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Cavolutia board game

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152710914's picture
Joined: 10/23/2008

Object of the game:

After a strange and roaring event, which left a deep impact not only on the land, but also on your cavemen, your cavemen are on the brink to evolve into the first cavemen to leave the Palaeolithic age behind. While discovering the new landscape, your cavemen will discover important evolutionary breakthroughs which will make them evolve into a new age!
But do not wait too long or rush too fast, you might run out of evolutionary breakthroughs too fast, or unable to discover any new ones! The key to the new age is to know when to evolve and when to hold back.

Cavolutia is a Tile laying board game (hex), a "hinder" your opponent board game and a "plan ahead" board game.

the game will be designed to be easy to understand, but hard to master, with a light, funny pre-historic theme of dumb, but soon-to-be-smart cavemen running around on the board, scoring evolution points.

During a player’s turn, he or she will do the following in order:
1. Moves one or more of his or her cavemen on the board, removes boulders in their way and score evolution points.
2. Place a new tile or place a boulder token to hinder opponents.
3. Draws one tile from the Cavolutia game bag.

Players start out in their own cave, and uses the tiles to discover the landscape, and to move their cavemen on. most tiles will be normal "road" tiles, but there will be also Evolution type tiles:

Food: each evolution token on it is worth 1 evolution point.
Tools: each evolution token on it is worth 2 evolution points.
Fire: each evolution token on it is worth 3 evolution points.
The Wheel: each evolution token on it is worth 4 evolution points.

If you place an evolution tile, count the number of evolution tiles of the same type already on the board and place that many evolution tokens + 1 on it.

This way, a player can quickly play a few evolution tiles in the first few turns, but they will only have 1 or 2 tokens on it:

Example#1: if you place a Food evolution tile, and there are already 2 other Food evolution tiles in play, you place 2+1=3 evolution tokens on it.

Example#2: if you place a Fire evolution tile, and there are no other fire evolution tiles in play, you place 0+1=1 evolution token on it.

Example#3: if you place a Tool evolution tile, and there are already 5 other Tool evolution tiles in play, you place 5+1=6 evolution tokens on it.

This way, players will probably hold out until the "right" moment to play their evolution tiles to score points.
Each time you move one of your cavemen onto an evolution tile with one or more evolution tokens on it, you may score evolution points. (remove a token AND place caveman back in your cave)

the nice thing is, that the gameboard will fill up slowly with road and evolution tiles, making it hard for a player to hold back on playing evolution tiles (to get more tokens on it), because players will run out of room, and the distance to their cave will increase.
so players will have to make choices:
1. Play evolution tiles quickly, so they are closer to their cave, but with less points to score from, or
2. wait with playing evolution tiles, but then they distance will be greater, but i will have more token on them to score..
choices..choices... :P

players will start with just 2 cavemen to use, but after discovering an evolution for the first time (scoring it), they will get a bonus, depending on the evolution they discovered:

Food: Put one extra caveman in your cave (You should have 3 now)
Fire: Draw one tile immediately.
Tools: put one extra boulder in your cave (You should have 2 now)
The Wheel: your movement is increased by one. (Your movement is 4 tiles each turn)

This will be a good way to make players play their evolution tiles sooner than they would want, and to make players who are missing a certain evolution to "make a run" to another player's evolution tile far away, connecting it with roads for access.

players keep track of their bonus by a special banner in their cave. each bonus can only be scored one time per game of course.

Boulders are used, just like playing a tile, to prevent access to a certain tile (blocked road):

Your cavemen may not cross, jump, pass, tunnel or fly over any road tile that has a boulder token on it. When one of your Cavemen moves to a road tile that has a boulder token on it, place that boulder token and that caveman back in your cave.

players can hinder other players for a small time (since the cavemen gets placed back in the cave), but smart road placement can of course increase/decrease this.

Each of the 4 evolution types also has a different point value for each token on it:

Food: each evolution token on it is worth 1 evolution point.
Tools: each evolution token on it is worth 2 evolution points.
Fire: each evolution token on it is worth 3 evolution points.
The Wheel: each evolution token on it is worth 4 evolution points.

there will be more food evolution tiles than The wheel evolution tiles for example, so that overall scoring evens out.

Players will keep track of their scores by moving another pawn around the game board (outer scoring ring).

End of the game:

Once all players have taken their final turn, you will add the following bonus points to your current evolution points:
• For each boulder in your cave, score 1 bonus point.
• If you have all 4 evolution tokens on your cave evolution banner, score 10 bonus points.
• For each tile in your hand, lose 1 evolution point.

The player who has amassed the most evolution points is declared the winner of the game and his or her cavemen evolves into the new age! Now don’t expect machinery and fast cars immediately, but let your cavemen start with something simple, like fast-food, or a chicken farm…

Now, I still have to prototype and play test it, but as far as I can see, no problems should come up, if I am careful with the tile desing (not too many one way tiles, etc..)

I also have another option, called Unknown Phenomena, which is triggered on the outer scoring ring. As soon as the player in front reached one of the Unknown Phenomena fields, a world changing event can happen.

I have 10 different events, ranging from small effects, to world changing events.
does this sounds like fun? I designed the Unknown Phenomena primarily to prevent a runaway leader (creating options to provide bonusses for players behind)..
Any imput so far, what is missing? what would be a great addition?. What could be added to increase player interactivity?

I want this game to be Light, with not too much micro management. just tile laying, moving and point scoring.

Remember, these are cavemen we are talking about! UGH!

Cavolutia is all rights reserved (C) PaMaRo games 2009.

Joined: 04/06/2009
Sounds like a good start.

Sounds like a good start. Test it out, see how it goes. You may have to tweak a few things to make the strategy varied and challenging, but I like that you haven't overcomplicated things to begin with.

Self-balancing mechanics are great, so I like the fact that removing a boulder placed by another player gets you the boulder, so you have more ability to hinder others later.

One possible problem spot I see is the varying values of the tokens - a 4-to-1 difference between the Wheel and Food is huge... so huge that it may not be worth going for any more than one Food. If you find that's the case, you could just make them worth 2, 3, 4 and 5 points instead, so it's only a 2.5-to-1 difference.

Right now, you reward diversification, but not specialization. The strategy might be more complex if you gave a bonus for having one of each, as now, but also gave, say, a 5 or 10 point bonus for whoever has the most of each individual type (e.g. 5 points for the most Food, 5 for the most Tools, etc.). That would be another way of encouraging people to go for the lesser-valued tokens a bit more.

152710914's picture
Joined: 10/23/2008
Yep. those things would

Yep. those things would probably come up when I have the prototype ready. but I indeed like the idea of upping food to 2 points, to minimalise the difference in point values. Thanks for the comment!

I am not sure of really dividing the 4 different evolution sources into a "who gets the most of each" kind of thing.. that would immidiately increase the micromanagement, and the need of more different tokens/counters.

jason (not verified)
Thanks for sharing nice info

Thanks for sharing nice info specially description that during a player’s turn, he or she will do the following in order points.Checking cheap plans of web hosting and domain names.

Joined: 08/01/2008
to me,

the name sounds like it'd be an abstract game. I get that it's 'Cave' and 'Evolution', but that's not obvious until you know what the theme is.

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