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Flipping tiles: their ups and downs

6 replies [Last post]
lucasAB's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008

I'm currently brainstorming on a civilization game and had a new idea for the terrain/map. The game includes 10-15 tiles(similar to the ones found in Tempus:, each tile has seven territories marked with different terrain types that effect gameplay. On the back of the tile are small boxes of text that effect different regions. This is when the fun begins, during play land tiles can be flipped(using action cards) bringing special conditions into play. This means if you built a town on a territory that has a brigand event, you will experience this event as long as that tile is flipped by other players.

I've run into a few problems with this idea, and here they are. Potentially, a player could flip a tile to see what the events/conditions are before he settles on that territory. This seems like a design flaw, so maybe you can only flip a tile if it has occupation(populace, towns) equal to the unique number on the action card. This means there are three different strengths of flip action cards. The lower the number, the better.

Here's another problem, every time you flip a tile you must remove every game piece occupying that tile and remember their places. On a cramped playing surface this could be a major problem with the game, but I guess that's the players fault.

I hope I can get your imput on this unique idea. Replies, ideas, opinions, and suggestions greatly appreciated!


fecundity's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Why not separate the cards from the tiles?

It sounds like you already have a solution for the first problem.

As for the second: Why have the event text on the tile, rather than on separate event cards? That way, you could flip over the card rather than flipping over the whole tile. Without some change, it seems like your solution to the first problem will just exacerbate the second problem.

Hedge-o-Matic's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008
Tiling format is also an issue.

Another thing to consider is that prying up a tile from any full tiling (like squares or hexagons) is going to disrupt the entire field. Also, the practical wear problems of fingernails slowly separating the cardboard layers as they dig in for purchase will shorten the life of the components.

I think some other method would serve you better, and not have these many downsides. I'll post more if I think of some viable alternative others haven't suggested.

InvisibleJon's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
Sticky tack!

"Also, the practical wear problems of fingernails slowly separating the cardboard layers as they dig in for purchase will shorten the life of the components."

I know this is a specialized component, but what about a pencil (or other short stick) with sticky-tack or some other slightly sticky subtance on the end of it? Even if it seems silly for a commercial venture, it would probably work well for games that you're just prototyping.

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
A die?

What do you think of this alternative: a die on top of each tile to change the status of the tile. So when you originally place the tile, you place a die with value 1 on top of it. Then, instead of flipping the tile, the players just flip the die to 2, 3, etc. thus changing the tile status without the need to remove and replace whatever other pieces on top of the tile.

Joined: 08/04/2008

The easiest way to get the same effect is to use tokens that all have identical backs and are less space than the tiles so you flip them and the symbols on the other side will tell you the effects that happen. This keeps the origional ideas and adds more randomness as to where the events are since normally you'd have them on specific tiles. Now people that played more often than others don't have the advantage to say well the fields already came up with x number of brigands so only this many remain I may be safe there.

lucasAB's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
Lots of good ideas

Thank you for all of your great ideas, I'm afraid I can't use all of them though... Kodarr, I like your idea for having random tokens being flipped as the game progresses. The reason I liked the idea of having the events on the tiles is this: one, the game would be cheaper to manufacture, second, I would eliminate any sort of "event" deck I was planning to use. Well, when my swordfighting card game is published(more on that later) I can start thinking about this game in depth. Thanks for the replies, if any of you can think of better/more ideas please let me know!


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