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Action Selection Rondel

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BHFuturist
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CnL_Rondel

Chutes & Ladders inspired Roll & Move action rondel. Roll dice and choose to stop on an action up to the move value and take that action. If you choose to take the action on a space that would make you "slide down" you would also then get a second action from that space.

Right now I am thinking of using one "normal" six-sided die but might also use two. I want players to have several options for what action they can take each turn. I might use two custom dice so I can control the "bell curve" of outcomes. Like this:

anydice sim one or anydice sim two

This would not be the "game board" and would only serve as an action selection mechanic as part of a larger game.

I would love to hear your thoughts on using two normally "hated" mechanics to make something new and hopefully fresh?

@BHFuturist

Corsaire
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Neat concept

Really cool think space.

Is the idea that the higher number spaces are stronger actions?

Rather than a two dice curve, I think you'd rather have a 2-7 die. Someone should be able to do a controlled hop around the board. On the assumption that chutes spaces are also higher reward, you should be able to dodge those every turn by taking the more plebeian even space action in anticipation of the big payoff in the highest numbers.

My biggest concern is that as a sub-mechanic it may add too much complexity and uncomfortable decision making which could take processing power away from the main game.

BHFuturist
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Needs testing... and a game to be in...

Corsaire wrote:
Is the idea that the higher number spaces are stronger actions?

I am not sure that higher numbers should always be stronger... (only testing will tell that tale)

Think of the track as more of a bell curve of actions with the start and end having the strongest actions. Also, the spaces with the "Chutes" would be weaker because they also serve as "double actions". The player would take the action they choose to land on and if a chute they would also take the action they land on.

I am also trying to work in using the chutes as ladders given the player pays a resource cost. Details of this can be tailored in many ways to fit many games (I think). Right now it is not much more than a raw idea and not worth much as is... once there is a game I can test it in we will see if it has real worth.

I do agree that action rondels can add analysis paralysis if not implemented well... I guess all I can do is try and see where this leads :)

Thanks for taking the time to post!

@BHFuturist

questccg
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What worries me...

The "action" rondel has a "chute" every 2nd number. That's too highly likely that a player will "fall down" from the outermost ring (highest values) to the inner ring (lower values). The odds are way off in this "implementation".

Perhaps if you had four (4) rings instead of three (3)... Maybe then it could be more flexible. It doesn't seem very realistic to me (with only 3 rings).

The other matter is that the "green" links are "sequential" (almost). Remember is Chutes AND LADDERS! Your rondel would need to have GREEN links going "upwards" too...

I think the IDEA is okay -- but there are several implementation issues with the current "model" (if you like).

Maybe if you address the "extra" ring and the "upward" Green links -- it could be viable (although I'm not sure in what context...) I have no idea how you expect to use this "action" rondel... But it seems to me that the current implementation is "flawed" (but the idea is real good)!

Cheers.

BHFuturist
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I don't see it as flawed

questccg wrote:
The "action" rondel has a "chute" every 2nd number. That's too highly likely that a player will "fall down" from the outermost ring (highest values) to the inner ring (lower values). The odds are way off in this "implementation".

questccg wrote:
The other matter is that the "green" links are "sequential" (almost). Remember is Chutes AND LADDERS! Your rondel would need to have GREEN links going "upwards" too...

The current "implementation" has only chutes (red lines), the green lines only represent the "path" and are indeed 100% sequential by design. May the odds ever be in your favor... The part that I think you might have missed in this is that players are not "trapped" into landing on a Chute by their die roll and the choice players have to land on the Chute is a beneficial one that grants them a second action. The Chute spacing is by design staggered.

I am also considering letting the players be able to "pay" a cost to travel up the red lines during a move. I might also just allow players to move either direction along the green path. I am sure those type of issues will be tackled once this is not just a raw idea.

I am hoping to create a roll of the dice with a narrow variance that is between 2-6 without a flat distribution as shown in the ANYDICE links above.

Example: wrote:
A player is currently on space 18 and is hoping to take the action on space 22. The roll of the 2 custom dice has a total result of 3. the player must chose any of the next three spaces to take the action. Each of these three spaces is attached to a shoot creating a place on the rondel that is hard to get past. There are three combos of actions the player might take. 19/5 20/4 21/1 The choice is now to drop back into the middle on the 4/5 or drop all the way back to the 1 space.

I realize the example can't be taken very far with out a frame of reference to what sorts of actions. I see this being part of an engine building & market manipulation style of game. so the actions would relate to those ideas in some way. The goal is to give the player "some" but not "total" control over the movement on the rondel. At no point would moving back to a lower part of the track be a "bad" thing and would be something that the players would want to do depending on what is going on in the larger game.

I know how the Chutes & Ladders game plays... this is not the same and is only "inspired by" or "base on" those movement mechanics. The goal is to create meaningful choices for what to do next while under some constraints.

questccg wrote:
(but the idea is real good)!

Thanks, currently it is not much more than a raw idea so it would need to be customized once I get to the point where there is a game to put it in.

@BHFuturist

questccg
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Numbers don't add up for me

BHFuturist wrote:
...I am also considering letting the players be able to "pay" a cost to travel up the red lines during a move. I might also just allow players to move either direction along the green path. I am sure those type of issues will be tackled once this is not just a raw idea.

Personally I think you should have BLUE links allowing you to go UP levels.

Not sure how you work your numbers. If I'm at "18" and roll a 3; my choices are "1", "5" or "1" AGAIN.

I know you say you have been inspired by "Snakes & Ladders" -- but if you ADDED the "blue" links going upwards, and removed some of the "downward" snakes, you'll find that there is more balance, because you're not going DOWN ALWAYS.

If the actions get BETTER the closer you are to 25... Well then "blue" links are very valuable and in your samples, there are too many "red" links to follow. It's just an observation on how you "could" make the rondel more accurately depict the actual mechanics used in "Snakes and Ladders" (or Chutes and Ladders).

No worries... Just my thoughts on the issue.

Notes: To further my thoughts about "balance", much like in "Snakes and Ladders", there are elements which force you DOWN a certain amount of positions. And then there are elements which counter this by allowing you to go UP a certain amount of positions.

If you implement this kind of mechanic... You will probably find that the actions offered by the rondel average out to being more or less "balanced".

Again just an observation.

polyobsessive
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Wacky rondel

Quest, bear in mind that this is only an action selection mechanism, and not the main objective of the game. Moving "up" the board does not put you any closer to winning. All BHF is doing here is taking a rondel and giving some alternate paths around it, and making it so that some of these paths allow multiple actions to be chained together. Whether those paths are "snakes" or "ladders" is pretty much irrelevant as I see it.

This looks like an interesting idea, though one of the big benefits of rondel-based action selection is its simplicity, so the more complex paths may make planning much harder. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it could add a load of complexity.

Looking forward to seeing what comes of this.

questccg
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What I am saying

polyobsessive wrote:
Quest, bear in mind that this is only an action selection mechanism, and not the main objective of the game. Moving "up" the board does not put you any closer to winning. All BHF is doing here is taking a rondel and giving some alternate paths around it, and making it so that some of these paths allow multiple actions to be chained together. Whether those paths are "snakes" or "ladders" is pretty much irrelevant as I see it.

That's because you are NOT "assuming" that the actions taken closer to 25 are better with respect to the other ring. If you are "chaining" actions, like you say, wouldn't you want a mechanic that allows players the CHANCE of having better actions on their turn? If the answer is YES, well then you will need to put ways to "reach" the outermost ring which has better actions than the innermost one...

That's all I am saying...

Super-Tooned
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Uhm.

Quest, equally bear in mind that BHF said he was gonna use a pay action to go up the lines. I think it'll work.

Your idea is too cluttered for me.

SuperTooned

FrankM
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Maybe it's just the missing context

I don't have the deep knowledge of the board game universe that some do around here, so I only know of one game (and its sequel) that use a rondel. The rondels in Imperial and Imperial 2030 have eight spaces with basic actions duplicated on opposite sides, and you can move 1 to 3 spaces for free.

The net effect is that it raises the cost of repeating a basic action (pay to move a 4th space) or getting back to non-basic action in two turns. This looks like a neat mechanic to keep players from getting in a rut.

But a rondel with so many spaces (relative to movement-per-turn) must have some other goal in mind.

Maybe this could be some sort of Momentum Meter, where higher spaces give more aggressive options but disable more passive ones, with the chutes being a way to ratchet down the hysteria. If that is the goal, I can see most/all chutes becoming optional, and the only ladders would come from outside the rondel mechanism.

With a theme involving mass hysteria, political posturing, etc. I can see the lowest-numbered spaces becoming inaccessible (for example, can't move into a space more than 5 below that of the current-calmest team unless going from 25 to 1).

Another use for a long rondel would be some kind of cyclical environment, but in that case I'd unwrap it into a circle with occasional short jumps forward and backward. For example, new tech might go through a Hype Cycle. When something goes off the end, you can either cash out investor's positions, or involuntarily re-invest them in the successor product.

questccg
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Hmm...

I thought it could simply be a Deck of 25 Action cards. Or if used in a war game, maybe an Action Table. What could also be kinda cool is based on a die roll, let's say you get a "5", the next five (5) rondel actions can be chosen ... so it's a bit like dynamic Deck-Building. If you roll a "3", you get three (3) actions you can choose from, and so on...

IDK -- You haven't given a definite "use" for such a rondel and how you would implement it. Right now it's more in a "conceptual stage"... So everything is open for discussion.

Update: You could also use a Custom die with values 3-8 meaning your HAND of cards you can select action from is between 3 to 8 actions. I think anything more than 8 actions could lead to analysis-paralysis. Again just some more ideas brought to the table.

BHFuturist
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Thanks!

questccg wrote:
Not sure how you work your numbers. If I'm at "18" and roll a 3; my choices are "1", "5" or "1" AGAIN.

I don't see what you are seeing... I gave an example of what options a player would have if on the 18th space with a roll of 3. The first choice would be to land on 19 and be taken down to the 5. The second choice would be the 20 and be taken down to the 4. The third choice would be the 21 and be taken down to the 1.

I know it is a lot to read but you seem to be missing some of the smaller details I am sharing.

questccg wrote:
you "could" make the rondel more accurately depict the actual mechanics used in "Snakes and Ladders" (or Chutes and Ladders).

I am not currently interested in making sure this rondel is accurately depicting 100% of the mechanics in "Snakes and Ladders" (that is the version I played when I was younger). But you are correct that it would be easy to make such changes and make it more accurate to that game.

questccg wrote:
If you implement this kind of mechanic... You will probably find that the actions offered by the rondel average out to being more or less "balanced".

I am as not going for a purely balanced rondel, in fact, the goal would be to have the two ends High and Low numbers be imbalanced or at least follow a bell shaped power curve.

questccg wrote:
No worries... Just my thoughts on the issue.

And I am very glad you give your thoughts. You are not "wrong" with any of your feedback. This mechanic can be tailored in many ways to fit the way the designer wants to focus the player's actions. Things that give designers such freedom are appealing to me.

polyobsessive wrote:
Whether those paths are "snakes" or "ladders" is pretty much irrelevant as I see it.

Yes! This is also how I see it as well.

polyobsessive wrote:
...but it could add a load of complexity.

True... that is one of my primary concerns. I do see there being multiple copies of only a few possible actions on the rondel but some having higher levels of that same action. Like a "move troops" action. There might be 4 or 5 such spaces on the rondel but 2 of the spaces might only let you move one troop and other spaces of that same type might let you move 2 or 3 troops. However, this is all dependant on the type of game this rondel put into. The action might be a "gather wood" action... with the same sort of "amount bonus" on different spaces. Wood, Woodx2, Woodx4 etc...

Super-Tooned wrote:
...use a pay action to go up the lines. I think it'll work.

Thanks for the support! I am sure that the overly simple graphic design I made is not helping to show that the "chute" connections can also be "ladders". This is something that would need to be made very clear to players.

FrankM wrote:
But a rondel with so many spaces (relative to movement-per-turn) must have some other goal in mind.

Yes, for sure the game would not be just about the rondel, as it is only one part of the larger game.

FrankM wrote:
Maybe this could be some sort of Momentum Meter, where higher spaces give more aggressive options but disable more passive ones, with the chutes being a way to ratchet down the hysteria. If that is the goal, I can see most/all chutes becoming optional, and the only ladders would come from outside the rondel mechanism.

I do think this could be used that way and that is a really neat idea!

FrankM wrote:
With a theme involving mass hysteria, political posturing, etc. I can see the lowest-numbered spaces becoming inaccessible (for example, can't move into a space more than 5 below that of the current-calmest team unless going from 25 to 1).

Another use for a long rondel would be some kind of cyclical environment, but in that case I'd unwrap it into a circle with occasional short jumps forward and backward. For example, new tech might go through a Hype Cycle. When something goes off the end, you can either cash out investor's positions, or involuntarily re-invest them in the successor product.

These are both very interesting themes for how something like this could be used and I can see how looping it would make an interesting "research" or "development" or "production" oriented mechanic.

questccg wrote:
IDK -- You haven't given a definite "use" for such a rondel and how you would implement it. Right now it's more in a "conceptual stage"... So everything is open for discussion.

I am sorry this is not better integrated into a game idea... but this is the "mechanics" section of the forum. I think all of the changes you have suggested could work depending on what game this is put into. As you said, everything is open for discussion!

questccg wrote:
I thought it could simply be a Deck of 25 Action cards... You could also use a Custom die with values 3-8 meaning...

My only issue with Cards and Dice for this is the addition of a randomness to what the possible actions will be each turn, rather than being able to see and work out a more strategic idea of where you want to try and get on future turns.

Thanks all, for sharing in the back & forth on this. It mechanic is something that can be used in many ways with just a few minor changes... that is what draws me into such ideas!

@BHFuturist

Super-Tooned
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Yep!

BHFuturist wrote:

Super-Tooned wrote:
...use a pay action to go up the lines. I think it'll work.

Thanks for the support! I am sure that the overly simple graphic design I made is not helping to show that the "chute" connections can also be "ladders". This is something that would need to be made very clear to players.

As long as you describe that the "chutes" can also be used as "ladders" I think you'll be good. Still love the idea! :)

Super

Tbone
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Condensing While Keeping

What if you converted the wheel into cards. Maybe this is too far from "Shoots and Ladders" but just hear me out... What if you placed an action card with value 15 that allowed you to stack more actions by placing another lower valued action card (in this case it would have to be an action card with a value of 6 according to your diagram).

Example:

-You currently have 12 AP and you roll a 3 increasing your AP to 15.
-You have a 15 AP cost card that says (Force a player to discard a card, draw that card and play it if available).
-Following that you decide to place a 6 AP cost card that says (Draw a card for every X amount of workers on the X space).
-Your current AP is now 6

The only reservation I have is how are you going to mitigate the "I keep rolling crappy numbers" problem? Will higher valued actions have more risk? (Force a player to discard a card, draw that card. If you can play that card play it, if not you lose 10 AP) Is there a way to get higher without rolling good numbers (Ladders?) I love the rondel model; super cool. I also like that you may be getting stronger actions, but you might lose out on a better opportunity on a lower number (Strength vs. Flexibility). Looking forward to what you do with this.

BHFuturist
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Tbone wrote:What if you

Tbone wrote:
What if you converted the wheel into cards. Maybe this is too far from "Shoots and Ladders" but just hear me out...

I hear you and what you are describing is a totally valid way of doing action selection. I think it might be too far removed from what I am doing here to draw direct comparisons, but I really like where your head is at!

There are a few games out there that incorporate hand management into action selection (though not very many) and none that do what you are talking about that I have seen (but I have not seen every game).

I think it would be a very interesting way to do action selection. I have been considering a method that uses a small hand of cards for player powers. Each card could be played and once use would need to "recharge" with some sort of cooldown before returning to the player's hand to be used again.

The rondel is just a good way to track all of the action selection and limitations trying to keep the player's hands free for other elements of the larger game. The action rondel being only one phase of the game.

@BHFuturist

questccg
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Another thought

You could have only TEN (10) Action cards. These are used in combination with the "rondel" using the following method:

-If you land on 19, you have the following "cards" for your hand:

"1", "9", "0" and "5"!

The "1" action could be: "Draw 1 Card". The "0" could be a filler and used with card below 10. "0" could be "+2 Coins". And "2" (20 and up) could be "Force one opponent to Discard 1 Card"...

Some basic ideas. I know there are only eight (8) "2" (20-25, 12, 2) actions but there are 12, "1" actions (forgot "21")... And perhaps "1" + "1" (11) = "Draw 2 Cards"... And "22" could be "Force one opponent to Discard 2 Cards"... And "10" could be "Draw 1 Card +2 Coins", etc.

I'm sure you get the idea??? Could be neat. Use "0", "1" and "2" for popular actions and they kinda "grow" (in importance) as you move UP the "rondel". And this is a way where you DON'T "go down a chute", just get an event from the previous ring...

Again just some basic ideas... While thinking about the "rondel".

Cheers!

Update: "0" could allow you to BUY cards from a market or a deck, etc. Or used to pay for cards you want to play from your hand...

I was also thinking that -- as you go UP in the "rondel", the actions become more "combative", like "Draw +1 Card" is pretty neutral as an action. And "0": "+2 Coins" is also very neutral. But things like "2": "Force an opponent to Discard 1 card" are more "antagonistic". You only have 6 Actions (in the 20s). Which is GREAT -- because you can limit those actions to very "competitive" actions you can take...

But if you use your "pay to go up" scheme, well you could expend your "+2 Coins" and move from a "0" ring, to a "10+" or "20+" ring for other Actions... It's a pretty clever idea (using the rondel)...

BHFuturist
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Humm

I was not seeing how adding cards to this would work, but now I am!

I think you are right, the two could work well together. Thanks! This gives me a lot more to think about for sure...

@BHFuturist

joebergmann
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Rondels are great!

I really like rondels, so I am anxious to see how this works out!

Cool idea!

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