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Area Control plus Stagecoach mechanic

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sedjtroll
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In jwarrend's Sands of Time thread there has been some discussion of a 'caravan' mechanic which travels throughout the territories promoting trade or basically diffusing your civilization throughout the board. In that discussion some of us explored various directions this mechanic could go. I think Jeff has a pretty good idea of how he'd like to approach implimenting that idea in his game, but I wanted to explore further one of the ideas proposed in the Sands of Time thread that likely would not really fit his 'civ lite' game:

To put a theme on this idea, picture the Old West, several neigboring towns in the Wild West through which a Stagecoach makes its rounds. Though not necessarily historically accurate, let's say that Stagecoach picks up things in one town and drops them off in other towns, and travels on a strict, but short term, schedule.

What I envision for the Stage is a series of counters labelled 1 through 3 or 4 which reflect the stops the Stage will make in order. As the Stage leaves a town, it heads to the next highest numbered counter. At the outest of the game these are all placed, but as the game goes on the path of the Stagecoach changes... when the Stage arrives at a town, the player 'in control of' that town (the "Mayor?") takes the Stage Counter and places it in another town that hasn't already got a counter (or of course, the Stage) in it. When the Stage gets to the highest numbered counter, it then continues to the lowest number again. For theme perhpas the counters coould be labeled J, Q, K, A (after the top ranks of a deck of playing cards).

So how do you control a town? This is where Area Majority comes in... players could basically play El Grande to determine who controls which town. The impetus to control towns would shift from simply scoring to influencing the course of the Stage.

Finally, and this is where I'm running out of ideas thus far, there ought to be something for the players to put onto or get off of the Stage in the first place. On idea might be to put actual people on there, like your 'units' (caballeros if it were El Grande), and say that the controller of the town decides wheather to unload the cargo (in this case the unit) and load something else. If they want to load something else then they'd have to unload the current cargo. If they don't load more cargo then perhaps they can't unload cargo.

Oh, and of course there needs to be a way to get units on the board and move them around (maybe in part the Stage moves them around). Oh, and there should be Bandits that can hold up the Stage in some situations.

Thoughts??

sedjtroll
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Area Control + Stagecoach mechanic - Update

I am having some great ideas that might make this thing fly. I will post them when I have more time to type. The basics are as follows:

Board depicts several old west towns, and probably a Gold Mine, connected by dirt roads and dangerous passes (spaces between towns).

Mine produces Gold chits whenever the Stage visits it (or at other times, but the stage has to pick it up to move it). There hould also be some good reason to put a Route Marker on the Mine indicating the Stage will have to go there- like getting more units from your supply (when placing the marker)

Stage travels from town to town along pre-planned route, as I mentioned previously- there are several markers labelled 1-4 or whatever, and the Stage travels 1>2>3>4>1>etc. When the stage arrives at a town, the Mayor of that town places the route marker on another town. No town can have two markers at one time.

Players control towns by having a majority of units in the town, thereby claiming the Mayor token for that town. Each town has a Mayor token.

There probably need to be some kind of event/action cards similar to El Grande's with stuff to do on them.

Players will have hidden 'bins' in which to place their Sheriff token (each player has 1) and anything else. One bin is called "On Stage"

You can place units as well as Gold "On Stage".

You can ambush the Stage, which may be successful unless a player has their Sheriff on the Stage. Ambushes happen on roads, so units used in an Ambush are not contributing to controlling a town.

A Sheriff on the Stage is not protecting any towns from Holdups... A Holdup is an action you can take, eother ambushing the Stage or in a town. If successful (noone has a Sheriff in that location) then you get some gold from the player who is currently the Mayor and ride off.

Perhaps the Holdups and Ambushes must be domne by a special Bandit token, which would be placed in your hidden Bins.

Holdups and opportunities to move your Bandit and your Sheriff would probably come up on the Action cards, as would opportunities to add things to the board.

Contents of the Stage are hidden, so unloading it might mean you get some Gold, but might mean you lose control of the Town. If you choose to unlad, you should have to unlad EVERYTHING on the stage.

So the idea is to score by unloading the Gold at a town you control that has a Bank (all towns have banks? just some?). You also steal gold and move it around with Bandits. You probably have to have a 'hideout' or someplace to put that gold, or just get it to the bank (place it secretly in one of your towns, then onto the Stage when it gets there or something)

Any comments welcome, this is still just a rough outline of a game.

Nando
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Re: Area Control + Stagecoach mechanic - Update

sedjtroll wrote:
I am having some great ideas that might make this thing fly.

I struggled with it. To me, the caravan is calling out for trade. I can't seem to shake that idea. Likewise, the old west stagecoach seems a better fit for pick-up and deliver. I think more than anything else it's just an indication of how hard I have to squeeze to get creative juice! ;-)

sedjtroll wrote:
Board depicts several old west towns, and probably a Gold Mine, connected by dirt roads and dangerous passes (spaces between towns).

The addition of the gold mine makes the whole thing instantly more appealing to me and easier to approach...

sedjtroll wrote:
There should also be some good reason to put a Route Marker on the Mine indicating the Stage will have to go there- like getting more units from your supply (when placing the marker).

The one idea I toyed around with for this "caravan variant" was to bring in -- what else -- a train. Have a few major cities down the center of the board, and have a train run back and forth on them. This could bring more gang members or more deputies or sheriffs or marshals or bandits or miners or rich targe-- er, rich "people", or whatever you need to be on the board. The train would be in addition to the stage, of course, because it isn't programmable in the same way.

Anyway, I suppose you could also arrange to have the stage meet the train to drop off all your gold. And if the train makes it "off" the board with your shipment without getting looted, you score. You might also give a sheriff the ability to stall the train if he's in position when it gets there, and he's not distracted with bandits... Hmm... might even consider collecting bandits and shipping them off too!

sedjtroll wrote:
Players control towns by having a majority of units in the town, thereby claiming the Mayor token for that town. Each town has a Mayor token.

If the players were marshals instead of sheriffs, then perhaps it would work that each big town would have a mayor, and a sheriff/deputy/jailor, and maybe a banker. Most influential in a town gets his pick of person to influence. Next influential gets next pick, and so on. Yeah, it's yet another roles deal. It's where I'm currently heading with my caravan variant too.

sedjtroll wrote:
Players will have hidden 'bins' in which to place their Sheriff token (each player has 1) and anything else. One bin is called "On Stage" ... Contents of the Stage are hidden, so unloading it might mean you get some Gold, but might mean you lose control of the Town. If you choose to unload, you should have to unload EVERYTHING on the stage.

For me, this idea seems to have gobs of potential!

DSfan
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Area Control plus Stagecoach mechanic

I really like that idea.

When I was trying to come up with an idea, I too also came up with a Old-West theme.

Actually my idea kind-of sounds similar to Sedjtroll's. Although mine wasn't quite as far as yours ;) I quess great mind's DO think alike!

Good Luck
-Justin

sedjtroll
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The latest

Each time the Stage enters a town, players in turn (starting with the Mayor?) get a chance to load/unload their dudes. The Mayor is also allowed to load/unload gold. At the end of the turn the Mayor token is passed to the player with the majority in each town (i.e. if someone overtook majority from someone else, they get the mayor token).

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