DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS PLANS
It’s been a while since the last public update! That’s because a relatively major change has finally been incorporated into the game. Some of you might go “But I thought there are no more major changes planned for now, Crash Command was supposedly stable!”. Well, that’s partially right. Crash Command is made up of many interwoven layers of mechanics that all rely and tug on each other, to create the cohesive tactical experience that you know today. Unfortunately, this makes making changes rather difficult as small changes to one system can ripple across the entire game, usually skewing the balance horribly in some way. However, this hasn’t stopped me from constantly poking at the game and seeing what I can improve without collapsing everything. That being said... we’re upon what’s very likely the last major change in Crash Command (barring content, of course)!
Invader Arkite Usage Rework
From early on in Crash Command’s development, scaling for players was always a tough issue. The game was well balanced and designed around 3 players. Unfortunately, locking a board game to 3 players is a no-go for most publishers. Because of this, the 2 and 4 player variants of Crash Command were eventually shoehorned in, causing persisting balancing issues. In fact, several old mechanics, like the Reinforcement Schedule variants, were band-aid solutions that caused more problems than they solved.
Fast-forward to today, and we have the pick-your-doom Spend Invader Arkite phase, which was best solution thus far. The system still sticks with the core features of Crash Command; Players the final choice in how the enemy will grow stronger. In addition, it’s explanation was simple and mirrored the Players themselves. Rather than use dice, or follow a convoluted schedule, the Invaders would “buy” things from their decks, just like how Players would buy cards out of their PSD. It wasn’t without its problems, though. For inexperienced teams, this system added another layer of obfuscating strategy, often causing players to randomly pick one or the other due to lack of knowledge or information overload. The setup for both decks was also complicated (how many of you actually noticed that I was removing cards from the Commander Deck?), confusing many playtesters. The final nail in the coffin came from playtesting data: this system could never realistically reach the bottom of either deck, making the bottom 30% of each deck effectively nonexistent. This is made worse in a 2-player game, as the Invader’s income would decrease even further, meaning that all 2-player games would never see the upper “tiers” of Invader cards. Something had to change.
Thus, one fateful day, the wonderful V.C. (who also designed Tsunami), asked the question that changed it all:
What if the Invaders bought the most expensive card instead of the cheapest?
The New Invader Arkite Usage System
The previous system’s Setup worked as follows:
The new system’s Setup works as follows:
This system is much simpler, and somehow actually still manages to mirror the Players (as players tend to splay out their PSD cards for easier access)! The new system also tweaks how the Invader spend their Arkite during the last part of the Invader Phase.
The previous system worked as follows:
The new system works as follows:
Because the Invaders are always guaranteed a card, the Invader Army consistently exerts more pressure on the Players, making endgame more dangerous. Veteran playtesters may have noticed that although the Invaders would gain more and more Arkite at endgame, they could never really buy more than one or two cards, due to the cost of the cards steadily increasing. The new system now automatically guarantees the bottom 6 cards, while pumping in new cards based on player performance. This also means that Commander Superweapons are now much less super, but can actually appear in games. The faster the Players destroy Invaders, the more Arkite they gain during that turn, allowing the Invaders to push back during their Phase by buying an equally powerful card. This also means that Players can strategically choose to not over-destroy the Invaders to prevent them from buying too powerful of a card early one. Or they could.
The following Armies have been adapted into the new system and are ready for testing:
NEW MECH: Janus
Even more content? Of course. Flipping his way onto the battlefield is Janus, the mech of opposites. Although equally adept at both healing and dealing damage, Janus must manage his form that flip-flops each turn. During Build Form, Janus is capable of healing nearby targets. During Break Form, Janus switches to dealing damage, but the directions on all of his cards become reversed.
Passive: Shattering Artisan
In Build Form, Mending a target increases their HP. In Break Form, Mending a target deals them damage, but facing on cards becomes reversed (left becomes back right, front axis becomes rear axis, and so on). At the start of every Player Phase, switch to the other form.
Janus looks to capitalize on the following key traits:
As a Vanguard, he should have a focus on close-quarters combat and damage control.
As a more advanced mech, he should reward the player for understanding and managing his attack ranges despite how they change in each form.
As a Vanguard-Strider deviant, he should be able to support and heal, improving the survivability of his team while still being able to hold his own in battle.
Transmutation now properly only affects Alchemist himself, and no longer overlaps in role with Multa Lens.
Trick Flechette now fizzles out if it travels more than 4 spaces without hitting anything. Sorry kids, no more stationary Artemis play; get moving!
Reposition, Reorient, Quick Step and Quick Turn no longer have the “may” condition. This should invoke a Robo Rally feel when guiding the Flechette around the board.
Shaped Bolt now only ignores up to 2 targets on it’s DUO effect.
Reflector Bits now both cost 1 additional Arkite.
Gust Micromissile now only has one Utility DUO effect instead of two DUO effects.
Gale Missile damage reduced from 2 to 1, and now removes Lock-Ons before dealing damage.
Gale Echo no longer has DUO effects.
Magnetic Binder now selects 1 target instead of applying it to all possible targets. This should fix some weirdness when interacting with the CO.
Flawless Technique now selects 1 target instead of applying it to all possible targets.
Improved wording on Wake.
Upgrade now keeps Drones in their current facing, instead of it being ambiguous.
We’re at Geekway to the West again this year! Come check us out on the ground floor, every day from open to close!