Game Mechanic For Hire

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Area Control, 9.17.08

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Io, fellow designers. Today we’ll take a look at area control, a Euro staple. With area control, players compete to gain a majority of some form in various regions across the board; be it for points, a special ability, what have you. Carcassone, In the Shadow of the Emperor, far too many to list here use area control. Here are a few iterations…

-Piece Majority. Control of an area is determined by piece majority. Players choose where to place their pieces on the board in an attempt to control whatever areas they can for points and abilities. In a sports game, you could use fans in the stands as a side game; whichever side has more fans in a given area gains some kind of bonus in play.

-Best Piece. Control of an area is determined by piece type. Piece Majority may be well and good, but how do a bunch of huts compare to a temple or castle? They don’t. With Best Piece, it’s the quality that counts. When combined with Piece Majority, it can cause an interesting dynamic as added resources become available to players. In a feudal game, players start with building huts and similar structures for control of areas. As the game progresses, you can
build castles, which instantly trump any huts, and so on; kind of like an architectural arms race…

-Area Specific Majority. Control of an area is determined by the area’s guidelines. A variant of Piece Majority and Best Piece combined, each area has a different value set for determining majority. In one area, square pieces count most toward majority while circular pieces would count more in another area. In a farm game, pigs would be worth more control points in the pig pen than in the stable while horses wouldn’t be worth much in the pig pen as a pig would. Who puts horses in a pig pen, anyway? (A player desperate for points…)

There you go. Three examples… majority is mine! Ah ha ha ha!

Keep on designing, yo!



Written by krinklechip

August 18, 2009 at 2:11 am

Posted in Game Design, Mechanics

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