Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Homeworlds variant: Sinister Standoff

  • FromJoshua Kronengold <mneme@xxxxxx>
  • DateThu, 9 Apr 2009 15:24:37 -0500
Michael Kelley writes:
>On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 7:25 AM, Joshua Kronengold <mneme@xxxxxx> wrote:
>> Yep.  Only one player can win, so if you can disrupt someone's
>> attempt, you do (and similarly, when planning an attack, you want to
>> look out for someone eliminating your target before you can finish the
>> job).
>The few times I've played Sinister Homeworlds, this always felt like a flaw.

Perhaps.  The problem, of course, is that it takes enough material to
eliminate a player that you really -need- to reward whoever does the

>The victory conditions in Sinister force you to pick off weakened players or
>not lose.

Or lose, you mean.

>That's a pretty unintuitive game mechanic. I've tried explaining it to two
>different groups of first-time Homeworlds players, and it just seemed to
>generate confusion & frustration. It broke the illusion that the game is
>about a galaxy at war, and turned it back into a bunch of plastic pyramids
>on a table.

Seems like the simplest hack would just be "first player whose prey is
eliminated wins".   That way, you might very well want to aid the
person who's trying to eliminate you (just as you don't want to
eliminate them), but you don't have the "quick, can anybody -else-
kill them?

>Has anyone ever come up with a Sinister variant that doesn't have this
>problem? Something with a score-keeping mechanic, maybe?

I could see using a Vampire-like scoring system (the "Jyhad" card game
was renamed to "Vampire, the Eternal Struggle" over a decade ago),
though I could totally see a cycle of death -- as eliminating someone
really does weaken you quite a bit.  Mabye if you got to take all
their remaining ships?  (that would be way strong, but not necessarily
too strong).

       Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\      _,,,--,,_  ,)
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 /\\    get an extra digit?"  "I knew," weeps Six.    |,4-  ) )-,_ ) /\     
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