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Subject: Adding cooperation to board games rss

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Bastiaan Reinink
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Most board games are player-versus-player, and that makes any gains another makes my loss. Most player interactions are therefore "negative": I'm trying to stop you from doing what you want.

There are however games that have positive interactions, in the form of cooperation. In this post I suggest 7 forms of cooperation that can be used in board game design.

http://makethemplay.com/index.php/2017/10/04/7-forms-of-coop...

What kinds of cooperation am I missing? And what types of cooperation are your favorites?
 
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Crazed Survivor
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I didn't see boosting the other player's stat or giving them bonuses, or even taking damage for them or preventing bad things all together, like you would in Sentinels of the Multiverse if you play Legacy, Argent Adept or sometimes Mr. Fixer ?
Also happens in Arkham Horror: The Card Game when you discard a card to give a small boost to your fellow investigator's skillcheck.

There's also simple healing, bad card destruction, or giving something for free altogether, like you would in Aeon's End where you can give the other cards, card draw, life, charges, destroy cards from the top of someone's discard (bad cards usually), or even extra turns.

EDIT: it would appear that you're not looking for co-operative games though, but co-operative interaction in competitive games. In which case my post is out of place.
 
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Russ Williams
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It seems worth noting (if you noted it in the linked article, I didn't see it) that a 2-player competitive game is inherently zero-sum (anything that helps me necessarily hurts my single opponent).

So you're necessarily talking about multiplayer games with more than 2 players. In which case "cooperation" in this "small-scale" sense seems very normal and common in multiplayer games, e.g. stock-holding games where multiple players are invested in a company and want it to succeed, or Carcassonne where multiple players earn points from a completed city, or explicit diplomacy/negotatiation games with alliances, etc etc.

Indeed as I reread your list, it seems to me that most multiplayer games have at least one element from your list of 7 items (trading, moving ahead together (e.g. shared scoring), ganging up to stop someone winning, unintentional help as a side effect etc), don't they? I.e. cooperation has already been "added" to board games.

(And similarly, in multiplayer games the reverse can happen: if I do some bad move which hurts myself, it can also sometimes hurt some other "innocent victim" player, to the benefit of the other remaining players. E.g. an overly aggressive player starts a mutually destructive war with a neighbor, and the remaining players watch in glee. In contrast, in a 2-player game, anything I do which hurts me definitely does not hurt my single opponent.)


PS: your #5 item (semi-coop games with the possibility that "everyone loses") prove problematical in practice for many players. (As you probably know. E.g. see that epic thread Thoughts on semi co-op games. Are they flawed?.)
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Laura Creighton
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Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars seems to have done something different. But I haven't played it yet, just read rules, and this review: https://spacebiff.com/2017/09/02/pericles/amp/ (See the GMT site if you want to read rules as well).

The game has 4 players, and two phases. (There is also a solo mode, but I don't know how that works.) 2 players are Athenians and 2 are Spartans. In the war phase of the game, the Athenians are a team and work against the Spartans. In the politics phase of the game, the Athenian leaders work against each other, and the Spartans work against each other. Since this is a game by Mark Herman, who is also the author of Churchill, I am counting that the political end is every bit as tricky and nasty as the war end. And the thing repeats. After your war phase, it's on to the political phase of your next round ...

I don't know any other games where the cooperation is on-again, off-again like this as part of the game design. I don't know what to call it.
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Matt Lee
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A bit different than Pericles, I've been fascinated by the way Martin Wallace forced cooperation/conflict between players in Struggle of Empires where they bid to choose members of two opposing sides every round.
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marc lecours
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In multiplayer trading games like Bohnanza pairs of players cooperate by making trades to their advantage with respect to others.

The same happens in TransAmerica where two players who start in one end of the country can cooperate on laying track together to their advantage vs the other players.

In both these cases, the key is for a subset of the players to cooperate to the detriment of the others.

When my group plays the early republic scenario of The Republic of Rome, the whole group plays cooperatively to help Rome survive yet it is a cutthroat competition for an individual win. This sort of semi-coop does not work with most groups where one or more player prefers to have Rome fall to barbarians than to lose to another player. But in our group it works. We all make the survival of Rome the first priority and the individual win the second priority. I guess it depends on the group.
 
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Laura Creighton
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So in general gaming somebody wanted 'games about mice and rats' and this new game was recommended:

Rat Trap

which seems another game in the 'we force cooperation' style. Maybe it's a new trend?

FWIT, its on kickstarter now and funded in 26 hours.
 
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Adam Klein

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there's puzzle solving, obstacle overcoming, mounted defense, castle defense. Terrain strategizing. Just create an antagonistic condition and give that condition a 'rule set' to engage with!
 
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