Greg's Design Blog

A collection of posts by game designer Gregory Carslaw, including mirrors of all of his blogs maintained for particular projects. A complete index of posts can be found here: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/58777/index
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Timing Chip

Greg
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Box of Delights posted a video about 404 last night, in the example game the robots have the timing chip and banana chip. The latter is supposed to be a stretch goal (I probably shouldn't have left it in the review copies) so let's talk about the planning chip. Here it is:



The timing chip allows you to set your card priority to whatever you want, allowing you to choose whether to move before or after an opponent once you know their decision. It falls into the category of "generally useful chip" in that it provides a mild bonus that's helpful whatever you want to do, as opposed to the chips that I think of as "specialist chips" which provide a bigger bonus but are more situational.

Setting priority is always useful as almost all objectives require you to carry items (and all of them will benefit from you doing so at some point.) If another robot runs into you then they can steal one of your items. Sometimes this can occur because you were too fast and moved into a room before they did, other times it was because you were too slow and failed to leave your current room before a new robot entered. Either way the timing chip can mitigate this, albeit only once and only if your action is a movement to some safer area.

That you receive your chip before you select directives is an important feature of the rules. It allows a canny player to select directives that are made easier by their chip, which in turn allows them to complete some directives as if they were easier than their rating indicates. It's good for all chips to interact with the directives on some level and the timing chip is no exception. In this case the chip allows you to control your movements more finely, which mainly influences your collisions or lack of collisions with other robots. Being able to excellently predict your opponents actions would allow you to save a pickup action (by having an opponent pick up your target item and then stealing it.) but it can also be more directly applied to some objectives:



These features let each of the chips contribute something to the game and helps to offer a little more replayability as some unpopular directives get selected due to chip synergy. That's all for today
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Subscribe sub options Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:42 pm
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