Recommend
46 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

Tin Goose» Forums » General

Subject: Things I like about Tin Goose rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt Calkins
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As a designer, I like to invent new mechanisms, as much as possible. I do this to minimize overhead and luck. And for realism. Also, I want my game to be different and feel experimental.

Many game mechanisms involve too much chance. (Rolling dice, drawing cards or tiles.) I like hidden information better.

I want as much game (realism, strategy) as possible relative to the rules complexity and the time investment. The game should feel dense with thought and action, not slow with rules checking and delays.

Here's a few things I like about Tin Goose:

CONDITIONS

When you start the game, your airline is immature. You depict this with 5 condition cards face-up in your tableau, alongside your original fleet. You want to get rid of them. When you add a new fleet, you may remove a condition of your choice, so as the business gets bigger, it gets more mature. The conditions are things like "Irregular Safety Procedures" which adds to your risk level, and "Generous Dividends" that forces you to skip your income phase every turn.

THREE ERAS WITH SEPARATE DECKS

Play proceeds through three decks:
Gold (the mid 30's)
Blue (the late 30's)
Red (post-WW2)

In successive decks the planes fly farther and run more efficiently. But also the disasters get worse (crashes, oil shocks, and strikes). By the final turns, the next card could be a plane that can fly to any city on the board, or a triple-price oil event that forces several players into emergency loans.

HOW PLANES MOVE ON THE BOARD

In the first era all planes are small. In the second era we see the first medium planes (like the Boeing Stratoliner). And in the last deck there are a few large planes. Larger planes fly longer routes:

Small planes fly to cities directly connected by a thick black line.
Medium planes can fly to neighboring hexes (the board is divided into large hexes).
Large planes fly to any city on the map.

Large planes arrive late in the game, and they're hotly contested, so you cannot count on them to get you to the opposite coast, or to Rio. There's often a bidding war for medium planes when they first arrive.

NO LUCK

This was the core design challenge of the game: to simulate the uncertainty of business without resorting to luck.

All the randomness occurs before the first turn: demand is allocated on the board and cards are dealt. During the game, players play their cards, but no new cards are drawn. So that massive crash your opponent played on the final turn? He knew it was coming, all game long. And if you were watching closely, you knew it also, based on the high bids he offered on safer aircraft, and the extra loans he took.
49 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That last bit is a big relief. I was worried there would be far too much randomness, but it sounds like those fears are unfounded. Looking forward to this. Thanks for shedding some light on the game, Matt.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
UA Darth
United States
Boca Raton
FL
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Could you explain further how dealing the cards earlier rather than throughout the game reduces luck and makes it no luck? How can it not be very much the luck of the initial draw?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Calkins
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
shadow9d9 wrote:
Could you explain further how dealing the cards earlier rather than throughout the game reduces luck and makes it no luck? How can it not be very much the luck of the initial draw?


If cards are dealt at the start, they are known from the start, and can be planned for, by the card holder and by anyone else observant enough to notice what the cardholder is doing.

In Tin Goose, everyone carries with them a few surprises for other players. Nothing, however, is a surprise to everybody.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
mcalkins wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
Could you explain further how dealing the cards earlier rather than throughout the game reduces luck and makes it no luck? How can it not be very much the luck of the initial draw?


If cards are dealt at the start, they are known from the start, and can be planned for, by the card holder and by anyone else observant enough to notice what the cardholder is doing.

In Tin Goose, everyone carries with them a few surprises for other players. Nothing, however, is a surprise to everybody.


This is something along the lines of saying that Bridge has no randomness after the initial deal.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
UA Darth
United States
Boca Raton
FL
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mcalkins wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
Could you explain further how dealing the cards earlier rather than throughout the game reduces luck and makes it no luck? How can it not be very much the luck of the initial draw?


If cards are dealt at the start, they are known from the start, and can be planned for, by the card holder and by anyone else observant enough to notice what the cardholder is doing.

In Tin Goose, everyone carries with them a few surprises for other players. Nothing, however, is a surprise to everybody.


Since only the card holders know, the rest could at best make a slightly educared guess. Additionally, there is still the luck if the initial draw itself.

To suggest that the game has no randomness though is a far, far cry from reality.

The fact that not every card will be dealt each game only adds to the luck and the ability to guess.

You may have worked to reduce luck somewhat, but it and randomness are still very much there! Let's not kid ourselves!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
UA Darth
United States
Boca Raton
FL
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dkeisen wrote:
mcalkins wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
Could you explain further how dealing the cards earlier rather than throughout the game reduces luck and makes it no luck? How can it not be very much the luck of the initial draw?


If cards are dealt at the start, they are known from the start, and can be planned for, by the card holder and by anyone else observant enough to notice what the cardholder is doing.

In Tin Goose, everyone carries with them a few surprises for other players. Nothing, however, is a surprise to everybody.


This is something along the lines of saying that Bridge has no randomness after the initial deal.


I've never played bridge, but do all cards get used every game? That makes a difference.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
They do. So in that respect, Bridge has less randomness than Tin Goose does.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam P
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
I was wondering about the disasters component of the game.
Quote:
So that massive crash your opponent played on the final turn? He knew it was coming, all game long. And if you were watching closely, you knew it also, based on the high bids he offered on safer aircraft, and the extra loans he took.

Interesting. I wonder how this plays out: what clues are given by other players, and how players can hide their intentions?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Reid
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dkeisen wrote:
They do. So in that respect, Bridge has less randomness than Tin Goose does.


Still, the outcomes of Bridge would be waaay more random if players only drew half of their cards at the start of a hand, and drew more cards as the game went on.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rahn
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
adamredwoods wrote:
I was wondering about the disasters component of the game.
Quote:
So that massive crash your opponent played on the final turn? He knew it was coming, all game long. And if you were watching closely, you knew it also, based on the high bids he offered on safer aircraft, and the extra loans he took.

Interesting. I wonder how this plays out: what clues are given by other players, and how players can hide their intentions?


There are three events/disasters.
Oil price hike
Strike
Disaster

All of these disasters can be planned for to reduce their impact. By taking more fuel efficient planes, picking up labour tokens to help break strikes, or by taking safer aircraft. Some events also have bonuses for the player to best and/or worst manage them. So players taking the above moves will telegraph what type of event cards they hold and are likely planning for.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rahn
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
shadow9d9 wrote:
mcalkins wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
Could you explain further how dealing the cards earlier rather than throughout the game reduces luck and makes it no luck? How can it not be very much the luck of the initial draw?


If cards are dealt at the start, they are known from the start, and can be planned for, by the card holder and by anyone else observant enough to notice what the cardholder is doing.

In Tin Goose, everyone carries with them a few surprises for other players. Nothing, however, is a surprise to everybody.


Since only the card holders know, the rest could at best make a slightly educared guess. Additionally, there is still the luck if the initial draw itself.

To suggest that the game has no randomness though is a far, far cry from reality.

The fact that not every card will be dealt each game only adds to the luck and the ability to guess.

You may have worked to reduce luck somewhat, but it and randomness are still very much there! Let's not kid ourselves!


I think this is mitigated by the fact that there doesn't appear to be a such a thing as a bad hand. All planes go out for auction. So if your opponents have what you need you can still pick it up in the auction. Player's moves should also telegraph what event cards they hold as there are very specific measure you can take to mitigate them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rahn
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Really excited to give this a crack!

I normally prefer open information and deterministic games. There are a few notable exceptions. Games that provide good paths for deduction or bluffing opportunities make hidden information very interesting. Block war games fall into this category and Sekigahara even more so with the additional card activation component. Such a corker of a game! I love how the hidden information (and the randomness of the card draw) meshes with the theme and makes for some very interesting decisions and tense confrontations. Having a quick spin through the rules just now, I'm hoping that this game can transfer some of the best things about Sekigahara to economic/business games (my favourite genre).

I like the way that player's actions can telegraph which events they are preparing to unleash upon other opponent's. I also like that all planes go to auction as well so it looks like it's harder to get a bad hand in this game. My only randomness concern is now the +2 income boost from having a plane in the city listed on a card. Without knowing how these are distributed and which cities are on these cards I'm worried that some of them might just be freebies for certain players falling nicely in betweeen their starting route and the cities with the demand tokens.

On another note, I'm surprised to see that bonds are so benign (unless you are forced to take one by the impacts of an event). I was expecting them to be worth more negative points than they gave you or for them to reduce your income. As I was reading through the rules I was expecting each bond you have to reduce your payout by 1. It would be a neat way on putting a second cap on income. So payout = income - number of bonds. Given their flat end game payoff percentage I assume that having to use an action to pick up a bond is punishing enough as you only get 14 actions a game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First off, the rules look well written. I only had one question after reading them... does everyone pay their labor bid for strikes? It makes sense that they do, but I didn't say where it said it one way or the other.

As far as randomness/telegraphing intentions, I don't see it. So what does me buying safer planes mean? That I'm holding 1 or 2 hazard cards OR that I'm afraid someone else OR that I'm just trying to drive up the price? This seems at least as much a bluffing game as anything else (which makes sense given the designer).

The condition cards seem the most interesting feature and make me definitely want to give it a try. Curious to see what initial impressions are once people get their hands on it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Cotton
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Super excited for this game. Have a couple rules questions and then just general design questions. Again super excited for this game so my questions are just pure curiosity and not intended to question any design decisions.

When placing a plane into a new city do you only lose income equal to the number of other planes in the city if there are no demand tokens in the city? Or does income both go up based on whether there is a demand token and also go down based on other planes in the city?

So only the player placing a plane into the new city lowers his income and not the other players already in the city?

What do you do if you don't have enough cash on hand to pay for an oil shock, airline crash, or labor strike?

What are the labor chips supposed to represent? Higher wages and benefits to your workers? Or just a general goodwill/relationship with your labor force's unions?

Why is the cost of issuing a bond only the action/opportunity cost?

I don't know much about how the early airline industry in America, but based on this game it looks like it was mostly exploiting monopoly power in regional markets until other airlines came in. Is this accurate? Also corporate bond yields were super low and most major airlines got their start as mail carriers?


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Calkins
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
IronChefZod wrote:
Super excited for this game. Have a couple rules questions and then just general design questions. Again super excited for this game so my questions are just pure curiosity and not intended to question any design decisions.

When placing a plane into a new city do you only lose income equal to the number of other planes in the city if there are no demand tokens in the city? Or does income both go up based on whether there is a demand token and also go down based on other planes in the city?


It's one or the other. If the city welcomes you (because you are filling unmet demand) there is no penalty.

Quote:
So only the player placing a plane into the new city lowers his income and not the other players already in the city?


Yes, the newcomer must advertise or drop prices to take part of the market, while the incumbents continue to monetize their local advantage. (In reality there should be some cost to both sides, but mostly to the invader, since the incumbency advantage in airlines has been tremendous.)

Quote:
What do you do if you don't have enough cash on hand to pay for an oil shock, airline crash, or labor strike?


You take an emergency loan, for $20 instead of the usual $40.

Quote:
What are the labor chips supposed to represent? Higher wages and benefits to your workers? Or just a general goodwill/relationship with your labor force's unions?


Goodwill with the workers and unions. Whether in terms of higher wages or greasing the leaders, it was always a cost. Much of success in the modern airline business has come down to suppressing wages (see American Airlines' success in the 70s-80s with "B-scales" -- a 2-tier wage structure).

Quote:
Why is the cost of issuing a bond only the action/opportunity cost?


Actions are precious. So there is a cost. But also I don't want to punish laggards too much. I used to have more of a penalty, and in my tests I found it was too easy for a player to get behind, run cash-lean, and then get repeatedly punished for that. It was a spiral of despair, and I thought that while it was realistic, it wasn't fun. Business is mean-divergent, but games should not be. (Consider Acquire, where there is no mean reversion, and it's very important to be part of the first merger; versus Power Grid, where there is heavy mean reversion, and it makes sense to under-build because the advantages from being behind are better than the money from being ahead.)

Quote:
I don't know much about how the early airline industry in America, but based on this game it looks like it was mostly exploiting monopoly power in regional markets until other airlines came in. Is this accurate? Also corporate bond yields were super low and most major airlines got their start as mail carriers?


Making money in airlines has mostly been about getting to popular places first (and building an unfair advantage there) while keeping wages low, plus weathering shocks of various kinds. Airlines in the US got their start as government-subsidized mail carriers. In fact prior to the DC-3 there was no way to make a profit flying passengers, so you needed the mail contracts. This gave the government undue power over the airlines, which they abused, picking winners and losers in an obviously uncompetitive way. Later, all those who participated in this anticompetitive carve-up were banned from the industry. It was known as the 'spoils conference'.

Bond yields were not super low. That just made a more competitive game.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Cotton
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the answers! It's really interesting to get a little insight into the design/development process. Can't wait to get this to the table.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Matt, did the labor chips ever have alternate uses in your prototypes? Like, for instance, you could spend an action to turn in 1 or 2 labor chips to remove 1 or 2 extensions in your portfolio?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Siggins
England
Bexhill
SUSSEX
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was interested to read the designer's notes for this one.

There is much that I enjoyed but the game does have some problems. Not least the rules which are critically vague in places. For instance, when auctioning a plane, who gets the money? We assumed the bank but it does not say that! And as it draws on Modern Art bidding, who knows?

I think it still does have luck. A lot of it in the card deals. If you are holding strikes, oil or crash you have a big advantage. And the pain of those cards is beyond Feld. I had a spectacular turn early on and gained $58. It had gone almost immediately following three take that cards.

The game is oddly paced and requires very careful attention to cash flow. Oddly, buying planes is not always a good thing.

There is a lot of change making. Poker chips advised.

Even so, a nice design if a little dated and needing another year in development.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.