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The Castles of Burgundy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Just an Idea... Expanding Regions on the Board rss

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Derek Strand
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Just played Castles of Burgundy... what a great game!

Thought I would post an idea here for a variation... although I don't really think C.O.B. really needs one.

What I noticed when playing this game is that once an specific region on your player mat is full with tokens, you can no longer place the specific token on your player mat. In my game, I filled up my ships by the third round... so I could no longer play the blue ship tokens and take the corresponding actions associated with picking the ship tokens. My brother, finished the buildings region early and could no longer take that action. By the 4 or 5 round, I sorta wished I could still build ships and take the ship action.

My Idea:
What if you had the ability to expand a specific region so you could continue with a specific action??? I haven't thought out all the details of this as it is just an idea I came up with last night. Perhaps, you could purchase a blank colored tile (blue, or yellow, or green, etc.) and place somewhere outside the existing areas which would expand the region so you can build more tiles (on top of the blank expanded area) in the region. This would be a 2 step process (expand region with hex & build on top of hex).

I think you would probably want to limit how far a player would be able to expand a region. I think it might be an interesting variation to the game. First expanding an region with an action and then taking a further building action in the expanded region. Perhaps limiting this to an 8 region maximum?

So... here's the thing... this is merely an idea... I have not thought out all of the details... I just want to know what other people think about this idea.

Thanks for the input.
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Derek Strand
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Yes... you can still pick up any tiles... all the regular rules still apply. The idea here is that you can expand the hex regions on your player mat.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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It's seems like a rather clunky add-on to a very elegant game.
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Derek Strand
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Thunkd wrote:
It's seems like a rather clunky add-on to a very elegant game.


I don't think it would be clunky... just allow players the option to continue down a desired path of action for more victory points using an expandable board.

I agree though... good game as is.
 
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T S
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Thunkd wrote:
It's seems like a rather clunky add-on to a very elegant game.

I think dboyee is just brainstorming out an idea for this game. Obviously it's not a variation you could just add-on; you'd have to completely change the map board and build new pieces.

It would be cool to have an expansion where you get to build your own map out; or your map is flipped tiles like a "fog of war" and you explore outward.

And yes, this game is almost perfect - but that doesn't stop your comment from being like a "troll".
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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vfxtrev wrote:
but that doesn't stop your comment from being like a "troll".

dboyee wrote:
I just want to know what other people think about this idea.


Ummm... he explicitly asked for people's opinions. I gave my opinion. How is that trolling, exactly?
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Thunkd wrote:
It's seems like a rather clunky add-on to a very elegant game.


I agree (and don't think this is a trollish answer.)

I think the fact that you have a limited amount of hexes available for certain tiles is part of what the game is about. Sure, you can zoom to the forefront by filling in all your river hexes - you probably get to be first player for quite a long time but you may only be getting one good per depot where by waiting, you may get multiple.

I'm all in favor of house rules and variations. However, my honest opinion is that the RAW is better than this variation.
 
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Derek Strand
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kjamma4 wrote:
[q="Thunkd"]It's seems like a rather clunky add-on to a very elegant game.
I agree (and don't think this is a trollish answer.)

I think the fact that you have a limited amount of hexes available for certain tiles is part of what the game is about. Sure, you can zoom to the forefront by filling in all your river hexes - you probably get to be first player for quite a long time but you may only be getting one good per depot where by waiting, you may get multiple.




You can zoom to the forefront on virtually every type of action BUT what if you could prolong the use of an action by expanding a region... might be a good strategy or beneficial to be able to continue to use a building action.

Agreed that this game plays good as is... but I think such a variation may be an interesting concept.

 
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Bryan Thunkd
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dboyee wrote:
kjamma4 wrote:
sure, you can zoom to the forefront by filling in all your river hexes - you probably get to be first player for quite a long time but you may only be getting one good per depot where by waiting, you may get multiple.




You can zoom to the forefront on virtually every type of action BUT what if you could prolong the use of an action by expanding a region... might be a good strategy or beneficial to be able to continue to use a building action.

Agreed that this game plays good as is... but I think such a variation may be an interesting concept.
Filling all your ship tiles lets you take the lead in the race for start player... That's what he means by "zooming to the forefront". Playing a lot of other type tiles doesn't "zoom" you anywhere.

If you implemented your plan it would break the balance between the number of tiles available and the number of spots available to play them. For example, there are more boat tiles than one person can play to their own board which gives you a painful choice... Do you max out on boats early, which might mean you get locked out of first player later on? Do you play a boat now to take start player even though there aren't any goods available or do you save your boat for later when you can grab more goods? If you can keep playing boats beyond what the boards now allow, then you reduce the painful choices and tension of the game. It becomes too easy and bland.

Also, if you allow more spaces, other things get broken. One player getting eight mines for example seems like it would just create a completely unbalanced situation. Which means that everyone would either have to block that strategy or copy it, which makes the game less interesting.

Finally, it really changes the basic structure of scoring points for regions. If you can add more spaces to regions then the points you can score become changes, and is likely completely unbalanced. And what happens if you add a space to an already completed region? Or waiting until you almost have a region completed before you risk enlarging it to get a better region bonus.

It's just really clunky, odd, and not well thought out. It's a bad idea.
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David Jones
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louper wrote:
Just to be clear, you CAN still pick up tiles of any type, even when you have full regions; you just can't place them. They'll eventually be discarded from your three-slot holding area.


How do they get discarded? This has come up in our games before and I couldn't find anything in the manual that allows you to discard a tile from your warehouse.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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davypi wrote:
louper wrote:
Just to be clear, you CAN still pick up tiles of any type, even when you have full regions; you just can't place them. They'll eventually be discarded from your three-slot holding area.


How do they get discarded? This has come up in our games before and I couldn't find anything in the manual that allows you to discard a tile from your warehouse.
When you take a fourth tile you discard one and replace it with the one you just drew.
 
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Derek Strand
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Thunkd wrote:
dboyee wrote:
kjamma4 wrote:
sure, you can zoom to the forefront by filling in all your river hexes - you probably get to be first player for quite a long time but you may only be getting one good per depot where by waiting, you may get multiple.




You can zoom to the forefront on virtually every type of action BUT what if you could prolong the use of an action by expanding a region... might be a good strategy or beneficial to be able to continue to use a building action.

Agreed that this game plays good as is... but I think such a variation may be an interesting concept.
Filling all your ship tiles lets you take the lead in the race for start player... That's what he means by "zooming to the forefront". Playing a lot of other type tiles doesn't "zoom" you anywhere.

If you implemented your plan it would break the balance between the number of tiles available and the number of spots available to play them. For example, there are more boat tiles than one person can play to their own board which gives you a painful choice... Do you max out on boats early, which might mean you get locked out of first player later on? Do you play a boat now to take start player even though there aren't any goods available or do you save your boat for later when you can grab more goods? If you can keep playing boats beyond what the boards now allow, then you reduce the painful choices and tension of the game. It becomes too easy and bland.

Also, if you allow more spaces, other things get broken. One player getting eight mines for example seems like it would just create a completely unbalanced situation. Which means that everyone would either have to block that strategy or copy it, which makes the game less interesting.

Finally, it really changes the basic structure of scoring points for regions. If you can add more spaces to regions then the points you can score become changes, and is likely completely unbalanced. And what happens if you add a space to an already completed region? Or waiting until you almost have a region completed before you risk enlarging it to get a better region bonus.

It's just really clunky, odd, and not well thought out. It's a bad idea.


You make valid points... but I do not agree that my idea is a bad one. The idea would change the game as is but it would also provide different strategies to players. You forget that I was also suggesting a cap on the size of regions. C.O.B. provides players with a variety of maps. Some maps have larger and disproportionate region sizes. My idea would allow players to customize their maps... within reason. I notice that sizes of current map regions can go as high as 8 hexes. So having the ability to expand or customize your map is NOT a bad idea but a interesting concept (IMO).

"Clunky"... maybe... but no harm in trying it out.
 
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Justin Leone
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I know this is an old thread, but I just found it, and think it could potentially have some merit.

I would probably do it this way:

Include a separate stack of tiles, which are revealed throughout the game just like the black market tiles. Each one is in the shape of a hexagon with a hole cut out in the middle, and is a specific color. They're considered as part of the black market, and can be bought with silverlings in the same way.

Ideally, they will be very limited. Maybe one or two added per phase.

As an action, they can be placed on the board by the same rules as any other tile, and all they do is change the color of the spot they're placed on. The cutout in the middle allows the number on the spot to show through.

These added spots (easily indicated by being raised above the rest of the board) would not increase or count towards zone completion bonuses.

For example, a 3-size zone would still only score 6 points, even if it were expanded.

And if a color-change tile were used to make a 1-size zone, filling it would not score any bonus points.

They'd effectively become dead spots for purposes of bonus scoring, and would therefore decrease the overall amount of potential points you your board is worth, as well as being an inefficient use of your actions.

The potential tradeoff for these disadvantages would be an ability to manipulate your board slightly. For instance, being able to change a color in order to play a tile that lets you access another zone. Or picking up a late-game knowledge tile (which you didn't know would be in the game, and so wasn't worth holding a spot open for), or getting a large herd bonus late in the game.

The cost and availability of these tiles could be tweaked for correct balance, of course, but I think having a little room to manipulate the colors of your board could open up some strategic options.
 
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