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Building an Action Wheel

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jasimon
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Joined: 12/31/2012

For my current game, I'm considering replacing the Action Deck/Cards with a simple Action Wheel.

Currently there are ten action cards for each player, and they select two to play each round. With a max of 6 players, that means I have 60 of these cards.

I want to replace it with a small cardboard disc, sort of like a small spinner, that would have a slice with each of the actions on it. It would also have two markers on it (some sort of plastic), which the player would use to mark their selected actions for the round, and then reveal to the other players.

I think this is simpler/cleaner/cheaper in the long run, but one concern is that you don't have all the information on what the action does like you do with the card, which makes it harder for new players to decide what to do.

What do you think about this option, and how would you go about constructing a prototype for such a thing?

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Maybe a little of both...

jasimon wrote:
*Snip*
I want to replace it with a small cardboard disc, sort of like a small spinner, that would have a slice with each of the actions on it. It would also have two markers on it (some sort of plastic), which the player would use to mark their selected actions for the round, and then reveal to the other players.

I think this is simpler/cleaner/cheaper in the long run, but one concern is that you don't have all the information on what the action does like you do with the card, which makes it harder for new players to decide what to do.

What do you think about this option, and how would you go about constructing a prototype for such a thing?

The idea of a wheel is cool. To solve you problem, design the wheel and have it refer to 1 of the following:

-A Section in the rules about actions (and the wheel)
-10 Action cards (one of each only)

This way you get the feel you *wanted*...

Instead of having to write all kinds of information on the wheel itself, all you need to do is write NUMBERS (1-10). Then you can refer to the meaning of the value (using one of the two suggestions mentioned above). New players will need to cross-reference while experienced players, who know what the value mean (because of playing the game several times), don't need the extra cross-reference.

stevebarkeruk
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Alternatively have a

Alternatively have a reference card in view of everyone that explains the actions and give each player a card with 10 spaces marked on it. They place two pawns/coins/whatever on the spaces with the number or icon of the action they want then reveal.

You could give each player a screen to hide their card or for something so small (you could easily fit it on a standard size card) they could just shield it with their hand.

JustActCasual
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Joined: 11/20/2012
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While this is definitely doable (clock in Elder Sign, selector in Pirate's Cove) it seems like it doesn't really help you.

You want this change to make the game simpler/cleaner/cheaper, but it doesn't do those things. Providing each player with a double selector disc is going to be as expensive or more expensive than 10 cards, and it makes the rules more opaque by not telling the rules right there (there's nothing worse than having somebody have to ask about rules "hypothetically" in a hidden information game). And it doesn't make it cleaner if you also have to provide extensive player aides to explain what the different disc options do. Having lots more bits also adds to the inconvenience of storage when it comes to boxing a game, whereas cards are really simple.

There are other advantages to cards, as it's easy to implement secondary mechanics in this system involving adding or taking away options on a temporary or permanent basis. It's also easy to analyze what's being done that turn when your cards are on the table: you can easily amp this effect with large iconography or colour backgrounds etc. This avoidance of Analysis Paralysis is very important when 6 players are involved.

I would think hard about this change before implementing it: in Pirate's Cove they use a selector disc, but it's only one selection at a time and most of the game's board is dedicated to explaining the different options.

As for crafting a prototype, just use cardboard and a 2 leg pin.

jasimon
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Joined: 12/31/2012
Tried out a few different

Tried out a few different things and ended up just going for a small player mat with all the actions, and then two tokens for selecting actions.

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