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Mechanic of the Day, 9.15.08 Movement

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KrinkleChip's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008

Hello, peoples. I post a mechanic of the day during the week for my design group. I'ma start sharing them here and a few other places, as well. Enjoy and get designing!

Lets have a look at movement today. Many games require you to move your avatar around the board. From roll and move to chit-pull,
there's quite a few options out there.

1. Roll and move. Just about the most straigt forward with least
choice. You roll the dice and move the number of spaces it says to
move. Monopoly is a good example of this. Parcheesi and That's Life
offer the standard roll and move, as well; but they add the choice of
which piece would be better to move. For a Euro-styled game, roll
and move is probably best left to the 'A.I.' of the game; a shark
that slowly moves closer to the boat, etc.

2. Action points. Still straight forward, but quite a bit more
choice is available with this option. You have a set number of
points to move and do things with, and each action has a different
cost associated with it. One of the granddaddies of this is Tikal.
Some spaces cost lots of points to move into, while others don't.
Niagra uses a simplified form of action points, as well. The action
point system is typical of Euro-styled games.

3. Set movement. Your piece always moves the same number of
spaces throughout the game. Games with this mechanic usually have a more tactical feel; it's not how you move, but where you move to.
Doom is an example of this type of movement. Abstract strategy games often use set movement. It is usually combined with...

4. Piece-specific movement. Different pieces move in different
ways. Chess is a good traditional example, as is Axis and Allies.
Rooks slide along the board, and armor can blitz an extra space.
Piece-specific movement crosses game type rather well, and can be
seen in abstracts, Euros, Ameritrash... the list goes on.

There ya go for today. See ya tomorrow!


Joined: 07/29/2008
Other methods of movement

I think there are quite a few more to add to the list. Off the top of my head:

Card-driven movement--could be as simple as playing a card that matches the space to which you must move or a card with the number of spaces you can move (Ave Caesar). Something like Elfenland is more interesting, in that you play cards that match transportation chits, but some terrains require more than one card.

Movement according to how many player figures occupy a space--nice mechanic in one of Rudiger Dorn's games (can't think of name--something with a dragon).

Can anyone add to this list?

fecundity's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Movement based on map

Movement based on map position: How a piece moves is determined by where it is. Ocean currents, terrain, or something abstract like Lumberjack Chess.

fecundity's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
jeffinberlin wrote: Movement

jeffinberlin wrote:

Movement according to how many player figures occupy a space--nice mechanic in one of Rudiger Dorn's games (can't think of name--something with a dragon).

In a way, Mancala has a mechanic like that.

Gogolski's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
In a game that I'm currently

In a game that I'm currently developping, you can call a creature, which allows you to move, as long as you control it. You can move up to three times (=go to three different destinations) after every action you take. You must feed it one food for every destination you go to.


Darkehorse's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Figure move mechanic

The game you're referring to is Emerald.

This mechanic is also used effectively (even more so in my opinion) in the game Downfall of Pompeii by Klaus-J├╝rgen Wrede.


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