I think I got it

by Gil Hova

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.