I made a change to activation for Thrilling that I think adds another layer to the game without too much fuss. At GenCon, some of the playtesters had suggested adding Initiatives to the Action Cards and I played around with that, but in some respects it is very limiting. Once you know the order of what each card is, it’s easy to game it. Plus, if two or more players had the same activation number, then there would still need to be an initiative roll. I could have everyone draw from the same common Action deck, but I would need to run numbers from 1 to 80 or 1 to 30 in 3 different colors in order to accommodate up to 4 players and it just did not feel smooth. That probably makes no sense, but essentially, I wanted to be able to accommodate 4 players and that meant having a very large common deck.
But, the discussion did get me thinking and I came up with a new wrinkle for activation. A certain number of Action cards will have either a +1 or a -1 on them. These cards allow you to activate before an opponent or after an opponent given the right situation. If an opposing model is within 3” of an activating model or is the target of an action by an opposing model (such as being shot at), it can use a +1 card to Activate first as long as the activating model is not also using a +1 Action card. If an activating unit is using a -1 card, then any opposing unit within 3” or is the target of an action by an opposing model, can act first on a normal card or a +1 card.
This can only happen once so players cannot bounce back and forth activating models.
To make things more interesting, some of the +1 cards have Actions that are not as good as their normal counterparts. For example, there will be one Attack Action card with a +1 on it, but the model only gets +1d6 White instead of the normal +2d6 White. And the reverse holds true for the -1 cards. There is a -1 Move card that gives you a 9” movement instead of the normal 7”.
I’m going to try and put together a photo example of this to show. I think it should make for an interesting twist.