$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 108

6,707 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
42.3% of Goal | left

Support:

Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
26 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: How can I simplify this mechanic? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
michael brown
United States
SANDY
Ut
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have been working on a game where the players are slowly being overrun by aliens. They are playing cooperatively, and after every player's turn the player places an alien on a mat:



Along the upper edge of the mat are the placement slots. As they get filled, the players have to place harder foes to fight, and they get less info about them as well.

Here are the current foe placement rules:

<edit>This wording of the rules is no longer accurate.</edit>

Quote:
When you place a foe card into play, place it in the leftmost column on the play mat. If there are at least two more cards in that column than the column to the right of it then the foe migrates to the next column to the right. Repeat this until the foe ends up in a column that does not have two more foes in it than the column to its right.


I know that this can be worded in a more easy to understand manner. I just can't for the life of me figure out how to do that.

Help me, oh denizens of BGG. You're my only hope.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Blomquist
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Maybe something like "place it in the leftmost column that doesn't currently have any more aliens than the column to its right."?
2 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Williams
Canada
flag msg tools
If I understand the mechanic properly, you're basically saying that as aliens are brought in to play, they are placed in the leftmost open column of the topmost row. Each row must be filled (left to right) and once that's done, you start a new row, above the last.

You could try to make this clearer by using a couple of pictures.

1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Lennert
msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
So you're requiring a basic pyramid structure where every level must have strictly fewer cards than the one below it? So you might end up with a pattern like
4-3-2-1-0
or
5-4-3-2-1
?

You'll probably want some examples to help people wrap their head around that rule, but the rule itself might say something like "The new foe starts at the leftmost column and moves right as far as it can, subject to the rule that after it moves, the column it entered must have fewer cards than the column it left."

If you can, you might want to offer an invariant like "a column should always have more cards than the column to its right (unless both have zero cards)". But I'm guessing that you can't say that because this rule only applies to placing new monsters, and players could theoretically kill off monsters in such a way that that rule would be violated.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A. Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not sure about a simpler way to get that exact ruleset. What's your goal?

Similar but not the same, and much wordier but easier for a human to execute:

"At the start of the game, put the Intensity marker and the Radar marker both on the first column, marked "Really Easy Alien".

At the end of each turn, put an alien in the column with the Radar marker and then do two things:

1. If the Intensity marker's current column has two or more aliens, move it to the RIGHT. The invasion's success has emboldened the aliens! From now on, new attack waves will start with aliens this strong... or if you don't fight back, even stronger.

2. Move the Radar marker to the LEFT. If that moves it off the board, replace it in the same column as the Intensity marker. A new attack wave has begun!

(Note: This means on the very first turn of the game, you'll move the Radar marker off the board and then put it right back in the first column, where it came from. That's okay. Things will get exciting soon enough.)"
3 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Toltz
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
"Place the card as far right as possible so that every column has fewer cards in it than all columns to the left of it"
2 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Breckenridge
United States
Richmond
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If you're going to use a mat anyway, make it bigger and draw out the pyramid -

K
L
G M
H N
D I O
E J
B F
C
A


Then say you play into the next empty space in the sequence.
Or get descriptive and say to play the next card into the rightmost empty space where the two adjacent spaces to its left are occupied.
2 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Blomquist
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hold on, now I'm confused. The way that the people after me are summarizing the rule is different from how I read it. Let's pretend that we're adding 15 aliens to the board, from empty, all at once. I thought your rule made it so they came in 1-2-1-3-2-1-4-3-2-1-5-4-3-2-1, but it seems like others think it would be 1-1-2-1-2-3-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-5. Which is it supposed to be? And am I crazy, or does your rule actually describe my example?

EDIT: I think I figured out where the confusion is coming from. My reading of the rule is that you count the card which is moving around when deciding if the column has too many aliens in it. But if you don't count that card then you get the rule that others are explaining.
2 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will Shaw
United Kingdom
Fleet
Hampshire
flag msg tools
Too many games, too little time
mbmbmbmbmb
"Place the card in the column that has the fewest foes. If there is a tie for the column with the fewest foes, place the card in the leftmost of the tied columns."
2 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
France
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Place a new foe in the leftmost column. Each column can hold a maximum of 1 foe more than the column to its immediate right. Move the new foe to the right if necessary to fulfil this requirement. The new foe can move through as many columns as needed.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Moore
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
That is an unwieldy rule.

My suggestion is to make the alien deployment zone an actual (2-D) pyramid, and use visual cues to let people know when they can and cannot add an alien to a particular row. If the spaces to put aliens in are organized into ranks or rows in a pyramid fashion, and the various rows are offset by one whole card slot, and you fill the ranks from left to right ( or vice versa, whatever), and it's a rule that you can't put a card into a slot that doesn't have the three slots under it filled with aliens, Then I think that gives you the about the same effect as the rule you mentioned in the OP, but would take up more table space.

blankblankblankAblankblankblank
blankblankAAAblankblank
blankAAAAAblank
AAAAAAA

Rule: When deploying a foe, place it in the leftmost, highest available slot. A slot is available if the three spots under it (directly below, below and to the left, and below and to the right) currently have aliens. The slots on the bottom row are always considered available.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
jbrecken wrote:
If you're going to use a mat anyway, make it bigger and draw out the pyramid -

K
L
G M
H N
D I O
E J
B F
C
A


Then say you play into the next empty space in the sequence.
Or get descriptive and say to play the next card into the rightmost empty space where the two adjacent spaces to its left are occupied.


This is exactly how I would do it, but with numbers on the card spaces in the mat:

1
2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
Really Easy Easy Harder Really Hard Secret

"When you place a foe card into play, place it in lowest numbered empty space."

It requires a bigger mat, but no need to repeatedly count how many cards are in each stack.

I assume that perhaps you can attack an easier foe, which would leave a space for a new foe to come in at an easier level, or are you always attacking/removing the rightmost foe? Either way, this rule gives you the stacking sequence that you want.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael brown
United States
SANDY
Ut
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for all your answers, folks!

To answer the standing questions, jblomquist got it right originally:

<edit>I mistyped the next part. you all caught that below, so I will correct it here.</edit>

The aliens go out in the following order: 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc

The aliens go out in the following order: 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 4, 3, 2, 1, 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1 etc

Others guessed correctly that you can fight any column of aliens that you want, so the pyramid can be messed up by the players. If the players wipe out a column entirely, then the remaining columns migrate to the left to make there be no gap.

The idea that jbrecken came up with (to add an actual pyramid onto the mat and make the spaces numbered) was also an excellent idea. I think that I will do both things. I have not spent much time on this mat (as you may guess), and so it is not that big an issue to redraw it to make the game better.

I appreciate all of the attempts at understanding the rule. It must have been worded particularly poorly if we got so many interpretations of it .

With all that said, here is my new attempt:

Quote:
When you place a foe card into play, Place it on the lowest numbered open space on the play mat.


And I would have a mat that said:

1 2 4 7 11
3 5 8 12
6 9 13
10 14
15


Does that sound better?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
theTrueMikeBrown wrote:
Thanks for all your answers, folks!

To answer the standing questions, jblomquist got it right originally:

The aliens go out in the following order: 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc

Others guessed correctly that you can fight any column of aliens that you want, so the pyramid can be messed up by the players. If the players wipe out a column entirely, then the remaining columns migrate to the left to make there be no gap.

The idea that jbrecken came up with (to add an actual pyramid onto the mat and make the spaces numbered) was also an excellent idea. I think that I will do both things. I have not spent much time on this mat (as you may guess), and so it is not that big an issue to redraw it to make the game better.

I appreciate all of the attempts at understanding the rule. It must have been worded particularly poorly if we got so many interpretations of it :).

With all that said, here is my new attempt:

Quote:
When you place a foe card into play, Place it on the lowest numbered open space on the play mat.


And I would have a mat that said:

1 2 4 7 11
3 5 8 12
6 9 13
10 14
15


Does that sound better?


Sounds good.
Are the rows the levels of strength? E.g.

Really Easy 1 2 4 7 11
Easy 3 5 8 12
Harder 6 9 13
Really Hard 10 14
Secret 15
2 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Blomquist
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ryan Keane wrote:

Are the rows the levels of strength? E.g.

Really Easy 1 2 4 7 11
Easy 3 5 8 12
Harder 6 9 13
Really Hard 10 14
Secret 15


Were I indeed right, then the columns would be the levels of strength, but Mike's example
theTrueMikeBrown wrote:
The aliens go out in the following order: 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc
makes it look like I was wrong?
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Breckenridge
United States
Richmond
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
theTrueMikeBrown wrote:

With all that said, here is my new attempt:

Quote:
When you place a foe card into play, Place it on the lowest numbered open space on the play mat.


And I would have a mat that said:

1 2 4 7 11
3 5 8 12
6 9 13
10 14
15


Does that sound better?


I think that's clear and obvious to a player what to do.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
I legally own hundreds of polyhedral assault dice!
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Why not assign each card a value and that only cards of of certain values can go into certain columns? Or just note which column a card should go into and then make sure the distribution of the cards in the deck fall out the way you want them to in the columns?
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
jblomquist wrote:
Ryan Keane wrote:

Are the rows the levels of strength? E.g.

Really Easy 1 2 4 7 11
Easy 3 5 8 12
Harder 6 9 13
Really Hard 10 14
Secret 15


Were I indeed right, then the columns would be the levels of strength, but Mike's example
theTrueMikeBrown wrote:
The aliens go out in the following order: 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc
makes it look like I was wrong?


Based on the original rule, I think the sequence would have been:
1,1,2,1,2,1,3,2,1,3,2,1,4,3,2,1,4,3,2,1,5. Which is way too long.
Edit: in retrospect, I don't know what migrate meant in the rule, if that referred to the previously played card moving to the right or the next card to be placed.

But I think the table above (with rows as strength) is what he intended, producing the sequence: 1,1,2,1,2,3,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,5 done
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Blomquist
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ryan Keane wrote:
But I think the table above (with rows as strength) is what he intended, producing the sequence: 1,1,2,1,2,3,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,5 done


Yes, rows is that sequence, which is seemingly also how antistone, grasa_total, and asmor interpreted the rule. Columns would be the sequence 1,2,1,3,2,1,4,3,2,1,5,4,3,2,1 which is how jbrecken and I interpreted the rule. The OPs example is close to rows, but then he also said

theTrueMikeBrown wrote:
To answer the standing questions, jblomquist got it right originally


which complicates things. Let's look at the original rule.

Quote:
When you place a foe card into play, place it in the leftmost column on the play mat. If there are at least two more cards in that column than the column to the right of it then the foe migrates to the next column to the right. Repeat this until the foe ends up in a column that does not have two more foes in it than the column to its right.


Whether I am right or wrong depends on whether when you compare the cards in the current column and the column to its right you count the foe card that you're trying to place or not. My reading is that you place the card before you're asked to compare, and so you should count it. The only way I can see to get the configuration that you and many others are coming up with, you'd have to be comparing the number of cards already in the columns without including the new card in the count, but based on the OPs wording I think you have to count the card that you're moving around and trying to add, or why would you need to keep updating its position before comparing?
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael brown
United States
SANDY
Ut
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This is what I meant:

Really Easy Harder Really Secret
Easy (1) (2) (3) Hard (4) (5)
1 2 4 7 11
3 5 8 12
6 9 13
10 14
15


The first foe placed goes in really easy (column 1)
The second goes in easy (column 2)
the third goes to the bottom of really easy (column 1)
4th->harder (column 3)
5th->easy (column 2)
6th->really easy (column 1)
etc.

Also, since people are discussing how aliens get harder the more there are:

The strength of the alien doesn't really have anything to do with the column it goes into. The player gets to look at a certain number of foe cards and play one of them, and this choice is based on which columns have no foes in them.

So, if the first column is empty of foes, you will look at the top 10 cards of the foe deck and play one of your choice in the first column (and discard the rest). If the first has foes, but the second is empty, you look at 6 cards and play one in the second column. If the third is the first empty column, you look at the top 4 cards and play one, etc.

The likelihood of getting a hard alien is higher if you look at fewer cards (since you have fewer choices to choose from.) This is why I named the columns as I did, but really they just make it harder to get an easy foe to fight the more foes are in play.

The worst case scenario has you playing foes face down without looking at them and then not even knowing what fight you are about to get into. Since this game has no randomness in combat, that means that you could get into a fight and lose it (which never happens normally unless you somehow miscalculate your capabilities).

Here are the rules (such as they are) if anyone is interested in understanding this more.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
France
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Just a thought if you filled a pyramid

1 2
3 4 5
6 7 8 9
etc

would it effect gameplay too much because if not
When placing foes fill in the highest available row going from left to right. You still get more in the easier columns but not in the order you originally decided on.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Muller
South Africa
Cape Town
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Jorath wrote:
Just a thought if you filled a pyramid

1 2
3 4 5
6 7 8 9
etc

would it effect gameplay too much because if not
When placing foes fill in the highest available row going from left to right. You still get more in the easier columns but not in the order you originally decided on.


Actually using this why not flip the pyramid and fill in from left to right, on the next available row

1
3 2
6 5 4
10 9 8 7

or flip the table once more
1
2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9 10


I think the last is easiest to understand
And can displayed with simple arrows and the slots
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael brown
United States
SANDY
Ut
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You bring up a good point, however the reason I have it growing down is because the cards have their abilities at the tops, so they are all visible when splayed down like I originally had.


(you see, the damage that the foe does, and the types of attacks necessary to defeat the foe are along the top edge of the card.)

That is not to say that I couldn't change that. It is just that is how they are laid out at the moment.

I wanted them to be visually distinct from the part cards (that have data on the bottom, and names on the top)

(these cards have a lot of in-game effects on the bottom of the cards)

<edit>added pictures</edit>
<edit2>explained cards a little bit</edit2>
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Muller
South Africa
Cape Town
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Fair enough
The final table still feels the most natural to me to require the least explanation.

For a bigger distinction visually between part and attack cards you could move the part abilities to be on the vertical column.

Another small thing, if you are going to stack the foes, possibly move the unit icon to the details row as you will lose the name regardless on the orientation. Or possibly move all the detail to only the top or bottom so that no information is lost when stacking?
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
France
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
gmuller wrote:
Fair enough
The final table still feels the most natural to me to require the least explanation.

For a bigger distinction visually between part and attack cards you could move the part abilities to be on the vertical column.

Another small thing, if you are going to stack the foes, possibly move the unit icon to the details row as you will lose the name regardless on the orientation. Or possibly move all the detail to only the top or bottom so that no information is lost when stacking?


Doing this would also give the possibility of an "if this card is on top " power written on the bottom of the card.
2 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.