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Assumptions & Issues: Take 2

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phpbbadmin
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First let me apologize for not contributing lately. I had a big project at work that was taking most of my time. For the most part I will now have a lot of time to work on this, so let's revive this thing!

Recapping A&I: Take 1, here are the assumptions:

1) A robust action point system will be used as the central mechanic for determining what a player can do on their turn. APs will be used for movement, overcoming obstacles, searching, paying penalties and possibly placing tiles.
2) An equipment system will be implemented to help alleviate the AP cost in overcoming obstacles. Whether this will be an automatic 'overcoming' of the obstacle, a reduction of the AP cost to overcome an obstacle, or the requirement (I.E. a lock and key mechanism) of a particular piece of equipment to overcome the obstacle, has yet to be determined.
3) Discoveries (the major scoring portion of the game) and Obstacles will be chits permanently placed on the tile (or completed cave, to be determined) that they reside in. The jury is still out on on distribution of these chits and whether they will be seperate or combined into one chit.
4) Searching will be done by paying a certain (yet to be determined) # of Action Points, after which a card or cards will be drawn. Basically, results of searches will be represented via a deck of cards.

Now we add these assumptions:
5) Players will start out on a 3 X 3 tile sized starting area. Players may enter the cave system from any tile legally played onto this starting tile.
6) There will be an initial placement phase of the game where players will play tiles legally onto the cave system, starting with the starting area.
7) Players will have a hand of X # of tiles. Whenever they play a tile, they draw to replace it from the face down pool.
8) Players get a 'free' tile placement at the beginning of their turn, in addition they pay an appropriate action point cost to play another tile during the action phase of the turn.

Any problems with these new assumptions?

We need to decide on these issues:

1) Doho's tiles sure are shiney. I haven't analyzed them but are they functionally the same as FL's? Do we want to stick with FL's tiles and make them shiney as well or lean more towards Doho's?
2) We need to nail down Obstacle / Discovery placement. Everyone seems to have a different idea about this at the moment.
3) We need to nail down how movement works, specifically through passageways and completed vs incomplete caverns.
4) We need to nail down searching. Specifically we need to limit constant searching in one area.
5) Still need to decide on cave exits and the end game trigger.
6) Equipment... How will they work, how do you get them, can you buy more, etc.

Other things we need to decide on later:
1) Collaboration among players
2) Trading
3) Passage blocking and cavern occupacy limits....
4) Secret passageways

Why later? I really don't see the above issues hinging on these things. If we lay the framework down now, we can embellish later when things appear to be working well.

Also if someone has a clever method for book keeping all these chits we are probably going to have then please tell us!

Ok people let's move, move, MOVE! I want this thing done into to be in the stores by Christmas! :D

-Darke

Scurra
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Re: Assumptions & Issues: Take 2

Darkehorse wrote:

Ok people let's move, move, MOVE! I want this thing done into to be in the stores by Christmas! :D

Sure, Darke. Which century were you thinking of?

Serious comments to follow.

What's the issue with movement? I thought that was the one thing we'd sorted. 1AP to move from junction to junction (where a junction is defined as being a passage junction or a cave) plus 1AP for every explorer you need to "pass" on the way. If you can't pay the excess, tough since you can't stop at a passage junction or in a cave that is "full" (where "full" is defined as a number of explorers equal to the number of tiles in the cave, including incomplete caves.)
This covers the "blocking and cave limits" issue you mention too.

I don't see any problem with limiting searching as long as you specify that a player may only choose to search once in a turn (but may spend extra APs to improve their chances of finding something.)

Tiles: I prefer FL's tiles - the range seems more useful, although they a little close to the Carcassonne tileset for comfort. Doho's tiles don't seem to offer enough variety. (OTOH I like the hole in the floor idea!)

I think Equipment has to offer a generic reduction in APs for passing an obstacle. However, I certainly think that not all Equipment will be useful with all obstacles (a pickaxe won't help you across that chasm :))

As for bookkeeping the chits, I really don't see that as a problem. If they also double as VP markers, then players will collect most of them during the game with scoring at the end. Although it's difficult to visualise that without seeing it in action.

phpbbadmin
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My Thoughts

Quote:

What's the issue with movement? I thought that was the one thing we'd sorted. 1AP to move from junction to junction (where a junction is defined as being a passage junction or a cave) plus 1AP for every explorer you need to "pass" on the way. If you can't pay the excess, tough since you can't stop at a passage junction or in a cave that is "full" (where "full" is defined as a number of explorers equal to the number of tiles in the cave, including incomplete caves.)
This covers the "blocking and cave limits" issue you mention too.

First, let me reiterate that I really don't want to include the rules for blocking / passing right now. Let's just create the basic system and then we can add to it later if necessary.

Next, I am not totally sold on paying an AP to pass through a junction. Let me give you an example why:

Say we have two nearly identical game set ups: Both have two caves seperated by a passageway that is three tiles long. In game A the two caves are connected by one continious passageway (I.E. no intersections). In game B, let's say that the two caves are connected by the same passageway, but instead let's say that each of the three tiles is a 'junction' tile.

Ok in game A, the cost to go from the first cave to the second is 2 AP. One to go from the first cave to the passageway, and another to go from the passageway to the second cave. Now in game B, I have to pay FOUR AP! One to go from the first cave to the first passageway/junction tile, one more to advance to the 2nd junction tile, another to advance to the third junction and then a fourth to finally move into the second cave. Logically this makes no sense to me. Both caves are of equal distance apart in the same direction so they should be the same cost to reach.

I propose the following movement rules:

Pay 1 AP to enter a cavern from a passageway.
Pay 1 AP to switch from one passageway to another; I.E. switch directions. This basically means if you make a turn to the right or left at an intersection (I.E. you leave the passageway you are on), you pay 1 AP to then travel down that new passageway.

The reasoning behind this rule is that it is/should be much easier to move forward and continue moving forward, but changing directions means you have to stop, turn and then move down that passageway which might take considerable more time. Yes, it's not 100% realistic, but I think it's better than paying 1 AP per junction. Also I forsee that there might be a lot of 'junctions/intersections' between two caverns, even though they might be a short distance apart. I think it might be frustrating for the players to spend all their AP in this manner just to go a short distance.

Quote:

I don't see any problem with limiting searching as long as you specify that a player may only choose to search once in a turn (but may spend extra APs to improve their chances of finding something.)

Are you refering to pay extra APs to draw more cards and then keep the one you want? If so, I again have to say I am completely against that. Depending upon how you would implement pay X to draw Y cards, you would either end up with too many trash cards at the top of the deck (if we used the method of drawing X, taking 1 and replacing the rest on top) or you would have too many worthless cards at the bottom (if we did draw X, take 1 and return the rest to the bottom of the pile). A way to fix this 'stratification' (as I like to call it) is to either discard all cards not chosen by the player or reshuffle the deck afterwards. Either way I'm not a big fan of it. My personal preference is to always give the players the top card of the deck.

What I was referring to in my first post was a method for making it more difficult for players to find things the more a cave is searched. I.E. you increase the AP cost to search everytime the cave is searched. With this method, it will eventually be too costly (read impossible) to search the cave and the players will be forced to move on.

Quote:

I think Equipment has to offer a generic reduction in APs for passing an obstacle. However, I certainly think that not all Equipment will be useful with all obstacles (a pickaxe won't help you across that chasm )

I agree with this completely...

Quote:

As for bookkeeping the chits, I really don't see that as a problem. If they also double as VP markers, then players will collect most of them during the game with scoring at the end. Although it's difficult to visualise that without seeing it in action.

I think it's going to get ugly with the amount of chits sitting around. I have an idea of how to clean this up but I still haven't fully weighed all the implications. I will post it as soon as I have thought it through more.

All for now.
-Darke

Scurra
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Assumptions & Issues: Take 2

Junctions: This may be a case in which we are never going to agree.
And it all depends on the tilemix we end up using - if there are a lot more passages with junctions, then situations like you describe are more likely to occur. OTOH your "change directions" solution is very neat and certainly not particularly complicated to include.

As for the "blocking/passing" being something that can be added later, here I really do have to disagree - I think something has to be defined at this point, even if it is only to say "you can't" :) Again, I think this is because it could play a key role in some players' approaches to the game.

Searching: Likewise, I can see how it would be nice to make searching more and more expensive, but I simply can't see a simple mechanic for monitoring that. As for drawing extra cards, I certainly don't advocate a "put the surplus back on the top or the bottom"; a discard mechanic is much better all round, if only because it lets the other players see what has gone. Reshuffling discards shouldn't be a problem (especially if the "game-end" solution is to put a trigger card near the bottom of the deck anyway.)
I don't think people would be able to afford to draw more than a couple of cards anyway if you price it right (1 card 1AP, 2 cards 3APs, 3 cards 6 APs etc.) so I think this should always be an option.

Chits bookkeeping: The original proposal I made was that there would be a number of VP markers for each player (in different colours) and a set of paired chits for each "discovery" that could potentially exist in the cave.
When a "discovery" was made (by being drawn from the bag), the player making the discovery would place that chit on the board and the matching chit in front of them. They would also take a set of VPs (one of each colour for each player) and stack them under the Discovery chit.
Whenever another player came into the cave with that discovery, they could claim their VP marker from that stack. (Hence a player could never score twice for the same discovery.)

At the end of the game, a player scored for the number of VPs of their colour in front of them, plus any discovery chits (thus a discovery would score 2VPs for the finding player since they score 1 for the chit and 1 for the VP marker - it may be possible to increase this bonus if it proves necessary.) If you want to play the "secrecy" version, a player might also score for each VP of another player that was still in the discovery stack.
Some obstacles would be treated as discoveries but need to be passed as well.
Some obstacles would be single chits placed on the board. When passed, they would be removed and placed in front of the passing player and score as per discovery chits at the end of the game.

This way you only need a bunch of generic VP markers for the players plus two chits for each Discovery/Obstacle, which wouldn't be excessive.

It also allows the possibility of players using VPs as "currency" (as was suggested elsewhere) so that they could buy extra equipment. However, this may start to get complicated.

doho123
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Assumptions & Issues: Take 2

I was bored and created a searchchit set:

http://home.comcast.net/~doho123/games/spelunker/searchchits.pdf

Basically, each obstacle has a difficulty number which a player must pay to defeat that obstacle. The chit also includes the name of equipment that can be used to lower the AP payment.

Quote:
Tiles: I prefer FL's tiles - the range seems more useful, although they a little close to the Carcassonne tileset for comfort. Doho's tiles don't seem to offer enough variety. (OTOH I like the hole in the floor idea!)

Discounting the Carcassonne comparison, which shouldn't be a factor in deciding what the tiles are: The FL tile set is a list of all possible combinations of edges regarding caves/paths/rockwalls. WHile this may provide variety, any tile that includes a rock wall for a side not important to the game, and will decidedly hamper connecting individual cave systems, which, ultimately is what the players will be doing. I just took a subset of those tiles that include path/cave edges, which is really all we need.

Quote:
Pay 1 AP to enter a cavern from a passageway.
Pay 1 AP to switch from one passageway to another; I.E. switch directions. This basically means if you make a turn to the right or left at an intersection (I.E. you leave the passageway you are on), you pay 1 AP to then travel down that new passageway.

Adding direction is probably a bad idea. I would suggest that junction points aren't considered a space for a player to land on at all; players are either always on a path, or in a cave. So you don't really pay for a junction, but you do pay for entering a new path.

Quote:
Ok in game A, the cost to go from the first cave to the second is 2 AP. One to go from the first cave to the passageway, and another to go from the passageway to the second cave. Now in game B, I have to pay FOUR AP! One to go from the first cave to the first passageway/junction tile, one more to advance to the 2nd junction tile, another to advance to the third junction and then a fourth to finally move into the second cave. Logically this makes no sense to me. Both caves are of equal distance apart in the same direction so they should be the same cost to reach.

So in the example above, you would only pay 3 to move from CAVE->PATH->PATH->CAVE. While you might be paying an extra AP to do this, that will be more than made up by the flexiiblity to move to other caves easily.

Scurra
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Assumptions & Issues: Take 2

Not a bad range of obstacles (apart from the Mole Men, obviously :))
Aren't they a little large though? If they can be encountered in the same way as discoveries, they need to be the same size. I can understand why they would need to be large (to contain all the information) but perhaps not that large..?

doho123
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Assumptions & Issues: Take 2

Quote:
Not a bad range of obstacles (apart from the Mole Men, obviously )
Aren't they a little large though? If they can be encountered in the same way as discoveries, they need to be the same size. I can understand why they would need to be large (to contain all the information) but perhaps not that large..?

Well, I'm still operating under the assumption that defeating an obstacle awards you a/many discovery card(s). Whereas as the search chits would be placed on the 'board' itself (and they probably are a little too big for that), the discovery cards would just be something in your hand.

Anyway, I pretty quickly ran out of the obstacle ideas. I also figured that the obstacles would help define what kind of equipment was needed, so I started there. Any other obstacle you want to add?

Scurra
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Assumptions & Issues: Take 2

doho123 wrote:

Well, I'm still operating under the assumption that defeating an obstacle awards you a/many discovery card(s). Whereas as the search chits would be placed on the 'board' itself (and they probably are a little too big for that), the discovery cards would just be something in your hand.

This is going to have to be addressed urgently since it's clear that two of us at least still have completely different understandings of the terms "Discovery" "Obstacle" and "Search" - which, given how central they are to this game, might be a problem!
A separate thread might be necessary for that.

Quote:
I pretty quickly ran out of the obstacle ideas. I also figured that the obstacles would help define what kind of equipment was needed, so I started there. Any other obstacle you want to add?

I couldn't think of many other things that would be that much of a problem in caving that wouldn't require a specific specialist piece of equipment to pass - which is what I liked about your collection, since they covered a decent range of different things without having a length equipment list. Perhaps something that could use a ladder or a pickaxe? :)

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Replies

Quote:

As for the "blocking/passing" being something that can be added later, here I really do have to disagree - I think something has to be defined at this point, even if it is only to say "you can't" Again, I think this is because it could play a key role in some players' approaches to the game.

I'm not saying we won't include these rules in the game, what I'm saying is I think we need to define standard movement and other things first, make sure they all 'mesh properly', then we can come back and decide if and how we are going to implement these rules. Obviously we need to decide these things before the game can be played, but I think it's best to get a better feel for the rest of the game before deciding upon these things.

Quote:

Searching: Likewise, I can see how it would be nice to make searching more and more expensive, but I simply can't see a simple mechanic for monitoring that. As for drawing extra cards, I certainly don't advocate a "put the surplus back on the top or the bottom"; a discard mechanic is much better all round, if only because it lets the other players see what has gone. Reshuffling discards shouldn't be a problem (especially if the "game-end" solution is to put a trigger card near the bottom of the deck anyway.)
I don't think people would be able to afford to draw more than a couple of cards anyway if you price it right (1 card 1AP, 2 cards 3APs, 3 cards 6 APs etc.) so I think this should always be an option.

This is one of the ways I envisioned doing this:
We could use search chits.... A chit could have would have a number on it.. The number corresponds to the action point cost to search it.
So when a cave is completed you immediately put a 1 AP search chit... After someone searches you put a 2 AP search hit, then a 4 AP search chit, etc. Now I can already see where this would be tedious...

Possibly another solution is to put a search chit on each cave tile that comprises a completed cavern. Each time you search, you remove a search chit from one of the caverns. The cost to search would be the # of removed chits from the completed cavern. For example, say I complete a 5 tile cavern. I put one chit on each cave tile (5 total). I then choose to search the cavern, so I remove a search chit, note that there are 1 removed chits, pay my 1 AP and draw a card from the search deck. We could also do this exponentially so that the first search costs 1, the second costs 2, the third cost 4, etc. With this method, I don't forsee it being possible to search more than three times unless we have a piece of equipment that aids in searching (torch, flashlight, infrared goggles, etc). Actually I prefer this second solution. It might not be perfect but I think it works.

Quote:

Quote:

Pay 1 AP to enter a cavern from a passageway.
Pay 1 AP to switch from one passageway to another; I.E. switch directions. This basically means if you make a turn to the right or left at an intersection (I.E. you leave the passageway you are on), you pay 1 AP to then travel down that new passageway.

Adding direction is probably a bad idea. I would suggest that junction points aren't considered a space for a player to land on at all; players are either always on a path, or in a cave. So you don't really pay for a junction, but you do pay for entering a new path.

I think you don't understand what I was saying because it appears we are saying the same thing, but using different wording.

Quote:

So in the example above, you would only pay 3 to move from CAVE->PATH->PATH->CAVE. While you might be paying an extra AP to do this, that will be more than made up by the flexiiblity to move to other caves easily.

Right here you lost me. I don't see how you get 3 AP.. It should only be two per your reasoning.. Perhaps you aren't visualizing my example the same way I was..

Quote:

Discounting the Carcassonne comparison, which shouldn't be a factor in deciding what the tiles are: The FL tile set is a list of all possible combinations of edges regarding caves/paths/rockwalls. WHile this may provide variety, any tile that includes a rock wall for a side not important to the game, and will decidedly hamper connecting individual cave systems, which, ultimately is what the players will be doing. I just took a subset of those tiles that include path/cave edges, which is really all we need.

Also this paragraph completely escapes me. Can you explain it further? I think maybe what you are saying is that we shouldn't worry about the solid rock sections of the cave? THe only thing that should be defined on the tiles is cave area and passage area?

Quote:

doho123 wrote:

Well, I'm still operating under the assumption that defeating an obstacle awards you a/many discovery card(s). Whereas as the search chits would be placed on the 'board' itself (and they probably are a little too big for that), the discovery cards would just be something in your hand.

This is going to have to be addressed urgently since it's clear that two of us at least still have completely different understandings of the terms "Discovery" "Obstacle" and "Search" - which, given how central they are to this game, might be a problem!
A separate thread might be necessary for that.

Basically the way we have been leaning towards is this:

Obstacles / Discoveries reside on a cave tile OR a cave system. In order to 'document' (score) the discovery, you have to overcome any obstacle present. These will either be seperate chits OR combined into one chit.

Searching is done probably only when caves have been completed. The general consensus is you pay the AP cost to search and then draw your card(s), depending upon how we decide it will work.

The 'OR's above are because we have decided which of the two options we are going with.

OK one last thing:

Quote:

Chits bookkeeping: The original proposal I made was that there would be a number of VP markers for each player (in different colours) and a set of paired chits for each "discovery" that could potentially exist in the cave.
When a "discovery" was made (by being drawn from the bag), the player making the discovery would place that chit on the board and the matching chit in front of them. They would also take a set of VPs (one of each colour for each player) and stack them under the Discovery chit.
Whenever another player came into the cave with that discovery, they could claim their VP marker from that stack. (Hence a player could never score twice for the same discovery.)

At the end of the game, a player scored for the number of VPs of their colour in front of them, plus any discovery chits (thus a discovery would score 2VPs for the finding player since they score 1 for the chit and 1 for the VP marker - it may be possible to increase this bonus if it proves necessary.) If you want to play the "secrecy" version, a player might also score for each VP of another player that was still in the discovery stack.
Some obstacles would be treated as discoveries but need to be passed as well.
Some obstacles would be single chits placed on the board. When passed, they would be removed and placed in front of the passing player and score as per discovery chits at the end of the game.

This way you only need a bunch of generic VP markers for the players plus two chits for each Discovery/Obstacle, which wouldn't be excessive.

I like this and completely agree with it. My only concern is that it might be better to put your marker on the tile once you've scored it rather than removing it once you scored it. This might POSSIBLY mean less chits laying on the board, but only if the game leans more toward players going out on there own rather than hanging out in the same areas as the other players. Of course, then you would also need some sort of VP track to keep track of players scores everytime (since you wouldn't then have the luxury of keeping score with the markers in front of you like you suggested).

Ok that's all for now... Shew!
-Darke

doho123
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Assumptions & Issues: Take 2

Quote:
So in the example above, you would only pay 3 to move from CAVE->PATH->PATH->CAVE. While you might be paying an extra AP to do this, that will be more than made up by the flexiiblity to move to other caves easily.

Right here you lost me. I don't see how you get 3 AP.. It should only be two per your reasoning.. Perhaps you aren't visualizing my example the same way I was..

You start in a cave.
1 AP to move on to a path
1 AP to move to the second path that is divided by the junction
1 AP to move into the new cave
=3 AP

So, anytime you move into a new area is 1 AP. A new area is defined as a new cave, or a new path (whether it is divided by a cave or a junction).

Quote:
Can you explain it further? I think maybe what you are saying is that we shouldn't worry about the solid rock sections of the cave? THe only thing that should be defined on the tiles is cave area and passage area?

Correct. We run into this kind of thing a lot at work. Let's do all this cool fluff that eventually get removed later in the game because it doesn't help support the base structure of the game.

phpbbadmin
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Still confused...

OK here is the example I described in my earlier post:

The way I'm proposing is that it only takes 2 AP to traverse from the right cave to the left cave (or vice versa). 1 AP to enter the passageway from the cavern, and then another 1 AP to enter the cavern from the passageway

In this example:

It would cost 3 AP to travel from from the left cave to the bottom cave: 1 AP to enter the passageway and then move to the junction, 1 AP to leave the junction and enter the southern passageway, and 1 AP to enter the southern cavern. Are we on the same page with this?

-Darke

sedjtroll
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Re: Still confused...

Darkehorse wrote:

In this example:

It would cost 3 AP to travel from from the left cave to the bottom cave: 1 AP to enter the passageway and then move to the junction, 1 AP to leave the junction and enter the southern passageway, and 1 AP to enter the southern cavern. Are we on the same page with this?

I'd agree with that, but I'd say it like this.... just call the PASSAGEWAY the "space" (like the typical space on a game board), not the junction. By the way, this also means it would cost 3AP (assuming it's in fact 1AP per step) to get from the left cave to the right cave. 1AP to move from cavern to passageA (left of junction), 1AP to move to passageB (right of junction), and 1AP to move into the third cavern.

Note, the other junctions don't count because they are not "completed passageways"- any 2 nodes (Junctions and cave entrances would be nodes- in case that isn't clear) define a space where your dude can stand.

Does that make sense?

- Seth

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