More Pax Robotica revisions

by Gil Hova

Before I go any further, I want to thank my friends Seth, Jeff, and Geoff for their incredible help with my game.  I may not incorporate all of your good ideas, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them.

I want to start with incremental changes, keeping the game’s base and tweaking the Bot, Tech, and combat systems.  I think the game works well enough as it is that I shouldn’t just throw it all out the window.  Plus, I’d rather start with a small change, and if doesn’t work, proceed to a radical change (like the seductive map-based game that Jeff suggested).

Here’s what I’m thinking.

  • Bot changes:
    • No more Bot levels.  All Bots are the same at first.
    • Instead of drafting abstract Techs, you’re drafting specific upgrades, like armor, guns, missiles, and nunchucks.  Each upgrade is tailored for a specific Bot type, and is effective against 1, 2, or 4 Bot Types.   Each upgrade is worth a certain amount of Battle Points, with later upgrades being worth more Battle Points.
    • The first Tech you get for a given Bot Type means you can start building that Bot.  Anything else adds Battle Points.
  • Economic changes:
    • Each Bot costs $4, plus $1 for each upgrade you have.  So a Bot with 3 upgrades would cost $7.
    • Selling a Bot gives you $5, plus the round’s demand, plus (possibly) a certain bonus for selling to the losing side.  This is based on Geoff’s suggestion, but I haven’t fully figured out if or how I’m going to implement it.
  • Battle changes:
    • No more cubes.  Instead, there are chips between facing Bots.  Each chip is numbered, and tied to a specific region.
    • The bag starts with 4 Junkbot chips inside, tied to a specific region. Also, there are Peace Chips that go into the bag every round, instead of Peace Cubes.
    • When you fill up a column, the corresponding chip goes into the bag.
    • If you pull a chip, the corresponding Bots fight, based on Seth’s suggestion.  You can tell which Bots fight by the region and number on the chip.
    • If you pull a Junkbot chip for a certain region, they blow each other up.
    • Each player counts the BP of his Bot.  The player with more BP wins the battle, and blows up the other Bot.  (Geoff’s flipped-tile damage idea is also seductive, but I’ll go without it for now, and see how it plays.)
    • If there’s a tie for BP, both Bots die.  I’m not 100% sure about this yet; let’s see how it plays out.

So, as you can see, it’s a big change, but not a radical one.  If this still plays like too much of a bloodless Euro, then I’ll move forward with more radical changes, most likely based on your suggestions.


Two more changes to battles:

  • Pulled chips go back in the bag.  This is essential, because otherwise, selling to a battled spot would be a no-brainer.
  • Every time a Bot blows up another bot, put a cube by the nation’s name.  If there’s a tie, both nations get a cube.
  • At the end of the game, if you have a surviving Bot on the winning side of a battle, you get money equal to the total number of cubes in that region times five.  So, if the South wins against the North 3-2, then players with surviving Bots in the South get $25.  This might be a little too fiddly; we’ll see how it plays.