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Simultaneous Movement

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Taavet
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I am currently designing a game with simultaneous movement.

Basic Overview:
Baby - 3 AP, Small - 4 AP, Med - 5 AP, Large - 6 AP
On the count of one all players use their first AP regardless of size. Resolve actions then count 2, resolve, 3, resolve, 4, resolve, 5, resolve, then finally 6.

Action resolution isn't the problem that I have run into but rather action selection. After finding how other players are acting or seeing the resolution to your action it might have been much more beneficial to use the action in a different way causing the tendancy to cheat: 'Oops I meant to move here and do this' or to just redo the action altogether in the chaos of everyone moving and hope no one notices.

To try and avoid that I created Action Selection Tokens that had to be chosen by everyone before the actions are performed and resolved. This made players commit to an action before carrying it out simultaneously with everyone else. This extra step adds in extra components and extra playtime which isn't totally necessary.

In playtesting a few groups didn't even use the Action Selection Tokens which resulted in some 'cheating' but they still enjoyed it.

I would say the game is light to medium so it isn't super serious to where cheating completely ruins the game but at the same time who likes to play with cheaters?

So, should I keep the Action Selection Tokens to inhibit this behavior or let the players deal with cheating/cheaters? Or is there another more elegant solution all together?

hoywolf
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Keep the Token

I suggest keeping and enforcing your token system, a game is more fun when there are no cheaters or ways to cheat involved. It would be a waste of your players time if they worked to play out their strategy just to have someone cheat and take a win.

I also suggest incorporating your Action Selection Token system more so that they HAVE to use it and its not just a guide. Then you don't have to worry about cheaters in terms of the "Oops I meant to move here."

Taavet
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Anyone else?

Can anyone think of a more elegant solution that would perform the same function but not add components or time?

To further clarify:

So, in the first phase all players simultaneously use one AP to perform an action. The main actions causing issues are to move 2 spaces or move 1 space and explore. Because all the actions and movement are done simultaneously there is a lot of confusion. Up to 6 hands are on the board moving their figure 2 spaces or moving and exploring. As an example lets say one player wants to move 2 spaces North to an unexplored region. On the same turn another player closer moves one space and explores that unexplored region. In the chaos of six hands being on the board and moving/exploring, the player who was moving 2 spaces North now decides he doesn't want to go after that target (now explored) because he doesn't need it and instead decides to move 2 spaces West.

Even with my Action Selection Tokens it only indicates that his intention is to move 2 spaces but it doesn't make him specify to where or in what direction. I would really hate to have to spell it out for everyone such as:

During Simultaneous Movement everyone must act in the following order:
1) any players wishing to Explore do so.
2) all players moving, move 1 space.
3) any players wanted to Explore after their 1 space movement do so.
4) all players moving 2 spaces move their second space.
5) ....
Those are only 2 of the possible 4 actions that can be selected and performed by the players, again 'simultaneously'.

I think it would kill the design (boring technicalities) and drastically increase the record keeping as well as play time to add extra stuff in to regulate that.

Is there anyway I can avoid having to spell out (add in features for)action selection and action resolution order down to every possible circumstance?

hoywolf
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Timing Issue

Quote:
In the chaos of six hands being on the board and moving/exploring, the player who was moving 2 spaces North now decides he doesn't want to go after that target (now explored) because he doesn't need it and instead decides to move 2 spaces West.

This is the exact issue why a lot of mechanics use a turn base system. As one player moves it changes the game state, which is important to another players' decision. I have a few questions then maybe I can get a better idea of what you want to accomplish.

Question:
1.) What prevents me from waiting till EVERYONE moves then for me to move/act?
2.) What benefits do I have from action faster than someone?
3.) What benefits are there to be on the same location as someone? (You mention that if someone explored an area, they would rather move somewhere else)

Here is an idea, but I'm not sure if it is to your liking:
One solution that I can think of is having action cards; (2 north, 2 east, 2 west, 2 south, 1 explore card), or you can have (one of each card and 1 duplicate card that copies the action, that gives you 6 cards instead of 9), and they choose which action to take via the cards, then all the players reveal their cards and HAVE to take the action/movement, the left card is the first one and the second card is the second action or something like that.

Taavet
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Simlulteous Movement simulates reality

I am using simultaneous movment to simulate reality.

It takes a period of X time units to either:
Move 2 spaces,
Explore then Move 1 space,
Move 1 space then Explore,
Carry an Object 1 space,
Grow.

So before action selection, based on the current state of the players and board, everyone should choose what they are going to do with their first AP. All actions should be resolved simultaneously. Once all the first AP's are resolved the state of players and the board is changed and things must be evaluated and new decisions made.

If you and I are both running to the same spot and you beat me there I can't in reality (after running) decide that I didn't want to run to that spot and get my energy back or magically teleport to where I should have run.

I decided, acted and the consequences are a result of my actions and can't be chosen or changed.

We can chose our actions but not the consequences to our actions and should take responsibility for our actions regardless of whether the consequences are good or bad.

I guess because its a game however I do have to place artificial enforcers to make sure players take responsibility for their actions instead of trying to cheat their way to a better situation which you can't do in real life.

Maybe just a 5-10sec timer or something. Once time is up that phase is over. So enough time to perform action but not to move analyze and then try to cheat and re-move?

Taavet
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Answers to Questions

Question:
1.) What prevents me from waiting till EVERYONE moves then for me to move/act?
2.) What benefits do I have from action faster than someone?
3.) What benefits are there to be on the same location as someone? (You mention that if someone explored an area, they would rather move somewhere else)

1) Nothing, in real life if you decide not to act what happens? You waste time that you can't get back. It's not like you can wait to see what the stock market ticks at before using your AP to buy/sell it back when you should have. So in reality time is the enforcer.
2) Same thing. If you act faster then someone in real life it may help or hinder you depending on the circumstance. You and a friend are starving in the desert and see some water. You beat him there and drink some but its contaminated.
3) Not necessarily benefits but consequences to being on the same location. Maybe good, maybe bad, it depends on what you both do at that location.

In my example his motivation for deciding to go the other way was based on his new knowledge of what the explored region is and the fact that he didn't need it. It could have been something useful and so he wanted to go check it but after seeing its not what he needed. It is okay to change your mind and decide with the new information to go the other way but not to undo your action/time and reuse it more effectively.

AP are an artificial simulation of exerting time/energy in a game. Once used you shouldn't be able to regain or reuse the same AP in a different manner. But because time/energy aren't actual factors in a board game it IS possible to regain/reuse AP although its cheating. Hopefully, that clarifies what I am looking for.

An elegant way to enforce the use of AP as they were intended to be used before others AP are resolved and the new information revealed.

Pastor_Mora
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Token placement

Simultaneous movement doesn't always mean simultaneous action resolution. So,

Placement Phase

1) change finger placement in the board for token placement. I can't imagine a messier mechanic than a six-finger placement one.
2) I undestand that a player may move 2 spaces OR 1 space and explore, So hand each player 2 movement tokens and 1 exploration token, plus, a character pawn in the board to mark the player's past turn position
3) you have 15 seconds to place the tokens of the actions you wish to perform in your turn, in the position you want to perform them
4) you may switch your decision according to other players placement, but you only have 15 seconds!
5) then the timer STOPS, and resolution begins

Resolution Phase

1) Movement tokens (of your color) will mark your destination tile. They have to be 1 space (one movement token placed) or 2 spaces (two movement tokens placed) away from your previous position.
2) Exploration token can only be used if you moved 1 space.
3) All bad combinations (1 movement at a distance of 2, for example) cancel all the player actions in the turn. Remove his tokens and keep the pawn in his previous position.

It's like roulette. Once your chips are placed and the spinning starts, you can't back out. It's easier to move a finger than a chip you can't even get near to.

I like simultaneous actions. I use mostly cards for that. Keep thinking!

hoywolf
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Question Answered

I understand you concept better, thanks for answering my questions. I can now see the problem with the "cheating" your referring too, have you considered the card action movement that I suggested? At least the choice is set in stone, then once everyone has selected the action, they all reveal your card face up and you can resolve the action simultaneous.

Adding a timer does speed the game along as well as prevent players from taking to long to decide, it would give more of a snap decision type feel as well.

Taavet
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Thanks Pastor.

That could work.

It just makes what should be a simple move process into a monotonous exercise in procedure.

Guess I'll just have to playtest it with the various components/mechanics for enforcing proper action use and see which flows best with the game.

Thanks for the input guys.

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