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Subject: Replace the tile drafting mechanism? rss

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Greg Infi
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I only had a chance to watch youtube videos about this game and it looks very interesting but I really dislike the mechanism of drafting and passing tiles to other players. Would this game work with a variant which has a different system of acquiring tiles? Two ideas I have is a market like in Suburbia or a common pool of tiles from which players pick tiles (this may work well with 2 players but probably not with more because the last person will have the worst selection).
 
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Michela & Dario Basile
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infi01 wrote:
I only had a chance to watch youtube videos about this game and it looks very interesting but I really dislike the mechanism of drafting and passing tiles to other players.


May I ask you why you don't like it? It's the one mechanism that makes interaction between players so interesting in Subdivision.

infi01 wrote:
Would this game work with a variant which has a different system of acquiring tiles? Two ideas I have is a market like in Suburbia


In Subdivision you're not going to get as much money, and the money you get is used to place tiles where you need them, and not where the die wants you to.

infi01 wrote:
or a common pool of tiles from which players pick tiles (this may work well with 2 players but probably not with more because the last person will have the worst selection).


This could work a little better than the market, but would change the game heavily - see my question above.
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Greg Infi
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I can't explain why I dislike drafting but I really do and I try to keep away from games that employ it (such as 7 Wonders which I tried once and said 'never again'). Perhaps it's the feeling of picking leftovers. I'm really not sure exactly what it is. For some psychological reason I just can't stand drafting.

I like everything else about Subdivision but before I buy I'd like to find out if there is any way the drafting could be replaced.

A market variant of course would require a completely different money distribution and most likely a fixed income at the beginning of each round to use for buying the tiles.
 
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Michela & Dario Basile
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I think another reason against the market is the limited variety of tiles, compared to Suburbia and Castles.

This brings me to the central point: the graphic makeup of the Subdivision box, to make it similar to Suburbia, is one of the worst marketing decisions Bezier Games could make. Subdivision has nothing, or nearly nothing, to do with Suburbia, and it's a lot more similar to "pure" tile-laying games such as Carcassonne. Now, in Carcassonne you interact a lot with the other player, because you share the board, while in Subdivision interaction is in drafting.

A market is not a viable solution, in my opinion (see above), so maybe you could use a mechanism similar to that in Abyss: player 1 draws a tile, asks all the other player if they want it, each player (in turn order) can pay 1 buck to the player to buy the tile, if everyone refuses player 1 keeps it (the push-your-luck mechanism of Abyss is out of place here, for the aforementioned lack of variety in tiles), else he draws another tile, but this time the price is 2 bucks - the turn goes on until player 1 places the tile on his board, then it's player 2 turn.

This mechanism completely alters the drafting part, while keeping interaction high and downtime almost null, but I'm no game designer, so maybe you could test it and see if it works.
 
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Greg Infi
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This is a very promising idea! Thank you for sharing it. I will test it when I have a chance to try this game. And it looks like it won't even be necessary to increase the income (to offset the buying mechanism) because the money will simply change hands among players. It really sounds like a well balanced system.
 
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Lucas Hedgren
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Hi Greg, Subdivision designer here.

During prototyping and testing we tried several different methods of getting tiles into players' hands. Drafting ended up being the best, but here is another that might work for you. It is a Take it Easy! style of play, so it will be full "multi-player solitaire." I like that style of game, but just warning those that don't.

1. Give each player 1 full set of 20 tiles, 4 of each type.
2. One person shuffles theirs face down. They will be the "caller." The rest of the players organize their tiles face up.
3. The caller draws 1 tile, and places it aside into a "reserve". All other players take the same type of tile, and put it into their own "reserve".
4. The game starts. Each turn, the caller draws a tile and rolls the die. All other players use the same tile from their stacks. Players have the ability to pay $2 as normal, to change the die face for themselves. They also have a new option. they can pay $2 to swap the tile in hand with their "reserve" tile.
5. Play 16 turns this way. At the game end, 3 tiles will be undrawn, and 1 tile will remain in everyone's "reserve".

Note: it is possible for one player to copy another completely using this method. This rarely happens, and typically quickly diverges. If it's an issue, play hidden, or take turns playing in order. Again, it's rarely an issue.

If you give it a try, let us know what you think!

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Greg Infi
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This s a very interesting version, I will it as well! Do I understand this correctly that the "reserve" size for each player throughout the game is always 1 tile (even if a player pays $2 to swap)? And that the tiles are not divided into stacks / rounds, so Bonus tiles are no longer used?
 
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Lucas Hedgren
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Yes, reserve is always 1.

As for bonuses, yeah, you should check them after each 4 turns, or ignore them. If you want to play with them, the caller can set up stacks of 4 tiles with bonuses on top.
 
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