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"Interrupting" another player's turn

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I'm wondering about how players view the act of taking an action during another player's turn.

I would think that the full range of one's regular turn options couldn't be done at any time (this would negate the whole mechanic of having turns, and isn't really what I'm trying to get at), but certain "reactionary" measures to hinder another player or lessen the impact of that move on oneself would be an interesting thing.

The biggest example of this I can think of is in Magic the Gathering:CCG, where players are allowed instants and interrupts - where players resolve them in reverse order. But I'm wondering if people have used different methods than this and how viable this is for 3 and over players in a game.

And how would this work with different genres?
Racing games "slowing down cards" makes sense.
In resource games - plagues or rot or something?

Examples of games you have personally worked on that incorporate elements of "interruption" would be good to hear about, because I'm thinking of an "epic wargame" but I want players to have certain actions allowable without waiting for their turn to come around when it might already be too late to be useful (thinking 2-6 players).

An evolutionary step in my opinion...

My fantasy strategy wargame Tyrant, includes an element just like you described. One option players have is to spend one action on their turn mixing potions and getting these "potion" cards. The advantage to potions is they can be played during anyone's turn and do not cost any actions to use. So the effect in the game is someone could be making a move and suddenly a different player could lay down a potion which creates a tornado and blows his army in another direction, or an explosive which blows up some of his troops, etc. The interesting effect this creates is all players with cards feel constantly involved in the game, even when it's not their turn to take actions. They feel like at any moment they have the potential to alter the gamescape or effect it in some way. This has been a longstanding flaw in wargames where players basic wander off waiting for their turn to come up, or while two players engage in a die rolling slugfest for 30 mintutes while others fall asleep. The answer to your basic question is that using a mechanic like the one you described creates a tighter sense of immersion in the game and helps players feel involved when it's not their turn.

Johan's picture
Joined: 10/05/2008
"Interrupting" another player's turn

A Game I was working on ("The General" (now it have find its final rest)) was completely built on the concept to interrupt each other's turns.
"The General" was a tabletop war-game in the DBA/ Fantasy Rules/Warmaster style.
In the concept was that each turn, the player got leadership points to spend.
The fist player decided what to do (and placed a concealed order (there was only 4 of them) behind the unit/units). Than he paid leadership points for the order. The second player had now the opportunity to interrupt (play orders on his units and pay the price), the first player could interrupt the second players actions with new orders ect. This continued until one of the player decided to not interrupt any more.
All order was the executed in reversed order (the last order was executed first).
Two things that made it more complicated was that an unit that already got an order could not get another one and you had to pay more leadership points for each interruption. More interruptions lower the number of orders that could be placed.
I have tested the concept in other tabletop war games (like Mordheim and DBA) and it work fine to replace the normal turn based system with this. The downside on the system is that the game takes more time (but the player thinks that a lot of things happens with reactions and counteractions).

?and yes, I am planning on reusing the concept in at least two other games.

// Johan

"Interrupting" another player's turn

I've been toying with the idea of turn interuption in a game that I have been working on. The game is a global level strategy wargame.

I think that this could be very cumbersome and painful for all involved in a larger game, especially as the complexity increases. An example of what I was thinking about.

Attacks can take place at any time during the game. The game consists of several Stages that make up one round. One of those Stages is the Move Stage (where all players take a turn moving their forces) which breaks down into a Move Phase (one player moves any or all of their forces to their allowable limit, one piece at a time). This Phase can be interrupted by any other player who perceives a serious threat developing - remember, attacking can be made at any time. At this point the player in Movement Phase must reduce their movement to the level of Steps. Confused?! So...we have..

Movement Stage : Movement Phase : Movement Step

An example: RED during his movement PHASE begins to move a navy towards position x on the board one hex at a time but continuously up to his movement allowance for that piece of let's say 20 hexes. After about 10 hexes of movement, BLUE does not like what he sees developing and wants to counter RED's movement. RED must now move one hex at a time (a movement STEP), and BLUE is allowed to also move any units one hex at a time. The players alternate until BLUE is satisfied that RED is not posing a threat.

It seems like a neat mechanic for immediately countering another players movement to thwart a possible attack, but is plagued with what I see as many many problems. Add another four players to this equation, plus the fact that players can attack at any time, plus that fact that BLUE may have already completed his movement phase, and thus moved many of his units to their movement allowance. It just becomes a big mess in my mind. The Move stage could last for ages.

I haven't playtested this idea, but bascially abandoned it right after I thought it up. Any comments would be appreciated.

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