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Geomachy - 6 players needed

 
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:40 am    Post subject: Geomachy - 6 players needed Reply with quote

So, the last game I mentioned... I was thinking about how I could have players themselves build the game map (which I find a frustrating and kind of cheesy process). And I think I got it. Not only that, that process may be as much fun.

I will GM, but at least through the Geomachy phase of the game, my job is mostly fact-checking and producing random numbers (coordinates) for the players.

The game is going to be almost entirely strategy-based (though there is certainly room for a fair amount of art). I describe it as a combination of Risk, Go, and Minesweeper. It could be a board game if the size of the map and number of pieces didn't make Axis & Allies look like Stratego.

To get an idea of what players may be getting themselves into, here are some of the basics.

The Players:

    Forest - Green
    Mountain - Purple
    Water - Blue
    Desert - Yellow
    Plains - Brown
    Liminal - Gray


If the last one sounds a little different, it's because it is. Most of Gray's rules are the opposite of everyone else's. It's his or her job to define the boundaries of other player's intersections, either bringing them closer into conflict or preventing them from it.

The Board:

25x88 grid. Like a globe map (flat), it contours out at the edges. Left edge is actually contiguous with the right edge, top and bottom columns contiguous concentrically outward (+A/-1 shares one border with +A/+1).

8 cities, 12 villages, 18 towns (more about these in the rules)


The Objective:

To control the most number of grids by the time the board is filled. Alternately, the liminal player may win after achieving a certain number of squares controlled. In any case, the game continues until each grid on the map is filled and all places (1st through 6th) have been assigned.

The rest of the rules will be provided once we have enough players (solid commitments only, please. You'll need to be able to complete your turn within 24 hours of the previous player's ending) and an Admin creates a new board. If we get enough players, we could possibly even field two games.

Oh, and it would really help if you have Excel or something that would work with it. Hopefully a better interface will come along and that won't be necessary (or my role as GM for that matter).
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in.

I've thought about these kind of board-game-style things before, but I've been thinking having to do your turn quickly so the next player can have theirs would be a barrier. Simplicity of the actions might mitigate that, so long as everyone's motivated.

How much of a problem would it be if I was away from home with no access to Excel when my turn came up?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back when I used to play on conquerclub a lot, the games that had a 24-hour time limit on turns used to feel like forever. But considering the size of this map, and what I imagine the complexity will be like after the first several turns, a slower pace shouldn't be that bad.

And I imagine other players will be fine waiting an extra day or so, so long as they know the player will take their turn at a certain time, rather than waiting indefinitely. Also, there are both rounds and turns (when all players have taken their turns, a new round starts). If you miss your turn, I suppose you could just be moved to the end of the round, buying you some extra time so long as your turn isn't the last in the round.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I suppose it's not fair to expect a commitment from people without giving the rules first. So...

The basic rules:

Each turn, a players can name one unclaimed coordinate and that square becomes theirs. A converted square has a power of 1 plus 1 for each square of the same color that it shares a border with (up to 9 for a completely surrounded square). If the named square shares no border with any other converted squares of the same color, the turn is over.

Not counting cities, towns, and villages (covered later), there are 4 classifications of squares:

Blank/Empty: No player controls this square or any square next to it.
Claimed: A player has converted this square to their color.
Influenced: One player controls a square next to it (at any of the 8 cardinal points)
Contested: Two or more players control squares next to it.

A player cannot name a contested square or one influenced by another player to convert. If the named square is near another one of their own squares, they receive a number of tiles in hand equal to the already controlled grid's strength (or the highest number if more than one). Those tiles may then be used by a player to lay down elsewhere on the map, converting those squares to that player's color at the end of their turn. Tiles do not increase the strength of any adjacent squares or tiles. The player's turn ends if a placed tile does not share a border with another tile or a square controlled by that player. A player's turn can also end when he/she has no more tiles to play or when he/she declares the turn over.

A player cannot place a tile down next to a square influenced by another player. A player can place a tile in a contested square if his/her highest adjacent square is higher than their opponent's highest adjacent square. For example, I want to place a tile in a contested square. Next to the contested square, I have a converted square with a strength of 3. Your adjacent square has a strength of 4. I cannot make that move.

A player may convert an opponent's square to their color if they can place a tile in its place that, at the end of the turn, would have a higher strength than that square. This is considered an attack. Any attack will end a player's turn and forfeits a player's random turn during that round.

Every ten rounds, the number of attacks allowed before ending the turn will increase by 1.

If a player's square is converted by another player, the player who lost the square receives a tile into their hand.

Once per round during a player's turn, a player may also choose to give up one or more squares—receiving tiles in hand for every square abandoned—during their own turn so long as the number of tiles they have in hand does not exceed the maximum number of tiles they may hold at the end of their turn. Any tile gained this way cannot be used until the player's next turn. Any square vacated by a player cannot be reclaimed by that player until the beginning of the next round.

If a player has more than 7 tiles in hand at the end of his/her turn (barring bonuses which will be explained later), all excess tiles must be discarded.

If a player does not attack during their turn, they receive a bonus turn which consists of the conversion of one randomly chosen square. If that square is empty, the player may place any tiles in hand as they would during a normal turn except to attack. That player's turn is then over.

If they control that square (or one adjacent to it), they receive a number of tiles in hand equal to that square's strength. Those tiles—and any other tiles the player may possess—may then be placed as they would in a regular turn except to attack.

If the random square is controlled by an opponent, that square is converted to the player's color with a strength equal to the displaced square. However, a tile placed next to such a square will still only receive 1 strength from sharing a border.

Cities: No player may control a city square. However, a player is considered in control of a city if he/she has influence on that square. If the city square is contested, the city is controlled by the player with the highest numbered square adjacent to the city. Ties go to the defender.

For each city a player controls, he/she receives an additional turn after their first turn (but before the Random turn).

Each player begins the game controlling one square three spaces away from one of the cities (home city). No player may attempt to gain influence on another player's home city during their first turn.

Towns: Unlike cities, towns can be controlled directly by a player. No player can choose to directly convert a town, though, and must have at least one square adjacent to it to place a tile on it. Once controlled, a town has a square's normal strength plus 1. This strength bonus is not applied to controlled squares adjacent to it.

For each town a player controls, he/she gains an additional tile at the beginning of each turn.

Village: Villages can be directly controlled by a player and can be directly converted (no adjacent squares required). They do not receive any strength bonus.

For each town a player controls, he/she can hold an additional tile in hand at the end of each turn.

Turn order:

Turns proceed in rounds. Order for the first round always goes: Blue, Purple, Brown, Green, Yellow, Gray. Afterward, turn order is determined at the beginning of each round. The liminal player always goes first, followed by the player who has the least amount of converted squares, the second least, and so on.

The Liminal Player:

In most ways, the liminal player is the opposite of the other five. It is not restricted from placing tiles near an adjacent player. In fact, any square controlled by the liminal player has a strength equal to all squares adjacent to it. The liminal player cannot convert the squares of other players to its own, nor can other players convert the liminal player's squares. Similarly, any player counts the strength of the liminal player's squares as their own when placing next to them. A player may only use the strength of their own squares when attacking, however.

The liminal player cannot convert a square that does not have a player-controlled square adjacent to it. Therefor, the liminal player does not get a random turn but rather one additional turn.

Possible expanded rules:

Water - Converts all empty squares within one contiguous border (would help form oceans. Not sure if the entire interior should have to be empty)
Forest - Each claimed square gains 1 strength per round (up to... 10?)
Desert - Can pick up tiles and replace them in the same turn
Plain - Tiles gained on first placement increased (1.5x to 2x?)
Mountain - Can't be converted

Or more simply—Water fills, Forests grow, Deserts shift, Plains prosper, Mountains last. Of course, this might mean that the win condition for each player is a different target. Probably one of the things we'll have to test.

I'm also open to changes to the rules, but I'd like to try out at least one game before complicating it much further.
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Last edited by [Syl] on Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If a player converts a grid near another one of their own grids, they receive a number of tiles in hand equal to the already controlled grid's strength (or the highest number if more than one). Those tiles may then be used by a player to lay down elsewhere on the map. However, the player's turn ends if a grid claimed does not share a border with an already controlled grid. A player's turn can also end when he/she has no more tiles to play or when he/she declares the turn over.

I must have misunderstood something about this part, because it sounds like a player could just swamp the entire board on their first turn. Do you only gain new tiles on your first placement of the turn, and not the subsequent ones?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I thought I'd written that, but I see now that I did not. The first turn, the most a player can do is take one square next to their starting square, get 1 tile for that, use that tile or keep it in hand, and take the random square (and place that tile if they still have it).

Rules updated. Hopefully clarifies things. Looks complicated, I know, but I see it as being rather intuitive after a while.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I'd have to see it in action, but the Liminal player seems pretty limited if they can only draw along the edges of other players' areas, while other players can use the Liminal player's grid toward their own. But hard to say until I see it work.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but it's the liminal's purpose to create boundaries, and boundaries always have to be smaller than the territory it contains. When I was considering the expanded rules, I had an idea for the liminal player that I thought was pretty good. Unfortunately, I forgot what it was.

I'm open to suggestions, and I'm pretty sure playing the game will reveal at least a few necessary changes.

Of course, interest doesn't appear very high.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do people even look at this forum to notice the thread?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been following. Will enjoy watching play, if posted here in the forum. But I don't play strategy games.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm watching but can't play. Just hoping enough people play to keep returnee's returned. Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This to me seems about as simple and casual as a game can get. Why the reluctance?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SD and Dam-sel can both tell you that I am not a game player. I love the role playing of the GT games I took part in, but have no interest in defeating others in games or otherwise.

Board games-wise, I like things like Trivial Pursuit, but even then I'm not interested in defeating whoever I'm playing with. I like the trivia and nostalgia invoked.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never participated in any kind of game on line. Have no concept of how they work though some have tried to explain it to me. The other thing is I am attempting to do some writing and I think this might be distracting (an excuse not to write)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Games aren't about the winning, Menolly. There can only be one winner, a lot of the time, but there still has to be something in it for the others. I play board games a couple times a month, and I hardly ever win. I still have a great time playing.

A lot of the time it's not so much about trying to win as it is about trying not to do too horrendously badly. But even when I come last I still - usually - enjoy it.

(Exception: cooperative game Arkham Horror lasts four hours, and it has a few cards that make you completely discard quests that took you half the game to finish. That is not a fun experience.)

I know I won't convince you, but I've said it anyway. Razz
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it really isn't all about winning. It's also about creating cool and/or unusual maps. There's a reason that there are at least two disincentives to attacking (I imagine blocking and/or cutting other players off will be crucial, though).

And once this phase works, I can get around to the card game that works off of the created map. I do have a friend who said he'd work on creating an app that should help streamline it.

No worries, though. If this doesn't work, I could always do the Arc spin-off for Pantheon that I'd talked about a while ago. That will probably have to wait a few months, though.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Syl] wrote:
No worries, though. If this doesn't work, I could always do the Arc spin-off for Pantheon that I'd talked about a while ago. That will probably have to wait a few months, though.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:


(Exception: cooperative game Arkham Horror lasts four hours, and it has a few cards that make you completely discard quests that took you half the game to finish. That is not a fun experience.)



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