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Worker Placement in an Area Control World

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spaff
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Joined: 11/05/2015

In my dudes on a map game, I'm trying to create interesting and thematic objectives as a victory condition instead of a point system. I have at least two objectives, but I'd like 3 or 4 to give a few asymmetrical paths to victory.

To help visualize- this is a light-medium dudes on a map skirmish game (think Kemet, Cry Havoc, Blood Rage, Inis, Cyclades, Clockwork wars, Hyperborea, etc.)
The map is made up of roughly 40 hexes.
I don't have a strong theme at the moment, so my terminology is lacking, but the hexes are made up villages, capitals, and one royal capital. Each capitol resides over a region (6 villages) and the royal capital resides over 4 regions.

The first 2 objectives are, in simple terms ONE: at the start of your turn control 1 region (7 adjacent territories) or TWO: at the start of your turn control 3 of the 4 regions capitols.

The idea I had for a third (and maybe fourth) uses the Royal Capital (again, for lack of better terminology at this point). You can move one of your armies into the city and all your units (up to 8) become "workers" that can be placed at various places on a separate, smaller, Capital board. The purpose of this objective would be to simulate a political victory over a military victory.

The trick is- I don't want a heavy worker placement game to make a currently manageable rulebook unmanageable. I'm wondering if it's possible to simulate a deep enough mini-game in a "king's court" or "noble's houses throughout the city" or what-have-you to get yourself voted as king.

The other trick is- this is an area control game, and I don't want to take away from that, so the area control outside the "Royal Capital City" has to influence this worker placement mini-game somehow.

So think about that first before you read my thoughts below. I'd like some "untarnished" ideas or examples if you have any.

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My current thought is- within the city are various Noble houses- each Noble house has a "home territory" associated with a hex outside the capital. your "workers" can move around and "talk" to the nobles (placed on their Capital space). If you are controlling a Nobles home territory when you "talk" to them, they turn to your side. You can lose control of the territory, but unless the player who controls that territory talks to the corresponding Noble, that Noble still remains "on your side" Once you control a majority of Nobles at the start of your turn, you win.

I know it's hard to judge without playing a game- but how "heavy" does that sound based on your gut feeling? Does it sound like it would dominant the game or be one piece of it?

nswoll
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Joined: 07/23/2010
Cool idea

I love multiple victory conditions (End of the Triumvirate for example is dudes in a map with political and military victory options). This concept sounds plausible.
To make sure I understand, the simple form is:
1. Goal: control 15 "nobles" (senators?) out of 29
2. To control a "noble": conquer (or just move in?) the Royal region and place "workers" on each "noble" that corresponds to a region you control - max is number of units in your army
3. These workers remain until another player "conquers" the Royal capital.

Questions:
1. This seems good enough without adding in more complexity by making the tokens that mark which noble you've influenced actual workers that can move and take actions
2. If you want more complexity perhaps make players pay something to replace nobles. (If I "control" a noble perhaps you lose something or pay me something to gain "control" for yourself? )

I like the idea.

spaff
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Joined: 11/05/2015
Yes, you got the idea down.

Yes, you got the idea down.

I'm still percolating the implementation in my head. I did a playtest using this and it was functional. It's not quite to the level of being fun and interesting yet but I think the potential is there.

There needs to be some interesting decisions- at least in my playtest it was always obvious where the "workers" in the city should go. One decision I added is players have a limited number of move actions, and you can either use them to move units in the city OR your troops outside the city. But it still needs to iterative work.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Nobles as military commanders

I like the idea of making a unit's commanding officer actually do something.

In this case, it's presumably the commander who is wandering around the noble houses while the actual unit is camped outside. If it doesn't weigh down the game too much, you might have some costly activities for the unit to perform while it's idling (recuperating at the hospital, upgrading arms & armor, training for skills, fighting in the arena for popularity, etc.).

Since you need to control the territory to flip a noble, but don't need to hold that territory, this victory condition should incentivize a traveling stormfront of conquest. This somewhat balanced in that the stormfront needs more victories than a landholder.

Another thing you could do in the Royal Capital is forge truces with the noble houses, but this depends on some kind of Honor/Reputation/Popularity system being in place. A truce costs some tiny amount per turn, but then your units can enter that territory without fighting over it. This remains in force even if another player controls the actual hex, though it should be expensive or impossible to set up a truce with a noble "controlled" by another player. Unless the theme is that these players are paladins, there needs to be a mechanism in place to break a truce which is why I think an Honor/Reputation/Popularity system is needed to make this work (though a sizeable monetary penalty might work too).

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