Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Hey guys
so ive recently had this one idea that I haven't really tested yet but in theory it should have some interesting decision making

Please refer to the diagram below the text

- The game can be potentially played 2-6 players.
2 players - each player has 2 tracks and two tokens
3-6 players - each player has 1 track and one token
tracks can be arranged in any desired way but circular star formation is recommended

- Instead of a rigid board each player gets their own track (in the example below we are playing a 4 player game so we position the tracks in a cross layout).
- Each track has a space titled Victory meaning that as soon as a player lands on this the game is over and he is the winner.

- each player also gets 7 cards
- 3 of those cards are actions a player can perform.
MOVE - allows you to move your player token along your track one space
BLOCK - allows you to place a block token on one space of any one of your opponents tracks. It should be noted that block token can only be placed in the square directly in front of a player's token
UNBLOCK - allows you to remove all block tokens from a square
- 4 of the other cards represent who your actions apply to. Each color corresponds to each player including yourself (BLUE SELF)

This is how the game is played:
1. Every player secretly picks 2 of their 3 actions and pairs each with one applicant card. For example, as a blue player I will choose MOVE and BLUE SELF to try to move along my track. I will also choose BLOCK and YELLOW to try to block yellows path. Alternatively I could have predicted that someone could potentially block me so I could have chosen UNBLOCK and BLUE SELF but because I already paired up one action with BLUE SELF, I cannot use a MOVE anymore. In that case I would use BLOCK and YELLOW as my second pair.
2. Once every player has chosen their secret pairs they place them somewhere nearby their track face down (dotted card shapes in the diagram for example)
3. Everyone reveals everything at the same time. Then the actions play out. The order of actions is as follows:
- BLOCK actions are played out first (this is where block tokens are placed on players tracks which have been blocked)
- UNBLOCK actions are played second (if someone ends up with multiple blocks on their track but they have unblock action played, all block tokens are removed from their square)
- MOVE is the last action performed. If there are blocks in front of a player which have not been removed the MOVE action cannot be done.
4. Now the round is over. Every player picks their cards back in their hand and repeat the process until player(s) reach Victory sqaure.


What do you guys think?

DIAGRAM
 
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guy
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Analysis
There is a stable loop condition with an even number of players. For example, with 4:
Red blocks blue and moves red every turn.
Blue blocks red and moves blue every turn.
Yellow blocks green and moves yellow every turn.
Green blocks yellow and moves green every turn.

In subsequent moves, everyone has to play unblocks instead of moves, but still no progress, and then the blocks continue next turn ad nauseum. Games with even numbers of players may never end.

What would break the deadlock? Arbitrarily choosing a different person to block. And when humans make 'arbitrary' decisions, it's not pretty.

Consider that with odd numbers of players, this entire game is just a popularity contest: there is no motivation to stop one player over another, so everyone just piles the blocks onto the least liked player and that player can never move. Not too fun for the person being singled out since no strategic decision can account for the plays, just meanness.
 
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John Breckenridge
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I'd say change it so the actions are:

1. Move forward one space if not blocked

2. Switch blocking - if track is not blocked, add a block. If track is blocked, remove it.

3. Move forward two spaces if not blocked

And players have to assign colors to all three of their actions every round, and the actions happen in the order 1, 2, 3.

They only need the cards for the colors, and they play them face down in order, then all players reveal their 1's, then they do the 1's, then they all reveal their 2's, then the 2's happen, then they all reveal their 3's, then the 3's happen.

In step 2, the blocking is sequential, so if red and green both play yellow on step 2, red sets the block for yellow but then green removes it, so yellow remains unblocked.

It comes down to trying to guess if you're going to get blocked before step 3 so you can take the big move or if you have to play the big move on some other player in which case you want someone who will be blocked when step 3 rolls around.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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professorguy wrote:
There is a stable loop condition with an even number of players. For example, with 4:
Red blocks blue and moves red every turn.
Blue blocks red and moves blue every turn.
Yellow blocks green and moves yellow every turn.
Green blocks yellow and moves green every turn.

In subsequent moves, everyone has to play unblocks instead of moves, but still no progress, and then the blocks continue next turn ad nauseum. Games with even numbers of players may never end.

What would break the deadlock? Arbitrarily choosing a different person to block. And when humans make 'arbitrary' decisions, it's not pretty.

Consider that with odd numbers of players, this entire game is just a popularity contest: there is no motivation to stop one player over another, so everyone just piles the blocks onto the least liked player and that player can never move. Not too fun for the person being singled out since no strategic decision can account for the plays, just meanness.



great find
and it can be a loop not just in even number of players.. come to think of it, there can be this type of loop even with odd number of players as long as each player performs the same action towards the next player... this is really breaking my brain haha i feel like it is solvable but can't really think of a good idea for now.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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jbrecken wrote:
I'd say change it so the actions are:

1. Move forward one space if not blocked

2. Switch blocking - if track is not blocked, add a block. If track is blocked, remove it.

3. Move forward two spaces if not blocked

And players have to assign colors to all three of their actions every round, and the actions happen in the order 1, 2, 3.

They only need the cards for the colors, and they play them face down in order, then all players reveal their 1's, then they do the 1's, then they all reveal their 2's, then the 2's happen, then they all reveal their 3's, then the 3's happen.

In step 2, the blocking is sequential, so if red and green both play yellow on step 2, red sets the block for yellow but then green removes it, so yellow remains unblocked.

It comes down to trying to guess if you're going to get blocked before step 3 so you can take the big move or if you have to play the big move on some other player in which case you want someone who will be blocked when step 3 rolls around.


this is interesting
specifically i like the idea of BLOCK being changed to BLOCK/UNBLOCK. So its almost like math where 2 negatives make a positive and the BLOCKS cancel each other out. But i was thinking what if every player had one MOVE card and 2 BLOCK/UNBLOCK cards and they can only play 2 of them just like in the original design.

It feels like that idea can actually solve the loop. While it is possible to run into an initial loop where everyone is blocked as seen below

p1 moves, blocks p2
p2 moves, blocks p3
p3 moves, blocks p4
p4 moves, blocks p1

The next round because the blocks are still present on the tracker and everyone performs same actions (for example unblock seld block the next player) it will not result in a loop anymore.


Am i imagining this correctly? Or did i miss something?
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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actually what if i did this

change the cards and make it just 4 cards each having a color (including your own) and a block
Now for the rules we would change a few things
1. Even number of blocks on a space cancel each other out
2. There is no longer MOVE card. Player tokens automatically move as long as there are no blocks in front of them.

So the game becomes solely about blocking and unblocking. So if player 1 and player 2 both block player 3, the two blocks get cancelled out but if player 3 got paranoid and put a block on himself in hopes of cancelling a potential block he now has 3 blocks on his tracker meaning 2 of them will cancel out while the 3rd wont ultimately player 3 blocking himself
 
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Jay Sears
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I cant help thinking this would become boring after a while. You need to think of adding in more mechanics. Its not really a puzzle picking up a card that tells you what to do. Damn I know that sounds negative, here's some positive...

How about you think of cards that can provide options also and some strategic thinking.

- Action cards (move & block)
- Strategy/option cards (move an opponent back 1 space or move your piece one space forward)

Try and create some strategy type cards so it makes the game more interesting. I'd also suggest considering using colour in the game so that you need that particular colour to make the action, or have some cards that have a colour dot on them to match what you have so that only the player with that colour can carry out the action (these can be special action cards). Perhaps consider offering an auction to exchange cards.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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Vancouver
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JayProducer wrote:
I cant help thinking this would become boring after a while. You need to think of adding in more mechanics. Its not really a puzzle picking up a card that tells you what to do. Damn I know that sounds negative, here's some positive...

How about you think of cards that can provide options also and some strategic thinking.

- Action cards (move & block)
- Strategy/option cards (move an opponent back 1 space or move your piece one space forward)

Try and create some strategy type cards so it makes the game more interesting. I'd also suggest considering using colour in the game so that you need that particular colour to make the action, or have some cards that have a colour dot on them to match what you have so that only the player with that colour can carry out the action (these can be special action cards). Perhaps consider offering an auction to exchange cards.



so i play tested this game with around 4 different groups over the weekend.
I made it so that everyone has 5 cards in their hand (for a 4 player game). 1 color card for each player including yourself plus one dummy card that performs no action (this one was added to make sure a one on one play would be possible)

i had good reaction to how fast and somewhat mindless this game was. I think it was mostly because the other 4 games we playtested that night were all a lot more complex and required a lot more dedication from players. So this one served as a nice break.

When people asked me what the theme of this game would be, it hit me. This game seemed ridiculous in its mechanic so I decided to make it into something funny/bad taste with some innuendos and maybe even more suggestive. So i told them this game is called CockBlock where the player tokens are literally roosters and the Victory square is a coop with hens.

I want to explore this idea further and switch the tracks so that the victory is a single square in the middle that everyone is racing towards. The tracks will then become the runways to the coop that you would typically see on the farms.
More importantly I kind of want to try to push this concept further and create an actual card game out of it with card drawing mechanic.
I started having all these pervy/suggestive card names for the action cards that could have funny illustrations on them

Block a Cock
obviously the main card that is present in current simplistic design. I would make various illustrations of roosters being smashed into other big farm animals, getting stuck in the fences, getting squished by Sacks of potatoes etc.

Morning Wood (maybe too openly suggestive but maybe this game is just asking to be ranchy and dirty)
this card makes a player stay on their square even if there is no block in front of them. The illustration would show a rooster laying down with a huge piece of log on his legs.

Quickie
this action would be a risk taker favourite. Allows you to move yourself or any other player 2 spaces foward but if there is a block placed in front the player gets knocked back one space instead. The illustration would feature a rooster speeding towards some type of obvious obstruction that looks too large to overcome

and so on..

i may get pretty bad backlash here due to the nature of this theme but I thought it would be fun to design something weird and a bit more silly in an adult way
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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It's gonna be hard to pitch that to Asmodee.
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