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Subject: Attack of the Moulds - Contest feedback rss

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Jørgen Brunborg-Næss
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Hi Vegard,

Providing the only pure abstract of this contest (the last one had loads of them), and a new board/grid configuration!

https://greenbox.fandom.com/wiki/Attack_of_the_Moulds

One point to clarify in the rules:
Quote:
On your turn, either A) Grow and place a new piece next to one of your existing ones, or B) Spread by moving one of your existing pieces to a new position that is 2 steps away instead of next to your old position

Do you have to move in a straight line? I assumed no.

Are you allowed to "jump" across an opponents piece when you move? I assumed no, but wondering if this is wrong, since all of my test games end in a situation where all colours but one are locked in and unable to grow further. Your rules suggest that the board will fill up, and I don't see how that can happen without jumping.

End game, two players, white dominates


End game, three players, red dominates


This way the game is clearly about securing your territory, but it seems a bit quick and possibly solvable with two players.

About your semi-triangular board:
Quote:
↑ I started with a regular triangle with sides of 7, and then added 2 tiles along the middle of each side. What I got then is actually a 6-armed star of David with 3 truncated corners - I realized afterwards that with 37 tiles total it would be possible to make a complete star of David)

This is a board configuration I had actually not tried myself, but it looks good. But actually, you could simulate the 37th tile, by either leaving the center space open, or laying down one of the "Star" cards there. 37 tiles is by the way also what you need to build a perfect hexagonal board with 4 tiles along each side (7 across in the center row)
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Ron I
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Do I have it right that the first player in this 2 player setup can "spread" one of the cubes from their pair of starting cubes to next to the single starting cube of their opponent and consume it immediately? That seems extremely quick and stifling to the opponent's position on the board.

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Jørgen Brunborg-Næss
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pvtparts wrote:
Do I have it right that the first player in this 2 player setup can "spread" one of the cubes from their pair of starting cubes to next to the single starting cube of their opponent and consume it immediately? That seems extremely quick and stifling to the opponent's position on the board.

I thought the same, but after trying it out I believe it is not a very good opening move, as your opponent will be able to outgrow you if you spread instead of growing the first turns.
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Vegard Stornes Farstad
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Hi and sorry for the delay in responding! I simply didn't see these comments, was focusing on the fb group and wiki. Have subscribed to this thread now.

Gwarv wrote:
One point to clarify in the rules:
Quote:
On your turn, either A) Grow and place a new piece next to one of your existing ones, or B) Spread by moving one of your existing pieces to a new position that is 2 steps away instead of next to your old position

Yes, I can see that clarification is necessary. I did in fact plan to post more images to detail this, but didn't want to spend more time on posting (as it already took quite a lot of time to set things up on the wiki) so I added the following paragraph instead: https://greenbox.fandom.com/wiki/Attack_of_the_Moulds#Exampl...

Since I didn't see any comments there, I thought nothing much was happening...

Gwarv wrote:
One point to clarify in the rules:
Do you have to move in a straight line? I assumed no.

Are you allowed to "jump" across an opponents piece when you move? I assumed no, but wondering if this is wrong, since all of my test games end in a situation where all colours but one are locked in and unable to grow further.

In fact, I was thinking "yes" to both of these questions when designing the rules, but I wanted people to try out all alternatives (yes and no) to both questions. Hence the tag "Incomplete" in the wiki.

So I am happy that the ambiguity had this effect. Though it would have been better to state this intention more clearly. See the backstory above...

TL;DR:

1 Yes, I think you should have to move in a straight line. However, if playtesting shows that this is not a necessary requirement for a good game, then I am happy to allow "jumping around corners".

2 Yes, when moving a piece two steps, it doesn't matter whether there is something on the position in the middle. I.e. you can "jump". And then you will of course change the piece in the middle if it belongs to an opponent. But you will also leave behind a hole that can allow an opponent to jump in and attack your mould colony from within...

Note: I deliberately did not use the word "jump" since it didn't fit the theme of mould, but I see that this can be confusing.

pvtparts wrote:
Do I have it right that the first player in this 2 player setup can "spread" one of the cubes from their pair of starting cubes to next to the single starting cube of their opponent and consume it immediately? That seems extremely quick and stifling to the opponent's position on the board.

No, I did not intend that you can "jump around the corner" like this. That is why the board is specifically designed to create a "recess" for the initial placement of pieces, so that they are protected from a first round attack.

However, as Jørgen points out above, it might not be such a big benefit to an early attack in any case. And also, as I mentioned above, I did want people to try out whether such a rule (of moving in straight lines only) is necessary or not.

So please let me know what your opinion is, if you are able to playtest more both with and without the requirement of having to move in straight lines.

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Vegard Stornes Farstad
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Gwarv wrote:
pvtparts wrote:
Do I have it right that the first player in this 2 player setup can "spread" one of the cubes from their pair of starting cubes to next to the single starting cube of their opponent and consume it immediately? That seems extremely quick and stifling to the opponent's position on the board.

I thought the same, but after trying it out I believe it is not a very good opening move, as your opponent will be able to outgrow you if you spread instead of growing the first turns.

My playtesting during development also showed that growing is a better strategy to start with, since just jumping doesn't add to your mould colony, it just moves it around.

My intention was that jumping vs. growing gives you the tactical balance between choosing whether to attack or defend that makes chess interesting.
 
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