Eric Pietrocupo
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I am trying to isolate my problem. I think I am getting closer to it by now. One of my problems was proportionality of actions and spells. The idea is that larger enpire should require more actions to manage. It order to prevent this, you can make each action affect the whole empire preventing the need of having more actions.

The system somewhat works and could be comparable to "Nations" board game where everything is centralised. The only issue was conquest which could make a player with a larger empire need to have more military actions to manage it. But I intend to use a system where more controlled cities gives you more options and flexibility, but not necessarily more power. It's a bit like in age of mythology where you can attack players to steal land, destroy building or get resources, but having more of these does not require to have more military action to protect them, because there is not more territory to cover.

The main issue is with magic. Let way I want a spell like fireball that I can use in battle. If I want to have centralised magic, then spells needs to affect my whole empire. This works well for enchantments, because I pay let say 1 mana to maintain and it will affect my whole empire which can be of any size.

But if I want to use fireball in a battle, I would need to pay 1 mana in each battle I cast the spell. But the number of battles I will make could change according to my empire size and the number of players. So in a 5 player game, I'll spend much more mana on battles than in a 3 player game. Then the average mana spent is not the same which unbalance the game.

The only solution I could see is that all spells needs to be enchantments, which is quite boring and limit the kind of spells I can make. Enchantments gives powerup but they are not as fun as fireballing your opponent as a direct attack when you need it.

So I thought of an alternative, what if a spell are activated for the whole turn. So for example, if I cast fireball once and pay my 1 mana for it. Then all battles I participate this turn get's a free fireball spells, because that spell is activated. The advantage over enchantments is that the activated spells can change from a turn to another instead of beign permanent for each turn. But their effects are both proportional to the empire.

That is the best thing I could think of so far, do you have any suggestion to solve that scaling problem?
 
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John Breckenridge
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You're looking at fighting battles on the scale of armies, not the scale of individual fighters and wizards. So the "fireballs" you're calling down to smite the enemy are big giant meteors. It's easy to imagine the royal wizard is staying at home in his tower watching the battles through his palantir, summoning great chunks of hellfire when called upon. He probably ought to pay the mana cost per attack.
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Yes it does thematically makes more sense, but not mechanically. It would be 3 times less expensive if a player spend 1 mana to enchant all this armies of all the battles, than pay 3 times 1 mana to cast fireball in each battle.

You might say, just balance, the cost of the enchantment, but the problem is that the balance changes all the time especially according to the number of players.

This is why I though of this solution to have a way to have scalled spells which are not enchantments. Else, I am stuck with only enchantments.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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I came up with a very similar idea that could be more flexible. There would be a difference Between combat magic and non-combat spells. Not that they do not affect combat but rather are not cast in combat.

If you have 5 mana, and maintained or cast 3 spells in non combat (that affect your whole empire for the turn), the 2 mana left will be available for each battle.

So each battle, you'll get 2 spells of your choice. So if you used fireball on your first battle, you are not forced to use fireball in all your battles.

----------------------------------------------

Another related element I designed is casting skill. If you have low casting skill, a spell might require that you prepare it for one turn and then cast it for the next turn. So if your skill is lower, you'll have to prepare it in advance, and might have to maintain it as an enchantment. While if your skill is higher, you be able to cast it only when you want, freeing more mana giving you more flexibility.
 
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Marcel van der pol
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I don't really see a problem with a Mage casting Fireball three times and thus paying the mana cost three times as long as a larger empire also increases its mana income compared to smaller Empires. After all, the larger Empire gets its enchantments at the same expense as a smaller Empire but since the enchantments affect a larger Empire the cost (per city, per unit or whatever) is smaller.

I personally don't see a problem with the negative feedback of making a larger Empire more difficult to manage, but that could be me. After all, there are already resource benefits to having a larger Empire (assuming you produce resources according to your size in one way or another) thus there should also be some downside.

Eclipse is a great example of how the negative feedback of having a large Empire hinders you in other ways. Yes, you get more resources but have less actions to spend UNLESS you research technology to make your Empire more efficient.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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In the old design, I had some resources like gold and mana that were "multiplied" with empire growth. The logic was that larger empire demanded more resources.

But that created other problem where some actions affect the whole empire at once while others are local. So it created tons of problems that made the project fail all the time.

The elements that needed to be scaled was mostly expansion and conquest. All the rest affected the whole empire. I really wanted things to affect the whole empire at once to simplify it's management.

Then I had the idea of removing the map, which reduces the number of cities players controlled and reduced the number of wars players had to fight making it more plausible to have a game where not expansion and conquest is centralized ( larger empire does not expand faster or attack more).

Now having more cities gives you more choice of resources, but they are not cumulative (you only use the best city for the job). So a player will less cities will still be competitive and have the same number of actions than the player with more cities.

But no I realized that the number of battles would now only vary according to the number of players (Instead of empire size + players). So if I kept the mana fixed for each battle, it would solve the issue. It also go in pair with other mechanics of not spending resources and comparing them instead to make the game infinitely expandable.

note: I'll respond to your other thread tomorrow.
 
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