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Subject: Pencil and paper game of exploration and settlement - playtesters required rss

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Matthew Harkness
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I've designed a pencil and paper game where you draw islands or island segements on a square grid as you explore them with a ship (scrap of paper/ counter). The contents of the squares are decided randomly (so a die is needed as well as a pencil and paper). You can settle on islands and then collect resources to build more ships and more settlements.

I've written some prototype rules: anyone interest in playtesting this?
 
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Andrew Eveninger
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I woud like to look at this
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Matthew Harkness
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Great: I'll give you the download link in a few hours time.
 
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Chris Buhl
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mnharkness wrote:
I've designed a pencil and paper game where you draw islands or island segements on a square grid as you explore them with a ship (scrap of paper/ counter). The contents of the squares are decided randomly (so a die is needed as well as a pencil and paper). You can settle on islands and then collect resources to build more ships and more settlements.

I've written some prototype rules: anyone interest in playtesting this?


I'm always interested in playtesting games, sign me up.

Chris
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Sion V
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Interested. Sounds like an interesting mechanic, as opposed to drawing land tiles, you never run out of space. Well, as long as you have some spare paper. Would like to test.
 
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Rob Arcangeli
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Hi, I would love to playtest a game like this!
 
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Ben Friedberg
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Sounds like fun! Are you GM'ing playtest links?
 
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Geoff Hardy
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I'm always up for trying new P&P games! Be glad to provide feedback.
 
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Eric Sprague
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This looks interesting! I would love to try this out for you. How many players is it designed for?
 
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Rat Moose
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I'd be willing to give it a go, Should be able to get some good honest feedback from my semi-regular group for you
 
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Andrew L.
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I'll try it. I usually only play solo games though, so if it's designed for more then you may be out of luck...unless I can convince my fiancee to play ninja
 
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Karl von Laudermann
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EagleV wrote:
Sounds like an interesting mechanic, as opposed to drawing land tiles, you never run out of space.

As opposed to drawing land tiles, you're drawing land tiles.
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Matthew Harkness
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Here is the direct download link.

http://sites.google.com/site/matthewharkness/files/Islandsv0...

These rules haven't been tried yet so I expect a few glitches. You'll need squared paper (download at http://www.mathsphere.co.uk/resources/documents/blue1cmsq.pd...), a pencil, scraps of paper to record things (and make little boats with) and a single six-sided die.

One concern some hardcore euro gamers may have is the luck factor - altenative suggestions welcome. Please be gracious and constructive with your feedback. Please post questions on this thread. Thanks for all the interest so far.

Finally, this is for 2-4 players, but I'm sure you could play it solo, counting the number of turns it takes you to establish 5 colonies (the standard victory conditions) and then trying to beat that record. Have fun!



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Matthew Harkness
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benfriedberg1981 wrote:
Are you GM'ing playtest links?


Apologies for my ignorance, I don't know what this term means?
 
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Ben Friedberg
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Sorry, GM = GeekMail. I didn't know if you were sending links for playtesting privately or if you were going to post them on the forum.
 
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Matthew Harkness
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I've posted the links above for all the see. If my game is good enough for someone to exploit and attempt to pass it off as their own then I must be a good designer. I hoped there was enough mutual respect on this site that such a thing doesn't happen. It's a risk I'm willing to take.
 
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James Hutchings
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This game might produce better-looking maps if it used hexagons instead of squares.

Not sure what effect that'd have on gameplay though.
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Matthew Harkness
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apeloverage wrote:
This game might produce better-looking maps if it used hexagons instead of squares.

Not sure what effect that'd have on gameplay though.


Thanks for the suggestion. I'd like to thoroughly try this version before I make another. I also figured that squared paper was easier to come by/draw from scratch, but I suppose I'm about to be proven wrong...
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Ben Friedberg
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apeloverage wrote:
This game might produce better-looking maps if it used hexagons instead of squares.

Not sure what effect that'd have on gameplay though.


Even better, with hexagons, you could roll for a connecting face. So when you roll an island segment, you could roll again for the face of the hex that the segment connects to. that might make an even more consistent looking land mass.
 
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Ben Friedberg
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Quick initial questions:

1. What does population do? Does it count in place of a tie? Does it multiply the resources you can get?
2. When you do the 'Work' phase, do you only work one space per turn or does a colony immediately 'work' all five spaces?
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Matthew Harkness
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benfriedberg1981 wrote:

1. What does population do? Does it count in place of a tie? Does it multiply the resources you can get?


Sorry, I meant to add this to the initial rules. You can only work one square around a colony per unit of population. So when your colony is first established and you have a population of 1, you can only work one adjacent square to that colony. If a colony is later increased to 2 population, it can then work an additional square. Once a square is worked and has a number assigned to it, it doesn't need to be worked again.

benfriedberg1981 wrote:

2. When you do the 'Work' phase, do you only work one space per turn or does a colony immediately 'work' all five spaces?


When you work, work one square only in your whole 'empire' per turn.

Many thanks for your feedback. Please keep the questions coming.
 
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Ben Friedberg
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Cool, sounds good. Next question that came to mind is if colonies can share a worked space. If they CAN, does that include side-by-side colonies? So with the following grid:


A B
1 p1(3)
2 (4)
3 p2(5) p3(6)


And the following values:
player 1 has a colony on A1 (work number of 3)
player 2 has a colony on A3 (work number of 4)
player 3 has a colony on B3 (work number of 5)
A2 has a work number of 6.

What happens when
1. a 3 is rolled
2. a 4 is rolled
3. a 5 is rolled
4. a 6 is rolled
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Matthew Harkness
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benfriedberg1981 wrote:
Cool, sounds good. Next question that came to mind is if colonies can share a worked space. If they CAN, does that include side-by-side colonies? So with the following grid:


A B
1 p1(3)
2 (4)
3 p2(5) p3(6)


And the following values:
player 1 has a colony on A1 (work number of 3)
player 2 has a colony on A3 (work number of 4)
player 3 has a colony on B3 (work number of 5)
A2 has a work number of 6.

What happens when
1. a 3 is rolled
2. a 4 is rolled
3. a 5 is rolled
4. a 6 is rolled


Colonies cannot share worked squares. In the above example, p1, p2 and p3 would have each worked the square on which their colony was built. Let's say that p1 was the first to work A2: he would need to write his initials in that square to show it was his. No other player can now claim produce from square A2, only p1. Also, you cannot work the square containing another player's colony, if by some miracle you had the opportunity to work it before them.

I'm glad you've pointed out these issues. I'll give it a few days to see if there are anymore that crop up, and then I'll revise the rules.
Thanks again.
 
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Matthew Harkness
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benfriedberg1981 wrote:


What happens when
1. a 3 is rolled
2. a 4 is rolled
3. a 5 is rolled
4. a 6 is rolled


Also, to explicitly answer this question, assuming p1 was the player who worked square A2:

1. On the roll of a 3, p1 produces a resource
2. On the roll of a 4, p1 produces a resource from A2 (that's if A2 has a 4 for it, which your chart seems to show)
3. On the roll of a 5, p2 produces a resource
4. On the roll of a 6, p3 produces a resource
 
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Andrew Eveninger
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Do colonies use as a "working square" squares laying diagonally to colony?
Do building a new ship reduce colony (where ship was build) population?
Can different "working squares" around one colony have the same number?
Do resources share among all of your colonies or are stick to colony where came from?

When you found a colony on a distant shore to build new ship you must have two "land resources", so first you must mark as working square square with land and wait enough turns until your luck will smile to you (twice), if you do not roll number the turn is "lost", I know that other players can also roll "your" number but this "catan-resource-trick" is something I really dislike (i've made Solo play: Q'tan for mechanic test and beginning is a pain in the ass).

It can hold back player terribly (and is holding when solo ).
The same is with waiting for "sea resource" to increase population, bigger colony has more chances to produce anything but if you don't have luck...

Quote:
When you work, work one square only in your whole 'empire' per turn.

Aww this is wrong, you have 3 colonies all have "working squares" with 5number and when you roll 5 only one square for one colony bring resource?? Other players also gets only one resource in that moment?

I think gaining resources should be re-thinked. Other rules are quite smart and without flaws.

Maybe you will add some special objects on discovered islands? Free resources, neutral colonies to capture ..

------------------
Edit

I got some idea:
You do not roll and mark working area with numbers.
If colony is placed automatically has population 1 and can gain profits from square colony is on
Additionally fresh colonies can work one more adjacent square - so colony can control one more square than it population
(population 1 - two squares, population 2 - three squares ... so max population is 4 - five controlled squares)
Each controlled square is marked with bold dot (not number)
In resource gathering step, player perform two rolls - one roll for all "land squares" second roll for all "sea squares".
If roll even empire you get resources (1 resource for each "work square" in whole empire), if roll odds you don't get any resources.
So each player rolls for his own resources
In your empire resources are not share among colonies.
(I do not think that roll for each single square is good it could be ten rolls or more in end game)
Build cost should be increased slightly, (ship - three land resource, population - two sea resource and one land resource)
 
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