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Subject: Skill-Slide-B-Gone rss

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Marco Donghi
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I'm one of those guys that, when the usual question of "what would you like to see in the next edition of Arkham Horror 2nd edition?" comes up, always says that they don't like the skill sliders. I wasn't happy with myself, as I've actually never been able to suggest a solution to this problem, so I was just complaining.
Tonight, in some kind of mental short circuit, I've realized that the answer has been in front of me -several times- but I was too blind to see it.

Betrayal at the House on the Hill has little plastic clips that attach to the character sheet to indicate your current stats. We just need to reorganize the investigator sheet so that one track is on the left, one on the right and one on the bottom. No actual game mechanics change, we just switch skill sliders with clips. There, that's a character sheet I'd really like to use. It's that simple.
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Brian Long
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LOL, the skill clips on Betrayal character wheels have to be the most frustrating board game component of all time. A better approach would be thick character sheets with cut-out holes that you pop cubes between, like I think Scythe, Istanbul, Dice Forge, Too Many Bones (might be misremembering some of these)
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Sorg UR
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Yeah, that's pretty much the very same idea as in Arkham Horror 1st edition (side-sliders for STR and SAN), you just have to extend it like in the Betrayal games or in Ghost Hunter 13: The Tile Game. Not much new there...
 
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Adam Tucker
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Vittek wrote:
I'm one of those guys that, when the usual question of "what would you like to see in the next edition of Arkham Horror 2nd edition?" comes up, always says that they don't like the skill sliders. I wasn't happy with myself, as I've actually never been able to suggest a solution to this problem, so I was just complaining.
Tonight, in some kind of mental short circuit, I've realized that the answer has been in front of me -several times- but I was too blind to see it.

Betrayal at the House on the Hill has little plastic clips that attach to the character sheet to indicate your current stats. We just need to reorganize the investigator sheet so that one track is on the left, one on the right and one on the bottom. No actual game mechanics change, we just switch skill sliders with clips. There, that's a character sheet I'd really like to use. It's that simple.
You realize that the Betrayal plastic clips are one of the most maligned game components of all time, right?
They frequently end up loose and just falling off; they are just about as easy to nudge as the AH2E skill sliders, and much easier to end up between two values where you aren't sure which value the slider should be pointing at.
They are actually so maligned, that WizKids made a kit to replace them: https://galactictoys.com/products/wizkids-betrayal-at-house-...

You could do wheels, like WizKids did - might be a bit trickier to maintain readability for the two linked values; but it's possible. But the dual layer, indented boards like newobj mentioned are probably the best solution.
 
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Simon Gingras
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IMHO, what FFG went with for their Fallout game (the health and radiation indicators) seems like a good way to go for something like that.

Once the little pegs are in, they don't move.
 
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VonMeister
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Thanks - I didn't know those upgrade kits existed!
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Pan Daemonium
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Vittek wrote:
No actual game mechanics change, we just switch skill sliders with clips. There, that's a character sheet I'd really like to use. It's that simple.
You could also use something heavy enough so it won't move around, some metal token for example. Sliders are a good idea, but you would have to print new components.

Cheers!
 
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John Curtis
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I use the e_Raptor acrylic character organizers for AH (2nd ed). They are awesome... and the sliders can't get bumped!
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Wolfie
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newobj wrote:
LOL, the skill clips on Betrayal character wheels have to be the most frustrating board game component of all time. A better approach would be thick character sheets with cut-out holes that you pop cubes between, like I think Scythe, Istanbul, Dice Forge, Too Many Bones (might be misremembering some of these)
This. Think of 3 rectangular wood blocks with a red and blue end. Simply place them into an indented part of the thicker card and move them like the tokens today. The Scythe model is perfect - just do a rectangular slot at each stop on the 3 tracks.
 
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Bart Rachemoss
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I use clear glass beads for sliders and they work just fine. Having investigator cards that have two levels of the cardboard used for tokens would create a stack 6 inches high which would cause storage problems for me and probably many others. I like that it's easy to make custom investigators that match the current investigator sheets.

There is also this solution posted by Jim Crowell:
JimOfTheCorn wrote:
I just put the investigator sheet on top of an Avery printable magnet sheet & use magnet push pins instead of the supplied skill sliders. You have to find pins that aren't too weak or too strong: http://www.amazon.com/Master-Magnetics-07509-Neodymium-Magne... are perfect, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RMO4AS are OK as well.
IIRC someone used the magnetic push pin idea so they could mount the board for the Firefly Board Game vertically to save table space.
 
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Tibs
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I think a decent compromise to the slider thing would be to give every character their set of six stats, and then three tokens: each one has +1 to a stat on one side.

So one token would be either +1 Sneak side up, or +1 Speed. Players could flip them during Upkeep, equivalent to moving their sliders. Maybe the number you can flip can be your new Focus or something. It would make stats easier to read and to manage, while still carrying the adjustability that made the old version what it was.
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foksieloy
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kungfro wrote:
So one token would be either +1 Sneak side up, or +1 Speed. Players could flip them during Upkeep, equivalent to moving their sliders. Maybe the number you can flip can be your new Focus or something. It would make stats easier to read and to manage, while still carrying the adjustability that made the old version what it was.
We have been playing the last few games in a similar way inspired by 3ed. Still playtesting, currently some focus 1 chars seem a bit under.

Your stats are your second best value in each skill. You can get a focus token if you do not spend any movement while in Arkham.
Put the token on a skill to get +1 or move an existing token.
You can have as many tokens as your focus skill.
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Wolfie
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kungfro wrote:
I think a decent compromise to the slider thing would be to give every character their set of six stats, and then three tokens: each one has +1 to a stat on one side.

So one token would be either +1 Sneak side up, or +1 Speed. Players could flip them during Upkeep, equivalent to moving their sliders. Maybe the number you can flip can be your new Focus or something. It would make stats easier to read and to manage, while still carrying the adjustability that made the old version what it was.
This could work as well, although it would remove the mechanic of lowering one stat to raise another. One way it could be done is a slightly larger set of (generic) tokens that pair the stats:

Token 1
Side A: +1/-1
Side B: +2/-2

Token 2
Side A: -1/+1
Side B: -2/+2

You could basically take one Action per Focus point:
1. Add a +1/-1 (or -1/+1) token to a stat pair (e.g. Speed/Sneak)
2. Flip a token to or from its +2 side on a stat pair
3. Remove a +1/-1 (or -1/+1) token a token from a stat pair

Keeping the paired stats might be more fiddly than it's worth, but it IS a defining mechanic in the game.
 
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Tibs
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If you're flipping a token that says Speed +1 over to a side that says Sneak +1, then your Speed necessarily goes down by 1 as your Sneak goes up by 1.

Certainly it doesn't provide the full range the sliders did, but I think it accomplishes the gist with minimum fiddliness and fewest components.
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Wolfie
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Ah, yeah, I see what you're saying. It's just that extra notch up on the skill pair track that would be missed. Also the variety in the extreme stats on some of the characters: Speed 4 / Sneak 0, damn the torpedoes! How about another set of tokens that were, for example, +2 Speed on one side and -2 Sneak on the other? You'd have to have the +1 Speed token in in order to switch to the +2 Speed token.

Each addition, removal, upgrade or flip of a token costs 1 Focus.
 
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Tibs
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If the goal is simplicity while capturing the essence, some sacrifices have to be made. If you're swapping a paired token for another one, that's just as fiddly as the original sliders. If you use two tokens per pairing, that's more tokens than the original.

The monsters, board, and encounters would just have to be tweaked so that Min/Maxing your stats would not be as situationally necessary.
 
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Wolfie
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Well, let's see:

8 possible investigators x 3 skill track pairs each = 24 skill tracks
24 skill tracks x 2 token sets each = 48 tokens.

In looking at EH (including expansions), there are 30 Improvement tokens and 40 Impairment tokens for a total of 70. All things considered for Arkham Files games, not that bad!!

No, I totally see your point Tibs. I'm just trying to get as close as humanly possible to the existing mechanic but making it less fiddly. I actually think the Scythe version might be simpler, but more costly. It's an interesting dilemma.
 
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Wolfie
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Don't know why this problem keeps sticking with me, but here's what I was trying to get to:



I think this preserves most of the existing 2e slider mechanic while reducing exact placement on the card and the possibility of knocking things. Each investigator receives 3 2-sided tokens (same as 2e), with a total of 24 tokens needing to be printed. Players may place all 3 tokens before the start of the game.

foksieloy's idea above of using the 2nd best stat as the base I think works really well, and Tibs wanting to keep down the number of components and keeping things simple makes a ton of sense.

When you place these tokens, you always receive a bonus and a penalty to the paired stat, and by making the cost of flipping a token 2 focus, you still preserve the cost of boosting the opposite stat. This also is very much how 2e works (every boost has a cost), though you still can't always reach the outer limits of the existing stat track. I was thinking earlier of adding a 2nd token that raises to +2, but this would allow pushing beyond the 2e specified stats, and as Tibs pointed out, would still be fiddly.

The only downside I can see is that those stat extremes (Will 0) can no longer be reached, which I think was a charm of 2e that would be difficult to keep unless it was decided to go for the more costly production of doing thicker investigator cards and indented skill slots.

I kinda think it works.

One other idea that came up was possibly getting a "free reset" of your tokens every upkeep, so that you could gather all placed tokens back and set them again for the turn, but I do think this is another step away from 2e in flavor.
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Marco Donghi
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tuckerotl wrote:
You realize that the Betrayal plastic clips are one of the most maligned game components of all time, right?
No, I did not! But I guess I should have seen this coming.
Thank you everyone for the answers, and yes, I can see why people would prefer other solutions.

Wolfpack48 wrote:
Don't know why this problem keeps sticking with me,
Same here

Very nice mock-up, thank you.
If you want to keep the exact same skill extremes as AH, you need to add a second token for each skill pair, that has +1/-1 on one side and nothing on the other. For example:

Let's define the following:

Token a: state '0' is -1/+1, state '1' is +1/-1
Token b: state '0' is nothing, state '1' is +1/-1

Agnes Baker, Speed 2 and Sneak 2 as base.

ab______________Speed/Sneak
00______-1/+1______1/3
01_______0/0_______2/2
11______+2/-2______4/0
10______+1/-1______3/1

These are exactly the stats Agnes has on her sheet. Flipping the 'a' token costs 2 focus, flipping the 'b' token costs 1 focus.
I'd like to say that flipping both also costs 1 (for those that only have 1 focus could be a godsend) but that only works for states '01' and '10'. Flipping '00' or '11' will bring you exactly to the other end of the spectrum, so that's not really how this is supposed to work. Also, as said, 2 tokens per pair per character is a lot.

So yep, I'm still looking for a solution.
As for the ones that have been suggested:
- Heavy cardboard with cube indents: can't see how I'd get around to manufacture something so precise.
- e_raptor trays: nice, but a bit above my budget (especially since the AHLCG is draining most of it nowadays).
- Magnets: Very nice, I'll keep this in mind and look for appropriate metal sheets to go under the char sheet.


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Marco Donghi
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Ok found it
We'll use a pair of matching icons, let's call them X and Y.
Icon X is on token 'a' state '0' and token 'b' state 1.
Icon Y is on token 'b' state '1' and token 'b' state 0.
If you see matching icons you can decide to flip both tokens by spending 1 focus. So you can go from 01 to 10 and vice versa.
Pretty straightforward, isn't it?
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Wolfie
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Vittek wrote:
Ok found it
We'll use a pair of matching icons, let's call them X and Y.
Icon X is on token 'a' state '0' and token 'b' state 1.
Icon Y is on token 'b' state '1' and token 'b' state 0.
If you see matching icons you can decide to flip both tokens by spending 1 focus. So you can go from 01 to 10 and vice versa.
Pretty straightforward, isn't it?
The only question I have in introducing a 2nd set of tokens, is whether it's worth the extra management effort. I think to Tibs point, it's just another thing to keep track of for a minimal payoff. The outlier with only 3 tokens is not being able to get to the low end of the stats for each -- typically a 1 or 0 value.

To get to the full range, we'd need to go from 3 tokens per investigator to 6.

All that said, I mocked up this:



In this example, we'd start the base stats at the 2nd position in the existing stat track and give each investigator 6 tokens, 3 of which could be placed at the start of the game.

During the game, the 2nd set with the orange border could be swapped in if the +1 stat was already placed. So if +1 Speed was in place, the +2 Speed token could be swapped in for 1 focus. Going from +2 back to +1 speed would also be 1 focus.

Note that the stat that's associated with the bottom of the stat pair cannot increase to +2. For example, Speed can increase to +2, but Sneak can only increase by +1 due to the fact that there is only one position "to the left" on the existing skill track. For this reason the back of the Set 2 tokens are "blank."

Again, this starts to get fiddly. If we keep to just 3 tokens, the only stats we cannot reach are the lowest value for each. It's definitely a tradeoff!
 
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Wolfie
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Actually, better than doing a blank side would be to just use the same stats on both sides for Set 2:

 
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