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Better Ways to Keep Track of Number of Actions Players Spend?

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DarkDream
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I have been play testing my game that consists of players having 3-4 actions during the action phase.

One player takes an action, the following player in clockwise order takes an action and so on until all players have spent all of their actions.

To help players keep track of how many actions they have spent so far, each player has three or four action counters that have a picture on one side of the counter. To indicate they are spending an action, a player simply turns the counter over. By so doing, a player at a glance can easily see how many actions they have left.

Star Trek Ascendancy uses a similar idea with Command Tokens.

During play testing I noticed almost every single player forgot to go ahead and flip their action counter in order to take an action. I was teaching the game, and I had to do it repeatedly for them. This happened with multiple play test groups.

I am thinking of an alternative way to keep track of actions a player has spent to see if it works better.

Here are some ways I have seen in other board games:

- Each player has little action cubes that they must place on their player board and move it off to indicate that have performed an action.
- Each player has an action counter or other type of cube which they move from a section of the board (available) to another section of a board (exhausted).

Besides these methods, are there any other ones? Does anyone have experience on which method works better?

--DarkDream

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
My players had to place the

My players had to place the action points (AP) on the squad that did the action. At the end of the round everyone gathered their AP.

Players had 7 to begin with.

I think this worked because certain actions costed more then 1 AP.

Tim Edwards
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What actions are they

What actions are they taking?

I ask because I'm wondering if there's a way of making the placing of a counter somehow integral to the actions themselves so they can't be so easily overlooked.

Or maybe there's another way the use of the tokens could have relevance (or drama) beyond just counting?

It's an interesting problem really. I'm the kind of person who'd forget to turn counters - or just not bother, thinking I'll keep track by myself. And then I'll lose track...I'm trying to think of what might work for me...

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Just some "other" ideas

Something "similar" but maybe different. Each Action has a "point value". Turn-order is determined by the value of each Action chosen. When a player chooses an Action, that Action token is place perhaps in the middle of the play area or on some kind of player mat.

Each player's Action tokens are color-coded also.

This way the "selection" process of Actions is done in a "purposeful" way where each player Action drives the turn-order, which in a way ENSURES that player's don't "forget" to choose an Action and then declare that they have used it.

We are using something similar in the "Roles Compendium" Expansion for "TradeWorlds".

The idea is the "point system" determines the turn-order so naturally the turn-order can vary from one round to another.

Just another idea which can give you some perspective about "forcing" players to remember that they need to take an Action and actually "exhaust" it.

DarkDream
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Types of Actions

Tim Edwards wrote:
What actions are they taking?
I ask because I'm wondering if there's a way of making the placing of a counter somehow integral to the actions themselves so they can't be so easily overlooked.
This is a Space 4x type of game and in it players can take 4 actions: research technologies, build units, move fleets and pass.

The idea of placing the counter on the board where the fleet moves to makes sense, but I don't know how one would place an action token, for example, to build a fleet. Also players research and get tech cards. In theory they could place an action token on the card they just researched but I don't know, it starts to feel fiddly.

What I am thinking right now is to have some kind of player board that has a small area specific to that type of action. For example, if they spend an action to build, they must move the action token to the build box on the board.

--DarkDream

I Will Never Gr...
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2015
Worker Placement

DarkDream wrote:
Tim Edwards wrote:
What actions are they taking?
I ask because I'm wondering if there's a way of making the placing of a counter somehow integral to the actions themselves so they can't be so easily overlooked.
This is a Space 4x type of game and in it players can take 4 actions: research technologies, build units, move fleets and pass.

The idea of placing the counter on the board where the fleet moves to makes sense, but I don't know how one would place an action token, for example, to build a fleet. Also players research and get tech cards. In theory they could place an action token on the card they just researched but I don't know, it starts to feel fiddly.

What I am thinking right now is to have some kind of player board that has a small area specific to that type of action. For example, if they spend an action to build, they must move the action token to the build box on the board.

--DarkDream

Using actions in this way sounds VERY similar to a Worker Placement type of mechanic. In worker placement, you have a set number of "workers" (often meeples, but tokens/counters/cubes work the same) and you choose your action(s) by placing them on the board/location on the board that notes that action.

You could have those actions described and illustrated on the player board OR main board and each person chooses their action by placing their token in turn, and then they retrieve their token when the action is taken.

In other words, everyone chooses their actions in turn order, THEN they activate their action by retrieving their "worker" from that action spot.

Could work perhaps.

gxnpt
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Joined: 12/22/2015
discard and redistribute

How much would it interfere with game flow to distribute tokens, spend tokens (put back in cup) as they are used, and next time redistribute tokens again?

The redistribute tokens (pass out tokens) step is the new thing as far as game flow is concerned.

Tossing a token into a pot sort of action easier to be noticed and enforced by other players than flipping a token over.

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