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Tradewars - Homeworld: Various Roles

One thing that I have been thinking about are certain in-game roles that are *less* used. Specifically there are three (3) roles that seem to be superfluous in a two (2) player dual.

The three (3) roles are:

1. Chancellor
2. Engineer
3. Soldier

Let's examine each one of these roles to de-mystify them...

1. Chancellor

The Chancellor role allows players to negotiate some kind of diplomatic agreement. In a two (2) player dual, this role does not serve much purpose since both players are busy trying to beat each other. Where this role would have a more significant impact is a four (4) player versus game. There could be peace negotiations to end hostilities against one or more players, there could be trade agreement to prevent hostilities, there can be alliances formed to defend against opponents, etc. In short there are plenty possibilities and the terms of the negotiation are open and left up to the players imaginations.

2. Engineer

The Engineer role allows a player to recycle cards from his hand. The utility of this role may not be apparent. In some cases players may want to remove *low* scoring cards from their decks. Now one would ask: "Is this important to do?" And my response to this is that currently the game has cards scoring from one (1) point to five (5) points. So the difference in points (at maximum) is currently only four (4) points.

I am imagining a future time when the resources of the game could be different and that a nine (9) point card would create a scoring difference of eight (8) points. This is rather significant and could make things more apparent that removing *low* scoring cards from a player's deck yields better scoring cards. Low scoring cards can become *useless* and un-efficient by their nature. Future expansions may better dictate the use of this role.

3. Soldier

The Soldier role forces an opponent to discard two (2) cards from his hand and allows the player to draw one extra card. This role can be effectively used in a four (4) player versus game. It allows multiple players to sort of force a player to *skip his turn*. How this is done is by having two (2) players force a player to discard two (2) cards each, reducing a player's hand to only one card.

This form of *manual* coercion can be effective in delaying an opponent. In a two (2) player game, the role seems to be insignificant... But as explained this role can be effectively used against an opponent in time critical periods.


Fine tuning

Okay so tonight I made a couple of *minor* changes. This was again in the hopes of making the roles seem more valuable in a two (2) player dual.

The changes are:

1. Engineer

Instead of only allowing up to three (3) cards to be recycled from a player's hand, I bumped it up to a maximum of five (5) cards. This is good because if you have a real bad hand, you can recycle all those *low* scoring cards in one swoop! :)

2. Soldier

This role originally only allowed for a player to force one of his opponents to discard two (2) cards and allow him to draw an extra card. I figured for a two (2) player dual, it would make sense that the soldier should force a player to discard three (3) cards. Obviously no bonus card, since I feel the right balance has to do with three (3) cards not four (4)!

So that's the *fine tuning* I have done tonight.

New roles for the BETA

Okay so I figured that I would list the NEW roles for the BETA.

These will get playtested soon and are the product of the last round of playtesting in which the playtesters took the exercise to heart and made a series of comments/suggestions to improve the roles used in the game.

Without further ado, here they are:

  • [9] = Chancellor: Negotiate a diplomatic agreement. Players either draw +1 card (Accept) or discard 1 card (Refuse).
  • [8] = Treasurer: Bank by discarding up to three (3) cards in your hand.
  • [7] = Admiral: Control up to four (4) starships. Five (5) with the Galactic Achievement reward.
  • [6] = Captain: Re-configure one or more starship cards and draw +1 card.
  • [5] = Commander: Re-configure one or more crew cards and draw +1 card.
  • [4] = Engineer: Re-configure one or more weapon or mission cards and draw +1 card.
  • [3] = Sergeant: For each opponent to discard one (1) card from their hand.
  • [2] = Private: Force one player to discard two (2) cards and you draw +1 card.
  • [1] = Smuggler: Force one player to randomly discard two (2) cards from his hand and you bank that amount.
  • [0] = Trader: Draw +2 cards and place them in your hand.

Also please note that the turn order is now determined by the Role value. So a Chancellor goes first and a Trader goes last... This was another point brought up by the players, if there could be another turn order!

I really thought this turn order would lead to some confusion - but it gave real VALUE to the Role cards themselves. Before their use was rather trivial. Now they are used to keep track of who plays "when" during a round...

Here is a preview of the roles (as seen on the Role Reference Card):

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blog | by Dr. Radut