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Subject: New neutral tile: The Tree rss

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Kolja Geldmacher
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The tree is a neutral starting tile which rectifies the necessary rule break for the first move: touching a tile of the opposite color. Game starts with the Tree in place, then White moves as normal. The Tree is Grey and therefore suitable to be touched by both colors. The "don't touch the other color rule" works as normal. It can be removed from play anytime it could be moved without splitting the hive if both players agree. Other than that it can't be moved by either players.
Pro:- Consistency of rules further enhanced
- New starting strategy possible and the Queen on first round move seems of less advantage, so the tournament rule that forbids that could be left out.
Con: - A new tile that is needed...
Solution: just flip the Ladybug
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ŁṲÎS̈
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F*** it! Do it LIVE!
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Didn't know what to spend all this sweet GG on, so I bought the overtext.
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Good stuff.

In our four player games, we have a tile just for this. I like that it keeps the first player from automatically being locked in.
 
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Randall Ingersoll
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Flashhawk wrote:
It can be removed from play anytime it could be moved without splitting the hive if both players agree. Other than that it can't be moved by either players.

I would think that a better option might be that either player can take a turn to remove the Tree as long as removing it does not violate the One Hive rule.

A very interesting piece, indeed! It definitely would change much of the current opening theory.
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Dicky P
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Flashhawk wrote:
and the Queen on first round move seems of less advantage, so the tournament rule that forbids that could be left out.


Interesting. Does it reduce, generally, the start player advantage?

Will give this one a go (although won't strip out the Queen not allowed on first move just yet).

 
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Dave Dyer
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I like this idea.
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Hi. I'm not sure if I understood correctly, but the piece changes two things:

1. You can play the Queen on your first turn again without worrying about the draws (in addition it allows you to move your bugs as early as from the third turn onward).

2. You can remove the Tree later (what can postpone game end if the Tree was next to the Queen(s)),

right?

IMO, such piece doesn't change anything when it comes to first player advantage, but it does modify opening strategies.

I'm not sure about the name: tree isn't a bug (however it fits piece's character and role) and a mini tree on a tile would look odd next to the giant Ant or Spider.
 
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Brian Rayburn
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I've only played a few games, but I like this idea. Instead of a tree though, why not a hive? It fits thematically. I also like the rule that one player can use a turn to remove it from the board as long as the One Hive rule isn't broken. May have to do a mock-up and see what happens.

-Brian
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Randall Ingersoll
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I have included the Honeycomb in the chapter of my book about additional bugs.

The Honeycomb is a two sided piece that can be placed by either player, their own color up, following all basic placement rules.

At any time either Queen can 'escape' to a space adjacent to the Honeycomb as long as the One Hive rule is not violated.

In addition, to reduce draws, if the game would normally end in a draw, the player who placed the Honeycomb (their color will be up) loses.
 
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Kolja Geldmacher
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Thank you all for the kind words.
I would like to address some opinions that were posted:
I don't know for sure if the queen rule is obsolete with the tree in place, but i suspected it from the way the tree works. It just brings an additional piece between the two players, as if the queen hadn't been placed on the first turn, without giving any player the advantage or disadvantage that this creates.
I favor the name tree for the honeycomb or beehive, because its a stationary object that all the bugs that are in the game could live on/in. A beehive is a quite hostile place for anything other than a bee i suppose...
If my initial "remove if both agree" or the "remove as a move" rule should apply is mostly down to testplaying it. If the "remove as move" rule proofs to powerful since there is no agreement necessary to do so, i would at least give the other player the right to veto... Don't know, i just have to see this in action.
I will try to test the piece as soon as possible, but that will most likely be no sooner than next weekend, when i go to SPIEL with a friend. We will try to attend a game author meeting/ prototype testplaying there, and when there is a bit of time at hand, maybe someone is willing to check out the tree with me
I just have to build me one that fits the travel edition i want to take with me...
Flashhawk
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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I can include it into VASSAL module, that is just before the release.There you could try out several modifications to the rules online.

I have one more question about placing rules:

- suppose that on turn 1 both players have placed their Queens next to the Tree/Beehive. Can they on turn 2 place new bugs next to the Tree/Beehive or are they only allowed to do it next to the Queen?

Last thing: on subsequent turns when the bugs are moving, is it allowed to stop piece of either colour next to the Tree/Beehive?

Good luck with piece testing. If it's successful, maybe it will make into official set

Regards!
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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P.S. I thought about the name. Your idea is a neutral piece, that attracts bugs of either colour (they are starting next to it). We already have a Honeycomb, Tree is OK, but not the best choice. Instead of the Tree, Flowers would be nice, but since we have both Flower piece here at BGG and a fan-made bug starting with F (Flea), therefore I propose an orchid. Orchids are masters when it comes to attract insects, so an Orchid is a good starting piece.
 
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Kolja Geldmacher
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Svartisen wrote:
- suppose that on turn 1 both players have placed their Queens next to the Tree/Beehive. Can they on turn 2 place new bugs next to the Tree/Beehive or are they only allowed to do it next to the Queen?

Using my own iconography its suppose to be like this:

So you can touch the tree for sure as long as you touch another own-colored piece, but you can not touch an opponents piece. If you could do this:

is a matter to debate. I would not consider this invalid, but that may be to smarter and more in-the-know guys to decide.

Svartisen wrote:
Last thing: on subsequent turns when the bugs are moving, is it allowed to stop piece of either color next to the Tree/Beehive?

Yes, in that case the tree is just handled as any other piece in the hive. Other wise we had a problem with the first pieces placed, when they weren't allowed to stay there
FH
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Thanks, you've cleared things up for me.
 
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Randall Ingersoll
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Without any play testing or deep thought about it, it would seem that if White were able to place a new place adjacent to the Orchid but not touching another White piece it would give White a definite advantage. White could place the Queen first, another piece second and not risk having the Queen pinned right off the bat.
But Black could not do the same. Black would be forced to place the second piece adjacent only to the Black Queen.

So my first reaction would be that the Orchid would not restrict placement for either side, but a new bug would still be required to be adjacent a bug of its own color.
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Kolja Geldmacher
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yeah, when you put it that way, it makes sense
FH
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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I was thinking a lot about this piece and came up with an additional, optional rule:

The Tree/Beehive/Orchid doesn't count as a surrounding piece. If it rest next to the Queen, an atop-the-Hive moving bug must be put on the Tree/Beehive/Orchid in order to surround it. Such rule would be interesting and probably balance-fixing, when playing several fan-made atop moving bugs (Dragonfly, Moth, Flea).

I don't think it's good for the base set though, unless you want to include an extra challenge (you can't win, if you won't have a free Beetle or Mosquito to reach the Orchid). On the other hand, such rule gives new tactical possibilities for Standard or LM Hive: the player who plays the Queen next to the Orchid (assuming that his or her opponent didn't do the same) gains an advantage - he or she may focus on blocking enemy Beetles/Mosquito later. For his/her opponent the priority would be forcing a situation, when the Orchid may be removed from the Hive and its space could be filled using other bugs.
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The Orchid shouldn't be moved in my opinion. Bugs have to move around other objects on the ground all the time. Other objects could be future expansions.

I think there should be one orchid per player (beyond the first player) in a line (some of us prefer multiplayer games). One orchid per player ensures there is a free orchid space every player can make a first move on. Call the line a 'flowerbed'.

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AbStrateGyk
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Has the Tree/Orchid/Beehive been playtested yet, it has been months? Does it remove the first player advantage? Is removing it as a turn better than agreement by both players to remove it without either losing a turn? Being a neutral stationary piece, i agree that it should not have the ability to pin the Queen so it should be allowed to be removed by either player as long as it does not break the hive otherwise it can be pinned next to the Queen if a Beetle, Dragonfly, Mosquito, or any top-of-hive bug is on it.
 
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Kolja Geldmacher
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Sadly not by myself, my wife refuses to play Hive with me all of a sudden...
FH
 
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Being a stationary piece, if a bug is against a wall/tree in real life, less other bugs could trap it using that as an advantage. I think it should remain for the game.
 
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