I have been working on a prototype lately, I have shrink down the board to make the game easier to play. Fleets are represented as tokens placed on the card outside the board. Each hex territory has a location card, Ships are placed on these cards and they can move 3 hexes from a card to another. Here is picture of the prototype.
The smaller board is much better but there is still a few problems with the rules above:
- Fiddly movement: It remains still complicated to move tokens from one place to another. You need no manage various stacks of tokens, sort them, split them, group them, etc.
- Cross referencing: The fact that the cards refer to another place another board makes it annoying to calculate movement range.
- Reorganizing is painful: Since various type of ships are going to die at the end of the turn, the player needs to reorganize his fleet. But his is painful because he must manage his retreat or movement to make sure at the end, the player is going to get the fleet composition he wants.
- Takes space: Displaying all cards around the board take space. If only a few could be used, it would be much better.
--- Solution ---
I have a solution mechanic that looks similar to bidding. I decided to post it here to get some comments.
At the end of your turn, all your ships are pooled back into the reserve. So the player does not need to indicate where the ships end their turn.
When it's time for the player to move, he selects the ships he wants from his reserve, create a stack and place in on the destination card he want to move on. The target card can be any destination within or adjacent to the player's supply net (Currently controlled area).
So there is no need to count movement space anymore. The tokens should be easier to manage because when pooled in reserve they can be manipulated at will. It will be easier to make sure the same ship does not move twice on the same turn, and only the cards where a fleet is placed will require to be put on the board.
So this mechanic seems to optimize many aspects of the game.
Do you like the ideas?