Chris Palmarozzi
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After lurking for a few months I've been hit by a theme that may be displeasing and problem with elimination in a light war game I've been designing.

First, what are the mechanics for not eliminating or effectively eliminating someone when you've taken over their land and destroyed their army? The only solution I've seen is to give that player a new tribe to play with and it doesn't fit well with what I'm doing. This light war game is played on a group of hex tiles with starting locations on the outer rim tiles. The core game play is centered on area of control which gains you resources based on how big it is. There are very few units on the board at a time. What I'm playing with is a rule where your last soldier can not be eliminated and you receive a minimum number of resources no matter how big your territory. This way you can start to expand again or force nearby players to divert resources. But...I'd like to get any other ideas because I've seen some fabulous thoughts on this forum.

Second, I had an idea of a game where you take the role of a medical company developing drugs, treatments, and cures for various diseases. Certain diseases are more prominent based on random cards/dice to mix up the game. Similar to medical research you receive a patent for X turns that allows you make cash on a monopoly of selling things that others can't. Then it goes to a global pool where everyone would make less money but all have access to greater technologies (IE cure for Palsy leads to cure for Parkinson's). What I am wondering is using real diseases too grim for a board game? If so, would using fake disease names give the game a real enough theme?

Thanks much.
 
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Noel
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Personally, I don't mind player elimination.

As to the theme, look at similarly themed games on the Geek (Pain Doctors immediately comes to mind). Or other controversially themed games, to see what people say about them.
 
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A L D A R O N
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dhaeman wrote:
I had an idea of a game where you take the role of a medical company developing drugs, ... What I am wondering is using real diseases too grim for a board game?

No, but real drug companies would be.
 
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Phil Walker-Harding
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I'd say if the diseases have all been largely cured for a long time, it should be ok. If some are still dangerous today, it could be a bit close to the bone for some I would have thought.
If you did decide to make up names for the diseases, it would make sense to me to make the theme a little more whimsical and have some fun with it.

As for player elimination, this is the age old question I suppose! If you want the game to be more than 2 players, it poses a problem. Another option to the one you suggested is to give the defeated player some sort of new role in the game. They may no longer be a tribe on equal footing with the other players, but they still have something to do on the board. Could be tricky to work this into your existing mechanics though.
 
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Ben .
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For player elimination, Tempus and Antike are two games I have which employ a similar rule (Antike you can't destroy a player's last city, in Tempus, I think they are safe at 3 or below).

To be honest, these rules in themselves don't help a lot. In Tempus, the rule can be abused as you can still be in a powerful (or even game winning!) situation in only 3 hexes - in fact, I think it has been suggested that the rule is ignored because of this reason.
In Antike if you're reduced to one city then you may as well have been eliminated anyhow as the player will have little impact on the rest of the game.

So I think this sort of rule is only useful if (a) it cannot be abused and (b) the player with one unit left feels like they can still have a meaningful (and non-kingmaking) impact on the game.
 
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Matt Davis
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One thought that pops into my head for the disease question is to put some sort of futuristic theme on it - we've cured all our earthly diseases, but now that we're exploring space, we've got new diseases to cope with. It's approximately the "Make up names" solution, but a bit more interesting.
2 
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Stephen Harkleroad
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I don't think anyone will *mind* if you use real diseases, but many people may not want to be reminded of a disease that affected a family member. And if you have a long list of diseases, you'll probably more than likely hit everybody.

It might be more marketable if you use "real" diseases, but put a humorous spin on it. For instance, you could find a cure for hangovers, road rage, allergy to commitment, or beer goggles. It might be tough to arrange a tech-tree style branch, though.
 
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Glenn Martin
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The best idea I've heard of is the idea of "Vassals" used in the game "ViktoryII".
When you conquer another players' capital or home territory, they become your vassal. They can play as normal but may not attack your units (or territories depending on the game). They count as eliminated by you for your game victory conditions. The vassalage can be lifted if you are eliminated or made a vassal yourself OR if the vassal is able to take the capital of another player; making their own vassal. This last could lead to some quick reversals of fortune in a game.
The virtue of this system is that it gives people a hope of recovery so they have a reason to keep playing.
Off topic -the story of how the game was developed which is on the games' website, is a remarkable example of designer discipline. I was impressed with how the designer would abandon cherished mechanisms and concepts if they didn't yield the desired results.

Glenn Martin
 
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Richard Irving
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Quote:
So I think this sort of rule is only useful if (a) it cannot be abused and (b) the player with one unit left feels like they can still have a meaningful (and non-kingmaking) impact on the game.


Aye!! That's the rub! Any time an "effectively eliminated" player is kept in the game, he may be able kingmake the final outcome.

Also the acceptability (or not) of player elimination depends a lot on where & how you do your gaming:
- If you are playing at a large gamegroup (a dozen or more people) or at a convention. Player elimination is not a major problem--you just join another game starting in a few minutes. No big deal.
- If you are playing at home, the eliminated player may have a significant wait until the next player is eliminated. Do you watch TV, play a video game, etc. Do you just go home? Maybe when the second player is out, he doesn't wnat to play the same game as you do.

If at MY home with a few friends, if I am not eliminated, I'd feel as if I am being a poor host if I my guests aren;t being entertained.

 
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Philip Thomas
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In Britannia and its family, each player controls several tribes. Although the Belgae are almost always eliminated in round 2, the Belgae player doesn't mind because he still has the Picts (and other tribes to come). That may well not work so well with your game though.
 
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Chris Palmarozzi
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First, thanks much for the ideas thrown this way. Now on to the rest...

In my game it's difficult to be eliminated mainly because at a certain point it's possible there is just no benefit to the attacker. If you are eliminated it is likely late enough in the game you won't have to wait more than 15 minutes to play again. However, it is easy to be effectively eliminated. I wouldn't quite say such a player has the kingmaking ability because a stronger player can prevent any damage by proper planning. Two things I am trying now (combined and separately) are a minimum resource production based on stage of game and a way to combine two or more players that are well behind everybody else. Those players then count as one and can win together but do have a few restrictions.

As for the medical game, I am now thinking of using very general diseases as tech numbers to represent severity. I agree that using specific names just may hit home for too many people. Using general diseases should still allow players to experience the theme but without the connotations specific diseases may have. Instead of curing palsy as a prereq for curing Parkinson's and so forth, I would just have Neurological Disorders levels 1-9. Then have however many branches & tech levels that are needed to make a fun balanced game. I liked parts of everyone's idea but it just didn't fit with what I wanted. As for the company names, they will either be made up or just br represented by the usual color schemes.
 
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