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Subject: Options in Worker Placement? How few is too few? rss

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Iffix Y Santaph
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Do you think it's possible to have too few options for worker placement in a game of this nature? What is a reasonable amount?

I am working on a worker placement game with dice rolling. There are only 6 cards with 2 places per card. These places are tied to 4 values of dice (D6 with values 3-6; 1 & 2 are other [less than desirable] effects.) I believe the game plays well, but I worry that the options are so few that replayability isn't there. I could increase my options by swapping to an 8 sided die, and adding another few cards.
 
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Laura Creighton
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Usually the problem you run into isn't 'replayability' but 'people who get to choose late will find all the good choices already taken'. Too much of this, and they will decide that your game is not fun to play. Too much of this combined with dice rolling, and they will decide that it is all a matter of luck -- getting the good dice rolls -- and why bother playing?

Recall that many people dislike Stone Age for this reason, and in Stone Age a reasonable amount of care is taken so that there is nearly always some good thing left over for you to do -- even if it isn't as good as what you wanted to do. If your game performs worse than Stone Age by this standard, my bet is that you have a problem.
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A. B. West
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Interesting question! I looked at BGG and filtered by the mechanic Worker Placement. I can't find any that have less than 5 or so - at least, of the ones I can recall.

Of course, asking how many is probably the wrong question. It isn't a matter of count but of interesting decision space. I can easily imagine a game with many spots that all work the same - not interesting.

I'd suggest you go look at the listing yourself. Maybe it'll give you some range of decision space - or at the very least, more ideas!
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Iffix Y Santaph
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Worker placement in competitive situations isn't something I'm worried about since this game is Solitaire only.
 
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Mike Jones
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The Gallerist effectively has 4 places with two choices.

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Laura Creighton
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XendoBreckett wrote:
Worker placement in competitive situations isn't something I'm worried about since this game is Solitaire only.


Oooops, didn't understand that. Sorry!
 
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Iffix Y Santaph
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That was my bad. I should have specified.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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"Worker placement" usually refers to action drafting. "Drafting" is not a concept that normally applies to solitaire games.

What do you mean by "worker placement?"
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Iffix Y Santaph
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Good question.
There are actually a number of games that do Solitaire worker placement. (I'm not going to speak of them at this juncture, but you can browse for them.) In this case your workers need to be placed in certain positions in specific order by a specific time frame. (Some games go into VP for high scores at this point.)
In my game, you have workers searching to find specific items in a cave, and assembling them to create an transdimensional portal machine that will help them escape the monsters in the cave. A combination of wrong placing at the wrong time, combined with dice rolling, means your workers may be eaten by said monsters, so they have to hurry.
 
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Adam Tucker
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XendoBreckett wrote:
There are actually a number of games that do Solitaire worker placement. (I'm not going to speak of them at this juncture, but you can browse for them.)
In the few I've looked at, including yours, it doesn't seem like Worker Placement, but action selection with two sets of limitations, one hard (number of times an action may be selected - though this may be modified/overridden by other game effects) and one random (actions limited based on die faces).
Note that Kingsburg has these limitations also, but then actually has action drafting on top of/in addition to these game mechanisms.
The only solo game I've seen so far that actually uses something that would likely be better described as worker placement is Maquis, where the game blocks off (drafts) actions in between player actions (there are a couple of other nasty wrinkles in that game to how the action drafting works).

XendoBreckett wrote:
Do you think it's possible to have too few options for worker placement in a game of this nature? What is a reasonable amount?
It is possible to have "too few" options for your action selection game, or a worker placement game with similar action restrictions. However, there are more variables, and possibly some interactions that have not yet been presented in order to make an accurate assessment of "a reasonable amount".

How many dice does the player roll on any given turn?

XendoBreckett wrote:
In this case your workers need to be placed in certain positions in specific order by a specific time frame. (Some games go into VP for high scores at this point.)
What do you mean by "certain positions"? Are these the action spaces you were referring to earlier? Or do those action spaces only allow you to put dice into these other "certain positions"?
Are those dice "locked" into those "certain positions" or do you need to be able to place those dice in those "certain positions" all on one turn? If they are "locked" into those positions, do players get to roll other/more dice, or do the "locked" dice count against the amount the player would normally roll?
 
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