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Randomizer suggestions

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Griff Glowen
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Joined: 07/13/2016

I am trying to think up a mechanic whereby each player has a uniquely coloured tile, and the tiles are then randomly and secretly distributed amongst the players so that each has another player's coloured tile. The problem of putting them all in a bag and drawing them is that the last player may draw his own colour and then the whole process would need to be rerun. Any suggestions?
The best I have come up with is putting two of each colour in the bag so that, even if the last player draws his own tile he can at least redraw and get another colour. Unfortunately having 2 of each means that come colours may not be drawn at all which is not ideal.
Grateful for suggestions.

Stormyknight1976
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Joined: 04/08/2012
How about this idea

How about color cards that were distributed just like in playing poker?

On these cards there would be a small phrase," You are the villian or you are the one?"

If each player had one or two cards of the phrase , they are not the one villian or what ever it is the player needs to be in the game. If the player had the entire phrase in same color then their it. If the phrase was in one players hand but not the chosen color say "blue" this player would be a mole or traitor or something else to get the opponents off track or side tracked during game play. Like a different persona with different goals than the rest of the group?

Griff Glowen
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Thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks for the suggestion. The mechanic is less about giving a player a role and more about specifying one other player which that player's victory condition depends upon. E.g. If I draw the green tile then I need to destroy the green player etc.

X3M
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Spoken too soon

I doubt, there is a mechanic that allows randomness in picking. Yet making sure you don't pick yourself. And the target is picked only once.

mcobb83
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If I understand your

If I understand your mechanic, the game is intended to be mutually exclusive, causing 1 player to have to destroy another, randomly determined player, while having another randomly determined player trying to destroy him.

As I understand it, each player has only 1 target, and never shares the target with another player. Targets are also kept secret.

It seems to me that the original premise of drawing tiles out of a bag is the best route -- suppose you have 10 players, each puts a tile into the bag. Given that withdrawing a tile is a mutually exclusive probability, there actually isn't a great chance of the last player drawing their own tile. At a more normal 4 players the odds increase, and the more players you add, the less chance that the last player will draw their own tile.

But even if the last player should draw their own tile (as it is the last player drawing their own tile that causes a re-deal), the process of having each player put their drawn tile back into the bag and draw a new one shouldn't take more than 2 minutes, even for 10 or more players to do.

tl;dr

I don't see what the issue in repeating the tile assigning process is. It wouldn't take very long, and the odds of having to do it even once are very small. It seems to me that your mechanic is not broken, since the only way to assure that nobody draws their own tile on the first go is to remove the random effect from it, or to use a neutral 3rd party - like a computer program/app or game master that can know who is what color and who is out to get what color.

stubert
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Joined: 01/26/2009
3 suggestions

I have 3 suggestions:

1) Have a separate second TYPE of victory condition that you will strive for if you draw your own card… This could be any number of things, like – if you draw another player’s color, you must eliminate that player. If you draw your own color, you may eliminate ANY other player, but must also have amassed $XX wealth, or resources, or built X buildings, or occupy XX territory on the gameboard, etc… this would make the “eliminate a player” part a bit easier, since you could pick off the weak youngling from the herd, but you would also have to fulfill a secondary condition that would offset that bonus.

OR

2) Put 2 colors on each card – players MUST eliminate the player color on the left half of the card (you can format the card such that the intended orientation of the card is intuitively obvious), but if it is THEIR color, then they must eliminate the OTHER color.

OR

3) Put 2 of each color in the bag, and then players draw 3 tiles and must pick ONE THAT IS NOT THEIR COLOR, and put the rest back. The likelihood that someone would be shafted, and have no choice which player they eliminate would be slim.

Each of these possibilities eliminates the “player 2 must eliminate player 2” scenario but almost certainly will lead to 2 players being attacked by a single player, and others not at all.

Also, without knowing a little more about the game it’s hard to solve this dilemma.

Do players know right away who is attacking them? i.e. – is this a combat-based game where purple will attack green, and now green knows that purple is the player who needs to eliminate them? Are the tiles shown right away?

If this is the case, then the answer can simply be a function of having an “elimination table” that details who eliminates who (in circular fashion, so that blue player eliminates red, red eliminates yellow and yellow player eliminates blue player) printed directly on the gameboard as a reference, and players draw these colored tiles to determine which color pieces they will use, and therefore where in the circle they lie…

X3M
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Analysing the "problem"

Have you thought about, what might happen with just 3 players?

If player 1 has 2, and 2 automatically gets 3.
Than you know that when you have player 2. 3 is targeting you. And when you have player 3. 2 is targeting you.

The whole idea is flawed to begin with. And a minimum of players that you need is 4. Only then, you don't know, which of the remaining players is targeting you.

Is 4 the minimum? Or do you allow less players? In that case. Perhaps not having such a system would be best.

And what is the maximum of players? Because redrawing should not be a problem.
Of course, I might add that as soon as a player picks his/her own colour. No matter how much is in the bag. The process should begin all over again. Just to give all players an equal chance.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
This is a well-known and much

This is a well-known and much discussed problem: The Secret Santa Problem. (You're doing the same thing as a Secret Santa drawing -- you want to make sure everyone has someone different who is not himself.) Here's a serious treatise on it: https://www.lix.polytechnique.fr/~liberti/sesan.pdf

We had a long discussion on this a while ago. After a little searching, here it is: http://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-creation/mechanics/mechanic-help-needed

Here was my conclusion:

Here's an approach that doesn't completely stink, I think. (How's that for a ringing endorsement?)

Use cubes where the choice is a number on only one side, so they can be mixed quickly and easily, you can draw one and hide it from others while you look at it, but then you still can set the cube down on the table such that no one else can see it.

Start by setting out the cubes with number 1 through N. One person holds his own cube, mixes the rest into the hat, takes one from the hat, then drops his own into the hat and passes it on. Note that there is no chance he got his own number, so we've automatically eliminated 6 of the 15 bad combinations.

Now the second person takes a cube and checks it. If it is not his own, he passes the hat and we're actually at a pretty good chance of not needing a redraw at all. We've already eliminated 10 of the 15 bad combinations, so we're almost 2/3 chance of success once we pass this point. Then the last two people grab cubes and check them.

If anyone gets his own cube, then everyone ELSE who already drew a cube throws it back in the hat and we start over with the person holding his own cube drawing before throwing his into the hat.

This approach is still the redraw method, but it avoids 2/5 of the failures completely, hits the other failures more quickly, and has no shuffling time.

------------- WAIT! I've got it! ------------

As I was writing this, my friend at work has arrived at a better answer. He googled to find this: http://weaving-stories.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-to-do-secret-santa-so-th...

Here it is, modified to be a better board game mechanic. It does require trust that people don't peek during the "close your eyes" process, but that's not too much to ask. Here I've described it for 4 players, just to be simpler. However, it will work with the obvious extensions for 5 players.

Everyone has a color which everyone knows, and starts with a card of his own color.
Cards labelled A-D are shuffled and dealt face down. Everyone knows his own letter and no one else's.
Envelopes labelled 1-4 are shuffled and dealt face down. Again, everyone knows his own number and no one else's.

Each person looks at the number on his own envelope, inserts his color card, and puts the envelope back in the middle with the number still face down.

Someone takes all the envelopes and shuffles them, keeping the numbers hidden. Once they are shuffled, he turns them up so the numbers show. Remember that each person knows only his own number and his own letter.

Now everyone closes their eyes. One person is designated to call out letters A-D and wait a few seconds on each one. Each player, when his number is called, opens his eyes, grabs an envelope that is not his number, and closes his eyes again. It's important that people hide the envelope so later people can not even see that they have an envelope already. Once everyone has drawn an envelope, the announcer tells everyone to open their eyes.

Everyone opens the envelopes, keeping the numbers hidden, to see the color for the person of whom they are double agent. That's all the information anyone has, but there was no chance anyone got his own color.

Note that you need the extra lettered cards to determine the order of drawing. My friend's original solution just had the announcer call out the numbers, in order. However, with that approach, if #2 opens his eyes and sees his own envelope gone, then he can pick the #1 envelope and he (and #3) know that it is an A <-> B and C <-> D situation, while #1 and #4 do not know anything extra.

stubert
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Joined: 01/26/2009
Hidden information

The problem is that we don't know what amount of the information is hidden regarding who has who else as their victory condition...

If there is no hidden information in that regard (i.e. - the issue is simply to randomly determine enemies...), and everyone will know who is after them and who they are after at the onset of gameplay, then simply have all of the tiles placed in a bag.

Player 1 draws. If they draw themselves, they draw another tile, and place their tile back in the bag.

Then, in turn, each player draws a tile,

with the player who just drew PASSING THE BAG TO THE PLAYER WHOSE COLOR THEY JUST DREW.

This ensures that the player drawing does not have their tile in the bag to choose from, since their color has already been eliminated as a choice.

However, this relies on the fact that gameplay is not affected by people knowing who has their tile.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
stubert wrote:The problem is

stubert wrote:
The problem is that we don't know what amount of the information is hidden regarding who has who else as their victory condition...

If there is no hidden information in that regard (i.e. - the issue is simply to randomly determine enemies...), and everyone will know who is after them and who they are after at the onset of gameplay, then simply have all of the tiles placed in a bag.

Player 1 draws. If they draw themselves, they draw another tile, and place their tile back in the bag.

Then, in turn, each player draws a tile,

with the player who just drew PASSING THE BAG TO THE PLAYER WHOSE COLOR THEY JUST DREW.

This ensures that the player drawing does not have their tile in the bag to choose from, since their color has already been eliminated as a choice.

However, this relies on the fact that gameplay is not affected by people knowing who has their tile.


That way, people know by who they are going to be targeted. And can "prevent" it.

The goal is to have a "fog" until the encounter occurs.

I think that the envelop is the best way. After reading the previous topic.

***

Having an envelop with the colour on it. And the same colour in it.
Shuffling without knowing where the colours go. Then taking out the colours and placing them clockwise in the next envelop, without looking.
Of course shuffling the envelops again, or else you might know from where the colour just came.
And after the last shuffle, you hand out the envelops to the rightful players.

The only down side to this method is that you will not be targeted by your own target.
The up side to this method is that you can have 4 or more players. And the method still works.

Griff Glowen
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Joined: 07/13/2016
Thanks for all the replies.

Thanks for all the replies. Lots to think on

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