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Kodama: The Tree Spirits» Forums » General

Subject: 10 points limitation rss

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Sebastian Zarzycki
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"You cannot place a branch card that would cause you to score more than 10 points this turn."

In general, this seems like a very unusual limitation in a board game. In fact, I don't remember I've ever meet something like this. Usually, there are various rules that tell you what you can do or do not, but it never says "you can't score high, just because". When played at Essen, I saw that this caused some annoyance among people, when trying to optimize.

I wonder what is the reason for this rule and whether the design problem it solves could be solved differently, perhaps?
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Jared
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rattkin wrote:
"You cannot place a branch card that would cause you to score more than 10 points this turn."

In general, this seems like a very unusual limitation in a board game. In fact, I don't remember I've ever meet something like this. Usually, there are various rules that tell you what you can do or do not, but it never says "you can't score high, just because". When played at Essen, I saw that this caused some annoyance among people, when trying to optimize.

I wonder what is the reason for this rule and whether the design problem it solves could be solved differently, perhaps?


http://theboarddames.com/small-box-game-feature/2015/9/18/ki...

Quote:
4. Scoring for placing a branch works the same way: you score for sequential features down to the trunk. HOWEVER, there is no pruning in this game, as we want the trees to grow and look pretty on the table. Instead, a player cannot place a branch if it would score them more than 10 points. This helps address another issue we had with the original game: everyone makes one long branch and then it ends up getting pruned. The Kodama also encourage you to make your tree diverse by having different arrangements and branch formations, which is quite neat and helps to emulate the way trees actually grow.
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Brodie
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It was my understanding that they did this to remove the pruning design "issue" that was in Kigi.

I don't think the pruning was thought of as an issue (in a bad way), in Kigi...but they were looking to simplify this game and streamline the mechanics, and the 10 point branch rule was one of the ways this was done.

EDIT: Ya, what Jared said
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Jared
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Also, here's the designer himself explaining why:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1443781/kigi-kodama

Quote:
Endless Growth

One of the core mechanics of Kigi called for players to prune branches after they reached a certain length. As a result, some emergent play patterns encouraged players to focus on one single branch and then prune it from an opponent's tree before they could score on it any further. This is a fine mechanic if you're trying to model competitive artists vying for lucrative commissions, but it didn't feel appropriate for this new theme.

I'm never one to shy away from wholesale changes to core mechanics, so I proposed completely removing pruning as a mechanic. What would happen if you absolutely had to keep growing your tree? We realized that if we removed pruning entirely, it would create a very different spatial puzzle. Suddenly you're more worried about being able to optimally place your own cards on your tree rather than attacking anyone else's.

This also had the added bonus of removing one of the major pitfalls of Kigi, an endgame state where only one or two players had any kind of foliage while everyone else had barren stumps. Now when you play a full game of Kigi, you'll end with these enormous verdant trees worthy of any tree spirit!
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Travis R. Chance
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rattkin wrote:
"You cannot place a branch card that would cause you to score more than 10 points this turn."

In general, this seems like a very unusual limitation in a board game. In fact, I don't remember I've ever meet something like this. Usually, there are various rules that tell you what you can do or do not, but it never says "you can't score high, just because". When played at Essen, I saw that this caused some annoyance among people, when trying to optimize.

I wonder what is the reason for this rule and whether the design problem it solves could be solved differently, perhaps?


As the others have pointed out, in Kigi, play was often very deterministic: you placed a branch that scored the most points. After doing so, the limb would be pruned down to nothing. At the end of the game, there would rarely be any branches on trees, which is largely the aesthetic point of the game. This rule in Kodama helps to address these issues, diminishing the determinism and allowing for not only an attractive end game tree, but also more diverse choices.
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