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The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire» Forums » Variants

Subject: The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire Expansion Ideas! rss

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Luke Laurie
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I've started this thread to create a place for fans of Energy Empire to post their ideas for possible expansion(s). The designers have some things that wound up on the cutting room floor that might come back to the game in a number of ways, but we're also interested in hearing what you would like to see!

Would you like oil prices to rise and fall?

Do you think their should be more chances to "stab" opponents? Using other people's buildings, like the espionage in the first Manhattan Project? More Cold War-themed elements?

Should we do more with the concepts of Energy and the Environment?

Would you like to see more or different structure cards? Global Impact Cards? Achievements? If so, what would you like them to do?

Should there be other kinds of tokens that might go on player's environment boards? Bombs that leave craters that can be removed? Tokens that actually make environmental spaces better or provide some kind of benefit?
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chris saman
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Yes to all of it! Seriously though, I am anticipating loving this game. And although I haven't played yet, when reading the rules I was surprised to see that the workers looked different but didn't have a specific function like the scientists, engineers and labourers in the Manhattan Project.
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Eric Jome
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More direct interaction between players would be a great option. Nothing like air strikes or espionage; a more favorable for representing global trade. When you get science I get steel, for example
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Michael Denman
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No stabby stuff! I HATED that in Manhattan Project and that's a big reason that game totally failed in my group. If your expansion has that as a modular expansion and I can still add all of the other bits, well then fine. I won't use it, but it doesn't ruin the expansion then.

Eric's global trade is along the same idea as what I was thinking. Consider the pacts in Through the Ages. Two players can set them up so that they both benefit. In THAT game, there are good reasons why you might break a pact. I'm not sure how that concept might come about here, but I'm sure it's doable.
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Justin Baumgartner
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It'll take me some time to really come up with expansion ideas, but I'd love having double the global impact cards. To me those are what really make each play different.

I'd particularly like ways for the game to punish people who build only one structure type or reward people for building all three.
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Max Jamelli
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I agree I'd love interaction - but I'll also second no air strikes. I've played tmp a couple dozen times and have never used it.

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Joshua Hoffman
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sigtaulefty wrote:
I agree I'd love interaction - but I'll also second no air strikes. I've played tmp a couple dozen times and have never used it.



I didn't enjoy the air strikes too much either. It always felt a little odd. If I'm a nation and someone airstrikes me then it's full war time. I'm going to send in my troops, tanks and ships, not just my puny little airplanes!


Just an idea on how to increase player interaction without attacking other players directly. How about voting on UN policies? Maybe have it where a player can activate their country card and have an option of moving up the UN track or try to enact a new policy. Then players vote on this new policy. Some policy ideas include Oil Tariffs (buying oil cost $1 more), Worker Education (costs $1 less to hire a new worker from main board), Yucca Storage Facility (radioactive contamination requires one less clean up action) and etc.

This way players can vote and try to persuade each other to pass policies. Will this help my opponent? If I help him out, will he help me out with the policies I want?

I can also see this helping with the runaway leader problem if there is one. If his strategy is buying oil, voting for that oil tariff might slow him down a little.

Not only that, but it gives country powers meaning even if the players advanced all the way to the end of the UN track. Right now the country powers are useless at mid to near parts of the game

As to how to deliver this policies, I'm just going to throw some ideas out there. Maybe do it similar to the achievements. Pick three randomly and put them face up on the board. The player can spend a worker and some cash to shuffle the policies on the main board. There can be some new Global Impact cards that can also get rid of policies and maybe even put some new ones into play.

What do you guys think?

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Marc Hertogh
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Oil fluctuations - Based on some sort of bidding or supply demand mechanic

No direct stabbing, perhaps (like oil I mentioned above) you can manipulate the playing field to better suit your strengths, but the lack of direct stabbing is one of the reasons I like the game.

Yes more environment / energy interactions

No opinion yet on cards (have not played enough)

No opinion on tokens.
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Jason Preder
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I may not be in the majority, but I love backstabby stuff and rather enjoyed the airstrikes.

That being said, possibly a modularized expansion would be best, as to not anger those who don't like it.

Depending on how big you would go, how about a whole board extension with a whole stack of cards dedicated to military?

It wouldn't even have to be for directly attacking other players, but it could be.

Just wanted to let you know that there are still some out there that love direct conflict.

That being said, EE is just an amazing game, and I think it will get a ton of playing time here.
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Dave Armstrong
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Yes to a slightly more dynamic oil price.

No for me on the stab others idea. Area control or games with contested assets seems more fitting for conflict than an engine builder.

I think the cards changing should be attached to a specific expansion and reflect that thematically with new opportunities to generate points and expand new engine types.

Tokens and board expansions might be fun if tied to the theme of the expansion.

In the case of cold fusion, my understanding is that it won't be as efficient up front so you have the ability to invest heavily in something that requires far less later. Sort of an end game gamble where you sink tons into investing in that track but timing it's payout is the key.

I was also thinking that global condition 'achievements' could work where like in Murano, you need to create a cross player set of conditions to activate it. EG: if you are the only player to do X...

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Max Jamelli
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Here's how I viewed air strikes ... If I'm playing a 2P game, I can maybe sorta see how they can be useful.

In a 3P game though - player A attacked player B ...player C truly benefits since he didn't have to use a worker to do it, and one of his opponents did - and he hurt his other opponent. That never made sense to me.

I liked espionage though - although I wonder how that would work in EE -- I LOVE the mechanic where you place a worker and may only activate buildings of that color in your player area. I wouldn't mess with that.

Expansion ideas that I don't think screw with the fun of the base game, but add something ...

oil markets fluctuating I like - you can have a token sized thing that covers the current market price.

- other Global events:
...adjust trade values -- possibly including oil for trade
...most polluted environment gets 2 free cleans .. everyone else gets 2 free resources of their choice
...trade in resources for VP to a max of 5


Just off the top of my head
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Jason Brown
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I'd like to see some more global impacts, maybe natural disasters.

How about a UN intervention where everyone above a certain level on the UN track pays money to the supply or gives it to the player with the lowest point total?

New power plants would be interesting as well. How about a natural gas plant that doesn't pollute when you role, but instead places a permananet token that covers multiple spots or eliminates a column bonus in your environment?

A landfill token could also permanently cover a spot to pay income when you generate.

You could also strike deals with other nations to take their pollution in exchange for resources.

A Superfund site could make an environmental spot worth more points or clean up surrounding tiles when placed.

I'll add my $.02 and say I'd prefer to keep military conflict out. I'm not against it per se, but it doesn't fit with this game.
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Jay Caracappa
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Too soon!

I am just diving into this and discovering the balance, I can't even begin to decide what should be added or tweaked in an expansion.

I plan on keeping a close eye here because, even though I have no good ideas as yet, I do look forward to seeing what else may be thought up for possible expansions.

One thing that I see suggested here that I would like to voice my opinion against is adding "offense" to this game. No direct negative player actions should be added. This is the difference (for me) that sets Energy Empire that little step above standard Manhattan Project.
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Bill Buchanan
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I shouldn't really be commenting on this yet, as I have yet to play the game ... but what the heck ...

- Something that develops the UN portion of the game a bit more. Like a little side board placed below the UN track that lets players select a small bonus action from a number of listed bonus actions when they advance on the track, or something to that effect.

Maybe each action gets stronger after each use (marked by energy paid by the last player to use spot to denote this), but are highly specialized so that even a stronger action might not be good for you. So that those behind on the track get a stronger bonus to make for how hard it might be to catch up to the UN leader?

- I'd like to see more ways to get pollution on your board from outside the timer track. To increase the amount of pollution in a given game without necessarily speeding up the game itself.

- Cards that add double pollution when bought, or that add pollution to your board when you generate power as part of its effect.

- More Global Impact Cards for sure, this would greatly increase replayability!

-

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Bill Buchanan
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LL Games wrote:

Should there be other kinds of tokens that might go on player's environment boards? Bombs that leave craters that can be removed? Tokens that actually make environmental spaces better or provide some kind of benefit?


I actually think these kind of things (ie. different things that effect environment boards for good and bad) would be really cool. Please do stuff like this if you can!
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Chris Smith
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On the Air Strikes thing - I don't like them happening, but I enjoy the threat of them (Kinda like how in Scythe the combat is more a 'threat of' rather than a big problem). I like espionage though =P.

If such things were added, I'd love a 'AI' variant that had some simple logic to build non-player nations up on attacks, so you need to defend against them, and possible attack them occasionally to keep them building up too much.

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Dan Green
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Love this thread - and I'm excited that we're already looking at ideas to spice the base game up!

My field is in scientific research, so it struck me that, while science is obviously a component of the game (literally), the game doesn't do any true simulation of the process of soliciting, funding, or realizing scientific progress through research, and I think it could be a really fascinating expansion module to explore. Similar to Concordia's Salsa, this may be an excellent way to introduce unique player bonuses that require players to put resources into their development.

In my head, I envision cards representing scientific research projects that can stem from climate research, to unique sources of energy, to technology of various kinds. Perhaps Exploratory Research can be done as a board action by spending some money to filter through options in the deck?

When players get the cards, they could play them with workers/energy and further use of coins (grants cost a lot of money!), but they would take multiple activations to reach the result you are looking for. Early activations could award Science or other goods, possibly UN track gain (good will for research), but a final (likely 2nd or 3rd) activation would grant you a unique ability, such as reduced cost/higher sale price for oil, reduced cost for UN track gain, a unique energy die, resistance to pollution, etc.

Physically this could be done in a few ways - Tarot sized cards that can fit multiple activation spots, or cubes and a small track on the card to represent progress in scientific research (I like the theme in that too!).

This module would also allow addition of new buildings and achievements related to the research process.

Lots of good ideas in this thread - can't wait to see what comes out of it!
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Justin Baumgartner
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I think if you were to go with players taking actions that negatively affect other players you should do it the way Nations does it with wars: make them an event that if all players don't react to (I.E. building military units) they lose resources/victory points. This abstraction that hits all players unless they do something sub-par is a lot less mean and prevents one of my least favorite characteristics of games:

Inexperienced players doing things they don't understand that negatively affects exactly one other player. As I wrote in my review, Energy Empire has the makings of a great competitive game. To allow people to arbitrarily take another player out of the game through repeated sabotage hurts that I think.
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Bill Buchanan
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Micanthropyre wrote:
I think if you were to go with players taking actions that negatively affect other players you should do it the way Nations does it with wars: make them an event that if all players don't react to (I.E. building military units) they lose resources/victory points. This abstraction that hits all players unless they do something sub-par is a lot less mean and prevents one of my least favorite characteristics of games:

Inexperienced players doing things they don't understand that negatively affects exactly one other player. As I wrote in my review, Energy Empire has the makings of a great competitive game. To allow people to arbitrarily take another player out of the game through repeated sabotage hurts that I think.


This is a really good suggestion. Some element like that, in whatever form it took, would fit nicely in this game I think.
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Jay Caracappa
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Day2Dan wrote:
Love this thread - and I'm excited that we're already looking at ideas to spice the base game up!

My field is in scientific research, so it struck me that, while science is obviously a component of the game (literally), the game doesn't do any true simulation of the process of soliciting, funding, or realizing scientific progress through research, and I think it could be a really fascinating expansion module to explore. Similar to Concordia's Salsa, this may be an excellent way to introduce unique player bonuses that require players to put resources into their development.

In my head, I envision cards representing scientific research projects that can stem from climate research, to unique sources of energy, to technology of various kinds. Perhaps Exploratory Research can be done as a board action by spending some money to filter through options in the deck?

When players get the cards, they could play them with workers/energy and further use of coins (grants cost a lot of money!), but they would take multiple activations to reach the result you are looking for. Early activations could award Science or other goods, possibly UN track gain (good will for research), but a final (likely 2nd or 3rd) activation would grant you a unique ability, such as reduced cost/higher sale price for oil, reduced cost for UN track gain, a unique energy die, resistance to pollution, etc.

Physically this could be done in a few ways - Tarot sized cards that can fit multiple activation spots, or cubes and a small track on the card to represent progress in scientific research (I like the theme in that too!).

This module would also allow addition of new buildings and achievements related to the research process.

Lots of good ideas in this thread - can't wait to see what comes out of it!


Yes, a long term research goal for something greater powered for the nation...

New energy, futuristic/experimental technology, something unique to each nation for them to shoot for with resources that would tilt things in their favor.
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Big Head Zach
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JpC812 wrote:
Yes, a long term research goal for something greater powered for the nation...

New energy, futuristic/experimental technology, something unique to each nation for them to shoot for with resources that would tilt things in their favor.


Similar to the Great Projects in 7 Wonders: Babel. A thing that pays out a bonus (proportionally) if enough people contribute towards it, with a penalty to non-contributors if it fails.
 
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Sean Geraghty
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Climate Change Track
The track increases during the Global Impact Phase. Add every piece of pollution (nuclear only counts as one) in the scored environment segment (either air, land or water), divide by the number of players and round up. This is how much the Climate Change Track increases.
If the Climate Change Track reaches 10, Game Over - Everybody Lose!
When you perform a cleanup action, you can choose to lower the Climate Change Track instead. If you do, you gain VPs on a sliding scale depending on how close to 10 the track is.
1 - 1 VP
2 - 1 VP
3 - 1 VP
4 - 1 VP
5 - 2 VP
6 - 2 VP
7 - 2 VP
8 - 3 VP
9 - 3 VP
10 - Game Over - Everybody Lose
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LL Games wrote:
Would you like oil prices to rise and fall?


Yes. Ways to manipulate the oil prices up and down would increase player interaction.

LL Games wrote:
Using other people's buildings, like the espionage in the first Manhattan Project?


Maybe something in between spies and contractors. You could add special workers (spies/contractors) of a neutral colour. Players may have some at the beginning of the game and/or get them during the game. They could be placed on the other player structures to activate them, with or without extra energy (to be defined). When a player generates, he keeps all the spies/contractors on his structures, to be used in his next turns.
 
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Jonathan George

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great idea... When i get my group together ill try and play test this
 
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Sean T
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After doing a couple of run throughs (and looking forward to a full game this weekend), I think one area for expansion would be a more interactive Global Impact Experience.

What if there was some kind of track or ability to "work" on some aspect of Global Impacts? People could take advantage of them, maybe bend them to their will, or get points for stopping or slowing them down?

I like the idea of Oil Price Changes and think these two things would increase interactivity and strategy without too much more complexity.

Maybe they could align with both the UN track, the Oil Pricing, and some kind of alliance system, where players are creating fluid, and advantageous alliances during the game? That's just taking it a step further. Who's building lots of buildings creating lots of pollution (industrialization) vs. Military powers (who take advantage of Military Global Impacts - which means we would need more), vs. Advanced Societies purely focused on peace and clean energy.
 
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