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Subject: [WIP] [2P PnP Contest 2014] Route Bots rss

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Andy Kay
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ROUTE BOTS
by
Andy Kay

An entry for the 2-player PnP contest:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1108859/2014-two-player-...

Number of Players: 2

Estimated Playtime
: 20 minutes

Components:
If you have a chess board and chess pieces to hand, you will also need:
-- 24 lighter and 24 darker path markers
-- 8 lighter and 8 darker tokens representing military units
-- 1 small counter representing a path-making robot

1 D6

The markers and tokens are also available in the components file. (For those without a chess set to hand the file also contains a board and chess piece replacements).

Components (one A4 page of pieces, one A4 page for the board):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/skims5637xt2phu/Route%20Bots%20com...

Rulebook:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/53e70egmds8m3ml/Route%20Bots%20rul...

SUMMARY
The two players represent rival corporations competing to set up transport networks on a planet. The players can choose where they beam down the terminal points of their routes, but once the terminal points have been beamed down it is up to an autonomous robot (a route bot) to try to link the terminals. Long paths score more points, but may be harder to create and defend. Shorter routes can be easier to create but may not be worth enough points to win the game.
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Weston Stapleton
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Hey Andy. Good job squeezing a game in at the last second! It looks like the design has been well thought out, why didn't you create a WiP thread earlier so that we could give you more feedback/input? The game sounds very cool and the whole path making abstract strategy is something I havent seen before. Here are some comments/questions after a read through of the rules :

a) The whole robot path-making mechanic sounds very interesting, I cant wait to see it in action. The fact it switches modes (seeker/homing) seems well thought out and unique.

b) Having the edge squares collapsing with too many path markers was a great idea. Just from reading the rules it sounds like placing pairs of pieces along one edge (just on 2 columns) would make it very easy to get them to connect. The edge square mechanic prevents the players from taking this easy route and forces interaction between the 2 players' pieces. Great design work there.

c) An abstract strategy game always piques my interest, because I have never been able to design one myself successfully. Simple rules with deep strategy is not my forte . . . but I love playing them on occasion. And you come up with an abstract strategy that even has a small auction styled mechanic (the bidding of "military" units). Very very interested in seeing how that plays out in game.

d) This is a question that could probably be answered from seeing the game in action; but is it possible to play a pair of pieces down on the edge of an already valid path (observing the row/column rules) and score a completed path without needing to remake the path? Hopefully I am explaining that right. If you need me to clarify just post it on here.

e) EXCELLENT, yet simple examples with diagrams all throughout the rules! I cant stress this enough. After reading the scoring of Knights and King/Queen I was like "What in the world is the difference between shortest and longest route? How does that even happen?" And then the next page you cleared it up with a perfect example. Great job giving examples thumbsup

Thats all. I haven't played it yet, but I will be printing it out and playing it sometime in May. I have several entries ahead of this one, so I am going to have to pace myself . . . but I will talk to you soon. Once again great work and good luck.
 
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Andy Kay
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Hi Weston, thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.

goatfarmer03 wrote:
Good job squeezing a game in at the last second! It looks like the design has been well thought out, why didn't you create a WiP thread earlier so that we could give you more feedback/input?


I've enjoyed following some great WIP threads (including of course yours, kudos for your game design and graphic design).

I was really hoping to get a WIP thread up with plenty of time to spare, and I hope to enter this year's Solo PnP contest and this time start a WIP thread well before time -- but for Route Bots it took me a lot longer than expected to get a stable rule-set, and then to get the rules written.

Thanks for your comments and questions.

Yes, the 'unstable edge' rule prevents a player (if lucky) creating an edge row or column entirely filled with their own piece and seven markers, which then can't be attacked.

goatfarmer03 wrote:
is it possible to play a pair of pieces down on the edge of an already valid path (observing the row/column rules) and score a completed path without needing to remake the path?


Yes, it's perfectly possible to place pieces in such a way that there is an instant valid path between them (though the robot doesn't 'know' about that path, and will still go to work trying to succeed on a connection mission). Thanks for the question

And thanks for your comments on the examples. With more time I would have added more, but I'm glad if you found the ones that were there useful.

Good luck with Beneficiary!
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Weston Stapleton
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return wrote:
. . . creating an edge row or column entirely filled with their own piece and seven markers, which then can't be attacked.

Oh Wow, I hadn't even though of the advantage of having an entire edge to yourself . . . I just knew having to travel along an edge is a lot easier to pull off than exploring through the middle where several paths can cross.


. . . (though the robot doesn't 'know' about that path, and will still go to work trying to succeed on a connection mission) . . .

Ahh, that was probably going to be a follow up question, but you already answered it cool
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