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Subject: How best to implement secret army composition? rss

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Leon Kerkhoff
Colombia
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Hi,
I'm working on a card battle game.
The base unit cards are divided into 4 tiers.
I want the players to be able to compose a custom garrison.

For instance, each player may start with 3 tier1 units, 2 tier2 units and 1 tier3 unit (amounting to a total of 10 tierpoints). Alternatively, each player may spend 10 tierpoints in total without restrictions. Additionally, during a defensive play a player may spend 2 tierpoints to reinforce their garrison.

If this were an app, it would be easy to control, but as the design is for a tabletop game I am struggling to find a solution for this mechanic. How do I make it so that there is a check on how many tierpoints are spent? The only way I can come up with is having the army resource pile divided into 4 piles of different tier, which would take up a lot of space.

Any help here would be appreciated,
cheers
 
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Michael Brettell
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I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.
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Four stacks of cards doesn't take up very much space...what am I missing?
 
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Leon Kerkhoff
Colombia
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brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.
 
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Leon Kerkhoff
Colombia
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HaNd_SoLo wrote:
Four stacks of cards doesn't take up very much space...what am I missing?


During a previous test, admittedly on a somewhat small table, the game occupied a lot of space. Backthen, the army resource was just 1 pile.

I would not want the army resource pile divided into 4 to take up additional space. I would sooner settle for having garrison composition in plain sight. But I would rather find an elegant solution.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
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Leon Feargus wrote:
brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.


I dont think this is possible. In other words this design would fall into players faith category where gameplay largely depends on peoples' honesty. If you dont like that I would recommend rethinking your design and replacing the tier mechanic with another limiting rule. For example the amount of cards one can hold.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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Leon Feargus wrote:
brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.


also just wondering, why can a player not exceed the tier amount? What is the thought behind this mechanic?
 
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Tonichi Sanvictores
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3CreativeMinds wrote:
Leon Feargus wrote:
brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.


also just wondering, why can a player not exceed the tier amount? What is the thought behind this mechanic?


I would imagine that it would be a balancing factor, similar to how other games deal with units from different factions having varied powers.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Most games where you can secretly customize your assets (e.g. customizable card games like Magic: The Gathering) rely on the honor system for players following the limitations of customization, plus maybe an audit system where your opponent can check after the game if they suspect you cheated.

If you want a way for the opponent to verify in advance that the 5 cards sitting in front of you have a combined sum of 10 or less (without revealing anything about any individual card), you're probably going to need a referee (trusted third party).

If you were willing to reveal how many of each tier you have, you might be able to do a thing where you reveal just a small part of each card (containing the tier information), then mix them up again before you assign them to their positions.
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Dimitri Sirenko
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CryWolf wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
Leon Feargus wrote:
brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.


also just wondering, why can a player not exceed the tier amount? What is the thought behind this mechanic?


I would imagine that it would be a balancing factor, similar to how other games deal with units from different factions having varied powers.


yeah but there must be another issue here. What i think the issue is, is that the designer does not want too much luck to affect the deck of a particular player. This is why I think redesigning this game a bit would go a long way. There are many different ways you can try to fix this, but one that stands out to me at the moment is making the units more balanced between each other. Change tiers into classification: ranged units, melee units, machinery, berserk/rambo, special ops/assassin etc. and make all of them have a strong point and a weak point. Then you dont have to worry about tiers and maybe just limit players hand to 10 units and let the players strategy evolve. I mean there is obviously still going to be luck factor but even with tier system there is a luck factor when purchasing units i assume so yeah. I still belive that its not possible to make such a rule in this game that can get rid of 'honor' factor without changing the design.

 
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Scott Wheelock
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After players pick their units, could you give each player 10 'currency,' and have them pay for units as they are revealed? If a unit can't be paid for, it is removed (and the player given a stern look).
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Mike Jones
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3CreativeMinds wrote:
Leon Feargus wrote:
brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.


I dont think this is possible. In other words this design would fall into players faith category where gameplay largely depends on peoples' honesty. If you dont like that I would recommend rethinking your design and replacing the tier mechanic with another limiting rule. For example the amount of cards one can hold.


There are many games that have limits to what can be in constructed decks. None of them have automated checks for cheating.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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Vancouver
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Guantanamo wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
Leon Feargus wrote:
brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.


I dont think this is possible. In other words this design would fall into players faith category where gameplay largely depends on peoples' honesty. If you dont like that I would recommend rethinking your design and replacing the tier mechanic with another limiting rule. For example the amount of cards one can hold.


There are many games that have limits to what can be in constructed decks. None of them have automated checks for cheating.


well isnt that the case because they use honor system? i thought the OP does not want honor system
 
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Leon Kerkhoff
Colombia
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Antistone wrote:
Most games where you can secretly customize your assets (e.g. customizable card games like Magic: The Gathering) rely on the honor system for players following the limitations of customization, plus maybe an audit system where your opponent can check after the game if they suspect you cheated.

If you want a way for the opponent to verify in advance that the 5 cards sitting in front of you have a combined sum of 10 or less (without revealing anything about any individual card), you're probably going to need a referee (trusted third party).

If you were willing to reveal how many of each tier you have, you might be able to do a thing where you reveal just a small part of each card (containing the tier information), then mix them up again before you assign them to their positions.

Honor system -> Audit sytem, noted.
Referee, won't do that.
Partial revelation, I'll think about that.

swheelock wrote:
After players pick their units, could you give each player 10 'currency,' and have them pay for units as they are revealed? If a unit can't be paid for, it is removed (and the player given a stern look).

This is an elegant solution but it will require extra components, which I am not willing to add for this sole purpose.

3CreativeMinds wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:


I dont think this is possible. In other words this design would fall into players faith category where gameplay largely depends on peoples' honesty. If you dont like that I would recommend rethinking your design and replacing the tier mechanic with another limiting rule. For example the amount of cards one can hold.


There are many games that have limits to what can be in constructed decks. None of them have automated checks for cheating.


well isnt that the case because they use honor system? i thought the OP does not want honor system

3CreativeMinds wrote:
CryWolf wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
Leon Feargus wrote:
brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.


also just wondering, why can a player not exceed the tier amount? What is the thought behind this mechanic?


I would imagine that it would be a balancing factor, similar to how other games deal with units from different factions having varied powers.


yeah but there must be another issue here. What i think the issue is, is that the designer does not want too much luck to affect the deck of a particular player. This is why I think redesigning this game a bit would go a long way. There are many different ways you can try to fix this, but one that stands out to me at the moment is making the units more balanced between each other. Change tiers into classification: ranged units, melee units, machinery, berserk/rambo, special ops/assassin etc. and make all of them have a strong point and a weak point. Then you dont have to worry about tiers and maybe just limit players hand to 10 units and let the players strategy evolve. I mean there is obviously still going to be luck factor but even with tier system there is a luck factor when purchasing units i assume so yeah. I still belive that its not possible to make such a rule in this game that can get rid of 'honor' factor without changing the design.

The important thing is that each player has the same amount of points to spend at game-start (and during defensive play).
I would like to find a way for players to check if this amount is not exceeded.
Honor system seems the most obvious choice then.

The tier mechanic is linked to an upgrade mechanic, which is one of the main features and I don't want to dismiss it.
The upgrades are executed in seperate categories: Ranged, Infantry, Clergy and Cavalry.

Anyway, thanks everyone for thinking with me. I am new to this community and amazed by the amount of helpfulness.
If any other ideas come up, I'll be glad to hear about them.


 
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Christoph Boguschewski
Germany
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swheelock wrote:
After players pick their units, could you give each player 10 'currency,' and have them pay for units as they are revealed? If a unit can't be paid for, it is removed (and the player given a stern look).

Leon Feargus wrote:
This is an elegant solution but it will require extra components, which I am not willing to add for this sole purpose.


I don't know how many cards your game has in total, but you could either utilize the cards not in use during current play (i.e. just have a stack of ten face down cards next to the play-area per player and discard an appropriate amount every time a card is revealed) or make an extra twenty cards with "tier-points" printed on them.

That being said, this is basically nothing but an easy way to keep track of the number of tier points being used. You would achieve the same result by just counting the points of units on the field (and the discarded ones, assuming that's what happens to dead units).
And if a player spent to many points he loses the game. If the unit is just removed it seems like a too lenient punishment. Having to many units on the board still gives you an advantage (diverting opponents movements and stuff like that).
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Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
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Leon Feargus wrote:
Antistone wrote:
Most games where you can secretly customize your assets (e.g. customizable card games like Magic: The Gathering) rely on the honor system for players following the limitations of customization, plus maybe an audit system where your opponent can check after the game if they suspect you cheated.

If you want a way for the opponent to verify in advance that the 5 cards sitting in front of you have a combined sum of 10 or less (without revealing anything about any individual card), you're probably going to need a referee (trusted third party).

If you were willing to reveal how many of each tier you have, you might be able to do a thing where you reveal just a small part of each card (containing the tier information), then mix them up again before you assign them to their positions.

Honor system -> Audit sytem, noted.
Referee, won't do that.
Partial revelation, I'll think about that.

swheelock wrote:
After players pick their units, could you give each player 10 'currency,' and have them pay for units as they are revealed? If a unit can't be paid for, it is removed (and the player given a stern look).

This is an elegant solution but it will require extra components, which I am not willing to add for this sole purpose.

3CreativeMinds wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:


I dont think this is possible. In other words this design would fall into players faith category where gameplay largely depends on peoples' honesty. If you dont like that I would recommend rethinking your design and replacing the tier mechanic with another limiting rule. For example the amount of cards one can hold.


There are many games that have limits to what can be in constructed decks. None of them have automated checks for cheating.


well isnt that the case because they use honor system? i thought the OP does not want honor system

3CreativeMinds wrote:
CryWolf wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
Leon Feargus wrote:
brettellmd wrote:
I'm sure I'm missing something, but why not just have the tier cost written on the cards? Adding to 10 doesn't seem too arduous.


The tier is written on the frontside of the card. The backsides of the army cards should be identical. Other players can attack your closed cards without knowing which tier it is.

So, as you 'purchase' cards the other players should have a means to check if you don't exceed the amount of tierpoints but they should not see exactly which cards you are purchasing.


also just wondering, why can a player not exceed the tier amount? What is the thought behind this mechanic?


I would imagine that it would be a balancing factor, similar to how other games deal with units from different factions having varied powers.


yeah but there must be another issue here. What i think the issue is, is that the designer does not want too much luck to affect the deck of a particular player. This is why I think redesigning this game a bit would go a long way. There are many different ways you can try to fix this, but one that stands out to me at the moment is making the units more balanced between each other. Change tiers into classification: ranged units, melee units, machinery, berserk/rambo, special ops/assassin etc. and make all of them have a strong point and a weak point. Then you dont have to worry about tiers and maybe just limit players hand to 10 units and let the players strategy evolve. I mean there is obviously still going to be luck factor but even with tier system there is a luck factor when purchasing units i assume so yeah. I still belive that its not possible to make such a rule in this game that can get rid of 'honor' factor without changing the design.

The important thing is that each player has the same amount of points to spend at game-start (and during defensive play).
I would like to find a way for players to check if this amount is not exceeded.
Honor system seems the most obvious choice then.

The tier mechanic is linked to an upgrade mechanic, which is one of the main features and I don't want to dismiss it.
The upgrades are executed in seperate categories: Ranged, Infantry, Clergy and Cavalry.

Anyway, thanks everyone for thinking with me. I am new to this community and amazed by the amount of helpfulness.
If any other ideas come up, I'll be glad to hear about them.




so what if instead of limiting which units a player can have in their hand, you limit which units a player can play. In this way, you can have crazy tiers in your hand but maybe you can only play 1 tier 1, 1 tier 2, and 1 tier 3 on your turn. So essentially people can stock up on high tiers all they want but it will only allow them to play one of them at a time
 
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