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Terra Mystica» Forums » Variants

Subject: Resources and Disasters (snellman playable) SIGNUP FOR TESTING rss

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James Wolfpacker
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Introduction

Terra Mystica is set in a mythical or mystical world with Terraforming factions. We can also draw parallels to our real world. We can consider Round Scoring Tiles as time periods with natural beneficial events that yield vps and bonuses like good weather or very good weather. We can also think of both BONs and Power Actions as some type of limited natural resource. Power Actions are like limited renewable resources or resources that have to be found during every time period (round) before they can be used and BONs are moving resources (like fish migrating or roaming buffalo or weather).

Here are some variant ideas based on making Terra Mystica Round Tiles, BON tiles, and Power Actions mimic natural resources and events more closely. Some of these variants could make Terra Mystica a less than perfect information game and some of them still allow perfect information. Therefore, there is no need to complain that some variations do not have perfect information. The debates on these variants are could it be fun, would it be interesting, and does it keep the game balanced enough?

All of these variations will require that snellman players are familiar with using the commands as typed in the planning box or know how to make alterations in resources and vp in the Move command box either before or after they use the click menu commands. The player performing the admin duties will also need to know how to make some alterations in the admin box. Only one of these variants does not have a way to manipulate it in the snellman interface.

Please note that using "#" at the start of a line in the admin or Moves box will make an extra comment in the game. So if using one of these variants please make the comments at the front of the game as shown in the example at the end.

Hidden Round Tiles

It's really cool that all of the factions on a mystical world can see the future of natural events (round tiles) but not the exact future of their own and other factions. What would it be like to play a game where you don't know the order of natural events like we do in our world? Obviously, this makes the game have hidden and unknown information so it would be difficult to pick a faction. Everything could end up M-E-N-D in a standard league setup game as those seem to be the most compatible+versatile faction setup. It could also lead to players picking factions that just have inherent scoring opportunities like Witches+Darklings+Dwarves/Engineers+Halflings (and Ice Maidens with F&I). Nonetheless, it would be interesting to play and keep players on their toes and benefit the most adaptable player+faction.

Perhaps the fairest way for playing the Hidden Round Tiles would be to combine it with Faction vs Faction (as described below) so no player randomly wins inherent faction benefits for the unknown round order.

This can be played on snellman (rated or unrated, recommend it unrated). You just need to change the round tiles in the admin for whatever the random tile is determined to be at the start of each round.

Negative Round Tiles

If we consider Round Tiles as positive natural events, why not also negative natural events like disasters? For instance if you build a SH/SA in R1 you LOSE 5VP with SH/SA>>-5vp, but in R2 you GAIN 5VP with SH/SA>>+5vp because weather conditions are too harsh for building big stuff in R1 and extremely beneficial in R2. At setup, randomly determine if a round tile is the negative or positive version. You would then have to plan around those negative buildings rounds and only build them if absolutely necessary. Perhaps some games might get 6 negative tiles. That would be a tough game! If using negative tiles I would suggest starting at 30vp or 40vp. This variant will keep TM a perfect information game. If combined with Hidden Round Tiles then it would not be a perfect information game.

This can be played on snellman. It could be rated when starting at 20vp and then subtracting vps when doing a negative vp action, but it would taint player stats so I suggest not doing that. It would be unrated when starting above 20vp. Just use the normal scoring tiles in snellman but when you perform an action that actually scores those points automatically in snellman you have to subtract double that amount.

Example: R1 is D>>-2 but snellman will add 2vp
"action ACT5. build C4. -4vp."
is what you will need to type in or have executed in the action box.

Depleting BON tiles

Since we are considering BON tiles natural resources, let's assume an abundance of natural resources at the start of the game so we start the game with all 10 BON tiles. In a 4p game after setup to R5 one BON tile is randomly deleted from the game (4p). This leaves one BON tile for each player to swap out when passing in R5.

In a 5p game there could be 2 options. If we keep the same procedure as 4p then the first player to pass in R5 will not get a BON tile (which can really hurt). The second option is to not delete a BON after setup.

This can be played on snellman if you don't use randomize setup in the admin. Use the command "delete BON__" for whatever the random BON is to be removed at the end of each round. It will work in the middle of a game. This could be played rated or unrated.
This post explains how to manually create your own setup.

Depleting BON tiles with Perfect Information

Just do the same BON tile procedure as above, but predetermine the order of deletion. So if the first BON listed in the deplete order is being used in R1 then the next BON in the order not being used will be removed. This variant will keep TM a perfect information game.

This can be played on snellman as described above.

Hidden Final Scoring Tile

This natural beneficial vp resource is abundant all around, but the Terra Mystica factions don't know how to make use of it yet. Once they discover how to use it, then they can start planning for it's use. Kind of like how we have aluminum in abundance but we couldn't use it until an extraction process was discovered.

This is not perfect information. This variant can be played on snellman rated or unrated (suggested). At some point in the game the Final Scoring Tile will be revealed or that there is none. This means there is a 1 in 5 chance of NO Final Tile when the reveal happens. The Hidden Final Tile Reveal has 2 options. Predetermine which end of round it will be revealed or use a increasing random chance to reveal as shown below.

0) After setup is completed and all players have their BON. (1 in 7 chance)
1) At the end of R1. (1 in 6 chance)
2) At the end of R2. (1 in 5 chance)
3) At the end of R3. (1 in 4 chance)
4) At the end of R4. (1 in 3 chance)
5) At the end of R5. (1 in 2 chance)
6) At the end of R6. (1 in 1 chance)

This post explains how to manually create your own setup. You can add in the Final Tile as described near the top of the game in the Admin box.

Several Final Scoring Tiles

This is analogous to pride in Cultural Faction Strength in several types of faction achievements. This is perfect information. You can play it on snellman and it should be unrated because it can poison the stats due to the extra +36vp added for each extra tile you play with.

You can play with 2, 3, or all 4 Final Scoring Tiles!

This could be combined with Hidden Final Tiles to be a not perfect information game and use the increasing chances to add another final tile.

Negative Final Scoring Tiles

If revealed to be negative at setup then it will be a perfect information game. This variant could be described as a natural Cultural Rot in the Terra Mystica factions!

1) The most connected clusters is -18vp, -12vp, and -6vp (your territory is large but easy to divide and conquer)
2) The furthest connected distance is -18vp, -12vp, and -6vp (your territory is highly separated and difficult to control)
3) The furthest SA-SH tile is -18vp, -12vp, and -6vp (your territory is divided between two control centers and likely to split like the Roman Empire did). Added note: If a faction is missing an SA or SH consider the distance value to be 50. If they are both built, but not connected then the distance value is 25. The best way to ensure this doesn't affect you is to build the SA and SH right next to each other.
4) The most outposts/edge buildings -18vp, -12vp, and -6vp (your faction members are trying to flee an oppressive faction government)

This could be combined with Several Final Tiles and have some negative and some positive as well as Hidden Final Scoring Tiles. However, the vp adjustments will likely have to be performed in the admin box just before the game ends when the last player has yet to pass. Some alterations can be made after the game ends in the admin box, so be sure to bookmark it.

Faction vs. Faction

Over time factions grow and evolve and some find that living on different terrain is actually preferable to where they originally came from.

All players play the same faction, but have each player use the faction color shifted. Not all of the terrain is created equal of course, but it could lead to some different strategies for faction play. This variant will keep TM a perfect information game.

This can't be played on snellman as it will not allow factions to have a different start color.

Extra and Denied Power Actions

Throughout history resources are discovered and then depleted in some locations until a new abundant source has been found or a new way to use these resources has been discovered. Some renewable resources work better when the sun is shining or when the wind is blowing. If there is no wind, the windmills and wind turbines won't work and power can't make extra priests, workers, coins or spades.

This can be played with or without Perfect Information like Depleting BON Tiles. WITH Perfect Information, during setup randomly determine a Power Action for each round, then determine if it will have an extra use allowed or not allowed at all. WITHOUT Perfect Information you determine the random Power Action at the start of the round and if it will be extra use or no use. In either case players could also keep the number of Power Actions fixed to 6 by doubling one and denying another.

The only way to play this on snellman is unrated by using "option loose-adjust-resource" using the following allowances. (the extra ACT is called EACT2, EACT3, etc)

ACT1 can't be increased. Therefore I recommend to always keep this one available.

EACT2 can be achieved by using "+1p. -3pw." However, if the player uses this bonus power action they must use the priest immediately as a full action because some full action must be taken by the player in the snellman implementation. Since this is actually better than using ACT2 restrictions have to be used. All factions can use EACT2 to advance ship or dig (if available) but are not allowed to send it to cults. Exceptions to that usage: Acolytes can also send P to cults, Fakirs can use it to carpet fly to dig and/or build OR send to cults, Darklings can additionally use it to dig but are not allowed build on that hex, Riverwalkers can unlock terrain OR send it to cults, and Dwarves can also send P to cults. I'm not sure about allowing Dragonlords to send P to cults also so that will have to be tested.

EACT3 can be achieved by using "+2w. -4pw." However, add the restriction that when using EACT3 that the 2w must be used to immediately build or upgrade a structure that costs exactly 2w (TP or TE for most factions but Engineers have to make a bridge or a SH/SA and Swarmlings have to make a dwelling or a TE) or advance dig (except for ice factions) as the needed action for snellman.

EACT4 can be achieved by using "+7c. -4pw." However, add the restriction that when using EACT4 that the 7c must be used to immediately build a structure that costs 4c or more or you are advancing ship or dig.

EACT5 can be achieved with most factions (if dig has not been advanced) by using "+3w. -4pw. dig 1." in the action sequence with transforming or adding a building allowed like ACT5. For Darklings this extra command is "+1p. -4pw. -2vp. dig 1." Giants have to use "dig 2." and it will use 3 more workers (less if they advance dig) from their available resources. For Dragonlords this extra command is "+P1. -4pw. dig 1. transform __ to volcano." Since Dragonlords will need to use a full action in snellman they would be able to use EACT5 like most other factions use ACT5 (would have to playtest to see if allowing building is ok, but I doubt it). For Acolytes, they would have to gain 1 cult step, but this is not allowable in snellman so they might not be able to use EACT5. Riverwalkers can't use it either. When digging has been advanced once then change +3w to +2w.

EACT6 uses the same method as EACT5 except it is "+6w. -6pw. dig 2." for most factions (including Giants). The disadvantage is that EACT6 can only be used on 1 hex where the regular ACT6 can possibly be used on 2 hexes. Darklings use "+2p. -6pw. -4vp. dig 2." and can only use it on a single hex. Dragonlords use "+2P1. -6pw. dig 1. transform __ to volcano." So they get 2 tokens to Bowl 1 and then lose 1 to terraform which leaves an extra token in Bowl 1. I am assuming that Acolytes can't use EACT6 either (almost never use ACT6 anyway) and Riverwalkers can't use EACT6.

Comment Example to Explain the Variant

So if you are playing Extra and Denied Power Actions with perfect information at setup determine what the power actions will be and add something like this in the admin box

Quote:

#Option Extra and Denied Power Actions
#Round 1 EACT2 is allowed and ACT5 is denied
#Round 2 EACT5 is allowed and ACT6 is denied
#Round 3 EACT4 is allowed and ACT2 is denied
#Round 4 EACT6 is allowed and ACT2 is denied
#Round 5 EACT3 is allowed and ACT5 is denied
#Round 6 EACT2 is allowed and ACT4 is denied


Then during the course of the game if a faction uses EACT2 they have to type this in the Moves box.
Quote:

#action EACT2.
+1p. -3pw.
advance ship

once the top 2 lines are typed in then "advance ship" or the other allowed moves with EACT2 can be used from the pull down menus.

Some of the other variants will require comments in the Admin or Move box once a hidden tile is revealed. If playing with Hidden Final Scoring Tile then several comments will have to be made.

Add this in the setup setup:
Quote:
#Option Hidden Final Scoring Tile


Then later in the game when it is found to be revealed at the beginning of Round 4 add this:
Quote:
#Hidden Final Scoring Tile is found!
#Cluster Final Scoring is now Active


Then the game Admin goes back to this section near the top of the game and adds in these edits
Quote:
#Option Hidden Final Scoring Tile
#Found at start of Round 4
final-scoring connected-clusters



If there are any questions on how something should be done or how fix a game using these in the admin ask me here. I'll reserve a few posts for later info and more examples.

Happy Variant Fun!
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James Wolfpacker
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Re: Extra Natural Resources and Disasters Variants (snellman playable)
Reserved for Future Use.
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James Wolfpacker
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Re: Extra Natural Resources and Disasters Variants (snellman playable)
Reserved for Future Use.
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James Wolfpacker
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Re: Extra Natural Resources and Disasters Variants (snellman playable)
Reserved for Future Use.
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James Wolfpacker
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Re: Natural Resource and Disasters Variants (snellman playable)
Reserved for Future Use.
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James Wolfpacker
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Re: Natural Resource and Disasters Variants (snellman playable)
Is anyone interested in trying one or two of these starting next week?

I'd be ok with any of the variants. I would like to have a series of 1 or 2 games at a time to test each variant individually. Any games will be UNRATED so there is no concern about rating or need to spend extensive time planning moves in advance.

We will start these on the original map without fire and ice factions and 4 players only. The first two games to fill up will start next week (I expect my league games to be finished by then). I'll use a standard chess clock of 5 days + 2 days + 12 hours. Keep posted for games to start later.

SIGN UP FOR INDIVIDUAL VARIANT TESTS
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hidden Round Tiles (NOT Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker

Negative Round Tiles (WITH Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker, Nikitiwe, PerOlander

Depleting BON tiles (NOT Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker

Depleting BON tiles (WITH Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker

Hidden Final Scoring Tile (NOT Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker

Several Final Scoring Tiles (WITH Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker

Negative Final Scoring Tile (WITH Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker, Nikitiwe

Extra Power Actions (WITH Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker

Extra Power Actions (NOT Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker

Denied Power Actions (WITH Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker

Denied Power Actions (NOT Perfect Information)
JamesWolfpacker
 
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James Wolfpacker
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Is anyone interested in signing up for testing?
 
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Nikita Ravcheev
Russia
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I like Negative Tiles, both round and scoring. It looks so natural.
 
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Per Olander
Denmark
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I am up for Negative Round Tiles (WITH Perfect Information)
 
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James Wolfpacker
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Per Olander wrote:
I am up for Negative Round Tiles (WITH Perfect Information)


Would you be interested in playing with a known (at setup) negative final tile to make both of those 2 games have 3 players? Then we only need 1 more for 2 games.
 
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Per Olander
Denmark
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Per Olander wrote:
I am up for Negative Round Tiles (WITH Perfect Information)


Would you be interested in playing with a known (at setup) negative final tile to make both of those 2 games have 3 players? Then we only need 1 more for 2 games.


nah, I really don't like that idea - the round bonuses is something to plan for in a fun and experimental way, but final scoring I expect will be quite redundant:

SA/SH: either don't build both of them, or build them side-by-side
edge: stay away from the edge = not that different from most non-final scoring games
clusters: connect your towns after funding them
distance: stay on one side of the map

the first two will be border-line boring, the last two might have a little bit of tactics to it... but negative rounds I see as much more interesting
 
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James Wolfpacker
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We need one more player for negative round tiles.
 
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