Sunday, November 27, 2011

EmDo Expansion progress

I got a few chances to play with the latest EmDo expansion cards. It went fairly well, and then I made some adjustments based on the few games we played.

I thought it was too annoying to have additional tech stacks and to check the specific planets required for the Double Time cards, so I changed that to 1 specific planet plus any other planet, so it could just go in the corresponding tech stack. I had meant "any 2 planets", but maybe it should be 2 different planets... not sure if that matters. It's supposed to be for people who get a variety of planets, not people who specialize, so I'll probably stick with "Any OTHER planet" there.

I changed some of the costs of some technology to "either research icons or fighters" and added a level 1 tech in each stack called Warfare Technology, which allows you to pay fighters as if they were Research icons. The purpose of these is to allow players to add tech cards to their deck without having to add Research cards to their deck.

I added a few other new technology cards to the piles as well, some requiring all 3 different planet types, some requiring a Destroyer rather than research symbols (or fighters). As described in the prior post, I also added Resources and Fighters to the icon area on some of the new tech cards, meaning you can discard that card from your hand as if it were a resource/fighter in your empire to trade or attack a planet. I added Destroyers and Dreadnaughts to some of the more expensive techs, so buying that tech is like buying a Destroyer or Dreadnaught into your Empire.

I also added a card/tile that each player will start with called Fleet Upgrade... it confers additional actions a player can do in lieu of playing a card during their action phase - exchange 3 Fighters for a Destroyer, or exchange 2 Destroyers for a Dreadnaught. It also serves as a reminder that while you have at least 1 dreadnaught in play, your Warfare costs are -1, and you can discard a Dreadnaught in lieu of any number of fighters to attack a planet.

I like the idea of offering Actions that are available each turn without requiring a card, so I added a series of planets that each have one of the basic actions on them. this means that every turn, whether you have a Trade card in hand or not, you can use your Action for the turn to trade 1 resource for 1 Influence. Those planets cost either 5 colonies or 1 Destroyer.

I also made "Hostile" planets, which require 1 Destroyer to attack and cannot be colonized. those each provide 1 Fighter whenever you're spending fighters (so effectively -1 to Warfare costs, as well as usable for things like Fleet Upgrade).

And finally, I created "Civilized" planets which cannot be attacked, only colonized (they have defenses and stuff). Each of those have the ability "gain 1 Influence whenever you Dissent instead of following a Warfare role." I hope that this will help counterbalance the things I added that emphasize Warfare role.

As a sort of teaser, I included Exotic icons on the Double Time cards, and I came up with 6 Agendas which could be used as an optional rule... Put 2 of them at random into play each game or something like that. In a future expansion I still intend to add a Politics role and more Agendas, and I even have a better idea how I think they'll come into play:

I think players will use the Politics role to either choose an Agenda to bring into play, or choose an Agenda in play to discard. Players will 'vote' for or against by boosting and following the role, each card played will count for 1 vote, with Politics cards counting as 2 votes. It seems like a simple system that could be fair and work the way I want it to. I could always specify icons on the agendas that indicate what you need to play in order to vote for or against that Agenda.

I'm more happy with the expansion progress now than I was before, and I've sent PDFs to a couple of friends to let me know what they think. One more round of edits and I might open up a print and play to people interested in commenting on it!

1 comment:

Seth Jaffee said...

Side note about the eventual Politics role...

I am now thinking that perhaps the cards should indicate which symbols must be played to vote (for/against) either bringing the Agenda into play, or removing it from play, and Politics cards can always count for either... still waffling about this, luckily I have plenty of time to work it out, as that won't be part of the 1st expansion. :)