## Fixing a Mobility problem

4 replies [Last post]
larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008

I have a problem with one of my game that I want to fix. I'll first try to explain rapidly how the game works and then list the possible solutions and problems. I want to see if people have other ideas I have not thought about. For more info about the project and to see some pictures, see the following page:

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/index.php?n=GameIdea.GameIdea201003230911AM

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The Gameplay

Players control a group of rats that wants to conquer the room of the house. In a 3 player game, there is 4 room where 2 are large ( contain 3 bases, 8 resources) and 2 are small ( 2 bases, 5 resources). For a total of 10 bases for 3 players. Each player has a breached room which is some sort of "Home" room where new rats are beign placed every turn because rats are not "produced".

Each turn, the number of rats in the room gives production point to place buildings. Each player can have 1 base per room and 8 buildings per base.

Players move between rooms by using the corridor which is a neutralzone guarded by cats. They can eat some rats while they are passing through.

At the end of the turn, rooms shared by multiple players must be negotiated. They must decide how will they split the resources. Each rat can collect 1 resources and each resources collected gives 1 VP. Resources have a random chance of beign depleted if harvested.

If negotiation fails, it's war. Players play cards from their hands up to the number of rats in the room. THere is also a rat limit for each room, if the llimit is exceed, war is inevitable.

So this is a summary of the game play. There are other rules, but that is what you need to understand for now.

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The problem

Since all players receive their reinforcement in the same room, it creates 3 rooms that are completely dominated by a player. So players have little reason to migrate to other rooms considering the strength of the opposing forces and the risks of the corridor. So most players camp their starting room and might attempt conquest in the empty room. I want more mobility and more sharing of rooms between players, because if there is no sharing, there is no negotiation, and that removes a main feature of the game.

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Solutions tougth (good (+) and bad (-), not sure (?))

- Add more room: The problem is that if there is too many rooms, players will not share them.

- No breach: Rats are placed in any room when reinforcing. Problem, there will be no reason to use the corridor.

+ Scoring 1st/2nd: Instead that each resource collected gives a point. The player with a majority of rats would get let 5 points and the 2nd place would get 3 points in a 8 resource rooms. So a player cannot get all the points in the room by keeping 8 rats in it, and a player can get his 5 points even if he does not have 5 rats.

? Each base place a certain number of rats suring reinforcement. Problem, reduce the need of a corridor.

+ 1 copy of each building: A base cannot have a duplicate copy of a building forcing players to build additional base. Problems, need to have more than 8 buildings else there will not be various base configuration possible.

? Crowding limit: If the nb of rats exceed the limit, the player with the most rat loose the excess of rats. So if a room has a limit of 10 and it's full, a new player that brings in 3 rats will instantly kill 3 rats from the leader. THe problem is that it can be very nasty.

+ Hand limit: There is already a hand limit of cards, so if you have 5 cards and 8 units in play, 3 units will not be able to participate in battle. So having more units than your hand limit is useless.

- The number of rats does not influence building production. I currently find it elegant this way, and once all 8 buildings are done, there is no reasons to keep rats for building production. So I don't think that will make the player camp too much rats.

+ 5 resources. Right now there is 2 or 3 type of resources (playtested both), so all rooms have all resources. So I first thought of increasing it to 5. This way, some resources will eb missing in the starting room forcing players to get it in another room, so encouraging migration.

+ Resource stacking ( only possible with 5 resources) The second idea is that all unused resources goes to a stack. Once stacked, you can only take the top resources for developing new tech. This means that collecting many of the same resources is not necessarily a good choice because it will get stuck on the top of your stack that will block all other resources under it until you deplete them. So there might a be a reason to collect less resources than available thus reducing the number of rats required in a room.

+ Resource collection by majority: Instead that each rat collect a resources, it's the player with the most rats select in priority of other players which each takes 1 resources at a time. I find the majority idea good for VP, but I am not sure for resources. The goal behind this is to prevent needing a lot of rats in a room to collect the resources.

So that is all the idea so far, feel free to suggest a few.

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The Decision

The solutions I consider to use so far are:

5 Resources
resources stacking (with the possibilty de-harvest unused resources.)
VP by majority

It not enough, I might add

Resources collection by majority
Force crowding killing excess units immediately.

Orangebeard
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Joined: 10/13/2011
Combined solutions?

Hi Larienna,

What if reinforcement rats in excess of the room limit automatically appear in the corridor? This would result in losses to the cat plus some small "raids" on other rooms almost every turn. This might also encourage negotiation/battles.

Depending on the timing, a player could reinforce the "excess rat raids" with older rats and launch a larger raid on other rooms

Or possibly, excess rats don't belong to any team and become neutral? or join the other team?

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Excess rats moving to the

Excess rats moving to the corridor, I like that. It will have to depend on the timing, maybe there will be a rat limit check up phase, and all excess goes to the corridor for the next movement. Forcing players to move out anyway.

Another solution I thought is adding trading between players if they share a room. So if a player could have the monopoly of a scarce resource, enemy players might be willing to let him in to be able to trade.

kos
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Joined: 01/17/2011
Shared starting room, shared resource points

What if all the players shared the same starting room? That gives the option of fighting for that room or spreading out across the empty rooms. One player could try to "camp" the starting room, but he going to be constantly at war with the new rats spawning every turn.

It sounds like you want negotiation to be a significant part of the game. What if the resource collection was always negotiated as follows:
- One player gets 5 points.
- One player gets 3 points.
- One player gets 1 point.
- Each player can only claim one of these (i.e. if you are the only player in the room, you only get 5 points not 9 points).

In such a system there is incentive to spread across multiple rooms to try to score the 3 points on as many rooms as possible.

Regards,
kos

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote: It sounds like you

Quote:
It sounds like you want negotiation to be a significant part of the game. What if the resource collection was always negotiated as follows: - One player gets 5 points. - One player gets 3 points. - One player gets 1 point. - Each player can only claim one of these (i.e. if you are the only player in the room, you only get 5 points not 9 points).

One of my suggestion is to use a system like that. I was thinking 5/3 points for large rooms, and 3/2 points for small rooms. But this is only for VP, not resources.

For resources, either each rat collect a resources in priority order. Priority is determined by majority if there is no war, else it's based on the control value of the card played during war.

The the first player get 2 resources, each player collect 1 resources and then it circle around until all resources are collected. Right now it requires 1 rat per resources collected, but I could remove this restriction if it promote camping So that 1 rat could collect 8 resources.

The problem is that a player can collect all resources, but each room will only have 2 types available. So a room with 8 resources will have 3 of type A and 5 of type B. The things is, does a player really need 5 resources of the same type, maybe not, and that could prevent the player from harvesting all.

While for VP, it's correct to have a restriction, because there is nothing wrong in collecting more VP. But for resources, it could clog your stock pile.