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Subject: Thoughts on a "Common Accessory/Pieces System"? rss

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Jim Keener
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Pennsylvania
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I've recently been getting into CheapAss games and like the idea of cheap games and you supplying the pieces. When I got home I started thinking that many of my games have pieces that get reüsed between them (if not near identical pieces, ones that could be replaced like "loot" chips), dice and disks/counters being the biggest culprit.

That got me thinking about what a "Common Accessory System" would be. I figured that it would spec what parts each player would have available at the very least.

I figured that players would be able to buy pre-built sets or use pieces that they already have.

Additionally, I think it would be safe to say that each game would have access to a standard French Deck (Bridge or Poker (minus jokers) Deck).

Per Player (all the same color)
-------------------------------
50 Squares
25 Blocks
30 Discs
15 Cylinders
10 Pawns x2 types
20 Chips x2 types
30 Sticks
1 d4
4 d6
1 d8
1 d10
1 d12
1 d20
1 d%


Optionally there could be "board" specs (100 square or hex tiles black on one side and white on the other), that a game could use, but wouldn't have to.

To be "Common Accessory System"-compatible, a game would not provide nor require any pieces outside of what is in a standard player set. This may require a +1 player set. (For instance, a game like Catan would require an extra player set for the robber piece or simply require a player to use theirs, since pawns aren't used in the rest of the game).

A game would be expected to provide cards and/or a board specific to it.

I couldn't really find if this has been tried before, but my Google-fu sometimes isn't always that good. Any thoughts or comments on the idea? I'm conceiving it in the hopes that it could allow for cheaper games since they wouldn't have to supply many additional pieces.

Feedback and comments welcome!

EDIT: Specifically I'm not sure if my initial counts for parts would be useful for a moderately complex game trying to use this system, if too many of certain parts are present or if each set is cheap enough a game requiring 2 sets per person would be acceptable?

EDIT 2: Removed meeples and just made it a different set of pawns (preferably).

EDIT 3/4: Changed the count of items.

EDIT 5: Modified title
 
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Bernard Donohue
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Makes me think of Stonehenge: An Anthology Board Game
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I'd guess that most of those pieces are going to be wasted for most games, so you'd likely need to reuse the set for quite a few games before it's an actual cost savings. That means you not only need to create and market that many games using the common pieces, you need to convince the customer--before they've bought any of them--that they're going to want to buy enough of them to recoup their investment. Seems like a tall order.

Anyone who's really determined to pick up games on the cheap can already play hundreds card games with a standard card deck for less than the cost of most individual board games. Therefore, everyone who buys boardgames must be willing to pay some extra money for a more specific experience.
 
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Jim Keener
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Antistone wrote:
I'd guess that most of those pieces are going to be wasted for most games, so you'd likely need to reuse the set for quite a few games before it's an actual cost savings.


Obviously I'd like as little waste as possible, but also want to accommodate as many types of games as possible; it would be a balancing act.

Of course you would have to be a few games in for it to matter; however I was hoping it'd be on the order of two to three games (perhaps I'm dreaming here) and I would also think that it may be possible to use the basic pieces and standard boards (e.g. chess or go) to play a variety of games as well.

Also, fine tuning that would be in a player's set would, I'd imagine, take a lot of talking with game designers and more analysis that just what I have on my shelf.

Antistone wrote:
That means you not only need to create and market that many games using the common pieces, you need to convince the customer--before they've bought any of them--that they're going to want to buy enough of them to recoup their investment. Seems like a tall order.


I mean, I'm just tossing the idea out there. I don't have any plans or anything to monetize it. Additionally, I'd imagine needing more buy-in from game designers than the public: the games would need to do that. i.e. "Here is a bunch of games we publish that use these pieces, pick some up and play all our games" or something along those lines. Consumers will buy what they need, especially if the price of the game and player sets aren't outrageous or together outpace a standard game too much.

Antistone wrote:
Anyone who's really determined to pick up games on the cheap can already play hundreds card games with a standard card deck for less than the cost of most individual board games. Therefore, everyone who buys boardgames must be willing to pay some extra money for a more specific experience.


I think you're touching on one of the things I felt this wouldn't be able to displace: the immersion and art in some games. However, I would be aiming this at games that already start with basic pieces (blocks, pawns, &c) and generic VP or loot tokens. The game would still provide cards and a board, so you can get into mechanics and art that is hard to with a standard French deck.

Also, everytime I read or listen to a review of Cheapass Games there's this "warning" about needing your own pieces. If those pieces could be standardized, it might also encourage other game designers to put out lower-cost, but fun games as well. ::shrug::
 
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Jim Keener
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puffinslayer wrote:


That's pretty close to what I'm trying to describe: Here's some pieces, let's use them in creative ways with minimal things needing to be added.

/me may have to pick up a copy of it
 
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James Hutchings
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I think Piecepack is similar to this.
 
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