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 Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better 
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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
Clerasil ToB wrote:
monty42 wrote:
jadziadax8 wrote:
Care to elaborate on that? You do battle really well and I appreciate you letting me be your padewan learner on that awhile back. I suck at this game and am trying to get better. :D

I appreciate that.
My reaction was to the first three replies to your post.
Two people who are comfortable playing nerd solitaire (mission solving) with themselves and a director of second edition who has no clue about the game.
I find that very disappointing and it's probably the reason why mission solvers are so much more popular than battle decks.


I hope you don't call me a solitaire player - or should I remind you with what deck I've won Day 1 at EC last year? Terok Nor battle deck...

I remember you saying Subek'somac a lot...

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
Armus wrote:
Mogor wrote:
That sort of sounds like taking a lot of 1E's battle functionality and moving it to 2E


Sort of, but it needs to be based on cards not rules.


+1

I really think that there must be a happy medium between 1E and 2E in terms of battle.

Those of you who battle successfully and get the FW, how do you make that happen?

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Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:48 am
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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
The fact of the matter is the so called "battle deck" doesn't exist. Therefore we can't make it better or worse.
First of all we need to determine what we're actually talking about. Engagements to score points, combat to score points, engagements to kill, combat to kill, engagements to capture/assimilate, combat to capture/assimilate, engagements to blow up ships, engagements to overcome dilemmas or a combination of any of the above.

When I think battle deck, I might think of something completely different than the next guy.

All of these options have their pros and cons and all of them work better or worse depending on which affilation you try them with. Some need help, others don't.

There is no formula to "make battle better". That's just a hollow phrase like (I'm sorry for doing this) "Make America Great Again".

[Kli] need no help in the engagement department just as [Dom] needs no help in the combat department. [DS9] however would need help in both.
It all depends on what your trying to do.

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
monty42 wrote:
Clerasil ToB wrote:
monty42 wrote:

I hope you don't call me a solitaire player - or should I remind you with what deck I've won Day 1 at EC last year? Terok Nor battle deck...

I remember you saying Subek'somac a lot...


It's ok if you can't remember - you were the one preventing each and every event I tried to play :x :x :x :cheersL: :cheersL: :cheersL:

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
Can you play Rogue Borg Ship and Alternatives to Fighting? Congrats, you just made a tier 1 battle deck. Battle is fine. There is no risk in battling; rewarding it with risk-free FW is the wrong direction.

What is more a game of solitaire? Having to deal with an opponent's cards? Or blowing up a ship and limping to a FW as an opponent passes each order phase?

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
jadziadax8 wrote:
Armus wrote:
Mogor wrote:
That sort of sounds like taking a lot of 1E's battle functionality and moving it to 2E


Sort of, but it needs to be based on cards not rules.


+1

I really think that there must be a happy medium between 1E and 2E in terms of battle.

Those of you who battle successfully and get the FW, how do you make that happen?

The best battle decks I've played and played against usually only battle once, maybe twice, and swing the game in their favor because of it: blowing up a ship, killing 4+, assimilation spree. They get FW because every resource in the deck isn't dedicated to battle and the decks are robust enough to solve missions still. Never go full-battle.

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
Sounds like battle needs to get out of the dilemma pile and into the main game more. As I'm not seeing an easy option for enhancing battle without restricting the dilemma pile to some extent otherwise battle will be the tier-alpha period


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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
It seems to me ideally like battles need to be encouraged, but in ways that actually speed up the game (or at least not slow it down). HOWEVER, outright destroying ships or killing too many crew at once needs be to discouraged or prevented. So ideally battle effects would be more granular (as it is with capturing, assasination etc.)

Here are some vague card idea brain farts with that in mind:

Attack card ideas to speed up victory
Unstoppable if you have damage card on an opponent's ship something something overcome dilemmas, or less dilemma points can be spent from that opponent.
Boast if you have a damage card on an opponent's ship gain more points for every mission you complete
Humiliation if you apply a second damage card to an opponent's ship, score 15 points
Nemesis gain an automatic victory if a certain ship/captain is destroyed in battle (within limits), but targetted player gains an automatic 5 points per turn while they survive

Defensive cards that don't end the game
Surrender permanently protects a ship from being destroyed if it has been damaged, but causes opponent to gain points
cheap Escape pod that can preserve ALL crew if ship is destroyed

.....................................................................................................................................

On the question of making battles interesting. I think there would have to be a bit of a rules addition for that, to bring in hidden information factors like Naetor mentioned. I think something involving the cards in your hand could be fun, like each player draws a random card from their hand and adds the cost of that to their ship's attributes.


Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:17 pm
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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
i'd like to point out that there are quite a few active (and countless past) CCGs and LCGs based on fighting the opponent or their minions. symmetric fighting seems to be the first thing people consider when trying to make a card game. on the other hand, i can think of only two notable games that aren't all about combat: Star Trek (mission solving; battle is possible but neither the main objective nor the only way to get there consistently) and Netrunner (which is very different and probably a game class of its own).

it is my firm opinion that the main mode of interaction in 2E, selecting dilemmas, is brilliantly designed, and far more satisfying than the constant battling of all those other games. the market is overflowing with games that cater to people who like to battle, but games for those of us who don't are preciously rare. please try not to ruin this.


that being said, i have battled quite a lot, and rather successfully in 2E. i've done so almost exclusively at competitive tournaments (regionals, masters, continentals, even worlds) and try to avoid it at casual levels because i consider a well executed battle deck always an NPE for the opponent. i don't enjoy being on the receiving end, and i wouldn't want to inflict this upon anybody at friendly tournaments.

yes, you have to invest significant resources towards battling. personally, i wouldn't use the Prometheus, that's a Timmy move, and way too much investment for something that may not work on some matchups (planet only, certain counter cards), and may randomly fail on others (opponents solving their space mission quickly, not drawing the battle cards, ...). you can be just as successful with two cheap ships. but even then you still invest in the events, an extra ship, more Damage dilemmas than you'd usually want, etc.

you're investing significant resources, so *successful* battling should give you more advantage than it costs. that usually means eliminating a lot of the opponent's resources in one strike. if i spend one turn to eliminate my opponent's fully crewed ship, they'll spend 3-5 turns recovering, and i've gained a lot of time. however, losing that much resources and time on a single stopped mission attempt is equally unenjoyable. (i'm mostly talking about eliminating ships, but eliminating entire away teams with klingons or dominion is almost the same.) afterwards, if my deck hasn't sacrificed all its solving power just to be a bit better at battling, i've gained an advantage of 3-5 turns over my opponent, so i've pretty much won the game. battle is *already* sort of a win condition.

there are other uses of the battle mechanic than nuking the opponent, e.g. assimilation. but those generally either play out the same (something you do once during the course of a game for a huge advantage) or lead to slow games where you're unlikely to win.


in 2E, mission attempts and dilemmas are a well designed core mechanic, and usually interesting and interactive. battling, as has been pointed out, generally is not. (true, there are some finer points. when you see it coming, you can try to play around it. keep a second ship with staffing in reserve, move your main crew to safety each turn. keep event prevention in reserve. hit the opponent with Dreamer, and don't get hit with it yourself. but these are mostly desperate tricks to try to play around a disruptive mechanics without having the correct counter cards.) if i could re-design one aspect of 2E battles, i would try to build some way to fight back into the battle cards. 1E makes it too easy to attack, but (at least in theory) everybody can fight back, and the attacker has as much to lose as the defender. in 2E, the defender usually cannot impose any costs on the attacker beyond what resources (time, counters) they have already commited.

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Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:48 pm
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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
I actually wanted to build a battle deck for the next tournament in Vienna. Now I set my eyes on the cards and rules in detail, I must say the following:

jadziadax8 wrote:
The main problem with battle decks (both combat and engagement) is that battling your opponent has a high cost compared to the rewards you get out.

Actually it doesn´t. It costs me exactly 1 turn to destroy about 4 turns of my dear opponent. I need a cheap ship with weapons 5 or 6, so I get to weapons 9 or 10 with the maneuver event. With the assistance of my dilemma pile there will be one or two damage markers on my opponent´s ship. I can easily play 2 maneuvers in one turn and suprise my dear opponent with a loud boom.

jadziadax8 wrote:
Costs
[*]You must play events that cost counters. Most of those events cost 2-3, plus what you need to draw them. That's 1 or 2 personnel in many decks. There are missions that help mitigate this cost, but you have to solve them first before you get the reward.
[*]You must go to opponent's missions to engage with them, costing you range you could otherwise use to go back and forth to your own missions
[*]If you want to also be solving missions (the main game objective), you need at least two ships and crew, which costs time to build up
[*]You are stopped after battle, unless you spend resources to unstop your personnel and ships afterwards. Currently only three cards allow this and they all cost 3.
[*]Opponent can turtle at their HQ to keep you from battling; not really a cost, but definitely a hindrance to engagement, though I don't mind this one too much


- My events then cost a total of 5 counters VS 4 turns of my opponent which spent around 20 points on personnel and his ship. A good deal!
- Being stopped after battle sucks, but its worth the costs if I can slow my opponent down for about 3 or 4 more turns.
- While my opponent hides at his HQ I can go on and solve missions. I don´t need skills or attributes for battling. Just Events and staffing icons. So hiding just slows him down before I blow him out of the skies.

jadziadax8 wrote:
Rewards
[*]You could try for the two-mission win, but usually you need to engage with your opponent 3 times to score the points (unless things are Just Like Old Times). This seems alright on the surface until you realize that this means at least 3 turns away from solving missions, unless you get a 2nd ship and crew out for mission solving. This is a big cost in addition to the cost of the engagement cards.

Or I could cripple him in 1 engagement and invest the rest of my time in solving the third mission.

jadziadax8 wrote:
[*]You can deny your opponent of their resources by killing personnel. There are lots of Assault and/or Maneuver cards that do this, but the main problem with these is all you manage to do is slow down the game, making it more likely that you at best will get a Mod Win.

If my opponent makes mission attempts, THAT will cost my time. If he is only trying to play another ship and personnel in 3 turns that gives me 3 turns in which ONLY I will make mission attempts while he is recovering. So I even win time!

jadziadax8 wrote:
[*]You can deny your opponent resources by blowing up their ships. This is difficult to pull off because it's tricky to get three Damage markers on a ship in one turn. There are ways to do it (get lucky and hit them with a Tillman pile combo then engage on your next turn or get the Prometheus to hit), but they are not totally reliable. And again, you still end up with the problem of the mod win. I've played against Prometheus decks that managed to blow me up but also never completed a mission

The plan is actually to put on 1 or 2 damage cards in your turn and deliver 1 or 2 on my turn. If I need two, I will have to work on my timing. But with just one, no problem. And as stated above, I will even gain time as playing cards is way faster than watching my opponent attempt missions with ships and personnel he shouldn´t have by now.

jadziadax8 wrote:
What to do?
[*]More cost-reduction for Assault/Maneuver cards?
[*]More cards that allow you to do other things after an engagement?
[*]Rules changes?
[*]Alternate win conditions?

- cost reductions are imho not needed
- things to do after battles? A yes from me, but nothing too powerful
- maybe a Leadership skill needed to initiate battles? What about Borg?
- A BIG NO to alternate win conditions! Never mess up with the game engine ! ! ! As luring as it might be, I´ve seen a lot of games getting destroyed if you mess up with the game engine.

Now, I only took a look at engagements, because on most occasions people try to solve a space mission first. Comments on ground battle I would like to leave to somebody with more experience.

Cheers

Nerdo

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
After reading the above post, I will add that the hypothetical battle decks perform a lot better on paper than it does when sitting across from a well-built solver out attempting missions on turn 3.

Alternatively, a very strong, underrated strategy against a heavy battle interaction deck is to amass an absurdly large crew and multiple ships before leaving the HQ. This leaves the opponent twiddling their thumbs, wasting counters drawing useless events/interrupts as you prepare to get one ship destroyed, but solve on the 2nd or 3rd ship/away team; or exposes their personnel/hand (and thus, strategy) to your own dilemma pile if they decide to attempt missions first. For this reason, I never go full-battle, which I think is fine because the game is designed to be won by facing dilemmas and solving missions.

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
I was thinking about this topic lately and some ideas came up to my mind. Battles are mostly on killing stuff but there are also things like capturing or getting points.

So I thought about battles which could do some of the following things:
- discarding cards from opponent´s hand
- discarding cards from opponent´s draw deck
- removing cards from opponent´s discard pile
- giving you extra counters for your draw and play segment
- destroying events in your opponent´s core
- removing dilemmas from opponent´s dilemma pile
- removing dilemmas from beneath opponent´s missions
- being put into your core to do something in future (raising attributes, giving skills, ...)
- rearranging cards from top of deck (top X cards)

While some cards have their effects immediately (discard cards from opponent´s hand), others could be used once when appropriate (add +2 to your personels´ attributes when facing a dilemma), yet others would be permanent (add 1 extra counter).

How high the reward is should depend on the cost of the Event or how hard the fight was won. For example: If you win, opponent discards cards from top of his deck. The number of cards is the difference between your Weapons and his Shields.

These are just a few examples how we could get battles interesting. Of course there could be combinations of proposals. Like: You win by a difference of 5, choose to discard 5 cards from opponent´s hand or draw 5 cards. Or a combination like I draw 3, you discard 2.

What do you guys say?

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
Battle gets FW's. I've done it plenty of times.

Ask Nasty Nate about the rage quits he's personally witnessed at Arbys.

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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
Was/Is Star Trek really about Battle?

Not to me.


Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:16 pm
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Post Re: Interaction Thought Experiment #1: Making Battle Better
bosskamiura wrote:
Battle gets FW's. I've done it plenty of times.

Ask Nasty Nate about the rage quits he's personally witnessed at Arbys.

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