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Mole Majority - Thematic Variations

September 2014

Fueled by my own observations as well as those from playtesters, I wanted to develop a list of potential theme adjustments. Though I do love the original theme I've composed for this game, a potential publisher may want to see some other options I've considered. Below is a list, along with some notes that apply to cards, mechanics, and so on to mesh with the theme.

If anyone has critique on these themes, or suggestions on other themes (or votes as to what I should adopt as a new main theme), feel free to comment here, send a private message, or email me at editor[at]let[dash]off[dot]com .

Thanks!!!

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WRANGLERS
A game of cattle-ranching and land-grabbing. Hexes are regions of grazing land across the open prairie, and players are cattle ranchers claiming territory and growing their herd of longhorns.
Moles = Cattle
MOVE = MOVE
BREED = BREED
HAWK ATTACK! = CATTLE RUSTLERS!
CONVERT = BRANDING
MAKE A HOME = PROSPECT
CAVE-IN = FENCES

SPACE INVASION
A game of interstellar space colonization. Hexes are regions of space, each one with a habitable planet. Players are alien races attempting to expand and conquer the outer reaches of their solar system.
Moles = Space Colonies
MOVE = MOVE
BREED = RECRUIT
HAWK ATTACK! = INVASION!
CONVERT = ASSIMILATE
MAKE A HOME = FORTIFY
CAVE-IN = KINETIC POSITRON SHIELD

WISEGUYS
A game of city takeover from the underside up. Hexes are city blocks, each one with businesses and buildings available for hostile takeover. Players are up-and-coming gang leaders vying for the role of Kingpin in the city. Also works with post-apocalyptic and topical drug-dealer scenarios.
Moles = Thugs/Wiseguys/Gang Members
MOVE = MOVE
BREED = INITIATE
HAWK ATTACK! = DRIVE-BY
CONVERT = PAYOFF
MAKE A HOME = BRIBE
CAVE-IN = BLOCKADE

VIRUS
A game of body infection and infestation. Hexes are individual cells in a microscopic multi-celled organism, and players are different diseases attempting to infest and overrun the organism.
Moles = Virus microbes
MOVE = INFEST
BREED = MULTIPLY
HAWK ATTACK! = INFECT!
CONVERT = MUTATE
MAKE A HOME = POLLUTE
CAVE-IN = IMMUNIZE

ELECTION TIME!
A game of winning over the body politic. Hexes are political districts, regions, or states and players are politicians or political movements trying to win over the region's constituency one district at a time.
Moles = Influence
MOVE = CAMPAIGN
BREED = CANVASSING
HAWK ATTACK! = SCANDAL
CONVERT = PUBLIC RELATIONS
MAKE A HOME = WIN ENDORSEMENTS
CAVE-IN = LOYAL BASE/GRASSROOTS SUPPORT

MUSHROOMS
A game of spreading spores. Hexes are regions of the forest floor, and players are individual colonies of fungi.
Moles = Fungi colony/mycelium
MOVE = EXPAND
BREED = GROW
HAWK ATTACK! = SUNBURST
CONVERT = DIGEST
MAKE A HOME = BLOOM
CAVE-IN = INOCULATE

ANT FARM
A game of queen versus queen in a desktop ant kingdom. Hexes are regions inside a kid's ant farm, and players are individual colonies seeking to dominate the contained landscape.
Moles = Ants
MOVE = MOVE
BREED = BREED
HAWK ATTACK! = SHAKE-UP!
CONVERT = PARASITE!
MAKE A HOME = LARVA CHAMBER
CAVE-IN = PHEROMONE BARRIER

...any other ideas?

Comments

thoughts on theme

Stephen,

A few thoughts...

First, when I tried Mole Majority, I thought "well now that's an interesting, original theme." I enjoyed it because it was different, and the theme directly tied into the mechanics. I could tell that you had integrated the theme and mechanics from the beginning of the design process. I believe it's possible some of that seamless integration could be sacrificed with a retheming.

Second, depending on the publisher, it may not matter one way or the other. It would be nice to have some optional backup ideas handy in case the publisher didn't immediately jump at the theme, but I wouldn't worry overly much about this. Either the publisher will want to change the theme, and you will be able to work with the developer on retheming the game, or the publisher will just stick with the theme as is. You shouldn't worry too much about trying to account for one or more alternative themes.

Third, if you really want feedback on some possible alternate themes, it will probably be difficult to gauge without actually trying the game with those themes. To that end, if it's possible to run a few demos with alternate themes without too much effort on your part, I say go for it.

Personally, of the themes you outline above, the ones that I find most interesting would be Wiseguys and Election Time. But that's just me. You'll get very different answers from just about everyone you ask because the issue of theme is so subjective.

Just don't make it zombies!!!

Regardless of all that, I'm holding out for Mole Majority as is!

David

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