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Subject: Boat use, Map overhaul, game speed up ideas rss

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Cory Williamson
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It's funny that there is user design activity here on the geek to speed up this fantastic game. Our game group wanted to make it go faster as well.

We also thought that the operations phase was tedious and could be helped along to run more smoothly.

First:
MWChapel really hit on something by off loading the city chit counting onto a separate portion of the map. However I don't want to make a new map, even though it can be hard to read. And I also feel that it's rather nice looking. So, I think individual, titled city tiles would be a nice compromise. That way you could just bring out the ones you need, and they can be placed next to the actual map city for easy reference.

Second:
Although 'hull' counting can be hard to remember, we didn't think that was the major bottle neck. We felt that the operations phase of shipped goods counting, counting, and recounting was the dragging issue. Especially when someone screwed up and needed to take back the move.

What we thought would be neat is a simple, easy to read cost to deliver a good. Unfortunately, that would be rather hard to come by because of the myriad of shipping options.

So I propose this.


It would replace the wooden boat markers and offer unique colors for complete shipping companies. It's little board that shows the number of of cities that can be reached by that company starting with that boat. So, in the example above, 3 cities are available with that boat. 1 city is available in the next region of that shipping company, and 5 are reachable two regions away. The top example shows that it could just be a simple place to write down the number with a erasable pen. The lower one shows how it might be accomplished with little 5mm or 9mm dice. To keep it tidy there could be a little slot cut in the board to hold the dice. Or you could use numbered chits... anyway

The idea is to quicky give you an estimate of a players shipping range and how much much it might cost. If so desired, a 'hull' clock could be integrated on the left side.

Granted, it doesn't cover all the bases, for instance it does not differentiate between city size or more than 6 cites or lines longer than 5... (You could swap the number of cities with the actual number of goods slots. i.e. let's say the city in the second region was a size three city so the number shown would be a three instead of a 1.) but i think it might help.

Questions? Comments?
 
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Darrell Hanning
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Cory, I had come to the same conclusion as you, about the cities. So, while I was also making a map, I had decided to make the city displays individual tiles, which can then be placed only as needed, and on the edge of the board closest to the actual city.

Your idea of listing cities reachable is helpful, but I'm going to see through on incorporating counting boxes in each sea area, to indicate how much hull capacity is remaining, instead. I think it's easy enough to determine what cities are reachable, just by looking, and so maintaining something for that shouldn't, IMO, save any time. I'm more concerned with the time-consuming arrangement for payment of transportation, and accounting for hull capacity already used.
 
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Cory Williamson
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Quote:
I'm more concerned with the time-consuming arrangement for payment of transportation, and accounting for hull capacity already used.


This is the same goal I am after as well, but I don't want to plop down a chit or two or three or ... on every boat or mapspace or whatever.

A simple example scenario I was envisioning would go something like this:


__________________________________
player a: has 4 rubber to ship

player b: has a shipping line that has
a boat available for that 4 rubber (i.e. a boat in the same ocean zone)

3.|.1..|.5
5.|.10.|.15 hull: 4


the 3 closest cities are full.
__________________________________

a: looks at the boat board and calculates
shipping costs:
10 x 1
&
15 x 3
= 55
or
shipping profit:
(30 - 10) x 1
&
(30 - 15) x 3
= 65

b: receives 55
a: receives 65
and rubber is placed in the next three closest cites.


done. next player. that's it. fin. the end.

Granted, this is a very simple example, but this is how I was planning on using the 'boat boards'. I think it would be a further time saver when there are competing shipping lines. You obviously want to minimize shipping costs. So I felt that it would be a simple task to compare the two companies to make the best deal without counting it out over and over.

Anyway, we are going to try it out, and it looks like the erasable board concept is the way to go. I'll finish and post some PDFs so others may try it out as well.

On another note, I'll also make and post some nice city boards that continue the theme of the map.

Comments?

cheers,
koryo

*needed some brackets in my calculations.
 
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Cory Williamson
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current color iteration



bumped it to six regions, and I think it would be best to track the number of reachable city goods slots.

Questions? Comments?
 
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Cory Williamson
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onward,

So to keep track of goods in cities, I propose "City Sticks". What are they? Well, they are little colored boards that you can stack goods on.

Why would this be any better than just ploping 'em down on the map? Because that's messy!

Seriously, they are narrow so you can point them at a city and fit them next to each other right on the map. They have nice color coded aeras to place goods. But most importantly, they raise the goods chits off the map so you can easily grab them. See figure a. below.


fig a.


Anyway, let me know what you think.
 
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Cory Williamson
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...and a jpg preview of the "City Sticks".




cheers.
 
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Cory Williamson
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This is the operations example setup in the rule book using the 'Boat Boards' and 'City Sticks'.

Notice that each boat is marked, using a dry erase pen, with the number of cites that can be reached by that shipping line when you start at that boat. The second space shows the number of cities that can be reached by using two boats and so fourth. The number below the indicated number of cities shows how much it will cost to reach said city or cities. So you should be able to quickly multiply and arrive at your shipping costs.

The goods that were shipped are placed upside-down on the City Stick to indicate further goods openings.

Happy shipping.
 
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Alexander B.
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Love this game; love your ideas; love your implementation; also, unfortunately, I love the mess!

I like fiddly games, and I like placing chits in organic ways that make the map look a bit more "alive". So, I really like the game the way it is personally...

...and, yes, I'm weird

Nice work in any case!
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