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[Feedback Wanted] Hexagonal Tiles

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keirion
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About a week ago I reported back about playtesting the first iteration of Rumors of Chaos (http://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-creation/playtesting/first-playtest-rumor...) In that round of playtesting I found a significant flaw in one of the major mechanics for the game (possibly something that would have been obvious before playtesting to some, but yay being a new game designer!) So, I've spent the past week working on a new, drastically revised version of the mechanic and I am here to ask your feedback on it as I get started preparing my next prototype!

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~Game Summary~

Rumors of Chaos is a fully cooperative fantasy adventure game that takes place in a small kingdom set on a hexagonal map. The players take on the roles of group of heroes who set out to deal with a number of different 'Rumors' These different Rumors will be different enemies or problems going on in the kingdom which the heroes have to deal with. Eventually these Rumors will lead to a Mastermind which is the cause behind it all. Defeat the Mastermind and you win. Let the Castle fall and you lose.

~The Problem With Version 0.1~

Originally I had the Rumors as cards from a deck appearing at random locations on the board. However, one important aspect of the Rumors mechanic is that the Heroes have a chance to get to them and deal with them before they are 'Realized'. That means that each Rumor needs to sit dormant but also secret for a time before being flipped over and taking place. Between this and keeping track of where the cards were on the board became much too great a hassle for the quick pace meant to be taken in the game.

~Introducing Hexagonal Tiles~

My solution is to scrap the deck entirely and instead seed the board at the beginning of the game with Hexagonal tiles. The back of the tiles will match the location on the board where they will be placed, as well as having pertinent information as to when they are Realized and how hard it is to engage them before they are Realized. The players start by picking 3 different thematic sets of 33 tiles each to mix together. First they take the 2 Lieutenant tiles from each of these sets for a total of 6 and randomly place 2 of those 6 on the board before placing the other 4 back in the box. These tiles will be marked on the back indicate that they are not just normal Rumors but Lieutenants. Each Lieutenant has its own unique location that it begins the game at. The players then randomize the other tiles and place them on the locations marked until all 33 locations on the board are covered. Other than Lieutenants the back of the tiles for each set are identical, meaning that in any given playthrough there are 3 possibilities for what each tile will be.

~Gameplay with Hex Tiles~

Once the game starts there is a 'Chaos Track' that starts at 0 and increases by 1 every turn. It can be increased further by events such as players running out of health, villages being destroyed, and specific Rumors not being dealt with. Each Tile has a Realization number on it, where if the Chaos Track reaches that number, it will go active at the end of the turn. This could be things such as an Orc Warband starting to Roam the countryside or a Fire Elemental starting a forest fire. The players will be dealing with these threats both to protect the kingdom and keep things from getting out of hand, as well as a way to level and gear up for tougher encounters later on.

When the Chaos Track reaches 20 and 30 respectively, each of the 2 Lieutenants will be revealed. As noted previously, these Lieutenant tiles will be marked uniquely. The Chaos 20 Orc tile might be in the Mountains while the Chaos 20 Undead tile might be in the Swamp. The players can choose to go after these early as well, though they'll be significantly harder than other Rumors.

Once either both of the Lieutenants have been dealt with or the Chaos Track reaches 40 the Mastermind will appear. They'll be determined by the combination of the 2 Lieutenants (meaning if you're playing with Orcs, Undead, and Dragons there could be up to 6 different Masterminds you could run into). At the same time, there will still be Rumors being Realized up to Chaos of 50 if they haven't already been dealt with by the heroes.

~Feedback Request~

I'd love to hear some feedback on this mechanic, both positive and negative! A couple of questions I already am wondering as I prepare the prototype are:

-Will setup feel overwhelming going through up to 99 tiles to cover the board.
-Is having the Lieutenants marked but in unique locations going to take away from replayability because the players will potentially already know which 2 Lieutenants and therefore which Mastermind they will be facing before they start?

Thanks!
-Alex

Squinshee
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Do players move around on the

Do players move around on the board? How is movement handled? Do players have their own turns or are turns more freeform? What is the gameplay mechanic used for battling enemies/overcoming rumors?

keirion
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Squinshee wrote:Do players

Squinshee wrote:
Do players move around on the board? How is movement handled? Do players have their own turns or are turns more freeform? What is the gameplay mechanic used for battling enemies/overcoming rumors?

Players do move around the board. The board has different terrain types that cost different amounts to move across and each hero has a speed stat. Speed can be increased by equipment and leveling up.

Each round the players will choose the order of their actions. These can be done individually or shared. Ideally part of the strategy of the game will be figuring out when you need to split up to reach multiple rumors at the same time and when you need to come together to face something too powerful for just one hero to take on. My initial model is for each round to have every hero have a move action and then every hero have an additional action but that may change if it's too frustrating for heroes to find themselves waiting on other heroes.

Resolving Rumors will be dealt with mostly by stat checks with die rolls. My current plan is to have D6s with 3 1s, 2 2s, and 1 3 and have 1 die rolled for each stat point present for the encounter. This will be how it works for both combat and noncombat encounters. Failure will often result in heroes taking damage (especially in combat encounters) or other negative effects, or sometimes no loss other than time.

On a side note: Would it be useful for me to write up a full game summary (which I feel like I just did between my main post and this comment) in the form of a blog post or something else? I'm still pretty new to bgdf and am still learning etiquette here. My goal with this thread was to get feedback on a specific mechanic but wanted to make sure I fully explained it and didn't want to assume people would go read something else in order to understand the contest.

X3M
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Keeping 1 blog and update the

Keeping 1 blog and update the first post when applying changes is a way. Additional posts in this blog contain the changes. Then you have a complete game description/manual and your progress in one.

However, making it public like that. It is a choice.
I think that people who are interested could ask you for the complete story. IF they can't make out thos story from the parts. That you simply are holding track on your pc is always a smart thing to do.

Regarding the board. I have an hexagon map as well. Which is still troubling me today due to mechanics. However, things to keep in mind are the pieces. Having hexagon pieces on a hexagon board. This can be problematic. Especially when the terrain is locked to an event. What about havong the events on square pieces. A hidden?.. number on them for reference to an event book.

keirion
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X3M wrote:Keeping 1 blog and

X3M wrote:
Keeping 1 blog and update the first post when applying changes is a way. Additional posts in this blog contain the changes. Then you have a complete game description/manual and your progress in one.

However, making it public like that. It is a choice.
I think that people who are interested could ask you for the complete story. IF they can't make out thos story from the parts. That you simply are holding track on your pc is always a smart thing to do.

That makes sense. It's been interesting trying to figure out how much to do of what between here and bgg and my own site, just trying to get some amount of internet presence with the thought that eventually I'll be wanting to kickstart, but I'm still trying to figure out what amount of what to have.

X3M wrote:
Regarding the board. I have an hexagon map as well. Which is still troubling me today due to mechanics. However, things to keep in mind are the pieces. Having hexagon pieces on a hexagon board. This can be problematic. Especially when the terrain is locked to an event. What about havong the events on square pieces. A hidden?.. number on them for reference to an event book.

What's troubling you about the hexagonal board? And why would hexagonal pieces be problematic? My (admittedly uneducated) assumption would be that if would fit more naturally being the same shape.

X3M
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keirion wrote: What's

keirion wrote:

What's troubling you about the hexagonal board? And why would hexagonal pieces be problematic? My (admittedly uneducated) assumption would be that if would fit more naturally being the same shape.

If I am wrong, sorry. But somewhere I had the impression you wanted to flip each hexagon at a certain moment during the game. Just to see the Event. Correct?

Can you pick up your pieces from the board with ease? Without having a chance of pushing other hexagons out of the way?

And if the hexagon is a piece of terrain. Is the Event really locked on to it? In that regard, shuffling the terrain automatically means shuffling the events. And vice versa.

If you want a random board, of course having neat fitting hexagons is key. But from beginning to end of the game, they should never be picked up. There for my suggestion of having the events as separate pieces.

But I might have misunderstood.

Olson185
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X3M wrote:keirion

X3M wrote:
keirion wrote:

What's troubling you about the hexagonal board? And why would hexagonal pieces be problematic? My (admittedly uneducated) assumption would be that if would fit more naturally being the same shape.

If I am wrong, sorry. But somewhere I had the impression you wanted to flip each hexagon at a certain moment during the game. Just to see the Event. Correct?

Can you pick up your pieces from the board with ease? Without having a chance of pushing other hexagons out of the way?

And if the hexagon is a piece of terrain. Is the Event really locked on to it? In that regard, shuffling the terrain automatically means shuffling the events. And vice versa.

If you want a random board, of course having neat fitting hexagons is key. But from beginning to end of the game, they should never be picked up. There for my suggestion of having the events as separate pieces.

But I might have misunderstood.

This ^ is what I was thinking, also.

A totally random geography can be achieved by having player locations, usually the same hex, be placed on the table as a "starting hex". Then the first player states their direction of travel, blindly picks a terrain hex and places it next to the starting hex in the direction of their travel. Other players can follow the 1st player (not pick their own terrain hex) or go in a different direction (pick their own terrain hex).

For every new terrain hex placed on the table a card is drawn to describe what is found in that new terrain hex. These cards can have all sorts of situations and be customized in a number of ways and for the type of terrain hex they were drawn for (ie. Swamp, Prairie, Forest, Mountain). By stating (ie) "Mountain - all movement slowed/halted one turn, XX% chance of...." and each terrain type would have a similar blurb on that one card. The "XX% chance of..." could be a % chance to have to draw a card from a different deck of events, rumours, etc, or not have a % chance but draw from the diff. deck in all cases.

Alternatively, if a certain scenario is intended, the scenario description could include a diagram of what terrain hexes are already known and placed on the table before the scenario starts(ie. a 4-6 terrain hexes forming a mt. range w/ lake hexes adjacent, etc). The players would place newly explored terrain hexes at random around the already known Mt. & Lake.

The above would avoid having to have any terrain hex tile to be lifted once in place. Though it would require more cards (printing cost & shipping weight) one could have a deck of event cards for each terrain type. Though, I doubt, this should be necessary/preferred.

keirion
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Aaah. Okay, I see where the

Aaah. Okay, I see where the confusion is coming from. I definitely need to learn to be clearer in my written descriptions of this!

The geography is not randomized. The board as it currently stands is a 15x13 hexagonal grid for a total of 195 hexes. 33 of those 195 hexes are rumor locations. Those locations on the board are labeled (e.g. P10 for a Rumor on a plains hex that is realized when the chaos track reaches 10).

There are multiple themed rumor sets. Each rumor set comes with 33 hexagonal tiles (I'm imagining chipboard, though the initial prototype will be cardstock). The part I think where I was offering confusing and possibly unnecessary information is that the back of each tile will correspond to one hex on the board and share the artwork of that hex, the idea being that if I have a 2" hex on the board, I can then have 2" hex tile that can completely cover that hex but still show the same map space for terrain information, artwork, etc.

Hopefully that makes more sense? Thanks for your patience and help!

-Alex

Olson185
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Oh, I see. The "tiles" are

Oh, I see. The "tiles" are the things that go on the map board; not the the things that create the map board itself (ie. it's not like Catan or Tikal).

While I now understand the function of the tiles, I'm not fulling grasping the "Realized" mechanic well enough to mentally "play" the game to give feedback on your original question, sorry. I'm sure it's me; not your question.

keirion
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Olson185 wrote:While I now

Olson185 wrote:
While I now understand the function of the tiles, I'm not fulling grasping the "Realized" mechanic well enough to mentally "play" the game to give feedback on your original question, sorry. I'm sure it's me; not your question.

Oh, I'm sure it's me. :) As long as you're not minding asking for clarification, I'm finding it to be great practice in offering clarity in explaining via text how things work. I suspect this thread is going to be hugely useful when I'm writing rules.

The "Realized" mechanic is in essence a pressure mechanic, giving the players a reason and pressure to deal with the different 'rumors' (aka quests/enemies)in a hurried fashion rather than just taking their time. It also lets the board feel alive.

Example 1: There's a Rumor in a Forest hex called "Goblin Tunnels". The heroes can come, discover what it is, and try to deal with it, but if they don't by the time the chaos level reaches 32 then it becomes "Realized" and flips over on its own. At this point it starts spawning orcs. Every 5 turns it spawns another orc that starts moving towards the villages until the heroes deal with it.

Example 2: There's a Rumor in a Plains hex called "Drought" (caused by an elemental). Just like the previous example, the heroes can come deal with the Rumor before it's realized, but if they don't, then when the chaos level reaches 12 then the drought is Realized. It immediately increases the chaos level as well as causing movement reduction in the hexes surrounding it. The movement reduction effect can still be removed by dealing with the Rumor (defeating the elemental causing the drought) but the chaos level stays increased because the players allowed it to become realized.

Does that make more sense?

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