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Subject: AtomPunk WIP - Mechanics Discussion (postapocalyptic caravan cardgame) rss

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Sam Mercer
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Thanks to all of your contributions BGGeekers have "unlocked" an early version of the AtomPunk Card Game cover art:

'aint she beautiful?


-The ol' Steamer

Heya all,

Art Thread for the game:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/7422734

Original Theme Poll for the game:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/694242/what-awesome-theme-sh...


I am slowly getting together all ideas on my new game and was wondering if any of you had any cool ideas to add into the bubbling pot.

Currently it is an Atompunk (post apocalyptic) caravan style progression game. Each turn(s) will have an exploratory Battlestar Galactica style "In order to progress to the next area you need X water, Y fuel, Z kills and P caravans". Win condition is getting to the end of the designated number of areas. Game time < 40mins, players 1-4

The Tableau will represent your caravan, outriders and resources. There will be a line of your caravan cards (about 6) in front of you and resource cards above and below each. Each caravan will have effects that it exerts on anything to its right, left, top, bottom - thus there will be a lot of puzzle-piece positioning within the game: "Water Purifier: +1 resource to any caravan to the right, -1 to the left, active ability: Turn all fuel above the caravan into water (cost 1 fuel) +1 to any combat check if in position 1" and of course, certain caravans would have great synergy with others next to it: creating a constantly changing overarching abstract puzzle element.

Mobs would be rerepsented by a stack of flipping cards "Wolf pack: Attacks the caravan at the front of your line" or "Nuclear Miasma: attacks your caravan 2 places in" - in a similar manner to the new(ish) space marine card game (I forget the name).

Heavy co-op play: all must win together or lose together, but some players may not win if they have not satisfied certain conditions. (to avoid alpha geeking, and tertiary "Co-op by accident" play). So co-op players would get significant bonuses in helping eachother survive, while balancing there own caravans out.

If anybody has any ideas on mechanics or changes & additions to develop some of the ideas, however insignificant or obscure you think it may be, I would be most grateful if you could let me know, and of course if any ideas become central themes to the game and it gets the kickstarter funding, I wold love to have your permission to put a thank you to you personally in the manual.

Thank you very much, I will try and reward to everyone that submits their ideas.
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Sam Mercer
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk caravan progression puzzle game
Forgot to say: You guys all voted for this game from this post,

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/694242/what-awesome-theme-sh...

And thank you once again to all of you that voted - you are all awesome!
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Fancy Ned
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk caravan progression puzzle game
with the Mob cards, are you set on designating which vehicle (or caravan element) will be attacked right on the cards themselves? maybe you could somehow randomize which element in the line is being attacked for each Mob card that's flipped (maybe by roll of a die?). if I'm misunderstanding the functionality, I apologize. still getting used to all the game-design terminology and whatnot.

also, the caravan theme reminds me of how covered wagons used to get into a circle when attacked. perhaps a mechanism for certain mob cards where you'd know they were coming a bit in advance, giving you the chance to "circle the wagons". the other cool thing that might come from this is because you're giving bonuses/etc. to caravan elements depending on their relationships spatially. this could mean that the elements at the front and back would then interact in this manner, possibly granting additional bonuses for defense, or other resources. not sure how practical this would be in your game, but it could be kind of cool.

I think it's a pretty cool idea for a game, btw!
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David Sevier
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk caravan progression puzzle game
One interesting thing about a caravan game is you can have the players deal with diminishing resources as the game progresses. Or fluctuating resources if you're gaining caravan members/trading as you go.

Might be interesting to split the game into two main phases: Preparation and Expedition.

Having the players take turns getting resources from a limited pool at the start could be fun. Have it so that everything needs to go, and players are basically divvying everything up. But, if players have separate personal goals, you can have some driving factors. Say, one player needs to make sure that X amount of medicine gets back to home city. They'd probably be bidding to get the medicines. If another player is trying to get an even mix of items for their goal, then there will be some conflict there.

Then, once all items are divvied, you start the Expedition.

At that point, players are trying to make sure that everyone gets to the end. Mobs might destroy caravans or make off with goods, you might run into a settlement you can trade at, etc. But a driving factor could be that beating each set of challenges reduces the amount of resources the players have left. This means that decisions matter.

If you add in a random element to encounters, then players can deal with a risk/cost choice. Do you give yourself a 100% chance of beating the wolves at a cost of 2 fuel? Or do you only spend 1 fuel and have only a 75% chance of succeeding?


I might have more suggestions as you flesh out the idea more. But it sounds like an interesting idea!
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Sam Mercer
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk caravan progression puzzle game
Hey Fancy Ned,

Well first of all, you are picking up the lingo of boardgame design very well, to be honest, if you are a gamer of any sort, you will have the right kind of attitude - I love it how people like you just jump on board the game designers thread to throw in your two cents, game designers make these games for everyone to enjoy, and without comments like that, they will make lame and boring games - so thanks for even replying first of all!

Well the Mob cards at the moment may well be designated as in "attack position 1" or indeed "Attack the 5 in line" (oand of course if you only have 3m it will be counted to the end, then restart at the front) but there may also be some that attack the 6th in line ONLY - therfore, if you havent been able to build up to 6 caravans: your safe! I like how many different variables there are in the game, giving a lot of different possiblilites for effects that the cards could exert.

I absolutely love the covered wagons in a circle idea, I do like how it would add a "oh my gosh no way! It's circle-time!" kind of deal, essentially juxstaposing (yeah, big words, pow) the front and the back cards, giving huge bonuses perhaps for a limited turn. You are also unfortauntely right that if I stick to the resources above and below the caravan line that as soon as you practically rearrange your cards into a circle, it will mess the positions of everything up and not be quite practical unless you don't actually need to position them, it is "assumed" that for that turn(s) they are in the circular formation.


David, thanks for your comments too buddy: I do like the idea of players divying resources up - that might add a cool kind of "we are friends, but I need this..." kind of element to it. I like also having to trade things, I hadn't initially included that as the Caravan ideas was literally that: just a caravan, but why the hell not trading and stuff as well - and I really like the "you need 5 med supplies to win" and of course mobs will come and try specifically to nick your supplies. Perhaps amounts of certain supplies that you have will give you certain bonuses too? (more than 5 med supplies = +1 health) kind of jazz?

Also the choice of 100 for 2 or 75 for 1 is also very cool, that would add al ovely idea to it, but I want to try and keep it a strict card game and not include any tokens / dice etc - if can be helped. How could I do this without dice?

Thanks you guys! I've 'd you a little to say thanks

Cog







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David Sevier
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk caravan progression puzzle game
Hmm. Well, you could go for an approach like Warrior Knights. Have cards that give outcomes to battles/challenges. So the challenge card will tell you what your options are (Say, using fuel to power weapons to defeat the wolves) and then you draw a resolution card. One card might say "You succeeded if you used at least 1 Resource on this challenge", another might say "You succeeded if you used at least 2 Resources on this challenge". Others might simply have you succeed regardless. As long as the ratios of the cards are such that players can get a sense of how much of a risk they are taking, it should be fun.

If you take this route, you'll need to make sure that all resources are used at the same sort of rate. So it's always 1 or 2 (or whatever), since the resolution cards need to be suitable for all challenges.

You could also do split cards for different types of challenges.That's slightly messier, but gives you a lot more options and flexibility in ways to resolve challenges.

And thanks for the GG
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Fancy Ned
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk caravan progression puzzle game
thanks Cogentesque, for the encouragement and the GG!

I don't see any reason you should have to physically orient the caravan into a circle. I think assuming it's in a circular formation would be perfectly okay, especially if it helps the gameplay.

I actually like your mechanic for determining which position within the caravan is being attacked much better than randomizing it as I'd suggested, now that I have a better understanding of how it would work. especially the concept that sometimes, if you don't have a particular position, the Mob cards wouldn't even affect you.

that actually gives me another weird idea too. so, what if the Mob card destroys a particular position within the caravan (say the 3rd position)... if this happened in a real life scenario, it would take some time for those at the back of the caravan to catch up to the remaining positions in the front. maybe you could have a one-turn lag where the eliminated position is considered empty, and during that one turn, if a Mob card turned up attacking that position, it too would not go cause any effect.

so an example might be (in case I didn't describe it very well):

turn 1 - Mob card attacks 3rd position.

1-2-(3)-4-5-6

Mob card destroys 3rd position

turn ends

turn 2 - Mob card attacks 3rd position.

1-2-(x)-4-5-6

there is nothing there, so no effect occurs - turn ends

turn 3 - caravan meets up - now there are only 5 positions - Mob card attacks 6th position.

1-2-3-4-5-(x)

there is nothing there, so no effect occurs.

maybe it's a silly idea, but those are sort of my specialty.
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Sam Mercer
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Mephansteras wrote:
... Have cards that give outcomes to battles/challenges. So the challenge card will tell you what your options are (Say, using fuel to power weapons to defeat the wolves) and then you draw a resolution card. One card might say "You succeeded if you used at least 1 Resource on this challenge", another might say "You succeeded if you used at least 2 Resources on this challenge".


So, am I right in thinking:

1) Flip Mob Deck: "Oh noes! I am be attack by the wolves!"
2) Flip Resolution Deck: "I need 1 [or 2 or no] resource to kill the wolves!"
3) Validate the Resolution Deck requirements: Destroy the Mob

So in this sense, each Mob would have variable stats depending on the Resolution deck?


guitfnky wrote:
maybe it's a silly idea, but those are sort of my specialty.


Dude, silly ideas are also known as "different ideas to normal ideas" which are also known as "unique ideas" which are also known as "ideas to differentiate your game to be better than the next game" which are otherwise known as "AWESOME IDEAS!" , so don't worry about that

And yes, I think it is an awesome idea: I like the positions of the caravam (how ever we can make it) to be a proper game affecting puzzle. Like maybe: caravans in position 1 always get an inherantly good bias. Like +1 resource at any time (or something) basicaly making them the leader caravan or perhaps the engine - like the flagship. Think "Leader" units in Company of Heroes, Heroclix, RTS's, that wierd mod version of Magic the Gathering that gives you crazy bonuses depending on what character leads your forces. So of course, having good caravan pieces in the front is good, but also when the crazy baddy "Kill the fron t caravan!" comes along, you will be a t a disadvantage - so its a puzzle
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David Sevier
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Cogentesque wrote:
Mephansteras wrote:
... Have cards that give outcomes to battles/challenges. So the challenge card will tell you what your options are (Say, using fuel to power weapons to defeat the wolves) and then you draw a resolution card. One card might say "You succeeded if you used at least 1 Resource on this challenge", another might say "You succeeded if you used at least 2 Resources on this challenge".


So, am I right in thinking:

1) Flip Mob Deck: "Oh noes! I am be attack by the wolves!"
2) Flip Resolution Deck: "I need 1 [or 2 or no] resource to kill the wolves!"
3) Validate the Resolution Deck requirements: Destroy the Mob

So in this sense, each Mob would have variable stats depending on the Resolution deck?


Pretty much. I think the steps would be

1) Flip Mob Deck: "Caravan #2 is being attacked by Wolves! I need to use fuel to fight them off" Player chooses to use 0-2 fuel.
2) Flip Resolution Deck: "I needed to use 2 fuel, but I only used 1. Curses!"
3) Resolve encounter: "The wolves damage Caravan #2! It can't take much more!"

It could probably use something more to make different encounters more interesting, though. That could probably be done using a mix of resources needed as well as having different mobs have different effects when you fail.
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Fancy Ned
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
hmm, I like the idea of "engines". that could open up a bunch of new possibilities for gameplay. like, what happens if the engine is damaged or destroyed? does it slow the caravan down? interesting concepts...
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Sam Mercer
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Ok, am cracking on with designing at the mo - have a load of proxies with random scrawled numbers on them and I have a situation:

Some Caravan elements will have Damage bonus. As in, gun bed will always have damage bonus of 2. If it is supplied with the correct INSERT_NAME_HERE (points/backup/exertion/level/resource/placing points/spatial bonus/geographic bonus) from the two caravans either side of it - it needs 5 overall (from each side totalling 5) - then it will increase it's damage bonus by 3. So damage bonus would be 5 total: this damage bonus would be able to affect all caravan elements within 2 spaces left or right (similar to Space Hulk: Death angel).

So , mr Wolf (mob) has attacked caravan element number 2 and the gun bed is in range with with a natural damage bonus of 2 and a further bonus (due to spatial placing) of an additional 3. Making 5 in total..

How the hell do I resolve this?

1) Can I involve the "use 1 or 2 extra fuel to have a 50% or 70% chance (respectively) of victory against the wolf.

2) Or perhaps should I do something like: Wolf HP is 4 - and your damage is 5: congratulations you have killed it. If wolf hp was 6 - you would not have killed it, and would have needed to spend some of your fuel in order to bolster your damage bonus enough to kill it (say 1 fuel = 1 damage bonus). And if you couldnt equal or beat his defence of 5 with your total damage bonus AND your spent fuel - then the caravan is destroyed.

3) Or perhaps - each caravan has an hp value itself and the mobs do damage to them? Disabling certain mechanics of them in certain ways?

4) This is a co-op game, so how can do I scale up the battle to have the same(ish) (eg: 80% total chance of killing the wolf) result when there are 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 players? Does the wolf attack each player in turn, are there additional mob cards drawn for every player, or mobs scaled up with more players? The sum of the players is greater than its parts : so 1 player = 1 wolf, wheras 2 players > 2 wolves and 3 players >> 3 wolves. How do I account for this?

5) Each player MUST and SHOULD want to help out their co=op friend buddies. How do I accomplish this? Simply add up the damage bonuses?

How can I resolve these kind of battles to keep it simple and to keep it fun?
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Cogentesque wrote:

2) Or perhaps should I do something like: Wolf Mutant HP is 4 - and your damage is 5: congratulations you have killed it. If Wolf Mutant hp was 6 - you would not have killed it, and would have needed to spend some of your fuel in order to bolster your damage bonus enough to kill it (say 1 fuel = 1 damage bonus). And if you couldnt equal or beat his defence of 5 with your total damage bonus AND your spent fuel - then the caravan is destroyed.


This is the way to go, I think. you can then answer the following questions by altering the frequency of starting resources with player number, rather than card text. More on mutants vs. wolves later.

Cogentesque wrote:

4) This is a co-op game, so how can do I scale up the battle to have the same(ish) (eg: 80% total chance of killing the Wolf Mutant) result when there are 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 players?

5) Each player MUST and SHOULD want to help out their co=op friend buddies. How do I accomplish this? Simply add up the damage bonuses?

How can I resolve these kind of battles to keep it simple and to keep it fun?


#4 and #5 are related if #2 is true and each player's resources are usable by all players. If each player gets 10 resources minus the number of other players a soloist would get 10, 2 players would get 9 each and so on. Then increase the number of encounters the expedition must go through in order to reach the checkpoint with the number of players. Other players would want to co-operate to save potential resources were their caravan to come under attack. If one third of the expedition were to be destroyed taking its resources with it, the other two thirds would suddenly find the going very tough indeed. Of course, if a caravan were to rashly spend all their resource early on, they would be dead weight to some eyes....

In short, I think the number of encounters should change rather than their individual strength with increasing number of players.

Re: Wolves. If a wolf is revealed, set it to one side. Wolves will only attack an expedition when there are more wolf cards than caravans- they will trail the expedition. When a wolf card is drawn that gives them weight of numbers, all wolves will immediately attack the expedition in the manner stated on the last wolf card drawn. They wait and the they watch until then, growing steadily in number.
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David Sevier
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Hmm...one way to do the co-op aspect is to make it so that no one player could defeat the encounter by themselves.

So, let's say that mutants are attacking. They strike Player #3's 2nd Caravan.

Player #3 has attack power of 5 with his guns. Let's say that Guns need 1 fuel to use, and using 2 fuel can overcharge them to 7 attack power.

The Mutants are at least Strength 10. The resolution card could raise (maybe lower) this number.

Player #3 needs help from the other players, but that means they need to put in some of their own resources. Fuel, probably, but maybe other stuff depending on what they have.

So everyone is taking a bit of a gamble. You can't win if you let everyone else get trashed, but you're weakening yourself when you help them.

Perhaps, to avoid the element of "Everyone just does what Joe says" you could have people decide how much fuel/whatever to use in secret and then reveal them all at once? Then you'd flip over the Resolution card to see if you'd put in enough.
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game

Re: Wolves. If a wolf is revealed, set it to one side. Wolves will only attack an expedition when there are more wolf cards than caravans- they will trail the expedition. When a wolf card is drawn that gives them weight of numbers, all wolves will immediately attack the expedition in the manner stated on the last wolf card drawn. They wait and the they watch until then, growing steadily in number. [/q]

Oh my gosh that is such an awesome idea!!

"Oh shit, what shall we do? We have like 5 wolves! Just two more and we will get totally wiped! crap crap, ok I'm going to forfit this go to try and take some of them out from a distance"

Brilliant brilliant idea - I have tipped you to say thanks

And yes I think you are very correct in that the best way to deal with it is to go about it via number 2) - also resources@ 11 minus number of players is a great idea.

But you see: I was going to make a mechanic that the caravan elements could actively manufacture resource. Eg: 1 option for a turn activity is to "produce" that would create resources (which would be heavily dependant on your caravan elements and of course their positioning) which makes the initial "10 - X" solution a little trickier. I suppose I could just really downplay the "producing" element, and make it very tricky to replenish any resources (create 1 instead of create 2 per caravan) ?
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Mephansteras wrote:
Hmm...one way to do the co-op aspect is to make it so that no one player could defeat the encounter by themselves.

Player #3 needs help from the other players, but that means they need to put in some of their own resources. Fuel, probably, but maybe other stuff depending on what they have.


That's cool: so the only way the other players could help is not via their own "gun caravan" and damage rating, its only with donating resources - good idea. And of course then, the more players, the less resources (as per something similar to what Matt said: [11-number of players] resources each).

The "in secret" idea is a very interesting one as well. I would be worried then that it would be too easy for people to blow their resources or alternatively not put any in - I think failures would be more prevelant with this mechanic: similar to battlestar galactica I suppose. We would also maybe then need "0 resource" cards to put in or "5 resource" to put in as opposed to 1 card = 1 resource (I quite like the simplicity)

So ok ok, when they FAIL: when the caravan gets blown up - what happens? Is it only that the wolves are one step closer to eating you up? I need some motivation for players that a fellow co-op players' caravan is very important, and if the players don't save it - they themselves are at a loss. Almost in a sense that co-op play is MORE important than solo play?
 
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Cogentesque wrote:
But you see: I was going to make a mechanic that the caravan elements could actively manufacture resource.


Reading back, I can see where you want to go. I think it's still possible: more caravan elements means more potential to generate resources. So if there is a staggered number of starting resources with the number of players, it should be certainly enough to get the expedition past the first area (thematically, no one knows what's beyond the first area, so they can't prepare).

Given this is Atompunk, the most valuable caravans will be those that can generate resources out of thin air. the more caravans like this there are, the longer the expedition's range will be. It should scale with player number, but might needs some tinkering to get the difficulty level right. All players would have an interest in preserving the most valuable individual caravan elements. Thinking about the secret bid mechanism- players would be more inclined to defend a mutually more valuable asset.

Cogentesque wrote:
"In order to progress to the next area you need X water, Y fuel, Z kills and P caravans". Win condition is getting to the end of the designated number of areas. Game time < 40mins, players 1-4

Each caravan will have effects that it exerts on anything to its right, left, top, bottom"


I don't know how you are planning on organising the encounter cards, but rather than having Z kills to progress, killing a boss monster might be more thematic.

"Any caravans that are going to get through to New Hope have got to pass through the Acrid Steppes where the Meat Machine Gang violate any unwary travellers, then the Bowl of Oblivion with its feral packs of RoboEmus."

-that sort of thing, although I might be channelling Chainsaw Warrior a bit too fiercely.

Anyway, Atompunk caravan cards that would produce something-from-nothing could be like:

Solar Panels: +2 fuel unless an adjacent caravan is producing smoke.
Dew Collector: +1 water
Runs on anything: +1 fuel every time a monster is killed by this caravan
The Wringer (TM): +1 water every time a monster is killed by this caravan (+2, if the expedition has a water purifier)
Cloud Burster Rockets: +1 water. +1 attack bonus if in position 1. Produces smoke.

I think the theme and feel of this game sound great.
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
mgreen02 wrote:
{..}RoboEmus{..}


Oh my god, you have no idea how much I am going to use RoboEmus .....

So yeah Matt, you have essentially got the game in one. Ideas like those are EXACTLY what we will be using. I love the smoke idea as well, that's really lovely, but how would you show it? through a "smoke" marker card?

My original post should have read: "In order to progress to the next area you need, perhaps, X water and/or Y fuel and/or Z kills and/or P caravans".

So some area cards could be say:

"New Hope" 5 fuel needed to progress to next area. Anytime a caravan is replaced at New Hope - subtract 1 fuel from its cost

or

"Bowl of Oblivion" 2 fuel, and 2 water needed to progress to next area. All RoboEmu's are +1 strength.


Also, take the dew collector: How does Mr. Player activate the +1 water on this, and all the other passives on the rest of his caravan?

Perhaps a simple action choice could be: "create resources" which would create a little pile of resources for you - but maybe you forfit your "attack" option or your "move to new area" option?


As you can see, with all of these nice caravan abilities, you can see how the game can emulate the overall game play of something similar to Magic Cards or the town cards in Le Havre or even the staple cards of Dominion: big possibilities but elegant in play?

Easy to expand, simple to play, elegant, nicely thematic - as long as we can manage to keep it non-complicated it should be a great game.

As a thank you bonus for your post Matt, I have edited the top of the OP with the front cover poster-box art - now you see it all comes together
 
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Question: Are the players RETURNING from somewhere or heading out to unknown areas to get stuff? Makes a small difference in a few things, but I guess it's mostly a thematic difference.


So, for consequences I have this idea.

Players have a few things involved with the caravans. They have the caravan type itself, they have any special modifications to those caravans, they have a resource pool (which takes space on a caravan), and they have goods being transported in caravans.

Therefore, the win conditions for the players involves getting X GOODS back. This could be scenario based, perhaps, or maybe drawn at random at the start of the game. So some games will need a generic large number of goods, while other games might need particular mixes of goods.

Each player can have a secret win condition involving specific conditions. Those could involve goods, defeating X number of enemies (bounties), or maybe even just getting as many caravans back in one piece as possible.

So losing Caravans means several things.
1) You have less cargo space. Lose enough and noone can win.
2) Fewer resources available
3) Fewer weapons/defenses available
4) Fewer targets

So while it's in everyone's interest to make sure their caravans make it through ok, it's also important that as many caravans make it through in general.

The thematic question of going out and coming back or just coming back effects the game a bit. Either way could work, really. If you're just heading back, it makes for a shorter game with a known route(s). If you're heading out and coming back that opens up the possibility for exploration as well as braving somewhat unknown dangers.

Do we cross the Salt Flats (we'll need extra water) and brave the Desert Tribes? Or do we go through the Pass of Fangs (we'll need extra fuel) and deal with the Dire Wolves that prowl that region?

Once past there, we could swing around to the Verdant Plains to do some extra trading with the cities there, but that's a longer route and bandits infest that route. Or we can take a shortcut through the Badlands. It's a rough trip, and still dangerous, but much faster and gets us to the City of Haven and trading a lot quicker.
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Sam Mercer
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Mephansteras wrote:
Question: Are the players RETURNING from somewhere or heading out to unknown areas to get stuff? Makes a small difference in a few things, but I guess it's mostly a thematic difference.


You are right David, it does have a different in the theme. Hmm... I had'nt considered that, I just assumed it was a "lone wanderer with a caravan...wandering" but I see we need some background and plot to fill in the holes: "Why do I win after visiting 5 locations?"

We could do the obligatory "trying to find the holy land" kind of deal: similar to the waterchip in original fallouts, Kobol (Caprica?) in battlestar galactica etc.

Or in fact we could do the "bring back X supplies" kind of deal/ But if we did that, thematically we should probably start and end in the same place - I would prefer to have each playthrough different (say 5 travel locations but of a total of 15 or 20, so each time you play it it could be different) Maybe, expanding on that theme, of the pack of 20 travel locations, a long game could be 12 and a short game could be 5 . More over, we could have many different "final destination" cards that could perhaps change the goal.

1) Find the water chip in "New Hope"
2) Reactivate the BioBots in "The old Foundry"
3) Start a new city afresh in "The New, New World"
4) Defeat the slavers at "The Oberon Hub"

etc. - each giving a slightly different theme and possibley different mechanics - what do you think David?
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David Sevier
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
I like that idea. Adds to the replayability of the game. Especially since the mix of caravans and resources you need to bring with you will be different with different destinations.

It'll also change things depending on whether or not you are doing a loop or a one-way trip. Settling a new city means you need to get to the destination with all of the goods and passengers needed to found the city. Getting the Water Chip means a round-trip game, where you have to not only get out to New Hope but get back with the chip.

And as long as there are different routes to take, even the same scenario could be interesting to play repeatedly. Especially if the routes are randomized as well.

So if you have a bunch of tiles/cards to represent locations the caravans travel through and a bunch of 'Final Destination' cards/tiles then you have a huge amount of variety that can go into the game.

Round trips will probably have fewer tiles on the board, of course. Although depending on how long you want the game to go even that could be flexible.
 
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Timothy
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
*drools*

Sexy.

Something to look forward to. There aren't enough *punk games (imo).
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David Sevier
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Oh, thought of another question: Are they players always traveling together or can they split up?

I think players each having their own personal goals along with the primary goal could make for some interesting discussions about the route.

Let's say the players are doing the Water Chip quest. To do so they need to head out from Dune City and make their way to New Hope to get the chip. That's the main goal, and if they fail at that no one can win.

But, each player has their own personal goals. Let's say Player A gets some sort of Bounty for every Bandit the caravan kills on the route. Player B gets a bonus for every Luxury Good the caravan brings back, and Player C gets a bonus for completing the main mission quickly.

The tiles are placed, and there are three possible routes.

Route 1) Goes directly through several mountain passes an on to New Hope. It's a quick route, but the perils in the mountains are mostly beasts and environmental (rock slides, storms, etc). So Players A and B aren't too interested. Player C loves this route.

Route 2) Goes through some soft plains and past a decent sized trading town. It's full of Bandits, though, and actually hitting the trading towns means going another tile out of the way. Players A and B like this route, but Player C is totally against it.

Route 3) Goes through a swamp and then the salt flats. It's a nasty trek that is slow, devoid of bandits, and offers no real trade opportunities (beyond maybe a random encounter). No one wants this route.

So you get some diplomacy going on as the players try to convince one another of the merits of their preferred route. Maybe Player C can convince Player B that they can do enough trade at New Hope, and that the bandits are too risky. After all, if too many caravans get taken out there won't be enough cargo space for Luxury items. But then Player A gets to argue that they can take on bandits, and if they set up their caravans for combat instead of environmental dangers it'll be a breeze. Plus they get to do extra trading.

Which way they actually take would depend on the people. But not having an obvious "Oh, we are going to do A->B->C so we need to take X,Y,Z with us" would make the initial Caravan Set-up part of the game important and interesting.
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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Hey david,

Again thanks for commenting buddy, it's really nice of you to try and throw in your two cents to make the game better

Ok, so I like the idea of each player having a further "You can only win if X" card and this may well be secretive - to not have players' intentions "picked up on" and gone against. The one thing I really don't want to happen in my game is "Alpha Geeking" as discussed in a previous thread. When one player has played the game before, knows the score and dictates the other players' actions to them "this is the best way to do it, what you are doing is wrong..."

I loathe that when it happens in our games and I have a good mind to actually address it in the manual "The game is a bout fun, not about winning" or embelish with that magical quotation that a lot of people use in the bgg signatures.

Either way, I think that the idea we came up with was to make people have an instruction that says

1) Everbody Wins or everybody loses
2)If "Everybody Wins" then YOU lose if you do not accomplish x,y,z

this way people have a more broader co-operative feel in their heads when approaching the game. As opposed to "well I would have won because I completed my goal, but because you guys didn't help us all out you made me lose" people are thinking "well, we need to win, let's do this, also I need to keep this in my mind" - this is the best way I can think of to avoid "Alpha Geeking" too much. Because I definatley would rather have this game as a co-op only game if possible. If we had players try to convince other of their route being the best, the most argumentative, alpha geek would probably win. I do not want this punk to win. >

I do like the idea of having to go and return from some quests - that's cool. I think the lands are probably going to progress all cvia cards - have say 6 location cards that you need to progress through, each one can change the play field (very) slightly but they all need to be passed. When the requirements have been fullfilled the next card will be flipped over showing them the next location that they need to deal with. This keeps cards and eliminates any board components (which I love) and keeps it nice and compact.

How would we go about changing the path that they would progress down? Would they know each locations at the start of the game "Hey Barry, we are going to the Salt Flats and the Wild East on this campaign, so make sure we buy lots of fuel" or should it be secret so the players need to adjust their approach to each new challenge? And how would we let the players choose different routes? Perhaps flip two different cards and they have a choice of which one to go to?

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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
Hmmm. I think that should be scenario based. So in some scenarios you know the routes (they can all be laid out ahead of time) and then it's mostly a matter of deciding which way to go if you've got multiple routes.

If it's a discovery mission (like the Founding a City scenario) then you'd only know your destination and probably the first stage of the route. The others would be flipped out when you get to them.

I think flipping multiple cards over to allow for the route would be fine.

Maybe something like this would work, where you get a choice at each juncture?


Gnarled Wood Black Moors
START-> Broken Fang Pass->
Salt Flats----> Tornado Alley->END
Wild East

So for this example, the players had three choices to make (short game). At each juncture they drew the top two cards from the region deck and placed them down, and then had to decide which way they wanted to go.

Here they decided to go Salt Flats to Broken Fang Pass to Tornado Alley and finally reached their destination.

In this case, maybe it's a return trip, so maybe we could make it so that they could go back a different route if they wanted. Maybe they used up too much fuel in Broken Fang Pass, or they discovered that their caravans just weren't set up properly for the mountains. So they could head back through Tornado Alley, find a new path (Let's say...the Shattered Ruins), and from there head into the Gnarled Wood and back to the Start.

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Re: Mechanic Ideas for Atompunk game
I like the idea of flipping over a mission card at the start of the game.

I think that an area map would help. The map would show how the areas interconnect; so assume the mission card was: Defeat the slavers at "The Oberon Hub". The first thing the players do is find the location of the Oberon Hub on the map relative to where they start- this gives them options for routes they could take:

Dune City - Gnarled Wood Black Moors - Salt Flats - Acrid Steppes - Oberon Hub

or;

Dune City - Broken Fang Pass - Tornado Alley - Nu Barnsley - Wild East - Oberon Hub

and so on and so forth. Each area might have a separate deck of cards? Or each area has a defined frequency of some types of card. With this approach an expedition that gets hit early and hard for fuel (for example) can choose to take a different route than they first thought to pick some up fuel from The Black Well en route, hoping to defeat The Diesel Lemurs rather than running out before the end of the mission.

At the start the players might load up for a direct route, or take a more conservative approach if they know they might lose supplies along the way and have to stop at trading posts.
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