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Subject: Ottoman Empire - School Project (need help with ideas and balancing) rss

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Jonathan Persson
Sweden
Uppsala
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Ottoman Empire
Making a new faction as a project in school. Would appreciate some help with balancing the faction and ideas for the visuals of the mech and character with animal. I will 3D print the wooden tokens, the mechs + character and make the faction mat in cardboard/paper.
Was thinking of submarines with legs/wheels or "semi-tank" looking as mechs. The character could be looking similar to the leaders of Ottoman Empire during WW1 and have a shark, dolphin, snake or my favortie at the moment; crocodile. Not located in Turkey but they once had land into the Egypts where the Nile is located. Or it could have been a gift. A hippo would be cool aswell.

Ottoman Empire

Quick backstory: "The Ottoman Empire have had a hard time during WW1 and before that. They are trying to compete for the factory by settling in a village nearby and hopefully strengthen their empire. With few resources to start with, they seek to find better ground where they can get the resources they need. They have also noticed that the waters are next to unused and tries to take advantage of that."

Starting Location:
Village and Farm top right corner, home base adjacent to them as a normal base

Stats:
Power: 2
Combat cards: 1

Faction Ability:
Travel: Travel on rivers to lakes (max 1 character or mech per turn)
Move from/to lakes to/from villages or forests
(Move from hexes that have rivers on its edge to the next lake connected by the river as one step.
And you can move to one lake to another if they are connected by a river)


Mech Abilities:
BRUTAL: kill workers (both walking into the same space and after won combat)
DEPOLY: character can deploy mechs when using PRODUCE (for free) standing on the factory territory
ASSISTANCE: for every worker following into combat add 1 power for each (workers+dial+cards)
ATTACK: may move +1 space if you engage in combat with that move

Any questions or ideas feel free to comment!
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Robert Marney
United States
Virginia
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Geographically, the Ottomans would start where Crimea does, but the top right corner is pretty much the only unused edge of the board, so too bad. The abilities seem fair as a group - the "sail along rivers" ability is unique, albeit probably better suited as a mech bonus to align with the other factions' movement. Having a mech ability that triggers when you own the Factory is also cool, although specifically calling out mechs seems like a bad combo with certain faction boards.

However, these abilities don't say "Ottomans" to me. They're bloodthirsty, seafaring, rampaging combat mavens, which is about the opposite of the "Sick Man of Europe", and doesn't match up well with the Ottoman self-image as the pinnacle of religious, cultural and military development. There's no decadence, no opulent palaces, no banner of the Prophet. For instance, the Ottomans' large, highly autonomous structure says "Speed +1" more than "Speed +1 only when attacking" to me.

How about this: "When you gain popularity, discard a combat card. If you do, gain 1 extra popularity." This is a powerful ability, but unlike Crimea it doesn't have an off switch and it can't be used to speed up your engine. With this and straight +1 Speed, you could tone down the awesome murder power of +X Power and killing workers (which I assume puts them back on the player board?)
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Jonathan Persson
Sweden
Uppsala
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Hi, thanks for the answer! Was tempted to take up another faction's spot but didn't want to do that. I felt like they could march up there as their chance of gaining more power again. And Russia is just way too big and are in the way..

Having 'Travel' as a mech ability would make it less fun and useful. A worker have to walk 3 hexes to get to a mountain to be able to produce metal and using trade to gain metal feals rally boring and vary on efficiency due to player mats.

I also felt like I could tone down the will to fight but couldn't come up with anything good. Was thinking of adding in to always start with 0 money or something to show their decadence as you said but hard to implememt negative stuff in mech abilities where the change need to be made IMO.

I feel like killing the workers permanently wouldn't be that busted, but would ruin the possibility to gain 6 stars fast for the others by just killing one of each faction's worker. Not sure.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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John Aronis
New Zealand
Christchurch
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Have you done any balancing of testing of it yet? Would be keen to see how it goes before offering too many suggestions. There is so much room for abilities in Scythe.

It looks cool. I like the idea of killing units as that is something that no other faction does. The one downside is that the player being attacked. Also not having a movement ability 'gated' behind a Mech would also be interesting, but may make them too fast especially in the early game.

I would change the name of Attack to Charge!. Maybe Charge! can also be that they win ties if they are attacking.


I would leave the worker ability in combat out as it is done by another faction. Instead maybe have an ability may be a bit more unique:

Naval Support- You gain 1 power or opponent loses 1 power (your choice) if you are in combat adjacent to rivers or lakes.

Maybe if you want to simulate the reverse engineering of the Ottomans, maybe an ability like:

Assimilate Technology- If you are adjacent to a structure, you may use it as if it was your structure on your Hex when doing the relevant action on your board. This cannot double up (i.e. if you are adjacent to a Monument, you get +1 popularity as if you built that structure yourself). Or maybe you receive 2 gold coin and 1 resource of your choice bonus when you build that structure yourself.








 
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Jonathan Persson
Sweden
Uppsala
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I haven't done any playtesting with it.

It takes 4 movement turnes to get to the factory (minimum 7 turnes which I think is the fastest way any faction can except rusviet with 5, some of the others can move 7 aswell with certain boards or just by moving).

Great idea with charge, how did I not think of that.. The attacking player win ties by default actually.

In my opinion Assistance is unique enough and fits the faction and playstyle.

Thanks for sharing your ideas!
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Lee yan
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Hi!
As you are, I had too at one point some ideas for a new faction, and coincidentally it was also some sort of Ottoman derivative. I am not a game designer by any means, just a passionate scythe gamer

While planning a new faction I came up with some observations :

1) The faction name: Every faction should be different in name (empire, union, kingdom, kahanate etc) and does not reflecting any real nation.

2) The faction ability should be something that break some core rule of the game.

3) Movement actions should be very different from the existing ones and +1 speed should be possible only if not connected by land with the factory. If connected it should have not quite an alternative, but a “go-around” method that does not allow a very quick access to the factory.

4) Mech abilities should be divide in two categories: related to movements and related to combat. Every faction should have 1 to 3 movement abilities and 1 or 2 combat abilities.

5) The positioning should be in an area where your most important resources are not readily available. For a new spot the one you found is good, but it still has some problem. Each starting area has nearby 3 tipes of resources, and that point only has food and workers. Unfortunately this is someting related to the map, wich was conceived for the existing faction and not newer one
Nonetheless one mech or faction ability could balance this problem by allowing substitution of food with other resources.

It is a really great thing what you are doing
If it can be of any help I can give you the template of what i came up with (but never played). Feel free to steal anything from it:

Name: The Cappadocian Caliphate

Faction ability: Gain stars by winning defensive battles

Meck abilities:
Faith: Wins every ties (this is kind of switchable with the faction ability, but I prefer this as a mech upgrade)
Fortifications: buildings provide +1 card in combat
Public infrastructure: Can travel between two building
Cultural centers: Allows travel from/to lands immediatly connected to buildings (even if there is a river in between)

Placement: Where you put yours

(Yes, it is a very slow and defensive built, but that’s how I imagine the ottomane empire to be )
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Jonathan Persson
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Uppsala
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Like your faction idea, but my approach to it is that the empire is collapsing (or just losing power) and they need/want to gain more power again and does that by mixing up their tactics and leaving their home.
I wanted a more aggressive faction that also would not end up with 0 power/combat cards by just a few fights, which the workers helps with. It will shake up the usual Scythe factions that are scared to fight and force them to bolster up if they want to have a chance getting to the factory.
Your faction feels like it would end up being boring to play due to no one attacking you and you being forced to leave your strategy to attack. Might work though if you can get into others bases and block them or just stand there being annying, as well as trying to force them to fight you might be quite fun but hard.

It's actually 7 turnes to get to the factory because you can't jump straight to the factory from the lake: "Move from/to lakes to/from villages or forests". And that ends up moving as fast as several other factions. As well as the encounter token is in the lower hex which might be tempting in the beginning to get a mech or something else.

Thanks for the input! Might change the name later on

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Ken Brown
United States
North Carolina
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I want to give it some thought and get back to you, because I think it's a cool idea (I suppose the Ottomans aren't represented in the game because in this semi-fictional world their empire was already dissolved?) but I did want to suggest a camel as the animal. It's very different from the other animals represented and has cultural ties to the Ottomans, who would ride them into battle centuries past, and still are native to parts of the region.
 
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Robert Marney
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I like the idea of starting with $0, but a bunch of power and combat cards - that's a unique combination we haven't seen, and forces you to do some odd nonstandard openings.
 
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John Aronis
New Zealand
Christchurch
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JonathanPersson wrote:
I haven't done any playtesting with it.

It takes 4 movement turnes to get to the factory (minimum 7 turnes which I think is the fastest way any faction can except rusviet with 5, some of the others can move 7 aswell with certain boards or just by moving).

Great idea with charge, how did I not think of that.. The attacking player win ties by default actually.

In my opinion Assistance is unique enough and fits the faction and playstyle.

Thanks for sharing your ideas!


No problem. Thank you for sharing your faction idea. It will will be interesting to see how it develops.

Sorry. I must have been getting it mixed up with another game thinking defender wins ties.
 
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