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The Colonists» Forums » Variants

Subject: Is Simultaneous Play Possible? rss

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Adam Brocker
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Seeing some of the comparisons to Roads and Boats, I was wondering if The Colonists could be done using Simultaneous Play? Give each player a 1, 2, and 3 marker (or multiple 1,2,3 markers when they have more workers). Turn order is still maintained when needed. Each player places their markers simultaneously then everyone resolves at the same time. Thoughts?
 
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The only reason I could imagine that not working is because now the player ahead in the order has the potential to see what the next player wants to do and then claim that they "wanted" to do that too regardless of whether they did or not. I think R&B can get away with it because most things are far apart and you can already kind of see when there is going to be conflict at the beginning of a round (and from my experience R&B has very little conflict).
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There's a shape called "The Golden Rectangle". Have you heard of it?
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It refers to a rectangle that's approximately contstructed in the ratio of 9 to 16. The golden rectangle has several characteristics. Let's say I create a square within this shape. Then, this smaller rectangle that I just created will also be a
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golden rectangle. I make another square within that and the leftover is another golden rectangle. And I make a few more, and when I connect all the central points of these shapes it creates a spiral that continues forever. This is the "Golden Spin".
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You would probably just have to ignore the fee for moving onto someone entirely.
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Adam Brocker
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halogen64 wrote:
The only reason I could imagine that not working is because now the player ahead in the order has the potential to see what the next player wants to do and then claim that they "wanted" to do that too regardless of whether they did or not. I think R&B can get away with it because most things are far apart and you can already kind of see when there is going to be conflict at the beginning of a round (and from my experience R&B has very little conflict).


R&B usually has minimal conflict at the beginning (depends on the map), but you will see some later in the game. There's an interesting turn order mechanic that facilitates this.

It may be in certain circumstances that players will need to do things in turn order, but I wonder if most of the time if this is a non-issue. Probably depends on who you play with and what their play style is.
 
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Jon Ben
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
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Perhaps this idea can be merged with the 1 action per turn idea. So each player chooses their destination simultaneously (enforcing turn order when needed), then everyone resolves simultaneously (enforcing turn order when needed). Do that 6 times per year.
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John Burt
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JonBen wrote:
Perhaps this idea can be merged with the 1 action per turn idea. So each player chooses their destination simultaneously (enforcing turn order when needed), then everyone resolves simultaneously (enforcing turn order when needed). Do that 6 times per year.


I like this idea. It would allow simultaneous play and maybe reduce AP a bit. Also, it could open up some interaction options as it would allow players to better anticipate opponent's ending tile(s).
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Jon Ben
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
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quill65 wrote:
JonBen wrote:
Perhaps this idea can be merged with the 1 action per turn idea. So each player chooses their destination simultaneously (enforcing turn order when needed), then everyone resolves simultaneously (enforcing turn order when needed). Do that 6 times per year.


I like this idea. It would allow simultaneous play and maybe reduce AP a bit. Also, it could open up some interaction options as it would allow players to better anticipate opponent's ending tile(s).


Ah, interesting. I was imagining that each location occupied was 'blocking'. If you make it so that only the 3rd move of each season is blocking, which makes sense given the RAW, that would moves things along. It makes the 3rd move is blocking rule feel kind of clunky since most moves are not blocking. But that may be worth the price.

Another possibility is to remove the "can't end where you start" restriction since it is hard to remember where everyone started, and there are opportunities to use those spaces.
 
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Jeff Thornsen
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I'm not sure how different this is from just using the RAW? If players already know what they want to do, their turn should take 10 seconds. Just about the only time a player receives new information mid-turn is when they take an action that lets them draw cards.

e.g. I move here, here, and here, collecting X, then paying Y, then doing Z. Next player can start taking their turn, and then I will go thru the supply and spend/grab the resources and buildings I am due as a result of my turn.
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Jon Ben
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
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Faranim wrote:
I'm not sure how different this is from just using the RAW? If players already know what they want to do, their turn should take 10 seconds. Just about the only time a player receives new information mid-turn is when they take an action that lets them draw cards.

e.g. I move here, here, and here, collecting X, then paying Y, then doing Z. Next player can start taking their turn, and then I will go thru the supply and spend/grab the resources and buildings I am due as a result of my turn.


In a 1 era 4p game there are 40 turns. Game times for one era are 60-90 minutes as reported by you in another thread (most say it's longer). That means turns are 90 to 135 seconds long. Even accounting for overhead (clean up phases ect) this is clearly longer than 10 seconds per turn.

However, you raise a good point. Some simultaneity can be achieved even with the RAW. One player starting their turn early is hardly as efficient as all players acting at the same time, but maybe it's good enough.
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Adam Brocker
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What does RAW stand for?
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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abrocker wrote:
What does RAW stand for?


rules as written
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Adam Brocker
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The reason I posed this question is I've heard that the game seems to be best with 1-2 (maybe 3) players. I'm wondering if the blocking in the game is critical enough to the play or maybe it can be eliminated in a 4 (or 3) player game, so that all players can play simultaneously.

Give each player 4 tokens in their color, let them make their moves simultaneously. If you still want to have some blocking, you could just have all players pay to the bank if they want to use the same spot as other players. That way there is less incentive for a player to change their move to collide with another player.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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abrocker wrote:
The reason I posed this question is I've heard that the game seems to be best with 1-2 (maybe 3) players. I'm wondering if the blocking in the game is critical enough to the play or maybe it can be eliminated in a 4 (or 3) player game, so that all players can play simultaneously.

Give each player 4 tokens in their color, let them make their moves simultaneously. If you still want to have some blocking, you could just have all players pay to the bank if they want to use the same spot as other players. That way there is less incentive for a player to change their move to collide with another player.


There are a couple of gotchas. First off, start player decides where new places are put at the beginning of each year. So, it is important to decide who went to SP last. That's easy enough to deal with (in case of tie, it goes in reverse turn order), but it strongly de-incentives anyone except the last player to go there (or more exactly encourages everyone to see if later players are going to SP before moving). You could fix this by making SP rotate left at the end of each year. The tile is still potentially relevant in Era 1 since it's the only Clay on the map till new places with clay come out.

The second gotcha are the shared diplomats of the embassies. Since different players may want them different places (e.g., altruist can either help with food, wood, or clay), I don't see how that could be made to work with simultaneous movement.

Finally several improvements and colonies give discounts/ eliminate/ reverse the fee. So, removing the fee entirely is a problem because it unbalances them.

Amanda and I played our first game "nice", working together to place tiles. She took the colony (lords?) that removed the fee and went where I was while I was able to avoid going where she was, although sometimes that was an effort. and that was playing nice in a 2-player game. I've been watching this thread with interest, but I still don't see a way to avoid sequential play.
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Adam Brocker
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Thanks for the feedback Jimmy.

So, it definitely sounds like this won't be a trivial change. I do think it may be possible, but will require some work. Maybe others will have some ideas in this vein once people get more plays under their belt.
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Jimmy Okolica
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abrocker wrote:
Thanks for the feedback Jimmy.

So, it definitely sounds like this won't be a trivial change. I do think it may be possible, but will require some work. Maybe others will have some ideas in this vein once people get more plays under their belt.


Hopefully. It is a really good game. It's just the way it is right now, I'm going to be trying to introduce it to people in smaller groups. Once everyone's experienced, I don't think it'll be too bad. It's like Through the Ages. 4 experienced players can play a game in 2 - 3 hours. I'd say the same will eventually be true for Colonists.
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Adam Brocker
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
abrocker wrote:
Thanks for the feedback Jimmy.

So, it definitely sounds like this won't be a trivial change. I do think it may be possible, but will require some work. Maybe others will have some ideas in this vein once people get more plays under their belt.


Hopefully. It is a really good game. It's just the way it is right now, I'm going to be trying to introduce it to people in smaller groups. Once everyone's experienced, I don't think it'll be too bad. It's like Through the Ages. 4 experienced players can play a game in 2 - 3 hours. I'd say the same will eventually be true for Colonists.


Hopeful as well. Unfortunately, I know too many experienced Through the Ages players that have sworn off ever playing a 4 player game of TTA face to face...
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Adam Brocker
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Had a thought last night. Maybe play the first 2 actions for a year simultaneous with the 3rd action being taken in turn order. Let the 1st player take all 3 actions (as it should not affect anyone else's turn), then each player takes their 3rd action in turn order.

You would need a secondary marker for where a player started for all players, as players won't be able to return to that spot and any player activating that spot before they take their turn would have the additional cost. Move the marker when they take their third for the year.

This should have minimal impact on the mechanics of the game, but it does limit the amount of information available for a player when they start to plan their turn.
 
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Jeff Thornsen
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abrocker wrote:
Had a thought last night. Maybe play the first 2 actions for a year simultaneous with the 3rd action being taken in turn order. Let the 1st player take all 3 actions (as it should not affect anyone else's turn), then each player takes their 3rd action in turn order.

You would need a secondary marker for where a player started for all players, as players won't be able to return to that spot and any player activating that spot before they take their turn would have the additional cost. Move the marker when they take their third for the year.

This should have minimal impact on the mechanics of the game, but it does limit the amount of information available for a player when they start to plan their turn.


Sorry, that doesn't quite work.

Counter-example using 2 markets and any single tile:
Market-A-Market
All players are on a Market.

Normal Play: Player1 moves Market-->Market-->A, ending his turn on Tile A. At this point, All of the other players have to pay the fee to use Tile A, even if they use it on their first or 2nd move.

This proposed version: All players can use Tile A without a fee on their 1st or 2nd action, but only pay the fee if they try to use it for their 3rd (final) action.

The main point is that until a player declares where his pawn(s) will end (after their 3rd action), none of the other players can do anything because they don't know which spaces will require a Fee or not.
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Adam Brocker
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Faranim wrote:
abrocker wrote:
Had a thought last night. Maybe play the first 2 actions for a year simultaneous with the 3rd action being taken in turn order. Let the 1st player take all 3 actions (as it should not affect anyone else's turn), then each player takes their 3rd action in turn order.

You would need a secondary marker for where a player started for all players, as players won't be able to return to that spot and any player activating that spot before they take their turn would have the additional cost. Move the marker when they take their third for the year.

This should have minimal impact on the mechanics of the game, but it does limit the amount of information available for a player when they start to plan their turn.


Sorry, that doesn't quite work.

Counter-example using 2 markets and any single tile:
Market-A-Market
All players are on a Market.

Normal Play: Player1 moves Market-->Market-->A, ending his turn on Tile A. At this point, All of the other players have to pay the fee to use Tile A, even if they use it on their first or 2nd move.

This proposed version: All players can use Tile A without a fee on their 1st or 2nd action, but only pay the fee if they try to use it for their 3rd (final) action.

The main point is that until a player declares where his pawn(s) will end (after their 3rd action), none of the other players can do anything because they don't know which spaces will require a Fee or not.


That's a good point. Missed that...

One way to address this would be to change the rule, so that a player's prior position controls which space other players need to pay to use (not the position they are moving to). That way all players could move simultaneous with less influence to the outcome.

That change could result in players bunching up on a particular action space trying to avoid paying a fee in the next round. So there would be some influence which is sort of counter to the intent of the rule. Interesting...

Another approach would be to tax a players first two placements using the prior position and 3rd placement using the new position. That sort of neuters the blocking though. Players will just make sure to grab a space in their first 2 actions that they think might be blocked.

A third option would be to do each action simultaneous and resolve each one individually with the blocking being set to the player's previous space. So, when a player grabs a space, it would result in other players having to spend a fee on their next action. I think I like this one best, as it offers more control in blocking, but players may still bunch up. An alternative may be that any players ending on the same space both have to pay the cost to the bank.

Unfortunately all of the above options are a little convoluted...

Will think about this more.
 
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Players each have their 1, 2, 3 tokens. They all put down their 1. If any are on top of each other, the higher turn order player gets to go there. The players who conflicted can then change their minds and put their 1's somewhere else if they don't want to pay (simultaneously again). Continue with 2 and 3. While it is now "simultanous" in cases where there is blocking it might be just as long. At the same time, it surely would speed up turns where you are more spread out and less likely to block. And the other benefit to simultaneous over turn taking, especially in a long game, is lessening down time - even if you don't actually take that much time off the total play time.
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