Tile Laying, 9.3.09
Tile laying is one of those core mechanics like trade or card drafting. Surely all possibilities have been laid out, right? In terms of area control or a modular board, much has already been explored in this mechanic. Place a tile, maybe place a dood on it to exert influence on it. Said influence contributes to scoring of that feature at a later point (such as a road being closed off at both ends, as in Carcassonne.) I’m going to line up a couple of possibilities you may not have thought of…
-Combat. Players could all be contributing tiles to a communal ‘combat board’ much like the tiles are laid out in Carcassonne, with the features increased/completed granting a bonus to attack or defense (or even a special ability trigger). The trick for players in this iteration is every tile you place gives other players the opportunity to build off of your placement for more powerful attacks… I loves me some cognitive suffering. Take a wild west style game where tiles laid out could result in increased accuracy (lining up bullseyes), more shots (lining up ricochet paths from tile to tile) and so forth. Or players could place tiles onto their own personal ‘combat board’, allowing for massive firepower all over the place.
-Movement. More for a race or pick up and deliver type of game, tiles would have features that would allow movement, turns, jumps, etc. Take a robot programming game where the tiles look like a stylized circuit board. In order to move each turn, players must add a tile to the communal Movement Circuit. Lining up ‘Speed’ wires from tile to tile would make you move one space per tile with said wires on it. Add in obstacles that may damage (or worse) your robot, and this can become a risky proposition to keep a particular wire live. Perhaps you want to turn instead. Line up a couple of ‘Turn’ transistors and you’re set. Now if only everyone didn’t keep changing the circuit…
I’d place a few more ideas out, but I just can’t line up those edges… DAMN!
Keep on designing, yo!