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Subject: Scaling and map configuration based on player count? rss

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The setup portion of the manual only shows a single way to setup the map. It seems like it would make sense for the 3p and 2p configurations to remove 1 and 2 sea and port boards respectively. Is this something that is coming and just not in the manual yet?

The only problem with removing and reconfiguring is the 3p map. Just eyeballing the map boards it looks like removing 1 sea and 1 port board then shifting 1 port board to the place vacated by the missing sea board would result in a wonky map (the shifted port board would look out of place and break the symmetry of the map). This could be fixed by making the 6-sided sea boards true hexagons and adjusting the shape of the port boards accordingly. Is it too late for that to happen at this point?

If the map is always as shown in the manual, wouldn't that be an issue for 3p where the player in the middle is at a disadvantage being squeezed between 2 other players?
 
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Tom Vandeweyer
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MentatYP wrote:
This could be fixed by making the 6-sided sea boards true hexagons and adjusting the shape of the port boards accordingly.
That's what Empires of the Void looks like.

Since the words should all be faced in the same direction (so say the rules) the hexagon idea is not an option. But then the question arises: is that really really important?
 
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Ryan Laukat
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MentatYP wrote:
The setup portion of the manual only shows a single way to setup the map. It seems like it would make sense for the 3p and 2p configurations to remove 1 and 2 sea and port boards respectively. Is this something that is coming and just not in the manual yet?

The only problem with removing and reconfiguring is the 3p map. Just eyeballing the map boards it looks like removing 1 sea and 1 port board then shifting 1 port board to the place vacated by the missing sea board would result in a wonky map (the shifted port board would look out of place and break the symmetry of the map). This could be fixed by making the 6-sided sea boards true hexagons and adjusting the shape of the port boards accordingly. Is it too late for that to happen at this point?

If the map is always as shown in the manual, wouldn't that be an issue for 3p where the player in the middle is at a disadvantage being squeezed between 2 other players?
The map is supposed to be the same size for all player counts. If this were a 4X-style game, I could see that being an issue, but it doesn't affect gameplay here. Players can easily move across the board, especially once they get a crew member that increases their speed.
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mechanicalfish wrote:
MentatYP wrote:
The setup portion of the manual only shows a single way to setup the map. It seems like it would make sense for the 3p and 2p configurations to remove 1 and 2 sea and port boards respectively. Is this something that is coming and just not in the manual yet?

The only problem with removing and reconfiguring is the 3p map. Just eyeballing the map boards it looks like removing 1 sea and 1 port board then shifting 1 port board to the place vacated by the missing sea board would result in a wonky map (the shifted port board would look out of place and break the symmetry of the map). This could be fixed by making the 6-sided sea boards true hexagons and adjusting the shape of the port boards accordingly. Is it too late for that to happen at this point?

If the map is always as shown in the manual, wouldn't that be an issue for 3p where the player in the middle is at a disadvantage being squeezed between 2 other players?
The map is supposed to be the same size for all player counts. If this were a 4X-style game, I could see that being an issue, but it doesn't affect gameplay here. Players can easily move across the board, especially once they get a crew member that increases their speed.
Isn't it 4X-ish though? Not all the Xes are there but there's expansion and exploitation. Thus isn't the middle player at a disadvantage from being furthest away from the "vacant" corner of the map?
 
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Ryan Laukat
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MentatYP wrote:

Isn't it 4X-ish though? Not all the Xes are there but there's expansion and exploitation. Thus isn't the middle player at a disadvantage from being furthest away from the "vacant" corner of the map?
There's a little 4x influence in the design to be sure. But because players don't muster troops from their home port, and because there is no blocking, there aren't the usual map balance issues that a standard 4x usually has. In fact, even with two players, you must use all islands in the game for everything to be balanced.
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mechanicalfish wrote:
MentatYP wrote:

Isn't it 4X-ish though? Not all the Xes are there but there's expansion and exploitation. Thus isn't the middle player at a disadvantage from being furthest away from the "vacant" corner of the map?
There's a little 4x influence in the design to be sure. But because players don't muster troops from their home port, and because there is no blocking, there aren't the usual map balance issues that a standard 4x usually has. In fact, even with two players, you must use all islands in the game for everything to be balanced.
It occurred to me after reading more through the manual that removing sea boards wouldn't work because the island abilities are unique and throwing one out might break the game. That definitely makes sense.

There's no blocking, consolidating territory etc., but controlling an island has definite benefits. Wouldn't it still be unfair for a whole area of islands to be within easy reach of 2 players and not the 3rd player? If all islands are necessary then it stands to reason that one or more might be crucial at certain points of the game. If the other 2 players can reach it before the 3rd player then they could control those crucial islands and extract payment from players who have to visit the islands afterward.

Btw, thanks for engaging the question. Not trying to be obnoxious, just want to learn more about the game and whether it's a good fit for me and my play group.
 
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Annemarie Post
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mechanicalfish wrote:

In fact, even with two players, you must use all islands in the game for everything to be balanced.
I just watched Rahdo's run-through and he has left me wondering about one thing.

As you mention, all islands are necessary for each game for balance. But how about player interaction in a 2-player game? You won't often end up on the same space, having to exhaust one of your crew. And also, I guess there would be less taking over of each others towns compared to a 4-player game. Is this taken into account in some way or do you feel this is not a problem?
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Jared
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If you'd prefer things a little tighter, you could introduce a third "dummy" ship. At the end of a player's turn they can move the ship at a "speed" of 1. This could become a bit tactical but not devastating if you pay attention.

Then again, the map is so big I'm not sure it be much tighter with three players.
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