|Tom and Jeffrey negotiate the corridors of Starship Rex.|
I've suspected from the beginning that the council thing might add more complexity than fun, but that first game Sunday proved it. Ken remarked that the change of pace from map exploration and pod-retrieval to the council phase was too jarring. "They feel like different games," he said. He had a point, so I decided to try an alternative for the second game of the day.
Diversity over democracy
|Rules revisions on the fly.|
PacingThe pacing of the second game was also changed to give each robot more actions per turn and to allow robots to roll through the "special rooms" instead of treating them as dead-ends. These two changes alone dramatically increased the number of Colonist and Bequeathment cards flowing into players' hands, resulting in more fun. Who doesn't like more fun?
|Jamey and Sasha enjoying the accelerated|
pace and accentuated cooperation.
As it was, we easily satisfied the goal, getting all 13 traits long before power ran out. The goal for individuals then shifted focus to bolstering their own crowd of Colonists, diversifying their collection of traits. Venting Creeps also became important, as each Creep dispatched granted a victory point.
Moving forwardI'm so confident in these second game rules that I'm going to roll them through to the next playtest largely unmodified. There are some things that I might change to speed up the game a little more, though. The energy-drain of the ship slows to a trickle after players have rescued two or three colonists each and are assigning those Colonists to the "energy efficiency" task. I'm thinking of raising the energy drain rate and the minimum energy drain. It was also suggested that there be a wider variety of tasks for rescued Colonists to engage in. I'll have to think about that, but it seems like a fun idea. I even have a concept that might slot nicely into that role -- steering the ship.
Setting sitesSteering the ship would require adding extra cardboard pieces the game, which makes me reluctant to pursue it unless it results in some quality fun. The idea is still gestating in my brainfolds, but the basic concept is that players could influence the actual founding site of the colony in such a way that it gives a bonus to their particular colonists' traits. The founding site would be represented abstractly by a set of traits on three parallel tracks. Players could task Colonists to move the tracks up/down/around, ideally lining up all three tracks in such a way that it closely matches one or more of their Colonists. Having the one Colonist that exactly matches the founding site will grant a victory point bonus, bragging rights, and the rights to name the Colony.
We'll see if it is worthwhile.