This game is a lot of fun, but, with two players, I've found some of the rules and scenarios to be too unbalanced in favour of the first player or too luck-driven. In addition, the robots are used in a passive way for the most part. For this reason, I've tinkered with the original rules and come up with my variant. It changes three major mechanics/processes: The building of mines, the starting situation, and the power of the robots' self-destruct option.
1) When rolling to "build" a mine, distribute the results this way: 1-empty tile, 2-brown mine, 3-white mine, 4-blue mine and 5/6-player's choice. This would reduce the chance of NOT being able to build a mine to 16.7% (down from 33.3%). It would also give a player a 50% chance (a 5 or a 6 on the die) of being able to get a mine he really needs to build a base (the variety of cubes). Thus, if I needed a brown mine, I could get it on a 2, 5 or 6 (50% chance).
2) Furthermore, if a player rolls two consecutive ones on the die, he may re-roll the second result. The re-rolled result is final. This protects a player from falling hopelessly behind, especially in the early stages of the game.
3) Finally, if a player does not control one mine of each colour and he rolls to build a mine, unless he rolls the number corresponding to the mine of the colour he does not control, a 1,5 or 6, he gets to re-roll. The re-rolled result is final. So for example, if I controlled a white and blue mine and I rolled to build a mine and got a 3 (white) or 4 (blue), I would get to re-roll. The re-rolled result would be final. This increases the chances of variety in mines which is necessary for bases and victory points.
THE STARTING MINE AT THE CENTRE OF A 2-PLAYER GAME
Perhaps having a special mine in the centre to start the 2-player game gives too much of an advantage to the starting player? Just use a random (brown, white or blue) mine in the centre. A special mine in the centre of the 7x7 scenario gives the starting player a huge advantage because he can always get the variety of cubes needed to build a base (one of each colour). A random, normal mine in the centre should be enough to encourage the players to advance/interact while still maintaining game balance.
THE SELF-DESTRUCT OPTION ENHANCED
When one explodes a robot on a space, one can choose to destroy either one wall (that borders the tile) or all the robots on the tile, but not both. The cost of exploding a robot is 2 energy points. The cost of the self-destructing robot itself is two energy points plus two cubes plus one energy point to move it to where you want it to blow up. In other words, it's usually too expensive to do except in very particular circumstances (for example if your opponent is stupidly mining with two of his robots on a single mine that is within your reach).
In order to encourage more agressive gameplay, I present add-on modifications 2 and 3:
1) Original rule: For 2 energy, self-destruct a robot and destroy either all robots on tile or one bordering wall.
2) Double overload rule: For 3 energy, self-destruct a robot and destroy all robots and one bordering wall.
3) Triple Overload rule: For 4 energy, destroy all robots, and all bordering walls and any base or mine on the tile. Replace a destroyed base or mine tile with a plain land tile (if possible, insert one that was not originally being used in the game).
By allowing a player to choose from these variant options during a game, a self-destructing robot becomes a much more powerful and cost-effective force. With these choices available, you can customize the explosion to suit your goal(s). It truly encourages agressive, tactical and interactive gameplay.
I hope that these changes make the (2-player) game more interactive, tactical and entertaining for you. The reduced variance of the die along with a fairer start scenario and the greatly enhanced threat (especially to bases) posed by the robots should provide you with a fresh game experience. If I come up with other ideas, I'll add them to this thread. I welcome any and all comments. Cheers.
- Last edited Fri May 11, 2012 4:12 am (Total Number of Edits: 15)
- Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:22 am