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Subject: Coloured Characters vs Coloured Pawns rss

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Cochin Breaker
United Kingdom
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Hi all.
My latest dilemma is regarding colour. Let me lay the ground work; when playing Ticket to Ride, for example, my gaming group each has their own colour (I'm always red), which is fine as it doesn't impact on the gameplay at all. However, when playing Unita, we automatically go for our usual colours, meaning we are always adjacent to the same other players tracks.
In my WIP game, Survival:Reset, I'm currently using colours the differentiate between the characters (which all have unique stats and abilities).
Do you prefer less colour coding - like Dead of Winter, or more, such as Pandemic?
 
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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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North Smithfield
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I, too, will usually play red. However, in games where different characters or roles have unique abilities or conditions, I prefer selecting characters rather than colors, even if a certain character is associated with red. However, not all people see it that way. They have a color prefeence period, be it yellow or blue or purple. They could lay claim to a certain character, depriving others from ever taking that particular character.

For this reason, I like LESS color coding for characters.


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James Arias
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Sanford
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Many games with role-based stats/powers distinguish roles with a miniature, and also use a counter base for player color (except that color may also go with the character's sheet/card, so color choice not fully independent of character choice).

In one of my homebrews I had each player pick a character meeple and a colored cube to put on their character sheet. But that was to separate character sheet from meeple, not meeple from color.
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Cochin Breaker
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rantinronrevue wrote:
I, too, will usually play red. However, in games where different characters or roles have unique abilities or conditions, I prefer selecting characters rather than colors, even if a certain character is associated with red. However, not all people see it that way. They have a color prefeence period, be it yellow or blue or purple. They could lay claim to a certain character, depriving others from ever taking that particular character.

For this reason, I like LESS color coding for characters.




So what we do for Pandemic, for example, is ignore the character colours and just use our usual 5 colours. Everybody knows what colour they are so there aren't any problems.

It is a concern of mine that players won't use other characters if they have a colour preference.
Is it enough though to have a character crest or symbol (a shield, helmet, sword, or dagger - whatever) linking specific characters with their specific ability cards?
 
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Cochin Breaker
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crazybyzantine wrote:
Many games with role-based stats/powers distinguish roles with a miniature, and also use a counter base for player color (except that color may also go with the character's sheet/card, so color choice not fully independent of character choice).

In one of my homebrews I had each player pick a character meeple and a colored cube to put on their character sheet. But that was to separate character sheet from meeple, not meeple from color.


I like the idea of interchangeable miniature bases, though I have no intention (or rather need) of actually using miniatures in my game.

Maybe something like pawns matching with card sleeves or a small playmat or something the character cards and ability cards can be inserted into, a plastic insert maybe? Obviously these have production cost implications too.
 
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Corsaire
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What function does color provide in your design?

Typically, I've seen it used to associate a set of character/player materials together. I've seen games provide that function through simple icons, then allow players to select whatever color for playing pieces. If you have a concern about other players associating board pieces with a particular player, then a color token could provide that.
 
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Shaun Giller
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Grand Rapids
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Generally, the special powers are tied to a character, not really a color. For instance in Forbidden Island, the Pilot is associated with the blue pawn and if you normally play this way it could get confusing. But, what difference would it make if the Engineer wanted the blue pawn? None whatsoever. It could easily prevent mistakes like the Engineer, who is always blue in every other game, moving the blue pawn when that is supposed to be the Pilot. I don't think color coding pawns to roles really helps anything. I don't memorize that the blue pawn does x and the white pawn does y, so I am asking all game anyway.

Without the color coding, roles can be added (expansion) without adding new colored pawns.
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Laura Creighton
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You are going to need an alternative way to differentiate things than 'by colour' so that colour blind people can play your game. Thus -- all the cards with the wrench on them are the engineer's, all the ones with wings are the pilot's, and so on and so forth. At this point saying 'and the pilot has to be blue, too' seems a bit silly.
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Cochin Breaker
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Thanks to everyone for your responses.

So here's an example pic of my current character cards, and the six character icons I'm using for them.



The colours were all arbitrarily assigned way back when, and I'm pretty certain now I'll strip the colours from them and use something else to associate them with a pawn/token.

Without the colours though, I am concerned that the ability cards could get muddled and end up being purchased by a non-compatable character. Am I just fretting over something daft and trivial?

Furthermore, how could I make the cards visibly distinct? I don't want card art as the characters are more like archetypes that the players build on; I don't want awesome art of a badass lass on the 'Warrior' characters cards, and have players think, "oh, the warrior's a woman." I want players to imagine the warrior as whatever, or whoever, they want it to be.

Thanks again, and sorry for waffling on!

 
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