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Subject: Why is play clockwise? rss

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If this has been discussed before, please post a link here -- way too many posts to search through them all!

I am just curious: why are turns taken in clockwise order, instead of the more typical (where time tracks are concerned) mechanism where the person furthest back on the track goes next?
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Because it's cooperative. Usually that mechanic is reserved for competitive play, and a big part of this game is managing the time you have left as a group.
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doerrhb wrote:
Because it's cooperative. Usually that mechanic is reserved for competitive play, and a big part of this game is managing the time you have left as a group.

I don't see the connection between that mechanic and cooperative vs. competitive play. Either way, the players have to manage their collective time. The last-player-goes-next rule results in game events happening in a more chronological sequence (as much as possible, anyway, when players are doing things that take differing amounts of time). It is a bit more fiddly (you'd have to stack player discs) -- that's the reason I would've guessed, given the weight of the game and the otherwise very streamlined play. For gamers, though, it just seems more logical to use the more "accurate" mechanism.
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Clockwise keeps play moving. It removes a step following each players action; it is efficient. Most games use this for comprehensive reasons.

Try it out the other way and report back.
 
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Squatting Monkey wrote:
Clockwise keeps play moving. It removes a step following each players action; it is efficient. Most games use this for comprehensive reasons.

Try it out the other way and report back.

Yeah, as I said above, I think simplicity was the main reason -- shooting for a lighter family-style game. However, I think most time-track games (e.g., Thebes, Tinners' Trail, Around the World in 80 Days) use the furthest-behind rule.
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doerrhb wrote:
Because it's cooperative. Usually that mechanic is reserved for competitive play


Is it?

Red November uses the time-track catch-up turn order mechanism, it's co-op, and seems to work fine. I'm don't see an argument for why this would be better for competitive rather than co-op play, what would it be?

I'd actually prefer the catch-up mechanism in Andor. With 2 players, especially if we are battling as a group, sometimes it's tricky to remember who initiated combat and who's turn it is next. It'd be easier IMHO to just look at the time track and have whoever is further behind in "time" go next.

It actually affects strategy as well. If I'm going to meet my teammate at an enemy so we can fight a battle together, and I just have to travel but my teammate needs to do some things on the way... I have to break up my journey piece by piece to give them time to meet me before the end of the day (otherwise I'd have to keep passing on my turn while I wait, which would take an hour each time). If there was a catch-up turn order mechanism, I wouldn't have to do that - I just go to my destination, and then they do their thing until they catch up with me both on the time-track and on the board. The way it currently is, it doesn't feel thematic, it feels more "gamey." Doing a time-track catch-up turn order would feel more thematic and would make more sense.
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I agree that the most likely reason would be that the target is families, and everyone is familiar with taking turns clockwise. Using the time track for turn order would have confused some people.

A secondary reason would be to avoid someone not getting to take a turn for quite a while.

[EDIT: After writing the text below, I saw that someone in this thread mentioned Red November, and later I looked at the geeklist mentioned below and found the upcoming Nova Aetas: Dark Renaissance Tactical Game. Red November is mostly-cooperative, and Nova Aetas is cooperative.]

The only other co-op I know that uses a time track for turn order is Exalted: Legacy of the Unconquered Sun[1][2]. In that one, for players to team up in a battle, they must be at the same place *at the same time*, which is thematically correct. Andor breaks that rule in its current form, so would probably break that if it used the time track for turn order as well.

One significant advantage of using the time track for turn order, even for (or especially for) a family-style game, is that you never have to remember whose turn it is. With complicated turns, lots of discussion, or group battles, it can be a bit difficult to remember at times. With the Thebes-style turn order, it is always trivial to know whose turn it is--even if you just got back from a a dinner break, baby changing, or overnight pause because it was bedtime.

[1] Technically Exalted it is not a pure co-op. Players can compete, or have shifting alliances, or cooperate.
[2] Here is my attempt to have a list of all games using this mechanism: Games where the time track determines turn order (so you might get 2 turns in a row)
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snoozefest wrote:
doerrhb wrote:
Because it's cooperative. Usually that mechanic is reserved for competitive play, and a big part of this game is managing the time you have left as a group.

I don't see the connection between that mechanic and cooperative vs. competitive play. Either way, the players have to manage their collective time.


It frees you to make more strategic choices with your time. Your method would force other players to catch up, which in some cases would waste time rather than use it efficiently, especially if you are coordinating complex chains of events, which is a big part of the game. In our games, we would often spend a lot of time with one character because his success or failure dictated what all the other characters would do for that day. If we were all using time evenly, we couldn't do that, and I think the way the missions are written if you don't do that you are going to have a very difficult time, even if it is thematically less accurate.
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doerrhb wrote:
snoozefest wrote:
doerrhb wrote:
Because it's cooperative. Usually that mechanic is reserved for competitive play, and a big part of this game is managing the time you have left as a group.

I don't see the connection between that mechanic and cooperative vs. competitive play. Either way, the players have to manage their collective time.


It frees you to make more strategic choices with your time. Your method would force other players to catch up, which in some cases would waste time rather than use it efficiently, especially if you are coordinating complex chains of events, which is a big part of the game. In our games, we would often spend a lot of time with one character because his success or failure dictated what all the other characters would do for that day. If we were all using time evenly, we couldn't do that, and I think the way the missions are written if you don't do that you are going to have a very difficult time, even if it is thematically less accurate.

They're different, but I don't think you can make an argument that one method is more "strategic" than another! I mean, if you're suggesting planning would be harder with last-goes-first, might that not be the more strategic option?
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Like doerrhb I would just say, it would reduce the strategic options. Influencing turn order is part of the game in Andor. Yes, you can pass on your turn, but by this you have to waste a preciouse hour, obviously a bad thing to do. Also it matters, in which order the party participates in fight. (Normally mage going last is best, since (s)he has more options to turn die rolls then.)

With clockwise turn order you can play this to your favour. Depending on the situation, you can split a 7 hour trip on two, three or even more turns or do it all at once. It's part of the planning. With your suggestion, the game would play out the turn order out for you, no decision to make.
 
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snoozefest wrote:
They're different, but I don't think you can make an argument that one method is more "strategic" than another! I mean, if you're suggesting planning would be harder with last-goes-first, might that not be the more strategic option?


I need the magic stones to kill a monster. I don't have time to get them by myself and if I don't kill the monster we all lose. I'm standing right next to the monster. I'm required to waste time walking around, doing nothing waiting for other players to give me the stones. Great, now I have the stones, but I've wasted so much time doing 'catch up' turns, that I have no time left to actually fight the monster. We lose. Or, I could have used very little time (or even pass) on my turns while others use all their time getting me what I need. Now I have all day to fight the monster, and given the random nature of these encounters often you will need a lot of attempts. Generally it's not a bad mechanism, but all I'm saying is that it wouldn't work in Andor as it is currently designed.
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doerrhb wrote:
snoozefest wrote:
They're different, but I don't think you can make an argument that one method is more "strategic" than another! I mean, if you're suggesting planning would be harder with last-goes-first, might that not be the more strategic option?


I need the magic stones to kill a monster. I don't have time to get them by myself and if I don't kill the monster we all lose. I'm standing right next to the monster. I'm required to waste time walking around, doing nothing waiting for other players to give me the stones. Great, now I have the stones, but I've wasted so much time doing 'catch up' turns, that I have no time left to actually fight the monster. We lose. Or, I could have used very little time (or even pass) on my turns while others use all their time getting me what I need. Now I have all day to fight the monster, and given the random nature of these encounters often you will need a lot of attempts. Generally it's not a bad mechanism, but all I'm saying is that it wouldn't work in Andor as it is currently designed.

Sure, but the opposite can happen, too. I need stuff (the magic stones, equipment, whatever) to kill a monster (or complete a quest, etc.) and I'm near the end of my day. The other players could scatter, grab the necessary things, and get them to me. But after they've taken a turn and acquired some things, it's my turn again; I have to waste time standing around. Then they go again, getting the rest of what's needed and/or moving to my location. As opposed to: I'm near the end of my day. Everyone else takes their turns getting stuff, then meets me so we can fight the big baddie together, at the same (more or less) time.
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snoozefest wrote:
Sure, but the opposite can happen, too.
But then, you simply had not plan ahead enough. Like I wrote before, with clockwise play order, you have the option to influence the turn order regarding the actions, with "who ever is last", you have not.

Why not give the game a couple of games with your house rule, to find how it works out? I'm preaty confident, that the game was playtested a lot, and therefore it probably improve for most people that way, but if it suits you more that way, then play it that way.
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Susumu wrote:
snoozefest wrote:
Sure, but the opposite can happen, too.
But then, you simply had not plan ahead enough. Like I wrote before, with clockwise play order, you have the option to influence the turn order, with "who ever is last", you have not.

Why not give the game a couple of games with your house rule, to find how it works out? I'm preaty confident, that the game was playtested a lot, and therefore it probably improve for most people that way, but if it suits you more that way, then play it that way.

Because I prefer playing the game as it's designed. As I wrote in the original post, I'm "just curious" as to why this choice was made.

But maybe after I've played through all the legends, I might give it a try.
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Interesting discussion with a lot of good points. One thing neglected is how the game works with 5 and 6 players. Premeditated or not by the designer, a clockwise order is all but necessary for how the time track is shared with a group of 5 or 6 as there is no indicator that a player is behind in a day. Thus playing clockwise keeps the turn-order mechanics the same no matter the player count.

Russ
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russ_c wrote:
Interesting discussion with a lot of good points. One thing neglected is how the game works with 5 and 6 players. Premeditated or not by the designer, a clockwise order is all but necessary for how the time track is shared with a group of 5 or 6 as there is no indicator that a player is behind in a day. Thus playing clockwise keeps the turn-order mechanics the same no matter the player count.

Russ

I haven't played the expansions yet ... how does it work?
 
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The colored player discs are not used. Instead everyone shares 4 black discs. A player may move any disc they choose along the time track, but all hours for their turn must be taken with the same black disc. Thus 5-6 players still only have a total of 40hrs and they must be shared however the group sees fit to complete the day.

Russ
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This isn't the sort of question for which the Rules folder is intended. It's basically musing about design choices, not clarifying a rule.
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russ_c wrote:
The colored player discs are not used. Instead everyone shares 4 black discs. A player may move any disc they choose along the time track, but all hours for their turn must be taken with the same black disc. Thus 5-6 players still only have a total of 40hrs and they must be shared however the group sees fit to complete the day.

Russ

Cool, thanks!
 
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Sphere wrote:
This isn't the sort of question for which the Rules folder is intended. It's basically musing musing about design choices, not clarifying a rule.

Yeah, that might be true. I guess "General" is probably a better forum. Maybe some admin type will move it....
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I think the catch up idea does not work when it comes to fighting together. The logic of the catch up mechanism would require that you can only fight together if you are at the same hour, and this would probably be too difficult. Maybe this was why the catch up was not used in the end.
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
I think the catch up idea does not work when it comes to fighting together. The logic of the catch up mechanism would require that you can only fight together if you are at the same hour, and this would probably be too difficult. Maybe this was why the catch up was not used in the end.

No, you could still do it -- there person moving to the same space, further back in time, could still invite the other player (who's there in the "future"). It breaks the time theme, but no more so than the current rules.
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I wouldn't say, any of the two would inevitably break the "time theme", nor make a "time machine" requiring.

All heroes have a working day of 7 hours plus 3 hours over time, but you can see them in a flexible time program. One of them might work 9 to 4, another one take a 3 hours nap after lunch and therefore stay longer in the evening, before "entering sunrise box". Of course it's not necessarily all days the same guy going 9 to 4.
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