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Swarm Movement problem

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MoldtDK
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Joined: 06/19/2013

OK, Where to begin? I am currently working on a game that is supposed to have some sort of swarming feeling to it. The players will work together to prevent a LARGE force from getting somewhere or maybe even preventing TWO large forces from clashing.

At first I used cubes as the swarm and I love cubes so obviously I considered them to be a great faceless swarm and since cubes are cheap and simple they can come in mass.

But then I found a big problem. In games like Pandemic and other games where I have encountered cubes, they either don’t move, or there are not a lot of them. I found that a lot of cubes will simply make each round drag out as moving them all takes time.

So here is my question:

Does anyone know of a good swarm mechanism that I can use for my game? It is supposed to be easy to do, quick to understand and of course still feel large and uncontrollable.

In case it is important I’d better say that movement on the board is going to be on hexes and no roll is going to determine movement speed.

I kinda want the game to have some pace but of course not too fast. But the effect I am going for is that the players will be very focused on stopping this swarm or containing it and not merely look at it and think: 'can't someone else move them all this turn?'

silasmolino
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Joined: 02/01/2013
Big hexes

Use big hexes and use numbers (or colors) to define the size of each cube, ie. 1 red cube equals 10 swarm and 1 purple cube equals 50 swarm.

Also, if you use big hexes (I was thinking that instead of hexes you use area for you map a'la Risk) then moving say 4 red swarm and 2 purple swarm would equal 140 total swarm. the cubes would also all fit into the hex and filling it greatly giving the impression that there is more going on.

When I look at Pandemic and that board starts filling up, I feel the tension. You say there are not alot of them. I can't imagine the scale of your game if you are thinking you need more cubes on a board than a 6 epidemica card Pandemic game.

MoldtDK
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The current number of cubes

The current number of cubes so far might totally be around 40... 35 maybe. However the big difference between this and Pandemic is that the cubes in Pandemic are stationary...

Moving 40 cubes every round seems a bit boring to me... maybe I have just thought about it too much

bike
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Joined: 03/08/2012
Moving cubes

Quick thought: Do not move the middle-cubes. Put cubes from the back directly in the front (assuming all cubes are equal). Some rules might apply, like every empty field connected with 3 cubes facing north will get a cube, pick from the end of the line.
With moving a small number cubes every move you still get the swarm idea.

MoldtDK
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That is actually not a bad

That is actually not a bad idea at all! Thank you for the input

eviljohs
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Joined: 03/10/2012
Questions: What sort of game are you trying to set up here?

Is this swarm growing as it moves? Starting at a set location on the board? How are the players interacting with it? are they just trying to direct its path, are they trying to kill it/stop it? Do the players have pieces on the board. What sort of game are you trying to set up? That is perhaps the question that should be answered first.

Lots of people get caught up with this, "hey look at this neat thing my game is going to do" kind of idea. And focus only on that one neat thing. anyhow..

I am interested to see where this goes.

JackBurton
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Joined: 04/16/2013
If you don't want to change

If you don't want to change game mechanics and need to move many pawns, you have no easy way to avoid it.
The solution proposed by Bike is smart but it could lead to confusion: how you remember what cube has already been moved?

If the problem is that a cube normally is static (Pandemic, Eclipse, .....) you could change its shape, choosing a man-like or tank-like pawns (I don't know your environment).

Alternatives? How about hexes with two faces: one face represents a free hex while the other is coloured to depict swarm presence. This way you cannot express numerosity, so some small changes in your mechanics are probably required...

MoldtDK
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Joined: 06/19/2013
Actually I thought a lot

Actually I thought a lot about it and I spoke with a friend who mentioned that to a group of 20 people, a swarm would have to be large, however a smaller group would feel swarmed by less. So I do consider scaling it all down to make it all more do-able... Also of course that fewer player pawns means more difficulty in deciding what to do with them.

But thank you all for your input :) It has been very useful

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