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Merchants & Marauders» Forums » Variants

Subject: Simultaneous Turn Resolution rss

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The Bill
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I've played this game a lot and just love it.

I'm just wondering whether anyone has ever tried a kind of simultaneous turn resolution variant? The game board has directional names in each sea zone, so theoretically, each player could write down their "orders" on a piece of paper and then everyone reveal them at the same time. What would happen?

I would like to know any of your thoughts on this.

Mostly the one drawback is the downtime in the game and I wonder if this would reduce that or not or make it more thematic. I sold my copy of Pirate's Cove but the one thing I liked about that game was the bluffing aspect and wondering where your opponent might go.
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Michael Scribner
United States
Kansas
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I haven't tried anything like that, but I'm very interested in the concept as you present it. While this game isn't as bad as many others with regards to downtime between turns, it can definitely still be an issue, and many of my friends are showing much more affinity for games with simultaneous turns or more direct interaction during all phases of the game. I'm sure there are some timing issues to be worked out in terms of who has priority in contested situations, port actions, etc, but nothing that couldn't be handled with some playtesting. Please keep us posted on your results.
 
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Laszlo Varga
Hungary
Budapest
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I hope to hear some good ideas on this because while I would like to love the theme and the game itself, the downtime to me kills it unfortunately.
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Kyle
United States
Up Nort' Der
Wisconsin
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I've thought about giving each player a small dry-erase board (like the ones in Wits & Wagers) to write down their intended action and the target.

Players could write things like:
Move NW
Move S
Scout Spanish NPC
Scout Merchant
Scout Red Player
Scout Rumor
Visit Location
Enter Port
Port Action
etc.

Simple enough, but then you need to figure out what to do when players' actions cross paths. You have to have a way to determine which player's action takes priority, and then the system isn't so simple anymore.


Say two players start the turn in the same sea zone:

Example 1) One chooses to move while the second scouts for the first.
If scouting happens first, the player that moved could still move away if the scouting roll fails or if they win/escape from the battle. If movement happens first, the player that wanted to scout will have wasted their action. Prioritizing movement first gives a big advantage to merchants (to the point of making PvP almost impossible), while prioritizing scouting first gives an advantage to pirates, like a super cutthroat variant.

Example 2) Both players scout for the merchant token in the sea zone.
Which gets to do it first? You could have one player get to do the raid while the other gets nothing, you could let both scout simultaneously for "different" merchants represented by that same token, you could work out a way for both to take part in a single raid, or come up with some other option. You can prioritize things based on captain stats or the ships involved (maneuverability?), you could have some revolving "first player" marker that locks in whose action triggers first, or you could do any number of other things.



The real trick with a simultaneous system is to make it work in a way that's "fair", or at least consistent, and without piling multitudes of extra complexity on top of the normal rules. I'd love to see it in action if someone got it to work, but so far I don't think anyone has quite cracked it yet.
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Nick Blank
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Unspecified
Ohio
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You would also need to specify how to handle players with more or fewer than the three standard actions. Would someone with 2 actions skip the last "pulse", or the middle one? If you get an extra action, do you take it at the end after the basic three? Or some other method?
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Dmitry Vensko
Belarus
Minsk
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I did such a variant long ago. It requires to print cards for each sea region (cards provided). Works very simple - you basically choose a card (or two) hidden from others.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/605705/quotdangerous-waters...

That was also my solution for trader vs pirate problem. Pirate player doesn't know for sure where a trader will be sailing to attack him.
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Ozwald W
United States
Virginia
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Like the idea but to avoid the writing down time I suggest getting a set of kloplo (spelling?) Directional dice. The dice are 8 sided and have all the cardinal points. The player would just set the dice up to the desired directon and cover it from the others. (Maybe another use for the treasure chest?) anyway then they would all reveal at the same time. I use the directional dice instead of the wind spinner.
 
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Gabriel Conroy
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It seems to me if reducing down time is the goal then writing down the orders is unnecessary. Players can simply declare what they are going to do, going round the table in turn order. Then if there are any potential interactions or conflicts, the relevant actions can be resolved sequentially; other actions can be resolved simultaneously.
 
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