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New Mechanic

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/10/2009

I was reading Hunger Games - a teen novel that is supposed to be good but looks like it could be a poor man's Battle Royale and in this book there is an interesting scenario that I think might make a good mechanic.

Without going into the scenario the mechanic would work something like this:

During your turn you have to have x number of resources or maybe you need x resources to buy something. For some reason you don't have the resources that you must have but there is an out - you can get 'free' resources and risk paying harshly for them later.

During the game there is always a random draw that has a negative effect on the player whose cube/colour/token is drawn. All players have an equal chance of this negative effect. However, if you take the 'free' route because you must or maybe because you choose to, then an extra token/cube of your colour is placed in the draw bag - therefore increasing your chance of paying a penalty. I would think the penalties would have to happen on every round to make the threat worthwhile.

Know anything like this? Is this unique? Any ideas on how it can be used - the threat could be the loss of a meeple/worker??

I know in games like Le Havre you can take out a loan but you know that they have an immediate negative effect - it is not the 'chance' of something bad happening.
Does this make sense?

Joined: 02/26/2011
Could be an interesting

Could be an interesting mechanic... I wonder if they already have it in their game. Yes there is already a boxed game of Hunger Games. That is actually how I first heard of the stories.

I can't tell you anything about it though; I have neither read nor played Hunger Games.

Joined: 11/25/2010
Hunger Games

As a Middle School Language Arts teacher, I love the Hunger Games. Never thought to use that in a game though! Cool idea. Not knowing anything about the actual item, I'm wondering if it might work with the cube tower that was being discussed a few weeks back...

Joined: 12/01/2010
I think I know what you are

I think I know what you are talking about. For the "Lottery" system for who is entered into the game right?

I think its a great concept - pulling that element of the books into a gameplay element for another game.

It gives me an idea for a serf resource management game where people (like in agricola) have a significant effect on actions - and if one of your cubes is drawn then you lose one of your meeples. You could potentially gain a huge head start on people by leveraging the "bank" of resources in that way - however you would then have more of the bad things happen to you. Really really interesting mechanic!!

SiddGames's picture
Joined: 08/02/2008
Hunger Games - Training Days

The first (?) HG game out does not use anything like that. It is basically an auction game with players competing to earn points and functional rewards that will help them once the actual fighting starts (presumably in another game to come out later).

(I have not read the books, so I only know what my wife has told me about them.)

You mechanic idea sounds great. I've toyed with similar ideas, but going the other direction (you do things to earn more tokens in the bag, to increase the likelihood of good things happening to you).

Joined: 12/01/2010
In the actual books... If you

In the actual books...

If you can't get enough food or supplies on your own, you can get them from the government - however this puts another "entry" for you in the drawing in your district. I believe this is the mechanic that the OP is talking about.

Joined: 09/10/2009
Correct about scenario in book

Yes - I should have perhaps mentioned what happens in the book to clarify the mechanic. The last poster described the scenario in the book.
The obvious way it translates to games is - as also mentioned before - to have a meeple/worker withdrawn from the game if the player's token is drawn. This brings other questions into the mix: does the player lose the worker for the complete game or can they win the worker back? What scenarios would require a worker to go missing? (I thought of teams of scientists working towards curing an outbreak but during the research people come down with the disease. You can research by entering the lab with 'live' subjects but this increases your chance of contracting the disease - extra token placed in bag - but the potential benefit of working with live subjects is huge. Two ways to win - be the last man standing or cure the disease - that is my brainstorm of one idea). And does it have to be a worker could it be a resource that is taken?
Any way I am babbling now - any ideas would be most welcome.

Joined: 03/27/2011
Increasing your vulnerability to Fate

That's a very interesting idea. If I'm understanding it correctly, the degree of risk incurred thereby would be moderated by other players choosing to take the same sort of gamble. Actually, were every player to make that sort of play every turn, the degree of risk would stay balanced, I suppose, but that might not be a problem, though, because any player choosing NOT to "take out a loan" or whatever it would be called thereby reduces their vulnerability.

I could see something like this being used in an investment sort of game, or in a (very different) game in which the bag of tokens to be drawn from represents the total of each player's karmic debt!

Might there be some mechanism for REDUCING the number of vulnerability-to-fate tokens a player has in the draw bag? This should be much harder/more expensive to do, I should think, than choosing to INCREASE the number of one's tokens.

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