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Board game with alternate turn sequences

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Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013

I am making a board game with a single movement track (e.g. Monopoly) and a card set building main mechanic. The idea is the board spaces enable meta-moves like "choose a card from the discard pile." Movement on the board is by playing one of your set building item cards for its movement value rather than keeping it for melding; some have 0, allowing you to remain on a space.

Now (possibly influenced by the turn order challenge here) I've had the idea that each space defines a different turn order with different actions/rules.

This would look like:
Original turn sequence:
1. Play a movement card
2. Encounter new space
3. Draw one item card from top of deck or discard pile
4. Meld item cards onto an open location
5. Optional - Place new location card
6. Discard to five cards

Original board space:
Draw three item cards and pick two

New sequence+space concept:
1. Choose to remain here or play a movement card
2. Draw three item cards, pick two, discard one
3. Optional - Place new location card

Another space might be:
1. Play a movement card
2. Draw two location cards
3. Draw two item cards
4. Place new location card or Replace existing one
5. Meld item cards
6. Discard down to three cards

The question is: Is this intriguing, confusing, excessive, or?


questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
You've helped me couple of times...

So I figured I try to figure out what you are talking about... Because to me it is rather confusing and more complex than just plain Monopoly...

Okay, you mention your game is based on a *single movement track* (like Monopoly or the Game of Life). Got that...

Then you lose me when you say: "a card set building main mechanic." Are you saying you have a HAND or do you DRAW cards from a draw pile???

I'll assume (dangerous to do this) that players have a hand of cards.

Now you say: "Movement on the board is by playing one of your set building item cards for its movement value". What I understand from this is that the cards in your hand can be used to MOVE (some value of spaces).

You added to this: "...rather than keeping it for melding". Is Spock a character is this game (Joke)? Sorry you lost me on what you expect *melding* is to be...

Reading on, you say that a SPACE dictates what a player must do on his turn... I kinda like that sounds kinda *DYNAMIC*... In the original turn sequence, I can follow until step #4... How do I "Meld item cards onto an open location"? What are you trying to do at this step? What is an "open location"? What is "melding"?

Continuing forwards... Step #5 is also confusing: "5. Optional - Place new location card" What is a *location card"? So far all I've heard about are *Item cards* (that can be used for melding?!)

Reading the rest, I assume you are saying that the DEFAULT TURN sequence is presented FIRST. Then the DEFAULT BOARD SPACE sequence is presented SECOND. Not sure about the next part: "New sequence+space concept". How come they are SEPARATE and now the two are TOGETHER???

The last part I understand, it's another example of a SPACE (on the board). So you have LOCATION cards in the game... I still don't get: "4. Place new location card or Replace existing one" and "5. Meld item cards".

Okay I have gone though the initial message and think that I've done enough Cut & Paste. If you can clarify the various points... maybe I can comment better as to what I think of the idea. So far my understanding is that you want spaces on the board to dictate how a turn should go (if my understanding is correct). But there are a lot of elements (and statements) which need clarification...

Joined: 08/09/2008
Intriguing, but...

First, to questccg: "meld" is a common term used in games played with a standard card deck where you are collecting sets, like Gin or Rummy.

To Corsaire: I like the concept, but I'm not crazy about reading spaces on the board that may have up to six different actions on them. I would definitely try to simplify. I do have a suggestion. Each player has more than one piece (2 or 3 seems good). One their turn a player has one standard action only: move their pieces. They might play multiple cards to move pieces or perhaps each card has enough movement numbers on them so they can move them all (I would recommend the latter to reduce AP). Next, they perform the actions on all spaces they landed on in any order they like. This still keeps the turns highly variable, but keeps each space simple. If they want to perform the standard actions you listed above like draw a card, place a location, or meld then they have to land on a space that lets them perform that action.

What is the eventual goal? To score points by melding sets?


Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
Thanks Quest and

Thanks Quest and Leadpipe

Sorry, tried too hard to pull the theme out to focus on the board space concept. As I'm interested in feedback on the board mechanic, but not so much on the theme and the mechanics relating to that as those are being worked with amongst myself, my wife, and kid and don't want to spoil that process.

But, I see, I need some of that to pull together explaining the concept.

The player is playing a fantasy novel writer. He is travelling around the board to locations like "SciFi Convention," "Library," "Meet a famous writer." He has a hand of cards and a card area in front of him where he will play cards to build a story/novel. Location cards are things like "Ancient Temple" and those are the basis for like a chapter. And a chapter "meld" consists of a location, conflict, encounters/items, resolution.

The cards in your hand are encounter cards that include items, spells, creatures, unusual situations, things like that. These can be added to a location/chapter to make them "more interesting" or challenging or are used for resolving the chapter. On an encounter card is also a number from 0 to 4 which replaces the regular die roll for board movement.

The board track exists rather than action points for a couple of reasons. The biggest of which is my son is seven and wants to include moving around the board. Another is that the board has a sense of sequence, where early around you are building story and there is a late space for publishing.

Because of the pace of moving around, I wanted more than one thing to be happening on a turn, like at the convention you may draw new encounter(idea) cards and you may also be able to replace other players cards with "insidious suggestions." But it is pretty hard to actually get any writing done (play cards into chapters) while there. Whereas if I am at "Meet with Editor" I may be able to draw and play and replace encounter cards but not start new scenes/locations.

So, the Sequence+Space section would completely replace the regular turn sequence mechanic in the game when you are on that specific space.

I think you have the same concern I was worried about with reading all those spaces and the basic barrier to learning the game. My wife was thinking maybe it would be all right if there were only 3 or 4 versions of the turn sequence. And maybe I can define a limited number of types of turn sequence and add one special action per space.
Possible turn sequences:
1. Writing
2. Researching
3. Kibitzing

Having multiple action pieces does get to what I was trying to get to but doesn't fit thematically with the "Writer's Journey."

Thanks much, appreciate the help,

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
A couple of things

Okay so what I was thinking is using NUMBERS like you have done for the actions you can take on a turn. BUT what you could do is design a REFERENCE SHEET and put all the actions on that sheet. Then all you need to do on your spaces is put the numbers in the proper order. This would reduce the amount of writing you would need on your spaces!

The only thing is that you would need to refer to the reference sheet when trying to figure out what you can do on a space.

MORE INTERESTING, each player could have THEIR OWN REFERENCE SHEET. This would make the game different between players... #1 for Player 1 might be different than for Player 2! This is something you could probably explore further (if it interests you). If you design your game intelligently (and I know you will), you could make only minor changes in the game play between player - but enough that players want to try another reference sheet.

OKAY so the REFERENCE SHEET could be your "Character", like a Love Story Novelist, A Comic Book Writer, Magazine Editor, etc. So the sheet would have some minor changes in the game play between characters making players wanting to play the other characters. Each character you add adds some more replayability. So if you have like six (6) characters for a game designed for four (4) players... That's some interesting replay value!

I'm still not sure I understand what "melding" is... Does this just mean combining cards together such that you have a card of each? Like a Location Card, one or more Item Cards, etc. Or rather a series of cards (with specific cards in the set).

Now I have not approached a player's TURN SEQUENCE. My suggestion would be to focus on the BOARD SPACES and go for the variances with different types of writers. HOWEVER I think what you could do is include OPTIONAL STEPS in your turn sequence. Next what you do on your board space is you say which optional steps can be taken on this particular board space! This is KINDA what you want to do - however it is a simplified version of it... It is a little bit less flexible - but I think you could get it to work with your design.

I agree ONE (1) piece per player is more than enough.

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013

I started out with an action sequence, then I started making so many exceptions to accomodate space rules. Then I wanted a player to have the ability to accumulate cards in their hands in case they really wanted to nail an ideal story, but I didn't want them to carry a huge hand of cards in the game. So, the created the idea that on sqme spaces you can skip the discard phase. Etc.

I'll experiment with the different suggestions. The outside reference sheets is a good possibility to reduce board chaos.

Here's one definition of meld:

(in rummy, canasta, and other card games) Lay down or declare (a combination of cards) in order to score points.

In any card game, you take a card out of your hand and generally either it plays in front of you or you discard. In set playing games, like rummy you lay down a set of cards in front of you that will become your score at the end of a round. Often people will say meld over laydown to imply the set is a living set. Living meaning that cards can be added to it as the round goes on.

I used meld specifically to imply you are playing point scoring cards as opposed to game effect cards as you may in a CCG. My melds are the story I am writing in this game. The importance in mentioning melding is that game effects (draw extra cards, effect other players, manipulate laydowns, etc.) come exclusively from the board play. It also illustrates that there are tough choices between moving and playing... Dang I need this War Hammer to defeat the goblins at the shrine, but it is three move points which would take me to the convention where I can mess up someone else's meld.

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