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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Design Queries and Problems

Subject: Snowball/Comeback vs. Balance rss

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Alex
Germany
Attendorn
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Hey fellow geeks, I'm currently struggling with a certain mechanic in my thematic Trick-Taking Game and I need your opinion:

Players fight it out in a series of Battles, best out of 3 wins (the first one to win 2 Battles). Each Battle consists of 3 Combat Rounds, during which the deck is played through once; then it's shuffled again and the next Battle on a different Battlefield begins. It's a light game, and plays in about 20 minutes, tops.

I'm currently designing some advanced rules where unit-types have special-abilites, and the special ability of the Archer is, that you'll accumulate Arrow-Tokens over the course of these 3 Combat Rounds (they can also be countered/reduced by Cavalry). After each battle, each player can use these Tokens to rain down a "Hail of Arrows" on their opponent, to do some extra (not guaranteed) damage.

It works quite well and is balanced and exciting, but now I got to think, whether it would be more interesting if I should let players accumulate these Arrow-Tokens over the course of 2 Battles. So that only after 2 Battles the first "Hail of Arrows" takes place, and of course, when a 3rd Battle needs to be played, also at the end of that 3rd Battle.

Effectively that means, that a player, who has done well in the 1st Battle AND has managed to accumulate a couple of Arrow-Tokens, will have a greater chance to also win the 2nd Battle. On the other hand, a player who lost the 1st Battle, but has managed to accumulate some Arrow-Tokens on the way, will have a greater chance to make a comeback on the 2nd Battle, so that a 3rd one must be played (which, then, will play out in a balanced way). Also this would provide each of the 2-3 Battles with distinct feel, since the stakes would be slightly different each time.

Which version would you find more exciting? The Snowball/Comeback-one, or the Balanced-one? I'm leaning towards the former, since I once read, that absolute balance is boring, but that's only my opinion.

Thanks.
 
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Warren Fitzpatrick
United States
Ohio
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Not sure I understand it enough to truly give you a good opinion. My best advice - play both w/ various people and get their opinion (both as the player getting the benefit and the person suffering from it).
 
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JT Schiavo
United States
Frederick
MD
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How important do you want arrows to be? Is there usually a large disparity in the number of arrow tokens each side earned? Are archers an underutilized strategy currently?

What about allowing players the choice to shoot the arrows or stockpile them to use in the next battle?

Also, aren't Hails of Arrows typically at the opening of a battle, not the end?
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