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Railways Through Time» Forums » Variants

Subject: Artifacts in Time rss

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Jon G
United States
Goleta
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Over on the Rails of North America forums, Jeff Pratt broached the idea of artifacts you can acquire to enhance your abilities:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/10208790#10208790

Conceptually, this could be brilliant for RWtT... there's a thematic reason to have them. However, RWtT has fairly inexpensive maps, so you can't just give away cool abilities without taking something away, or the game will be too loose. So, building on that idea, I have 2-3 possible variants for artifacts:

Simpler variant:
1. Make a card for each timeline. These don't get shuffled into the deck, so they don't need fancy backs.
2. Play with the normal selection of cards per the rules, but separate the Ops deck into green circle cards and all others. The green circle cards and timelines are the mission deck; non-green circle cards are the artifact deck.
3. Whenever an Ops card is dealt, it will consist of a green circle card and an artifact. Cards may no longer be selected from the card row, and green circle cards do not give points (optionally, you get 1-2 points less than the face value, minimum of zero). Instead, when you complete a green circle card, you get the artifact that comes with it.
4. For the opening draw, deal out the starting cards (which are all missions) and the timelines only. No extra cards based on the number of players. Then deal an artifact onto each mission card.
5. The first player to complete a timeline per the normal rules gets the associated artifact.
6. In future rounds, flip one mission card and one artifact. They are paired together as above.
7. At the end of the game, timelines are scored as usual.

Complex variant:
1. Everyone starts out with crappy limitations. Perhaps you can only build three hexes per action, it costs +2k to connect to a time hex, engine upgrades cost +$2k per level, building in past eras is more difficult, etc. Or let everyone start at standard conditions and just get awesomer as they collect artifacts.
2. Make a deck of artifacts that fix these limitations. If you get one artifact, you get back to the normal conditions in that area; if you get two of the same, you'll have an advantage over the base rules. Cards in this deck should be slightly stronger than the cards in the Ops deck.
3. Play as above, but green circle cards get artifacts from this new deck. The other operations cards are dealt as follows: One per player in the opening draw, plus one per round. They can be claimed normally as an action.

Most complex variant:
1. Make a special deck of mission cards, too. These could be "service bounties" for one city per map (not the one that has a card in the ops deck), all timelines, plus whatever generic missions you can think of.
2. Players start in a weakened state as in the Complex variant above.
3. The operations deck is used as in the base game. Green circle cards give points, and operations cards can be selected normally (as an action).
4. In the opening draw, deal the starting green circle cards, one ops deck card per player, and one mission-artifact pair per player. Artifacts are claimed by completing their mission.
5. In future turns, deal one ops card, and one mission-artifact pair.

This frees the original green circle cards to be used for their original purpose, and lets you be harsher with the initial conditions. And it means you can choose between missions that give upgrades and missions that give points. But it does mean you have to make another deck!

Thoughts? I'll put together decks for this and post them, but I'd appreciate ideas & advice from folks who have more stick time on RWtT than I do.
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Samuel Hinz
Australia
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I think there are some good ideas in here.

I like the idea of artifacts. I also like the Idea of missions.

I think the idea of scenarios has merit too.

When I designed the post apocalyptic board, I never got around to doing any cards, but I had the scenario of "use the past to save the future" in mind.

A potential scenario then being the need to find specific artifacts and/or people throughout history to save the future.

I'm sure similar missions could be made for almost any map.

All this reminds me, I really need to post a new update to the post apocalyptic map.
 
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Jon G
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Goleta
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Do you think the mission/artifact cards should replace the normal Ops cards (as in the simple variant) or supplement them (as in the most complex option)?

I worry that the most complex variant may be drowning in cards, but some players will enjoy that.

Regarding special deliveries (as to Hope), I'm thinking something like:
Artifact- Neutronalizer
Place a token in the city that received the mission's delivery. This token is treated as a red cube and can be delivered to any red city; award N bonus points if it is delivered to Hope.
 
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