Game Mechanic Qualifiers (also mechanics should be listed as primary or secondary)
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
19 
 Thumb up
1.07
 tip
 Hide
I really like thinking about and discussing game mechanics but have noticed limitations with the way mechanics are dealt with here on BGG.

What is a mechanic?
Here is the wiki which explains it on BGG: "A gameplay mechanism (or often mechanic) is a metaphorical term referring to a functional aspect of a game." ~https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/mechanism

I would edit it to say something like: A gameplay mechanism (or often mechanic) is a metaphorical term referring to a functional aspect of a game which impacts how a game is played, how players interact, the goals of the game, and/or how the game is won.

It is difficult to create an appropriate definition for what a game mechanic is that is strikes the correct balance with being both open and limiting enough.



To improve the way mechanics are organized I recommend adding qualifiers. A game would be noted as having a certain mechanic with various qualifiers to give a more accurate description of how the mechanics are actually used in the game.

Below I will list an existing mechanic (or perhaps 2-3 which I think could be combined) along with various qualifiers and qualifier dichotomies that I think could be really helpful when describing the game. Feel free to list your own as well.

What makes a qualifier helpful? If it describes a design element that has a significant impact on how a game feels or which could be the difference between enjoying or not enjoying a game for many players than it is likely a helpful qualifier.

Mechanics that tend to be used in games I don't play may need to be added by someone else. For example, I know very little about mechanics used in war games and abstracts so don't deal with them extensively here.


NOTE: When possible mechanics should generally be separated from components. Mechanics speak to what kinds of strategies are available to each player therefore changing the mental exercises involved in the game. Components speak to the aesthetics of how a game feels but don't necessarily impact actual strategy or how a player should think about the game.
Furthermore, the "mechanics" of a game do not change with the platform. When a game is implemented to an electronic format the mechanics that would be listed should be the same.
There are arguably exceptions to this (perhaps dice rolling) but I still believe that this should be the goal when creating terms to describe mechanics.
Based on this I argue that "Paper-and-Pencil" is not a mechanic but merely a possible set of components. The mechanics that use pencil and paper could often use other items to create the same mental exercise within the game.


Selwyth completed a much more exhaustive study of mechanics a few years back. I find his work to be very interesting. Sometimes it seems to make things more complicated but I think that he hit on some really good points as well. I am likely to tread similar ground here but am coming at it from a slightly different angle. I hope that this is interesting in addition to what he already accomplished.
David F
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
badge
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

The Taxonomy of Board Games: Table of Contents and Subscription List

He broke this down as Genres and Mechanics. I am proposing that it be broken down as mechanics with qualifiers and that mechanics be listed as either being primary or secondary (more on this below).



If you want to list your favorite game mechanic I just made a list for that as well: What is your one favorite Game Mechanic (official or otherwise)?
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: cool_mechanisms [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:8]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would also propose that games have primary and secondary mechanics listed. Some games contain a mechanism but it is a small part of the game. It wouldn't make sense to say that it is a xxxxxxxx mechanic game even though it does include that mechanic.

For example, Terra Mystica contains "Action Drafting" (the alternate name for Worker Placement) but calling it an "Action Drafting" game doesn't make a lot of sense. Another example would be Mage Knight and "Dice Rolling." It has Dice Rolling in it but it is not a "Dice Rolling" game.

If this was implemented then games could be listed with about 0-3 primary mechanics that are a major part of the game play and could potentially have multiple different secondary mechanics as well. Some games may have many different secondary mechanics but not really have any listed primary mechanics.

Someone could potentially argue that there would be contention over what mechanics to list. This could be dealt with by using a survey on the home page of each game the way that it is done for Subdomain now. Regardless, I think that this is a moot point. If the primary mechanics of a game are not obvious to the majority of players then the mechanics are not primary they are secondary.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:5]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dice Rolling

Option Determining: Dice are rolled before player(s) make choices and the results limit what options are available. Decisions regarding dice results are made after dice are rolled. Examples: Mage Knight, Castles of Burgundy
Results Determining: Dice are rolled after a player declares what they intend to do and the results determine if it is a partial or complete success or failure. Decisions regarding dice results are made before dice are rolled. Examples: Twilight Struggle, Eclipse, and many many others

Group Impact: The dice results are used by or impact (most) everyone. Examples: Mage Knight, Kingsburg
Joint Impact: The dice results impact the player(s) who rolled them and the player(s) who were targeted by them. Examples: Eclipse, Chaos in the Old World.
Individual Impact: The dice results only directly impact the player who rolled. Examples: Castles of Burgundy, Stone Age

Numeric/Ordinal Results: The dice have numbers on them and higher (or sometimes lower) results are always better (more likely to result in success). Examples: Twilight Struggle, Eclipse, Stone Age
Symbolic/Nominal Results: The dice have symbols on them or the numbers on them have symbolic meaning beyond mere numeric value. Higher/lower numbers are not strictly/objectively better but allow different options/possible results. Examples: Mage Knight, Alien Frontiers (the die faces are numbers but neither high nor low are always better).


These qualifiers are really helpful to me because I have a strong preference regarding how games use dice. I generally don't care for games as much that are results determining, have a joint or individual impact, and/or use numeric dice results. That said, I can often enjoy dice games that are option determining and have a group impact.


Please feel free to add your own below or as an item. I am sure that more helpful qualifiers exist.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:15]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Action Drafting (AKA Worker Placement)

This is one of the more widely popular genres yet I find myself totally unexcited by it. Some of the following distinctions may shed light on why I don't dig it all that much.

Immediate Activation: When an action is drafted it gives its benefits right away. Examples: Caverna, Agricola, Le Havre, Alien Frontiers
Delayed Activation: An action is drafted for a future benefit it will give at a later time. Examples: Tzolk'in, Caylus, Dominant Species

Full Blocking: Once an action is drafted one time that action space is no longer available. Example: Terra Mystica, Caverna, Agricola
Partial Blocking: Once an action is drafted its availability shifts due to an increase in cost or otherwise changing the odds that it will activate fully for each player that drafted the action. Example:
Tzolk'in (Dominant Species, Stone Age - both added due to discussion below)

Static Pawn/Action Number: Everyone has the ability to draft the same number actions per turn. Players may not have an equal ability to pay for actions but but have access to the same number of actions. Examples: Terra Mystica, Caylus, Le Havre
Variable Pawn/Action Number: The number of actions a specific player is allowed to draft can increase/decrease and become different than other player(s) over the course of the game. Example: Caverna, Agricola, Stone Age.

Static Costs/Rewards: Each action gives the same rewards each time it is taken throughout the game. Examples: Terra Mystica, Caylus,
Variable Costs/Rewards: Some action(s) change what rewards they give as the game progresses. Examples: Caverna, Le Havre, Dominant Species

The following distinctions can be used with multiple mechanics but IMHO has a significant impact on Action Drafting games.
Round Based: At the beginning of the round all actions are available to be drafted but as the round progresses options become limited. Turn order is important in these games. Example: Terra Mystica, Caverna, Caylus,
Turn Based: Workers are not cleared each round so some spaces may be blocked (in part or whole) at any given time in the game. Example: Alien Frontiers (please note other examples below if you have any).
Single Action Drafting: Over the course of each round people take turns drafting one action. Example: Terra Mystica, Caverna, Caylus
Multiple Action Drafting: Each turn people may potentially draft >1 action. Example: Tzolkin, Alien Frontiers


Other issues that need to be addressed (as noted by selwyth):
Action Drafting games can maintain the same turn structure throughout the game, they can allow the start player to change but maintain the sequence (keeping the same sequence but changing the order), or they can allow each player position to change (changing both sequence and order).
These things can be managed by the start player marker simply rotating around the table, by players competing for a "first player" action space, randomly (I have not seen this but it is certainly possible), or player order can change in response to choices players make (when they pass, amount of money gained, amount of "property collected").

Another way to deal with this would be to add a turn order mechanic. That may be the best way to manage this. Although it is a major design decision in Action Drafting games it is also an important part of other games as well.


Edits/Additions are in italics.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:43]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Drafting
Note: This shouldn't be called "Card Drafting" for two related reasons.
1. Mechanics should be separated from components.
2. Drafting games can involve drafting components other than cards such as tiles (Suburbia), cubes (Hyperborea), or dice (Quarriors).


Open: The drafted items come from a pool that is seen by all the players. Examples: Through the Ages, Dominion
Hidden: The drafted items come from a hidden pool. Examples: 7 Wonders, Geekopolis

Static Option Pool: The available items do not change unless a resource runs out. Example: Dominion
Dynamic Option Pool: The available items do change over the course of the game. Examples: 7 Wonders, King of Tokyo, Through the Ages,

Static Price: The cost of the each available item doesn't change over time. Examples: 7 Wonders, Dominion
Dynamic Price: The cost of each item shifts when certain aspects of the game state change. Examples: Through the Ages, Stone Age

So Dominion has open static option static price drafting and 7 Wonders has hidden static price dynamic option drafting.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:30]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Auction/Bidding

This may be too great an undertaking because there are soooooo many possibilities in auctions, but here goes anyway!

Since there are so many possibilities I am not going to include examples of all of them just descriptions.

Open: Bids are placed in open view of participants.
Blind: Bids are hidden from participants.

Ascending Price: Bids go up in price over time.
Descending Price: The starting bid is high and goes down.

Multiple Bid: Participants can place more than one bid for each item auctioned.
Single Bid: Each participant can only place one bid for an item.

Top Price: The winner(s) pays the full price that they bid.
Second Price: The winner(s) pays the second highest bid price or another price that is lower than their actual bids.

Winner Pays: Only those that won an auction/item pay.
All Participants Pay: Every participant including those that won no items pay what they bid or a percentage of it.

Single Unit: One item goes up for auction at a time.
Multi Unit: Multiple items go up for auction at a time.

Pay to bid: Participants must pay each time they place a bid.
Free to bid: Bidding is free.

Passers can Raise: Participants can pass and then raise their bid later.
Passers are out: Participants must raise the bid on their turn in order to remain in the auction. If they pass then they are out.

No reserve: An item up for auction has no minimum bid or the minimum bid is only one unit of $.
With reserve: An item has a minimum bid that his greater than one unit of $.

Spoken Auction: Bids are placed verbally.
Silent Auction: Bids are placed non-verbally.


Okay, I may just be having fun seeing all the possibilities at this point but there are many (and i probably missed some)!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:109]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Action Point Allowance System

Turn Based: Each player has an allowance of action points to spend each turn. Examples: Through the Ages, Pandemic
Round Based: Each player has an allowance of action points to spend each round which are spent over the course of several turns. Examples: Chaos in the Old World (if you have another example please share it)

Fixed Allowance: Each player will have the same base number of action points throughout the game. Examples: Innovation, Forbidden Island, Clash of Cultures
Dynamic Allowance: Each player may have the opportunity to increase their base number of action points. Examples: Through the Ages, Hansa Teutonica

Free/Special Actions available: In addition to a base number of action points a player may gain access to additional special actions that are free. Examples: Clash of Cultures, Hansa Teutonica



A question for you: Is Dominion an Action Point Allowance game? One could argue that it is. Each turn you have 2 points. One for playing an action card and one for buying a card. Through playing cards a player gains extra action points to spend on actions and/or buys.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:84]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Piece/Token Movement:
Area Movement, Grid Movement, Point to Point Movement

These three categories are broken up on BGG but I believe that they are similar enough that they could be joined as one mechanic that is separated by various qualifiers.

The mechanic could be called something like "pawn/item movement."

Qualifiers:
Along Lines: Pawns are moved along lines from point to point. Examples: Pandemic, Arkham Horror
Across Adjacent Boundaries: Pawns are moved across lines that represent boundaries between locations. Examples: Mage Knight, Small World

Identical locations: Each location is made of the same symmetrical identical shape. Examples: Eclipse, Chess
Unique locations: Each location may be of different shape and size and be adjacent to a different number of other locations Examples: Small World, Game of Thrones.


Late addition:
Track movement: Pawns are moved only 1-2 directions along the surface of the game board. Up and/or down a track for example. Example: Monopoly, Lewis and Clark
2D Movement: Pawns are moved 3+ directions along the surface of the game board. Examples: Chess, Mage Knight
3D Movement: Pawns are moved 1+ directions along the surface of the game board and may be moved to different levels on the game board. Examples: 3D Chess,
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Partnerships and Co-operative Play

This could easily be under one mechanic with various qualifiers as well.
The Mechanic would be called Partnerships or Cooperative Play and would be defined as any game in which 2 or more players can win together.


Fully Cooperative: All players will win or lose together. Example: Pandemic
Head to Head Teams: There are two teams of 2 or more players and only one can win. Example: Tichu
One Against All: There is one player that is going against all other players. Example: Descent
Multiple Competing Entities: There are 3 or more teams of players with at least one team having 2+ players on it. Example: One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Shadow Hunters

Open Alliances: The makeup of each team is open information from the beginning of the game. Example: Tichu, Descent
Hidden Alliances: The makeup of each team is not fully revealed prior to determining a winner. Example: Battlestar Galactica, The Resistance, Werewolf
Temporarily Hidden Alliances: The makeup of some/all teams is hidden a portion of the game but can be revealed prior to the winner being determined. Example: The Resistance: Avalon

Permanent Alliances: The makeup of each team remains the same the whole game. Example: Tichu, The Resistance, Descent
Temporary Alliances: The makeup of each team can shift during the game. Example: One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Battlestar Galactica

Voluntary Alliances: Players voluntarily choose partners as part of the gameplay. Example: Cosmic Encounter
Forced Alliances: Players are placed into partnerships by someone or something other than themselves. Example: Shadow Hunters, The Resistance, Battlestar Galactica, Werewolf

Binding Alliances: Once a partnership has been established the members of that partnership will win or lose together and cannot voluntarily end the partnership. Example: The Resistance,
Non-Binding Alliances: Partnerships are not binding and can change. Partners can make choices to voluntarily end the partnership and win or lose separately from a previous partner. Example: Cosmic Encounter

Single Team Victory: Only one entity/team can win the game and all other entities will lose. Example: Battlestar Galactica
Multi Team Victory: It is possible for more than one entity/team to win the game. Example: One Night Ultimate Werewolf,
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:434]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Area Enclosure and Area Control / Area Influence

This seems like it would be well served by being combined but then distinguished by some qualifiers.

This new mechanic would be called Area Control (because these games all seem to be concerned with controlling an area in various ways).


Predetermined Area's: The area's that players are attempting to control are predetermined by the game. Example: Small World, Twilight Struggle, Kingdom Builder
Created Area's: The area's under contention are created by the players during the game. Examples: Go, Blokus, Carcassonne

Enclosure: Area's are controlled by surrounding or blocking off an area. Examples: Go, Through the Dessert,
Shared Space Majority: Area's under contention can be shared by more than one unit from more than one player but are controlled by having the greatest number of units/influence in the area. Examples: Chaos in the Old World, Carcassonne,
Single Unit: Each area can support one unit and is under the control of the player who owns that unit. Examples: Kingdom Builder
Multi unit: Each area can support units from only one player who has control of the space. Example: Small World

Single Round Scoring: The winner(s) of an area are determined only one time during the game. Examples: Carcassonne
Multi Round Scoring: The winner(s) of an area are determined at 2+ times during the game. Examples: Small World, Agricola, Hey That's My Fish
Examples: Chaos in the Old World has both Single Round and Multi Round style scoring. Each round a region is scored if a player is able to maintain enough cards/units it it and once a region has enough influence tokens it is scored and considered "ruined" and unable to produce further points.

I am not an expert on this genres so there are likely several other helpful and meaningful qualifiers that can/should be added to this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deck / Pool Building

Full Permanent Access: At the beginning of each turn players have access to all items in their pool. Example: This may be more theoretical. I am not familiar with a game with this much freedom to use each item in a players pool.
Full Temporary Access: At any given time players have access to all items in their pool that haven't been played since the last "refresh." In this game style a player will start with access to all pool items but can only use each item once until a refresh occurs that allows access to all pooled items again. Example: Rococo (at least if I am remembering correctly), Lewis and Clark
Partial Permanent Access: At any given time players only have access to a subset of items (aka their "hand") in their pool. Upon each "refresh" the items to which the player has access changes but they will only have access to their whole pool in special situations in which their entire pool enters their "hand". Examples: Quarriors, Dominion, Thunderstone,

Shedding: Players pool build by both eliminating items from their pool and adding items to it. Examples: Mage Knight, Dominion, Ascension
Non-Shedding: Players pool build by adding items to their pool but do not eliminate items from it. Example: This may be a theoretical qualifier. I am not aware of any games like this.




Side Note: Pool Building may be more perfectly described a set of qualifiers for "drafting." I cannot imagine a pool building game without drafting because one cannot "build" a pool of items without first drafting those items.

For this reason I am not adding the qualifiers that relate to how the cards are drafted or gained. The qualifiers listed for "Card Drafting" would generally work to describe that aspect of the game mechanics.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:273]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pick-up and Deliver

This is breaking format from the other posts that discuss qualifiers to clarify the difference between Pick up and Deliver as a mechanic and as a theme.

A game cannot have the mechanic of pick up and deliver without also having the mechanic of pawn/item movement. Players are moving pawns that they control directly in order to gain control of other game pieces (items) and move them to another area.

If a game involves the concept of delivering goods but without the above movement of pieces then it does not contain the "pick up and deliver" mechanic. It may be a route building game or an area control game or something else.

Example #1: In Railways of the World (and I assume it's other iterations and variants) players build routes between cities of a certain color and cities which have a cube of that color. Then the cube is removed and the player gets points/money for creating that route. There is no picking up and there is no delivering. There is only route building.

Example #2: In Roads and Boats players move their transporters to spaces with items, their transporters "pick up" those items, move to another space, and delivers the items to that apace. That is a Pick up and Deliver game!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:135]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Brinkmanship (currently called Press Your Luck,Betting/Wagering, and Commodity Speculation).

This mechanic involves putting in game resources (including opportunity costs, actions, VP's, and other non-standard resources) at risk in an attempt to get a more significant reward. Some games have this as the primary mechanic and others have it as only a small part of the mechanical mix but it would all fit under this
Brinksmanship" title IMHO.

Dynamic Odds: After each turn the players odds of getting a positive result changes. Example: Ra, Zombie Dice
Static Odds: After each turn the odds that a player will get a positive result remains the same. Example: Roll Through the Ages, Yahtzee

Random: The players are pushing their luck against the game (a dice roll, card draw, tile draw, etc). Example: Ra, Can't Stop
Player Driven: The players are pushing their luck or betting against the choices of another player(s). Examples: No Thanks, Patchistory

Single Commitment: A player decides what they are risking one time, finds out the results of that gamble, and then later on moves on to other gambles/investments/risks. Example: unknown
Repeat Commitment: A player decides what to risk and then is given repeated opportunities to double down or continue taking risks on the same gamble/investment. Example: No Thanks, Can't Stop, Zombie Dice

Total Sacrifice upon loss: If the bid/bet is lost then all resources that were put up are lost. Example: Patchistory
Partial Sacrifice upon loss: If the bid/bet is lost then some resources are lost but some are kept. Example: For Sale
Zero Sacrifice upon loss: If the bid/bet is lost then no resources are lost other than possibly opportunity costs. Example: Power Grid

Monetary Risk: Game money is put at risk.
Resource Risk: Game resources are put at risk.
VP Risk: VP's are put at risk.


This may be an overly broad mechanical category and I am certain there are plenty of other qualifiers that could be appropriate for it.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Empire Builder [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:957]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Crayon Rail System and Line Drawing

I would argue that these aren't really mechanics. The same mental exercise can be performed using different components. Most of these are just route building games with a different vibe due to different components.

Some of these have "line drawing" listed to referring to drawing which I would place under the below noted "Performance/Concept Matching" mechanics.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Cranium [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6219]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
New Mechanical Category: Performance/Concept Matching
This would include at least some of the following current categories: Acting, Singing, Line Drawing, and Storytelling.

Singing: Players sing, hum, or make music in some manner. Example: Cranium,
Acting: Players act out a concept. Example: Charades, Cranium,
Art Creation: Players create something by combining, shaping, reconfiguring, and/or changing items. This may be done by drawing, sculpting, or in some other manner. Example: Pictionary, Telestrations, Lego Creationary
Premade item Selection: An initial item/concept is revealed to player(s) "Alpha" who must then select and reveal a seperate premade item from an array of items to player(s) "Beta". Player(s) "Beta" then judge the strength of the relationship between the initial item/concept and the one selected/revealed by "Alpha". Example: Apples to Apples, Dixit, Cards Against Humanity

Concept Match Judging: One unit of players offer up a phenomena to be judged in relationship to a predetermined concept. Another Player or player compare these observable phenomena and judge which observable phenomena is the best match with the predetermined concept. Examples: Apples to Apples, Dixit, Cards against Humanity
Concept Match Guessing: One unit of players are given a concept which they must communicate to other players but are restricted regarding what types of communication they can offer. The other player(s) must guess the concept based on the communications that they observe. Examples: Charades, Eat Poop You Cat, Telestrations

The above qualifiers could probably use some cleaning up but are a better description of the party game mechanics then what is currently used.

A note on the ridiculous nature of the current mechanics: Both Roads and Boats and Cranium have "Line Drawing" listed in their mechanics!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:3402] [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Player Attacking: Take That

This is currently a poorly defined mechanic and is not broad enough. It would be better to name it Player Attacking and include the qualifier "Take That" in addition to other qualifiers.

Definition: Players are able to directly attack other players units, resources, etc.

Against Player: Attacks are targeted toward a player's sole unit or their "character" and if successful will lower their health or eliminate them from the game or current round. Example: Descent, King of Tokyo
Against Units: Attacks are targeted toward one or more units (figures, cards, "buildings", etc) that are under an opponent's control. Example: Chaos in the Old World, Through the Ages
Against Resources: Attacks are targeted toward one or more resources that are owned by an opponent. Example: Through the Ages,

Toward Targeted Opponent: Players may target a particular player with their attacks. Examples: Through the Ages, Clash of Cultures, Descent
Toward Random Opponent: Attacked players are randomly selected. Examples: Cosmic Encounter
Toward All Opponents: When an attack occurs it directly impacts all of the attackers opponents. Example: Dominion

Attack Foreshadowing: Players must take observable actions to prepare to attack opponents which makes it possible to prepare for those attacks. Examples: Through the Ages, Imperial Settlers, Clash of Cultures
Out of the Blue Attacks: Observable actions are not required in order to perform an attack so an attack may take place without warning. Examples: Poo,

With Defense Opportunity: Players that are the target of an attack have some form of opportunity to defend from that attack once the attack is declared. Example: Dominion
Without Defense Opportunity: Players that are the target of an attack cannot defend themselves from the attack once it is declared. Example: Chaos in the Old World

Simultaneous Attacks: An attack phase occurs and all involved units get to participate even if they are destroyed during that same round.
Attacks by Turn order: Units can be destroyed and immediately be removed from combat so that they do not have an opportunity to participate.

Auto Success: When an attack is declared it immediately succeeds. Example: Chess, Checkers,
Dice Based Hits: When an attack is declared its success is determined by dice. Example: Descent, Claustrophobia
Cards Based Hits: When an attack is declared its success is determined by cards that are drawn or played. Example: Game of Thrones, Dominion, Cosmic Encounter

All or Nothing Combat: When an entity is attacked it will either be completely destroyed/taken/defeated or it will be unchanged. Examples: Chaos in the Old World
Gradual Combat: When an entity is attacked it can be damaged without being destroyed. Examples: Descent, Claustrophobia


I am sure that there are more than this but this is a good start.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:279]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tableau Building: a currently unlisted mechanic.

In Tableau Building games, each player has a visible personal array or tableau of components (cards, tiles, player boards, etc.) which they purposefully build or manipulate throughout the game by spending actions and/or resources (including opportunity costs) and which determines the quality, quantity, and/or variety of actions to which they have access throughout the game.
The array cannot merely be a place to store resources, a place to plan out actions, a place to store a puzzle which must be manipulated, or something that impacts VP's. It must impact the quality, quantity, and/or variety of actions which are accessible to a player. This means that some games may include an array or a tableau but not really be a tableau building game.

Permanent Features: Changes which are made to a tableau are permanent. Example: Hansa Teutonica,
Temporary Features: Changes which are made to a tableau are temporary. Example: The New Era, Imperial Settlers


There are probably other qualifiers for this but they are not coming to mind right now.


Well Done CIlantr0! A mechanic that should definitely be added to the database.
Cilantro V
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:27]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Player Elimination

Forced: Players can be forced out of the game. Examples: Love Letter, Risk, Red 7
Voluntary: The rules give an allowance for players to voluntarily resign from the game. Examples: Through the Ages,
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:27]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Seeding (mentioned here)

This would be a new mechanic but is distinct enough IMHO to need an entry.

Seeding is the process of adding an item (tile, die, card, etc) into a pool that will be drawn from at a point in the future.

Personal Pool: Players seed items into a personal pool. Example: Dominion (and other deck builders), others?
Opponent Pool: Players seed items into their opponents personal pool. Example: Dominion (and other deck builders), others?
Group Pool: Players seed items into a pool that impacts multiple players. Example: Through the Ages, Glory To Rome

Hidden Seed: Items are seeded out of view from other players so they may not be aware of what was seeded. Example: Through the Ages
Open Seed: Items are seeded into the pool in view of opponents so that they may be aware of what was seeded. Example: Glory to Rome

Open/Choice Pool Draws: The items which are seeded will be drafted by players later. This combines seeding and drafting mechanics. Example: Glory to Rome
Hidden/Random Pool Draws: The items which are seeded will be drawn at random in a designated situation so seeding and drafting mechanics are not linked in this case. Example: Through the Ages


Some of the above may not be worded in the best way since this mechanics is new to me and I haven't given it extensive consideration yet.

Do you see any poorly worded qualifiers above or qualifiers that are totally superfluous? What other possible qualifiers are important/useful?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.