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Board + Card Game: Ideas Needed

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Star5198
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Joined: 02/11/2017

I've been thinking of a new game idea recently, and I was wondering what others thought of it. So far I haven't done any playtests, but trying to get the general idea.

So basically, the game will be set on a train, which will be the board. One player will play as the two robbers, while the other person will play with eight passengers aboard the train. The player playing the passengers will get randomly selected characters with different abilities and characteristics, such as fast running speeds, damage power, or stealth training. They will also have certain weaknesses, such as being unable to access certain areas, have barely any self-defense knowledge, or just being really slow.

Now for the gameplay. The player who becomes the two robbers can select a random place on the train to begin, but the other player can choose where to place their characters within the eight rooms. Throughout the board, there are two carriages and up the front, the train itself. The robbers automatically are fitted with stealth, meaning there is a chance that, when attacked, the opposition will miss their target. There will be certain positions in the board where players can get fitted with equipment. For example, the dining room will have cutlery such as knives to assist both robber and passengers while the front of the train will have a spade used to shovel coal into the furnace. Every four turns, these items will expire and then another four turns will take place before they can be accessed again. Then, if someone has melee stats, they would be added to when they have obtained a weapon with additional stats upon it.

Now, this isn't all I have determined about the game but I don't want everyone to know too much about my game. From this overview, what should I work on, and what should be removed? Thank you for taking your time to read this game idea.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Not my cup of tea

Star5198 wrote:
...Now, this isn't all I have determined about the game but I don't want everyone to know too much about my game...

Don't be paranoid about your "idea". Ideas are worthless, it's the resulting game with a rulebook has a value. So I would say, don't share your rulebook unless you want the whole world to know about your game.

But at the same time, take whatever time you like to divulge as much as you see fit concerning your game "idea".

However know that an "idea" until prototyped and PROVEN... is rarely worth any degree of secrecy. I post entire blogs behind my design process and rarely do people concern themselves with the content... There is no need to worry about "copying" because largely in part not too many people will be interested in your IDEA. Maybe your game might prove to be different - but realistically ideas aren't worth much.

So take your time and tell us more about your idea. Personally I don't like the idea (Train robbers and such are not part of what interests me as a gamer). But others may feel differently. So don't be discouraged. It's just my own personal tastes.

Best of luck(!?) with your idea.

Willem Verheij
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Joined: 06/08/2016
There is an element of it

There is an element of it that I like, but the train robbery theme seems a bit limited. I think there might be better settings to apply similar gameplay.

What about a robbery game with multiple maps?

There could be two boards with a different map on each side.

Could be bank, a jewelry store, a house and something else.
Each map could have at least one scenario and would be a little different.
The bank would have more people in it.

Robbers could always choose where to begin, when the alarm goes off they have a certain number of turns before the cops arrive which ends the game or makes it very difficult for the robbers.

The civilians could all be named characters with two sided cards with their info.
One side is their basic version which can't do much but still something to support, and the other side is a hero version which has options unique to them to fight the robbers.

Some examples:

Wendy the housewife.
Basic: Some advantage on the house map.
Hero: That advantage on the house map + a martial art. This version took a self defense class.

Joe the mechanic.
Basic: Can obstruct or open a locked door.
Hero: that + carries a toolbox with various things he can use.

Dave the accountant.
Basic: Can use computers.
Hero: Military history.

The thing is, the robbers would not know WHO is the hero. The player controlling the civilians would have picked a token or such, but this would only be revealed during play once the hero uses an action that's not on their basic version.
And all civilians can still help in some way.

The robbers on the other hand, could also have some options. Different robbers to be chosen before the heist with different specializations.
So there will be some luck involved here and trying to estimate what the other player will go with.

Some civilians would be part of a scenario so would always be there because they'd be an employee so they can account for that.
However, since each scenario has different things the robbers must do, a prediction could be made about who they bring. For the bank they might want to bring a safe cracker or explosive expert to get into the vault.

Star5198
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Joined: 02/11/2017
Regarding your Comment

I agree that there should be multiple maps, that would certainly help the game. I'm liking the idea about one player being the hidden hero, who the robbers have to discover, but perhaps they have a Hero ability that can somehow be accessed every round, but relies on its surroundings. So they still have the same ability, but with less (or more) strength dependent on the map. So you're saying one side of the character card would be face up, and the other hidden from the robber? The Hero side would be hidden. Thanks, this game definitely needs improvement and you've really helped me out.

Star5198
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Joined: 02/11/2017
Further Details

Another thing I had thought, if the game was to be playable over and over again, which I am hoping, the robbers will end up knowing every character's Hero ability. Just another thought, still thinking some more....

mortis_liner
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Joined: 08/15/2017
Just a thought

I am liking your theme of the train robbery but as others have suggested, perhaps use multiple maps. One theme that may work well to go along with the train robbery would be the hi-jacking of a plane (using a map of an aeroplane with different objects available within the plane). As for your heroes, it would be beneficial to create as many as you possibly can based on potential scenarios. If you were to create multiple maps, perhaps have "specific" heroes that would only be used in those scenarios. Just a thought :)

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
For replayability

You can help replayability (at the expense of story depth) by detaching the heroic abilities from specific characters.

For example, suppose there is a spot on the board for each pawn's identity, and two face-down cards next to each. These ability cards only need to be revealed if the associated ability is used. So is the big guy in a suit the Off-Duty Cop, or is it the young woman in jeans?

There should probably only be one Hero card and maybe half as many Useful Ability cards as civilians, and then some number of Weakness cards. Of course, all of these have identical backs.

This player starts off with enough "blank" cards so that when he/she chooses the random cards it totals exactly 2X the number of civilians. These get placed (randomly?) face-down in the appropriate spots.

The robber side would have a similar set-up, though being outnumbered (and the ones who nominally prepared for the encounter), this player might get to draw extra cards and discard down to the number of available slots.

Players can check their own face-down cards at any time, and should probably do so in way that misdirects the opponent...

saluk
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Joined: 05/11/2010
It sounds fun. Don't be

It sounds fun. Don't be afraid of revealing too much - in this community those who would have the capability to steal your idea and do something useful with it all have their own ideas that they care about more. You are better served to reveal too much and have help narrowing your focus and getting to a completed version of your idea faster.

It sounds fun and asynchronous gameplay can be interesting.

One thing that might be good to add is a time limit. You mentioned shoveling coal, maybe that gets the train to a station sooner so that speeds up time. (Maybe you already had this idea). A silent alarm in the bank could be hit that subtracts a couple turns from whatever you are using as the clock. (Maybe where the silent alarm is can be another hidden element?) The victims don't have to defeat the robbers - they just have to survive long enough to be rescued. Different maps may have slightly different mechanics for how much time you have and how the victims can try and speed things up to get rescued.

It's usually better for robbers in these scenarios to have the threat of violence rather than actual violence. Perhaps more violent actions also lower the time, so it is a choice for them when it's worth the risk to assert some extra force. Although stay away from very violent actions like actual murder. I think many would have a hard time with a game where one side plays criminals murdering the civilians played by the other.

We still do not have win goals (although maybe that is part of your idea you are hiding). I would suggest robbers need to escape (get to a certain spot) with enough loot, and victims have to run out the clock and prevent robbers from getting everything. As it stands, even with a few stat bonuses it feels like robbers will have a tough time of it. But that's for balancing. You should be playtesting already (at least with just yourself). Get a basic chess board and some dice and just experiment with various things. It's never too early.

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