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Games with really cool/unique mechanics

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BoardGent
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Thread for game recommendations with mechanics that left an impression on you. It could be in the way the mechanic was used or just the mechanic itself being interesting.
For instance, I played Kulami at a board game bar not too long ago, and setting up your own play field with the tiles really gives the game a lot of replayability (I now have the game).
Dead Last's mechanic of majority survival was also really interesting, making team voting really important and signalling of any kind that much more necessary.

Slide
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lightning squidopus

just played ismallworld for the first time the other day, what a cool game. love the idea of an eternal civilisational struggle for supremacy, with races appearing, rising and falling almost inconsequentially, garnering mysterious vp for a cabal of architects (players) acting beyond the fathom of the races involved.

love the robber in catan, simple elegant in your face mechanic. works on so many levels.

saboteur is one of my favourite small games and iv rehashed it into several spin off versions myself all centred on the mechanic of racing to a point alongside companions you can't fully trust.

Gabe
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From a game system mechanics

From a game system mechanics standpoint, I love Time Stories. An endless number of games and themes can be played on that system with very little (if any) change in the rules.

Also, the item creation mechanic in 7th Continent is brilliant. (Actually, that whole game is great.)

BoardGent
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Another one

Marco Polo's dice storage is also really cool. You roll several dice and pick which dice you use for the action you choose. I feel like there should be a lot of ways to use that. It could also be a massive improvement to the roll and move system, as you have more control over what you do.

bbblackwell
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Crossfire!

Shadowrun Crossfire is a deck-building game that pushes the boundaries of thematic immersion relative to other games in the genre. Shadowrunners are, by definition, underdogs... and this game doesn't let you forget it.

The abort mechanism that allows the party to salvage some small portion of a failed run by at least surviving one final, out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire round is an addition that not only serves the theme, but leaves players feeling like they had a fair shot, even in a loss.

If the abort succeeds, the players will get a reduced Karma reward (XP) in most cases; which for a game that motivates players through character progression, is something to be grateful for. If it fails, hey... you had your chance, and nobody said that running in the shadows would be easy!

Rory J. Somers
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BoardGent wrote:Marco Polo's

BoardGent wrote:
Marco Polo's dice storage is also really cool. You roll several dice and pick which dice you use for the action you choose. I feel like there should be a lot of ways to use that. It could also be a massive improvement to the roll and move system, as you have more control over what you do.

Waggle Dance (I played for the first time the other day) has a great dice rolling mechanic - which covers both resource management, specific actions, and general actions for doubles. It's a pretty abstract game, using a turn based PvP dice placement from a pool that you public roll - so everyone else knows what you are capable of doing that turn too.

I don't normally like dice rolling in games but Waggle Dance does a great job of using dice (and as my girlfriend pointed out, the dice are "cute" too)

Rory J. Somers
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Still getting the hang of quoting and posting...

>> Small World has a great mechanic of random ability and power combinations which lends to massive re-playability.

>> Quadropolis (also by Days of Wonder) has a great spin and limitation on worker placement - choosing from a central pool of buildings for your city with 4 architects (numbered 1 - 4). You place you architect in any column or row of the central pool and you take their number in (so architect 1 will take the first building in that column/row, architect 3 would take the third) - you can then only place the building in your city in either column or row of you architect, points are scored in how well you oragnise you city - might be worth checking a video for this as my explanation confuses me and I know how to play.

>> Revolution has a brilliant Rock/Paper/Scissors blind bidding system for area control which leads to really fun play interaction - and usually lots of cursing at one another!

>> 7 Wonders - the very simple play and pass system, as well as how trading and combat are only calculated by who you sit next to, means you are in a very direct completion with your neighbors but then generally with everyone else - this game gets so much better as you add players to a max of 7. It's also about trying to stop/second guess what your neighbor will do, and trying to stop them that great bite point between advancing yourself, or hindering you opponent.

>> Pandemic - it is probably obvious, but I'm going to point it out anyway - Epidemic Cards - hidden stinger cards in the player deck is just brilliant. I love this game and every time one of these cards is revealed I still get that "Oh crap!" sensation - the trepidation about reaching for that deck when you know that one of those cards will appear soon, and all the trouble it will cause makes that game so very exciting.

WikkedWood
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There have been lots but the latest is...

...I really really dig the event deck in Robinson Crusoe. It's like lighting a fuse and then by the time it's about to blow, you either have to stop the very important stuff you are doing to survive to diffuse it or just let it wreck you and hope it doesn't push you back too far.

If you don't know what I am talking about: you draw an event card and there is something you have to deal with immediately. When that goes off, it presents another longer term problem which is thematically connected. You have two turns to decide to waste your precious actions handling it before it reckons.

I also like that when a side adventure pops up and you get something good from it, the card goes into the event deck so you can pay the piper later. Example....you find a nest of baby birds which would be easy food. If you take it, good for now but later on you WILL be attacked by the mama bird as the card is shuffled into the event deck.

Good stuff but really there are lots more I don't have the stamina to list.

Pappa
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Rory J. Somers wrote:Waggle

Rory J. Somers wrote:
Waggle Dance (I played for the first time the other day) has a great dice rolling mechanic - which covers both resource management, specific actions, and general actions for doubles. It's a pretty abstract game, using a turn based PvP dice placement from a pool that you public roll - so everyone else knows what you are capable of doing that turn too.

I was really impressed by Waggle Dance for similar reasons. You have a huge amount of strategic choices in the game, yet the game objects are kept to a minimum.

I love the auction mechanic in Priests of Ra. On the face of it, it's simple. You bid suns of different values, the highest winning. But you're also risking your future turns because one of your opponents will receive the sun you bid with. Likewise, you might choose to bid on something you don't want just to get a better sun to use in a later turn.

radioactivemouse
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There's so many out there...

I'm constantly researching and checking out games with interesting mechanics.

Latley, it's been Deception: Murder in Hong Kong and Star Wars: Destiny. I've also been toying around with single player card games like Onirim, Friday, Castellion, and Sylvion.

But I'm always on the hunt. I've been looking at Rising Sun on Kickstarter and Onitama as possible next purchases.

But I have to admit, I just got a Nintendo Switch and I've been pretty much glued to that thing since I got it.

Squinshee
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Puzzle Strike's gem pile

Puzzle Strike's gem pile mechanic is a blast. Having more gems means you'll draw more cards, but also means you're closer to death. It's both a risk/reward and catch-up mechanic rolled into one!

Squinshee
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radioactivemouse wrote:But I

radioactivemouse wrote:
But I have to admit, I just got a Nintendo Switch and I've been pretty much glued to that thing since I got it.

And by Switch you surely mean Breath if the Wild, right? That game is truly astounding.

radioactivemouse
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Squinshee

Squinshee wrote:
Puzzle Strike's gem pile mechanic is a blast. Having more gems means you'll draw more cards, but also means you're closer to death. It's both a risk/reward and catch-up mechanic rolled into one!

Yes, I agree with this one. Sirlin definitely took his Puzzle Fighter mechanic and melded it well with deck building.

I'm also looking at the game Mystic Vale. It's interesting how they've created the card building mechanic. Seems a tad gimmicky, but worth a shot.

Squinshee wrote:

And by Switch you surely mean Breath if the Wild, right? That game is truly astounding.

Yes, yes...absolutely YES!

Willem Verheij
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Good idea for a topic.

There's a few to come to mind for sure.

-Fortune and Glory, cliffhangers.
Whenever you go after a treasure in this indiana jones style game, you have to overcome dangers. If you fail the test, it's not over yet. Instead the card flips over to a cliffhanger. And each danger always has at least two different cliffhangers.

The danger is a car chase for example. If you fail the test here the cliffhanger is either that the car is on fire or that it drives off a cliff. And each of those have a different skill check.
But the cliffhanger is resolved your next turn, so the name is very fitting and works so well with the theme.

If you fail the cliffhanger, you are knocked out though. And of course it can delay you too since unless you fail you can complete as many dangers as are required to obtain the treasure, depending on how far you want to push your luck.
(the glory you get for overcoming each danger is also only cashed in when you stop your turn or overcame all dangers and glory is the currency you need to get better gear, heal wounds, etc so you are gambling with that too)

Supafrieke
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Eclipse (and I'm sure others)

Eclipse (and I'm sure others) uses a player board from which markers are deployed to a shared game area/map. As influence markers are deployed, your empire seems to become sluggish and costly, while a smaller more agile empire can feel like a pipsqueak. All the while, you must ensure that you have colonized enough economically strong sectors to allow your empire to thrive.

I really like the balancing act played with that one track that determines influence, action, and upkeep.

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