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Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

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Anonymous

Hi all,

I'm considering creating a space exploration style game, that involves the laying down of around 180 triangular tiles in a 'random' order. The tiles would represent planets, worm holes, asteroids and space itself.

My problem is finding a decent tile laying mechanic that would make the game fast and easy to set-up.

Any suggestions for the laying down of these tiles would be greatly welcomed.

Thanks.

-Karl.

prophx
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Joined: 08/13/2008
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

Are these triangles to be touching other triangles on all 3 sides or does the shape not really matter to the placement? 180 seems like a gigantic number of tiles. What have you tried so far and are the tile images hidden "face down" or showing face up?

rob

Anonymous
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

Quote:
Are these triangles to be touching other triangles on all 3 sides or does the shape not really matter to the placement?

The triangles are all designed to touch the other, in order to form a universe of hexagons(parsecs). Each triangular tile would represent a sector of a parsec in the game.

Quote:
180 seems like a gigantic number of tiles.

180 is a LOT of tiles, but it only equates to 30 hexagons in size. So, it's not really a HUGE amount of space we are dealing with here. The reason for so many tiles, is to diversify the game 'universe', so to speak. So, that each and every game played will be unique, and therefore present a new challenge.

Quote:
What have you tried so far and are the tile images hidden "face down" or showing face up?

I've tried a few things, such as.....

Drawing each tile from a bag randomly and just laying them down one by one until a game universe is created. That took way too much time.

I've tried shuffling the tiles and distributing them evenly amongst the players so that they could create the game universe themselves. They never enjoyed that.

The other mechanic I was thinking of implementing was to again distribute the tiles evenly amongst the players, and allowing them to place them on board face down, but revealing the actual attributes of the tile to others as they got within range to explore it. I am leaning towards implementing this mechanic to the game, if I receive no better alternatives.

I hope that answers your questions.

Further comments, questions, ideas would be appreciated. :)

-Karl

IngredientX
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

Laying down 180 tiles before starting the game is probably too much.

Instead, you can have about 15 or so "starter hexes," shaped and arranged like those in Settlers of Catan. Players can then draw 1-5 triangular tiles on their turn, and place them adjacent to a starter hex or another triangular tile.

This might be the best compromise; and a combinations of rules and strategy can determine how many tiles a player draws, and where he may place them.

Anonymous
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

IngredientX Posted:

Quote:

Laying down 180 tiles before starting the game is probably too much.

Instead, you can have about 15 or so "starter hexes," shaped and arranged like those in Settlers of Catan. Players can then draw 1-5 triangular tiles on their turn, and place them adjacent to a starter hex or another triangular tile.

This might be the best compromise; and a combinations of rules and strategy can determine how many tiles a player draws, and where he may place them.

Hmmmm, the problem I would have if I implemented this, would be the same as the problem I have now. Only it would take half the amount of time to set-up the first 15 hexes on the board.

I'm looking for a faster, more efficient way of creating the game universe. The universe doesn't necessarily have to be created before the game begins, so a few starting hexes would be a good idea. 15 is probably too many though. 7 is more likely.

I do like your idea of a player being able to draw the tiles, and placing them on the board as he see fits. This could be a good way to introduce strategy into the game, by allowing players to create 'natural' defenses (with asteroids) and easier passages to other parsecs (via worm holes), etc. Although this would detract from any hint of 'realism' I was hoping to give the game.

Thanks for your suggestions, IngredientX. :)

Are there any other mechanics I could use to place these tiles? Anyone?

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

Setting up 180 of anything is going to take a long time no matter what you do.

But, do they have to be 180 individual tiles? What if instead you "bundled" them into larger tiles (of whatever shape you want), each of which has several triangles printed on it. A good example of this is the large tiles in Attika, each of which has 8 hexes printed on it. You'll lose a little bit of randomness, but since the orientation and relative location of these large tiles can change from game to game you should still have just as much replay value.

Good luck!

-Jeff

sedjtroll
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Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

Karl68UK wrote:
I do like your idea of a player being able to draw the tiles, and placing them on the board as he see fits. This could be a good way to introduce strategy into the game

Yeah, this is probably considered the standard tile-laying mechanic- draw a tile and place one. Variations could be to have a 'hand' of tiles, or a pool from which to draw them.

Quote:
Although this would detract from any hint of 'realism' I was hoping to give the game.

I'm not sure DETRACTING from realism is a concern in a game about flying through wormholes in outer space.

Quote:
Are there any other mechanics I could use to place these tiles? Anyone?
Again, depending on the level or 'type' of strategy game this is intended to be, players could draw a random tile and place it (a la Carcassone). The next step up would be to place a tile then draw one (I think this would reduce downtime, a problem I have with Carcassone). Next would be to have a hand of 3 or so ties instead of just 1. Finally and possibly more interactive is to have a face-up pool of tiles from which to draw. Then either the tile you drew gets replaced with a new one fromt eh face down supply, or it doesn't- which implys some turn order effects and a round structure which could either be good or bad.

One question- is laying a tile something people will be doing every turn as a matter of course? Or is it an action available to the players- to explore a sector of space? That makes a difference in how these mechanics will work for you.

As for the tiles themselves, I rather like jwarrend's suggestion, that they not be individual triangles, but rather a semi-random group of triangles, each containing at least 1 sector with an 'element' like a wormhole or an astroid.

- Seth

Anonymous
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

On a related note, how well do triangle pieces hold up? They seem like the corners would bend easily especially if you are drawing them out of a bag. I always found flipping all the Carcasone pieces over annoying and use a bag instead, but would that hold up for triangle pieces?

Anonymous
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

jwarrend Posted

Quote:

Setting up 180 of anything is going to take a long time no matter what you do.

But, do they have to be 180 individual tiles? What if instead you "bundled" them into larger tiles (of whatever shape you want), each of which has several triangles printed on it. A good example of this is the large tiles in Attika, each of which has 8 hexes printed on it. You'll lose a little bit of randomness, but since the orientation and relative location of these large tiles can change from game to game you should still have just as much replay value.

The only way I could imagine bundling the tiles up, would be into bundles of 2 or 3. This creates a dilemma for me though, because I am not particularly fond of having super powered tiles (eg, 2 or 3 planets on them, 2 or 3 asteroids, etc.), that everyone (other than the owner of that tile) will complain about.

sedjtroll Posted:

Quote:
depending on the level or 'type' of strategy game this is intended to be

The game is intended to be based upon space exploration, colonisation, trading and technology. It will feel similar to Twilight Imperium & Stellar Conquest in game play, although not as militaristic.
Quote:

players could draw a random tile and place it (a la Carcassone). The next step up would be to place a tile then draw one (I think this would reduce downtime, a problem I have with Carcassone). Next would be to have a hand of 3 or so ties instead of just 1. Finally and possibly more interactive is to have a face-up pool of tiles from which to draw. Then either the tile you drew gets replaced with a new one fromt eh face down supply, or it doesn't- which implys some turn order effects and a round structure which could either be good or bad.

I like the idea of drawing tiles from a face up pile, and replacing it with another as you suggested. The tile could then either be held onto or played immediately. Having an handsize for tiles would be good also. Handsize could be increased by a technology of some form in another part of this game. I'm liking this idea very much! Thanks. :)
Quote:

One question- is laying a tile something people will be doing every turn as a matter of course? Or is it an action available to the players- to explore a sector of space? That makes a difference in how these mechanics will work for you.

Now that I'm getting a better idea of the mechanics I would like to see in this game for laying tiles, I think that it will be something that people do every turn, depending on whether or not they have moved into a position to explore, and their technology advances in space exploration.
Quote:

As for the tiles themselves, I rather like jwarrend's suggestion, that they not be individual triangles, but rather a semi-random group of triangles, each containing at least 1 sector with an 'element' like a wormhole or an astroid.

The main reason that I want to create this with triangular tiles, is because I have them already (240 of them to be precise). So, I feel compelled to make the game with these.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. They have been very helpful. :)

More comments, suggestions, etc are welcomed.

-Karl.

Nazhuret
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

in terms of tile laying exploration games in general and applying to this game in particular:

if you and the other players are EXPLORING space (or whatever) then you don't get a choice as to what tile to place where... if your ships recieve orders to explore a previously uncharted triangle then the first one overturned from ONE face down stack IS that section of space. you may then decide if it is strategically advantageous or not.

the 'characters' (players) are not gods (unless, of course, theyARE...) when playing these game.. they are folks out in their tin cans going where no man has gone before. if they knew / could choose what was there before they even went there well.. that seems more like a god-like construction game and less like a space exploration game.

so anyway, ONE stack, FACE DOWN and NO CHOICES before a ship actually, physically goes there and reports on what they have found. (of course if a society has technology sufficient to carry them between the stars you'd think they could make a telescope or somthing to tell them what was there before they even fired up the rocket... ) as for wormholes... you might want to have a separate mechanism for this as if you explore a hole then have a random effect for where the other end is.. it may be that the terminus is in a space that was previously explored...

what i'm trying to say is, perhaps have a seperate "search" roll for finding wormholes in ANY space you HAVE explored / have a ship. mark that you've searched and found nothing and mark that you've searched and found something... if you go through randomize the terminus and place a "found" marker there (have corresponding nomenclature of course... ie: A, B, C X2 each...) maybe have a modifier for more advanced ships / more ships per sector.

or have the ships be able to create their own wormholes....

ok, i'm getting bogged down here on the wormhole thing so i'll just leave it at that for now...

Anonymous
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

Nazhuret Posted:

Quote:
if you and the other players are EXPLORING space (or whatever) then you don't get a choice as to what tile to place where... if your ships recieve orders to explore a previously uncharted triangle then the first one overturned from ONE face down stack IS that section of space. you may then decide if it is strategically advantageous or not.

the 'characters' (players) are not gods (unless, of course, theyARE...) when playing these game.. they are folks out in their tin cans going where no man has gone before. if they knew / could choose what was there before they even went there well.. that seems more like a god-like construction game and less like a space exploration game.

so anyway, ONE stack, FACE DOWN and NO CHOICES before a ship actually, physically goes there and reports on what they have found. (of course if a society has technology sufficient to carry them between the stars you'd think they could make a telescope or somthing to tell them what was there before they even fired up the rocket... )
Ok. I take onboard your comments there.

I feel as though I can create a game mechanic, that allows for players to choose the type of sector in space (from the tiles in their hand) and place them as they see fit, with the ideas that have previously been suggested in this thread.

To keep the 'exploration' theme in the game though, all a player would need to do is place his tile face down on the game board, until he intends to settle upon it, use it a worm hole, etc.

In order for other players to then know what that particular sector represented, all they would have to do, is to be in a position with either a ship or via technology to reveal the tile to them. So, only the player who placed the tile, would actually know if the tile was an asteroid, planet, worm hole or space, until the other players had explored that sector themselves, or the player who had placed the tile voluntarily made it's value known to others.

Quote:
as for wormholes... you might want to have a separate mechanism for this as if you explore a hole then have a random effect for where the other end is.. it may be that the terminus is in a space that was previously explored...

what i'm trying to say is, perhaps have a seperate "search" roll for finding wormholes in ANY space you HAVE explored / have a ship. mark that you've searched and found nothing and mark that you've searched and found something... if you go through randomize the terminus and place a "found" marker there (have corresponding nomenclature of course... ie: A, B, C X2 each...) maybe have a modifier for more advanced ships / more ships per sector.
Currently the worm holes have names, A1 & A2, B1 &2, C1 & C2 and so on. You would only be allowed to travel through worm holes that have the same name (Eg, Enter A1, exit A2 or vice-versa). Travelling through them though could come at a cost. It will probably be a random die roll to see if they make the journey safely or not. The die roll could be modified to increase the chances of a safe journey by a technology advance.

Quote:

or have the ships be able to create their own wormholes....

I think some form of teleportation technology could make that possible instead.

Thanks for your comments. :)

-Karl.

IngredientX
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Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

Nazhuret wrote:

if you and the other players are EXPLORING space (or whatever) then you don't get a choice as to what tile to place where...

This brings up an interesting point. Personally, I don't think I'd have a problem with a tile-laying "space exploration" game where I could choose where to place my tiles, even though that choice subverts the whole idea of exploration.

First off, that has a lot to do with the fact that I generally enjoy theme-light, mechanic-centered games. There are a lot of people who dislike those kinds of games, and would prefer the mechanic to better match the theme. So personal taste does enter the equation.

The good thing about giving the players a choice about where to play the tile is that it immediately offers tactical choices. If players have no choice about where to lay their tiles, then the tile-laying mechanism simply becomes a randomization factor, nothing more than a giant die. You'd need to introduce another element of the game that offers tactics and strategy, because the tile-placement simply won't be enough if players are limited to a specific area to place it.

Of course, the game can work either way. It all depends on the kind of game you're envisioning...

Karl68UK wrote:
I feel as though I can create a game mechanic, that allows for players to choose the type of sector in space (from the tiles in their hand) and place them as they see fit, with the ideas that have previously been suggested in this thread.

To keep the 'exploration' theme in the game though, all a player would need to do is place his tile face down on the game board, until he intends to settle upon it, use it a worm hole, etc.

In order for other players to then know what that particular sector represented, all they would have to do, is to be in a position with either a ship or via technology to reveal the tile to them. So, only the player who placed the tile, would actually know if the tile was an asteroid, planet, worm hole or space, until the other players had explored that sector themselves, or the player who had placed the tile voluntarily made it's value known to others.

That sounds quite reasonable. There might be some gamers turned off by the face-down tiles, though, because that turns it into a memory game.

Best of luck!

Anonymous
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

IngredientX Posted:

Quote:
The good thing about giving the players a choice about where to play the tile is that it immediately offers tactical choices. If players have no choice about where to lay their tiles, then the tile-laying mechanism simply becomes a randomization factor, nothing more than a giant die. You'd need to introduce another element of the game that offers tactics and strategy, because the tile-placement simply won't be enough if players are limited to a specific area to place it.

I agree. Giving the players a choice of positions to place a tile will be something I strive to implement in this game. However, the choice they receive will be mainly dependant on how the players position themselves on the game board.

For instance: A player may send an explorer to a parsec on the gameboard that has 2 or more unexplored tiles, this would give the player the option to place his tile in the sector he deems appropriate for strategical/tactical purposes. Should the player send his explorer to a parsec that has only one unexplored tile though, then the choice of positioning would be taken away. The player may however have several unexplored sectors available to place his tile(s), therefore giving him a whole range of positions to place them.

Quote:
Karl68UK wrote:
I feel as though I can create a game mechanic, that allows for players to choose the type of sector in space (from the tiles in their hand) and place them as they see fit, with the ideas that have previously been suggested in this thread.

To keep the 'exploration' theme in the game though, all a player would need to do is place his tile face down on the game board, until he intends to settle upon it, use it a worm hole, etc.

In order for other players to then know what that particular sector represented, all they would have to do, is to be in a position with either a ship or via technology to reveal the tile to them. So, only the player who placed the tile, would actually know if the tile was an asteroid, planet, worm hole or space, until the other players had explored that sector themselves, or the player who had placed the tile voluntarily made it's value known to others.

That sounds quite reasonable. There might be some gamers turned off by the face-down tiles, though, because that turns it into a memory game.
There would be no memory element to the game at all where that was concerned. Once a tile has been turned face up(settled upon, utilised by that tiles' placer or explored by everyone) then the tile would stay face up for the remainder of the game.

Thanks again for your comments. Keep them coming! :)

-Karl.

Pt314
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

You could make it so each player on their turn may draw up to a number of triangular tiles per turn if they choose. But are only allowed to look at one or two of them, then they play all the tiles they drew somewhere on the board. This would create the random game map throughout the game & combine exploration with a little bit of control.

Torrent
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Triangular tile laying mechanism needed.

Someone already mentioned Carc. as a paradigm of exploration games. Where you pick up a tile and place in any valid location as you wish. However in my skimming I haven't seen any mention of Tongiaki. It is newish, but I was able to play a few games on BSW.
When you go off an island, you draw one random tile, flip it directly over and place it on the board. They use Hexes instead of Triangles, but it allows more for an unknown sort of thign with placing tiles.

Andy

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