Game Mechanic For Hire

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Line of Supply, 9.2.08

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Oh, I’ve been thinking of mecha-nics, all the live long da—y. I’ve been thinking of mecha-nics, just to throw some stuff your way… Can’t you hear my gears a-turn-in, even so early in the morn; now it’s time for you to jo-in me, as you read this post.

Today’s mechanic is lines of supply, be it militarily or rail road-ily. Line of supply typically is used to convey the
simulation of the need of connectedness for your pieces to do their job, be it railroads, power lines, food wagons, whatever. Lets have a look at a few ways to do that, hm?

-Extend and Forget. Extend your network and forget about it. This is commonly used for games where making more connections is more usually more important that the connections themselves. Once you spend ‘X’ for a new connection, it’s yours for the rest of the game and needs no more maintenence. For example, a railroad game where
you build your lines as you play to increase your possible routing and resupply options is a form of Extend and Forget.

-Hold the Line. As you extend your network, resources/actions must be used to maintain it. This iteration is a bit angrier, as poor maintenence of your connections can cause a degredation of efficiency or cause you to lose the lines outright. In an old west-style game where you are building boom towns, your wagon trains would be your line of supply. If you take a chance and don’t spend resources for proper protection or preparedness, bandits and natural disasters could ruin your line of supply and cause your towns to founder.

-Cut Them Off. More for military games, a line of supply is required for your units to work properly (if at all). This makes creating a long line of supply a risky proposition, at best. If your opponent can remove a unit’s connection to its line of supply, it will start to run out of ammo/suffer morale issues/be unable to move/etc. A non-military example would be an old-timey bucket brigade game. You have your base at the river and various buildings are on fire in town. The fires further from the river are worth more points, but your opponents may cause a disruption in your long line of supply with a fallen tree or panicked public, rendering disconnected firemen useless until line of supply is restored.

Phil-lip won’t you type, Phil-lip won’t you type, Phil-lip won’t you type some mo-o-ore? Not today I won’t, ot today I won’t, not today because I’m done.

Keep on designing, yo!

Phil

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Written by krinklechip

August 18, 2009 at 1:12 am

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