Andrew H
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8/2/14-Updated and replaced rules with Version 1.2-Contest Ready Rules. Parts are unchanged and contest ready.

7/28/14 Edit-Added full color graphics and 1.1 rules. More info below.

Version 1.2 Contest Ready Rules
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUd1F6T2Fhdjk0Qnc...

Version 1.1 Contest Ready Color Parts :
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUZ005OFUzRVk4dEE...



6/26/14 Edit-Changed name of Game and added 1.0 files. More Info below.

Version 1.0 Parts:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUTzU2R2g2dmlPOFU...

Version 1.0 Rules:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwULUtERVRqSGpBM0k...


I'm going to try to make another game this year for the 2014 Solitaire Print and Play Contest. I've had a few ideas, but I don't have a name for it yet, and one of my first updates will be to brainstorm possibilities. I do have a theme that a few people seemed interested in, and I have an idea of the mechanics I'd like to use.

The theme is the bone wars. This was a period in the late 19th century, when two archeologists/paleontologists fiercely completed to find dinosaur bones in the American West. In the rush, many new techniques and ancient species were discovered, greatly advancing the science, but the two also sabotaged each other (with dynamite and highly critical newspaper articles), which hurt reputations and egos.

Right now, I see the game playing out as a dice civilization game, similar to Roll Through the Ages: The Late Bronze Age or its sequel RTTA:The Iron Age. The player is playing for their best possible score, however they also have to beat an AI score. The points represent academic acclaim, and are earned by being the first to discover and name new dinosaurs, develop new scientific techniques, and avoid bad press and sabotage.

I like using the RTTA idea of rolling dice each turn for a couple of reasons. First, as a solitare game, I want some random element for the player to adapt to. Second, with the theme I think there is a logical reason to need randomness, assistants. If the player is the paleontologist, the dice could represent students whose skills in digging, research, or sabotage fluctuates from turn to turn.

I'm tempted to try the game with two types of dice, students and local help. The students would be better skilled (more sides or higher numbers) at things like research or publishing, while the locals are better at finding good sites (they know the area), and raw physical labor.

I also like RTTA's simple system of a tech tree. Various items can be researched, and doing so allows the player to break the rules, or add a bonus. Each technology has a weighted cost and grants an amount of victory points. This seems like it would work if victory points measure academic acclaim.

I would like to do a couple things differently. First, I'd like the player to have to choose between taking the discovery as victory points, or as another resource (most likely money). For instance, if they discover a safer form of dynamite, they might get a lot of points for the contribution to chemistry, but a mining company would love to know the secret to gain an advantage, and would pay money that is badly needed to fund more expeditions. I'd also like the player to make the same choice with fossils (a museum or private collector).

The second difference I'd like to change from RTTA tech tree, is to make technologies discovered by the AI available to the player at a discount. With the dynamite example above, if the AI opponent published their discovery (claiming the victory points), the player could read the paper and know how to make and use the same chemical compound, they just would never get credit for its discovery. I envision the technologies on cards on top of a chart. The cards have the victory points, but the chart doesn't, so moving the card to an AI or player's victory point pile would track the academic acclaim.

I think I might also use cards to represent the digging sites or fossils. While this is a second random element, I feel like the player shouldn't know what they will find until they start digging. Again, I feel if the victory points are on the cards, moving a card into a pile could easily track who first published about the new dinosaur.

That's about all I have for now. I'll discuss name ideas next, and will start working on my pencil prototype over the next few days. I'd like to have a low ink 1.0 game ready by July. Thanks for looking and please feel free to help with suggestions and constructive criticism.
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Mo
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
I'm still lovin' Cine-vilzation from last year's contest, Andrew. Look forward to seeing what you do this time around.

Mo
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Andrew H
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
mo7189 wrote:
I'm still lovin' Cine-vilzation from last year's contest, Andrew. Look forward to seeing what you do this time around.

Mo


Thanks Mo. I hope you like this too.
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Chad Mestdagh
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
Agreed. Cine-vilization was a stand out game from last year. Still wish it would have done better.
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
Thoughts about a title

As I mentioned above, I need to come up with a name for this game. Here are some of my thoughts.

The article I read called it the Bone Wars, which I like but is already part of an existing game (Bone Wars: The Game of Ruthless Paleontology). I'm not a lawyer but I think I could still use it with a different subtitle, though it could confuse people into thinking it's related to the other game, so my feeling is I shouldn't. In a early thread, a poster mentioned that it sounds more aggressive than a civ game, which I agree with. I also would like to try to use something that mentions dice or rolling.

There are some other parts from history that could be considered. The scientists were named Marsh and Cope. A lot of the finds were made at Como Bluff Wyoming, which is near Rock River and Medicine Bow. I like all of those names.

Lastly, I wouldn't mind mentioning dinosaurs, paleontology, digging, dynamite or expedition. I think there is a little science element that works with both the theme and civ mechanics. So with these thoughts, here are my ccurrent ideas:

Como Bluff
Como Bluff 1884 (or another year)
Roll for Como Bluff
Roll for Bones
Rolling for Bones
Bone Rolling
Dinosaurs and Dynamite
Dice, Dinos and Dynamite
Arch Rivals in Archeology
Wyoming Rivals
Rock River Rivals
Rock River Rush
Rush for Como Bluff

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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
I like the bones and rolling options as well as "Dice, Dinos and Dynamite"

What about Din-O-mite? (used to be a tv catch line).

Similar to rolling for bones would be Dino rolling/ers.

Dice Diggers?

Just off the top of my head.

Sounds fun!
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
For the name, Dice Diggers is a nice idea. Dino Dice or Dinosaur Dice are similar.

Roll for Bones sounds cool but makes me think of gambling. I think bones is slang for dice. I could be wrong on that.

Dave's idea for Din-O-Mite could work but that spelling makes me think of Jimmie Walker. You could go a little different spelling and add in a subtitle:

Dino-Mite: The Bone Wars of Como Bluff

Mo
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
mo7189 wrote:
Dave's idea for Din-O-Mite could work but that spelling makes me think of Jimmie Walker.


That's what his name was! He's exactly who I was thinking of and why I spelled it that way.
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Kevin Jeffrey
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
How about names such as:

Diceontology: Roll for Bones
Diceosaurs
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
Resource Rolling

I've been working on a very rough version, and I've been thinking about the resource rolling. The simple way would be the Yahtzee system, where the player can roll up to three times, keeping resources that they want to use. However I've had an idea, which might work thematically better.

My thought is the player starts with a single roll of all their dice. This roll represents a morning meeting/meal where the dice (students or hired hands) tell the player what they want to do that day. The player has a certain number of points each turn, and can spend them to reroll, or save them for a special skill (probably publish your research for victory points). Thematically, the points represent time, and the player might have to spend a lot of time each day teaching and motivating the help to do what the player wants, leaving little time at the end of each day doing the special professor skill.

The problem I see, is if the player adds more dice, they're less likely to have points left over at the end of the day. While there is some thematic rational for this (a larger group is harder to control), I'm not sure it would work in a game sense. Anyone have any opinions?
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
I kind of like the one roll resource rolling above. It makes the game seem less like a Yahtzee clone, though it still has an unknown element to manage.

I'm also adding a roll for the AI, and I'm going to have the dice and reroll tokens influence the AI roll a little. Five sides of the die do preset effects, but the sixth side's outcome is determined by whatever category has the most student/local dice and/or reroll tokens.

I will start on a low ink prototype this week, and hope to have it done by the end of June.
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Re: WIP-????? (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Brainstorming)
Without a set of rules, I'm having trouble picturing your Resource Management / Roll in my head, but I do like the idea of staying away from the Yahtzee mechanic.

Looking forward to the first prototype, but it sounds like I'll be away on vacation when it's ready. I'll definitely be following along until I can print up a copy next month.

Keep at it, Andrew!

Mo
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
Version 1.0 Parts:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUTzU2R2g2dmlPOFU...

Version 1.0 Rules:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwULUtERVRqSGpBM0k...

Here's my rough draft with 1.0 rules. You can print it all in black and white, though the color keeps things a little more clear. The pages print on 8.6 x 11 inch paper.

Like all of my games, I'll need help on the rules. I know there aren't examples, and I'll try to add some to the next version. I also would like to make do something to make the player board larger, and have a few ideas to try. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.

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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
Version 1.1 Color Parts:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUZ005OFUzRVk4dEE...

Version 1.1 Rules:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUcXNsQWVocmtXR2M...

In all likelihood, these should be the contest ready parts and rules. I had to rush to finish them, so I'll wait until this weekend before I make it official, but I don't foresee any major changes.

The minor changes with the parts, is I added a small 3rd board for tracking the resources. This let me turn the main player board horizontal, which added some room for dice and cubes. On the Contribution to Science board, I had to take off a little information on 3 geological cards, so I added an asterisk, and added the information to the CtS Board.

The rules are basically the same, though I did update them with the new 3rd board, as well as a two round example of the game.

I'll submit the game to moderators for the database, and will upload my contest ready files to the entry if and when it is approved. Thanks for looking everyone.
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
Good timing, Andrew. I just finished reading the first rules about 30 minutes ago and was going to print out the components tonight. Now, I can use the updated version.



Game sounds interesting. I should get in a play or two by the end of the week or at least this weekend.

Mo
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
Okie dokie. I read the rules twice. I played about 2 rounds. Then read the rules again, making several notes regarding typos and an addition or two to help with the Guard action (assuming I understood it).

But rather than type them all out, here is a link to the file in Dropbox:

DD&D Typos

Hopefully, you can open it. If not, Andrew, GM me your email address, and I'll send it directly to you.

Now, there are a lot of unnecessary commas (I believe...English/Grammar was not my strong suit in school), but I didn't bother pointing them all out as it's not a big deal at the moment. I tried to point out typos and missing punctuation instead.

Let me know if you have any questions about my notes.

But as far as the game goes...dude, your designs are right in my wheelhouse. I'm still grasping the rules a bit, pondering strategies already, and have only played two rounds, but I can tell I'm going to enjoy this one...maybe not quite as much as Cine-vilzation but only because movies are more of a passion for me than dinosaurs.

I won't say much more about the gameplay until I get in a full session though...sometime this week.

But I do like the new cards and layout for the boards. Everything looks really great. Nicely done. I printed out the first version for now just in case any changes are made...save a little on ink. But since the rules and actions didn't seem to change at all, I don't think it will affect my opinion of the gameplay.

There was one thing that jumped out at me right away. For the Site Card icons, I would have used a shovel for Dig and a book for Study. Just my opinion.

I'll definitely have more to say later this week. I'm very curious to see how well the AI system works out. It seems simple enough but being a random d6 roll each turn could cause some funky results on occasion. We'll see.

Anyway, it's looking like another winner in my book, Andrew. Talk to you later.

Mo
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
Mo, your you're the best!

Seriously, thank you so much for proofreading the rules. I was able to open it, and am slapping my face at some things I missed. I'll get it updated by the deadline, and the game will be improved a lot because of your help. It's a huge help, and I appreciate it. Thanks again.
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
Okay, Andrew, I made it through half a game. I like it, but I think it could use some more tweaking for the AI and game length.

First, some general questions:

1. Money, Supplies, DDD, and Knowledge are all unlimited, correct?

2. Purple Cards in the AI (I’m going to say AI instead of Opponent because it’s faster) Camp – they do nothing other than take up space and delay the AI from adding cards automatically, correct?

3. Professor cubes – the rule says “After each cube is placed, …, you may choose to reroll…” That makes is sound like you place one cube, decide to reroll or not, place the next cube, and so on. But in your play example, I think you made it sound like you placed all of the cubes then went back and decided what you reroll. This could make a difference as in the former, you can place one cube to reroll, if you don’t like it, place another cube, and try again. In the later, you have to decide how many chances for reroll you want without knowing the reroll result.

4. Card bonuses – as an example, I studied the Blacksmith Property 6 times giving me +2 on the Dig bonus track. But then I discovered it moving it over to my knowledge area. Do I then lose the +2 in the Dig section or does it always remain?

5. Similar question – I used Slander to lower both the Deed and New Hire costs. Do they always remain unless a card triggers them to move? Or do they reset every so often automatically?

I got through 10 turns and still had 29 cards remaining in the draw deck. I played for a little more than an hour. Of course, it was a little slow at first because I was checking the rules, but the game seems to go quite slowly. I was enjoying myself, but I honestly didn’t want to sit there for another hour to complete the game…especially since it seemed as though I was going to win rather easily. I mainly focused on hindering the AI, guarding my sites, and discovering/publishing my sites one or two cards at a time. Also, the AI had the trouble I was concerned with before even playing – that random 1d6 roll just isn’t effective. Here are some of the details:

“Final” Score (again, only half a game)
Mo = 27 (4 published + 3 discovered)
AI = 3 (1 published + 0 discovered, but he did have three cards in his camp)

Turn 1
AI, Attack, nothing happened (guarded)
Mo, lowered Deed and Hire tracks to $1 each

Turn 2
AI, React = Attack, nothing happened (guarded)
Mo, hired 2 additional workers

Turn 3
AI, Attack, nothing happened (guarded)
Mo, Discovered Blacksmith Property and Coal Syndicate; sold Coal Synd for $15

Turn 4
AI, Acclaim, publish Ingenious Formation
Mo, Barosaurus discovered

Turn 5
AI, Attack, nothing happens (guarded)
Mo, Buy 3 deeds, sabotage AI (destroy Triceratops, damage Blacksmith Property), discover Labrosaurus, Publish Blacksmith Property

Turn 6
AI, Acclaim, damage removed from Blacksmith Prop
Mo, discover Allosaurus and Barosaurus

Turn 7
AI, Reaction = Attack (destroy my Sedimentary Outcrop which I didn’t care about, I guarded my other sites)
Mo, buy 4 deeds, Publish Allosaurus

Turn 8
AI, Reaction = Draw 2
Mo, publish Labrosaurus

Turn 9
AI, Reaction = Attack (destroy my Metamorphic Deposit and Railway Valley – again, didn’t care about those but I guarded my two dino cards)
Mo, Publish Barosaurus

Turn 10
AI, Attack, nothing happened (guarded)
Mo, discovered Triceratops and Stegasaurus

As I said, I still had more than half the draw deck remaining, and I had been playing for about an hour or so. Just like Cine-vilzation, I really enjoy the moving parts in this one. It’s almost like a tech tree kind of thing where you have to dig up the fossils first before you discover them. Then you have to learn about them adding knowledge. And finally you can publish it to the world. It’s good stuff.

I think where the game needs work is in the AI system. If that can be improved, I think the game length will come down as well. Here are some thoughts:

The AI just doesn’t do much on its turn. The Player, assuming no workers have died, will have a minimum of 7 actions points every round. He could literally take seven different actions. The AI will only have 1, basically. I mean I understand drawing 2 cards is the same as the player using 2 action points. But I guess what I mean is that the AI doesn’t do enough. If you want to simulate a second player, the AI needs to do more things.

Now maybe that’s not what you’re going for. Maybe you want more of a beat your high score game where there is a little bit of resistance for the player just to add some tension beyond going for the score. And that would fine too. If you do that, I would add something to make the game move faster. Maybe have the AI draw 1 or 2 cards (or just straight up discard them) at the start of every round just to make the deck run out faster. Something like that. And just leave everything else as is.

But if you want more of a battle between the AI and the player, there needs to be more “stuff” happening. Have you thought of either getting rid of the d6 roll and just have the AI react to every action the player takes? So if the player wants to survey, dig, and study on his turn, the AI will Acclaim, Draw 2, and Acclaim (well, that example wasn’t the best since he did the same action twice, but maybe he does one card per Acclaim or something). Or, do BOTH the d6 roll for a random action AND have him react to every action the player takes. This way, the player can plan for most of the AIs moves but still have one random action.

If doing this, you could have an additional action for the player where he must commit, say, 1 student die and 2 professors to a turn order action so the player will go first on the following turn. Otherwise, the AI will always go first. Something like that.

Also, you can make things harder on the player as well. Referring back to my questions at the top, you can take away those bonuses when the site card is moved out of the players camp. Or have the deed and new hire tracks move up $1 every turn, something to make the player work on those actions if he wants to keep them low. Or have new hires only stay in the player's camp for one turn. They have to be "bought" or paid every turn to stay in your camp. I found it pretty easy to manipulate the various tracks to my advantage and not worry about them after that.

So, that’s where I stand at the moment. I hope some of this helps. I’m glad to see another game from you this year…and I haven’t even looked at the other one you posted yet. I think that one is on the lighter side. I’ll definitely check it out next month when the contest is in full swing.

Let me know if you have any questions regarding what I said or if you noticed something I was doing wrong rules-wise (I know I didn’t give a lot of detail though).

Talk to you later.
Mo
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
Thank you for trying it, and for your thoughts. I'll answer rules questions in this post, and the rest ASAP.

1)Yes, all unlimited.

2)Correct, they just take up space. I thought it made sense to keep them, because if the Opponent's Camp is ever empty, they draw two new cards.

3)I meant for you to be able to reroll after each cube is placed, I will update the example, but probably just wrote it that way in haste.

4)The Blacksmith Property is a bit different than others. You can study more than normal, and every three additional points adds to the permanent bonus. Once it is in your knowledge, you can't add more, so you should try to time your "discovery" of the property with a turn where you have a lot of points in Study.

Note, with the purple properties, I think of the discoveries as making a personal connection with the land owner, smoothed over with the financial transaction of using private or university funds to buy the rights.

5)They do remain at the lower amount until adjusted by the AI or some publishing.
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
mo7189 wrote:

But if you want more of a battle between the AI and the player, there needs to be more “stuff” happening. Have you thought of either getting rid of the d6 roll and just have the AI react to every action the player takes? So if the player wants to survey, dig, and study on his turn, the AI will Acclaim, Draw 2, and Acclaim (well, that example wasn’t the best since he did the same action twice, but maybe he does one card per Acclaim or something). Or, do BOTH the d6 roll for a random action AND have him react to every action the player takes. This way, the player can plan for most of the AIs moves but still have one random action.


The original way I tried, was the AI's 5 actions had a separate board. When you cleared of each section on your player board, you added 3 points to the corresponding counter action for each professor cube. If you used a student or hired help die, you rolled the die, and added that number of points to the AI's counter action. Each time the AI got 5 points in a counter action, the AI performed the counter action.

I thought this would mimic a second player, but I didn't like how much bookkeeping it took, and the Sabotage and Slander sections seemed unnecessary. I switched to the current version, and the AI was competitive to me, but I need to look at your runthrough to see how we're different.
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
fur94 wrote:
The original way I tried, was the AI's 5 actions had a separate board. When you cleared of each section on your player board, you added 3 points to the corresponding counter action for each professor cube. If you used a student or hired help die, you rolled the die, and added that number of points to the AI's counter action. Each time the AI got 5 points in a counter action, the AI performed the counter action.

I thought this would mimic a second player, but I didn't like how much bookkeeping it took, and the Sabotage and Slander sections seemed unnecessary. I switched to the current version, and the AI was competitive to me, but I need to look at your runthrough to see how we're different.

Yeah, I don't think I like that original idea. Instead I would fill up the AI chart the same way, but then the AI would use each point just like the player.

So, if you put 1 student die (which rolled a 4) and 2 professor cubes on Dig. The AI would get 2 action points for the cubes plus four more for what was rolled on the student die (you don't even need to reroll it). So the AI would get 6 action points to use on his next turn for that counter action.

And maybe all of that is too much as well, I don't know.

But I hope you understand that I'm not saying you should retool the whole game in the next 48 hours because I played it once. I can see that the AI could be competitive if it were to roll Draw 2 and Acclaim more often. In my play, it chose Attack on five of the ten turns. And since I used at least 2 Guards on every turn, I never had a problem blocking that action. That left only five turns for the AI to do anything compared to my ten turns. And I'm taking four or five different actions every turn compared to its one action.

It will give a more random result using a d6. Sometimes the game will be tougher than others. And I just wanted to be sure to share the experience (a single one so far) where it turned out somewhat on the easy end of the random spectrum.

Maybe I just need a better quality die. laugh

I'll give it another go and let you know how it turns out.

Mo
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
What looks to be a big difference is I end up with more Draw 2 effects. I don't know if it's just chance, or my style. Oddly enough, I don't guard as much (which has a draw 2 reaction), and yet I still seem to run against a drawing opponent.

I could try a few other things too. I thought of each round as a week (thus the 7 dice are 7 days, and the professor can do the work in one day that a student usually needs a week to accomplish), so limiting the game to a certain number of rounds might make players take more risks.

I could also have the reaction grow the opponents dice. So after you roll you first 6, you then roll two dice until another 6, then three dice and so on. I would suspect there would have to be a limit.

What I think is the simplest, and thus the first thing I'll try, is your suggestion to burn a card each round. It speeds it up, and is easy to track. I could also see drawing one card each round for the opponent working too, but I don't want the Opponent's Camp to get too crowded.

If you want to try it too, I'll do it in the upkeep, and just discard the top card. Thanks again for your notes, they were very helpful.
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
NOTE: I did this before reading your latest note just above....


I played a second game. Again, I stopped after 10 turns. I had played well over an hour and still have 22 cards remaining in the draw deck. This game was more interesting and a closer match, but I’m not sure it would stay close if I played it out.

“Final” Score (again, only half a game)
Mo = 31 (5 published + 2 discovered)
AI = 24 (4 published + 1 discovered)
Cards remaining in Draw Deck = 22

I took better notes, but I’m not in the mood to type them all out at the moment. Sorry about that. I guess I could scan them for you Andrew if you want, but I used a lot of abbreviations. And some of it may not be easy to read. I think you’d be able to follow it, though. It got sloppier as I went along.

But the gist of it was the AI took three Acclaim actions in the first five turns, publishing Metamorphic Deposit, Barosaurus, Stegasaurus, and Allosaurus, plus a discovery of Triceratops (I just beat him to publishing it the turn before).

After that, his actions were Attack (guarded), Attack (guarded), Catch + Help (only +1 to Hire), Draw 2, Draw 2. The first five turns had a ton of Dino cards for the AI, but the last run of cards left him with two purples and three Geology cards when I stopped playing. He did survey another Triceratops, I think, but I destroyed it right away. We saw very few purple cards in the first half of the game.

It was slow going for me in the early rounds until the fifth turn when I had reached four hired help. So I was rolling seven dice for three turns in a row. I couldn’t keep up with supplies for them so I lost one hired help each of the last two turns I played. But that really helped me catch up in VP and also keep the AI camp in check with damage tokens.

My first publication was Triceratops in turn 4. Then Blacksmith Property in turn 5. I sold the Salt Dome in turn 6. Published Diplodocus and Labrosaurus in turn 9. And finished by publishing Sedimentary Crop in turn 10.

This session was more enjoyable than the first, but I still feel the same issues. The d6 for the AI is too random. It was unstoppable those first five turns, and I almost felt like I should just give up and start over. But after that, it did nothing basically. And again, it’s too long for my personal taste. BTW, how long has a full game been taking you?

But I can see the fun and challenge in it when I was working to catch back up to the AI. I had all of those dice working for me. And I had my engine going. It was very cool. But I felt like I had the game well under control by time I stopped. Even if the AI started drawing Dino cards again, I’m pretty sure I would have won in the end. There wasn’t much left to publish for big VP – only 9VP remained on the board to be claimed by one of us. So it would just be who could get those extra discovery VPs.

So, anyway, that’s my latest play. I was thinking of removing one of each kind of card to make the deck smaller. I think that would lessen it by about 20-ish cards. That means I would have been very close to ending the game in ten turns. I think that would have made it more satisfying for me.

Well, that’s all for now. Let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions for me, Andrew.

Mo
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
fur94 wrote:
What looks to be a big difference is I end up with more Draw 2 effects. I don't know if it's just chance, or my style. Oddly enough, I don't guard as much (which has a draw 2 reaction), and yet I still seem to run against a drawing opponent.

I could try a few other things too. I thought of each round as a week (thus the 7 dice are 7 days, and the professor can do the work in one day that a student usually needs a week to accomplish), so limiting the game to a certain number of rounds might make players take more risks.

I could also have the reaction grow the opponents dice. So after you roll you first 6, you then roll two dice until another 6, then three dice and so on. I would suspect there would have to be a limit.

What I think is the simplest, and thus the first thing I'll try, is your suggestion to burn a card each round. It speeds it up, and is easy to track. I could also see drawing one card each round for the opponent working too, but I don't want the Opponent's Camp to get too crowded.

If you want to try it too, I'll do it in the upkeep, and just discard the top card. Thanks again for your notes, they were very helpful.

Yes, I use the Guard action every turn, but I only have one or two cards in my camp at once so I'm not losing that many other actions. Plus, my largest action area always seems to be the Supply section so I can cover the extra dice I'm using. So almost all of the AI Reactions are Attacks...which, of course, are almost always blocked.

As far as discarding a card every round, I made the suggestion in my second playthrough to just remove one of every type of card. I didn't study them, but I think every type has multiples so removing one of every one of them would still keep the same distribution. That might be better than a round limit.

Also, adding a die to the AI could be interesting as well. Three is jumping out at me as a max. Not sure why though. Would there be a way for the player to lessen those dice? But always have a min of 1d6.

Hmmmm...

Mo
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Re: WIP-Dinos, Dice and Dynamite (19th century paleontology dice game), an entry for the 2014 Solitare PnP Contest (Public Playtesting)
Hi, Andrew.

First, I want to give a quick apology. I was looking over my posts, and I feel like I have been focusing too much on the negative. I'm sorry for that. There is a lot to like in this game, but I have been zeroing in too much on the AI die roll. After I read the rules the first time, I let the idea get stuck in my brain that I wouldn't like it....without even playing the game. I shouldn't have done that. That was my fault. I should have waited to form my opinion of the actual game.

Anyway, before I begin to ramble, let me just say that I will get in another play tonight (no rules changes!) and go into with an open mind. I have three intentions:

1. Play the game with a positive attitude. I don't want to be looking just for negative things to comment on.
2. Use a different strategy. I played the same way twice and said it was the game's fault for being too long. I know there are ways to improve the game's length by how I play the game, not just by changing the rules to suit me.
3. I'm not really going to take notes. I want to just focus on the game itself rather than writing things down as I go.

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be back tonight after another run at it!

Mo
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