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Subject: Mil Milhas - designing a better Mille Bornes. rss

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Andrew J.
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Hi all (the few, the proud, the mille bornes fans),

So, my wife and I love this game. In my Mil Milhas retheme, I've already implemented several variants found in this forum:
- Drawing from the discard pile (great improvement!)
- Double safety cards--when an opponent plays the second, he will take the first from you, and you lose it. We also (tentatively) don't play with coup forre.
- Yellow lights: soften a red light. With a yellow light, you cannot play mileage until green; with a red light, you now cannot play mileage or remedies until green.
- No need to play a green/Go after a remedy (doesn't make thematic sense)
- Speed Limits are separate from other hazards as it's possible to be moving forward with a speed limit in place

It's a fun game, and we've played it some 20-odd times two player, but I'm left wanting just a little bit more. Specifically, the above tweaks make it a mad dash to 1000, where I'd like to maintain a little bit of strategy in the game. Here are some thoughts, I'd love to hear what you think:

1. Add a new set of hazards/remedies: GET LOST
Idea from here. Adding a hazard that can remove mileage from you is brilliant. Given the rules tweaks, I would make it remove 100 from you, and you have to play the remedy (map) to move forward again. The GPS safety works well and is thematic.

2. Add a detour mechanic
There would be three types of detours: bridge out, construction, and road closed. Each would increase in severity: a bridge out would require you to start a separate 'trip' of 50, which must be completed before you can resume your main trip. Construction requires a separate trip of 100, and road closed would require a separate trip of 150 or 200 (haven't decided yet). Distribution of these would be tight (4 bridge out, 3 construction, 2 road closed cards) so not to burden a player too much, and you could only be working on one detour at a time.

A detour trip would play below your main trip, with the detour card on the far left. You would remove the detour and all the mileage cards used on it after you complete it: unlike the main trip, you don't need to complete the mileage exactly to discard the detour.

3. Anti-safeties
Permanent handicaps you would play on another player. There would only be one of each in the game, maybe not any as a permanent handicap is really difficult. The only one I've thought of so far:
- Speeding Ticket: You can play no 200s for the rest of the game.

4. Wild Discard
I saw this on the forums later, but have been kicking around a Glory-to-Rome-like wild card, where you could play two remedies as a wild to heal any hazard. This would keep people from getting stuck.




To balance all the changes, I've also thought about changing the journey to 2000, or maybe a best-of-three, three trips to 1000. My wife and I can get through a 1000-mile trip in about ten minutes, in two-player.

Additionally, I'd like to work on a non-partnership way to increase the player count, but the balance of the game would be thrown off, I feel like, without adding additional cards of all types. Thoughts on that? Reducing the mileage requirement, perhaps?

A
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Andrew J.
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5. Police Chase

When a police cruiser card is played on you, you have two options:

1. Play only 25 mileage cards for three turns. The police car loses interest and leaves the game.
2. Try to make 300 miles in three turns and outrun the police car. If you cannot, you lose 200 miles of progress as a 'fine.'

A police car would be a regular hazard so other hazards could not be played on you while trying to outrun/underrun the police car (red/yellow lights could still be played)

I'm thinking 2 copies of this special hazard, with a safety named 'VIP -- Immune to police chases'

Thoughts?
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Bruce Bacher
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aaj94 wrote:
To balance all the changes, I've also thought about changing the journey to 2000, or maybe a best-of-three, three trips to 1000. My wife and I can get through a 1000-mile trip in about ten minutes, in two-player.


Do you not play with the points rules then? You consider the game over when a player reaches 1000 miles?
 
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Andrew J.
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Yeah, we don't play with the points rule at all, we just race to 1000. I'm aware that points exist, but I think it muddies things to have two vehicles: points and miles -- better to just combine them.

EDIT: I should say I'm willing to work points in, I'm just not convinced they're a great addition to the game (though the bonuses are interesting)
 
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Emilio D
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Harper Woods
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For "get lost" we remove the lowest miles currently played. i.e. if you have a 25 out there, you'd only lose 25. However if your lowest miles is 200... watch out, you will lose the 200. It really makes the 25s important as a protection measure.
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Andrew J.
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Emil1979 wrote:
For "get lost" we remove the lowest miles currently played. i.e. if you have a 25 out there, you'd only lose 25. However if your lowest miles is 200... watch out, you will lose the 200. It really makes the 25s important as a protection measure.


That's a great idea, I love that. Here's some tentative designs for that variant (not happy w/ roadmap at all, but that's the best I have so far)


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Emilio D
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Harper Woods
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I like your designs. They go with the overall look even better than mine. Great work...

I have a suggestion if you re-release your PNP with this and perhaps other cards you are considering like bridge out, etc.

SUGGESTION: Make the small icon and words on the opposite corners. With the current design, when you hold the cards and spread them in a natural/common way, you can't see the icon/reference since only the upper left corner (i.e. the blank white corner) is visible. It's almost like your current cards are designed for left handed. Just a thought.
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Andrew J.
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Thanks for the suggestion. I have a small confession -- I'm a lefty so I guess I subconsciously designed them to work for me I will likely switch them in the final, as well as making the text larger overall :0

Emil1979 wrote:
I like your designs. They go with the overall look even better than mine. Great work...

I have a suggestion if you re-release your PNP with this and perhaps other cards you are considering like bridge out, etc.

SUGGESTION: Make the small icon and words on the opposite corners. With the current design, when you hold the cards and spread them in a natural/common way, you can't see the icon/reference since only the upper left corner (i.e. the blank white corner) is visible. It's almost like your current cards are designed for left handed. Just a thought.
 
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Andrew J.
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Prototype police card -- is it clear what it is? Really wish I could use red and blue here but red/yellow is the theme

 
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Emilio D
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Harper Woods
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Red and yellow work well. Don't forget to change the icon and words from "flat tire". Finally can you make the actual shape more like this (rather than the stars). I think this shape is more recognizable as a police light.

http://www.ocostumes.com/htc/1666171.jpg

ALSO - Maybe 2 red and 1 yellow so that the red is the main color on the card.
 
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Emilio D
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Harper Woods
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For the map... Make the arrows the dark gray color to match the other cards of light green, blue, and grey. I don't think any of the cards have dark green. Just a thought.
 
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Andrew J.
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Emil1979 wrote:
For the map... Make the arrows the dark gray color to match the other cards of light green, blue, and grey. I don't think any of the cards have dark green. Just a thought.


There is some green (look at the wrench, for example, but it's reserved for overlap areas. There's not clear overlap on the arrows. Revised:



I still don't like this, it's not nearly as geometric as most of the other designs...



Cop car round 2. I like this, in colors it matches, but it still feels like a later addition to the original set. I'd like to capture more geometric, abstract idea in here somehow.


A 50-mile detour. Introducing orange/grey as its own distinct color scheme (it doesn't look distinct enough when in red/yellow) but still looks like it belongs to the set? Thoughts? Will also be 2 100 mile detours and 1 200 mile.
 
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Emilio D
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Harper Woods
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I feel like the map looks good now and works well with the theme.

The Cop car looks better with new background shape, but since you want a bit more abstract, what about in the style of "repairs" where there are just 2 big wrenches rather than a mirror image... 2 big lights each facing an opposite direction. Grey border outlining the glass, red "glass/bulb" and yellow can remain the star/flash of the light. They could be a bit overlapped too.

The detour idea is completely new (i.e. it's not just a new hazard, but a new mechanic) so the different color works well. However, I think it may look more interesting to try and draw a stylized bridge, construction barrel, or road closed so that it doesn't look like speed limit.
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