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LOKA: A Game of Elemental Strategy» Forums » General

Subject: Bishops are too expensive rss

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Adam Frandsen
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So ... why do bishops cost 40 points when playing on the cross-shaped board, but cost only 30 points when playing "Face-off Loka" on the regular chess board? Why should the larger, cross-shaped board make bishops 33% more costly, when none of the other pieces become more valuable? Evidently it isn't the bishop's increased mobility that makes it more valuable on the larger board, because the queen and rook have significantly increased mobility on the larger board as well, yet they still cost the same as their regular-board counterparts. (And the pieces dwarfed by the larger board haven't had their relative costs decreased, either, as in Shuuro.)

Alessio Cavatore gave me a brief answer to this quandary on another website: he said that during the playtesting of Loka on the larger board, bishops were too often "sniping along the diagonals." But bishops are just as capable of doing this on the regular-sized chess board; and aren't queens just as capable of diagonal movement as bishops, on both boards (yet their cost hasn't been increased on the larger board)?

If portals have anything to do with it: aren't bishops equally capable of using portals and other terrain, regardless of which board they're on?

So, 1: Why are bishops the only pieces that have had their cost changed, and 2: Why does this change only exist on the larger board?

This isn't the first time I've asked this, and it probably won't be the last. No one, including the game's aforementioned designer, seems to have a good solid answer to this riddle. You can say that I'm overly concerned with minutiae if you want, but it won't be a very helpful reply. I'd appreciate any ideas on this, particularly from the designer himself or someone with knowledge here (a playtester, friend...). Thank you.
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Corey Squire
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During the Kickstarter campaign I did a whole lot of number crunching on the various pieces. One of the things that interested me most was on how the pieces moved on the bigger board.

As a quick and dirty estimate I defined mobility as the number of squares a piece could reach from the square it was currently on. I was surprised to find that bishops actually had the highest increase in mobility with 133% over the traditional board. Queens increased 130%, rooks increased 129%, but knights only increased 112%.

And I believe that is where the difference lays. On the larger board a bishop is notably more powerful than a knight is, so its cost was increased to account for that difference.

If you are curious to see the number crunch my spreadsheet is here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ccuwTfNKFcuKiXHFSfax...
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Adam Frandsen
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Thanks Corey. I'm still not entirely convinced (it seems like the relative costs between bishops and the other pieces would have been closer to balanced if bishops had cost 3 instead of 4), but the point you make is a solid one.
 
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Dimitrios Giannoulis
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I have come across the same observation as Adam and to me 1% difference in increased mobility just does not justify it.

The way I read Corey's analysis is that Knights are disadvantaged by the bigger board and as a result they should be the ones getting a benefit.
Now how can this be done?
Making them cheaper (i.e. 20 pts) would bring them a lot closer to pawns and that wouldn't be fair, so the only solution would be to make Bishops, Rooks and Queens all more expensive by 10 pts. (or at least both queens and bishops since one can use the argument that due to the shape of the board, rooks can only benefit and move more freely on every part of the board only if they remain in the central square area of it...)


 
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