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Zero-2 PBF

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Zero-2 PBF

Postby AbsoluteZero » November 11th, 2011, 3:19 am

I will be GMing a PBF game of Twilight Impering 3rd Ed. with both Shattered Empire and Shards of the Throne expansions. The rules as written will be followed (including the latest FAQ) except where noted below. The GM will have final say for any rule disputes.

Players will be selected in a biased manner. (This is being done to insure the highest odds of getting players that will stay active for the duration of the game.) People I personally know to be active get first priority, followed by people vouched for by people I personally know, followed by everyone else. If you are in the last group, actively participating in the pregame rules discussion over several days is a good way to establish some forum participation credibility.


GALAXY CONSTRUCTION

The GM will draw random tiles and create a “fair” (to the best of my ability) map to play on. (I would deal out tiles according to the rules and place for each starting location as if I was playing there, then make tweaks to the finished product to insure balance.)


METHOD OF PLAY

The game will be played using Vassal on the Vassal forums. A thread will be created there when the game is ready to begin. Until then, all discussion should be done here.

For those of you not familiar with Vassal, it is a program that was made with the intent of live online play for a large variety of games. However, it does support forum play and will be used to see the state of the game in substitute of a web site.

Players will submit turns the same as a standard PBF game – forum post outlining the turn with no need to attach Vassal files. I will then update the Vassal file and post it. You will be responsible for downloading the updated files to see the state of the game. I’m using Vassal because I think it will be easier on my end to run the game rather than coding a web site from scratch. (Vassal forums because they allow uploading of that file type.)

Unfortunately, because it is optimized for live play, there are many ways in which cheating is possible if the GM does not exercise great care. I will be assuming control in such a way that there will be no need for an honor system and cheating will not be possible. All variables will be under my control, and no one else will have unfair access. Most variables (action card deck, political card deck, objectives deck, ect) will be handled in a separate master file that no players will have access to. In the files players will have access to these decks will be removed from the play area.

All action and political cards on Vassal other than the name of the card are blank. It is expected that you have copies of the base game and both expansions to play in this game. I will not tell you what cards do.


EXPECTATIONS FROM PARTICIPANTS

Players are required to complete their turn within 24 hours of their turn coming up. Exceptions will be made when properly communicated. This includes holidays, vacation, waiting on pertinent PM communication relevant to the current action, or any other reasonable need for extension. Just be sure to communicate with the GM.

In the case of extended absence, a deputy to take turns for you is recommended.

Please do not ask for a place in this game if you are not committed to keeping up with necessary activity.

While on the topic of time, players have 24 hours from the use of an action card to sabotage. If we need to roll back the game, we will. All actions made before a roll back are at the risk of those posting the action.


OPTIONAL RULES

From base game: leaders

From Shattered Empire: variant strategy cards, race specific-technologies, artifacts, shock troops, the wormhole nexus, tactical retreats, custodians of Mecatol Rex

From Shards of the Throne: preliminary objectives, flagships, mechanized units, mercenaries, political intrigue

To be voted on by participants: space mines, facilities


HOUSE RULES

All public objective cards will be used when making the objective deck. The game will be to 10 points (not really a house rule, but good place to state this).

When a political card is drawn a player will also be given a trade good for each political card (this includes the initial two cards). Political cards may not be spent as trade goods.

In the last status phase of the game (in which a player reaches 10 points), other players with lower initiative may win if they can score more points. Example: Naalu has 10 VPs, N’orr has 11 VPs and the production strategy card, and Saar has 11 VPs and the technology strategy card – N’orr wins because while he claimed objectives after Naalu he has more points and while he is tied for points with Saar he has the higher initiative.

Other house rules may be proposed by players and can be voted on before the game starts – at least 4 votes in favor of a rule are required. The GM’s vote counts for 7.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby AbsoluteZero » November 11th, 2011, 3:27 am

Players in this game are:

sirisaacnuton
Tuna Dude
sircrowin
Kristobal
Thaylen
theasaris

Please check in here and propose any house rules you might want to add. Space mines and facilities will not be used.

It occurred to me that my proposed race selection won't work. The new plan is each player will be randomly given two to pick from. I'm open to other suggestions.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby TunaDude » November 11th, 2011, 4:41 am

TunaDude signing in. Don't want to add any house ruless I'm a bit of a purist ;). With race selection however you could deal out three to each player, and the player who draws Lazax has the option of selecting any race from the discard pile (the other races players turned down or the other two they drew). That's just a suggestion though I don't have any strong feelings towards it one way or the other.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby sirisaacnuton » November 11th, 2011, 6:15 am

Sirisaacnuton here. Nothing really to add, just checking that my registration worked out.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby Kristobal » November 11th, 2011, 6:18 am

Kristobal cheking in.
Voting no to both Space Mines and Facilities.
Two race draw is fine.

Rules question: Mech. Units. are immune to Leaders abilities, does this include the Diplomats ability to delay an invasion if the invanding force is only MU...? I say the Dip can return MU's as well as GF...but GM rules here :)

Looking forward to this game!
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby Kristobal » November 11th, 2011, 6:36 am

If possilbe I will vote no t the houserule regarding winning the game in the Status Phase. Think it takes out an important tactical aspekt of the game; it is not enough to prepare taking the Objectives, the rights SC is just as important...and it really nerfs the Naalu, a nerf they don't need IMO.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby shaunm » November 11th, 2011, 6:41 am

theasaris aka shaunm checking in. In regard to Kristobal's rules question, we actually had that problem come up in another recent game. As answered by Corey himself, a Diplomat does indeed stop any invasion, including Mechs. Check here (last entry):

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/675584/ ... s-diplomat

As to the house rules I'll make a radical suggestion out of the blue. Since I've come across the sound motivations from Remy Gibson (Awwberman on BGG), I've always wanted to try his alternative tech tree. Obviously this will radically change the game:

New techtree:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1081710/ ... rd-edition

Motivations:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/687235/ ... y-new-tree

What do you all think?
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby Kristobal » November 11th, 2011, 6:51 am

Thanks for the rule clarification

Regarding the alternative Tech Tree; I'm not interested in trying this variant, sorry
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby shaunm » November 11th, 2011, 7:16 am

Before making a definite decision, please check the key paragraphs in Remy's motivations:

GOALS:
First, to banish weak techs to the bottom of the tree, where they belong.
Second, to promote good techs to the end of the tree, where they belong.
Third, to make it easier to reach end of the line techs without a gamelong investment.
(Combining these three reasons leads to a situation where somebody that has invested in tech is going to get consistently better benefits than somebody who hasn't.)
Fourth, for there to be compelling reason to dig into the tree, following the paths rather than just dancing across the early levels.
Fifth, to see more flexibility possible, granting a larger variety of prerequisites.
Sixth -- and perhaps most important for me -- this new tree should enable a much greater degree of differentiation among players as to which techs they choose to research.

Generally speaking, the higher the level, the better the tech. By moving the desirable techs off of level 1, the player is forced to commit to a particular branch. In so doing, though, the player is also guaranteed a juicy reward at the end. And there is an added bonus: In several places, by researching to level 2 or 3 of a given branch, a player can shortcut into level 2 or 3 of another branch, thereby being forced to pick up the relatively-useless level-1 techs only once.

With one notable exception, I have stripped out all of the "AND" prerequisites in favor of a much-higher number of "OR" prerequisites. I understand the intent of the AND in Rules as Written: They were trying to encourage diversity by forcing players along two different paths to get to a good tech. The problem is that it usually isn't worth the trouble, especially with the high-quality low-level techs that are available. To achieve my goal of having a shallow tree, it seemed necessary to strip out the "AND"s.


I hope this sparks some interest in most of you...
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby sircrowin » November 11th, 2011, 7:42 am

Sircrowin here !
I vote NO for space mines and facilities
I like this house rule of SA, if the people want we can play with that:
*Dreadnoughts roll 2 dice during Space Battles and may bombard planets without an invasion taking place.
They count as 2 units towards the production limit when producing units (also for secondary of Production).
*War Suns may use their Sustain Damage ability twice. They count as 3 units towards all production limits.
*Any unit using the Sustain Damage ability immediately loses one combat die, to a minimum of 1.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby Kristobal » November 11th, 2011, 10:02 am

shaunm wrote:Before making a definite decision, please check the key paragraphs in Remy's motivations:

GOALS:
First, to banish weak techs to the bottom of the tree, where they belong.
Second, to promote good techs to the end of the tree, where they belong.
Third, to make it easier to reach end of the line techs without a gamelong investment.
(Combining these three reasons leads to a situation where somebody that has invested in tech is going to get consistently better benefits than somebody who hasn't.)
Fourth, for there to be compelling reason to dig into the tree, following the paths rather than just dancing across the early levels.
Fifth, to see more flexibility possible, granting a larger variety of prerequisites.
Sixth -- and perhaps most important for me -- this new tree should enable a much greater degree of differentiation among players as to which techs they choose to research.

Generally speaking, the higher the level, the better the tech. By moving the desirable techs off of level 1, the player is forced to commit to a particular branch. In so doing, though, the player is also guaranteed a juicy reward at the end. And there is an added bonus: In several places, by researching to level 2 or 3 of a given branch, a player can shortcut into level 2 or 3 of another branch, thereby being forced to pick up the relatively-useless level-1 techs only once.

With one notable exception, I have stripped out all of the "AND" prerequisites in favor of a much-higher number of "OR" prerequisites. I understand the intent of the AND in Rules as Written: They were trying to encourage diversity by forcing players along two different paths to get to a good tech. The problem is that it usually isn't worth the trouble, especially with the high-quality low-level techs that are available. To achieve my goal of having a shallow tree, it seemed necessary to strip out the "AND"s.


I hope this sparks some interest in most of you...


My decision is definite even though I admire the load of work that Awbermann put into this and I hope it gets playtested, BUT: there are many things that I don't like about the Tech Tree..first: why fix something that ain't broken?! Second: It makes no sense to me, that you have to upgrade your PDS or DN before you boost your CA and DD...and no pre-req for Gen Synth and Neural computing that's broken IMO

Not wearing a no-hat today, it's just that I find the game very well balanced and it's my first PBF since the Wiki was hacked, so I really just wanna play some good old regular RAW TI3...sorry sircrowin, I vote NO to the SA-DN as well :)

But I will of course follow what the majority decides..or the GM :)
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby AbsoluteZero » November 11th, 2011, 3:05 pm

Confirming MU can not ignore a diplomat's ability.

sircrowin wrote:I like this house rule of SA, if the people want we can play with that:
*Dreadnoughts roll 2 dice during Space Battles and may bombard planets without an invasion taking place.
They count as 2 units towards the production limit when producing units (also for secondary of Production).
*War Suns may use their Sustain Damage ability twice. They count as 3 units towards all production limits.
*Any unit using the Sustain Damage ability immediately loses one combat die, to a minimum of 1.

I used to like this rule in SE. Now that Shards has been released and we have added duranium armor and flagships into the mix I think it no longer works.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby shaunm » November 11th, 2011, 4:00 pm

All right, so the testing of the new techtree has to wait until another time. :)

I'm against two-die DNs as well.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby sirisaacnuton » November 11th, 2011, 7:18 pm

I lean toward no on the DN/WS rule as well, mostly because I'm not convinced how well it's balanced with Flagships (let me see how much more I can agree with the GM).

As far as the tech tree goes, my initial look at that diagram makes me feel like I have no idea what exactly all the paths to the different techs are (especially with all the dotted lines)...if the consensus is to use it, I'll go with it, but I'd be inclined to stick with the more familiar tree.
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Re: Zero-2 PBF

Postby Zilfalon » November 11th, 2011, 8:23 pm

We will test the Tech tree tomorrow FtF ;-)
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