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Carcasettlers - My first post here

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bhazzard
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I'm fairly new to designer games, and as green as they come at designing games. The games I have enjoyed so far include: Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Carcassone, Space Alert, Ra, Medici, and a few others.

Settlers and Carcassone were of course my two "gateway" games. So I started out trying to think how I could combine the elements I like about those games. This is the result so far.

My working title is simply "Carcasettlers". Don't worry, if this thing ever comes to life I will choose a less cheesy name. I took my favorite element of Carcassone: field subterfuge, and combined it with the resource gathering characteristics of Settlers. I haven't yet drawn anything up or play tested, but I wanted to post here to get suggestions on potential theme variations and overall gameplay elements.

Here goes:

Features:
* Carcassonne's field capture mechanic
* Settler's dice-based resource gathering mechanic
* Development cards with victory points and actions
* Special overlay tiles which modify other tiles

Turn Sequence:
1. Draw tile
2. Place the tile so that its sides match all adjacent tiles
3. Place 0 or 1 Meeple on the tile you just placed
4. If the tile placed "completes" a resource, place a harvest indicator on within the completed resource
4. Roll dice
5. All players collect resource tokens for completed resources with a harvest indicator that matches the current dice roll in cities where they have the most or tied amount of Meeples
6. Take 0 or 1 action

Actions:
* Purchase a special tile
* Place a special tile
* Purchase a development card
* Execute a development card's action

Development Cards:
* Reconstruction - Remove 1 Broken Wall tile
* Murder - Remove any 1 Meeple (you may choose your own)
* Redeployment - Move any 1 Meeple anywhere you'd like (you may choose your own)
* Prestige - Worth 1 Victory Point

Tiles:
* Grassy Field
* City Wall
* Wooded (resource)
* Mineable Ore (resource)
* Grain Field (resource)

Special Tiles:
* Ore Mine (Increases Ore production, like building a city next to an Ore tile in Settlers)
* Saw Mill (Increases Lumber production, like building a city next to an Lumber tile in Settlers)
* Grain Mill (Increases Grain production, like building a city next to an Grain tile in Settlers)
* Broken Wall (Must be laid over a wall tile; Joins two fields)

Winning:
* Game ends when all tiles are placed
* Victory points are awarded to each player for every completed resource in cities where they have the most or tied amount of Meeples
* The player with the most victory points wins

sedjtroll
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Welcome!

Welcome to BGDF! I read through your rule set, and it sounds like it could be the start of an interesting game.

I just played the Railways of the World Card Game the other day, and it seems like a straight mix of Railways of the World rules and Ticket to Ride rules, so your approach is in decent company.

I'm not sure I understand exactly how your overlay tiles work - won't that obscure info on the underlying tiles?

I do like the ability to upgrade to a City somehow - though it sounds like in this game you could build a city, then have an opponent take it over (and it sounds like that's largely the point). Could a similar alternative be to simply put a marker under a meeple (or replace a meeple with a different bit), and indicate that that represents collection of an additional resource WHEN COLLECTING RESOURCES? That would maintain the potential for another player to outnumber you and deny you your resources.

bhazzard
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Thanks for commenting

I'm not sure I fully understand your comments. So let me start by trying to clarify a few things that I think weren't as clear as I had intended:

* My "City Wall" tiles have more in common with Road tiles than City tiles in Carcassonne. That is, you use them to delineate fields, and that is it.
* You only collect resources for "completed" resources that have a matching harvest token. And then you collect the a resource for every tile the resource is part of.
* The "Overlay" tiles would be identical to a particular type of resource tile, except it would also have a building on it. so that resource now produces more (double would probably be too extreme, but some sort of easy equation).
* If someone else "takes over" your field, they now reap the completed resources when the die matches the harvest token.

Does any of that clarify anything?

rcjames14
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Graph or Merger?

Welcome!

You'll have to excuse me for my questions since I don't have the component list, but what are these harvest tokens? Where do they come from? How do they range in value? And how are they assigned? Do they start in play or are they added? At random, in a sequence or by selection? I assume that having a 7 harvest token is better than a 2... so how do you know if your efforts are going to be rewarded or not?

Also, I was wondering whether you think that players will build large resource areas or small ones? Do you envision any cooperation like in Carcassonne or will it only be competitive? Will players work together or will they tend to be isolated? I know that some of the greatest challenges and rewards of Carcassonne come from building the largest city or field possible. Do you think that players will be rewarded by doing this?

As far as suggestions go:

I suggest you ax the 'murder' option. Not only is it a thematic non-starter for a Euro game, it also will make people upset to lose what they have placed. In addition, the move option will function effectively the same way on the turn it is played, but it will create a more complex set of decisions since they will have to figure out where to put it.

I also suggest that you can purchase any number of special cards/tiles on your turn and play any number of special cards/tiles on your turn. At one action a turn, you will find that towards the end players will have more resources than they know what to do with. Plus, multiple plays may allow for greater potential depth in the strategic decision-tree.

bhazzard
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Good points

First an answer to your questions about harvest tokens. Basically it is just a fancy different name for those dice roll indicators in Settlers. The number on them determines when, not how many to collect of a resource. They will be selected at random when a resource is completed.

As to players building resources. I expect that players would build small resources at first in order to get some sort of income going and then concentrate on larger resources. Though currently the game rewards you linearly for large resources, so a lot of small may be just as good and start paying more quickly.

To work around this I had a new idea: the special Mill/Mine tokens could work as an additional harvest token rather then adding/multiplying a resource, so laying it on a large resource would mean you will get more resources more frequently.

I want resources to be more central to the game though and right now it seems like there will be a floor of them once the game gets going. Suggestions?

Louard
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My suggestion...

First off, I think rcjames was referring not to how 7 is a bigger number than 2 but how 7 is 6 times (right?) more likely to be rolled than a 2.

As for how to involve resources more. I would have more things cost resources. If players have many options of things to build or upgrade on a turn, you're giving them more opportunities to spend.

And here's an idea inspired by your suggestion for how upgrade buildings could work as extra harvest tokens. What if the bag of harvest tokens are only 2s, 3s, 4s, 10s, 11s and 12s. So the best you can draw out of the bag is a 4 or a 10. The buildings could be built with a roll value of 5 or 9 and then be upgraded to 6 or 8 and finally to 7. So every time you upgrade a building you up your odds or rolling it.

rcjames14
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Control

There may be too many layers of chance in this game. First, you don't know what you're going to pull for a tile. Second, you must place the tile you pull and third, you don't know how productive that tile will end up becoming. Although many independent random events will normalize, allowing for statistical calculation and hedging behavior, I'm not sure that random events are independent here. From what I can tell there is a very heavy feedback loop between initial good draws and resource production... leading to compound advantage dynamics.

Leaving aside the fact that I don't think people like to be subject to too many random events over the course of the game (the draw/place mechanic of Carcassonne still bothers me), the fact that marginal initial differences can lead to huge differences in resource production will kill the fun in your game. I call this the Caylus effect. But, unlike Caylus where you choose your fate, your fate in this game seems to me to be chosen for you.

One possible way to mitigate this feedback cycle and also resolve what I foresee as a completely isolated form of play, you might consider the size of each resource field dictating the harvest number that gets assigned to it. So... if you complete a 2 tile resource you can only put a 2 (or 12) harvest token on it. Whereas larger resources may allow you to place larger numbers.

Louard's suggestion to allow improvements to increase the probability as well as the payoff would also work well for any mechanism where harvest tokens are not assigned randomly but according to a prescribed method.

However, I'm still vexed by what exactly these resources look like. In Carcassonne, there are roads, fields, cities and cloisters (and rivers, lodges, etc...) and a tile must match all sides to be placed... so the county grows very idiosyncratically and there is a possibility (based upon the shape of each piece) to create very long roads, large cities and expansive fields. Your success and their shape usually depends upon how much other players want to cooperate with you to build it and how lucky you get. Guarding against predatory behavior is also a key component as the game will eventually turn into a PD reasoned-backward. But, usually for a good portion of the game, you are assessing the risk of a bird in hand verses two (or three) in the bush.

As you have described to us so far, there seems to be no reason to risk a bird in hand because there is two in the bush. In fact, as I understand it, there is no reason to get involved in a larger cooperative venture (with more risk and no greater return). But, this may come from the fact that I do not know what the tiles you have in mind look like. You have specified types of resources, but it might be nice to also have a sense of whether or not each tile combines one or more of them, if so, how and why resources are better when pooled together.

sedjtroll
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Louard wrote:First off, I

Louard wrote:
First off, I think rcjames was referring not to how 7 is a bigger number than 2 but how 7 is 6 times (right?) more likely to be rolled than a 2.

Yes, I'm sure that's what he meant.

So if I am piling on meeples to outmaneuver you for a particular 'resource field', and you are escalating as well, and then the field is completed and the random draw is a 2 (1/36 chance of rolling)- I think we'd both be disappointed to have fought so hard over something that's not that good.

Quote:
And here's an idea inspired by your suggestion for how upgrade buildings could work as extra harvest tokens. What if the bag of harvest tokens are only 2s, 3s, 4s, 10s, 11s and 12s. So the best you can draw out of the bag is a 4 or a 10. The buildings could be built with a roll value of 5 or 9 and then be upgraded to 6 or 8 and finally to 7. So every time you upgrade a building you up your odds or rolling it.

I like the idea of the amount of goods being based on the size of the field. We're talking about Carcasonne-type fields here, right? So maybe the number of tiles involved indicates the pip count... have stacks of 'resource tokens' at various pip counts (2/12, 3/11. 4/10, etc) and depending on how big the field ends up being, let that determine the frequency of production.

sedjtroll
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rcjames14 wrote:Leaving aside

rcjames14 wrote:
Leaving aside the fact that I don't think people like to be subject to too many random events over the course of the game (the draw/place mechanic of Carcassonne still bothers me), the fact that marginal initial differences can lead to huge differences in resource production will kill the fun in your game. I call this the Caylus effect. But, unlike Caylus where you choose your fate, your fate in this game seems to me to be chosen for you.

Also, you could go with what I understand is a standard variant to Carc and is used in a number of tile laying games - give each player a hand of 2 or 3 tiles to choose from, or else have them choose from a pool of 3 or 4 tiles.

Quote:
One possible way to mitigate this feedback cycle and also resolve what I foresee as a completely isolated form of play, you might consider the size of each resource field dictating the harvest number that gets assigned to it. So... if you complete a 2 tile resource you can only put a 2 (or 12) harvest token on it. Whereas larger resources may allow you to place larger numbers.

Haha! I started posting that very idea this morning (see my previous post), but work got in the way and I didn't finish until now, in the meantime Richard beat me to it!

Quote:
However, I'm still vexed by what exactly these resources look like. In Carcassonne, there are roads, fields, cities and cloisters (and rivers, lodges, etc...) and a tile must match all sides to be placed... so the county grows very idiosyncratically and there is a possibility (based upon the shape of each piece) to create very long roads, large cities and expansive fields. Your success and their shape usually depends upon how much other players want to cooperate with you to build it and how lucky you get. Guarding against predatory behavior is also a key component as the game will eventually turn into a PD reasoned-backward. But, usually for a good portion of the game, you are assessing the risk of a bird in hand verses two (or three) in the bush.

I suspect that it would be similar to Carc, in that if you complete a "city" you get the "city" resource, and if you complete a "forest" you get the "forest" resource (that is to say that completed "cities" get a number tile, and when that number comes up, that "city" produces whatever it is "cities" produce, etc - where "city" is whatever associates with that resource).

Quote:
As you have described to us so far, there seems to be no reason to risk a bird in hand because there is two in the bush. In fact, as I understand it, there is no reason to get involved in a larger cooperative venture (with more risk and no greater return). But, this may come from the fact that I do not know what the tiles you have in mind look like.

I agree here, if only the player who controls the area gets the resource, then there's not much incentive to help each other build. That's one of the cool things about Carc.

Suppose instead that having at least 1 meeple on the tile gets a resource, and having the most gets 1 additional resource. Or perhaps 1 resource per every 2 meeples (where an upgrade type thing could upgrade a meeple into a double meeple). So you're rewarded for having more meeples on things, but not at the exclusion of another player. I like the bonus resource for most, as it fosters competition, but you still have incentive to help finish a "city" since you'll get at least some resources out of it.

Quote:
You have specified types of resources, but it might be nice to also have a sense of whether or not each tile combines one or more of them, if so, how and why resources are better when pooled together.

I believe he means that any given tile will contribute toward a "resource" field, but the field won't produce resources until it is complete. Picture Carcassonne, where once a city is finished it produces Gold, and once a Lake is finished it produces Fish, and once a Forest is finished it produces Wood... I may be wrong, but that's the impression I get of the OP's game.

bhazzard
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Lots of great feedback

I appreciate all of the great feedback.

I like the idea of keeping competition and collaboration alive by rewarding each meeple as well as whoever has the most for a field. But, it seems to be in direct conflict with something else I want to encourage which is building larger resources.

The resource producing scheme I had in mind was:
* Once completed place a harvest token (I like the idea of the bag only containing slightly less likely numbers, but I do worry it will make the game have a slow start)
* If you purchase a Mill/Mine tile, place it over the resource (again, I like the idea that they will have one of the more likely numbers)
* When a matching roll happens, the player that controls the field takes one resource card for ever tile in the completed resource

Note that whether or not the field is completed is irrelevant, just that the resource is completed.

Quote:
I suspect that it would be similar to Carc, in that if you complete a "city" you get the "city" resource, and if you complete a "forest" you get the "forest" resource (that is to say that completed "cities" get a number tile, and when that number comes up, that "city" produces whatever it is "cities" produce, etc - where "city" is whatever associates with that resource).

Also to clarify rcjames14 is exactly right in the statement above.

I also like the idea of letting players choose from a set of tiles. But what do you do with the tiles they do not choose?

rcjames14
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Implications

bhazzard wrote:
* When a matching roll happens, the player that controls the field takes one resource card for ever tile in the completed resource

So, if you have built a four size field/mine/forest and its harvest number is rolled, you would gain 4 of the corresponding resource? Would this apply to all the fields you own? How many fields do you anticipate being completed? Because you could very quickly rack up a pile of resources that you may or may not be able to spend.

If it is all or nothing to the player who controls a field, it will likely create competitive exclusion. Not only will the loser lose out on the points. The rich will get richer because they have resources to build more improvements and/or acquire more cards.

sedjtroll
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bhazzard wrote:I appreciate

bhazzard wrote:
I appreciate all of the great feedback.

I like the idea of keeping competition and collaboration alive by rewarding each meeple as well as whoever has the most for a field. But, it seems to be in direct conflict with something else I want to encourage which is building larger resources.


I think encouraging cooperation (by rewarding all players contributing, even if the biggest contributor gets rewarded extra) will make it more likely and more possible to get larger stuff completed.

But handing out extra resources I don't think is good. Like Richard said, it will be extra bad for those who lose the competition for most, and it could easily lead to a rich-get-richer scenario, which in general isn't fair or fun.

I do like the idea proposed earlier (by two of us!) that the larger the area, the MORE LIKELY or MORE OFTEN the resource is rolled (by putting more pips in it). So like say the area is 5 tiles big - then you would put 5 pips worth of resource production on it (like a 3 and a 4, or just a 6 or an 8). If it had 1- tiles in it, then maybe you put both a 6 and an 8 on it. This makes larger areas 'better' than smaller ones because they're more likely to pay off.

Note that whether or not the field is completed is irrelevant, just that the resource is completed.[/q]<br /> I thought I understood what you meant by fields, and below you quoted me and said that was right, but this above sentence seems to contradict that. I must be missing something.</p> <p>[quote wrote:
Quote:
I suspect that it would be similar to Carc, in that if you complete a "city" you get the "city" resource, and if you complete a "forest" you get the "forest" resource (that is to say that completed "cities" get a number tile, and when that number comes up, that "city" produces whatever it is "cities" produce, etc - where "city" is whatever associates with that resource).

I also like the idea of letting players choose from a set of tiles. But what do you do with the tiles they do not choose?

They could remain in the pool for the next player (if choosing from a pool), or in the players hand for next turn (if using a hand of tiles).

- Seth

bhazzard
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Guess I need some early playtesting

Guess I need some early playtesting to try out all of these great ideas.

The reason I'm not as worried about "rich get richer" is because I expect that fields would change hands several times throughout the game because of tile placements and broken walls. But maybe that too needs some playtesting.

scottbalmes
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Interesting Concept

This is certainly a game I'd take a look at. I'd love to see how the "steal a city" mechanic works - would you be able to steal something that's already completed? This would be different from carcassonne, where once its finished its finished, but it would make for some nice cutthroat gameplay if you can steal something that's able to be harvested.

bhazzard
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Steal a city

the idea isn't that you can "steal" a completed resource, but that you can "steal" the field the resource is in, thus getting the benefits of that resource.

sedjtroll
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scottbalmes wrote:This is

scottbalmes wrote:
This is certainly a game I'd take a look at. I'd love to see how the "steal a city" mechanic works - would you be able to steal something that's already completed? This would be different from carcassonne, where once its finished its finished, but it would make for some nice cutthroat gameplay if you can steal something that's able to be harvested.

Carcassonne CITY scoring happens only as the city is completed, and you cannot add Meeples after that. However, consider Carcassonne FIELD scoring, which is what this game is using - it's only scored at the end, but the 'control' of any given field (the player who would score for the field if scoring were done right now) could change hands back and forth. I think it's like that, only instead of scoring at the end of the game, any given field could 'score' each turn (after the resource is completed, whatever that means) as its die number comes up.

Upon further reflection, perhaps these 'resources' to which the OP is referring are actually like the cities in Carc. Once a CITY is complete, you put a resource token on it, and it starts producing resources (when it's number comes up, for the player who currently has the most Meeples touching it). I finally am starting to get it (I think)!

scottbalmes
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Ah, there were go.

sedjtroll wrote:
Upon further reflection, perhaps these 'resources' to which the OP is referring are actually like the cities in Carc. Once a CITY is complete, you put a resource token on it, and it starts producing resources (when it's number comes up, for the player who currently has the most Meeples touching it). I finally am starting to get it (I think)!

And the light bulb turns on - I get how this mechanic can work. I had trouble visualizing it before.

Fields can get nasty and nasty in Carcassonne. Using this in a resource collection mechanic could be great.

Although, I would definately wonder about a catch up mechanic. If you "lose" a bunch of fields in a bad turn of luck, I'm wondering how the player might be able to catch-up. But, this depends on whether the meeples would be free, of if you'd have to pay for them.

Hm, interesting stuff.

sedjtroll
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I maintain that the SIZE of

I maintain that the SIZE of the 'city' should indicate how likely it is to produce (how many pips it gets), while any player touching the 'city' should get 1 resource while the majority player gets 2 (3?). Or maybe players should get 1 resource per meeple, with a bonus of either more resources, or a BETTER resource, to the player with the most.

rcjames14
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Seamlessness

Seth's suggestion that you match field/city size to pip number on the harvest token/tokens makes perfect sense to me. It may even allow you to introduce an element of selection into the game... do I pick the 2 and the 3 or a single 4 for a size 3 field/city? Depending upon how you integrate your payoff system into die results, there may be a reason to go with one over the other... and/or introduce a finite supply of harvest tokens and strict competition. For example, lets say that you have a forest and a mine together in the same field/city. If you must place each harvest token on one of the resources and they must be different and you earn the resource under the harvest token, then putting a 2 and a 3 on the field/city will produce a different outcome than a 4 even though the odds of getting something is statistically the same.

This method would also allow you to get away from the multiple resource problem that both Seth and I have been hinting at. If 'improvements' let you collect more resources and allocation of harvest tokens allow you to adjust probability, then you will have a much less volatile resource production mechanism.

And... here's the kicker: perhaps instead of a bonus, the 'winner' gets to assign the harvest tokens. So... everyone still splits the proceeds, but there would be an incentive to win so that you can ensure that you get the resources that you want. At the same time, the incentive would not be so high that you would want to burn bridges to compete for it... since in all likelihood cooperation with many people (with second place ranking) would generate overall more resources then competition for the right to place. With enough diversification, the production level of each type of resource would normalize so you would end up with better numbers of everything than everyone.

Of course, I'm still in favor of a token based improvement system over one where you rely upon luck of the draw. I believe that the tiles you pull each round will introduce enough randomness and self-interested play that you won't need any more in a game that now looks to be potentially very complex. And, if it were up to me, I would probably try to figure out how to integrate the tile pulls into the 'special card' dynamic so that each player holds onto a bunch of meeples, resources tokens and cards in hand. If the tiles could be integrated into the cards, then players would not have to fumble with the basic Carcassonne dynamic: "Gee... I wasn't expecting this tile, now, where should I put it? If I put it here, I'll get this many points... but if I put it here instead, I'll get this many points? Hey guys, what do you think? Is this my best move, or do you see something better? Now... what if I put this here to help you... will you try to help me here when you draw the tile? ......... zzz ... zzz"

bhazzard
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First draft of Print-n-Play

I made some print-n-play components for this idea... they aren't complete yet, and they are a bit crude, but I thought some visuals would lend something tangible to the discussion.

Here is an image of the components

I'll have more to say soon, but right now I am tired :P.

bhazzard
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To put a face on a name

OK, so in the image above...

* Harvest Tokens - The grey hexes with numbers
* Resource - The Orange, Yellow, or Dark Gray parts of any of the tiles above
* Field - The green parts of any of the tiles above
* Wall - The black lines on the tiles above

I haven't understood many of the comments about "pips" can someone explain?

sedjtroll
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bhazzard wrote:I haven't

bhazzard wrote:
I haven't understood many of the comments about "pips" can someone explain?

In Settlers of Catan, the number tiles also have some dots on them, 1 dot on the 2 and 12, 2 dots on 3 & 11, 3 dots on 4 & 10, 4 dots on 5 & 9, 5 dots on 6 & 8, and if there were a 7, it would have 6 dots on it.

These dots are called "pips" (also "pips" are the dots on standard dice), and they refer to the number of times out of 36 you're likely to roll that given result. Check it out:

If you roll 2 6-sided dice, there are a total of 36 possible outcomes. Of those, only 1 of them totals "2" (snake eyes) and only 1 totals "12" (boxcars). But there are 2 ways to get a 3 (1 on the first die and 2 on the second, or 2 on the first die and 1 on the second), and so on.

So as a visual aid to help you know how likely a number is to roll, Settlers gives you those odds on the tiles in the form of what we call pips.

This can be useful to compare settlement locations in Settlers, which touch 2 or 3 different tiles - you can add up all the pips and that will tell you in general which of 2 spots is likely to be more productive, Of course, that's not a guarantee, and there are other factors such as which resources you get (you might settle for smaller chances of production if you like the resources a lot more)... but that's what pips are and how they work.

kos
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Pips

In the posts above, "pips" refers to "the probability of rolling a given result on 2d6, expressed as x/36."

So, for example:
- 2 and 12 are 1-pip
- 3 and 11 are 2-pip
- 4 and 10 are 3-pip
- etc

I believe the origin of the term is the dots used on Settlers' little round tokens, where the number of dots is a visual representation of the probability of rolling that number.

[Edit: Looks like sedjtroll types faster than me!]

Regards,
kos

mdkiehl
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Theme

Hi Bhazzard, I just wanted to suggest that the theme and art quality of a game like this will likely make or break it in the market. If it looks too much like Carc. than people might say "I already have something like that", or "it is just trying to be like this other game I have" and the same if it looks too much like Settlers. As I thought about it I came up with a few themes that might be interesting but this is what I found most interesting - I thought it might be really interesting if the game has a contemporary metropolitan look to it. The "resources" could be different types of busyness districts (banking, manufacturing, retail, utilities) and the "fields" could be suburban residential sprawl ready to consume products coming out of your cities, roads could be supper-highways or a metro system. This is just one idea, but the options are really limitless. Even though your game has some shared mechanics with these other games it can grow to become something else entirely.

Let me know if you need an artist to sketch up some different ideas in this area.

Regards,

Matthew Kiehl

http://mdkiehl.wordpress.com

bhazzard
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Thanks all

Thanks for the explanations and to Matthew for the theme ideas. I had been thinking that the theme should probably be modified, but hadn't concentrated much on it.

I really like the metropolitan idea, but I'm not sure how to fit it with the meeple placement and area control mechanics. I'll think some more on that.

As to pips, those explanations helped a lot. It also got my gears turning... What about this:

In order to introduce more decision making into the game, we use a combination of probability and production. So when a city is completed either the person who completed it or the person controlling the "field" it is in gets to choose any combination of probability tokens and production tokens he/she wants adding up to the size of the resource.

As an example: a player completes a resource made up of six tokens in a field he controls. He can choose to:
* place a 1 pip harvest token and a 5 value production token. This will be rolled rarely, but will produce 5 when rolled.
* place a 5 pip harvest token and a 1 value production token. This will be rolled frequently, but produce only 1 when rolled.
* anything else where probability and production add up to the resource size.

Thoughts?

kos
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Joined: 01/17/2011
Interesting way to provide choices

bhazzard,
I like the concept of letting the player choose between high-risk high-payoff vs low-risk low-payoff, as would be the case in the example you cite.
Bear in mind that over a large number of rolls, your expected return is [probability x production] not [probability + production]. So in the example of 6 "points" to spend, the optimal choice would be a 3-pip harvest token and a 3-pip production token, giving a yield of 9 (i.e. substantially better than the expected yield from 1-5 or 5-1, but only slightly better than 2-4 or 4-2).
This is not necessarily a bad thing, just a thing to keep in mind. Also, if you have limited numbers of the harvest and production tokens then the player's optimal choice may not be available.
Another thing to bear in mind would be to balance the number of pips with the expected size of the fields. For example, if playtesting showed that the harvest tokens used most frequently were 2 and 3 pips, you may find that most dice rolls yield no resources. I suspect that lots of playtesting would be needed to get the right balance between resource density and total game length.
Regards,
kos

Tiger
Offline
Joined: 02/16/2011
Just throwing an idea in

Just wanted to throw this in: what if you place the harvest token whose number (not pips) match the number of tiles the city covers? (That is, the points the city would have given you in carcassonne, divided by 2)

You'd want to build your cities to the size of 7 and then stop. Sorta like the alternative scoring card for coloretto. I don't know how or if this could be balanced, but have you thought of it?

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