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Praetor» Forums » Variants

Subject: Triangular Scoring For Tile Corners? rss

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toby
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Perusing the forums and reviews in detail, there exists a criticism that the corner scoring of the tiles is ultimately mostly irrelevant and should have been cut out. I've also seen the designer push back (nicely!) and say it's important that a slightly higher score be available for some tiles early on to encourage that they be built early on, and that just adding a flat number of points to each tile and eliminating the corner scoring would lost this effect.

Still, it seems to me that given the small deltas between potential "corner points" available when choosing this or that tile, it's probably unlikely that available placement spots ever enter into most players' choice of which tile to build. Which seems like a lost opportunity.

The relative irrelevance of the corner points is also implicit in posts which point to the huge sums of points available to be scored per the original temple scoring rules as well. And those corner points are still small potatoes even with the temple fix (the nature of which is, for me, ham-fisted vs. either requiring sets of cubes @ 2 points/set and/or requiring that the cubes be spent in some fashion… but that's another issue).

Given the small points differences from corner points from one tile placement to the next, it's also hard for players to create meaningful gaps in the number of points they score from corners over the course of a game per tile placed, which again tends to suggest the corner scoring as is is kind of a waste of time.

With all this in mind, it occurred to me that it might improve the game from several standpoints to change the corner scoring such that it ramps up in a triangular fashion:

1 corner scores 1 point
2 corners score 3 points
3 corners score 6 points
4 corners score 10 points
5 corners score 15 points
6 corners score 21 points
etc.

This would obviously make the corner scoring both more interesting and more important in an absolute sense. It would also have the effect of massively incentivizing building, which should be a central focus but which many groups seem to find stalls out at various stages, usually related to the reward for building not seeming "worth it" relative to what's being offered to the following player.

Triangular scoring would also create interesting choices wherein a tile someone might not normally consider building (versus their preferred choice) is suddenly more interesting because it will score (e.g.) 6 or 10 points versus the 1 or 3 points their nominally preferred tile would score, creating an actual dilemma, whereas a difference of a point or two is rarely going to merit much consideration.

If the proposed increase seems like a good idea in principle but a shade too great, you could slightly nerf it by delaying the triangular increase until the 3rd corner, as follows:
1 corner 1 point
2 corners 2 points
3 corners 4 points
4 corners 7 points
5 corners 11 points
6 corners 16 points
etc.

I'm curious what the designer thinks about this in terms of the game's underlying model.
 
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Rainer Ahlfors
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The corner scoring is there, not as a source of points, but mostly to encourage a more compact rectangular shape to the tiles that are placed.
 
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