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Phantom Division Question

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21 Nov 2020 17:49 #316409 by hotseatgames
I'd like some opinions on a mechanic in Phantom Division. Each mission has an enemy pool, basically what kind of enemies you may face in that mission. Each enemy would have an associated token, which would be placed in an enemy bag. When you need to spawn an enemy, you would draw a token from the bag and then find the associated miniature or standee and place it on the board.

This is absolutely the way I would do this if the enemies have miniatures. However, they may end up with standees similar to those in Dead of Winter (die cut unique shapes instead of the uniform shapes found in SEAL Team Flix). If the game has standees, what would you think of just putting the standees themselves in the bag? In my opinion, the pros and cons are thus:

1. Pro: you don't have enemy token components, reducing materials, cost, and some player hassle
2. Con: it's possible that a player could discern what an enemy was based on the shape and deliberately pull a weak enemy instead of a stronger one.
3. Con: the bag itself probably has to be much larger to accommodate standees rather than just tokens

Now, as a general rule, once an enemy is spawned, they don't go back in the bag until the bag is EMPTY, so deliberately avoiding tougher enemies will only work for so long. I'm not sure it really matters, just wanted to get some feedback.

I really hope that the enemies can be miniatures, but it is not my call.

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21 Nov 2020 18:00 #316411 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Phantom Division Question
Shit, hotseat, I meant to link to your tweet in a new thread where you talked about a KS upcoming this Spring. Argh. I'm in for this thing, though if it's big enough where I may need to move Seal Team Flix off my shelf to make room.

I would do tokens, I would not enjoy searching through a huge bag digging out standees. It's not a dealbreaker or anything though.
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21 Nov 2020 18:01 - 21 Nov 2020 18:03 #316412 by sornars
Replied by sornars on topic Phantom Division Question
One thing to consider is audience reception. The people you actually want playing your game may be happy to roll with the solution of putting the standees in the bag (I know I'd be fine, assuming they're vaguely the same shape/size); however, every review will likely call out this "oversight" no matter how much you justify the decision. If you want to sell lots of copies to the BGG crowd, avoiding giving a gift to the critics might serve you best.

In terms of personal preference, I'd probably prefer tokens as well but it wouldn't affect a purchasing decision.
Last edit: 21 Nov 2020 18:03 by sornars.
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21 Nov 2020 18:13 #316413 by hotseatgames
I agree that tokens are the best choice. It's also the most forward thinking, since even if miniatures don't make it into the standard box, they could theoretically be an add-on. I don't know how it will all shake out.

Gary - I can tell you that the box will be square, in other words not a coffin box like STF. The mats roll up since the walls will be built every time. Map geometry is simpler than in STF so it should go quickly. This formula also lets us do some stuff we could not get away with in STF... such as doors that may or may not be there from one mission to the next. :D
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21 Nov 2020 18:20 #316414 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Phantom Division Question
I'd prefer tokens by a wide margin but it's not something I'd criticize in a review.

It's much easier to shuffle tokens and I'd also be concerned with standees fraying and getting beaten up over time if mixed that way.
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21 Nov 2020 18:36 #316416 by hotseatgames
Side question: would you prefer these tokens be placed in a bag at all, or would you rather have them shuffled and sitting face down in a stack, for example. I would personally prefer a bag but have heard other preferences.

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21 Nov 2020 18:39 #316417 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Phantom Division Question
Definitely bag. Mixing tokens face down is annoying because you have to dump them out of the storage bag, then flip them all face down, then shuffle them around.
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21 Nov 2020 19:15 #316418 by Frohike
Replied by Frohike on topic Phantom Division Question
Tokens, with some color coding for faster sorting. For the color-blind, a strong/quick portrait match would help.
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21 Nov 2020 19:37 #316419 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Phantom Division Question
Would cards be an option instead of tokens? That way you could have full art and put stats/rules/effects etc. on the card which may or may not aid gameplay by reducing the need to reference documents/rulebook during play. How many enemies will there be per mission? Shuffling a tiny deck of cards can be a real pain.
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21 Nov 2020 20:44 #316421 by hotseatgames
The tokens are only for determining what enemy is spawned, the tokens don't actually go on the board. There are enemy stat cards that list their stats and behaviors, but you only need 1 per enemy type. The enemy pool generally has 10 enemies in it, and each mission in general will have 4 enemy types. Of those types, only 3 get spawned since the fourth type is a sentry which starts out already on the board.
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21 Nov 2020 21:15 - 21 Nov 2020 21:21 #316423 by Sagrilarus

which would be placed in an enema bag.


Dude, that’s messed up right there, but you’re the boss, right?

Tokens in a bag. But I love the cards idea too and I think it’s worth consideration.

You need to proceed with tokens to disentangle the decision from the mini/standee choice.

Why not isomorphic (nerd word) standees? Are they majorly different in size?
Last edit: 21 Nov 2020 21:21 by Sagrilarus.
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21 Nov 2020 22:35 #316428 by hotseatgames
No enemy art exists so I don’t really know. I expect they will vary in size because I want a “heavy” unit that is visually stronger.
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22 Nov 2020 08:10 #316432 by southernman
I like tokens in a bag over a deck of cards for blind draws, just adds that little bit more tension (a la Nemesis, Arkham etc...). Also then you can have the card deck sorted, even on display, into the different individuals or groups so they can be seen as present somewhere and then physically appear as you move the card from the display to the live game area (after drawing the token).
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23 Nov 2020 22:26 #316492 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Phantom Division Question
Just saw some concept art is up on BGG re: cover. I'm glad you went with the sort of multicolor tron sci-fi thing, I was kind of expecting a gritty colonial marines Aliens thing to reflect the system's origins.

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24 Nov 2020 00:07 #316493 by hotseatgames
The game has a lot of neon in it, but I would not get too attached to that image. I'm surprised it was even posted. I do not anticipate that image being a part of this game.
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