Ralph T
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I'm designing an AT style game. Like the old Axis and Allies style games, there are fully separate player turns and the collection of income, and building. It seems the order I do the collecting and building will have a big effect on the game dynamics.

I think it's a bad idea to have building first and allow just built units to move and attack in their turn. First, I don't think it thematically will fit my game, and second, I think it will make the game longer.

I currently have the turn order:

1. Move, 2. build, 3. combat, 4. collect income. This makes players flush with income and causes some brain burning in the building as you cannot know in advance of the combats what you need. The problem is with more than two players, there's a maximum slow down between turns.

Another possibility is: Collect income, move, combat, build (only on areas not taken this turn). This would mean conquering on your turn would have no payoff until next. This has the advantage of the other player can start their turn while the current player is building.

A third possibility is Move, combat, build (not on new territory), then collect income.

This is closer the current model. It will slightly favor attacking, with income coming at the end of the turn, but can still cut down player downtime.

In your opinion, what is the best phase in a player turn to put building and collecting income in a build and conquer game?
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Steven Metzger
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What about:

1a) Move
1b) Combat
2a) Income
2b) Build

You are able to distinguish between battle (first) and reinforcement (second).
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Ralph T
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It's not a bad idea, but the problem is this might give an advantage to the first player as they will have a bigger lead in materiel, if they can use the income from their newly conquered worlds.
 
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Steven Metzger
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ralpher wrote:
It's not a bad idea, but the problem is this might give an advantage to the first player as they will have a bigger lead in materiel, if they can use the income from their newly conquered worlds.
Can they really?

Maybe you should change that...you're the designer after all.

If 1st-player advantage is going to kill a good turn order then you have bigger problems, my friend. Don't sacrifice a good mid- and late-game concept in the name of early-game parity. There are several methods of evening up the start of a game without compromising its integrity.
 
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Pete Belli
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Interesting discussion.

Quote:
...this might give an advantage to the first player as they will have a bigger lead in materiel, if they can use the income from their newly conquered worlds.


This sounds like a sci-fi or fantasy game.

Why not make the empires (or whatever type of civilization is featured in your prototype...) asymmetric? Spread the wealth unevenly at first and give the weakest (or must vulnerable) player the first move.

Collect
Build
Move
Fight

-or-

Collect
Build
Fight
Move

BTW, giving the players the choice to move or fight in the order they select can offer some delightful decision options.

Good Luck!

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Ralph T
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Yep, it's a sci fi universe. I am thinking that perhaps the empires will start with an initiative number so that the slowest empire moves first.
 
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alan beaumont
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Build a better Turtle
ralpher wrote:
I'm designing an AT style game....I think it's a bad idea to have building first and allow just built units to move and attack in their turn. First, I don't think it thematically will fit my game, and second, I think it will make the game longer.
Having accidently played Risk for years with reinforcements placed last I can assure you that it actually makes the game longer, as it is much more difficult to launch a surprise blow and opponents can place their own reinforcements to counter your intentions.
 
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Ralph T
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See, that's why the current turn order may be the best. You can build after you move so you can't move what you build, and you can't build on what you took over. But I might be on my own here. The concept here is you are building huge ships so you cannot move them until the following turn. Some units are upgradable as well so we definitely don't want them to be built and moved.

Are there any build and conquer games where you cannot build, move and attack with those new units in the same turn?
 
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Darrell Hanning
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ralpher wrote:
Are there any build and conquer games where you cannot build, move and attack with those new units in the same turn?


There are as many different sequences of play as you can imagine, and likely then some.

The sequence of play is completely up to you, and believe it or not, there are a great number of ways to achieve the effects you desire without even altering it (although that may be the most effective method). "Income, movement, combat, build", for instance, provides incentive for garrisoning. Don't want the players to build in locations they just took this turn? That's easy, particularly with an interstellar/interplanetary 4X game - just require that the first build in a system/planet be a "spaceyard", and not allow building ships until the turn after the spaceyard is built. But that's just one possibility.

Make the order whatever you want, fine-tune the rules in any way that achieves the effect you want. If you're not sure what you want, identify games that do those things in a way that you like, and identify how they do it. (Conversely, identify those games that do not do things the way you like, and identify what you think they do "wrong".)

The only rule you need to know is that there are no rules, here, other than what you create. Create what achieves the effects you desire; discard or alter what doesn't contribute to that.

You don't really need the advice of others to solve these problems for you - just realize it's all in your control, and try things until you like what you see.

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Ford
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What about:

Purchase
Move
Fight
Place
Collect

This gives you the ability to buy your pieces at the begining of your turn but not use them that turn.
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Ralph T
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FYI, here is the solution I came up with.

Collect income and build is the first stage, building is simultaneous by all players.

Then players take turns moving.

Then battle takes place in any contested area.

Making the build stage simultaneous and having only one combat resolution stage shaves some time off the playtime.
 
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Klaus Brune
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Not saying if any of what I'm about to suggest will make the game better or worse... just throwing out some "what if" ideas that came to me as I read this...

1) What if the game had Euro-style phase selection or purchasing... only ONE player can do each phase each turn.

2) What if there was a mini "build queue" board in front of each player, computer game style. Might even have different build queues for different types of pieces. Borrowing from Axis & Allies, an infantry queue (1 or 2 turns) would be shorter than the build queue for an aircraft carrier (5 or 6 turns, maybe). Perhaps with income being allotted to the build per-turn instead of all at once, with the option to abandon the build if the funds are urgently needed to build something quickly to fend off an attack.

Just thinking out loud
 
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Jordan Booth
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Gruumsh wrote:

2) What if there was a mini "build queue" board in front of each player, computer game style. Might even have different build queues for different types of pieces. Borrowing from Axis & Allies, an infantry queue (1 or 2 turns) would be shorter than the build queue for an aircraft carrier (5 or 6 turns, maybe). Perhaps with income being allotted to the build per-turn instead of all at once, with the option to abandon the build if the funds are urgently needed to build something quickly to fend off an attack.

This is something I'm working on for a port of core RTS gameplay to a tabletop format.

My initial thoughts for phase order were that everyone does each phase in turn before moving on to the next and they are:

1a)Income
1b)Development
2a)Movement
2b)Combat
3a)Production
3b)Placement

This way you gain income before new territory and units just after. So a unit that requires two turns to produce would be placed on a "2" spot in the factory during the Development phase it was started and then the next Dev. phase it would move to "1" and be produced and placed at the end of that turn.
 
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Barry Kendall
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I've long thought that most conquer-collect-produce games are short on logic in some key areas.

Newly conquered areas generally bear the ravages of combat. It takes time for collection, refinement and distribution infrastructure to be repaired and put into effective operation again.

This means that newly-conquered regions should not add their wealth to the coffers prior to a Turn's production cycle, whenever it falls.

Duration of production process varies considerably, depending what is being produced.

General-purpose troops are relatively quick to raise and equip. Specialists and elites take twice as long, or more, due to advanced training.

Transportation assets are relatively cheap and easy to manufacture.

Mobile combat assets such as armor and warships take longer--in the case of complex warships, CONSIDERABLY longer. It always drove me nuts in A&A to see battleships and carriers bought on one turn and deployed the next. These things took a year or more to build and work-up to deployable status.

Ground troops in a space-empires setting can be raised quickly. Jump troops, genetically engineered commandos or power-armor types, longer. Combat starships would take much longer to construct, and the yards where they are built would be of considerable strategic interest to all sides as places necessary to defend and attractive to attack; perhaps moreso than merely "harvesting" one more high-production star system.

All this means that not everything should be buildable in a single Turn, or if it is, some types (Ground troops, transports) should be immediately available, others (Elites, armor, war starships) not available until the next Turn (or later), depending on the amount of time represented by one Turn (six months, a year, five years, whatever).

A whole separate issue is technology development and improvement, assimilation of alien or captured technologies, and the like, which can parallel and influence production without being directly tied to it (by "influence," I mean not only enhance, but sometimes, slow--as when a piece of captured hostile technology demonstrates that an aspect of the capturing side's production proves to be ineffectual in light of what the captured tech reveals; "Oops, no point in building that photon gun platform anymore; boarding torpedoes with embarked Marines, anyone?").

Good luck with your project. Perhaps an ongoing "design diary" on BGG would be interesting.
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