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All Hands On Deck!

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Anonymous

Okay, Bryk got this whole topic going about "interesting mechanics using common components" mega-thread. He got dice and standard cards going, but I'd like to open it up to any interesting card-based mechanic...

...and I'll open it by nominating Avalon Hill's Blackbeard which earns the Tokyo Subway-Stuffer Award for cramming the following bits of information onto each card!

1. Whose turn it is in a 2-player game
2. Whose turn it is in a 3-player game
3. Whose turn it is in a 4-player game
4. Whether or not a new merchant appears (3-player only)
5. What that random event is
6. The results of a search at sea
7. Cargo value of a small ship in the North Atlantic*
8. Cargo value of a small ship in the Carribean*
9. Cargo value of a small ship off the Gold Coast*
10. Cargo value of a small ship in the Indian Ocean*
11. Cargo value of a medium ship in the North Atlantic*
12. Cargo value of a medium ship in the Carribean*
13. Cargo value of a medium ship off the Gold Coast*
14. Cargo value of a medium ship in the Indian Ocean*
15. Cargo value of a large ship in the North Atlantic*
16. Cargo value of a large ship in the Carribean*
17. Cargo value of a large ship off the Gold Coast*
18. Cargo value of a large ship in the Indian Ocean*
19. Home port of a ship in the North Atlantic*
20. Home port of a ship in the Carribean*
21. Home port of a ship off the Gold Coast*
22. Home port of a ship in the Indian Ocean*
23. Whether the cargo requires Debauchery & Revelry
24. Probability of a hostage aboard
25. Injuries sustained in combat (and game effects)
26. Which shipping lane new ships appear in

Did I miss anything?

* Yeah, okay, this is all in a table, but they're still nuggets of information.

SVan
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Joined: 10/02/2008
All Hands On Deck!

MikeDew wrote:
...and I'll open it by nominating Avalon Hill's Blackbeard which earns the Tokyo Subway-Stuffer Award for cramming the following bits of information onto each card!

Are these on seperate cards or one big player reference? I think it's nice for player's to have a player reference to look at, especially when they're learning the game. It seems like games don't include them enough. All of my finished prototypes have player references or will have them. I may go overboard but I think it's a neccesary item in a game and they aren't very expensive, either.

Anonymous
All Hands On Deck!

SVan wrote:
MikeDew wrote:
...and I'll open it by nominating Avalon Hill's Blackbeard which earns the Tokyo Subway-Stuffer Award for cramming the following bits of information onto each card!

Are these on seperate cards or one big player reference?

Each card contains all of that information. Once you know the format, it's very easy to find what you need. It's an elegant concentration of a huge amount of information on one card!

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
All Hands On Deck!

SVan wrote:

Are these on seperate cards or one big player reference? I think it's nice for player's to have a player reference to look at, especially when they're learning the game. It seems like games don't include them enough. All of my finished prototypes have player references or will have them. I may go overboard but I think it's a neccesary item in a game and they aren't very expensive, either.

Sorry to derail Mike's topic (which is funny, by the way -- I've played Blackbeard once a long time ago but don't really remember much about it...It reminds me of "Statis Pro Baseball" which also packed a ton of info onto each card; must have been the Avalon Hill way...)

But on the subject of player aids, I find that when I forget to make one people always ask for it, but when I do include a player aid, almost no one ever actually looks at the thing. This is true for published games, as well. People tend just to ask the person who knows how to play, rather than look at the reference card for the information.

I still tend to make them, but I find that they're unfortunately one of the most under-used elements of games, at least in my group...

-J

Anonymous
All Hands On Deck!

I think a lot of it depends on how good of a player aid is it? How intuitively is the information presented, is the necessary information presented, etc. There are some player aids in games that I've used extensively, and others that I've glanced at once and then ignored.

Hey, when did we pass that switch in the rails? :wink:

(Come to think of it, it probably was the Avalon Hill way...as Exhibit B I present the flight data cards from Air Force (shown at the top of the box).)

SVan
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Joined: 10/02/2008
All Hands On Deck!

jwarrend wrote:
But on the subject of player aids, I find that when I forget to make one people always ask for it, but when I do include a player aid, almost no one ever actually looks at the thing. This is true for published games, as well. People tend just to ask the person who knows how to play, rather than look at the reference card for the information.

I still tend to make them, but I find that they're unfortunately one of the most under-used elements of games, at least in my group...

Jeff, I could have said the same thing exactly. When I playtest and give them really nice player references and then they ask me a question, I tell them it's on the player reference. Then they look at me with surprise, and wonder why they didn't just look at the player reference in the first place.

MikeDew wrote:
I think a lot of it depends on how good of a player aid is it? How intuitively is the information presented, is the necessary information presented, etc. There are some player aids in games that I've used extensively, and others that I've glanced at once and then ignored.

I think that's why you need to organize the player reference correctly. You have to make sure it is filled with information the player needs to see. If there's something that the players will need to look in the rules a few times when first playing, I believe it should be on the player reference. The worst thing about playing a game the first few times is having to look in the rules for just one thing. That to me, is what a player's reference is for, to avoid getting out the rulesheet everytime a common question comes up.

Brykovian
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Joined: 07/21/2008
All Hands On Deck!

(I think player aids might be a good discussion thread of its own again ... ;) ... they're usually needed, and it may be the trickiest piece of the rules/info to get "just right" ...)

But, sneaking back towards Mike's original track ...

I always found the cards to be the best thing about Risk ... collecting 3 of the same or 3 of each for trade-in was my favorite part of the game. (I didn't win very often, as you can probably tell. ;) )

And Clue's way of picking who/what/where and letting people work through the deduction held up that whole game.

-Bryk

SVan
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Joined: 10/02/2008
All Hands On Deck!

Brykovian wrote:
(I think player aids might be a good discussion thread of its own again ... ;) ... they're usually needed, and it may be the trickiest piece of the rules/info to get "just right" ...)

That was my fault I got it way off course, but that's what I'm good at.

Quote:
But, sneaking back towards Mike's original track ...

I always found the cards to be the best thing about Risk ... collecting 3 of the same or 3 of each for trade-in was my favorite part of the game. (I didn't win very often, as you can probably tell. ;) )

I prefer Risk 2210's cards to the original. The mission cards were great too. The only way to play the original imo.

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