# Action and resources

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larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008

I am having trouble finding an elegant mechanics for an action system. The context is simple:

Players will own cities using double sided marker. Each city could have a resource value, and maybe a bonus value for certain type of actions. For example a city could have 4 resource + 3 for production actions. Players gain 1 action per city, they flip the city token to mark it's used.

Method A: Now one way to do this is if a player want to use a build fleet action. I could compare to a fixed value like 6, and if the resources exceed 6 he is am allowed to produce a fleet in that city. Since Build Fleet is a production action, that would give a value of 4+3=7, 7 is greater than 6 so the action is allowed.

Now the problem with such mechanics is that

- Some cities could end up beign capable of doing only the same action.
- There is no interest in granularity, having 6 or 7 resource gives the same results. So why no simply remove values and state which city can do which action.

Method B: An alternate solution is to add randomness. For example roll 1 die + resource value.

- The problem is that some actions could never occur. You flip a city, make a roll, fail then lose your action.

Method C: Possible solution, roll dices in advance and assign them to cities. Like rolling a pool of 1 die per city and assign one die to each city

- Problem is that I now need 1 die available for each city. Maybe with small dice it could be more convenient and cheaper.
- Depnds on the number of cities on the map, is the amount is relatively low, it should not be much of an issue.

Method D: Another solution, roll 1 die + resource, but optionally pay the difference with gold for example.

- So not all actions will be cancelled, you need to evaluate the odds and the cost.
- Possibility of a missed action, but maybe missing an action gives you compensation (ex: get more gold)

I might also include warfare in that action resolution system (ex: defender is a target number). I am open to changing how the map's resource system is designed.

I was wondering if you had other ideas or If you have seen other games with similar mechanics let me know.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
I'm not sure I understand everything but...

I had another option concerning "rolling dice". What about using CUSTOM dice according to various TYPES of "locations" (not just cities). They could revolve around various classes of "Adventurers" (like A Magical Tower — Magicians/Green, A Capital City/White — Fighters, A Monastery/Blue — Clerics, etc).

Each pool of locations has their OWN "color" and "customized" dice with the actions available to each type of "location".

Locations (if you have a card for them with some stats) can specify the number of dice used. For example: The Tower of Razgard = 5 Green dice vs. The Temple of Shylo = 3 Green dice. Both are "Magical locations" and therefore use the SAME "Green" dice but the quantity varies per location such that larger locations have more dice.

Could there be an element of "conquering" a "location" prior to occupying it???

I don't know if any of this helps. I just was thinking that custom pooled dice combined with a color-coded by "location" might be another option (or sort of match one you already envisioned).

Cheers Eric.

Note: How you handle MULTIPLES of one action could mean that certain abilities can be triggered if you have enough of ONE Symbol on the custom dice. Like "3" Potions from a Monastery (Blue) would heal a Hero by 3 Health Points. Or think of other magnitude of options how they may be applied in multiples.

Again I don't know if any of this relates or not... Just sharing some ideas ...

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
shared effort, no dice.

What if your cities can work together on things?
6 is in the same city. 7 could mean that you could spend this 1 point on another city.

Edit:
If you don't like the idea of having that 1 point getting to another city. How about a penalty for each point by 1 point?

If you have a 5 point city and 2 7 point cities. You can put 2 points together and thus add 1 point to the 5 point city. This way you can get 3 6 point cities.

Also, if you have cities that only have 1 or 2 points. These could all work together to get that one city getting just enough points for whatever the player is planning.

kos
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Joined: 01/17/2011
Production value as a discount, not a limit

Larienna,

In your post you mention using another resource (gold) to pay the difference.

This mechanic would overcome most of the problems you pose, especially if you set the balance so that the resource values are typically less than the cost of the actions you want to do.

Eg.
Building a fleet costs 6.
City A has production 2, so it costs 4 gold to build a fleet.
City B has production 5, so it costs 1 gold to build a fleet.

Under this version, the Production value is a discount not a limit.

Regards,
kos

Slide
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Joined: 06/14/2016
good idea

building on this idea perhaps you could assign a gold value to a city before declaring actions, increasing the risk factor associated with investing in a venture (building a fleet) before it can be accomplished.
players will then reveal their intentions by, in essence, betting on a certain city to accomplish a goal for which it was specifically designed.
example, player 1 funds cities a, b and c. a with 5, b with 3, c with none.
city a is a fleet building powerhouse so it is clear to all players you want to build a fleet.
this can be used as a distractionfex for the more subtle players or as shock and awe by more brash players.
just thoughts.

Slide
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Joined: 06/14/2016
good idea

building on this idea perhaps you could assign a gold value to a city before declaring actions, increasing the risk factor associated with investing in a venture (building a fleet) before it can be accomplished.
players will then reveal their intentions by, in essence, betting on a certain city to accomplish a goal for which it was specifically designed.
example, player 1 funds cities a, b and c. a with 5, b with 3, c with none.
city a is a fleet building powerhouse so it is clear to all players you want to build a fleet.
this can be used as a distractionfex for the more subtle players or as shock and awe by more brash players.
just thoughts.

Slide
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Joined: 06/14/2016
sorry for double post. its my

sorry for double post. its my first one

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Sorry for my late reply, my

Sorry for my late reply, my attention went to BGG and I forgot this thread

Quote:
I had another option concerning "rolling dice".

I like your idea, but more for an adventure RPG. After some debating on bgg, rolling dices for actions is not really a good idea.

Quote:
What if your cities can work together on things?

Well there is a similar notion I want to use. Each city will have a base production value and a trade value. The trade value can be stolen by adjacent opponent's city if he gains economic influence over the city.

But now that you suggested that idea of combining cities, I could slightly change my view on this idea where there are 2 tokens (or token + meeple) in each city that can be flipped for it's value. One token for production value and one for the trade value. Allowing player to flip their trade value for adjacent cities instead of their own cities.

That could allow a limited work together and allow opponents stealing trade values. And it will not be a mess to keep track of how much points are left.

Quote:
Under this version, the Production value is a discount not a limit.

True, it's another way of seeing things. Still if I could find a way for not having to use gold, it would be better.

I am thinking in making the civ territorial aspect of the game entirely decentralised while making the Magic Covenant aspect of the game completely centralised. Creating a form of assymetry in a player's gameplay.

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Another interesting idea that was suggested on bgg is Time. Players could place their city in focus mode in order to double the production or trade value of the next action next turn. A bit like in the civ video game where larger buildings takes more time to produce.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
By thinking about it, I came

By thinking about it, I came up with the idea that to avoid comparing against a fixed Target Number, comparison could take place against an opponent so that each point is worth it's value.

But I would need to convert all actions as conflicting actions, which could be an interesting idea for a 2 player game.

For example, I want to build a fleet, the opposing player will determine the Target number to exceed according to his resources, influence and if he decies to "tap" cities to increase the difficulty.

That could be represented by the fact that your opponent inflence some people or send saboteurs to hinder your fleet contruction.

That could lead to very interesting mechanism of influence.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Wrenches in the works

There are a few different ways this could go, any of which may or may not blend with your other mechanics.

1. The most straightforward is that there is a default Target Number, and the opponent can tap some resources to influence that number.

2. There could be some sort of build-points accumulation (sort of like Civilization), and an opponent could use a sabotage action to destroy some of those points.

3. There could be some kind of resource dice, with an action requiring a certain number of N different symbols. Different kinds of cities can employ different color/type dice (with a helper city only able to pick one of its potential dice?). There can be a distinct "sabotage color", or sabotage can only use the wildcard symbol that exists on every die anyway. Some colors might have more of those wildcards than others (perhaps those with a techie or cultural flair), so some cities would be better at sabotage.

The big decision is when do these opponent cities get untapped? Do you need to conserve some cities in case you want to use them for sabotage... or can you use any city you want at the cost of not having it on your next turn?

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:The big decision is

Quote:
The big decision is when do these opponent cities get untapped? Do you need to conserve some cities in case you want to use them for sabotage... or can you use any city you want at the cost of not having it on your next turn?

This is why I am more thinking that the opponent has passive opposition rather than active opposition where each player can "bid" resource until they stop. It's much faster when the opponent is responsible for the opposition, but cannot actively counter an opponent's action.

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Another idea that came to my mind is by blending both centralised and decentralised mechanics together and use a worker placement system instead.

Instead of tapping cities you will be assiging workers from a pool of workers. Those workers could do localised action on the map, or centralised actions on the dashboard.

The map actions will therefore have multiplicity: You can attack multiple targets, while actions done at home would have little or no multiplicity (ex: You can only research 1 ability card per turn, but placing more workers gives you more choice.)

Instead of spending time, you would spend workers to multiply your production value. Possibly resource would be harvested at the beginning of the round and then spent during the turn. So all actions would possibly get done, but to various degree of strength due to the amount of worker placed.

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The problem with such system, as all those games that mix up centralised and decentralised mechanism, is that players might reach a point where they cannot expand further or cannot be anihilated further. Leading to stalemate or non finishable games.

In late game, 2 empire with the same pool of workers but with different empire size, will have either an empire to large to handle or small empire will build an impenetrable defense with it's too many workers.

The only difference in my game is that it's a 2 player game, therefore players cannot gang up on the leader. Second, the syndrome above might be beneficial for a 2 player game because you want the losing player to have some hope that he can actually succeed.

So I find the idea elegant but scare about the game balance.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Active Passivity

The sabotage/opposition action could simply be unrelated to whether a city (or other resource) is tapped. You get X opposition points/dice per turn, or one per Y cities, or one for each Z that you build, etc.

The nice thing about a two-player game is never having to say you're sorry... there's only one opponent, and no one is going to think you're being mean by acting against that one opponent. In a multi-player game, especially before a real leader has emerged, there can be a huge hesitation to making the first "offensive" move.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008

Quote:
The nice thing about a two-player game is never having to say you're sorry

Interesting, did not see it this way.

Per personal reason is that I could get more depth and detail with 2 player since the game plays faster. They are also certain components or mechanics which are simpler to use. For example, you could have double sided token with the player's color on each side and flip when needed. In multiplayer games, each player will need their own tokens.

On the other hand, 2 players games does not have a third player to rebalance the game if it goes one sided. The losing player must think that he could still win the game, else he will simply abandon. One way to do that is to compete on multiple front at once.

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As for the game idea above, I kind of like the worker placement (strangely). But I think I'll need 2 sets of actions: decentralised(cities), centralised(workers).

Cities action will basically: Expand military, expand influence, attack wilderness, harvest resources.

Worker actions will be : Use and control guilds, develop spell(tech), Recruit worker, train worker.

Not sure yet of the order of play. Cities action will have to be done one at a time since it involves direct conflict. Not sure anymore if I'll use values or simply harvest resources first and then use them. The resources will probably be: Production, Social, Knowledge.

For the worker placement, I think each player could put their worker at the same time except maybe for guild control. I like simultaneous play as it speed up the game, so I'll see what I can do.

Themathically, I'll overlap the Civ and Magic theme. The wizards(worker) will be like nobles and be able to do other action than simply magic.

As for armies and fleets on the board. Still not sure, one idea is to use workers in the pool and place them on the board. So more worker on the map gives less workers at home. Which could be a good counter balance for small vs large empire.

But probably player elimination will not be a valid victory condition.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Worker actions vary by city

One possibility is that maybe certain cities have only certain worker actions available. It also sounds like wizards might be a second kind of worker.

If you want a rondel-style mechanic, you can limit how far a worker can move each turn. This makes one turn's actions place some limits on the next turn's.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:If you want a

Quote:
If you want a rondel-style mechanic, you can limit how far a worker can move each turn. This makes one turn's actions place some limits on the next turn's.

What do you mean exactly by Rondel Style?

I took a look at Antike pictures and the pieces layout on the map could be similar to mine.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
What I understood from "Rondel Style"

larienna wrote:
What do you mean exactly by Rondel Style?

I think what he means is that say on turn #1 your worker can move 3 places, next you move the rondel down and on turn #2 that same worker can only move 2 places... And then 1 place on turn #3. If you skip a turn (don't move) the rondel can go UP one... (for example).

I'm not 100% certain... But I think this is what "Rondel Style" is about.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Rondel-style, not necessarily a rondel

By rondel-style, I simply meant that configuring yourself for an action this turn somehow limits your options in the next turn. This is implicit in most games that have any sense of location, but L might have been considering a case where you can distribute your worker pawns anywhere in your territory every turn.

If not, then I apologize for bringing in confusing terminology to address a non-problem.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Oh! OK so it could be like a

Oh! OK so it could be like a tree of actions. Branch A has action A1 A2 A3, while branch B as action B1 and B2. So you might say, I'll take action A, so that next turn I'll take action A3.

The problem with 1 location = 1 action is that a place could have zero access to a specific action.

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Anyways, it seems I am stuck again. It's always the same history that repeat itself: 1.got some new ideas, 2.work to develop those ideas, 3. hit another wall again, 4. Wait another 3 month for new ideas to come in.

If it this ideas was a video game, it would have been already finished. I can't wait to start making turn based strategy video games.

Anyways, thanks again for the help, I did end up make some progress on the idea.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Choices, choices...

I was actually envisioning something like three Worker action choices per city, two Wizard action choices, and one "reaction" (sabotage) each. A given Worker or Wizard can move to, say, any adjacent city for free, or two cities but have no action this turn.

The limitation on next turn's actions come from the need to move from one city to another to get things done. Taking two actions in the same city would require having two pawns there of the appropriate types.

The odds that these examples fit in with your mechanics and theme are about zero, but to illustrate:

Azure City
Worker actions: Harvest Fish, Build Fleet, Recruit Infantry
Worker reactions: Sabotage Build Action
Wizard actions: Harvest Mana, Enchant Summoning Circle
Wizard reactions: Sabotage Recruit Action

Crimson City
Worker actions: Harvest Spice, Recruit Infantry, Recruit Cavalry
Worker reactions: Sabotage Build Action
Wizard actions: Harvest Herbs, Enchant Healing Potion
Wizard reactions: Sabotage Enchant Action

Ochre City
Worker actions: Harvest Wood, Harvest Gems, Build Siege Engine
Worker reactions: Sabotage Harvest Action
Wizard actions: Harvest Mana, Enchant Strength Potion
Wizard reactions: Sabotage Enchant Action

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I see your point. I actually

I see your point. I actually like the mechanics, but not really for my game. Maybe another game.

The idea is do you want to do actions your might not like now, or wait to get something better.

By thinking about it, it would work great in a game like starwars rebellion. It reminds me of a an variant idea I had where leaders remained on the board and could move 1 space with troops or 2 spaces alone.

In fact, that could be an awesome idea for star wars rebellion. I would need action tokens on the board instead of cards, that would represent some kind of opportunity to make diplomacy, steal information, sabotage.

That would work well for the rebels, but I am not sure for the empire. Maybe the empire is responsible for which tokens gets placed on the board. While the rebels are responsible for picking them up.

Anyways, thanks for the idea.