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Resource harvesting Mechanic

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

As some of you know, I have a board game project similar to the starcraft board game called "Rats Cratf". I had some ideas lately and decided to work again on the project. I made a small prototype yesterday and rapidly tested and I have probles with ressources harvesting.

The board is composed of rooms that can be occupied by player troops which are rats. There is no subdivision in territories

like in starcraft. In the original design, I thought that each room could give 3 different kind of resources and vicotory

points. The VP would have need negociated like in "I am the boss". The idea would have been to be able to push your luck and intimidate your opponent to get more points if you had a good hand. If negotiation fail, one player can say "War" and a combat occurs.

The problem is that it is more complicated to negotiate resources this way. So I thought of relling resources randomly and let every player pick-up resources one after another. Some event would increase the resource shortage reducing the odd for resources to appear.

The problem is that the process of rolling dices and the process of letting player pick their resources is very long and stall the game too much. I would like to simply have a phase where all players count their resources on the board at the same time. So no down time.

So I think I found a mechanic that somewhat solves the problem of having to stop the game.

I first thought of a tic-tac-toe like grid where each square contains either resources, or victory points. Your rats needs to be on the square to harvesst them. The number of rats players place on the resources = the number of resources harvested. So if a ressources is 3 material and you place 2 rats, you gain 2 material. Same thing for victory points, you need to harvest them.

Now I was wondering when should the rats be placed. Making a phase specific for that would take time. So I thought that rats could move at any time during the game and they can be placed on the resources as soon as they move. So if I move in a new area, I can already place my rats on the resources and if they survive until the end of the turn, I collect what is under it.

Now, how does the negotiation will work, it depends on how rats are placed. If I have 5 rats and I plae 1 rat per square, even if I do not harvest more than 5, I am still bloking more space than if I would have placed them on 2 squares. If a new player move troops on the same time, he can negotiate with me and ask to have some space to place his rats. But if I monopolize the victory points area, and I really do not want to move, it will smell like war.

So at the end of the turn, player could declare war, we play cards, resolve the battles and then reassign the rats location from the player with the most rats to the player with the less rats. On another hand, the invading player could intimidate the defending player he will peacefully move his rats on less square to try avoiding a war.

So if players can move their rats anytime they want, there will still be negotiation and there will be no downtime because you can move rats while other players are doing their actions and it is completely legal (it might create complex situation, need to test). Since rats are placed during gameplay instead of a phase of it's own, it should not slowdown the game.

What do you think?

{Sorry for the typoes, no time to re-read myself}
{ I have a bug with the layout, cannot change it. Sorry.}

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