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Adapting 8-bit game concepts, part 2

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I'm looking at basing something on the Defender of the Crown map (Commodore 64 version) but trying not to require huge amounts of tokens to track who controls which of the 18 counties and with what size garrison.

Therefore I think dividing the map into 6 regions of contiguous counties and using tokens to represent majority and minority presence might be better for a quick solo game. I've mocked up this quick colour-coded map to illustrate the point. Each lord starts in control of one region (three counties in the computer game) which eliminates the need for the dull opening moves of the computer game where everyone just grabs the nearby land.

As there are only 6 regions and you can have either majority or minority control of them, each lord only needs 6 tokens in their colour (pawns or cubes will do). Plus a handfull of other neutral tokens can be used to track other things. So this approach is helping to keep the physical size of the game down while hopefully preserving some of the flavour of the original.

The majority/minority mechanic is that if you're the only lord with a presence in that region you have sole control and get 100% of the benefit (income). If there are two lords present, the majority gets two thirds and the minority one third. To gain control, you have to first invade a region gaining minority control (or taking it from another player), then later challenge for majority control. The majority controller can also try to drive out the minority controller to resume sole control.

All of this can simply be tracked with one or two tokens in each region but still gives a "feel" of there being three counties to control (with minority, majority, or sole control you get the benefit of owning one, two, or three counties respectively). Of course this means that all three counties in a region become homogenous, but perhaps there can be additional factors in each region that modify the two thirds/one third split (such as the majority controller getting a defensive bonus).

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blog | by Dr. Radut