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How to persuade players to kinda cooperate in a competitive game through mechanics

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Johnny Black
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Joined: 06/01/2016

The example im going to be using is a the idea of a game about pirates, in which players are competing to seize the most amount of loot by raiding settlments thru the new world. However, in this game players are allowed to raid the bases of other pirates as well. Most of the pirate bases are close by in the carribean. How can I use mechanics in a game to dissuade players from ignoring overseas raiding and just attack the other pirates at the start of the game? I want players to attack one another but not to the point where no-one risks raiding for fear of leaving their base too unguarded. How can I prevent that situation. Penalties for attacking other pirates? Extra increase the benefits of raiding? Any ideas would be helpful.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
Bases get inherent defense

Bases get inherent defense bonuses.

Pirates can secure some portion of their booty so raiding another player's base will only get a percentage of his treasure.

Pirates can leave their treasure booby trapped, so it's impossible to get the treasure without taking significant losses.

Pirates don't really need permanent bases until they are successful enough to have several ships; they just carry their booty with them. Most booty was tradestuffs -- not really things that were all that valuable -- which pirates sold and they spent the money on booze and women. If they had extra, they converted it to weapons and jewelry which they wore or, if they were captains, to more and better ships. Big chests full of gold was a myth.

Johnny Black
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Joined: 06/01/2016
Zag24 wrote:Bases get

Zag24 wrote:
Bases get inherent defense bonuses.

Pirates can secure some portion of their booty so raiding another player's base will only get a percentage of his treasure.

Pirates can leave their treasure booby trapped, so it's impossible to get the treasure without taking significant losses.

Pirates don't really need permanent bases until they are successful enough to have several ships; they just carry their booty with them. Most booty was tradestuffs -- not really things that were all that valuable -- which pirates sold and they spent the money on booze and women. If they had extra, they converted it to weapons and jewelry which they wore or, if they were captains, to more and better ships. Big chests full of gold was a myth.

Thank you. You have some really good points here.I want players to do such attacks on one another. But not to the point of ignoring going out and making money themselves completly. Thanks for the advice

Willem Verheij
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Joined: 06/08/2016
Players also need to get

Players also need to get something out of coöperation as a motivation to work together.

Maybe it could allow them to tackle some larger targets they cant defeat alone?

Maybe having a strong ship of the local navy roam around could be good too? Could just be one strong ship that you and other players need to avoid since its too strong to defeat alone?

Players could team up to take that ship out together, but they could also choose to betray the other when push comes to shove, and let the other player face that ship alone.

If that navy ship is taken out, it could reappear on the board later.

I Will Never Gr...
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Joined: 04/23/2015
Some ideas;

A stash - Some way to stash a portion of your treasure so that it becomes immune to being taken. Not knowing more about the game I can't really expand much on this. Merchants & Marauders uses gold, which you can spend throughout the game to buy goods and ship upgrades but is also part of the scoring mechanism. YOu can stash a portion of your gold, but once it's been stashed you can't use it for the rest of the game.

Reward the Defender - If another player attacks, win or lose, the defender gets a bonus of some sort (not a scoring bonus, but perhaps a temporary combat bonus that can be used later). Scythe uses this where if you are attacked you gain an additional combat card for every worker that the attacker causes to retreat.

No Elimination - When attacked, nothing is eliminated but rather you retreat to a set location - this location could be near the attacking players base thus allowing an easy raid while the attacker has to make it back there fast. In this case, the attacker must really think twice about the value of what they are going to gain vs what they may lose.

I Will Never Gr...
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Joined: 04/23/2015
Cooperation

To provide incentive for cooperation;

Provide bonuses for raiding as a team perhaps?
Provide a small bonus for not attacking another player.
Provide a bonus for distance from your home base

You could also provide a time limit on players bases being "safe" and unattackable (no player may raid another players base until turn X, or some other trigger mechanism such as a particular card is drawn, etc).

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