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7 Actions and 3 Formulas

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JB
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Joined: 02/06/2009

I've been trying to make a game complex enough to keep a typical gamer interested, and simple enough that any intelligent person can pick it up without too much difficulty. Each turn, players have the choice of seven different actions, including three with dice formulas. I include these on a quick referance card. Still I'm afraid it might be intimidating. If any of you brilliant folks could take a look and give me a read, I would apreciate it.

My rules and some example cards can be found here:
http://www.bgdf.com/node/1151

Thanks in advance.

Mitchell Allen
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Joined: 08/09/2008
Rise of the Chieftain: First Thoughts

After reading the rules, I don't find them intimidating at all, compared to Axis and Allies, for example :).

It seems like new players can jump right in. I personally enjoy the discovery aspect of these types of games, so the fact that the rules are not exhaustive is a good thing.

I suspect that the balancing of the cards and the dice encounters will make this game either dynamic and exciting or predictable and dull.

Will it ever be possible for the "prissy fowl" faction to win?
Will the modules have to be balanced against each other individually, or do you expect the mixture of three or more modules to add to the possibilities?

Will there be a sequel? (something on that last page about "...unless there's an uprising.")

Cheers,

Mitch

JB
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Joined: 02/06/2009
Prissy Fowl for the win

Thank you so much for looking it over. I'm so grateful to have an objective eye on it.

Actually, after my last solo playtest it seems like Loyalty is very important. So drums, dance, and spots are at least as powerful as a good bite.

As far as Balance, I'm using little 'cheats' to make it pretty easy. First of all, everyone has access to the same cards. If your friend brings a new module, you just shuffle it in. Second, it's alarmingly easy to take cards if you're determined to. I still have to adjust the power of cards from time to time, but so far it's always been powering up cards that turned out weak. The generalist strategy seems to be best, but that is punished ruthlessly by negative mental stat mods.

A sequel, I've thought about one. Taking the next step to city states, making it a little bloodier, and more squad oriented. Really that remark at the end it part of the tone of the game. The game is kinda aimed at poking fun at the whole concept of society by watching these rabbitoids squable over dominance.

Again, thanks so much.

coco
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Joined: 07/27/2008
player is out of the game

The rulebook says:

'If you succeed, the other player is out of the game.'

Players leaving the game before it ends is usually a bad thing. In my opinion you should keep all the players playing until the very end.

Just an opinion.

Control Group
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Joined: 03/19/2009
coco wrote:The rulebook

coco wrote:
The rulebook says:

'If you succeed, the other player is out of the game.'

Players leaving the game before it ends is usually a bad thing. In my opinion you should keep all the players playing until the very end.

Just an opinion.


I think that depends on game duration. If the game is a multi-hour affair, then early elimination is a problem. But elimination can be a legitimate mechanic - and is, in fact, preferable to being put in a position where I'm still playing, but have become unable to win and/or largely irrelevant to the outcome. In those cases, playing becomes a chore; something I have to keep doing simply so as to not ruin the game for everyone else. I'd rather not have that hassle, and be able to sit back and watch, or go do something else while the game plays out.

Ideally, a game featuring player elimination should be designed such that once eliminations begin, the game wraps up reasonably quickly after that.

derekjinx
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Joined: 08/10/2008
Player elimination

I second the opinion that player elimination is not always bad. I find that a Euro attitude towards gaming. When I play In the Year of the Dragon or Agricola (and I've made 1 mistake), I'm watching the seconds tick off the wall clock waiting for the runaway leaders to think out their turns. The game becomes agonizing to sit through at that point.

Length of game is the focus. As does playing well. If I lose by three victory points in Agricola or get wiped off the map in Risk 2210 it's still bitter defeat. At least if I'm playing badly and get eliminated I can watch and learn what I did wrong, observe my opponents strategies and tendencies, or go get something to eat and prep the next game.

What could the eliminated players be doing game mechanics wise to still be involved in the game? Is that a possibility?

JB
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Joined: 02/06/2009
Winning conditions

The way to win is one of the things still very much in flux. I also generally don't like eliminations. For many versions, it was simply getting a certian number of Lackeys. The problem with it was my game is built on instability. So, there were situations where people won accidentally, which just dosen't feel good. If I increased the number of Lackeys needed, the game simply lasted forever.

So, I need something that takes deliberate action, and rewards you for gaining a large following of Lackeys. The Marginalization system is what I came up with, but I'm open to ideas.

One thing that might be thematic, is to build a team. Instead of Marginalizing someone you can recruit them as a sub-boss. I'm kinda nervous about going this way tho, because I'm not sure the sub-boss will be motivated to help the boss become Cheiftian. I'm not sure people will take secondary winning conditions seriously. If I think about that a while, I might be able to work out something that doesn't add a page of rules.

Another option is some sort of time bomb. You're not sure when the game will end and the Lackeys will be counted, but that seems a little too random to feel right.

So this is something I'm looking at.

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Consider your game-end trigger options.

JB wrote:
Another option is some sort of time bomb. You're not sure when the game will end and the Lackeys will be counted, but that seems a little too random to feel right.
When I use this mechanic, I find it works best if there's a set number of normal rounds. When the normal rounds run out, there's a special "game ending" criteria. This could be random (Roll a die. On a one, the game ends.), player-triggered ("My next turn will be my last turn."), or game-triggered (If there are seven or more squid in play, the game ends.).

My point? You can adjust how random it feels by changing the trigger and still keep the, "I don't know which turn will be the last turn," feeling.

Imagine a timer pool that depletes from 14 to zero as the game progresses. At the end of each turn, you roll a six-sided die. If the result is greater than the timer pool, the game ends. You know that you have at least nine turns. After that, you know that the game becomes more and more likely to end. You also know that you won't have more than 14 turns. Now consider the fun to be had with giving players the ability to mess around with the timer pool, the result of the die roll, or the number of sides on the die.

Sorry... Went down a little rabbit hole, there.

JB
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Joined: 02/06/2009
Population

No, no, thanks for the full discusion on the subject. I did some research on early government; (go go power wikipedia!) It seems the important thing for the formation of hierarchy is population. Heck we can even see this today. A small group of friends will likely be leaderless, but any group of 20 or more will have at least a defacto orginiser. Anyway, I'm thinking about replacing my event cards with population cards and link population not only to the end of the game but the availability of tools. I only have a vauge idea at the moment, but thanks so much for the input.

Mitchell Allen
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Joined: 08/09/2008
Ways to End It All

I'm particularly fond of the computer game Alpha Centauri. There are several ways to win that are possibly in line with your theme:

Military Domination, Economic Domination, Cooperative Victory and Transcendence

The first two are obvious. Cooperative victory might take the form of entropy or symbiosis: each faction has enough room to grow and enough resources with which to survive (symbiotic transference of surplus?). Transcendence could be some sort of kum-bi-ya scenario, where the factions merge as one, recognizing the big picture :)

Cheers,

Mitch

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