Interkosmos Mechanics #2: New Cards and Abilities
First of all, thank you very much for the continuing support and for all the energy you are giving us. There are two things we're happy we can share with you:
- New stretch goal reached
- Interkosmos Mechanics #2: New Cards and Abilities
Great news: Vega Program is unlocked and will be part of the Interkosmos expansion!
Let's take a look at the current count of what we are able to add at the expansion because of our amazing backers like you:
- 2 extra Scenarios (there are 5 Scenarios now to explore in Interkosmos)
- 2 extra Achievement cards (there are now 14 Achievements to compete for)
- 19 extra Space cards (so 61 new Space cards will appear in the game)
What's next? Take a look at the campaign page to see another set of stretch goals revealed. The first one on the horizon is Xichang Space Center! What do you think - how fast can we get there?
Interkosmos Mechanics #2: New Cards and Abilities
In the second update about new mechanics (see the first one here), we will take a look at the new abilities that appear in Interkosmos, and how they work together to elevate the gameplay experience.
Cutting-edge technologies are expensive: New powerful Technology cards you can build in Interkosmos come with additional costs, which means you have to put a card from your hand to the bottom of the deck. This represents the additional funding you have to spend in order to develop and maintain cutting-edge technologies. If you cannot pay the building cost, you won’t be able to use the full potential of the cards.
Hand Management: Building costs add more focus on hand management. You need to keep extra resources available to benefit from all the abilities on the new Technology cards. Planning ahead is what counts!
Control Cards management
The main focus and connecting link of the new abilities is to put the emphasis on the Control Card management. This creates a great synergy with the Achievements mechanics (see the last update on mechanics for more information about them).
Focus on strategy: In Interkosmos, Control Cards do much more than activate abilities and take cards from the universe. The interplay between Control Cards and your space agency tableau becomes much stronger and brings the decisions you make at every round to a whole new level.
More control over what you do: “X abilities” give you more control over the abilities in your agency – decide the strength of these effects yourself by playing the appropriate Control Card! Clever Control Card management is necessary because it is only up to you to choose the best time for executing the strongest possible effect!
Trigger bureaucracy abilities: Use Level 3 Control Cards to activate bureaucracy abilities on cards such as Chang’e Program and gain tactical advantage over your opponents!
New breakthroughs: Interkosmos brings two new types of breakthrough cards to fight for. Both of them can be very strong, but they require more planning if you want to use their full potential.
Building foundations: The strength of the first type of new Breakthroughs (on the left) depends on the Control Cards that you have played in the game. It can have up to 2 breakthrough symbols, but it can also have none. If you fully commit to exploiting them, you will be an incredibly dangerous opponent in the corresponding Breakthrough category. Will you be able to pull it off?
Wide research focus: The second type of the new Breakthroughs (on the right) gives you two icons immediately. However, you no longer score ties in the corresponding Breakthrough categories. At first, you will get a significant boost, but you will have to play smart and safe because it gives the other players extra incentive to start competing with you.
Behind the Scenes Story
When designing new cards and abilities for the expansion, we had several goals. We wanted to make the Control Cards element even more profound and explore what else this type of mechanics can offer. Also, it was important to preserve the balance of Space Race while still bringing new and fresh abilities into Interkosmos.
In order to keep the ratio of cards and abilities constant, we made several spreadsheets showing how many of each ability type we have to distribute, how many abilities to put in the different types of cards, and so on. This gave us a very solid idea of the final product, but getting there was a question of trial and error. To be more precise, the trial meant sticking the abilities on cards to see whether all the statistics fit.
Both of us created sample Interkosmos sets to compare with each other. In the end, the final result that got in the game is more or less a 50/50 split between our ideas (and a lot of further tweaking for which we really have to thank all of the playtesters).
We hope you had a great time reading about the new abilities in Interkosmos. The next update on new mechanics will focus on scenarios.
Jan and Michal