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Alternate Play System - TACOS mk.II

Discussion in 'News' started by taylor, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    I wasn't sure where to post this and having asked, and not received an answer.... I'll post it here and leave it to the mods to move it.

    Some of you might remember back in the day I mentioned that our local community plays a card based objective system we have named TACOS (The Alternate Card-based Objective System - the original being @ijw 's fantastic YAMS system - respect!). Well, that was back in 2015, and we have perfected playing our second iteration of this system - TACOS mk.2.

    It's pretty straight forward. You deploy as normal, and you have four objective markers - Crate, Console, HVT and Intelligence Operative. Whoever wins initiative places the first marker, which can't be on a building, in a deployment zone and has a ZOC of 8" - which includes other objective markers. You take turns placing the rest of the objectives.

    The first turn, you draw four cards from the deck, and those are the objectives for the turn. Most objectives are scored in the active turn, but some can be scored with AROs. When the active player's turn is over, the other player can discard one card that is still in play, and refreshes the objectives to four, and the game continues. At the end of the game (three rounds), you add up the objective points to determine who wins.

    Anyway, I had a professional artist and friend of mine in Poland named Michał Bernat (https://mentosik8.deviantart.com/) do the artwork for the cards, and a local graphic designer (Jim Gray) did the layout. I just wanted to share my excitement on how the cards turned out!

    [​IMG]

    Among other communities there has been requests to try it out. Though i dont have extra decks of cards to sell, i thought id do the next best thing.

    This is a print ready pdf - so you basically take 4 pages of cardstock and put it into your printer and print the first four pages, then you flip the pages over and print the second 4 pages, and you'll get perfect fronts and backs that you can cut yourself.

    Edit: It's telling me uploads are unavailable, so i put it into my google drive. You can download the file here. Let me know if you have any problems with printing, as I haven't tried printing out this copy of TACOS yet.

    If you want a copy that you can print off yourself at your favourite card printing service, pm me and I'll get you a link for that.

    Edit Number 2: Remember to print these on letter paper (21.59 cm by 27.94 cm). I realize that probably a lot of you use A4 paper. Also, when selecting how to print, make sure you print it at it's actual (100%) size - not print to fit. I can't promise that it will turn out. If you need me to make a copy on A4 paper, I can do that for you no problem.
     
  2. Belgrim

    Belgrim Well-Known Member

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    Please do, we would appreciate it.
     
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  3. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    Just follow this link, and it's optimzed for an A4 format. Lemme know if there are any problems.
     
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  4. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    I also realize the rules may not be as clear as They could be. If you have any questions about the card layout, let me know.
     
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  5. Robock

    Robock Well-Known Member

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    I don't like the 8" exclusion zone, the DZ is only 12" deep, a well placed objective can deny your opponent the use of a whole building in his DZ including the rooftop sniper/HMR TR spots, the staircase and building side, and even prevent deploying hiding behind the building touching it (they can still hide behind, but without touching it). Two well placed objective, even if not deployed in his DZ, can deny the uses of most of his building and most of the good spot, especially if you setup with asymmetrical DZ where one DZ is already at a disadvantage.

    I'd suggest either reducing it to 4" exclusion zone (with a distinct rule that Objectives are at least 8" apart) or add an Inclusion Zone that explicitly permits models to deploy in their own DZ ignoring Objectives placement.

    As it is, you might not want place an objective near your enemy DZ (in that he'd be closer to get it), but if doing so also push back the enemy DZ by 8", then in fact, you end up having deployed it 8" away from enemy DZ, only that it is further from your own DZ. But that is actually a good thing, as it then allows you, possibly*, to Infiltrate in your half of the table.

    *depending on the other objective placements.

    Final point, a question actually, does Exclusion Zone also count against AD ? That would be an easy way to protect your flank from AD who walk in from the side.
     
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  6. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    Thanks @Robock !

    In playtesting different distances, we settled on 8" because 4" was too easily obtained in a single move. Since the four capture the objective cards are doubled up in the deck, we found instances where folks could collect a lot of objective points simply by bunching up the objective markers.

    What a lot of people have done locally as used that as a strategy to keep opponents from securing key vantage points on the game board at deployment. It's a dirty move, but I've also seen it backfire more often than not - so I'm pretty comfortable with it.

    The ZoE is only active during deployment, so it doesn't affect AD units.
     
  7. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    Just to be clear, we've been playtesting this system and using it exclusively for almost 3 years. There are hundreds of games logged using this system - so I'm pretty confident we've balanced it outside of a few exceptions (for example - extremely lucky draws).

    One thing that people seem to really like about it is that it forces players to take balanced lists. You NEED specialists - so FOs are very common troop types.

    For tournaments, I've devised scenarios that have a primary objective, but still use TACOS cards as secondary objectives. It usually makes for a pretty tight game.
     
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  8. Abrilete

    Abrilete Well-Known Member

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    Seems an interesting alternative, the more ways to play the game, the better.
     
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  9. Robock

    Robock Well-Known Member

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    i had a question, does ARO means you must score it as an ARO, or that those card can be scored by either active and reactive player (whoever makes it first) ?

    If the latter, what happen if both players scored it in the same Order (ex: active model split burst, kills 1 enemy model but also gets killed by the other enemy).
     
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  10. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    That's a great question. As for the ARO, it means that either player can score it when it happens - whether or not it is your reactive turn.

    The last scenario has never come up actually. Hmmmm... I'll have to think about that. What do you think the result should be? I'm going to have to do a FAQ at some point. My gut is to give it to the player who's active turn it is - but if love to hear some suggestions. :grimacing: (that's how I smile in real life, so I'm glad the new forums has that emoji).
     
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  11. Robock

    Robock Well-Known Member

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    That is what I was thinking too, ties would go to the active player.
     
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  12. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    Yeah. I mean, ultimately, for the amount of times it is likely to happen, I don't think that would effect balance any. I'm anxious for you to give it a try to see what you think.
     
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  13. Usashi

    Usashi Well-Known Member

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    Very nice card layout and splendid artworks. You guys did an amazing job.
    Thanks for sharing, I'll definitely will try it :)
     
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  14. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    Awesome. Lemme know what you think!
     
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  15. Belgrim

    Belgrim Well-Known Member

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    I have already printed them on gloss paper, covered them with “book covering film” for protection and cut them into size. Maybe sometime I will use protective sleeves like I use on my ITS deck.

    Didn’t have the chance to play test yet but I think it is the card alternative to 20x20 ruleset, simple and fun objectives, while for example yams is closer to ITS difficulty.
     
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  16. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    That seems about right.
     
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  17. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    First alternative mission system that I want to try out, and it is similar to Highly Classified (aka Highly Vilified) at that!

    Rough feedback:
    * Disabled - in terms of terminology, would not referring to null state be more efficient? Also, I think possessed should go in the example list simply because it's easy to forget about it being null. "Disabled" suggests that IMM-1/IMM-2 triggers condition, when they don't.
    * No Disassembling - Not certain whether this is a reference to something, but might I suggest "Enabler" as name for future revisions?

    As others have said; fantastic artwork!
     
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  18. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    Thanks Mahtamori! Good suggestions. I don't think Possession puts a model into a null state. I double checked the wiki just to be sure, and I don't see them use that terminology in there. Maybe someone can clarify?
     
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  19. Robock

    Robock Well-Known Member

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    Possessed is a null state (it is in the Labels), and you cannot control any objective in ITS with the captured TAG.

    Possessed

    N3 Wiki > Main Sections > Appendices > Game States > Possessed
    Contents
    [show]
    Labels
    Null
     
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  20. taylor

    taylor Well-Known Member
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    Good eye, sir. I did not know that. :nomouth:
     
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