Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
31 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Hive» Forums » Variants

Subject: The Flea re-worked and refined rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I Borrowed the fundamental lay out of this from Christian Sperling's extensive work on The Dragonfly.

I. Background story /Development

I will say I initially resisted owning Hive, the bug theme and multicolored pieces did not catch my attention.

When I finally took the plunge I fell in love with the game.

And when the carbon copy launched I cobbled up the classic black and white version in a hurry.

Of course as a gamer and BGG member I tend to think about variants a lot.

Most pieces here I find either too powerful, or change the game too dramatically.

Sperling set out some goals for his piece, some which I agreed with, some I discarded.

I want pieces made so;

1) All existing rules must remain unchanged (an issue with the mosquito around). I didn`t want to lose the character of HIVE.

2) No additional parts except the tiles itself are allowed to keep HIVE pure and unadulterated.

3) There has to be a new ability, something special which makes the use of the new animal attractive but without ruining the game by degrading every other animal.

4) The movement must be different from every other animal (although an element from an existing bug was not discounted).

5) The rules must be clear and easy to understand.

Where Sperling began his Dragonfly thinking about a movement like the knight in chess, I started playing with previous flea ideas with the thought of the simple jump from checkers.

There are of course dozens of variant pieces now so what elements of a piece are uniquely mine and which are elements from others are honestly unclear even to me.

But here is the latest version of The Flea.


II. Rules

Each player has a single flea.

The Flea comes into the game in a unique fashion, starting atop the Hive on top of a piece of its own colour. The piece it starts atop cannot itself be touching a piece of the opponent's colour. (The reasoning is two fold. One it stands with the standard entry requirement of not touching an opponent's piece and B) is slows the flea's entry as a way to balance its power.

Starting atop the Hive also holds with the idea of a flea being on another creature and eliminates any issues arising with Mosquito interaction.

The Flea moves by jumping over exactly one piece, landing atop the piece one space away. The piece jumped can be of any level, (the Hive below the Flea, over a beetle atop the Hive).

The Flea cannot jump across an empty space within the Hive.

III. Strategies

The Flea has potential both offensively and defensively, as a way to control the opponent's beetle and more so once the Pillbug is released.

IV. Personal point of view

The Flea offers a new way of joining the Hive but in spirit maintains existing elements of the game.

The Flea expands Hive to create more strategic play atop the Hive. You may need to love your Beetle and Pillbug at times to avoid the Flea.

There is risk with a Flea too. If you happen to jump atop a piece of your own and it then gets pinned, you have two pieces captured.

At the same time I do not see The Flea as over-powered.

Thoughts?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Green
United States
North Tonawanda
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Talisinbear wrote:

There is risk with a Flea too. If you happen to jump atop a piece of your own and it then gets pinned, you have two pieces captured.
Pinned as in by a beetle on top?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
H Jacobs
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Talisinbear wrote:
The Flea moves by jumping over exactly one piece, landing atop the piece one space away. The piece jumped can be of any level, (the Hive below the Flea, over a beetle atop the Hive).


Just to see if I understand it correctly. It jumps over an adjacent piece (or stack of pieces) to land on the next piece. When this is the case, is it always a jump in a straight line ending up on the opposite side of the adjacent piece?

H
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes like in checkers although no piece is captured
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
H Jacobs
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, the problem with such a move is that the Flea can reach in that case only very few spots, something it has in common with the Dragonfly. (you should try it out).

The Flea as described looks as an early version of the Mite. Although it cannot win the game by surrounding the Queen Bee because it never touches the ground, it still has the ability to change the color of a stack and what is worse it can pin down the opposing Queen Bee fairly quickly. The last aspect gives it a big advantage for the white player.

The way the Flea comes into play is the standard way that Svartisen has suggested for minibugs on his Vassal module manual. It certainly is a good idea for bugs that enter the game on top of the Hive.

H
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I find the Flea since it can't come in until you have a piece free from a connection to an opponent piece slows its arrival.

As a queen topper it actually gets to a queen much slower, than say a rather standard ant to hold queen, beetle enters on the ant, climbs up on ant and then to queen.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll add as well that since it has to jump it cannot always reach the Queen easily, so then you must seek alternative uses, such as pinning an opponent's beetle, or maybe a grasshopper poised to fill in a spot around your queen.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Ingersoll
United States
Port Orange
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My comments are made without playtesting.

It seems that with the original rules, a Flea could occupy only 1/4 of all the available spaces. Now with the new rules (which I like the concept of entering atop the Hive so that the Mosquito climbing atop the hive is not an issue), it seems that the Flea is even more restricted in its possible moves. Not only must it jump over a piece, but it must jump over a piece on to another piece. It just appears that it will be a very week bug.

But I think that the reasoning points on why you are thinking like this are valid.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Sperling

Brisbane
Australia
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First of all I like it if people spend some time on developing new bugs because it is a long way from an idea which seems pretty cool to a bug which really works and ticks all the requirement boxes. You are welcome to use the basic post structure of my Dragonfly thread, Calvin. If you make the I., II, III. bold it helps even more to go through the text. Your rules are a bit misleading as already pointed out. I could not figure out if the Flea moves to an adjacent piece
Quote:
landing atop the piece one space away
(which means in my definition not a jump) or if it is jumping over an adjacent piece. Editorial-wise I think your rules should be free of explanation why you did this or that. Your thoughts belongs to your "Personal opinion" chapter. The rules have to be as short and precise as possible with everything unessential in it erased.

I think this bug is still very strong because it is faster than a beetle if it can jump (which means two hex fields per move instead of one). I I imagine the opposite queen already covered by a bee. With an additional piece on top you can significantly increase your chances for a direct drop if you manage to cover an opponent's piece close by. I guess the Flea is not over- or underpowered but needs careful planning when introducing it to a game due to its restriction. That will make Hive even more a brain burner.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
in limited testing that the bug the flea arrives on itself cannot be touching an opponent piece is a good balance to the flea's 2 field move ability.

the idea was not to create a super bug power wise, the variants are rich with those.

Nor was it to change the game dramatically.

I hope the flea is 'handy' and it makes the game more a brain burner then it works.

the only issue is it would not work smoothly if the Dragonfly was in a game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Sperling

Brisbane
Australia
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess there has to be an (of course unappreciated) exception to make it work with the Dragonfly: A Flea can't be transported by a Dragonfly.
But then the problem is solved or not? The other option would be to modify the Dragonfly rules like this: Only animals which are able to be placed or moved on the ground level are able to be transported by a Dragonfly.
Sounds a bit strange so I would prefer to have the exception written in the Flea rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Therein lies a real issue for Hive moving forward, bug interaction.

The mosquito with a Dragonfly, the Dragon with a flea etc

And one off exemptions are rather inelegant.

The question becomes; does the game bog down with exceptions, or must all bugs be fully compatible in a sense.

The mosquito already creates that with the dragonfly, since a mosquito next to a dragonfly flying a top the hive suddenly becomes a beetle for no reason other than it saves recalling what the mosquito moved as.

The mosquito is the reason I adjusted the flea so it starts on the hive.

but it still remains a problem making it work with the dragonfly without some 'special rule' that is forced on the pieces to make them fit.

That said in the case of the flea, if it cannot exist except on top of the hive it cannot reasonably be moved off the hive by the dragonfly so that might solve the issue easily enough too.

As it stands I rather like the balance of power/usefulness/uniqueness this version of the Flea offers.

Need someone with graphic skills to do a sharp looking flea in a neat colour.

On a side note I launched a real simple idea for a 'leech' that is supposed to be the start of a bug idea under-powered enough to allow two per player. Anyone have thoughts.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
H Jacobs
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If the described Flea is presented as a minibug most problems will be solved (except for the possible quick Queen Bee pin down).
A minibug tile is smaller than a normal tile, which makes it obvious that it is only suited for play on top of the Hive. It won't change the color of a stack.

Furthermore it will always be on top of a stack. When a regular bug is placed on a spot that is occupied by a minibug it will be placed underneath that minibug instead. Minibugs are therefore immune to Dragonflies.

It is also clear that a Mosquito cannot mimic a minibug, it is physically not possible. In case the Flea has its full size, it is still possible for the Mosquito to mimic it, after it got on top of the Hive in Beetle modus.

As said before there are more minibugs described in the Vassal module of Svartisen. Maybe it could be made into a standard that bugs starting on top of the Hive are by definition minibugs.

H
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I actually do not like the mini bug idea at all, the smaller piece idea does nothing for me, and in the case of this flea idea is not required since the interaction with a mosquito is not an issue, since at this point it's pretty obvious the mosquito is assumed to be a beetle when atop the hive.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jarek Szczepanik
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that what Herman meant, was that your solution avoids the problem only partially. While you eliminated the issue of starting on the ground level and morphing into Beetle atop the Hive, there is still the question of what to do if Flea and Mosquito meet on top of the Hive. Following the original rules by John Yianni is a good option. However, Herman and I think, that the rules for the game should be intuitive and easy to explain even to a 7 or 8 years old kid, without space for additional 'why' questions. Here, there is one 'why' question - if Mosquito can mimic adjacent bugs, why it must behave as a Beetle on top of the Hive, even when it stands next to the Flea? By following the original rules you create an exception. And I find adding exceptions to the rules inelegant. Of course, I understand it's just the 'Mosquito Curse' - this bug really limits the potential to develop the game. Anyway, I like your new Flea. As Herman already wrote, we have chosen the same tactics (entering the Hive atop the bug of your own colour) for two additional mini pieces. And we had the same motivation - to limit their entering possibilities.

Regards!

J.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And I get the mini idea in terms of using the pocket set for pieces.

But then envision a mini bug for the pocket set and it's something that falls in a crevice at the park and is lost

With every new bug the issue of interaction grows.

We have it in this sort of three way talk.

A mosquito touches a dragonfly or beetle, which is it once on the Hive without markers which again are inelegant?

I am not sure Yanni would agree, but the mosquito was probably a bug that should not have been created.

I suspect at the time he thought it his last bug, and after decided on the ladybug, pillbug and hopefully more, but have the mosquito in the game really drags on creation.

The answer might be in changing the mosquito to mimicking powers only at ground level. It is a basic exemption to be sure, but many games have piece specific rules, and it would open the door to better development.

It is like this flea which I am going to amend to not being able to exist on ground level so that it simply can't be moved by a dragonfly, anymore than a dragonfly can move any piece if not an open space to land it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jarek Szczepanik
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As I wrote several times - without changing the rules for Mosquito (I've already proposed that it should be forbidden to climb the Hive), we will always have a problem with new bug with 'top of the Hive movement. I was testing the same solution (starting atop the Hive) for my Moth. I hope you won't take a grudge against me if I use it. I think for the time being it's the best solution to introduce a new 'top-moving' bug - it must always start the game on top of the Hive. It's not perfect but Mosquito is really a hard nut to crack

As for the mini bugs for pocket edition - if we keep the ratio of original : pocket piece size, the mini bug for pocket edition should be 16.5 x 8.3 mm which isn't that small and won't get lost so easily
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cleaned up a bit more


The FLEA

I. Rules

Each player has a single flea.

The Flea comes into the game starting atop the Hive on top of a piece of its own colour. The piece it starts atop cannot itself be touching a piece of the opponent's colour.

The flea cannot exist other than atop the Hive (so cannot be transported to an open space by Dragonfly)

The Flea moves by jumping over exactly one piece, landing atop the piece one space away. The piece jumped can be of any level, (the Hive below the Flea, or over another piece(s) atop the Hive).

The Flea cannot jump across an empty space within the Hive.

II. Strategies

The Flea has potential both offensively and defensively, as a way to control the opponent's beetle and more so once the Pillbug is released.

III. Personal point of view

The Flea offers a new way of joining the Hive but in spirit maintains existing elements of the game.

Starting atop the Hive; the reasoning is two fold. One it stands with the standard entry requirement of not touching an opponent's piece and B) is slows the flea's entry as a way to balance its power.

Starting atop the Hive also holds with the idea of a flea being on another creature.

The Flea expands Hive to create more strategic play atop the Hive. You may need to move your Beetle and Pillbug at times to avoid the Flea.

There is risk with a Flea too. If you happen to jump atop a piece of your own and it then gets pinned, you have two pieces captured.

At the same time I do not see The Flea as over-powered.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Flea and Moth both serve the same purpose in game terms, generally being a defensive bug.

Both also focus on developing on top of hive play as a way of adding to game play.

I suspect only one or the other other, not both, will work in a game, and be a very playable addition.

The moth can travel long range at times, but slows to a beetle crawl in a cluster of opponent pieces.

The flea has a standard jump movement at all times, but will have some pieces it can't reach depending on Hive configuration.

Both mimic the bug they are named after well.

Without playing the moth at all, my gut tells me it is slightly more powerful in game terms.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While I sent this direct too, thought share here as well for reaction.

Question on the moth

Have you considered limiting its movement to a straight line (so all six directions) moving until it reaches a piece of opposite colour?

It would reduce power a little, slow it getting to the bee at times (which actually makes the moth offensive in nature), and is generally easier to explain as a rule.

just a thought
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jarek Szczepanik
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree that Flea & Moth are a little redundant and I wouldn't choose them both into my army of bugs (btw, do you agree that having 13-14 bugs/player is a maximum to have a balanced game?).

I don't think the solution to make the Moth move in a straight line is a good one - in many Hive configurations it would be difficult to grasp. As for the current rules, situations when the Moth can move over a cluster of your bugs and get to the other end of the Hive are rather rare (and if they occur, after that there is a cluster of opponent bugs, where the Moth Moves slowly). When I played it, I rarely used it to cover the Queen (there are always Beetles which could do that work). In my plays, the targets of the Moth were powerful bugs such as Ants, Mosquitoes or Ladybugs. I think that the Moth will be a good counterbalance for Pillbug.

Nonetheless, several BGG users complained about the Moth being too powerful. I thought of a simpler limitation (can move from one opponent bug to another but not more than a certain number of tiles away from its starting position). I hope to publish new rules this weekend.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I suppose it's perspective, but following a straight line over a few pieces is far easier in my mind than the current rule where I might be looking how to zigzag my moth over my own pieces to get to where I want it.

as for a maximum size, I doubt there is one.

I suspect there is a point where games might end before all bugs hit the table regularly, but that just means choices along the way.

with the potential of 4 beetles, 2 moths/flea and 2 mosquitos freezing other bugs you can have 8 immobile pieces.

then add the escape elements of pillbug and dragonfly and you will need the resources to manage to surround a bee.

As it stands now we have 14 'official' hive pieces, and for me I would never play without access to all the official pieces. I look at Yanni's creations as canon, and feel the game is complete only when all options are there.

The dragonfly is certainly widely appreciated.

And the moth/flea take the game where I think it must go, atop the hive.

that would mean 16 pieces a player without Yanni delivering another one someday.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calvin Daniels
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll add I am among those wishing a good simple bug worthy of adding 2/3 per side could be developed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
AbStrateGyk
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Interestingly, haven't had read the Variant forum, I posted about suggesting the Flea on another thread. Its movement is very similar in that it jumps over only one tile orthogonally to any empty space or to an empty space between two tiles, otherwise, it will not be able to move. I only thought of the Flea because I couldn't think of any other bug with a movement that can emulate it but maybe the Cricket or Katydid perhaps or another creature (which is not considered an insect but a collembola) is the Springtail.

The idea of the Flea only moving atop the hive I think is better than my suggestion. The thing with all these expansions being proposed is that it makes the game more complicated and it extends the length of time to play it. There will be too many pieces if you add in all the expansion pieces. However it would be interesting if we limit the number of all the bugs to 1 each for each player such that we only have 1 ant, 1 hopper, 1 spider and 1 beetle in order to play more expansion bugs.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.