Andrew Commons
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The game I am designing will be played over 10 game "years". Each of those years will have 4 "seasons" or rounds of play. Each season will have a set of phases that will be completed by the players. Each phase will either be played in a certain turn order, or it will happen as a multi-player phase.

For example, one multi-player phase will be the random event phase. Each season, a d6 will be rolled to determine the number of random events that happen during this season, then a d12 will be rolled to determine the location of each of those random events (as I have 12 territories). No location can be duplicated in a single season.

For phases that have turn order, I plan on having a turn order selection process built into the game ala Fresco. There are 4 phases that rely on this order. I would like the players to determine the turn order for these phases once per year. So, at the beginning of the game, and then once after the Winter season each year.

However, I want one for each of the 4 different phases. Thus, when it is your turn to choose your turn order, you have to decide which phase is most important to place your piece and in what position you would like to go (first, last, after another specific player, etc.)

Then how to determine who gets to place first, second, and so on, until all of the phases have been filled. My plan for this was to have highest die roll goes first in the selection process at the beginning of the game. Then for future turns the first selection would go to the player that received the least number of VP's in the last round (VP's are given at the end of the Winter season, so it would have just been determined prior to this process).

And finally, on top of all of that mess, since I will have 4 separate phases that will need turn order, I want to have the selection process snake back in order.

So, if I had 4 players. Beginning of the game would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1. Then all phases are filled and everyone has chosen one spot for each phase. After the first year, it might be 2, 3, 1, 4, 4, 1, 3, 2, 2, 3, 1, 4, 4, 1, 3, 2. And so on each year to the end of the game.

----------------------
Now, to my question.

How do I write that out in a rule book without it being unbelieveably complicated....like what I just wrote? Because, I tried to write it out and have re-read/re-written it about 10 times and I can't seem to get it to flow properly and in a reasonably short explanation.

It is an important part of the game and I feel a significant part of the strategy of the game play, but it is just trying to figure out who goes when during the game.

Thanks for any help you can give.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Don't, simply don't explain it. Instead just state what happens, then what happens next and so forth, and let the players figure out what the implications are. Thus your rules would be akin to:

- At the end of each round, each player determines how many points they gained in that round and moves their marker on the points-gained track to the matching number, and their score marker up by the same number.
- The players now select, in descending order of points-gained markers, their desired turn order for the phases in the next round.
-- Tied players on the points-gained track retain their relative order from the previous round.
- etc.
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Aaron Yoder
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I don't understand what's going on, even in this post. The problem is that you are trying to explain way to much all at once. You also seem to be confusing your own phrasing, such as by using Seasons and Phases almost interchangeably.

When terms and phrases get confusing, write a short glossary containing the confusing words (Seasons, Phases, and Years would definitely be words to define). Put it at the beginning, immediately following the summary and list of components. Divide each step of play into pieces, and write out play in an outline immediately following the glossary. Then, separately, explain each piece of the outline.

Example:

Start of Year
a. Upkeep/whatever
1. Season
a. Random events
b. Determine player order
c. Choose Player Positioning
d. Fill Phases
2. Repeat until done


When describing the snaking motion of your turn order, you could say: "Roll a die to determine the first player. Each player gets to fill a single Phase. Once the last player has chosen, player order reverses and each player receives one final choice."

But you should NOT try to explain that in any sort of context with the other phases, events, etc. Separate, explain each bit, then summarize. The summary's purpose is to unite the elements so the player can see how it looks, but each element of the year should be separated to explain JUST that element. If you find yourself jumping back and forth between elements, you've either separated too much, or you should look at another method to explain things.
 
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Aaron Yoder
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AND INCLUDE EXAMPLES.

The more complicated the rules, the more necessary examples are.
 
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Also, if it's too complicated to explain, maybe it's too complicated. You might try to find an easier way to do what you want.

Tom
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Andrew Commons
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You are right, I have made it too confusing as I don't think the responses I'm getting understand what I am going for....so let's try again.

Entire Game = 10 Years
1 Year = 4 Seasons
1 Season = 10 Phases
4 of those 10 Phases will have a specific turn order represented on the game board with open slots for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. decided by the selection action with snaking order.

Beginning of the game:
Player (A) rolls d6 gets a 5.
Player (B) rolls d6 gets a 2.
Player (C) rolls d6 gets a 6.
Player (D) rolls d6 gets a 3.

Based on those die rolls, turn order for phase selection is as follows: (C), (A), (D), (B)

The 4 phases that will have turn order selected are(in order of play during each season):
Army Movement
Merchant Trading
Amry Recruitment
Castle Management

Player (C) may choose any one slot in any of the 4 available phases to place his piece. He chooses the 1st slot of Army Movement. Player (A) then chooses the 4th slot in Castle Management. Player (D) chooses the 1st slot in Merchant Trading. Player (B) chooses the 2nd slot in Army Movement.

There are now 2 slots available in Army Movement, 3 slots in Merchant Trading, 4 slots in Army Recruitment, and 3 slots in Castle Management.

Now, Player (B) gets to choose another slot. He cannot choose any slot in Army Movement, as he already chose the 2nd slot. He now chooses the 4th spot in Army Recruitment. Player (D) chooses the 3rd slot in Army Movement. Player (A) chooses the 3rd slot in Army Recruitment. Player (C) chooses the 3rd slot in Castle Management.

There are now 1 slot available in Army Movement, 3 slots in Merchant Trading, 2 slots in Army Recruitment, and 2 slots in Castle Management.

We now snake back in the original direction with Player (C) having to choose either Army Recruitment or Merchant Trading, as he has not chosen a slot in either one. He chooses the 2nd slot in Army Recruitment. Player (A) chooses the 2nd slot in Merchant Trading. Player (D) chooses the 2nd slot in Castle Management. Player (B) chooses the 4th slot in Merchant Trading.

The final round of selection does not techinically matter, as each player has only one location that they may place their piece, however, in order they would be: Player (B) 1st slot in Castle Management, Player (D) 1st slot in Army Recruitment, Player (A) 4th slot in Army Movement, and Player (C) 3rd slot in Merchant Trading.

So.....what does all of this do for us. Well, since each player has the ability to choose which action during the upcoming year is most important to them, they can help to shape their play for the next 4 seasons (rounds of play).

Once those 4 seasons have finished, VPs are awarded and a new selection order is determined by the number of VPs for each player. Least number of VPs chooses first, highest number of VPs chooses last. Then the selection/snaking begins again.
 
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Andrew Commons
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BoardsAndBits wrote:
Also, if it's too complicated to explain, maybe it's too complicated. You might try to find an easier way to do what you want.

Tom


Tom, I agree completely. That is why I am here asking if there is a better way to explain it. I really like the strategy part of being able to determine when I get to play part of my turn/get to determine when the other players don't get to play part of their turn. And then have that change throughout the game based upon the weakest getting first swipe at the turn order, but only the weakest during the last portion of the game.

A little bit of equalization tactics built into the game, while allowing the players to determine their own fate.

I am trying to move away from the "I rolled the highest number on the random die at the beginning of the game, so I am at an advantage for the rest of the game as I get to go first" mechanic. And then the other side of that coin as well for rolling "badly".

This mechanic allows the turn order to be fluid, not only during the first year of play, but then changing it up throughout the game, to keep it fresh to the end.
 
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Boards & Bits
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I'm assuming there are only 3 slots in each phase in a 3-player game?

If you leave out all of the commentary, then it seems simple enough.

You could possible start with this:
---------------------------------------------------
Players now select 1 position in each of the 4 phases. Phases may be selected in any order.

In turn order, each player selects one phase and any position.

In reverse turn order, select a unique 2nd phase and any position.

Again in turn order, select a unique 3rd phase and any position.

Again in reverse order, place your last token in the last unique phase in any position.
---------------------------------------------------

Then give a very quick example.

Tom
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Andrew Commons
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Tom,

yes, the number of available slots in each phase is based upon the number of players at the table (2-6). (Solo variant will have different rules to determine action sequence)

Your example is really close to what I am going for. I'll take that into consideration. Thanks!
 
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Scott Nelson
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BoardsAndBits wrote:
Also, if it's too complicated to explain, maybe it's too complicated. You might try to find an easier way to do what you want.

Tom


This is almost always the case. How much does a turn order really matter in the end of the game?

Make them pay for turn order if they want to change it.

 
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George Kinney
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So basically this is a grid, with the turn order as rows and the phases as columns? Then the players, first in turn order, then in opposite order (then alternating again), can claim any of those spots with their marker? And they can only have one marker per column when it's done?

That's a little bit like how monuments are claimed in 'Ra: The Dice Game', and isn't that complicated if I'm not way off the mark.
 
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Andrew Commons
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You have the order correct, but they can claim any open spot in any phase, until they have placed one in that phase.

It is theoretically possible to choose the 1st spot in each of the phases.

The 10 phases of each turn are:

Random Mercenary Distribution (no turn order needed)
Troop Movement (Turn order needed)
Combat (No turn order needed)
Random Event Distribution (no turn order needed)
Merchant Trading (Turn order needed)
Army Recruitment (Turn order needed)
Castle Management (Turn order needed)
Resource Collection (no turn order needed)
Population Increase (no turn order needed)
Merchant Movement (no turn order needed)

Since Combat comes after Troop Movement and armies that are occupying the same hex cannot move further on the map and must resolve combat during the Combat phase, it is possible that you will want to move your troops first in the coming year to stop another player from advancing their troops across the map without a fight.

In that situation, you will place a higher value on choosing the 1st spot on the Troop Movement turn order in the selection process.

However, you may want to decide last which troops or resources to produce, allowing you to see what others have done first. In that case, you may place a higher value on going last during those phases.

Since you can only choose one spot each time you place a token on the phase of your choice, you will have to choose what is most important to you for the upcoming year (4 rounds of play).


Edit: or maybe you do have it correct both ways after re-reading what you said. Anyway, it is just to involve some strategy in determining the order in which players will complete their turns and to give the players that did not score well in the just completed year a chance to make up some ground in the next year of play. With turn order selected 10 times through the game, there should be some good back and forth in the race to become the winner at the end, without having a runaway winner by having the same turn order over and over.
 
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Michael Iachini
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I personally agree with Tom; I think you should try hard to simplify this a lot. Does the game need this level of complexity in order to be fun? If not, cut it down to be simpler.

And if I read this right, your game consists of 400 phases in total for each player? How long does this game take to play?

I wrote about this not long ago: Simplify, simplify.

Michael Iachini
Clay Crucible Games
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Mike L.
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ChaosAndAlchemy wrote:
I personally agree with Tom; I think you should try hard to simplify this a lot. Does the game need this level of complexity in order to be fun? If not, cut it down to be simpler.

And if I read this right, your game consists of 400 phases in total for each player? How long does this game take to play?

I wrote about this not long ago: Simplify, simplify.

Michael Iachini
Clay Crucible Games


I am with this guy.
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Andrew Commons
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ChaosAndAlchemy wrote:
I personally agree with Tom; I think you should try hard to simplify this a lot. Does the game need this level of complexity in order to be fun? If not, cut it down to be simpler.

And if I read this right, your game consists of 400 phases in total for each player? How long does this game take to play?

I wrote about this not long ago: Simplify, simplify.

Michael Iachini
Clay Crucible Games


This is not designed to be a 45-60 minute game. I have no idea how long it takes to play as I have not playtested it yet. That will come in the next month. This is my first draft of the game and I expect it to have some major changes after the first couple playtests.

Many of those phases happen simultaneously for all players every round. For example, the Random Mercenary Distribution. Roll a d6. Pass out that number of cards from the Mercenary Deck to the territory rolled on a d12 using the territory chart on the game board. Max of 6 cards distributed. I expect that to take maximum a minute per season, or 4 minutes per year, or a total of 40 minutes for the game (max).

I do expect the game to be in the 4 hour range, but perhaps that will change after playtesting. Maybe 10 years, 40 seasons is too long for the game.

Each player is currently set to start with a very small population and no resources/army.
 
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Michael Iachini
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Ah, I hadn't realized that you haven't playtested yet.

Do that first. Then worry about writing down the rules. Most likely, a couple of playtest sessions will reveal a bunch of changes that you want to make to the rules anyway. Personally, I don't write rules down until I've done a few playtests, made a few major revisions, and start to feel like the game is settling into place.

Michael Iachini
Clay Crucible Games
 
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Andrew Commons
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I have done some combat phase playtesting with a few different army setups to see if I had the power balance correct between different troop types. Made some minor modifications with those playtests.

After the major playtest in May, I will have a more definite idea on all of that stuff. I just wanted to make sure that when I explained the snake selection rule to the playtest group, that it was concise and understandable.

Thank you all for your help thus far in the game.
 
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