Charles F.
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Berlin
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Let me describe the "game engine" I mean to employ.

My current thinking is that this design ought to:

- be card-driven (i.e. unlike the present COIN games)
- have players exclusively draw from their own decks and there being no common deck (as in PoG & Co)
- those player-specific decks featuring adverse events (shades of TS there)
- have players always?/generally? play two cards upon their turn (LAB suggested this to me)
- might or might not have players take their turns going clockwise around the table (not sure)
- feature sequenced turn-less play

I personally haven't encountered sequenced cardplay without any game-turns in any game. I wonder: Has anyone done this before?

In any case, this is what I mean when speaking of "sequenced cardplay without any game-turns":

- Each player deck is divided into three suits (say A, B, C).
- A player draws a set number of cards at game-start (4 currently strikes me as being best (but that may perhaps vary during the course of the game), Lutherans being the first to start).
- A player has to start his first by playing his strongest suit (alphabetical order as tie-breaker).
- He has to play all of his cards in that suit before being allowed to move on to the next (i.e. AABBBBCCCCACCCAAABBC - note that in this example B got once skipped as the player didn't have any Bs at that stage).
- If a player has played all his cards in one suit, but redraws one or more cards in that very suit, he will have to continue playing that suit.
- "Jokers" may be played at any point, interrupting the standard sequence.
- Once there are no cards left in a player's draw deck and the last card in his hand has been played, the play shuffles his discards and cards newly added to the game together to form a new draw deck.

Why use such a system?

- It aims at avoiding rather tedious admin phases at the start and end of a game turn. The game would amount to one large action phase (with the occasional reshuffle).
- A card's window of opportunity depends on in which sequence it will have to be played. One newly-drawn card might have to be played right upon a player's next turn. Others will only be playable at a later stage, the exact timing being unclear, albeit often the player will have some flexibility in the timing). I contend that in reality leaders have to work with windows of opportunity of different lengths. Some are fleeting and immediate, others will only open up at a later stage etc.
- The restrictions imposed by a suited sequence also aim at a player not burying adverse cards right until the last play before a reshuffle.

Additional card-related parameters I am presently looking at:

- Up to 44 cards per faction deck, for a total of up to 220 cards.
- Each initial faction-deck includes 16 cards (15 suited, one Joker).
- Hand-size typically being 4.
- 2 cards being (typically) played on each given player turn, two cards being then redrawn.

What should be on each card?

Prior consideration: The game needs to be designed in such a manner that reasonably simple non-player bots can be implemented. So I dare say spending command points associated with a given card on an array of different actions (as in "The Napoleonic Wars & Co) would be overly complex.

Each card ought to feature an event, some of these possibly playing out in very different ways (as with some cards in LAB and moreso in the COIN series). Some will invariably trigger depending on the given game-situation. Others will only be playable if certain pre-requisites are met. The same holds for their removal from the game and the addition of new cards for the next reshuffle.

Many cards will be dual-use in nature, i.e. allowing one or more actions next to the event. Others will not. And then there will be event-only cards.

Cards may be removed from the game depending on the game situation.

Well, those are my initial considerations regarding the "game engine". Thoughts?
 
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Tom Swider
United States
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Can you just post to a single thread or a blog? I suspect most readers on bbg don't want to see 30 copies of this after 30 days. Thanks!
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Charles F.
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I take your point and will seek to open not as many threads as I've until now.
 
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