Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Phased Motion Variant

Check this out: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/2122

We gave this format a try in the wee hours at Origins. Unfortunately, we somewhat misinterpreted the rules and thought that as the number of players decreased, the number of phases chosen would similarly decrease. Turns out, all phases (including the cheating phase!) are chosen every turn, continuing around the table until they've all been selected.

Anyway, it was a highly entertaining game. I love the default political action ("Neferu calls the vote of Josh loses a pool"). Also, you can't go wrong with the cheating phase. Furthermore, the format makes the edge more important. Could Esteem see play in this format? Regaining the Upper Hand?

Anyway, none of us had decks that were specifically crafted for Phased Motion, so I don't think we got the most out of it. I'm looking forward to building some seriously toolboxy decks that cover all the major bases (bleed, politics, combat, intercept) and giving it a real try. I think those sorts of decks are probably what Richard Garfield had in mind when he designed the game. A casual glance at the tournament scene suggests that anyone who isn't named Tatu has a hard time winning with a toolbox.

I also thought Phased Motion would be great in a draft format. After all, it allows for a way to do a damage to one or more Methuselahs (hopefully including one's prey) at stealth. In draft, it's common to not have any great actions to take. I think the default political action could make things very interesting. Also, the default rush action could be quite useful even though it sort of devalues vampires who already have this ability.

Anyone have other thoughts on this format? Anyone else tried it? Those if you in the DC playgroup better make Phased Motion decks because I will force you to play and if you don't have proper decks, you'll just lose.


Blogger Xian said...

Okay, that DOES make a lot more sense.

Surprising that we didn't figure that out, I mean, it was what, only 4:30am or something?

That could be more fun. I still think, though, that it's possibly too tough to get things done. I could be wrong.

Of course, I liked that vote a lot too. I don't remember why now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Rehlow said...

You don't do all the phases, you do 5 of the phases. If you are crazy and play a table with more than 5 players, not everyone will choose a phase every turn. Once you start ousting people (or if you start with less than 5), some players will choose more than one phase. Having the Edge in a 4 player game is great, you get first pick and the only player to choose 2 phases a turn.

I haven't actually played the format yet, but I'm going to convince my playgroup to give it a try.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Josh Duffin said...

Rehlow - I think you're right. I believe I read the first bit, where it said that everyone chooses a phase and not all phases would get used, and missed the second bit, where it said that by choosing five phases each turn, some Meths might choose more than once (and some not at all, if you play with 6+ players or something).

7:35 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Ah, I have it now. So let's put it back in the defensive endgame. I think it might still be a problem.

The player with the edge will get to choose three phases. Say Subterfuge (bleed), Diplomacy and Cheat for Subterfuge to bleed again. The defensive player could choose Master and either Influence (to gain pool with an Ecoterrorists or what-have you) or Supply (additional hunting, Art Scam, etc.).

If the player with the edge didn't have intercept, big +bleed or strong votes, the game would still probably never end. I think that's maybe not such a flaw in the system as much as it's something to really consider when designing a deck. The main difference here is that in standard vtes, the player with the advantage could use all the pool he's gaining for holding the edge to bring out a massive swarm of minions to oust the other player. In Phased Motion the extra minions may not be useful as they probably won't all get to act.

The other thought I've had is that very reactive decks may have an advantage in this format since decks can't get many actions in. That would be pretty unfortunate, but I guess it's also something that can be built around. This potential flaw could also be addressed in the advanced version of the rules (which we haven't tried yet) due to the non-replacing of cards.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Raille said...

One thing that might be added is an additional phase for minions special text.

This allows Beast to rush a second time, Blanche to hunt a second time, and a host or special action giving my card text to fit into the current format.

3:12 PM  

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