The Quirken
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I'm working on a game that is bears some resemblance to the game 10' to Kill. My game is for 2-6 players. Regardless of how many players there are, there will always be six colors on the board. One of your objectives is to guess which color an opponent is, so it's important to use misdirection so that people cannot guess your identity. (You are assigned a color randomly at start by drawing a card.)

Similar to how movement works in 10' to Kill, you can move anybody that is on the board, even though they aren't "you." So you can create all sorts of bluff moves to try to distract people from the actions you actually want

However, my game allows you to pick up cubes off of the board, which are worth points at the end of the game. There are two main ways to get cubes - there are 6 trains matching potential player colors that move around the map (again, always 6 trains, regardless of # of players), as well as 6 meeples representing robbers.

If a train acquires a resource cube, this information is public knowledge, as it is visible on the board. If one of the robbers captures a resource cube, this information is intended to be kept hidden (barring someone with perfect memory). The "blue" player's current score is the sum of what is in the blue city (public) and in the blue player's scoring area (secret), so unless someone is writing everything down, only the blue player will actually know his/her exact score.

I currently have two ideas on how to implement this:
1) give each player a screen where they can hide their resource cubes
2) have a drawstring bag associated with each potential player color. when a robber steals a resource, it goes into the corresponding bag. (Incidentally, it might so happen that no player is this color)

method #1 is preferred, but because any player can move any color, the only way I can think of making this function is "regardless of which color robber picked up the resource, the player who took the action takes the resource. So the blue player could use the green robber to take a resource, and put it in the blue's secret area, even though the blue robber was on the other side of the board." I could tweak other mechanics or remove the color of the robber meeples, but that still has the "you can be really opportunistic" as a potential problem. (Sniping someone else's points they've been working towards isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it still feels weird that regardless of which meeple committed the robbery, the same person would get the resource)

method #2 solves this problem, as a theft by the blue robber goes into the blue score bag, even if the player who did this is actually the green player. The thing I dislike about this is that it would do away with having player screens (which fits thematically). Currently, end-game conditions require you to be able to know the exact contents of your private inventory. I'm also concerned that players would avoid taking this action as a bluff, as it would give other players points (and you don't know how well other colors are doing). And if people DON'T take this action as a bluff, then they can't take it as a 'real' action, either...

Any ideas on how I can solve this? Thank you!
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Instead of stealing cubes, how about you leave "calling cards" to mark what you've stolen. Secretly take a cube of any color and add it to the bag for the location you stole from. People can feel inside the bags to count how many cubes are there, in order to determine whether there's anything left to steal, but can't look to see what color they are. At the end of the game, empty the bags and count up how many of each color is in there.

If every player starts with a supply of cubes of their own color, they can count how many they've got left to calculate how many they've already used, and therefore know how much they've stolen.


I think it's still pretty weird that you can use the red pawn to steal stuff on blue's behalf, and probably means that all stealing will be opportunistic (no point setting up a pawn to steal something on your next turn, because someone else will just use the same pawn to steal it before you do).

Maybe if there was a rule that you add 1 cube of your own color and 1 cube of the color of the pawn you used to do the action--sharing the spoils. Then there's an incentive to use your own pawn as much as possible, and also to position your own pawn in locations where other people will use it to do stuff, and to avoid using the pawn of your leading rival.



Also: the combination of player screens but NO note-taking is pretty weird. Player screens imply that there is some kind of information being concealed behind the screen, which means the players are "taking notes", you're just trying to dictate what notes they do or do not take. That'll have to be 100% on the honor system, and on top of that it just...feels bizarre.
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John Breckenridge
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Turn the cubes into coins and the pawns into piggy banks, and let players judge whether they have enough by the weight.
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Ryan Keane
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If players are taking something visible and physical from a central board and "hiding" it behind their screen or into a bag, it's not really secret. It doesn't take that good a memory to track how much other players have taken or how many went into the bag.

I think the better way is to make the value of stolen goods hidden. So for example, when I "steal" a face-down resource token with the blue robber, I and only I look at the value, and then place it face-down in the blue city on the board. While resource tokens captured by the blue train (and delivered before a robber could reach it?) are revealed face-up in the blue city. There are games that do this that I can't think of at the moment.

Another good feature in these types of games is not to have players secretly assigned to a single color, but instead they are secretly assigned to several. E.g. I get a card that says:
Red in 1st place (5vp)
Blue in 2nd place or better (3vp)
Green in 3rd place or better (1vp)
Tiki Topple and Downforce have something like this. This allows more potential for bluffing and cooperation between players, especially in conjunction with the combination of hidden and open resource values creating uncertainty about which color is in the lead.
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The Quirken
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone! Please bear with the long response

Ryan Keane wrote:
If players are taking something visible and physical from a central board and "hiding" it behind their screen or into a bag, it's not really secret. It doesn't take that good a memory to track how much other players have taken or how many went into the bag.

I think the better way is to make the value of stolen goods hidden.


I think some additional clarification on why my design is as it currently is might be in order.

The general gameplay vibe I'm aiming for is similar to 10' to Kill (or SpyParty on PC, if you've heard of that). There's very minimal truly SECRET information, but there's enough information overload that figuring out what actions matter and what actions existed only as distraction is the focal point of the game.

In 10' to Kill (for those who haven't played), each player has a hidden identity and 3 targets they're supposed to assassinate. But because completing one of your assassinations reveals information about who you might be, many of your turns are just moving characters that aren't you and aren't your targets, just to try and make people have to guess what moves are distractions/noise and which moves you actually want.

Similarly, SpyParty has the spy attempt to complete a series of known tasks without the sniper being able to figure out which party guest is doing actions with subtle tells. It's basically a reverse-turing test.

To that end, in addition to there being 6 robbers, 6 trains, and 6 cities, there are also six different types of resource cubes, associated with each city. (And robbers/trains/cities/cubes have matching colors.) Each player color has a (public) chart showing how many points each type of cube is worth to that color. Additionally, there will be some kind of public end-game condition/goal for each color. (I haven't put a full list of these together, but they might be things like 'have 2 of each color behind your screen.' Sure, you might have taken 30 resource cubes total, which will be worth some points, but it's possible the majority of them were just so people wouldn't realize you were actually aiming just to get 2 of each kind for bonus points / to end the game).

So a cube from the red city is virtually worthless to the red player, but a cube from the blue city on the other side of the map might be worth a lot to red. Since you don't know the valuation for the player and it could be one of six possibilities (ignoring the goals), you really don't have any information besides which colors they're grabbing, which you could use to try and make an educated guess about which color they are, at which point, you could try to reveal their identity for an additional reward for you and a punishment for them (if you're right).

On top of that, you have to decide how to balance the cubes you have that are public knowledge versus the ones you keep hidden behind your screen. You could deliberately make your public resources look like the wrong color, while putting only the points you care about behind your screen. Or you might actually make your public resources look like your real goal, but try to make people think you're bluffing based on what you take behind your screen.

Currently, the only truly secret information (assuming people have perfect notes or are keeping tallys) is player color and any cards a player might have drawn, which could affect your scoring. I'm not forbidding notetaking or anything; the fact it's difficult to evaluate someone's point total (since you'd have to evaluate each player against 2/10 possible scoring rubrics, excluding the 2 you know are yours) is the primary point in having the player screen. Obfuscation rather than actual secrecy.

In fact, I think there's enough math involved in calculating my own score that having my own resources hidden in a bag would likely mean I'd feel less confident in my own progress... which feels kinda messy. But other than that, having "money bags" for each color does feel like a superior strategy. It deals with the weirdness about player color versus action color, as well as making opportunistic actions more difficult.

It would require the game-ending-bonus-point-goals to have less to do with what was semi-hidden information, though, because you couldn't look in your bag to double check how close to triggering end-game you are without revealing it was yours. Or I guess I could keep the bonus points as is, but remove having unique "game-ending conditions."

--------------------------------------
--------------------------------------

With that in mind, responses to specific suggestions:

Antistone wrote:


- making which cube was stolen by a robber secret is difficult, unless I make it something like "I have stolen a cube directly from a city, and you can see which cities have robbers on them to try and guess." This is basically the way 10' To Kill deals with secret information.

- having a fixed # of resource cubes that start in the cities could also work, and it would allow some additional shenanigans.

Antistone wrote:
I think it's still pretty weird that you can use the red pawn to steal stuff on blue's behalf, and probably means that all stealing will be opportunistic (no point setting up a pawn to steal something on your next turn, because someone else will just use the same pawn to steal it before you do).

absolutely agree completely. The 'sharing the spoils' idea might help some, as it mixes an incentivization to use your own, but not to do that too often. The idea of 'calling cards' is good, too, as I could have a goal like "X color performs Y robberies." A facedown card with the identity of who performed the robbery would let you check this at end-game.

jbrecken wrote:
Turn the cubes into coins and the pawns into piggy banks, and let players judge whether they have enough by the weight.

I really like the novelty of this idea, but I'm not sure how I'd manufacture the piggy banks / money bags yet keep them small enough to be on the board. It'd certainly be thematic for a heist-theme. letting people heft a bag to estimate the # of cubes (but not the type) is a good tip to call out in the rulebook if I go that route. Best I can think is a hollow rectangle that might have the top coin visible

Ryan Keane wrote:
Another good feature in these types of games is not to have players secretly assigned to a single color, but instead they are secretly assigned to several. E.g. I get a card that says:
Red in 1st place (5vp)
Blue in 2nd place or better (3vp)
Green in 3rd place or better (1vp)
Tiki Topple and Downforce have something like this. This allows more potential for bluffing and cooperation between players, especially in conjunction with the combination of hidden and open resource values creating uncertainty about which color is in the lead.

This could be really interesting with my other mechanics, but I feel like it might result in too much action paralysis. I think I'd have to scrap each resource type being valued differently for each color to do this?
 
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The Quirken
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in case it is helpful for visualization:

 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Quirken wrote:
Antistone wrote:


- making which cube was stolen by a robber secret is difficult, unless I make it something like "I have stolen a cube directly from a city, and you can see which cities have robbers on them to try and guess." This is basically the way 10' To Kill deals with secret information.

I suspect you have completely misunderstood my suggestion.

One of the things that can happen in your game is (say) the blue player steals a cube from the red train.

You currently represent this action by moving a cube from the red train to the blue inventory bag. At the end of the game, you can open up the blue inventory bag to see what blue stole.

I am saying, represent the exact same action by moving a blue cube from the blue inventory into the red train's bag. At the end of the game, you can open up the red train's bag to see who stole from the red train.

The difference isn't in what information is being concealed, only in how that information is being represented. That is, you still know that Alice stole from the red train, and you still don't know what color Alice is. The difference is, Alice's color is being represented by a cube instead of by a bag, and the train being stolen from is being represented by a bag instead of a cube.
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The Quirken
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Antistone wrote:

You currently represent this action by moving a cube from the red train to the blue inventory bag. At the end of the game, you can open up the blue inventory bag to see what blue stole.

I am saying, represent the exact same action by moving a blue cube from the blue inventory into the red train's bag. At the end of the game, you can open up the red train's bag to see who stole from the red train.


okay, I think I see what you're saying now.

But what if blue steals a green cube from the red train? how would I represent that with a system like that?

who they stole from matters only from a board-state (or denial) angle (unless I implement additional systems, which is tempting, since it allows for additional categories of end-game bonus points), but what they steal matters from a point perspective. the basic scoring idea right now is 'the further away from your home base it originated, the more points it is worth.'

my vision of a possible game has situations like "the red train passes through Denver (blue) and picks up a blue cube, then drops off the blue cube in Albuquerque (yellow). The green player then might steal the blue cube from Albuquerque, since green's city is further from Denver than Albuquerque. Or green might have stolen the cube in transit, which would have the same end result. Or green might have deliberately re-routed the train to deliver to Tuscon (green), where red later steals it because they were the one who first picked it up from Denver."

I have not had a playtest yet, as I don't feel like it's ready, but I anticipate getting 'public' points by pick-up-and-deliver to be easier to pull off discretely than actively stealing from a train, as trains will move semi-automatically.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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OK, then instead of having a bag for each train, have a bag for each color of item.

So if the red train is carrying a green cube and the blue player steals it, that player puts a blue cube (from their secret stash) into the green bag, and discards the green cube back to the stock.
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Antistone wrote:
OK, then instead of having a bag for each train, have a bag for each color of item.

So if the red train is carrying a green cube and the blue player steals it, that player puts a blue cube (from their secret stash) into the green bag, and discards the green cube back to the stock.


that's a little tough to wrap my head around, but that makes sense.

functionally speaking, how is the example of the blue player stealing a green cube and putting a blue cube in the green bag different than hiding a green cube behind the player's screen (which secretly is blue)? I'm not sure I understand that part.

Antistone wrote:

I think it's still pretty weird that you can use the red pawn to steal stuff on blue's behalf, and probably means that all stealing will be opportunistic (no point setting up a pawn to steal something on your next turn, because someone else will just use the same pawn to steal it before you do).


It seems like ultimately that still leaves three ways to handle theft

1) robber color doesn't matter. when you steal, people can figure out what color you stole, but not which color got it. people won't spend a lot of effort setting up a steal because it's safer to just snipe opportunistically.

2) robber color does matter, meaning people know which color got the resource, but not which player. this is OK, except it makes actually pulling off a theft significantly more difficult, as you can only be in one place on the map. I think you'd still end up being opportunistic, you'd just have to be really subtle about it. (For example, positioning your robber, then switching a train's route so that it heads towards your robber). For this to work, there has to be some amount of incentive for you to at least occasionally give points deliberately to another player's color, otherwise you'd only ever steal for yourself, which means stealing is probably too risky to be worth it.

3) robbers are associated with players, but NOT with colors. This seems like it'd be confusing, but it would mean you had to plan out your heists, and it wouldn't reveal any color information.

The action selection mechanism currently pairs you with one robber action and one train action every turn. One action is color wildcard, the other is based on which piece you moved on the rondel to take the action, but you get to choose whether the train action or robber action is color wildcard (and the other one has to be the color of the rondel marker you you chose to take the action). Maybe that could be used somehow?

Are there other ways that I could handle stealing from trains that bypass the issue entirely? I could scrap having actual robber pawns on the board if there was a different way to abstract it. There just has to be a way to get resource cubes off of trains without people knowing which color got them.

 
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JT Schiavo
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If you can control any robber and get points, why bother coloring the robbers? Why not just make them all a neutral color and you can use any robber to get the job done.

Another option for colored robbers: Use any robber, but only if you pay them. Discard a blue cube to use the blue robber. This would naturally be better for blue, since they don't get much value from blue cubes anyway, but maybe the blue robber is the only one that is close enough to get what you really need.
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Brendan Riley
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There's a lot going on there, and I'm very unclear on the value of the hiding screen. As others have noted, this gives advantage to players with good memory (which is fine if that's a lever you want to pull). But since there is a benefit to revealing someone's identity, it seems like it would create MORE tension in the game if all your stuff was public. If everyone can see everything people are taking all the time, then the reveal action becomes much easier to pursue, and the game's incentive for taking misleading actions goes up.

I would playtest without the hiding screens.
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yaakov Buchsbaum
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lets say player 1 regardless of his color moves the green robber to a train to steel a red resource

I would handle it like this put a green cube into the red bag now we know the green robber stole a red cube.

the player takes the cube to himself


end game:
the player gets the cubes his robber stole
the cubes in his hand
the cubes in his city

Only cubes in his hand effect personal goal.
cubes in city and his robber stole effect point scoring

Q.E.D


P.S. the train color in this scenario from the mechanics view redundant
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The Quirken
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crinaya wrote:
If you can control any robber and get points, why bother coloring the robbers? Why not just make them all a neutral color and you can use any robber to get the job done.


Basically, the color of the robbers and trains only matters for action selection:

Quirken wrote:

The action selection mechanism currently pairs you with one robber action and one train action every turn. One action is color wildcard, the other is based on which piece you moved on the rondel to take the action, but you get to choose whether the train action or robber action is color wildcard (and the other one has to be the color of the rondel marker you you chose to take the action).


For example, if you moved the red piece on the rondel and chose the steal/deliver space, you could steal with the red robber and deliver any train that was near a city, or steal with any robber and deliver the red train (if it was near a city).

(Calling it a rondel is a little bit of a misnomer, as it functions like in Trajan or mancala, but is shared by all players. but I don't think it makes a difference for this situation. The only real difference is that sometimes you'll be forced to make actions you don't really want to do.)

crinaya wrote:
Another option for colored robbers: Use any robber, but only if you pay them. Discard a blue cube to use the blue robber. This would naturally be better for blue, since they don't get much value from blue cubes anyway, but maybe the blue robber is the only one that is close enough to get what you really need.

Hm. I really like the idea of discarding cubes to power an action. I'm not sure this meshes with the rondel well, but I could do something like "secretly hand someone a blue cube if you think they're the blue player. if they are not blue, they get to keep it."

wombat929 wrote:
There's a lot going on there, and I'm very unclear on the value of the hiding screen. As others have noted, this gives advantage to players with good memory (which is fine if that's a lever you want to pull). But since there is a benefit to revealing someone's identity, it seems like it would create MORE tension in the game if all your stuff was public. If everyone can see everything people are taking all the time, then the reveal action becomes much easier to pursue, and the game's incentive for taking misleading actions goes up.

I would playtest without the hiding screens.

I haven't worked out the scoring charts, but as a hypothetical example:
Red score chart:
-1/red cube
-2/green cube
-3/purple cube
-5/blue cube
-7/yellow cube
-9/white cube
-20 bonus points for having more purple cubes than anyone else
Blue score chart:
-1/blue cube
-2/purple
-4/green
-5/red cube
-6/white
-9/yellow
-20 bonus points for having twice as many cubes of any type as anyone else
(and then there'd be 4 other score charts, even in a 2p game)


Even if you knew what someone had behind their screen, there are 6 different public scoring regions that you need to add that count to.

Then once you have those six total potential cube counts, you'd have to do a sum-of-products for how many points that would be for each color.

So, to estimate a single player's base score (not factoring in bonus), you'd potentially have to do 6*3 basic math calculations per color you think they might be. (And if you wanted to compare them against all possible player colors, excluding YOUR color, 6*3*5. And if you wanted to do the same for all players in a 6p game, that balloons to 6*3*5*5 possible operations, I think?) I don't think most people have an easy time doing that much in their head, regardless of memory ability. I feel like even if you kept exact tally of someone, there'd be enough math that it would be prohibitive.

There are plenty of games where VP are face-down tiles, that might technically have been public knowledge at acquisition, but there's enough point salad going on that other people forget.

One of my main motivations for having the screen is that it would likely provide some degree of stress relief. You're probably right that it would be more stressful if everything was public knowledge, but I also don't want this to turn into a game like Letters from Whitechapel where people are mathing super hard every turn. I want accusations to come at least partially from the gut.

I'll certainly playtest it both ways, because there's no reason NOT to try playtesting that, but I'm not particularly concerned about that right now.
 
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Hgec wrote:
lets say player 1 regardless of his color moves the green robber to a train to steel a red resource

I would handle it like this put a green cube into the red bag now we know the green robber stole a red cube.

the player takes the cube to himself


end game:
the player gets the cubes his robber stole
the cubes in his hand
the cubes in his city

Only cubes in his hand effect personal goal.
cubes in city and his robber stole effect point scoring

Q.E.D


P.S. the train color in this scenario from the mechanics view redundant


problem is that ANY player could have used the green robber to steal a red resource, meaning that thefts are still likely to be primarily opportunistic. Which I guess might be unavoidable.

I do like your idea about only private points counting towards your individual goals.

edit: I think I have a decent solution!
1) have a robber meeple deck. Each player gets one card at random, which is kept secret
2) card indicates a specific robber color
3) any player may still move any robber color
4) if that robber color commits a heist, player reveals their card, takes the resource(s), and all players return their robber cards, shuffle, and are dealt a new one (also kept secret)

what do people think of that as a solution? It would incentivize you to steal ASAP, as you might accidentally let someone else get your robbery you'd spent several turns setting up if you waited too long (and someone else did a robbery first). But more importantly, it maintains anonymity while not allowing opportunism.

=== older idea, mostly rejected for being confusing:

I have an idea, but I feel like it might be too confusing to be viable, but:
- instead of player secret identity being a color, secret identity is one of the cities (which incidentally does have an associated color)
- each robber is still associated with a specific color (but the only reason they have the same 6 colors is because finding a palette of 12 unique colors seems difficult)
- player screens have a color (which is random and not related to their city. So even though Denver might be blue, the Denver player could have a red player screen)
- anyone can still move any of the robbers, but if they steal from a train, the person with the associated screen gets the goodies
- train colors would only matter for action selection, and have no association with any individual player
- you could potentially also have the screens be 2-sided, so up until the first theft, which thief was you would be secret. not sure there's a huge value add with this, but it could enhance some misdirection early on
 
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Andrew Heywood
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Quirken wrote:

edit: I think I have a decent solution!
1) have a robber meeple deck. Each player gets one card at random, which is kept secret
2) card indicates a specific robber color
3) any player may still move any robber color
4) if that robber color commits a heist, player reveals their card, takes the resource(s), and all players return their robber cards, shuffle, and are dealt a new one (also kept secret)


I don't think this will achieve the stated goal of encouraging non-opportunistic heists. If your guy is 2 turns away from a heist, and another robber is 1 turn away, why would you advance towards the heist? You'll probably just get swapped out for another color before you can commit your robbery, and someone else will benefit from your set-up. This will also often feel capricious.

If you want moves to be noisy, I like Hgec's suggestion above, where both the player moving the pawn and the robber get rewarded; it means that there are a lot of possible reasons for you to make a move, and it also allows for the possibility of doubly effective heists that will be exciting to pull off. If you want to muddy the waters further, you could make it so the cubes taken by players have some orthogonal value, like being used as a currency. With this scoring method, there can be non-opportunistic moves; they're not the moves that make the heists, which will almost inevitably be opportunistic, but the moves putting robbers in range of heists. And since you won't be swapping guys every heist, it will be possible to make somewhat longer-term plans.

In terms of physical mechanics, you could have the player put the cube in a robber-colored pouch and take a matching cube behind his screen.

As an aside, the scoring charts above would feel miserably mathy to me, and I'm good at and occasionally enjoy arithmetic. It's not all that functionally different to simplify the numbers to something like 1/2/5/5/5/10, but I think it will feel much better to play.
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AWHeywood wrote:
Quirken wrote:

edit: I think I have a decent solution!
1) have a robber meeple deck. Each player gets one card at random, which is kept secret
2) card indicates a specific robber color
3) any player may still move any robber color
4) if that robber color commits a heist, player reveals their card, takes the resource(s), and all players return their robber cards, shuffle, and are dealt a new one (also kept secret)


I don't think this will achieve the stated goal of encouraging non-opportunistic heists. If your guy is 2 turns away from a heist, and another robber is 1 turn away, why would you advance towards the heist? You'll probably just get swapped out for another color before you can commit your robbery, and someone else will benefit from your set-up. This will also often feel capricious.

If you want moves to be noisy, I like Hgec's suggestion above, where both the player moving the pawn and the robber get rewarded; it means that there are a lot of possible reasons for you to make a move, and it also allows for the possibility of doubly effective heists that will be exciting to pull off. If you want to muddy the waters further, you could make it so the cubes taken by players have some orthogonal value, like being used as a currency. With this scoring method, there can be non-opportunistic moves; they're not the moves that make the heists, which will almost inevitably be opportunistic, but the moves putting robbers in range of heists. And since you won't be swapping guys every heist, it will be possible to make somewhat longer-term plans.

In terms of physical mechanics, you could have the player put the cube in a robber-colored pouch and take a matching cube behind his screen.

As an aside, the scoring charts above would feel miserably mathy to me, and I'm good at and occasionally enjoy arithmetic. It's not all that functionally different to simplify the numbers to something like 1/2/5/5/5/10, but I think it will feel much better to play.


you've got some good points about cards vs rewarding two different players, and some other ideas I kinda like. I'm gonna have to stew on those for a few days.

I hadn't interpreted Hgec's suggestion as potentially two players gaining points, just as tracking potentially useful data (in case there was a goal about stealing X times, etc). (And crinaya's idea of spending cubes to use a robber didn't feel quite right, even though it's actually very close to Hgec's, when looking that way, just a matter of extra cubes vs action cost.) But as a "you get the cubes and that color gets the cubes" does complicate the math a fair bit and leave a fair amount of room for unusual strategies.

Far as the scoring charts... I made them up on the fly at the same time I made the post (I haven't started building my math model yet), and was mainly trying to make the point that even if you think you know what was behind someone's screen, there's still a prohibitive amount of math if you're trying to use a math approach rather than a gut instinct. I'll probably have simpler numbers like you suggested, though.

I really don't want players to be doing mental math gymnastics to guess who is who, though, and knowing exact scores should only matter at the end of the game. "miserably mathy" is sorta the point, as long as you don't feel miserable about looking at your own cubes during the game.
 
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