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Suggestions for Adding an Extra Strategic Dimension to Semi-Cooperative Space 4x Game

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DarkDream
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Joined: 12/31/1969

My space 4x game is unique in that players cannot attack each other (they are factions of the same Galactic Republic) but can attack invaders or other threats. Each faction strives to have the most victory points through winning battles, researching advanced techs and fulfilling secret and public objectives. There is voting on agendas as well along with trading of resources amongst players. There are three resources in the game: gold (buying things and used for votes), iron (building things) and research (researching things).

Currently, there is a total of 4 actions that can be done: move, build, research and pass.

When a probe moves onto a face down tile, it is turned face up which encompasses discovery. When a colony ship moves to a system with a uncolonized planet, the colony ship is traded in for a colony encompassing colonization and system control.

The primary tester for my space 4x game is my brother. He remarked that the game needed an extra "strategic dimension." I enquired further and he said right now there is just moving about, destroying things and building things (he included techs in this). He felt there should maybe be an extra actions that adds a mechanic to add some strategic depth to the game.

He thought something like having allied cards (which would perform certain actions) that could be acquired by some means and stolen by other players would be a step in the right direction to add some intrigue to the game.

Based on the description of my game, do you guys have any thoughts or suggestions on adding an extra "strategic dimension"?

Thanks,

--DarkDream

apeloverage
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Joined: 08/01/2008
You could give players the

The players might have the ability to do certain things in secret (eg researching particular technologies or building up private armies) which, in the story of the game, are illegal. Players can accuse each other of doing this, with false accusations disadvantaging the accuser.

Maybe it's easier to hide these things in areas further from the center of the board.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
for a 3+ player count one

for a 3+ player count one player could be helping the invaders (probably in secret).

i also think you could emphasise the semi-coop element. make it more obvious that you are not on the same side, you only have a common enemy.
you could do this with final phase of the game, once the alien threat has been defeated battle it out for control of the empire.
strategically this means players need to commit enough to the war effort to save the empire, but they must save enough resources to seize control.
the final phase could not be a real phase at all but a scoring phase disguised (with theme) as political aftermath.

ArkhamArkhiver
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Joined: 12/08/2018
Inspiration

I think you should look at the PC game Sins Of A Solar Empire and the board game Twilight Imperium from FFG.

I think you should emphasize the political element in your game. Twilight Imperium plays with this a bit, but I have no experience with that game. I would separate gold from votes. Maybe you could have a card or tile or upgrade or whatever that let you buy votes, but I think you should have votes be from a couple of sources: planets, agendas, research, buildings, etc. The political element would make multiplayer very interesting if passing votes required the other players to vote in your favor, and political legislation could grant table-wide benefits (with the biggest benefit for you of course.) Your brother might be misjudging the extent of that strategic element if it's only you and him playing.

Something Sins Solar Empire played with is 'culture wars'. Each faction could export it's culture to the surrounding planets, and depending on certain things like trade alliances and planet proximity, you could spread your culture faster than your opponents, granting you additional benefits like increased population as people immigrated from their home planet to yours. One faction in particular emphasized religious propaganda and converting entire planets.

DarkDream
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Add Intrigue?

apeloverage wrote:
The players might have the ability to do certain things in secret (eg researching particular technologies or building up private armies) which, in the story of the game, are illegal. Players can accuse each other of doing this, with false accusations disadvantaging the accuser.

So add some elements of intrigue so players can second guess each other. Yes, I have been thinking along these lines but I am not sure if it jives well with other elements of the game that promotes cooperation. I will give that a good mull over. Thanks.

DarkDream
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Thanks for the Thoughts

wob wrote:
for a 3+ player count one player could be helping the invaders (probably in secret).
That is quite evil! :) Never thought of that. It would definitely add a further strategic element to the game.

wob wrote:
i also think you could emphasise the semi-coop element. make it more obvious that you are not on the same side, you only have a common enemy.
you could do this with final phase of the game, once the alien threat has been defeated battle it out for control of the empire.
strategically this means players need to commit enough to the war effort to save the empire, but they must save enough resources to seize control.
the final phase could not be a real phase at all but a scoring phase disguised (with theme) as political aftermath.
I always thought of having the invaders come at the end and then when you defeat them the game would be over. The idea of allowing for players to play after the invasion would add a strategic element where players would need to figure out how much resources to devote to the war effort versus post the war element.

Thanks for the thoughts.

--DarkDream

DarkDream
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Good Input

ArkhamArkhiver wrote:
I think you should emphasize the political element in your game.... Maybe you could have a card or tile or upgrade or whatever that let you buy votes, but I think you should have votes be from a couple of sources: planets, agendas, research, buildings, etc. The political element would make multiplayer very interesting if passing votes required the other players to vote in your favor, and political legislation could grant table-wide benefits (with the biggest benefit for you of course.) Your brother might be misjudging the extent of that strategic element if it's only you and him playing.
Right now each player gets one vote plus a number of gold equal to a blind bid. Expanding the attainment of other means (like you mentioned) could add another strategic dimension. Perhaps even some kind of political action could be added. However, the key would be to make sure the agendas or legislations are important enough to all players. There is a lot to think about here.
ArkhamArkhiver wrote:
Something Sins Solar Empire played with is 'culture wars'. Each faction could export it's culture to the surrounding planets, and depending on certain things like trade alliances and planet proximity, you could spread your culture faster than your opponents, granting you additional benefits like increased population as people immigrated from their home planet to yours. One faction in particular emphasized religious propaganda and converting entire planets.
Perhaps have a type of "influence" action to spread culture. Good suggestions.

Thanks,

--DarkDream

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