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Cubes or Tokens

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Gabe
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I'm working on a game that has a number of different types of resources. Do you prefer a game that uses cubes to represent the resources or cardboard tokens with icons/art on them? Why?

I like the general elegance of colored, wooden cubes, but I can definitely see the value of using tokens, especially when it comes to theme. Cubes are also a little easier to pick up and move around.

Thoughts?

notwilw
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Depends what kind of

Depends what kind of resources. For example, the Mare Nostrum game that was recently on Kickstarter uses a wide variety of resources, so tokens are kinda better for that.

Meanwhile, if you have just 2-3-4 of them, I think wooden cubes are more awesome. You have listed very good reasons. They really are elegant, but depends on what you use them for. For example, they are awesome for sci-fi resources like fuel, crystals, etc, but might not work well in other context.

The only value I see in tokens over cubes is when you need a specific picture on the token or, as I mentioned, you are to use them for many different resources.

Hope that helps you a bit! If you list further info, I might be more on-point.

P.S. Also, plastic cubes are the worst. Never.

radioactivemouse
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Depends

Cubes are cool, but cardboard tokens are incredibly thematic.

Unfortunately, this is a decision that only you can answer. To me, cubes are ok, but should really be reserved for games that have cube-like resources. You'll also have to worry about cost; do the cubes cost less or does making custom tokens cost less? How much of each will you need?

Whatever you choose, stick to it.

Gabe
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The resources are: Building

The resources are:

Building materials
Sick People
Food
Water
Angry People
Workers
Stories

The game has a blind draw mechanic in which resources are drawn from a bag and added to the board.

I think cost will be about the same for tokens or cubes.

And yes, plastic cubes are garbage unless they're the translucent ones for a space game.

X3M
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As said before, 2-3-4

As said before, 2-3-4 different resources could be cubes. If you have more, you need, pictures/a theme, for players to "understand".
The resources that you have listed, I think require tokens.

radioactivemouse
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1/2?

Gabe wrote:
The resources are:

Building materials
Sick People
Food
Water
Angry People
Workers
Stories

The game has a blind draw mechanic in which resources are drawn from a bag and added to the board.

I think cost will be about the same for tokens or cubes.

And yes, plastic cubes are garbage unless they're the translucent ones for a space game.

To me, it looks like you should do 1/2-1/2. The cubes should be humans in various conditions and the cardboard chits for resources.

Workers: Black
Sick People: Purple
Angry People: Red

The rest should be custom chits. It just seems the best, imo.

adversitygames
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Gabe wrote:The resources

Gabe wrote:
The resources are:

Building materials
Sick People
Food
Water
Angry People
Workers
Stories

The game has a blind draw mechanic in which resources are drawn from a bag and added to the board.

I think cost will be about the same for tokens or cubes.

And yes, plastic cubes are garbage unless they're the translucent ones for a space game.

If they're *all* drawn from a bag they all need to feel the same and all be cubes or tokens. If not just the resources that go in the bag need to be all cubes or all tokens.

I think cubes are better for bag draws particularly, it's easier to shake them around and count them in your hand without looking.

What about tracks vs. tokens/cubes?

I consider tracks for recording amounts of things which are generally very slow to move and that can not be spent like resources. Anything that generally only changes as a consequence of actions (rather than as a cost before an action) and changes rarely is suitable for a track.

I Will Never Gr...
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Gabe wrote:I'm working on a

Gabe wrote:
I'm working on a game that has a number of different types of resources. Do you prefer a game that uses cubes to represent the resources or cardboard tokens with icons/art on them? Why?

I like the general elegance of colored, wooden cubes, but I can definitely see the value of using tokens, especially when it comes to theme. Cubes are also a little easier to pick up and move around.

Thoughts?

I am a fan of cubes, especially for drawing from a bag, however with the list you have given I would probably choose to go with Tokens instead if only for ease of remembering what resource is which (visual representation vs only color).

If it were only 3-4 resources I would totally go the cube route as it's a lot easier to remember what fewer colors represent.

Gabe
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I'm leaning toward using

I'm leaning toward using tokens.

I think having tokens with art will enhance the theme.

Also, is there a big difference between having players draw from a bowl instead of a bag?

adversitygames
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It's easier to draw blind

It's easier to draw blind from a bag

You can easily spill tokens from a bowl while blindly reaching into a bowl

You can't avoid looking at the content of a bowl and so always know the distribution (this may be good or bad, depends on context)

It's easier to include a bag in a box than fit a bowl in. This means it's easier for the player to transport the game and play it at clubs.

And it might sound a little silly, but even requiring the player to add their own bowl for playing the game would irk me a little. I prefer games where everything I need is in the box.

Gabe
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Solid Points

Quote:
It's easier to draw blind from a bag

You can easily spill tokens from a bowl while blindly reaching into a bowl

You can't avoid looking at the content of a bowl and so always know the distribution (this may be good or bad, depends on context)

It's easier to include a bag in a box than fit a bowl in. This means it's easier for the player to transport the game and play it at clubs.

And it might sound a little silly, but even requiring the player to add their own bowl for playing the game would irk me a little. I prefer games where everything I need is in the box.

Solid points.

gilamonster
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If you had one less resource

If you had one less resource (i.e. 6), you could have special dice with a different resource on each side - you roll them, then place the die on the appropriate place on the board. Probably expensive to make the custom dice, though. And you have seven resources, not 6.

Nobody has yet mentioned the possibility of shaped wooden tokens (like in Shem Phillips' North Sea games) - you could use different coloured meeples for the different kinds of people, and wooden cutout shapes for the other ones. As long as all the cutouts had somewhat irregular edges, the players wouldn't necessarily know which they were drawing.

A Round Tuit
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Context?

Gabe wrote:
The resources are:
...
The game has a blind draw mechanic in which resources are drawn from a bag and added to the board.
...

In what way are they added to the board? Like, is the purpose to randomly populate the board (randomize the layout game to game), or do players strategically choose where to place them?
I don't know if it would make any difference but a greater context might influence my answer.
I'd still lean towards tokens to make the function more visually clear.

Gabe
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At the beginning of a round,

At the beginning of a round, resources are drawn and placed on the board to show what is available for that round. Some resources are rarer than others.

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