Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Distribution of currency value for Board games rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Evan
Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hello peeps, the title may be incorrect as I'm not sure what word to use. lemme know if you have the word I'm looking for

So I use poker chips to replace the cardboard currency in games and with the many games out there they all have different variety/distribution of their currency values. For example, in Scythe the money distribution is 1s, 3s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s. In other games it's 1s, 2s, 10s etc etc.

I have 4 different poker chips to signify currency. Right now I use them as 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s. My question is... is there a better or preferred distribution of currency value with these 4 different values?

Let me know if I need to clarify further.

P.S. wasn't sure which section of the forum this would go under, feel free to let me know. Also, wasn't sure how to look this question up to find if there was already a post out there. feel free to point me there

Regards,
Evan
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trent Boardgamer
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The preferred distribution depends on the demands of the game. Are you mostly trading in small units or a good mix of units?

Much like real currency, it'll depend on the most frequent transaction amounts. This will also then depend on how much of the various amounts you need.

For instance just because a player on average would collect 10 coins, having 5 and 10 chips isn't that handy if every cost transaction is always going to be 1 unit transactions, as you'll be forced to keep making change.

On the other end, you'll need to ensure you have enough high units to ensure you don't run out of money if people decide to accumulate their money.

So to answer, your current breakdown could be great or so could 1,2,3,5 or 1,5,10,50 simply depending on the games currency requirements.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
It mostly doesn't matter much. Really. The thing is to optimise is your player's handling and processing of the numbers. As such most any system that doesn't have too many denominations and is fairly easy to remember and build values with will work. ie whatever your players find it easy to use and think with. What each game uses in its bits doesn't matter -- you are optimising for a single predictable consistency across games with your players and thus maximising their learning/processing skills.

For the 18xx I use denominations of 1/5/20/100/500, but then those games need to represent values from the single digits up to small thousands and many things are multiples of 20. I use the same chips for smaller games as ~everybody already knows and readily processes those denominations. If I were only going to play games with much smaller value ranges like you describe I might consider a smaller/denser set of denominations (also assuming that your players are not going to __ever__ be playing anything else with a significantly different/larger value range). Maybe 1/3/5/10 if your value ranges are always and only in the 1-50 range.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Hunt
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
There are a couple of rules-of-thumb you could look at.

1) What is the approximate maximum money your game(s) will need.
In 18XX games they need quite a lot. In Scythe, probably less.
Each game will have a slightly different threshold so you may want to do a bit of research with the games you'll commonly use the chips with.

If, on average, you need about $10,000 in currency, you'll want to build your set in such a way as to allow for that much currency. Or you could get a fifth colour and top up the amount with an uncommonly played value that helps the game reach it's currency potential. Like the $10 coins that came with the Scythe expansion, increasing the amount of available cash in the game.

2) You don't necessarily want your players to have to make change too frequently, if making change distracts from the game. Find out what range of denominations are going to be the working-horse amounts - the most frequently used chips, and try to build your set around those denominations.

If your games frequently have gains >5, 5 or 20+ then you can build your set around those denoms. a $1 chip, a $5 chip and a $20 or 25 chip. This reflects common denominations of cash and tournament poker chip sets. Each denomination jump being 5x or 4x the previous denomination, kinda like money.

A pretty flexible breakdown starts with $1, $5, $25, $100. This can get a LOT of money into a game quickly. If your games mostly use increments of $1 and $5, you'll want more of those chips than the $25 and $100 chips. If your game plays with 5 or 6 players, you want a good number of work-horse chips for each player. I'd go with enough for playyers to have 10-20 of the workhorse chips each, so for a 6 player game, you probably want 75 or so of those most common denominations, with fewer of the outlying denoms.

The $3 and $10 coins/bills in many games are somewhat unecessary (unless they are work-horse coins, and you can actually add more flexibility and less change-making by simply removing those coins and adding a similar number of $1, $5 and $20/25 coins, just because the simpler distribution makes for less change making activity mid-game.

If you like those denominations, you don't have to remove them, but sometimes the slightly larger jumps make for simpler record keeping.

I personally like numbered chips without "$" symbols so that they are a bit more universal.

All this is my opinion. Yours may be different, and that's a-ok. ;-)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Hunt
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I'm making some custom poker chips for a Firefly game.

The distro I'm going with is:

75 x 100 = 7,500
75 x 500 = 37,500
25 x 1000 = 25,000
25 x 2000 = 50,000

Makes for 120,000 available currency in the game.
But, common currency amounts for completed missions is between 1-6,000, so these denoms work with the game.

(I think this is a bit more than actually comes in the game, but the number of chips above is built around purchasing them in stacks of 25 - which is common.)

A similar, more generic set for euro-games I'm making has the following denoms:

75 x 1 = 75
75 x 5 = 375
25 x 25 = 625
25 x 100 = 2500

Makes for 3,575 available currency for euro-type games. Think Viticulture.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
The 100-count set listed in my profile works well for most all euro-games. It falls down on things like the Winsomes and similar which need a bit more money. Adding another 50-100 chips would handle those as well.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Evan
Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
awesome replies guys, makes sense! thanks for the feedback!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trevor Taylor
United Kingdom
FARINGDON
Oxfordshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
i can't remember where I saw it before (It might have been a Jamey Stegmaier blog?). But essentially 1,2,5 (10,20,50 etc...) can cover the most values whilst using the least number of coins (Max 3 coins per order of 10).
However, this isn't the only thing to consider. If you are very often paying or receiving 3 coins (in a specific game), then switching the 2 to a 3, or adding a 3 might be preferable. Also, depending on what order of scale of values you are spread among (for each game), you might have a higher volume of specific coins (more 1's compared to 2's/5's/10's etc...).

Probably the best measure for each game, is to have a huge pile of each value, then never put money back in the 'supply bank'. You instead have a game bank. Which is where you put money when spending, only taking from the 'supply bank' when there is no money left in the game bank. At the end of the game you can record how many coins are with players and in the bank for each game to get the best idea of volumes and coins used.
Some of this would depend on player preference (I know some who always just take ones), but you could also script all possible actions in a game and write a program to generate these money movement actions to calculate the best numbers at huge volumes of games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.