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Subject: Variable home base proximity rss

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Guido Van Horn
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playing around with some game design.

point of the game is to pick up deliver and convert raw goods to commodities...in order to build something awesome...

I want the game to have a variable layout (ie catan) so that each game has a different strategy. players will be able to attack one anothers home base in order to steal items or partially tear down their accomplishments...yes they can defend.

so my question to you guys is...

in such a scenario is it important to have the home bases equidistance from each other, so that every player can attack all other players equally. or is laying out the home bases randomly a better idea, there's no mandatory rule making you attack others, however it seems like if one player ends up on the other side of the playing area from the others they would have an unfair advantage, but I kind of like the idea of complete randomness.

plus scaling from 2-4( or 5 or 6) players makes spacing difficult to make everyone equidistance, at least the configurations I've tried thus far.

thoughts everyone... thanks for the input.

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Chris Deliz
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Rather than distance, instead measure it by how much of an ordeal it is to get there altogether. For example, a mountain base is more difficult to reach than one in the plains. Players could build up further defenses (Walls or Towers) that increased the difficulty of reaching their base.
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Guido Van Horn
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so are you suggesting, the bases should be locked in certain locations, but those locations should be "balanced" by difficulty to reach?

building walls and stuff is already implemented to a degree, I'm still playing around with how much or how easy I want to make that part of it...but yes it's a good idea.

Maybe if building the wall counted as a VP or something, then it would help overcome the "wasted" action defending yourself aspect that I'm having trouble with.
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Mario Lanza
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What about letting the players decide where to place their home base? If the game supports various strategies, there might be value to an aggression strategy and there might be value to a peaceful strategy. Players can position themselves according to what strategy they're adopting.
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James Hutchings
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You could locate bases randomly and then have players bid for first pick - giving up whatever resources the game uses.
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Brandon Tibbetts
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Auction starts like that are notoriously hard on new players (if that's a concern for you). New players aren't able to value the starting spaces accurately, don't know what to bid, and this tends to start the game off in a very unbalanced way.
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Nate Straight

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You're basically describing Roads & Boats with the & Cetera expansion [allows destruction of other player's buildings; base game only allows theft of resources from those buildings]. Take a good look at that game; it has just about everything you just talked about. It even has walls [an integral part of any aggressive R&B map] like you mentioned.

In fact, R&B might save you from having to design the game you want.
 
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Guido Van Horn
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NateStraight wrote:
You're basically describing Roads & Boats with the & Cetera expansion [allows destruction of other player's buildings; base game only allows theft of resources from those buildings]. Take a good look at that game; it has just about everything you just talked about. It even has walls [an integral part of any aggressive R&B map] like you mentioned.

In fact, R&B might save you from having to design the game you want.


well what's the fun in that???

I haven't played R&B but I read some about it once upon a time, and I think the rest of what I'm doing is enough different that I just wouldn't be satisfied with R&B...though it sounds like a fascinating game and definitely would like to try it out sometime.

I realize that a lot of what I'm doing is going to be similar to a lot of different things...so far though, I have at least one mechanism that I haven't seen duplicated...I'm sure that now that I've said it, I'll discover it post haste...

and just for clarification I'm not envisioning any sort of bid or drafting process on where the home bases are, they would pop up randomly as you put the board up.

I designed a couple of boards with fixed home bases, but I was having problems with scaling the game, and I don't want to make the game have to have 2 or 4 players...and I don't want to get into the situation where there has to be an expansion to do 5 or 6, or seperate boards for 3 players.

Plus I like the idea of certain players having inherent advantages in certain areas and disadvantages in other areas.

I'm wondering though, if being further away from the competition is too much of an advantage in this type of game.

edit: for misleading statement.
 
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James Hutchings
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You could have an advantage to close bases, to offset the disadvantage.

For example maybe players can set up trade routes between bases, which have the same value regardless of how long they are.
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Lizbeth
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You could do a more abstract set up, where every player has in essence they're own area, then leaving anywhere on this area can let them go into any edge square of another players area, in that way they're all equally distant.
 
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David Fisher
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mlanza wrote:
What about letting the players decide where to place their home base?

Another possibility is for players to take turns placing the bases, then after they have all been placed, assign bases to players randomly.

No idea how this would work in reality ... possibly someone might think to himself, "There's a low probability of me getting this base, so I'll take a risk and place it in a bad position."
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Guido Van Horn
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interesting ideas guys...as I'm thinking about it, it may just be simpler to let everyone pick where they want to start, that way their choice is their choice, and they can't really complain about that, and it will eliminate the "luck of the draw" feel of complete randomness, it just means a slight reimplementation of how the home bases integrate with the board.

maybe a variant rule where you can bid on spaces...that way beginners don't have to overcome the knowledge disadvantage, but bring more strategy to advanced players...and that actually goes well with my theme, it wouldn't feel forced at all.
 
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