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Betting on the outcome (repost from BGG)

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PantsCommander
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Joined: 01/30/2014

Working on a worker-placement style game set during the 1950s. The central theme is families stocking up for when "the bomb" drops. What I've been toying with is making it uncertain if the bomb will, in fact, drop, making the entire game basically a long bet against an outcome that the players have no effect on. Have any other games tried this? In a sense it might seem unfair to have a player's plans completely invalidated by a simple card flip, but I think that can be mitigated by creative scoring.

bmrust
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Joined: 09/12/2013
PantsCommander wrote: it

PantsCommander wrote:
it might seem unfair to have a player's plans completely invalidated by a simple card flip

Pandemic summed up in one sentence... :)

If I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like they need to prepare as much as possible before the bomb, with some kind of "that's enough, you win" mechanic built in. Is that right?

I don't think this is a bad thing. Sounds like a pretty standard race against time. I can't think of any games off the top of my head that use it specifically, though.

I don't know what mechanic you're using now, but what comes to mind to me is shuffling the "bomb" card in with about 25 cards, discarding 5 of those cards, placing them out of play (without looking at them) and putting the remaining 20 cards at the bottom of the deck. This way you know that IF the bomb is in, its late... but it might not even be there at all.

I would like this kind of game, but I prefer games that have a sense of urgency / time constraint.

devaloki
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Joined: 01/15/2014
PantsCommander wrote:Working

PantsCommander wrote:
Working on a worker-placement style game set during the 1950s. The central theme is families stocking up for when "the bomb" drops. What I've been toying with is making it uncertain if the bomb will, in fact, drop, making the entire game basically a long bet against an outcome that the players have no effect on. Have any other games tried this? In a sense it might seem unfair to have a player's plans completely invalidated by a simple card flip, but I think that can be mitigated by creative scoring.

oh man hahaha that's an awesome theme! i'd buy your game, that sounds fun as hell

DifferentName
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Joined: 09/08/2013
Random

It wouldn't be good if the game ended like a coin flip, but some amount of randomness can be very fun. Like bmrust suggested, with the bomb likely somewhere near the end of the deck, but not always there. This way the randomness could be not just if the bomb will drop, but when the bomb will drop.

The idea that the bad thing may not happen at all makes me think of the idea of semi co-op, where there may be a traitor among you, or may not (I'm really looking forward to Dead of Winter). If the bomb could be made to feel like this, more than a complete coin flip, I could see some fun potential with it.

EthosGames
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Joined: 05/05/2014
I know that for me there is

I know that for me there is more tension when I know something bad MIGHT happen then when I know it will happen because if I know it will happen I can let go of hope and resolve to bear it. A chance of their not being a bomb after all is also more true to the historical realities that give this game's theme value for players. I second bmrust's idea for the mechanic as well. It would make things much more interesting. Not a coin toss but a lurking chance that things will turn out alright.

Haha, reminds me of Y2K. :-)

PantsCommander
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Joined: 01/30/2014
Thanks everyone. As for the

Thanks everyone. As for the actual bomb mechanic, I was thinking of cribbing the Corruption mechanic from Relic. If you don't know, each Corruption card has a number on it, and when you draw one you compare it to the number of cards you already have, including the one you just drew. If the card you just drew's number is equal or less than the number of cards, it comes into play face up and bad things generally happen. Otherwise it is played face down and just sits there ready to activate future cards.

What I was thinking was having a series of "alert" cards, say numbered 2-6, and when they are drawn you compare them to the number of alerts already played and so on. By my math a 2-6 spread would give a 55% chance of the bomb dropping by the third card and about a 1 percent chance of it never dropping at all. Obviously the math can be tweaked on this.

bmrust
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Joined: 09/12/2013
Sounds similar to the

Sounds similar to the Betrayal at House on the Hill mechanic. Rolling dice when an Omen card is drawn, and if you roll less than or equal to the total number of Omen cards, then the traitor is revealed.

I like your idea, but (and this is without knowing the size of the deck in question) there's potential there to have a "bad shuffle" and get all of your alert cards to the top. Just something to consider. :)

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