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Subject: Brainstorming Worker Placement Concept rss

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I was struck by an idea for a twist on the usual competitive worker placement mechanism which I liked.

You have to give away your workers to other players and benefit others to benefit yourself. I don't know if this variation has really been used before as a structure for play. I'm not too sure on a theme but here's what I do have.

For 3-6 players.

You are given a set of five workers represented by cards. Players are then given objective cards that they are unable to complete with their own workers. Instead, they need to rely on other players to complete them.

Each player must give all their workers away to another player to benefit from them. Any original workers left with you count against you as idle workers.

What you can do with workers who you don't immediately give to someone else is put them into specialty training on the training options board. This will allow you to put tokens of a specialty color on the worker card which make them more beneficial to employ.

You want to give your worker to another player's objective at the right time so your worker contributes the greatest share for completing it.

Worker managers earn income and bonuses according to the objective share their workers accomplish. Every opponent objective incomplete loses or gains no income for the objective holder and gains reduced points for the worker manager who assigned workers to the objective.

You want to give all your workers in a round to another player. Seven turns are allowed before each round ends. At the start of each round, players show their objectives and requirements publicly. On each turn, a player may immediately give another player their base/untrained worker or decide to put them in specialty training.

However you prefer to improve your workers, you must place each of them with another player before the end of a round (with seven moves total) or face a penalty for unused/idle workers. Once a round ends, your workers return to you having gained experience tokens based on their talent (a type of objective will give a worker on-the-job experience growth if they arrive unskilled but at a lower rate than actual training) and completion of the objective they were assigned.

Before you begin your next round, you must pay your workers for their efforts with the income you just earned. More experienced/talented workers cost you more in turn. If you can't pay for any of your workers then those will be on strike for the next round unless you increase their pay for the next round to equal the pay they lost. Any striking workers who are unresolved by the end of the proceeding round will count against you

Rounds continue with objectives drawn again by players until someone completes a "project", which is seven of the same catagory of objective completed. Final scores or total 'reputation' are based on net income from workers in each round minus any unresolved strikes, shares of completed objectives, and least-developed workers (benefits come from not making a single worker overpowered but by having a balanced assortment of workers).

I am considering including options for trading workers with other players but not sure. So then it would be you could on a turn.
1 - Give a worker to another player's objective.
2 - Train a worker in a specialty. (Maybe there are a random or small number of specialty training slots drawn for the board).
3 - Trade a worker with a player (?). Only if you both agree to accept the proposed trade. You may never have more than five workers. You also must place this worker on your next turn and it can't be placed with the player you made a trade with.
4 - Pass a turn if you have already placed all your workers.
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Koldfoot wrote:
Temp Agency: The Game.


Exactly what came to mind for me when thinking about whatever theme for it. A friend also called it "Communism: The Game".

I mainly wanted to see what I could do to mitigate worker placement issues with first player getting a bonus in a different way.

Some other feedback I've received is to consider how to prevent a runaway player with an insurmountable lead.

I like the idea that you want to almost complete another player's objective but not finish it.

Example - You have a worker who can offer +2 skilled construction but the objective needs a plus +3 to be done. The other player doesn't get the completion but your worker brings home some money for the work they did.

It might require some degree of hidden information too.
 
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Brendan Riley
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Koldfoot wrote:
Temp Agency: The Game.


Already exists: Worker Placement
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Brendan Riley
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Majorkerina wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
Temp Agency: The Game.


Exactly what came to mind for me when thinking about whatever theme for it. A friend also called it "Communism: The Game".

I mainly wanted to see what I could do to mitigate worker placement issues with first player getting a bonus in a different way.

Some other feedback I've received is to consider how to prevent a runaway player with an insurmountable lead.

I like the idea that you want to almost complete another player's objective but not finish it.

Example - You have a worker who can offer +2 skilled construction but the objective needs a plus +3 to be done. The other player doesn't get the completion but your worker brings home some money for the work they did.

It might require some degree of hidden information too.


What would the thematic driver for this mechanism be? This is something to think carefully about, because the gameplay will make a lot more sense of the players understand why they "want" to place workers with other peoples' objectives, and why the people with those objectives would want your workers.
 
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wombat929 wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
Temp Agency: The Game.


Already exists: Worker Placement


I suspected there had to be a game with the temp agency concept at least. You're right theme will matter a lot. I've waffled back and forth between something science fictional and something related to school clubs.
 
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John Breckenridge
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Sounds like H1B Visas - "The workers here can't do the job, so we have to import them."
 
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I think I figured out a thematic driver even though I may need to tweak the original mechanism now.

Supernatural After-School Club

While it has been some time since I've seen an anime, I wanted to take inspiration from anime for this. It clicked when I thought about five workers and school clubs. In Japanese school clubs you need a minimum of five club members to form a proper club.

It is the beginning of the school year and you have arrived at your new school with your favorite pair of science goggles and an EMF meter in hand. This old school has so many stories of weird goings on that you're sure to run into a ghost, magic-user, or some gross alien in the first week. You're going to start an after-school club to find all these things!

You put up your posters and are about to file your paperwork when you discover others have already had the same idea. You could just join forces but you don't trust this school. The president of one of those clubs could be a brain-melting alien out for your vital liquids. But there can't be more than one Supernatural Club, as decreed by the principal. Only the one which accomplishes the most during the next month will be allowed to remain. You resolve that your club alone must prevail to prove the existence of the supernatural!


So then returning to the mechanism I pondered at the start. Your five club members then are your workers. Everyone draws five random character cards. You then draw one "normal human" attribute card along with four "random attribute" cards. You secretly select one character to be your club founder. This is your 'normal' character. Meanwhile, randomly distribute your random attributes to the rest of the cards. You may wind up with anywhere between four supernatural students to all humans.

Attribute Cards might range from
Normal Human - Base attributes, no modifier or passive abilities.
Quirky Human - Pick one attribute and roll for a random attribute mod (example - Earns double growth when reading).
Magic-User - Can drain or add attributes of another club member.
Time Traveler - Can do twice (time return) or half (time skip) as much on a single turn.
Alien...*Etc*
Supernatural character modifiers would have varying active and passive abilities.

Objective cards
You have a mandatory club objective to keep your club in good standing (clean a local park). An optional prestige objective (put on a scary play for an elementary class). And then a club objective relating to the supernatutal (investigate the old abandoned hospital). You can sacrifice a set number of workers to meet your mandatory objective. Not meeting it means a strike against your club so it takes an extra worker to complete your mandatory objective next time.

Then I have to think about how money will be earned in the game under this theme. I want to keep as many core attributes of the original mechanism as possible.

So turns would still be
1 - Specialty training (read about vampires in the library +1 INT)
2 - Place with a rival club/another player (you can help and/or investigate that club. Then roll an investigation check to look under one random player attribute card).
3 - Idle option, no worker placed (work is added towards your mandatory objective).

Then the striking worker becomes the annoyed club member.

Win conditions then might be
1 - At the end of the probationary club period the club with the most completed mandatory/optional objectives wins. Furthermore, in your investigations, if you collected enough evidence of the paranormal then you can use that to prove to the principal that your club should stay. However, the principal may be a supernatural creature in disguise too and this may be ignored when you present your evidence. There could be an optional objective to investigate the prinicipal's office as well so you know ahead of time. So you might win with deeds as a club but a player can win with most investigations too.

Edit - One key thing I need to keep in mind is to create human attribute sets that would throw off suspicion of the supernatural. Example, the counter of the time traveler card is a workholic (does twice the actions) or a slacker (takes twice the normal moves). It would be like the "something looks paranormal but it has a mundane explanation" idea.

Also another thing I'm pondering is having the back of the card with the character's base stats on display. The only concealed information would be their human or supernatural identity and any special abiltites which result. Concealed vs. revealed info is difficult.
 
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