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Subject: The Mechanics rss

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Brandon Tibbetts
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The core mechanic of The Manhattan Project is (and will likely always be ) worker placement. As such, you can probably take a look at the board and begin to draw comparisons to games like Stone Age and The Pillars of the Earth.

I've worked to set my game apart from other WP efficiency games with unique interrelationships of game objects, player goals, player interaction and theme.

On another level, I'm trying to make something work that I haven't seen yet in any other "pure" WP designs. From my findings, every one of these is played in rounds, and each round has a turn order that either "shifts" a player each time or is directly manipulable by the players via some selectable action.

I'm trying to go a different route - back to a conventional you-go-I-go turn order.

When thinking about WP with a you-go-I-go, obvious design challenges come up. Most notably, what event causes players to retrieve/activate their workers in the absence of rounds? If this is a player action, what will encourage players to take this action rather than simply stalling after placing their workers to strategically block actions?

My solution involves spaces that are permanently player-controlled. These are a player's collection of building cards. In a very limited way, other players can activate these buildings (through the espionage action), but in general a player has the comfort of knowing that his own buildings are still available even when the main board is filled.

Additionally, on each turn a player must place workers or retrieve all of his workers - so inevitably players will have to retrieve them at some point.

So far for my 2-player test cases this is working extremely well. I'm not sure if I have the mental fortitude to self-test a 3-player game of this in any useful way, so I'm not sure yet how it will scale up, but I'm feeling pretty good about it.

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Brandon Tibbetts
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schmanthony wrote:
So far for my 2-player test cases this is working extremely well. I'm not sure if I have the mental fortitude to self-test a 3-player game of this in any useful way, so I'm not sure yet how it will scale up, but I'm feeling pretty good about it.


Just an update, I've been testing 3-player games and it's going great! I feel good about the scaling to 4 and 5 players too. With more players, more buildings will be out resulting in more player-controlled spaces and thus similar levels of competition for the main board.
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Dann May
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What are some of the possible strategies that stand out for you at the moment?

Eg. a) I can take my time getting a good design, then test it with more chance of it working, or b) i can rush through some designs on the chance I might get lucky with a positive test?

I'm not even sure if there is a testing phase, was just ruminating...

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Brandon Tibbetts
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Jumpseat wrote:
What are some of the possible strategies that stand out for you at the moment?


Your strategy will depend mostly on what buildings you can get. Here are a handful that seem to emerge as I am play testing:

Military strategy: Get lots of cash and spend most of it on planes. While your bomb making infrastructure will be off to a slow start, no one will want invade and you will be in position to be able to cripple your opponent(s) with attacks on key facilities at the right moment, and hopefully seize that opportunity to slingshot yourself into the lead.

Uranium Processing Strategies: (You pretty much have to pick one.) All-out enrichment, all-out plutonium production, or a combined approach. In the combined approach, excess or unneeded enriched uranium is used to accelerate plutonium production.

Design strategy: Hit the design box multiple times to have the most bomb options, exert control over and gain knowledge of what others can/can't design.

Personnel strategy: Hold out longer between worker retrievals for more productivity and more opportunities at vacated spaces on the board. Enhances the espionage action as you will have more workers to place on opponent buildings.

Mining Strategy: Mine a lot of uranium early. When you have enough, pave over your mines with other buildings (you can keep a max of 6 buildings) as you won't need them any more. Hit the common mining spaces frequently to keep opponents behind in the uranium race. Make use of higher capacity and less efficient enrichment plants and reactors. Get a lot of trucks so you can move your uranium.

Jumpseat wrote:
I'm not even sure if there is a testing phase, was just ruminating...


There is testing, but there are no phases of any kind (this is a pure conventional turn order game). At any time on your turn, you may choose to test a bomb. This means you discard the (assembled) bomb and take a test card instead. The test card itself is worth points, though you lose the points you would have had from keeping the bomb. You take the highest value card, so the first player to test is rewarded more. Testing the plutonium bombs unlocks the much higher point values from all other plutonium bombs you decide to keep in your arsenal.
 
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Scott S.
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Memory is listed as a mechanic for this game on the BGG entry. Can someone enlighten me as to how memory plays a role in this game? Thanks.
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Paulo Santoro
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I would say: when someone takes the Design Bomb action. Then you have to remember how those available bombs were.
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Sam Carroll
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Yes, it's not really a big deal. Moderately helpful at best. And Scott, a for the avatar.
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Scott S.
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Thanks a bunch, guys. Memory is generally the one deal-breaking mechanic for me, since I have such a horrible time with it. It sounds like this one can stay on the wishlist.
 
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