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Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

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Brykovian
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I'm currently working on a piecepack-based design (link for piecepack info) that inflicted itself upon me the other day.

It's a coin-collecting game where each of the four players is a sorceror who is out to get as many spells (coins) as possible, by picking up the coins from the board and/or by winning them in 1-on-1 battles with the other sorcerors. The coins that a sorceror owns can be kept in 1 of two groups: (1) the stockpile is kept back at the sorceror's home and impacts the number of dice the sorceror can roll during his turn (more coins = more dice); (2) the "wears" are kept with the sorceror and determine his attack and defense power in battles.

Now, since the numbers rolled on the dice can be used to move the sorceror around the board, it seems that a couple of great rolls will give one player a distinct advantage, because they will be able to pick up more coins. So, to even things out in this regard (and to encourage battles "against the odds"), I've come up with the following scheme:

After a battle occurs (and the winner has been determined), the two sorcerors compare their total number of coins (stockpile + wears). If the winner has the same or more coins than the loser, they can take a single coin (winner's choice) from the loser. If, however, the winner has fewer coins than the loser, they can take either all-but-one coin from the loser's wears, or all-but-one coin from the loser's stockpile. (The loser is then allowed to re-distribute their remaining coins between the two groups.)

How well do you think this system would work? What problems will it lead to? I'm looking for the usual critical and clever opinions available at this forum. ;)

-Bryk

p.s. I realize that I haven't given you too much to go on, since I don't have a full set of the rules written-up and available for you yet. Just keep in mind that the piecepack itself limits the number of available coins (24 total), that the initial board setup puts 1 or 2 coins on every square on the board, and that the main point of the game is for each sorceror to venture out from their home, gather coins and battle as they see fit -- then return home to end the game (first sorcerer to get to their specific "touch square" and back home ends the game). Scoring will include points for different kinds of coins collected (there are 4 different suits in the piecepack), best score in a suit, bonus points for being the only one to own a suit, and special scoring for the suit that matches the player's color.

sedjtroll
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Re: Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

Brykovian wrote:

After a battle occurs (and the winner has been determined), the two sorcerors compare their total number of coins (stockpile + wears). If the winner has the same or more coins than the loser, they can take a single coin (winner's choice) from the loser. If, however, the winner has fewer coins than the loser, they can take either all-but-one coin from the loser's wears, or all-but-one coin from the loser's stockpile. (The loser is then allowed to re-distribute their remaining coins between the two groups.)

How well do you think this system would work? What problems will it lead to? I'm looking for the usual critical and clever opinions available at this forum. ;)

It's difficult to say without knowing how many coins players will have with them, what they do, how combat is resolveds, how many coins are likely to be in peoples' caches at home, and why anyone would fight if they can see that they won't win (I would assume therefore that "which coins are where" is hidden information).

It sounds to me like you are looking for a way to make a player move less each turn. This involves beating them in a fight so you can redistribute his coins (and take a bunch of them if they were beating you, reversing the problem).

Frankly, I think that there must be a better way to balance out high movement than that. Off the top of my head I'd say it'd be better to limit the number of coins collected in a turn (like you move any amount up to your movement, stopping at any time to pick up a coin on that space. Or maybe don't stop the movement, but you only get to pick up one coin or something.) I'm not saying that this would be GOOD per se, I'm just saying it'd be better than concocting a crazy rule that's difficult to interperet and understand.

Your proposed adjustment is the very definition of the term "fiddley." Sounds very contrived and I'm not sure it even does what you are looking for.

Now that I think of it, the non-leader taking the leader's coins means they'll probably win the next fight too, which means not only are they the leader now, but they're a runaway leader.

- Seth

IngredientX
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Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

I'd say that instead of working on the combat system, you may want to limit the amount of coins available on the board. Instead of them being on every space, perhaps they can be in difficult-to-reach corners of the board, so wizards can only get coins by a) schlepping, or b) beating up on the schleppers. b) should not be easy.

Some more ideas...

- Have an NPC guarding a single powerful coin. Defeating the NPC lets you get the treasure. Wizards can team up with each other to defeat the NPC guard, but only one gets the treasure! This opens up an element of alliance and betrayal.

- At the beginning of the game, give each wizard a secret alignment. At the end of the game, the number of other players helped gets a Good wizard a bonus, while the number of other players defeated gets an Evil wizard a bonus.

I hope this helps...

~Gil

FastLearner
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Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

Base movement on coin encumberance: the more coins you're carrying, the fewer spaces you can move.

Brykovian
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Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

Thanks Seth ... you are right in that the stuff you don't know about the game may be more important than the stuff I was able to tell you about it. So ... I think I'll give you a bit more details here. (Hopefully this will help me in putting together the official rules doc!)

Without getting into the dark details of the game-board setup, I'll just tell you that the game is for 4 players, each playing a different color. The four "home" tiles are placed together in the middle of the board, and they are surrounded by the other board tiles, making up the "squares" the pawns move on. The 24 coins are distributed evenly around the board, at the intersections between 4 squares. The furthest squares from the home tiles will have 2 coins on them, while the others have 1. When a pawn moves into a square with a coin (or coins) on one of its corners, they can add that coin to their stockpile on their home tile. This means that moving a pawn so that it moves through 3 such squares will result in 3 (or more coins) being gained.

For each coin in a player's stockpile, they get to roll a die ... they will always roll a minimum of 1 die, and a maximum of 4 dice in a turn. So, players without anything in their stockpile (like at the start of the game) will still get to play each turn. And there comes a point where having more in your stockpile really does no good.

With each die that is rolled, the player can choose to "spend" that die to do one of the following:

  • Move the exact number shown on the die
  • Move a coin between their stockpile and their wears
  • Battle an opponent (pawns must be adjacent)
  • Do nothing

Battles are determined by comparing each player's wears. For each sorceror, coins in their matching color represent their defense. Coins in their opponent's matching color represent their attack. Take each player's defense minus their opponent's attack, and the highest result wins. There are a few things to make these battles a bit more interesting:

  • "Null" coins (piecepack coins are numbered: Null,Ace,2,3,4,5) can be used to "block" any of the opponent's coins of matching color
  • Coins of the other 2 colors are used if a tie-breaker is needed
  • Players can arrange, stack, display their stockpile and wears coins in any way they wish ... so it may not be easy to tell exactly what a player has

From my quick playtesting that I've done, players generally had 4 to 8 coins on them at most times. Restricting movement doesn't really seem to be an issue either way ... the layout of the board is pretty compact -- the decision of what to spend your dice on seemed more of an issue.

One more thing to clarify about the board: There is a "touch" tile specific to each of the 4 players which is placed as far away from their home as you can get it on the board. Players have to navigate to a square adjacent to this tile (to pick up the tile) before they can set foot back in their home. The first one home ends the game.

Scoring (coins from stockpile & wears at the point the game ends are combined):

  • 1 point for each different color coin
  • 1 point for having the highest numeric total in a color (+2 bonus points if this is the player's color)
  • 2 additonal points if no other player has that color

Hope that helps give a bit better feel for it ... I will hopefully have the real doc (with pictures -- especially of the board layout) done over the next handful of days. I'm really just looking for a way to handle battle-spoils to cause a good deal of coin-shifting, and to encourage the "small guys" to take on the "big guys" due to the potential reward.

-Bryk

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Brykovian
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Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

IngredientX wrote:
I'd say that instead of working on the combat system, you may want to limit the amount of coins available on the board. Instead of them being on every space, perhaps they can be in difficult-to-reach corners of the board, so wizards can only get coins by a) schlepping, or b) beating up on the schleppers. b) should not be easy.

I hope my last post helps explain things a bit better for you. I actually want them to be easy to get at first, and fairly uniformly distributed to allow everyone about the same (but not exactly the same, thanks to the dice) chance on the open-grabbing. After the initial race, I think that your point (b) takes over. ;)

Quote:
- Have an NPC guarding a single powerful coin. Defeating the NPC lets you get the treasure. Wizards can team up with each other to defeat the NPC guard, but only one gets the treasure! This opens up an element of alliance and betrayal.

I always love this type of thing in a game ... "Are you actually helping me, or just setting me up for a back-stab?" ... not sure if it will work in this particular case, but I'll keep it in mind.

Quote:
- At the beginning of the game, give each wizard a secret alignment. At the end of the game, the number of other players helped gets a Good wizard a bonus, while the number of other players defeated gets an Evil wizard a bonus.

Hmmm ... some hidden element to the scoring that only the player knows ... that could be cool ... I'll have to keep that one in mind.

-Bryk

Brykovian
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FastLearner wrote:
Base movement on coin encumberance: the more coins you're carrying, the fewer spaces you can move.

Actually, the trade-off is how well defended/armed do you wish to be versus how many actions do you wish to take? Plus, after 4 coins in your stockpile you don't get any more moves, but if you load-up your wears too much, a "weaker" opponent (in number of coins) may find you an inviting target.

-Bryk

IngredientX
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Brykovian wrote:
Thanks Seth ... you are right in that the stuff you don't know about the game may be more important than the stuff I was able to tell you about it. So ... I think I'll give you a bit more details here. (Hopefully this will help me in putting together the official rules doc!)

Ahh, this makes more sense. If you pardon the analogy, it sounds like Goldland meets Tigris & Euphrates. :)

Perhaps I can rip off a bit of T&E for this suggestion: for a battle, both players pick up all coins in their storehouse, and secretly divide them into their hands. One hand (let's say the right hand) contains extra coins they're willing to include directly from the storehouse for this battle, and the left hand holds the rest of the coins from the storehouse.

Both players make their selections and hold their right fists in front of them. They reveal simultaneously. All of these coins are factored into the battle, along with the coins from the participants' wears.

Now, for the part you were worried about: the spoils...

The player who wins the battle looks at the coins in loser's right hand, and the coins in the loser's wears. He chooses a color, and the loser must give the winner all the coins but one of that color across his wears and his hand. All other coins in the loser's hand return to the loser's storehouse. All coins in the winner's hand, plus the coins he won, go to the winner's storehouse. If the winner selects a color that the loser has both in his hand and in his wears, the loser chooses whether the lone remaining coin will stay in his wears or return to his storehouse.

Obviously, I have no idea whether this system will work or not. You may have to cut down the number of coins the winner takes from the loser's wears, or the maximum number of coins a player can bid (counting those both in his wears and in his hand). However, it certainly discourages a player with a lot of coins from attacking a player with a few coins. In fact, a player with only four coins (one of each color) in his wears who bids nothing pays nothing!

One last suggestion: if you implement this system, you may want to change the movement system so that each coin in a player's storehouse of a different color earns him an extra die. Yes, another T&E-influenced suggestion; sorry, I can't help it, argh...

Hope this helps!

~Gil

sedjtroll
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Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

IngredientX wrote:

One last suggestion: if you implement this system, you may want to change the movement system so that each coin in a player's storehouse of a different color earns him an extra die.

I don't know about the combat system Gil mentioned, but this sounds like a groovy idea- you can still get 1-4 dice per turn, but it's a lot harder to get all 4. Have players start with one of their own coins in their stock, so you don't have to worry about what happens when someone has no coins (i.e. do they get no dice?)

- Seth

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Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

Quote:
Battles are determined by comparing each player's wears. For each sorceror, coins in their matching color represent their defense. Coins in their opponent's matching color represent their attack. Take each player's defense minus their opponent's attack, and the highest result wins. There are a few things to make these battles a bit more interesting:

"Null" coins (piecepack coins are numbered: Null,Ace,2,3,4,5) can be used to "block" any of the opponent's coins of matching color

Coins of the other 2 colors are used if a tie-breaker is needed

This sounds really cool (I would buy a piecepack set to play this if all the kinks were worked out). Collect coins to increase offence / defence. And while I see some similarities with T&E, I don't think that it's near enough to draw too many comparisons.

Quote:
Players can arrange, stack, display their stockpile and wears coins in any way they wish ... so it may not be easy to tell exactly what a player has

This is the only part I don't like. To me it seems that it should either be mandatory for players to arrange their piles so that all can see what they have, or it should be completely hidden. This just feels too fiddly.

sedjtroll
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Oh yeah, and you should have to carry around the coins you pick up, unless you want to stop off at home and drop them off. The game end could be signalled when a particular coin is dropped off at a player's home (the far one).

- Seth

Brykovian
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sedjtroll wrote:
IngredientX wrote:

One last suggestion: if you implement this system, you may want to change the movement system so that each coin in a player's storehouse of a different color earns him an extra die.

I don't know about the combat system Gil mentioned, but this sounds like a groovy idea- you can still get 1-4 dice per turn, but it's a lot harder to get all 4. Have players start with one of their own coins in their stock, so you don't have to worry about what happens when someone has no coins (i.e. do they get no dice?)

- Seth

I like Gil's dice-for-different colors idea as well. (btw, players always get to shake at least 1 die, even if they have no coins in the stockpile.) This would be an interesting decision for players since they'll have to decide if they'd rather have a number of different colors in their wears instead to be more flexible in battle.

Seth, you recommend starting them with a coin of their own color -- I suppose the 3 coin would be the best option ... kinda middle-of-the-road. But, it's probably not necessary since you'll always have at least 1 die to roll. I could also see having everyone move the same number of squares on the first turn (moving 3 squares would get everyone 4 coins on that first turn, if they wanted). Then we're just down to the random distribution of the coins that'll impact the starting situation.

Quote:
Oh yeah, and you should have to carry around the coins you pick up, unless you want to stop off at home and drop them off. The game end could be signalled when a particular coin is dropped off at a player's home (the far one).

This would add a new dimension, but add to the length of the game. Players could drag newly-found coins around with them (perhaps, mechanically, under their pawn) until they were adjacent to their home -- then they'd go in their stockpile. This would probably lead to some players making short trips out into the world and back home again ... not sure if I like it, but something worth keeping in mind, and definitely an optional/variant rule.

But, back to my original reason for posting ... assuming that some players will "make a haul" off a good start, and other players fall behind ... would having the 2-level battle spoils system help correct for that? I don't think the idea is overly-fiddly -- just gives an extra reason to attack someone in a better position than you.

-Bryk

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Brykovian wrote:

I like Gil's dice-for-different colors idea as well. (btw, players always get to shake at least 1 die, even if they have no coins in the stockpile.)

Yes, I read that. My point was if you just start with your own colored coin in your stock, then the rule is simply "Roll 1 die per type of coin each turn" instead of "Roll 1 die per type of coin each turn. If you have no coins, you roll 1 die."

Also, maybe consider this- rather than dice, just move up to X spaces, where X is the number of coin types you have in stock.

Quote:
Seth, you recommend starting them with a coin of their own color -- I suppose the 3 coin would be the best option ... kinda middle-of-the-road. But, it's probably not necessary since you'll always have at least 1 die to roll.

I think perhaps I missed something. Does it make a difference which coin(s) you have in stock? I thought it was just the number of coins (originally), or the number of types (more recently).

Quote:
I could also see having everyone move the same number of squares on the first turn (moving 3 squares would get everyone 4 coins on that first turn, if they wanted). Then we're just down to the random distribution of the coins that'll impact the starting situation.

This sounds terrible to me. Seems like there should be some decision or some trade-off to getting to move farther each turn. If everyone just gets to ramp up to max speed right off the bat, then what's the point? Everyone's going to do it as a matter of course- not just because they want to, but because they're supposed to be getting coins anyway.

I MUST have missed SOMETHING, because I don't see any decisions to make in this game at all. You move to the center and back, collecting as many coins as possible en route. If you're lucky (or plan a little) you might happen upon another sorcerer who's not as strong at the moment as you are, and you can beat them up and take a coin. Or, if they're currently ahead of you you can beat them up and take MOST of their coins, ensuring they won't come back after you right away, then you can run home to victory.

Quote:
sej wrote:
...carry around the coins you pick up, unless you want to stop off at home and drop them off. The game end could be signalled when a particular coin is dropped off at a player's home (the far one).

This would add a new dimension, but add to the length of the game. Players could drag newly-found coins around with them (perhaps, mechanically, under their pawn) until they were adjacent to their home -- then they'd go in their stockpile. This would probably lead to some players making short trips out into the world and back home again ... not sure if I like it, but something worth keeping in mind, and definitely an optional/variant rule.

So you've introduced a decision... do I make short trips and then stop off at home (which could be seperated from the coins so it's a real schlep)? Or do I collect a lot of coins- which ought to be risky- maybe you can lose them that way (If someone beats you up, you lose some or all of your "wear" coins). To round it out, you could have a maximum carrying capacity... and/or have your maximum movement determined by the stockpile, but then -1 square per coin you're carrying. Something like that.

You need something to drive the player's decisions. "Do I do X, or do I do Y instead?" Not "Of course I collect coins and only attack if I'll win, because there's no other option."

Quote:
But, back to my original reason for posting ... assuming that some players will "make a haul" off a good start, and other players fall behind ... would having the 2-level battle spoils system help correct for that? I don't think the idea is overly-fiddly -- just gives an extra reason to attack someone in a better position than you.

I still don't see how it will help and only see how it could hurt.

- Seth

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Brykovian wrote:

I like Gil's dice-for-different colors idea as well. (btw, players always get to shake at least 1 die, even if they have no coins in the stockpile.)

Yes, I read that. My point was if you just start with your own colored coin in your stock, then the rule is simply "Roll 1 die per type of coin each turn" instead of "Roll 1 die per type of coin each turn. If you have no coins, you roll 1 die."

Also, maybe consider this- rather than dice, just move up to X spaces, where X is the number of coin types you have in stock.

Quote:
Seth, you recommend starting them with a coin of their own color -- I suppose the 3 coin would be the best option ... kinda middle-of-the-road. But, it's probably not necessary since you'll always have at least 1 die to roll.

I think perhaps I missed something. Does it make a difference which coin(s) you have in stock? I thought it was just the number of coins (originally), or the number of types (more recently).

Quote:
I could also see having everyone move the same number of squares on the first turn (moving 3 squares would get everyone 4 coins on that first turn, if they wanted). Then we're just down to the random distribution of the coins that'll impact the starting situation.

This sounds terrible to me. Seems like there should be some decision or some trade-off to getting to move farther each turn. If everyone just gets to ramp up to max speed right off the bat, then what's the point? Everyone's going to do it as a matter of course- not just because they want to, but because they're supposed to be getting coins anyway.

I MUST have missed SOMETHING, because I don't see any decisions to make in this game at all. You move to the center and back, collecting as many coins as possible en route. If you're lucky (or plan a little) you might happen upon another sorcerer who's not as strong at the moment as you are, and you can beat them up and take a coin. Or, if they're currently ahead of you you can beat them up and take MOST of their coins, ensuring they won't come back after you right away, then you can run home to victory.

Quote:
sej wrote:
...carry around the coins you pick up, unless you want to stop off at home and drop them off. The game end could be signalled when a particular coin is dropped off at a player's home (the far one).

This would add a new dimension, but add to the length of the game. Players could drag newly-found coins around with them (perhaps, mechanically, under their pawn) until they were adjacent to their home -- then they'd go in their stockpile. This would probably lead to some players making short trips out into the world and back home again ... not sure if I like it, but something worth keeping in mind, and definitely an optional/variant rule.

So you've introduced a decision... do I make short trips and then stop off at home (which could be seperated from the coins so it's a real schlep)? Or do I collect a lot of coins- which ought to be risky- maybe you can lose them that way (If someone beats you up, you lose some or all of your "wear" coins). To round it out, you could have a maximum carrying capacity... and/or have your maximum movement determined by the stockpile, but then -1 square per coin you're carrying. Something like that.

You need something to drive the player's decisions. "Do I do X, or do I do Y instead?" Not "Of course I collect coins and only attack if I'll win, because there's no other option."

Quote:
But, back to my original reason for posting ... assuming that some players will "make a haul" off a good start, and other players fall behind ... would having the 2-level battle spoils system help correct for that? I don't think the idea is overly-fiddly -- just gives an extra reason to attack someone in a better position than you.

I still don't see how it will help and only see how it could hurt.

- Seth

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sedjtroll wrote:
Also, maybe consider this- rather than dice, just move up to X spaces, where X is the number of coin types you have in stock.

Actually I prefer to ride on the dice -- having players make a decision about spending a die on an action or to use that die for movement (because "it's just the number I need").

Quote:
I think perhaps I missed something. Does it make a difference which coin(s) you have in stock? I thought it was just the number of coins (originally), or the number of types (more recently).

Yeah ... I think I wasn't clear enough on some points. The number of different suits of the coins in the stockpile (I've already incorporated Gil's suggestion ;)) determine how many dice you get to use. The suit *and value* (printed on the other side of the coin) of the coins in the wears determines strength in battle. *Both* the number of different suits and the value of all coins determine end-of-game scoring.

Quote:
I wrote:
I could also see having everyone move the same number of squares on the first turn (moving 3 squares would get everyone 4 coins on that first turn, if they wanted). Then we're just down to the random distribution of the coins that'll impact the starting situation.

This sounds terrible to me. Seems like there should be some decision or some trade-off to getting to move farther each turn. If everyone just gets to ramp up to max speed right off the bat, then what's the point? Everyone's going to do it as a matter of course- not just because they want to, but because they're supposed to be getting coins anyway.

The dice do more than just move the pawns around. You "spend" a die each time you want to move a coin between the stockpile and wears. You also need to "spend" a coin to attack another player. Of course everyone will want to grab as many coins as possible off the start. But the suit of the coins will matter, due to how battles are calc'd ... and the decisions they make on their next turn with more dice will be key.

Quote:
I MUST have missed SOMETHING, because I don't see any decisions to make in this game at all. You move to the center and back, collecting as many coins as possible en route. If you're lucky (or plan a little) you might happen upon another sorcerer who's not as strong at the moment as you are, and you can beat them up and take a coin. Or, if they're currently ahead of you you can beat them up and take MOST of their coins, ensuring they won't come back after you right away, then you can run home to victory.

I hope I've started to show a little bit of the decisions that are in the game:
  • Which coins (suits & values) do I need in my wears to be prepared for battle?
  • How many different suits will that leave me in the stockpile to get as many dice as possible?
  • Should I move coins from one to the other group? If so, when?
  • How should I spend these dice that I just rolled?
  • Am I better off moving around the perimeter of the board and grabbing more uncollected coins? Or should I attack someone to get their coins?
  • He has two coins of my suit in his wears, but I have the 5 coin in mine ... and I have a Null coin in his suit where he only has a single coin of his suit in his wears -- should I attack him?
Some of the choices are tactical -- determining the current number of dice, or the current battle strength ... but some are strategic -- having a good "distribution" of different suits of coins, and having enough coins to get by without looking like too good of a target. Scoring also rewards both having different suits, as well as having a lot of value in a single suit (especially if it's your color).

This game *is* a lot simpler than a lot of games discuss at these forums (the references to T&E or Goldland kinda go over my head since I've never played them, and trying to read their rules have left me confused :() ... but I think it's simply not true that there aren't *any* decisions to be made.

Also, after having slept on the idea, I do like having each player get their own secret goal for extra end-of-game points ... that would definitely have an impact on strategy.

Hope that makes things a little clearer.

Back to the spoils-of-battles for sec ... Since the different suits being held are more important, I'm thinking of doing the following:

  • Players stack same-suited coins together and display them suit-side-up in both their stockpile and their wears
  • If the winner of a battle has the same number or more total coins (stockpile + wears) than the loser, then the winner can chose any suit stack of coins from the loser's wears.
  • If the winner of a battle has fewer total coins than the loser, then the winner can chose any suit, and get all coins of that suit from the loser's wears *and* stockpile.

That's where it's sitting in my brain right now anyway. ;)

-Bryk

-Bryk

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Quote:
Yeah ... I think I wasn't clear enough on some points. The number of different suits of the coins in the stockpile (I've already incorporated Gil's suggestion ;))

Kewl, thanx!

Quote:
This game *is* a lot simpler than a lot of games discuss at these forums (the references to T&E or Goldland kinda go over my head since I've never played them, and trying to read their rules have left me confused :() ... but I think it's simply not true that there aren't *any* decisions to be made.

Goldland is a very good schlepping game, in which players lay down tiles to create a wilderness they are exploring. They pick up goods during the game and hold them in their inventory. The amount of stuff they have in their inventory determines the distance they can move; players with a smaller inventory can move further. This is a mechanism you may want to look at; you might even be able to eliminate dice altogether, with the different suits of coins in a player's storehouse determining the number of actions he may make in a turn, and the amount of wears he his carrying negatively impacting his movement ability.

T&E's scoring system has drawn a lot of praise. During the game, you score four differently-colored tiles. Your final score is the color you have the LEAST of. This forces you to diversify. This would be a great scoring system for you to (ahem) borrow, with players only scoring the suit they have the least of. It de-emphasizes the number of total coins in the storehouse, and keeps players from trying to hoard a single suit.

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Back to the spoils-of-battles for sec ... Since the different suits being held are more important, I'm thinking of doing the following:
  • Players stack same-suited coins together and display them suit-side-up in both their stockpile and their wears
  • If the winner of a battle has the same number or more total coins (stockpile + wears) than the loser, then the winner can chose any suit stack of coins from the loser's wears.
  • If the winner of a battle has fewer total coins than the loser, then the winner can chose any suit, and get all coins of that suit from the loser's wears *and* stockpile.

I'm still not crazy about this, because it might skew a little too much towards bash-the-leader. Of course, I haven't actually played it out, so no one will know for sure until then...

What I was trying to go for earlier was a self-balancing mechanism, where a player with a lot of coins is naturally more liable to give up lots of coins than a player with very few coins. IMVHO, the storehouse should be completely "safe," with no chance of another player stealing from it in battle. With rules (ahem ahem) "liberated" from T&E, the raw amount of coins you have in the storehouse is irrelevant; if you have no coins of at least one color, your score is zero!

But I think you should shoot for a battle mechanic where a rich player is, by nature, more vulnerable than a poor player. Now that I think of it, I'll amend my earlier battle suggestion so that the winner of a battle takes ALL coins of the loser's suit in his wears, plus ALL coins of the same suit that he decided to risk from his storehouse.

Perhaps you can figure out a nasty mechanism that has nothing to do with battle, that lets one player plunder another player's storehouse...

~Gil

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Brykovian
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Allowing for catching-up ... a specific case

IngredientX wrote:
This is a mechanism you may want to look at; you might even be able to eliminate dice altogether, with the different suits of coins in a player's storehouse determining the number of actions he may make in a turn, and the amount of wears he his carrying negatively impacting his movement ability.

First, I don't want to give up the dice ... I like 'em. ;) From the way things move about on the board, it turns out that you can have a couple dice up with large numbers ... but if they're not the *right* numbers for the space you want to get to, it doesn't help much. In the end, it gives the players a bit more flexibility on what they will be doing -- with a touch of *luck* needed to get the right number (and I know that 4-letter "L-word" turns a lot of the folks off around here ;)).

Second, I don't think I'll be going with the concept of having the players "carry" their newly-collected coins until they get back home. As coins get picked-up off the board, they go directly to the player's stockpile. If the new coin is something that would be better in their wears, they'll need to spend a die to get it there.

I like my movement and coin-collection mechnics right now ... I think they work fine. I'm just trying to give players a way to (immediately) catch-up, and a good reason to attack another player.

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T&E's scoring system has drawn a lot of praise. During the game, you score four differently-colored tiles. Your final score is the color you have the LEAST of. This forces you to diversify. This would be a great scoring system for you to (ahem) borrow, with players only scoring the suit they have the least of. It de-emphasizes the number of total coins in the storehouse, and keeps players from trying to hoard a single suit.

I've seen that scoring system before and can understand how it works well for certain games. But, in this game, I want to *encourage* players to hoard an entire suit (especially their own) ... and at the same time, stop the other players from doing the same. Diversity is also rewarded -- actually more strongly than scoring well in a single suit ... so I think the reward is there. With the addition of the "secret missions" that each player will be given, I think the scoring system will work pretty well for itself ... as long as players are able to get coins away from other players during the game.

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I'm still not crazy about this, because it might skew a little too much towards bash-the-leader.

Actually ... it's *purposeful* leader-bashing (something else that turns a number of folks off around here) ... the idea is to be able to tip the scales quickly, making the title of "leader" switch hands dramatically.

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What I was trying to go for earlier was a self-balancing mechanism, where a player with a lot of coins is naturally more liable to give up lots of coins than a player with very few coins.

That's what I'm after too ... and at the same time, I'd like the winner of a battle to get to choose which coins they get to an extent. If, for example, they need to strengthen their Blue coins, then they'd want to look for someone who seems to have a good number of them and give themselves the best chance to defeat them in battle, so they can choose those blue coins for their own.

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IMVHO, the storehouse should be completely "safe," with no chance of another player stealing from it in battle.

I had thought down that road a bit ... but then the problem is players not putting *anything* in their wears, and not initiating any battles. So what if you lose when someone else attacks you -- you don't have any wears to lose. This is what lead me to my latest approach -- stronger winners can only pick from the loser's wears, while weaker winners can choose from the loser's wears + stockpile (or maybe it should be wears *or* stockpile -- more choice instead of simply more coins).

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But I think you should shoot for a battle mechanic where a rich player is, by nature, more vulnerable than a poor player.

Not more vulnerable (which I'm taking to mean "less likely to win"), but simply has more at risk.

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Now that I think of it, I'll amend my earlier battle suggestion so that the winner of a battle takes ALL coins of the loser's suit in his wears, plus ALL coins of the same suit that he decided to risk from his storehouse.

I didn't like your battle suggestion due to it blurring the decision lines between what is kept in the stockpile and what is put into the wears. I like the idea of having to burn a die to make changes between the two ... making players plan ahead a bit, based upon who they are likely to engage in battle in the near-term. I don't see a good enough reason to risk coins from the stockpile, especially if you've setup your wears properly. And I also think the coins-hidden-in-hand makes battles a little more complicated than they need to be ... this game is pretty light, I'd rather keep the actual battles quick and straight-forward.

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Perhaps you can figure out a nasty mechanism that has nothing to do with battle, that lets one player plunder another player's storehouse.

hmmm ... with my current battle-spoils idea, a "rich" player is more likely to draw attention to themselves -- and will have their wears & stockpile plundered if defeated in battle.

Thanks for the interesting ideas, Gil ... you got my brain a-twirlin'! :D

-Bryk

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