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Movement mechanics

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Cyberchrist
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hello!

Im fiddling around with a game that im trying to get as strategically challenging as possible without going over the edge and get the analysis/paralysis syndrome.

The thing that really is the problem here is the movement mechanics.
To make things easy to visualise without slaping your head with a 20 page rulebook i can explain it like this:

The gameboard consists of 40 squares all connected (monopoly style).
Some of the squares contains resources that you need and others contain things that you are trying to avoid.
Movement is possible forward and backward.
Every player has multiple pawns that can be moved each turn.
Game ends when you get a certain amount of VP´s

The question is, how do i make this as strategically challenging as possible ?

The ideas that i have come up with:
* roll 2 D6 move either 1 pawn the total amounts of steps or two pawns the numbers indicated by the dices.

* Card driven, every player has cards ranging from 1 to 3 and could play as many cards he wishes each turn.
Any numbers of pawns could be moved.
at the beginning of your turn you draw a card.
Every player has a separate "movement deck" with the exact same cards.

Do you have any ideas on other ways of doing this?
Am i on the right track or do you think the mechanic´s listed above is bad choices ?

Anonymous
Re: Movement mechanics

Cyberchrist wrote:

Hello!

Hello! hello! ello! llo! lo! o! !

Hehe...echo. :)

Cyberchrist wrote:

Do you have any ideas on other ways of doing this?
Am i on the right track or do you think the mechanic´s listed above is bad choices ?

I wouldn't say you aren't on the right track, but one thing that makes a game strategic is how you can effect your opponent. For example, instead of moving one of my pieces using a card, could I force my opponent to move a piece using a card and send his piece onto a sqaure that's ment to be avoided? Things like that. And you would then include some kind of counter to a forced move. You might make it so that a card like that could only be used if you've achieved so many VPs by that time. It's all about how you structure what can and can't be done, how its done, and why you would do it.

Now, what I just mentioned isn't necessarily something want to do, but its intended to illustrate what could be done. You might also consider the use of both cards and dice and how these can be made to effect your own need to move as well as how you can hinder an opponent.

Well, I don't know if the game cards Knightmare! would do you any good for insight or inspiration but I'll bring them up anyway. The game cards Knightmare! by Steve Jackson at Steve Jackson Games are cards used during a game of Chess. These cards allow you to change the rules, effect your or the opponent's pieces, and more. I mention this because of your questions about strategy and how to attain it in your design. A few other things that might help give you insight and inspiration are the methods used in other games of strategy.

First and foremost, strategy comes from what the goal of the game is and how that goal is to be attained. This brings up another idea. Like Chess, your players have multiple pieces. Each piece could move a different way. One can move by jumping every other sqaure while the other must hit every sqaure but can move multiple times. Things like that. You can come up with other unique ways of doing this I'm sure.

Well...I've rambled...been trampled...and its time to scramble! :)

I hope this helps some...have fun!

-Vexx

Anonymous
Movement mechanics

Talisman has a board of 24 spaces (IIRC) around the board "Monopoly-style" as you put it. Each player only has one pawn but rolls one die and may go clockwise or counter-clockwise as they choose. Players may also have certain cards (such as the Horse and Cart card) that allow them to move further than normal if they wish (by adding and optional +1 to every movement roll or allowing another roll for rolling a "6," etc.). Giving players the power to change their movement rolls may be an option for you. It's hard to know too much about what advice you may need without knowing much about the game. You could also give each player the ability to pay resources to augment their movement rolls or get a reroll to try to avoid a hazardous space.

Talisman also has two more smaller tracks of spaces nested within the main track (the main track is the outer realm, then there is the middle realm and the inner realm).

Anonymous
Movement mechanics

Hello Cyberchrist,

This is my first post on these boards so please excuse me if I 'm a bit of an amateur.

Its difficult to comment without understanding the driving aim behind your game but I'll give it a go. Generally if you want strategic movement, exclusively random dice-rolling would not seem the way to go. However, by having some spaces "good" to be in and others "bad" to be in, having non-random movement would seem to take the "edge" out of the strategy as everyone can just avoid the "bad" spaces. So I suppose this is the heart of the problem for you in that your aim (for a strategic game) is being confounded by opposing elements of strategic movement vs. your board structure.

Perhaps a possible idea is to:
- Have different types of pawns - colour?
- Different pawns move in different ways - some might be one space at a time, others might be two or three, some might be random (roll a d6) while others can teleport to where they want. This would obviously add a complexity to the game that you might not want.
- Analysis/paralysis is an interesting concept but you can most probably get around it. Give someone 8 choices and they will sit and work out the best option reasonably quickly. Give someone 50 choices and they will try to do the same thing but take longer to do it knowing that they can eventually get through most of them. Give someone 10,000 choices and it exceeds what they can reasonably compute. At this stage, people go with the "this choice seems good" approach without wanting or needing to examine each choice. As such, if the choices in the game are too finite, players will be tempted to go through each of them. Even if they think they are finite, they will still give it a go and really get bogged down. If however you introduce too many variables - particularly through interaction of other players - then most people will speed up their play -playing tactically rather than strategically.

In reference to your ideas:
- 2d6 split?: Suits the board but eliminates the strategic level of play you are after.
- Card Driven: More strategic but not enough choices to avoid the analysis/paralysis conundrum

Card Driven without the Analysis/Paralysis:
- Possibly you have a movement pack as you suggest. You reveal the top card and that is what all your pawns may move that turn. However, you might put the following stipulations upon it:
*All Pawns must move - Except if its the teleport card where only a single pawn may be teleported. I like this one the best as it forces some pieces to be placed upon bad spaces. (The trick is to have an odd number of spaces between bad spaces otherwise they can always be avoided.)
*You can only move a set number of pawns. However, you might make it that this set number increases or decreases depending upon some variable in the game
*You can move or not move pawns as you like. This would seem the poorest of the options as you could simply avoid the bad spaces.

I'm not too sure if this helps or not. However, if you give a few more details, I can throw a few more ideas your way.

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Movement mechanics

Cartagena also has a track on which you move pawns forward by playing cards, but you can choose to move a pawn backwards to draw extra cards. Something like this might work for your game too. For example, you must play a card to move a pawn. If you land a pawn on a "good" spot something nice happens. If you land a pawn on a "bad" spot something bad happens, but you also get to draw another card or cards. This way it is not a matter of avoiding bad spots, but rather knowing how often and when to hit a bad spot to draw new cards. This may or may not work in your game, of course ;)

In anyway a hand of cards makes a game more strategic than using dice. When you can keep a number of cards in hand you can plan for the next turn(s). This is impossible to do with dice, you just have to wait and see what you roll next turn and then decide how to most optimally move the pawns, which is tactical not strategic. Analysis paralysis can be prevented by keeping the number of pawns and the number of cards in hand at a reasonable low number.

- Rene Wiersma

Cyberchrist
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Movement mechanics

Thanx for all the input!
I have a clear vision of how i want the game to end up.
It´s just that moving mechanism that is abit of a fuzz.

zaiga wrote:

When you can keep a number of cards in hand you can plan for the next turn(s). This is impossible to do with dice, you just have to wait and see what you roll next turn and then decide how to most optimally move the pawns, which is tactical not strategic. Analysis paralysis can be prevented by keeping the number of pawns and the number of cards in hand at a reasonable low number.

You got a good point there zaiga, didnt think of it that way.
The ability to plan the next turn is truly more strategic than tactical.
I think i´ll go with the cards.
However im planning to add a couple of cards that could disrupt or counter certain moves just to spice it up with a touch of chaos.

Its no problem to keep the pawns at a low number as the pawns goes back to a "homing" space when certain missions are completed.

The squares at the gameboard represents locations and the game is themed in a gangster enviroment, each player representing maffia familys/clans, where the pawns are family members (thugs,assassins,smugglers - you name it).
Every family has its special features and abilities, and are trying to either get rid of all the other familys or go for a VP condition win.

There are some fixed missions that earn you a certain score.
And some missions can be picked up along the way.
The familys special abilitys are drawn from a pool of cards at the beginning of the game to make sure that there arent going to be two similar games.
Instead of changing the board layout, the familys abilities change from game to game.

If you cross Puerto rico with the computergame Grand Theft Auto then i guess it would turn up something like this.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Movement mechanics

Although I haven't played, the game Tortoise and Hare has a mechanic that you might be able to appropriate. In that, you pay resources to move. Moving short distances costs less per space than moving large distances. So, you may pay 1 to move 1, 3 to move 2, 6 to move 3, and 10 to move 4. Something like that might work for you, but would add a resource management aspect that you'd need to make meaningful, as well as a reason to want to move more spaces rather than less...

-Jeff

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Movement mechanics

Sounds more like that PC game... Mafia mixed with Cosmic Encounter.... :wink:

Cyberchrist wrote:
However im planning to add a couple of cards that could disrupt or counter certain moves just to spice it up with a touch of chaos.

Perhaps it is a nice idea to combine both the "chaos" cards and the "movement" cards into one? Cards with both special effects written on them and a number for the movement. That would add another layer of decision making to the game. Do you want to keep that card for it's special effect or do you use it for moving a pawn?

Anyway, sounds like a really fun game!

- Rene Wiersma

Scurra
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Joined: 09/11/2008
Movement mechanics

I'll second Zaiga's comment here:

Quote:

Perhaps it is a nice idea to combine both the "chaos" cards and the "movement" cards into one?

I'm using this device in a lot of my games at the moment, and it really adds a nice level to the game.
You have to be careful not to have too much information on a single card - if it works with two different aspects of the game, you run the risk of confusing the player.
But it also helps in the eternal quest to keep component numbers down :)

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Movement

I was working on a mechanic for a dueling wizards type game I was creating that combined spell points and movement points on the same card. The possibilites for each were 1 to 6, but the total of the 2 #s always added up to 7.

For example, one card might have movement of 6, and spell points of 1, or movement of 2 and spell points of 5, or movement of 3 and spell points of 4, you get the idea. When you played a card, you could use it for movement, or spell points, but not both. I think it added some tension to the game because you had to decide for what purpose to use the card.

Not sure if this idea helps any, but I thought I'd throw that out there... Maybe someone can get some use out of it.

-Darke

Cyberchrist
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Movement mechanics

zaiga wrote:

Perhaps it is a nice idea to combine both the "chaos" cards and the "movement" cards into one? Cards with both special effects written on them and a number for the movement.

Definately worth a try, would create a mindwrecking effect and would reduce the production costs.

darkehorse wrote:

I was creating that combined spell points and movement points on the same card. The possibilites for each were 1 to 6, but the total of the 2 #s always added up to 7.

Hmm could be a interesting way of balancing the game.
Gotta think a little and fiddle around with the numbers.
would want the distribution much like the outcome of 2D6.

scurra wrote:

You have to be careful not to have too much information on a single card - if it works with two different aspects of the game, you run the risk of confusing the player.

Yes, it probably will be just two numbers on most of the cards - movement points/action points.
And maybe a symbol or something on some of the random event cards.
Want the game to be language independent.

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