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Simple Betting Dilution Mechanic

11 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/25/2010

Hello all. I'm looking for a simple betting dilution mechanic, in other words, a mechanic where points scored are a function of (1) how well the faction that you've bet on performs and (2) how many bets are on that faction.

For example, there are 4 factions that will score 'points' during the game. There will be opportunities throughout the game for the players to bet on these factions. At endgame (or possibly during a midgame event) the players score. Let's say the blue faction has 23 pts at this time. Player 1 has 3 tokens on blue, player 2 has 2 tokens, player 3 has 1 token, and player 4 has 1 token. The obvious way to do this is to divide the 23 pts by 7 for 3.3 pts / token, round up or down (let's say down) for 3 pts, and give player 1 3 x 3 pts = 9 pts, player 2 6 pts, and players 3 and 4 each get 3 pts. The problem is that, although this isn't particularly difficult math, I'd like to make it simpler, especially given that scoring may occur multiple times during a game.

Any brilliant ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

Joined: 07/26/2008
Have you tried just reducing

Have you tried just reducing what you score by the number of tokens other players have there.

In your example; player 1 would score 19, player 2 would score 18, and the other two would each score 17.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I think he wants the score to

I think he wants the score to resemble the number of tokens more.

But applying the way you described is a good start.
Perhaps substracting until a desired minimum score is reached?

23 points?
3 tokens, but 4 against: 23-4=19, 15, 11
2 tokens, but 5 against: 23-5=18, 13, 8
2 times 1 token, but 6 against: 23-6=17, 11, 5(minimum reached)

So 11, 8 and 2 times 5.

Joined: 03/27/2014
Does each player's betting

Does each player's betting effect the way the faction performs throughout the game? In other words, is it purely like betting on a horse or are you more-or-less "funding" the faction with your tokens?

How do the factions interact with players throughout the game?

Joined: 10/25/2010
You are directly controlling

You are directly controlling the factions with cards in hand. Think El Grande, but instead of 'owning' a color, you have the potential of manipulating all of the colors.

The funding idea is interesting however. I hadn't considered that. Similar to Samarkand.

Joined: 10/25/2010
That might work X3M. I'll

That might work X3M. I'll need to play around with it some. Thanks.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I have given a bad example

Actually, now that I think about it. It makes no sense to subtract. (it wont work) The total score doesn't compare either. The difference in dividing is bigger than supposed to be. Unless you want to have that.
My example actually makes it way more complicated.

You calculation of 9, 6 and 2 times 3 is simple and perfect enough. Logical too.
If you are troubled with the remaining 2 score points in your 23 example. Simple have them assigned to the player with the highest number of tokens.

With higher scores, it could be that the remaining score is higher then the number of tokens for player 1. Then simply give the rest to player 2 and so on.

With a tied in tokens while a wrong number remains. Simply discard them. Or at least distribute 1 to each that have the same amount of tokens.

So with 27 score points. The points awarded are 12, 8, and 2 times 3. With a discard of 1.

This will encourage players to be just a little bit ahead of other players when placing tokens.

Player 3 OR 4 might get another token placed. In that case they will be fighting with player 2 about the score points. Both having 2 tokens, might still get them both 1 score point. If another score point remains, this one gets discarded. While ignoring the last player.

Joined: 07/26/2008
Another approach may be to

Another approach may be to collect points in sequence based on the number of tokens you have on a faction. So, with the 23 point example:

23 points Available
Player 1 has 3 tokens
Player 2 has 2 tokens
Player 3 has 1 token
Player 4 has 1 token

Take Points:
Player 1 takes 3 points, 20 remaining
Player 2 takes 2 points, 18 remaining
Player 3 takes 1 point, 17 remaining
Player 4 takes 1 point, 16 remaining
Player 1 takes 3 points, 13 remaining
Player 2 takes 2 points, 11 remaining
Player 3 takes 1 point, 10 remaining
Player 4 takes 1 point, 9 remaining
Player 1 takes 3 points, 6 remaining
Player 2 takes 2 points, 4 remaining
Player 3 takes 1 point, 3 remaining
Player 4 takes 1 point, 2 remaining
Player 1 takes the last 2 points.

Total Points:
Player 1 = 11
Player 2 = 6
Player 3 = 3
Player 4 = 3

You would need some mechanism for deciding who takes point first in a tie. I'd probably go with who has the least points at the time.

Joined: 03/27/2014
Perhaps there's a way to make

Perhaps there's a way to make it so that certain limits provide X number of points per token?

For example:

Have benchmarks on a simple chart for the levels.
If a faction earns 10 points or more points you gain 1 point per token of yours.
" " 15 points " " 2 per token.
" " 20 points " " 3 per token.
etc. until it's balanced as you see fit. Perhaps add a bonus for supplying a certain number, or for having the most on 1 faction.

In the case above, the faction earned 23 which would break the 20 point limit, so each token earns 3 per player.
Player 1 earns 9 (plus a possible bonus for supplying the most).
Player 2 earns 6.
Player 3 & 4 earn 3 each.

Funny how it ended up providing the exact same points as your method, but without the hassle of dividing, rounding, and doing multiple steps, eh?

I'd have to see how the other elements of gameplay would effect it, but essentially it gives incentive to really invest in certain colors and see them succeed since you don't get points on a direct relation, but rather you get points for passing certain benchmarks. It's an emotional moment (in a good way) seeing your faction just 1 point shy of a benchmark and potentially losing the game because of it!

James Allen
Joined: 08/07/2014
Some cheap ways to simplify

Some cheap ways to simplify the math.

1) The player with the highest bet gets half the faction's score. The player with the next highest bet get half of what remains; and so on rounded up.

2) When a faction scores a point, players immediately get a number of victory points (or whatever they are) equal to their bet on that faction. The number of token may get out of hand here; you could minimize the number of tokens by giving players a number of victory points equal to their bet minus the lowest bet (so, it's a relative scoring rather than absolute scoring).

3) Instead of just betting on a faction, bet on the faction's final placement. Maybe a mat with a row for each faction, and columns for win, place, show. Players bet on a position and get victory tokens equal to their bet if they bet correctly. No math at all!

Joined: 12/12/2011
Have you played Colossal

Have you played Colossal Arena by Reiner Knizia?
This game fits the description of what you're trying to achieve, you should check it out.

Joined: 10/25/2010
I've been away, hence the

I've been away, hence the lateness of the reply. I really didn't expect more posts either. Thanks everyone for the help.

Yes I have played (and own) Colossal Arena, and love the game. I initially tried a very similar betting mechanic; however, I really didn't want fixed betting intervals in the game, and faction/monster elimination isn't an option. Betting is essentially an expensive action but still an action that you can take at any time during your turn. And it quickly became apparent during playtest that no matter how expensive the action, you clearly want to spend the first few rounds grabbing the highest ROI betting positions.

We've made a lot of changes. I'll be back with rev 2 questions at some point.

Thanks all.

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