flexibility in activations, Link cannot be abused since both units cool down at the same pace.

Free Activation
Pros/Cons: Greater flexibility at the cost of information regarding your opponent's coming activations. Much faster activation cycling puts focus on stronger units.


August 26th, 2016, 6:13 pm
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Mini-Boss
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Please feel free to suggest additional ways to play or feedback on the variants listed. I'll update the first post as new ideas are shared.

I look forward to hearing what people think!


August 26th, 2016, 6:29 pm
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Mini-Boss
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Joined: April 1st, 2012, 10:31 pm
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Location: Newcastle, UK.
These are not queue variants, but Held Esper variants I think would change things up:

Cypher Bond: This triggers when the cypher activates, not when the knight activates. Probably shouldn't need LoS between cypher and knight.

Channel Esper: This provides a point of Held Esper that disappears if it is not spent on the turn it was generated. Transfer Esper does not spend it, so it will disappear if it is transferred.

Held Esper: This does not provide a fixed amount of esper, but allows cards to be drawn. If a unit spends Held Esper during its activation it either draws 2 cards per point spent, or 2 cards for the first point and an additional 1 card for each subsequent point spent during the activation (unsure which would be the most balanced). Outside of a unit's activation, they should only be spending Held Esper when they are attacked and/or take passive damage. If the latter option is most balanced (2+1 for each additional) then this resets for each defensive action the unit is paying for.


The first two combine to mean you'll need to activate your cypher if you want to load up your knight, and actually do something with them other than generate a point of Held Esper and transfer it. In 1.0 it would also have gone a long way to balancing Cordelia though this is much less of an issue in the current iteration of the rules. The last one means Held Esper is no longer a sure fire thing, but it might also let you get lucky and hit that expensive action when you really need it.


August 26th, 2016, 7:36 pm
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Mini-Boss
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redben wrote:
These are not queue variants, but Held Esper variants I think would change things up:

Cypher Bond: This triggers when the cypher activates, not when the knight activates. Probably shouldn't need LoS between cypher and knight.

Channel Esper: This provides a point of Held Esper that disappears if it is not spent on the turn it was generated. Transfer Esper does not spend it, so it will disappear if it is transferred.

Held Esper: This does not provide a fixed amount of esper, but allows cards to be drawn. If a unit spends Held Esper during its activation it either draws 2 cards per point spent, or 2 cards for the first point and an additional 1 card for each subsequent point spent during the activation (unsure which would be the most balanced). Outside of a unit's activation, they should only be spending Held Esper when they are attacked and/or take passive damage. If the latter option is most balanced (2+1 for each additional) then this resets for each defensive action the unit is paying for.


The first two combine to mean you'll need to activate your cypher if you want to load up your knight, and actually do something with them other than generate a point of Held Esper and transfer it. In 1.0 it would also have gone a long way to balancing Cordelia though this is much less of an issue in the current iteration of the rules. The last one means Held Esper is no longer a sure fire thing, but it might also let you get lucky and hit that expensive action when you really need it.


I like the idea for cypher bond, it causes cyphers to take a more active role; though I think the issue of cyphers not seeing many activations has as much to do with many of them having abilities that have little impact on the game; I'll rotate one in for a cleanse or a charge-up for another unit, but usually other units are just a better use of an activation - forcing their use won't change that fact. Taking this change with the esper channeling change does mean a much longer process of charging a knight (or other unit). Not a bad thing, but it definately would slow down any of the combat oriented objectives, especially if you're drawing poorly.

I like where you're going with Esper Channeling, but why not word it so that the unit always has access to one point of prismatic esper that cannot be transferred? Essentially, the unit is an esper conduit (quite true for the cyphers) so they'd always have access to a point, separate from held esper.

As for the change to spending, I don't like the idea; the point of held esper is to take some of the chance out of actions and keep the frenetic pace up. I'm open to trying it, but I rather enjoy the low amount of randomness in the game. If you're counting on card draw to pay for a press, or need 2 more esper for an action (I assume you would spend esper to draw after declaring your action, but before you draw for skill. Would you be able to spend esper and then choose your action if you didn't get what you needed for a specific attack?) For a 2 cost press, that's 1/7 for drawing it as primary assuming a full deck, chances change drastically as the deck is depleted, and it frankly makes card counting almost necessary for planning. (For example, for a fully pressed Daystar Blast, you need at minimum 8 cards (assuming perfect suit draw) that's just under 1/5 of the deck. With a 5-card hand, you can't even pay to initiate the attack, unless you draw at least one additional esper of the correct type. It gets worse as your deck thins; instead of being able to use held esper to make up for cards in the discard, you simply can't do an action until you reshuffle.)
[Wow, didn't mean to rip apart the idea, but with the short esper deck and a cohesive cadre, using held esper for card draws looks like it would do more harm than good; 2 esper per held was too powerful on most units, while 1 per makes some actions quite rare, so I don't know what the middle ground is. For using card draw, doubling the deck wouldn't change the chance to draw a given card in any meaningful way, and would probably be more harmful - you'd be stuck with more bad draws and have to cycle even more to tune your hand.]


August 26th, 2016, 9:07 pm
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Mini-Boss
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For the active unit, Held Esper could be spent at any time during their activation, so you could even do it before the Initial Move and decide what to do then based on what's in your hand after you've spent it. Even if the worst comes to the worst, you're cycling through the deck quicker and removing the cards you don't need faster.

When defending, you'd only do it at the time you're paying for the defensive action. The big problem with 1.0 was guaranteed defences. If I had the relevant defence action, and the esper to pay for it, then there was nothing you could do to get an attack through. It meant doing the attack was a waste of an activation so it wasn't worth the bother. After the second time of taking a cadre which exploited that to a UK event and wiping the floor with the competition to the extent that a VP was barely given up, let alone a game at risk of losing, we effectively had to ban cadres that could do it. The changes to attack prevention in 1.5 are designed to address this, but I think they do a very poor job of it and cause more issues than they solve. Doing it this way would mean you could not guarantee you can pay for a Guard or Redirect just because you had Held Esper. You might be able to, but you might not either. Coupled with triggering Cypher Bond the other way (slowing down the knight's accumulation of Held Esper) and preventing Channel Esper being able to horde Held Esper, especially with Cordelia, then it would it make it much more likely that attacks could get through, without needing guaranteed damage as in 1.5. The final part of the puzzle is to make sure that esper needs to be spent to complete victory conditions, whether cards or Held Esper. Because in most cases it does not, it means it can be horded to pay for defences.


August 26th, 2016, 10:39 pm
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Mini-Boss
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I agree the 1.0 defenses were too strong. I just don't think adding more randomness is the fix.

In any case, as far as variants go, the change to held esper would certainly make a big change to turn planning, and I'm willing to try it if I get the chance.


August 27th, 2016, 1:39 am
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Ninja Corps
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One variant I thought of but haven't tried is what I call Rumble mode. It would be exactly like normal except no knights. Instead Uniques would be knights so at a 35pt level only one unique and the rest would be minions. I know there are some powerful officers out there but I still think it would be fun to see how they would play out.

-ape2020

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BRING ON THE PAIN!!


August 30th, 2016, 2:25 am
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Mini-Boss
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Ooooooo, I like the sound of Rumble Mode. Perhaps limiting officer to benefitting from only one squad? Otherwise I can't think of a reason not to run an officer, especially in the case of Sophia Drake...


August 30th, 2016, 4:09 am
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Minion
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Joined: April 3rd, 2012, 5:27 pm
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Location: Near la Rochelle
If there's one house rule I'd add it would be in the LoS and cover section.
If the single LoS crosses obscuring terrain etc etc.
But add; if any LoS crosses blocking terrain (and the target is within size of terrain element as per usual) then the target gets cover.

This would be just so that a model at the corner of a building gets cover.


August 30th, 2016, 8:07 am
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Bottle Cap

Joined: November 29th, 2016, 5:41 pm
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There needs to be an Apocalypse scenario! i.e. 1 vs 2 situation where a higher point selection 100 vs 2 teams of 50 and the "villian-T1" tries to prevent the "heroes-T2" from accomplishing their goals. I am thinking maybe something along the lines of a back and forth turn order. T1 goes then T2 goes from either dashboard then T1 and back and forth so on, that way T1 can't just be overrun and targeted on the next ready unit while the opposition gets 2 goes in a row. I figure the villian will have objectives as well that are required to win and require VP from unit kills and knight kills to reach vp level. while T2 will just have to accomplish a set of objectives for each dashboard. If there are any additional ideas for this variant or some ways to improve balance but maintain a good 2v1 flow let me know. I really want to play this version soon lol.


December 9th, 2016, 1:13 pm
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