So, after a weekend of hard work, I think I have a version of Pax Robotica that includes direct conflict. I just finished a solo playtest that felt very good.
I ditched the idea of new draft cards with values printed. That means I’m keeping the 1-3-6 Bot levels.
But I’m keeping the idea of chips tied to pairs of Bots. When you pull a chip, you resolve the battle the chip points to. So if you pull Sea #2, that means the Bots in the second Sea column will fight it out.
How will they fight it out? I did something I never thought I’d do: added a die. Each player rolls a d6 and adds it to their Bots’ level.
Why did I add a die? A few reasons:
- It gives a lower-level Bot a chance to defeat a higher-level Bot. This allays one of the fears I had about the new head-to-head system: a slowdown with the game because everyone refuses to sell to a spot across from a high-level Bot, and there aren’t enough tech levels to fight him. With the die, there’s a shot at beating him.
- It makes ties much smoother to resolve.
- Dice are fun.
- It adds a good uncertainty to the Battle Bonus at the end of the game.
As for said Battle Bonus, I’m going to go with sliding a cube up a track for every battle in a region. The higher the cube is on the track at the end of the game, the higher the Battle Bonus payout. I hope it’s not too fiddly. We shall see.