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Subject: 4x in 40 minutes rss

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Lizbeth
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Well, yeah, that's the premise (and quite possibly the title) of a game I'm working on right now.

It's very much designed as a form of intruigue meets hidden role selection in how it plays out.

The game has three main elements component wise:

1) planet cards: these are cards representing your space empire, with three resources on it:
a) income per round
b) trade routes
c) trade routes value

2) money chips: easy enough, how you represent your income

3) advisor chips: these represent your various assistants in galatic domination. There are four types of advisors and you start with one of each, being able to buy more. The four types are:

Admirals: used to take planets off of other empires, can defend against pirate incursions,

Traders: establish trade routes with other empires, can rip off visiting diplomats

Diplomats: used as decoy tokens on offense, on defence can force invading admirals to pay cash as compensation for you loosing a planet

pirates: used to destroy and steal from trade routes, can pilfer visiting traders on defence


Right... that probably gives you a vague idea of the interactions between the tokens.

Game play occurs over 5 rounds, and the player with the most money after 5 rounds is declared rich as stink (also, the victor).

In a round there are 5 steps, all of which occur simultaneously.

1) collect income: look at all your planets and trade routes and collect income for them

2) purchase any new advisors wanted (not sure how much they cost but yeah, this should be obvious)

3) place attacking advisors. Simple enough, here's where the game play really starts, every player takes whatever advisors he wishes to attack with and puts them on other players planet cards with however many cash chips he wants underneath his advisor, this is his investment.

4) players then use any remaining advisors to defend, putting them down on they're own planets and placing investments underneath the defender as well.

5) actions are resolved. Players flip over all they're advisors and various consequences happen depending on combinations:

attacking fleet: if your opponent is not able to pay equal to your investment in this advisor, you take control of the planet in any case, money which is countered is lost, but money which isn't is kept.

(EG. I put a fleet down on a planet with 10,000 credits of investment. You decide that you do not want to keep the planet under your control but want to spite me for the attack and spend 5,000 on defence. As a result of this, I take your planet, but only get 5,000 of my original investment)

if a fleet encounters a defending diplomat, then the fleets controller must pay the defender equal to the diplomats investment to represent compensation for taking the planet (even if he DOESN'T take the planet)

(EG. I put my fleet down with 10,000 again, you reveal a diplomat with a 5,000 investment, so I have to pay you that 5,000, in addition to this you spend the 10,000 to defend the planet, meaning not only am I out ten grand, but you still have your planet and made 5k off of me (admitedly, you lost 10k in the battle as well))


attacking merchant: merchants are essentially bribes. When a merchant is revealed the defender can either

a) reject the offer, returning the merchant to his opponent
b) take the investment and establish a trade route, allowing his opponent to gather the trade route in income every round and leaving the merchant token there as a reminder.

if the defender reveals pirates then he may take the bribe WITHOUT letting the opponent establish a trade route, provided the bribe is equal to or smaller than the investment on the pirates.

attacking diplomat: the diplomat when revealed is a decoy, and is returned to the attackers reserves automatically. The attacker keeps his investment

if the defender reveals traders, then the diplomat has being swindled of his expenses, allowing the defender to take up to the defending traders investment as from the diplomats stack.

attacking pirate: a pirate only takes effect if attacking a planet that has trade routes active, if not then the pirate is considered a decoy and is taken back into his owners hand like the diplomat.

If on a planet with trade routes however, he may target one, in this case, the owner of the trade route must pay the value of investment the pirate has, up to the value of the trade route being raided.

If a defending fleet is revealed, then the pirates are destroyed if the fleet's investment is higher than the pirates.

After all such conflicts are resolved, the round is over, and the next begins, the player with the most cash at the end wins. So yeah, basically hidden role selection and gambling with a smidgen of diplomacy.Any thoughts are highly appreciated (even if it's just to clarify my terrible explanation)

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Andrew H
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Sounds like a neat fun scissors, paper, rock style game.



Avoid reading this spoiler if corrections to grammar bug you
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btw They're is the contraction of they are. Their is the possessive of they.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Just curious: what does "4x in 40 minutes" mean?
 
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Lizbeth
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No problem with grammar corrections I'm freely able to admit I'm terrible sometimes.


Critical Mass wrote:
Sounds like a neat fun scissors, paper, rock style game.



Avoid reading this spoiler if corrections to grammar bug you
Spoiler (click to reveal)
btw They're is the contraction of they are. Their is the possessive of they.



4x is a refference to a genre of strategy game with the ideasl of: eXplore eXpand eXploit eXterminate. Basically, any strategy game where you grow out, discover and then can win via conflict or economic means. 40 minutes just means 'I'm guessing the play time to be'

Stormtower wrote:
Just curious: what does "4x in 40 minutes" mean?




Also, I'm thinking of distributing the planets via draft (IE, you get to pick one planet from a pack of X where X is the number of players, then pass it to your right) so players will get slightly weaker or stronger starting positions but it should even out, this seem okay?
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Elizabeth Robson wrote:

4x is a refference to a genre of strategy game with the ideasl of: eXplore eXpand eXploit eXterminate. Basically, any strategy game where you grow out, discover and then can win via conflict or economic means. 40 minutes just means 'I'm guessing the play time to be'


Thanks! Now that you explained it, I realize that I have seen the term before.


Elizabeth Robson wrote:

Also, I'm thinking of distributing the planets via draft (IE, you get to pick one planet from a pack of X where X is the number of players, then pass it to your right) so players will get slightly weaker or stronger starting positions but it should even out, this seem okay?


Many 4X games would take considerably longer than 40 minutes; which is probably a good reason why people would want a more balanced start / setup.

But if the game you develop only takes 40 minutes, then I don't have much of a problem with a _random_ distribution of planets. Draft-wise, I'd hope there's a way of giving the last person(s) to draft some kind of catch-up advantage ... unless you've designed the planets to be pretty well balanced anyway.
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Lizbeth
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well, I was thinking that everyon started with a draft pack of four planets, then passed it on, this way everyone would get a 1st choice planet, a 2nd choice, a 3rd and get stuck with one rubish planet nobody wanted.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Elizabeth Robson wrote:
well, I was thinking that everyon started with a draft pack of four planets, then passed it on, this way everyone would get a 1st choice planet, a 2nd choice, a 3rd and get stuck with one rubish planet nobody wanted.


That's a lot clearer; and clearly better.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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The more I read and re-read ... the more I think that I must have seen something like this before. And I also keep thinking: "well, it may have been a longer (2-4 hour) game."

But there have been several PnP / design contests, and I'm sure a lot of the entries have been "express" versions of existing games. So maybe you'd like to go back and see what other designers have come up with in terms of a "4X Express (hmmm.... 5X)"

Any if anyone here can remember similar entries off the top of their head, I'd appreciate getting a link here as well! I keep thinking "Dune Express" or "Twilight Imperium Express"

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Lizbeth
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well, the game is thematically TI

The simplified income and advisor style gameplay is from intruigue (a game I don't own but like the look of)

and to be honest, the inter-play between the advisors is basically uneven pay off rock paper scissors with variable wagers, which is bound to be in alot of games (IE, you make a desicion you think you will work and as a result bet X amount on it).

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Sturv Tafvherd
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Ah, found it:

Twilight Imperium Express: www.toco.be/pm (Redubbed Planet Masters)

Definitely take a serious look at that!

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Lizbeth
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that definitely looks cool, more of a dice game than anything but definitely intruiging.
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Elizabeth Robson wrote:
that definitely looks cool, more of a dice game than anything but definitely intruiging.


Planet Masters, yep, some dice, many options, and it consumes no time

It is a light, fast, intriguing empire-building space-game.
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