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Three Kingdoms Redux» Forums » Variants

Subject: Some old State Enhancement card ideas from the co-designers rss

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Keng Leong Yeo
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This afternoon, while taking a break from work, I pulled out an old Three Kingdoms Redux file, containing extra ideas for state enhancements, to reminisce. We thought of these towards the end of game development in 2014, just for fun. Every time I read through them, I get a little excited and wonder how they will turn out in actual play .

Anyway, I cleaned it up a little and sought my Significant Other's blessing to post them to share with the fans of our board game. Some disclaimers:

• None of these ideas have gone through any sort of playtesting, so they may be very unbalanced. We have no intention to playtest them for now, because we are working on another game idea.

• Where there is an X, it means the number has not been decided.

• Most of the Separation deck state enhancement cards lack a pre-requisite.

• All of these state enhancement cards lack a cost.

• Question marks or "OR" are inserted where we have two ideas for the same state enhancement cards and do not know which one may work better.

Without further ado, here are the 43 State Enhancement cards:


Unification 合 Deck

1) Windmill: When your state has 3 or more developed farm tokens on your granary, add 1 developed farm token from the general supply to your granary.

2) Silk Cloth: When your state has 3 or more developed marketplace tokens on your treasury, add 1 developed marketplace token from the general supply to your treasury.

3) Porcelain: The next time you take the develop marketplace action, you develop 2 levels instead. OR
If you did not take the develop marketplace or collect tax action this round, develop 1 marketplace level immediately after constructing this state.
Pre-requisite: Current marketplace level of at most 2 (Ensure does not end game with this card). OR at most 3.

4) Harrow: The next time you take the develop farm action, you develop 2 levels instead. OR
If you did not take the develop farm or harvest action this round, develop 1 farm level immediately after constructing this state.
Pre-requisite: Current farm level of at most 2 (Ensure does not end game with this card). OR at most 3.

5) Civilian Tuntian System: You may exchange 1 army unit for X gold/rice at the end of every round.

6) Buqu 部曲 Mercenaries: After taking trade rice and/or weapons action, you may pay 1 gold to recruit 2 untrained armies.

7) Special tax: You do not need to pay for this round's upkeep (battle and popular support).

8) Shield/Qing Province Army 青州兵/White Earred Army 白眊兵: You immediately receive X gold/rice for every infantry unit you have deployed to a battle location.

9) Tiger and Leopard Cavalry 虎豹騎/Horse Collar: You immediately receive X gold/rice for every cavalry unit you have deployed to a battle location.

10) Strong Crossbow 强弩/Long-eared Bow 弰弓: You immediately receive X gold/rice for every archery unit you have deployed to a battle location.

11) Battleship 鬥艦: You immediately receive X gold/rice for every naval unit you have deployed to a battle location.

12) Battle Array 陣法: When you deploy 2 army units, one of them may be of a different type from that required by the battle location.

13) Volunteer Army: When you station a general at a battle location, you receive 1 untrained army.

14) Supply Depot: At the end of each round, if you have at least X rice in your supply, you receive 1 rice from the general supply.

15) Imperial Mint: At the end of each round, if you have at least X gold in your supply, you receive 1 gold from the general supply.

16) Border Market: When you take the import technology action, you may receive 1 weapon of your choice instead.

17) Trade Route: When another state takes the demand tribute action, you receive 1 gold/rice.

18) Salt Mines: At the end of each round, you may discard 1 unplayed state enhancement card for 2 gold/rice.

19) Poll Tax: When you lose a bid for an action space, you receive X gold/rice from the general supply.

20) Government Workshops: At the end of each round, if you have all weapon types in your supply, you receive 1 weapon of your choice from the general supply.

21) Woodblock Printing: After you take the trade rice and/or weapons action, you may also import technology.

22) Caoyun 漕運 System: When you take the trade rice and/or weapons action, you may buy every 4 rice tokens for 2 gold and/or buy every 3 weapons for 4 gold tokens.


Separation 分 Deck

1) Pu Yuan Dao 蒲元刀 or Sabre: You may take the improve tribal relations action with trained armies, i.e. without weapons.

2) Chinese Steamed Bun 饅頭: You may take the improve tribal relations action with rice. You may also take the improve tribal relations action with a combination of army units and gold/rice.

3) Battle Array of the Eight Diagrams 八卦陣: At the end of the game, you receive 1/2 VPs if you have deployed 4/5 generals. (3 VPs for deploying 6 generals?)
Pre-requisite: Deployed at most 2 generals.

4) Kite/Kong Ming Lantern: You may look at each state's recruited generals immediately after each general recruitment before bidding commences.

5) Barricade 拒马: At the end of the game, one of your battle location tokens may be flipped over to the 1VP side.

6) Imperial Kitchen: At the end of the game, you gain 1 VP for every 10 rice in your supply (maximum 2 VPs).

7) Jewellery: At the end of the game, you gain 1 VP for every 10 gold in your supply (maximum 2 VPs).

8) Imperial Library: At the end of the game, you gain 1 VP for every 3 state enhancements constructed (maximum 2 VPs).
Pre-requisite: No state enhancements constructed.

9) Dasi Ma's 大司馬Office: At the end of the game, you gain 2 VPs for having the most number of trained armies, on hand and deployed to border locations, or 1 VP if you tie for the most number.

10) Stone Sentinel Maze 石兵八陣: One of your border losses counts as a draw.

11) Imperial Guards 羽林軍: When you deploy infantry units, you may place 1 infantry unit (or 1 spear?) from your supply on this card. At the end of the game, each infantry unit (or spear?) on this card is worth 1 VP (maximum 2 VPs).

12) Imperial Garden: At the end of the game, the Han emperor tile is worth 3 VPs for you.
Pre-requisite: Rank of at most Prime Minister.

13) Political Marriage Alliance: Increase your tribal relations level by 2 levels immediately if you did not take the improve tribal relations action this round.
Pre-requisite: Tribal relations level of at most 6.

14) Mausoleum: Turn over up to 2 of your played state enhancement cards. You lose their benefits and VPs. At the end of the game, gain 2 VPs per turned over card.

15) Four Books and Five Classics 四书五经: Increase one of your general's leadership to 2 immediately after you construct this state enhancement. (Place the ? token on the general card to denote the increase.)

16) Sun Zi's Art of War孫子兵法: Add the infantry expertise icon to all of your generals immediately after you construct this state enhancement.

17) Stirrups: Add the cavalry expertise icon to all of your generals immediately after you construct this state enhancement.

18) Archery Range: Add the archery expertise icon to all of your generals immediately after you construct this state enhancement.

19) Naval Base/Covered Swoopers 艨艟/Fast Boat 走舸: Add the naval expertise icon to all of your generals immediately after you construct this state enhancement.

20) Bypass Roads: Once during the game, you may deploy to 2 battle locations along the same border when you win a battle action space with 2 or more generals. (You cannot apply this on your first general deployment)
Pre-requisite: Deployed at most 1 general.

21) Go 圍棋: After you construct this state enhancement, the bidding criteria for the Control Han emperor and Win popular support action spaces remain unchanged for the following round.
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Jean-Yves Moyen
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Thanks for sharing. Some rough comments on some SE that poped up while I was reading this. I understand that this is very rough and untested (hence likely unbalanced) design, my comments are to be taken in the same vein: rough reactions.

Yeoster wrote:

Unification 合 Deck
1) Windmill: When your state has 3 or more developed farm tokens on your granary, add 1 developed farm token from the general supply to your granary.
2) Silk Cloth: When your state has 3 or more developed marketplace tokens on your treasury, add 1 developed marketplace token from the general supply to your treasury.

The "when your state has 3 tokens" is not such a good formulation. Stating it as "pre-req: 3 or more tokens, effect: add one token" would be more in line with the rest (eg, roads).

Quote:
3) Porcelain: The next time you take the develop marketplace action, you develop 2 levels instead. OR
If you did not take the develop marketplace or collect tax action this round, develop 1 marketplace level immediately after constructing this state.
Pre-requisite: Current marketplace level of at most 2 (Ensure does not end game with this card). OR at most 3.
4) Harrow: The next time you take the develop farm action, you develop 2 levels instead. OR
If you did not take the develop farm or harvest action this round, develop 1 farm level immediately after constructing this state.
Pre-requisite: Current farm level of at most 2 (Ensure does not end game with this card). OR at most 3.

"The next time" is imho very bad in this game with no need to remember stuff. Typically you don't want somebody building this at round 1 and only using it at round 5 or 6… The second formulation is way better.

Quote:
7) Special tax: You do not need to pay for this round's upkeep (battle and popular support).

Might be extremely powerful toward game end. Could be moved more in line with Ma Dai power (+1 G/R per battle token, max 3). That would also allow it to be an immediate effect rather than something to remember for the end of round ("immediately gain X G/R for each battle token").

Quote:
8) Shield/Qing Province Army 青州兵/White Earred Army 白眊兵: You immediately receive X gold/rice for every infantry unit you have deployed to a battle location.
9) Tiger and Leopard Cavalry 虎豹騎/Horse Collar: You immediately receive X gold/rice for every cavalry unit you have deployed to a battle location.
10) Strong Crossbow 强弩/Long-eared Bow 弰弓: You immediately receive X gold/rice for every archery unit you have deployed to a battle location.
11) Battleship 鬥艦: You immediately receive X gold/rice for every naval unit you have deployed to a battle location.

Nice ones. Could be "max 4" to keep it in line with the "1 VP per 2 [foo] units stationed, max 2 VPs" that already exist (and also avoid making these of variable power depending on the state, because they don't have access to the same number of location of each type).

Quote:
17) Trade Route: When another state takes the demand tribute action, you receive 1 gold/rice.

Very not in line with the rest of powers in the game. There is basically no effect coming from others (except stealing the action spaces), so that would basically be a new mechanism in the game. Could be nice, but could also need to be more widespread (eg, have generals or other SE that allow you to have a small benefits whenever somebody else does something). That could change the game a lot by forcing players to weight what bonus they'll give to opponents with each of their actions… That could also be tied to the alliance (eg "if you're in the alliance and the other state in the alliance does [foo], then you get [bonus]").

Quote:
19) Poll Tax: When you lose a bid for an action space, you receive X gold/rice from the general supply.

I fell that gaining 2 would already be too much. 2 G/R is "demand tribute" (well, part of it). Turning every lost bid into a "demand tribute" action would be very powerful (and could lead to very aggressive play). Could also be a "once per round" only effect to tame it a bit.

Quote:
Separation 分 Deck
3) Battle Array of the Eight Diagrams 八卦陣: At the end of the game, you receive 1/2 VPs if you have deployed 4/5 generals. (3 VPs for deploying 6 generals?)
Pre-requisite: Deployed at most 2 generals.

I would not go for the 3 VPs for 6 generals. Even if it's hard to accomplish, other military SE are usually maxed at 2 VPs.

Quote:
5) Barricade 拒马: At the end of the game, one of your battle location tokens may be flipped over to the 1VP side.

Might be easier to track if it's an immediate effect ("when built, flip a token"). A bit less powerful, but still cool.

Quote:
8) Imperial Library: At the end of the game, you gain 1 VP for every 3 state enhancements constructed (maximum 2 VPs).
Pre-requisite: No state enhancements constructed.

Too similar with the "2 VPs for most SE" that already exists.

Quote:
10) Stone Sentinel Maze 石兵八陣: One of your border losses counts as a draw.

Interaction with the "one draw counts as victory" need to be clarified. Also, does it still count as victory for the opponent? (probably yes, we can't say that Wu really didn't win at Yiling…)

Quote:
11) Imperial Guards 羽林軍: When you deploy infantry units, you may place 1 infantry unit (or 1 spear?) from your supply on this card. At the end of the game, each infantry unit (or spear?) on this card is worth 1 VP (maximum 2 VPs).

I would say "unit" rather than spear to keep it in line with Huang Zhong power (when stationed, you may add a third archer unit). It's a bit less powerful (don't bring VP every turn) but also cheaper (don't need to upkeep it), so a full unit seems good.

Quote:
13) Political Marriage Alliance: Increase your tribal relations level by 2 levels immediately if you did not take the improve tribal relations action this round.
Pre-requisite: Tribal relations level of at most 6.

Should also, obviously, prevent the TR from decreasing this turn. Interaction with generals that automatically increase TR needs to be clarified.

Quote:
14) Mausoleum: Turn over up to 2 of your played state enhancement cards. You lose their benefits and VPs. At the end of the game, gain 2 VPs per turned over card.

Seems very good since many SE have an immediate effect, thus flipping over 2 "1 VP" SE is an immediate 2 VPs. Well, that means it's basically a 2 VPs SE… Potentially very powerful with the 0 VPs SE (there is at least the one giving you +1 rank, I don't remember if there are others).

Quote:
16) Sun Zi's Art of War孫子兵法: Add the infantry expertise icon to all of your generals immediately after you construct this state enhancement.
17) Stirrups: Add the cavalry expertise icon to all of your generals immediately after you construct this state enhancement.
18) Archery Range: Add the archery expertise icon to all of your generals immediately after you construct this state enhancement.
19) Naval Base/Covered Swoopers 艨艟/Fast Boat 走舸: Add the naval expertise icon to all of your generals immediately after you construct this state enhancement.

To avoid memory, I would do this as a permanent effect ("when you station a general with [foo] units, flip the border location to its 1 VP side". So that they also affect generals recruited after you build them (if they only affect generals recruited at the time of building, it is way to messy to handle).

Quote:
20) Bypass Roads: Once during the game, you may deploy to 2 battle locations along the same border when you win a battle action space with 2 or more generals. (You cannot apply this on your first general deployment)
Pre-requisite: Deployed at most 1 general.

Here also, the "once per game" can be a bit hard to track. It's a shame because this is a very cool power…


I also really like that some of the Separation cards are name after strategies in the RTK… (eight diagram, Stone maze sentinel, Kong Ming lanterns, …) that really gives more fun for those of us who know the books (just like that "ahah" feeling the first time you read Huang Gai or Taishi Ci powers). Would be nice to have more like this ("Empty city strategy", "Borrowing Jing province", …)
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Keng Leong Yeo
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Jym77 wrote:
Thanks for sharing. Some rough comments on some SE that poped up while I was reading this. I understand that this is very rough and untested (hence likely unbalanced) design, my comments are to be taken in the same vein: rough reactions.

...

I also really like that some of the Separation cards are name after strategies in the RTK… (eight diagram, Stone maze sentinel, Kong Ming lanterns, …) that really gives more fun for those of us who know the books (just like that "ahah" feeling the first time you read Huang Gai or Taishi Ci powers). Would be nice to have more like this ("Empty city strategy", "Borrowing Jing province", …)

Thanks for your lengthy and well-considered reply. An interesting read, with some points that both of us had never considered before.

Indeed, it read like a reply from a seasoned player of our game. My interest was piqued sufficiently to take a peek at your profile. Sure enough, you've played our game many times! Thank you for your support! thumbsup
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