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'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

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Anonymous

I have been thinking about board/miniature games where you use your army to defeat your opponent. My first idea was StarCraft or WarCraft board game. I decided that it wouldn't come easy because of the building of buildings and units and I quickly dropped the idea. So, I looked at WizKids products. Their games use a good system of creating an army. I decided that a game where you chose twelve or more warriors and pitted them against your opponent should be an easy enough game to make. I was thinking about a way of using the combat dial without using the combat dial.... (does that make any sence?) I decided to use cards that show each figures stats and show how they alter after each hit, the idea WizKids uses in their games. And then I thought of an idea. How about 'Blinding' your opponent from seeing your opponent's pieces until you bring them into their area? But, this idea is hard to do. I thought of using a screen or something to split the board in half and then take it down when each player brings their pieces into their opponent's area. But there was to much room for cheating. So, does anyone have an idea for blinding the players?

sedjtroll
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Re: 'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

DragonKid wrote:

...does anyone have an idea for blinding the players?

Stratego has hidden pieces... that is to say you don't knw which piece is which. You get some clues as they move. Imagine if Chess were like that...

- Seth

Good luck with Hero Not-Clix

Anonymous
'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

Yeah, that would make sence, but I don't want the pieces to be secret for the entire game. Once they reach the opponent's beginning point or something they know what they are doing. I was thinking maybe a cardboard 'cover' that looks like half of a box to hide the figure from your opponent until they are in range and then you take it away?

Oh, and I was shooting for more Mech Warrior then Hero Clix (SpiderMan in combat with SuperMan....Just doesn't seem right....)

sedjtroll
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'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

How about this... put a little picture representing the unit on one side of a cube, then have that picture face you until you're where an opponent can see it, then turn it to face up.

This of course really only works in 2 player.

Then you'd have some card or something that shows the stats for that unit in front of you.

- Seth

IngredientX
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'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

I suggest going to www.boardgamegeek.com, searching through a bunch of their miniature games and wargames, and studying how they handle "fog of war." I'd give you advice myself, but I'm not much of a miniatures or wargames fan, I'm afraid to say...

I know that there have been a few "block" style wargames out recently, which I believe employ the "Stratego" mechanism of hiding information about a piece on one of its sides.

I'm not implying that the answer to your problems is to steal another game's idea. Sometimes just reading how other people solved the problem is enough to get your creative juices flowing. However, if you're still stuck, you can always implement a solution similar to one you saw in a game. Chances are, after a few playtests, you're going to tweak the system into a different beast.

Hope this helps...

~Gil

Brykovian
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'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

Similar to what Seth said, using a cube, but it could be as simple as having matching coins with a letter or number on one side and a generic marking (the flag or symbol for the player) on the back. Put one coin face-down next to an off-board warrior (assuming you're using miniatures), and the matching coin face-down on the board, wherever that warrior is currently located.

If the coin gets within viewing range of an opponent, they can flip over the on-board coin, and then you need to identify which warrior it is representing (and maybe put the actual warrior on the map at that point).

-Bryk

Anonymous
'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

I have used something similar to what Bryk is referring to in "Wheat and Tare", which I will be workshopping in a few weeks. In my game, I wanted to have the players lay what amounts to shapes from positions on the board, but to have those shapes remain serious. So, the player removes the marker from the position on the board, and places the marker next to the face down card.

I think you could do something similar and gridlike. Perhaps by using reference dice or something similar. The kay point is making the hiding elegant, so that when the revelation comes, there is no uncertainty as to whether that was actually the position the player had played.

No matter what, I think that it will be imperative for the unit to be placed on the board when it is revealed, for theme's sake.

Anonymous
'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

Your "blinding idea" is ideal for computer games, but a nightmare for board games. In order for a board game to be fast-paced (and fun!) it shouldn't required the tedious management of all sorts of bits (as would be the case in a game with complex "blinding" techniques). When I think of battle type games (not typical wargames or tabletop games) like HeroClix, I think fast paced. Therefore, the goal should be to design some blinding technique which isn't too laborious to manage.

Here's one. How about recording the starting position and subsequent movements of each character on a sheet of paper from a numbered hex map. Each player would actually place the characters at the front of the pack--the ones that actually form the perimeter of the wave making up the front line--on the map for his opponent to see and vice-versa. Then, as the two waves of characters collide and opposing characters actually delve into the opposing perimeter, other characters within "x" spaces are revealed. Gradually, all the characters would be revealed and the extra tedium of recording moves would be eliminated. This would allow for surprize encounters.

In case you haven't figured it out, the paper record will serve to validate the individual moves and final encounter location of characters as they're encountered.

In any case, whatever your solution, don't require too much player effort to manage it.

sedjtroll
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'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

I still think your best bet is to go Stratego style... with pieces which have information on one side but not on the other.

Also, since you don't want them to know the location of all your units (even if they don't know which is which), you could add Null units- pieces that are not units, that serve as a bluff. When they become "visible" to the opponent, you simply remove them fromt he game. (i.e. there weas nothing there)

- Seth

Anonymous
'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

Thanks for all of the ideas. I will probably use one of these ideas unless I can think of a better one.

Anonymous
'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

Mario wrote:
Here's one. How about recording the starting position and subsequent movements of each character on a sheet of paper from a numbered hex map.

That's how "cloaked" movement in the FASA Starship Combat Simulator game (Star Trek) was handled. I got pretty used to it since I most enjoyed playing Romulan ships. I would just write down what hex number the ship ended on and what hex it was facing for each movement phase. If another player was able to detect me with sensors, I would give them my current hex and facing. It worked pretty well for one or two ships, but I think it would bog down if moving a whole fleet of cloaked ships.

My .02USD,
CTodd

Anonymous
hmm

I considered this problem as well. I could not figure out a way to do fog of war without trusting players alot - as the game mentioned above this post does. The best thing I was able to come up with was simultaneous movement/actions. Players plan out a number of moves in advance, then carry them out simultaneously. Conflicts are resolved in order. This is far enough long term that strategies can be employed without the opponent knowing. It is also a manageable amount of paperwork. Lastly, it doesn't trust the player at all: As the moves are carried out, they are being checked for accuracy by your opponent.

Anonymous
'Blinding' Players in a Board Game

Extra secrecy can be created with the use of dummy markers as well.

You have some face down markers representing your forces, but you also have twice as many markers representing nothing at all. Move all markers as though they contained a force - but only reveal them when the rules state they are seen.

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