I posted these elsewhere, and Jon asked me to post them here:
BCSWowbagger wrote: ↑Mon Nov 06, 2023 6:19 pm
I have been playing around with two rules variants that are intended to help with turn complexity in quite different ways.
Variant A: Supply/Agenda: In this variant (inspired by 2E Bridge Crew format), you must decide at the start of your turn whether to play/draw (a Supply Turn) or attempt/battle (an Agenda Turn). If you choose a Supply Turn, you cannot attempt a mission or initiate a battle. Likewise, if you choose to allow an Agenda Turn, you are unable to draw cards even if a card instructs you to, and you skip your card play segment. (You can still play / at-any-time cards on an Agenda Turn, but not use -- except to cards you could otherwise play on an Agenda Turn.)
This is intended to both create more, shorter turns and to create an interesting new layer of choices in the game.
My one successful playtest of this variant, with JeBuS, was very interesting. We DID end up with more, shorter turns (I think we were around 15 turns each at time?? it's been a few months), but the variant had significant effects on strategy -- some of which I liked, some of which I didn't -- and we didn't deckbuild to exploit it. (We played our game at the end of a tourney with the decks we'd already brought.) I think the variant bears further examination.
However, generally speaking, players in this variant tended to eliminate the shorter part of their turns, not the longer one -- so you'd see few Agenda turns at the start of the game and fewer Supply turns near the end.
Variant B: Alternating Segments: This variant, stolen from Twilight Struggle (via the Wolves Among the Sheep STCCG scenario), is not designed to change gameplay or strategy at all. It doesn't even add more turns, or shorten existing turns. It's simply designed to reduce the average length of time each player sits at the table not doing anything.
In the current game, I do my start-of-turn, then my play segment, then my orders, then my end-of-turn. Then you do your start-of-turn, then your play, then your orders, then your end-of-turn.
In the Alternating Segments variant, I do my start-of-turn, then you do your start-of-turn. Then I do my play segment, then you do your play segment. Then I do my orders segment, then you do your orders segment. Then I do my end-of-turn, then you do your end-of-turn.
This has not been tested in Modern Complete (and barely even in Wolves), but it seems at least theoretically promising as a way to turn those long 5-minute stretches between turns into slightly shorter chunks without fundamentally changing anything about the game. I'm looking for someone willing to try it out with me to see if it actually does any good.
(In theory, you could do both variants in the same game, but I think that would only make sense if each variant were actually fun and healthy.)
These seem like worthwhile areas to explore, even though (like most experiments) they are likely to fail at some point along the long road to becoming part of the game.
Quick answer to a rules question that arose about Variant B - Alternating Segments: once-each-turn and once-every-turn cards still work the same way they do now. Each segment is not considered a separate turn. Like in Twilight Struggle (the game from which the idea was stolen), "your turn" is still considered to be the period between your start-of-turn and your end-of-turn. It just happens to be interwoven with opponent's turn.
Thus: If you play a once-each-turn card, you can't play another copy of it until your next start-of-turn.
Likewise, you can play a once-every-turn card once during one of your segments and then again during one of opponent's segments, but can't do it again until the next start-of-turn. So if I have Awaken
x3 in my hand, I can play a copy during my card play segment, another during opponent's orders segment, but then the General Quarters rule kicks in (you can only download personnel once every turn), and so I have to wait to play the third copy until one of us has had our next start-of-turn.
EDIT: I think all these proposals show promise, including Matt's BBD idea, except proposal #2 in Jon's OP (the bonus points one), which I think breaks too much. However, I would like to test all of them (including the bonus points one), so I guess I'm in this league now.
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