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How to represent the advance of Bad Weather on a board game

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Tim Edwards
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My dad, when he was a little kid, saved up his pocket money to buy a climb Everest themed board game. My aunt told me that he was so excited when it arrived by post - and was utterly disappointed to discover it was a bare-naked simple roll-and-move (basically snaked and ladders)- unsatisfying even for a child in the 1940s apparently!

I asked him recently what he hoped it would be (secretly wondering if I could make the game he hoped he'd get, 70 years later...) He said he didn't know, but as a kid he was just hoping there would be "lots of little bits."

Now that I've finished (sort of) my current project, I want to get stuck into this one:

Competitive climb Everest game, needs to be pretty simple, but has to be more interesting than snakes and ladders. Could have little bits.

A few ideas are developing. One thing I'm quite keen on is a system where bad weather descends -and anyone caught in it gets sent back to their last camp (on certain squares you can set up camps). There are also squares that offer shelter from bad weather. You could run back to one when the blizzard is on the march, or you could push your luck and run TOWARDS the bad weather, if you reckon you can beat the blizzard to the safe square...I can image that could be exciting if done well.

My question really is this:

What ways could one represent the advance of bad weather down the board? One way might be a hinged mechanism like the old game Abandon Ship/ Titanic. I'm having trouble thinking outside this box though.

Any more possibilities gratefully received. Thanks!

questccg
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Some of my IDEAS...

Is to have a WEATHER deck of 50 cards. The deck would be customized to the weather found on the Mountain (Everest). There would be eight (8) weeks to climb Everest (as in REAL-LIFE: 2 months) and therefore you would use 40 out 50 cards adding "replayability" to the game.

The weeks worth of weather cards allows players to better PREPARE for the week of climbing ahead.

I'm not sure about all the specifics that go into the actual CLIMBING process ... and tracking your height (up to 29,000 Feet).

I can comment regarding the game (and share some ideas too)... I would make the game CO-OPERATIVE like "Pandemic" and INJECT an RPG element to it. But instead of Medieval Fantasy, you would have Climbers and their Sherpas...

Note #1: And if you want some MORE ideas... Just let me know and I can share some more. One thing, having read your OP... I don't want to post too many ideas, unless you want me to. For now, I leave it to the other "Game Designers" to chime in with answers to YOUR specific question (in the OP).

Note #2: And believe me ... in my ideas, there would be a lot of "bits" ... Like your Dad wanted! (LOL)

Tim Edwards
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questccg wrote:Is to have a

questccg wrote:
Is to have a WEATHER deck of 50 cards. The deck would be customized to the weather found on the Mountain (Everest). There would be eight (8) weeks to climb Everest (as in REAL-LIFE: 2 months) and therefore you would use 40 out 50 cards adding "replayability" to the game.

The weeks worth of weather cards allows players to better PREPARE for the week of climbing ahead.

I'm not sure about all the specifics that go into the actual CLIMBING process ... and tracking your height (up to 29,000 Feet).

I can comment regarding the game (and share some ideas too)... I would make the game CO-OPERATIVE like "Pandemic" and INJECT an RPG element to it. But instead of Medieval Fantasy, you would have Climbers and their Sherpas...

Note: And if you want some MORE ideas... Just let me know and I can share some more. One thing, having read your OP... I don't want to post too many ideas, unless you want me to. For now, I leave it to the other "Game Designers" to chime in with answers to YOUR specific question (in the OP).

Thanks for that Questccg! Some great ideas - and always happy to hear more.

At this stage, I'm more wondering what different ways one might actually representation of the storm's progress on the board - rather than how the progress is controlled.

Cheers!

questccg
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Again some more ideas... Pandemic-style EPIC Board Game

Tim Edwards wrote:
...At this stage, I'm more wondering what different ways one might actually representation of the storm's progress on the board - rather than how the progress is controlled.

My idea with regards to the "Board" would be to divide it up into four (4) distinct areas:

1. The Camp: This is a place where players can equip themselves to prepare for the next week worth of climbing. This is where all your "cubes" would be to represent each player (six colors: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Purple). You have color matching Pawns (Joystick) which represents the player.

2. The Weather: This would be five cards representing the weather for the next series of climbing.

3. The Climb: This is the area where the "bits" are used to perform a climb and players can use their equipment to AVOID hazards and penalties

4. The Summit: This would be a Track that would represent the 29,000 Feet that must be climbed at each period.

Week 1. 0 = 7,000 feet
Week 2. 7,000 = 6,000 feet
Week 3. 13,000 = 5,000 feet
Week 4. 18,000 = 4,000 feet
Week 5. 22,000 = 3,000 feet
Week 6. 25,000 = 2,000 feet
Week 7. 27,000 = 1,000 feet
Week 8. 28,000 = 1,000 feet (Victory!)

The idea is something like this: You use "cubes" of YOUR color from "The Camp" to be used in "The Climb" to make it up from the bottom to the top. At the END of the climb for that week, you must have AT LEAST ONE (1) cube for each player... When you land up with one (1) CUBE from ANY player... You must rest and camp ... Your climbing is done.

You must INTELLIGENTLY use your "cubes" to make it UP the mountain... And there are hazards going higher up the mountain which is affected by the Weather and also Equipment which can help the players in their ascent.

Something like that... Using the Pandemic-style cubes by "gambling" up the mountain. Again just some basic ideas... Cheers!

questccg
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An example of the Climbing "mechanic"

Hello @Tim... So I thought long and hard about what your Dad was saying as having more "bits" and here are some of my ideas about "managing" the climbing in a "interesting" way.

So the idea is that "The Climb" is a fixed climbing section which has 5 levels... It's similar to what you would expect from "Snakes & Ladders" but playing is a bit different.

The idea is that your first climb is 7,000 feet in the 1st week. Players would choose how many "sherpas" are going to assist in the climb. Each player has a POOL of "sherpas" based on the amounts surviving the previous climb and various effects from resting at "The Camp".

Let's make some assumption, each player (and there are 4 of them) plays 5 sherpas each (5 green, red, blue and purple).

This means that each PAWN has 5 sherpas to HELP in making it the 7,000 feet to climb. There are 5 levels, each worth 1,000 feet. Now here is where the "Weather" comes into PLAY: the 5 weather cards determine the rolls that can be made by the players. So each Player has a pre-determined set of ROLLS based on the random 5 weather cards. For example "Sunny Day: +2 Rolls FOR ALL PLAYERS" So this means that on this day, the weather is nice and it allows ALL players the chance to roll +2 which means 7 rolls instead of the 5.

Much like in "Snakes & Ladders", each Player rolls normally and can CLIMB to another level, FALL to a previous level and WALK normally from one square to another.

So a player rolls 1 die. He gets a 3. It means he can WALK 3 squares out of 10 for that level (100 feet each square). But he has 5 Sherpas (as mentioned above) since this is first (1st) ROLL, he must choose a NEW Sherpa and make him WALK 3 squares (for a total of 300 feet). On his 2nd ROLL (remember we said 5 rolls +/- depending on the weather) he rolls a 2. Now either he can play another Sherpa which allows him to WALK 2 squares or move one of the earlier Sherpas already in "The Climb"...

Before Rolling, the current Player decides which Sherpa he wants to "move" or play another on the board. Let's ASSUME that on square "5" (3 + 2) there is a CLIMB. And it makes one sherpa go up 1 level to square 18. That means 1,800 feet (instead of only 200 feet). And a sherpa is now on LEVEL 2 (going upwards of 2,000 feet)...

So the goal is to use sherpas to move around and try to HIKE to the top which is +5,000 feet (if a sherpa makes it all the way). The goal is to CUMULATIVELY climb 7,000 feet in week #1... This is combining all the scores of each Player...

The more Players, the less amount of Sherpas per Player. The weather affects climbing both positively and negatively, players can use equipment too available to them to climb FASTER, etc.

Something like this... I don't think the DESIGN is "perfect" but it introduces a lot of "Bits" (Sherpas) and up to 6 Players... Maybe this could be a START for you to work from...

Cheers!

Note: Personally I could picture something like this! I know this is just some "general ideas"... Anyhow if you don't like the ideas, feel free to ignore them. I'm just presenting you how you can take a "dumb" Roll & Move mechanic and add a HUGE amount of variance and strategy that is not present in most Roll & Move games!

I also failed to explain that during "The Climb" players can use Equipment cards like "Oxygen Tank: WALK +500 Feet (5 squares)" or "Alternate path: Roll +1 die", "Safety Line: Prevent a FALL", etc. Bunch of stuff you can think up, etc...

Would be EPIC (IMHO)!!! Just my thoughts...

questccg
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Some other points to consider

I know everyone likes "Rolling" dice... But perhaps "The Climb" would be better to use a Deck of Cards. And that there are Negative Events and Positive Event in addition to the ability of using Counters (Equipment Cards) to alter the effect of the climb.

So instead of ROLLING 5 dice, you would be able to DRAW 5 cards.

A card could be "Move 5 spaces", "Climb 1 Level", or "Fall 1 Level" ... And then you could have like three (3) cards which are "Re-Shuffle the entire Deck including cards in the discard..."

This might be more FLEXIBLE than using Dice ... Since the different TYPES of EVENTS can be played with more easily.

So it would NOT be "Roll & Move" more like "Draw & Do"...

Cheers mate!

let-off studios
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Chit-Pulling

Tim Edwards wrote:
At this stage, I'm more wondering what different ways one might actually representation of the storm's progress on the board - rather than how the progress is controlled.
Perhaps you're thinking more of a graphic design puzzle as opposed to mechanics. But I'll take a stab at this anyway.

I imagine gathering clouds overhead, warning of impending snowstorms. Or sunlight that precipitates avalanches. Or even bracing winds that slow progress and damage equipment. Could you have a chit-pulling mechanic of some kind, and then the board becomes crowded with "lots of little bits" that indicate how soon a specific weather event could occur?

For example, there's a "weather" area at the mountain's summit, and at specific times the players draw a chit and add to the weather area. When three of the same chit are revealed, the weather event occurs, is resolved, and then all chits are returned to the bag.

The chits will allow players to see, consider, and prepare for impending weather events with a reasonable amount of success (and forewarning). I can imagine meeple tokens to illustrate this: clouds or snowflakes, sunbursts, and gusts of wind.

Hope this is useful, at least. :)

Tim Edwards
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let-off studios wrote:Tim

let-off studios wrote:
Tim Edwards wrote:
At this stage, I'm more wondering what different ways one might actually representation of the storm's progress on the board - rather than how the progress is controlled.
Perhaps you're thinking more of a graphic design puzzle as opposed to mechanics. But I'll take a stab at this anyway.

I imagine gathering clouds overhead, warning of impending snowstorms. Or sunlight that precipitates avalanches. Or even bracing winds that slow progress and damage equipment. Could you have a chit-pulling mechanic of some kind, and then the board becomes crowded with "lots of little bits" that indicate how soon a specific weather event could occur?

For example, there's a "weather" area at the mountain's summit, and at specific times the players draw a chit and add to the weather area. When three of the same chit are revealed, the weather event occurs, is resolved, and then all chits are returned to the bag.

The chits will allow players to see, consider, and prepare for impending weather events with a reasonable amount of success (and forewarning). I can imagine meeple tokens to illustrate this: clouds or snowflakes, sunbursts, and gusts of wind.

Hope this is useful, at least. :)

Thanks, LOS. Yes, all ideas of useful at this stage.

(So thank you to Questccg also! Yes, I think food and O2 consumption should be part of it, and also a system of card drawing for movement is something am considering. And plenty of authentic hazards with equipment to counter them.)

You're right that it's something like a graphic design issue that I'm pondering.

I'd like players to actually see the weather rolling in - so they have to decide whether to retreat to a lower safe square, or push luck and race forward (towards the blizzard) in the hope of reaching a higher safe square before they're cut off by the storm, etc...

My immediate thought was something like Abandon Ship where I remember the sinking ship was rotated by degrees, and as it did so, various locations inside the ship were cut off or submerged.

That my be a suitable design idea (although I've tried it already and its tricky to get a clear relationship between the approaching weather front and the game squares) but maybe there are other games with approaching catastrophe advancing across the board (storm, flood, fire, red Martian weed) which I can look at?

let-off studios
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Weather, Pathways, Re-emergence, etc.

Tim Edwards wrote:
My immediate thought was something like Abandon Ship where I remember the sinking ship was rotated by degrees, and as it did so, various locations inside the ship were cut off or submerged. [...] maybe there are other games with approaching catastrophe advancing across the board (storm, flood, fire, red Martian weed) which I can look at?
It'll be an interesting puzzle for you to determine how the environment has changed after the weather event is resolved. For example: will new paths be opened, even as old pathways are closed-off (either for the rest of the game or a certain number of rounds)?

Will your game focus on a round trip, or just a one-way race to the summit? If it's both there and back again, I caution you against leaning too much on the "sinking ship" idea you refer to. Maybe you want to consider the "vanishing paths" of Forbidden Desert or to a lesser extent Forbidden Island: the former more so than the latter, as Mt. Everest won't be hidden forever by these weather events.

Tim Edwards
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let-off studios wrote:Tim

let-off studios wrote:
Tim Edwards wrote:
My immediate thought was something like Abandon Ship where I remember the sinking ship was rotated by degrees, and as it did so, various locations inside the ship were cut off or submerged. [...] maybe there are other games with approaching catastrophe advancing across the board (storm, flood, fire, red Martian weed) which I can look at?
It'll be an interesting puzzle for you to determine how the environment has changed after the weather event is resolved. For example: will new paths be opened, even as old pathways are closed-off (either for the rest of the game or a certain number of rounds)?

Will your game focus on a round trip, or just a one-way race to the summit? If it's both there and back again, I caution you against leaning too much on the "sinking ship" idea you refer to. Maybe you want to consider the "vanishing paths" of Forbidden Desert or to a lesser extent Forbidden Island: the former more so than the latter, as Mt. Everest won't be hidden forever by these weather events.

I hadn't even thought about the post-blizzard aftermath. That's a very interesting idea. Maybe there's a plexus of paths to the top and certain squares become (temporarily?) blocked after a blizzard has passed.

With the sinking ship idea, the difference would be that when the storm has passed everything is back to normal again (apart from maybe some after-effects that you suggested) - so bad weather comes and goes, if you see what I mean?

I think it'll be a one way trip. First to plant the flag.

Thanks for the game recommendations. Will check them out.

Cheers :)

apeloverage
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You could look at other games

You could look at other games with these theme, such as Assault on Everest (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3642/assault-mt-everest)

Tim Edwards
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apeloverage wrote:You could

apeloverage wrote:
You could look at other games with these theme, such as Assault on Everest (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3642/assault-mt-everest)

Yes, there are quite a few games of this theme. I didn't find one with a moving weather front, though.

(regarding those games, just to give an idea of what I'm aiming for - Assault on Everest is far more complex than what I need. I want to be somewhere between that and Game Of The Goose! :) But I take your point; there may be bits and pieces I can borrow.)

Really, at the moment I'm just thinking about what options might exist for physically representing a storm periodically encroaching upon the play area - from the top of the board moving down. Or perhaps coming in at an angle...

durfteimproviseren
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K2

The board game "K2" (and its expansions) have a weather factor included in them. Works like a charm. See: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/73761/k2

Tim Edwards
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durfteimproviseren wrote:The

durfteimproviseren wrote:
The board game "K2" (and its expansions) have a weather factor included in them. Works like a charm. See: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/73761/k2

K2 looks really good.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1023/himalaya also looks good, because there's a yeti :)

I think my game needs a yeti who wrecks your camps. :)

I do have a specific weather concept in mind. It's just a question of how to best practically implement it.

bottercot
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Sweeping Weather

One idea I thought about would work if your board can be ordered into vertical rows.

Basically, you could represent the blizzard as a long piece that extends from one end of the board to the other. The Blizzard starts at the summit, and moves down by 1 row each turn, leaving snow in its wake. Any pieces caught on the Blizzard row are caught up in it, and move down with it as it advances down the mountain. Thus, the climbers would literally get "caught up" in the storm. They would be unable to move while in the Blizzard until they are deposited in a safe camp.

This would be a very physical way to represent the Blizzard, with a literal storm wall descending down in all its intimidation.
As for how to trigger the storms, you could figure that out.
Another advantage is that, because the Blizzard starts at the summit, the time it takes between the storm triggering and it hitting the players would decrease as they advance up the mountain, resulting in an increase in risk as the game progresses.

If you did want to do a switchback "snakes and ladders" style, this would work very well. Players would have to think about where they place base camps, because they would want to position them in such a way so that they might land in them when they are swept down by the Blizzard.

*please stop here if you want the opportunity to create your own ideas, I get way too far ahead, and may have accidentally created a game for you*

I may be getting too far ahead here, but I'm also picturing an alternate way to place Camps, where you start with a limited number of Camp tokens, and you may place them wherever you want. However, if you place all of yours early, you no longer have any protection against the storm in the later heights, and will have to rely on safe spaces. Camp placement could also become strategic, where you want them spread out across the rows in such a way that you have less of a chance of being swept down all the way to the bottom by the Blizzard.

If you wanted, you could add another level of depth, with ways to bribe other players into allowing you to use their camps as shelter.
I won't help you make your game. I realize I'm probably suggesting a different sort of game as you or any of the other players here are envisioning, but what I'm suggesting is sort of Snakes and Ladders on steroids.

The board could be covered in Safe Spaces to protect against the Blizzard, Dangerous Spaces that perhaps require a successful dice roll to cross successfully (snakes and ladders, of course), Cliff Spaces that could be scaled with a die roll (although, being caught on top of a Cliff while in the Blizzard could be very dangerous), Snow on spaces to slow progress (increasing the need for scalable Cliffs), competition for Camp placement, and to top it all off, a shop with gear to assist in scaling cliffs, crossing dangerous spaces, predicting the patterns of the weather, moving faster, clearing snow left from a Blizzard, and even impeding other players.

I see the opportunity for a brilliant game here. Please use any ideas you find helpful. I can see a lot of potential in this game, so use ideas well and make the game your own.

Tim Edwards
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bottercot wrote:One idea I

bottercot wrote:
One idea I thought about would work if your board can be ordered into vertical rows.

Basically, you could represent the blizzard as a long piece that extends from one end of the board to the other. The Blizzard starts at the summit, and moves down by 1 row each turn, leaving snow in its wake. Any pieces caught on the Blizzard row are caught up in it, and move down with it as it advances down the mountain. Thus, the climbers would literally get "caught up" in the storm. They would be unable to move while in the Blizzard until they are deposited in a safe camp.

This would be a very physical way to represent the Blizzard, with a literal storm wall descending down in all its intimidation.
As for how to trigger the storms, you could figure that out.
Another advantage is that, because the Blizzard starts at the summit, the time it takes between the storm triggering and it hitting the players would decrease as they advance up the mountain, resulting in an increase in risk as the game progresses.

If you did want to do a switchback "snakes and ladders" style, this would work very well. Players would have to think about where they place base camps, because they would want to position them in such a way so that they might land in them when they are swept down by the Blizzard.

*please stop here if you want the opportunity to create your own ideas, I get way too far ahead, and may have accidentally created a game for you*

I may be getting too far ahead here, but I'm also picturing an alternate way to place Camps, where you start with a limited number of Camp tokens, and you may place them wherever you want. However, if you place all of yours early, you no longer have any protection against the storm in the later heights, and will have to rely on safe spaces. Camp placement could also become strategic, where you want them spread out across the rows in such a way that you have less of a chance of being swept down all the way to the bottom by the Blizzard.

If you wanted, you could add another level of depth, with ways to bribe other players into allowing you to use their camps as shelter.
I won't help you make your game. I realize I'm probably suggesting a different sort of game as you or any of the other players here are envisioning, but what I'm suggesting is sort of Snakes and Ladders on steroids.

The board could be covered in Safe Spaces to protect against the Blizzard, Dangerous Spaces that perhaps require a successful dice roll to cross successfully (snakes and ladders, of course), Cliff Spaces that could be scaled with a die roll (although, being caught on top of a Cliff while in the Blizzard could be very dangerous), Snow on spaces to slow progress (increasing the need for scalable Cliffs), competition for Camp placement, and to top it all off, a shop with gear to assist in scaling cliffs, crossing dangerous spaces, predicting the patterns of the weather, moving faster, clearing snow left from a Blizzard, and even impeding other players.

I see the opportunity for a brilliant game here. Please use any ideas you find helpful. I can see a lot of potential in this game, so use ideas well and make the game your own.

Hi bottercot!

Thanks very much for those ideas. That's a really cool vision.

I had similar thoughts about limited camp numbers and the tactics that stem from that. My initial thought was a single zigzagging track and if you get caught by the blizzard (whilst not on a safe square) you get thrown back to your nearest camp.

The zigzagging track idea was getting difficult to implement along with the storm wall - just hard to get lines matching up. Hard to explain, but it was a headache.

BUT if I'm seeing your your idea right, it's that there are multiple vertical paths (connected by horizontal paths?) and you can get swept down a vertical path until you reach a camp in your current column? So, if you took a risk of moving onto a column where you didn't have a camp, or the camp was a long way down, you pay the price?

That feels like it could have a lot of potential. I guess I'd need to design it so that there were reasons to switch columns. Maybe the ascent is made up of lots of short vertical columns joined by horizontal paths. A sort of Donkey Kong-like arrangement.

Did I understand your concept correctly?

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