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Subject: Common threat in Competetive games (speciifc game mechanic) rss

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Rando Thomas
Germany
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Im looking for comeptiitive games, where at some point(s) in the game(either randomly timed or by a countdown) all player facing a common threat. So all have to contribute ressources/time to eleminate this threat or otherwise all or some player will suffer.
Keep in mind, that this common threat should not end the game.

I just interested in how different games implemented this mechanic.
Can you give me some names and maybe you want to share, if and why you like the mechanic in this game.

Thank you in advance.
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Per Glöde
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BGG calls this "semi co-op" games. There is a 343 pages thread on the subject, who wins when the game wins? The rules as written often says "noone", but competitive players feel as if it is an all-shared draw.
A new mass-market game is A Game of Thrones: Catan – Brotherhood of the Watch with a winner even if the Wildlings overtake the players. But the overtake-winner is not the standard Catan winner (with the most of the Catan stuff), it is the player who manned the wall against the Wildlings, against overwhelming odds.
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Adrian Walker
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Two obvious ones that spring to my mind.

1. Legendary and Legendary Encounters, most notably in one of the optional games in Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game where you can play as predators fighting humans. This works through a score system based on your kill trophies through the game. The original games do this too but with an everyone loses mechanic if the main bad guy isn't defeated. Castle Panic and its rethemes have this as an optional end game as well, but I prefer the Predator mechanic as described.
2. Fallen Angel has two different collections which can score points based on whether you let the asteroid crash or not. It's not quite an everyone working together as the game is still considered ok if the asteroid crashes, but thematically it fits.
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Russ Williams
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Shrpy wrote:
Im looking for comeptiitive games, where at some point(s) in the game(either randomly timed or by a countdown) all player facing a common threat. So all have to contribute ressources/time to eleminate this threat or otherwise all or some player will suffer.
Keep in mind, that this common threat should not end the game.

I just interested in how different games implemented this mechanic.
Can you give me some names and maybe you want to share, if and why you like the mechanic in this game.

If you mean that it's possible that "everyone loses", then these are often called "semi-coop" if they assert that "all players win but one player is the Grand Winner". Others do not have that semi-coop aspect but just say one player wins or everyone loses. One of the latter which I've played and like is The Magnates: A Game of Power. They are controversial and fragile games since someone with no chance to win can feel that it is rational to intentionally let the game win and all players lose, while other people feel that you should save "the team" even if you know that you cannot win. Other people think the whole concept of "everyone loses" is incoherent and indistinguishable from a complete tie for victory among all players. Etc...

---

If you mean that the threat only "hurts" everyone, but it's still a normal competitive game which some player will definitely win (i.e. there is no concept of "everyone loses"), then I would remark that there is generally no incentive for all players to cooperate against the "threat": if the "threat" hurts me less than it hurts everyone else, then I'm happy for the "threat" to occur!

E.g. I once played in a game of Egizia where my opponents left me as the last player in a round who could change the weather from drought (which means we cannot feed our workers and suffer some concrete loss as a result). I happily left the weather at drought; they were all surprised and said "But that hurts you!" and I said "Yes, but it hurts each of you more." There was no reason for me to waste an action "helping" myself while helping my opponents more.

Similarly some people seem to unconsciously think that God's Playground (same Polish history theme as The Magnates: A Game of Power) is a coop or semi-coop, and they waste their resources trying to save Poland against the outside invaders - which is pointless, since ultimately in this game you represent a greedy cynical non-patriotic magnate who only cares about personal profit, and you win by having the most points, regardless of how safe or how destroyed Poland is.
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Eric Nolan
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I agree with Russ. There are a set of games where bad things happen and the players act to reduce (or not) the bad things together even though they are competing which is different to the semi-coop game.

This isn't a great example but it's the first one that came to mind. In Zombies!!! the number of zombies on the board is a threat to everyone and each player will kill them and often they will effectively cooperate to clear the way to the exit point.

Lots of economy/engine based games have players combining their efforts to improve the game state for everyone too, although this is kind of the inverse of what you are asking for. For example in Power Grid Factory Manager multiple people have to combine their efforts for the very good machines to become available for purchase. In Airlines Europe the more a player spends on an airline the more valuable it gets for the other shareholders, as well as someone who may swoop in and snatch the majority position later.

This is quite a normal thing to happen in a lot of games I think, especially those which are incorrectly claimed to have no interaction. The point is that players take actions which they think will help them more than they help everyone else, or that hurt them less than they hurt everyone else. Sometimes they will be happy to help a person who is doing badly a lot if they can hurt their main rival. The key interesting thing from a game point of view is trying to determine correctly whether what you do will REALLY end up helping you more than your rivals.
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Stephen Cooper
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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) when the wildlings attack.

Kingsburg when Winter arrives.
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Mark Watson
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Churchill. It's probably one of the best implementations of that mechanic I've seen.
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mortego
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Not a co-op game but Bruges has threat tokens that if a player isn't mindful to get rid of them before receiving 3 of them will suffer a penalty depending on the threat.
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Cheb
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Champions of Midgard has the Troll which comes to attack the village every round, and if no-one defeats it then everyone gets a "blame" token for it.

They score negatively, and in triangle numbers, so people who already have more blame tokens than others are more harshly punished for not stopping the troll.
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Dom B.
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Shrpy wrote:
Im looking for competitive games, where at some point(s) in the game(either randomly timed or by a countdown) all player facing a common threat.

Troyes somehow fits the bill: each turn an event (=threat) card enters into play and it affects (negatively) all players. Removing events is a possible player action but depending on the game, sometimes the events really snowball into a sequence of nasty stuff.
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Pokey 64
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Dungeon Raiders

A simple and clever dungeon crawl card game with an open information bidding mechanism.

Monsters and traps are the common threats. Players take turns playing a "power" card from their hand. If the threat is not defeated, playing too strong a card or too weak a card on your turn can cause you to take the damage from the threat.

Another interesting twist is that at the end of the game the player with the most gold wins. However, the player with the most damage points dies and can not win (no matter how much gold you've accumulated) so you want to be the adventurer with the most gold but not the most damage.
 
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Steve G.
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Tournay has a similar mechanism to Troyes (mentioned above), though the Events occur more randomly.

A nice aspect of the Event mechanism in both these games is not only does it require opponents to work together to address them, it also rewards the player who does so most effectively.
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April W
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Dom22 wrote:
Shrpy wrote:
Im looking for competitive games, where at some point(s) in the game(either randomly timed or by a countdown) all player facing a common threat.

Troyes somehow fits the bill: each turn an event (=threat) card enters into play and it affects (negatively) all players. Removing events is a possible player action but depending on the game, sometimes the events really snowball into a sequence of nasty stuff.

This is the game I thought of. I'd say it does just what the OP described- though, in fairness, I've only played the game a couple times.
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John
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Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion has this in the invasion game, though it can end the game if people don't deal with the threat. I've not played it yet.
 
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Comboteur "Crazed 'Beastface' Survivor" Fou
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Outlive
 
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1 Lucky Texan
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not a perfect fit I don't think but, you might look at Fearsome Floors
 
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Adam Perry
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Shrpy wrote:
Keep in mind, that this common threat should not end the game.


Cities & Knights of Catan does this with the barbarians.

In the Year of the Dragon does this with the Mongols, except that there is no threshold for success -- the least-contributing player(s) are always punished (but everyone who contributes is rewarded).
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Archipelago, you all gotta keep an eye on the natives.
CO₂, if you let the CO2 levels get too high, you all lose.
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M Smith
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The sand levels created by the storm in Forbidden Desert are great for making players decide whether to continue doing their own thing or clear the way .

 
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Michael McKibbin
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The Republic of Rome is a classic example of this type of game. It is a competitive game of intrigue, wherein the players are each a Republican Roman faction trying to gain the most influence. At the same time, if the players do not contribute enough resources to defeat Rome's common foes, the game wins. (I know it doesn't fit the OP's criterion that the common threat not end the game, but the example is too good not to include)
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Momo Momo
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GitFeatures wrote:
The sand levels created by the storm in Forbidden Desert are great for making players decide whether to continue doing their own thing or clear the way .



Everything in that game ends the game, though.
 
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Wayne Schulatz
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skutsch wrote:
Archipelago, you all gotta keep an eye on the natives.


I thought of this one too, but isn't this a game ending situation?
 
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Rando Thomas
Germany
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Thank you for all the input. Have a nice 2018.
 
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Wayne Schulatz wrote:
skutsch wrote:
Archipelago, you all gotta keep an eye on the natives.


I thought of this one too, but isn't this a game ending situation?


Yes. But the event cards, which demand certain goods be shipped etc, and mean all players can choose how to respond to them, might fit the bill.
 
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