Game Mechanic For Hire

Just another weblog

Bash The Leader, 8.21.09

with one comment

It’s inherent human nature:  take down the person on top and maybe you can take their place… this occurs in many games naturally as a way to control runaway leader; Risk being the first to spring to mind.  However, once a leader is thoroughly bashed, they are often out of the game just for being ahead at the wrong time.  No fun.  What if Bash the Leader was accounted for in the design instead of just being a style of play?  If combined with suggestions from yesterday, you might get something like this…

-Scrappy Underdog.  A player in last place gets an advantage to compensate for position.  You need to be careful with this one.  Lets take our combat racing game from yesterday.  If the last place player were to get some sort of gnarly weapon as a potential catch up mechanism, he cannot use it on the leader.  Everyone else between him and the leader, though…  Give the weapon to the second (or third) place person, however, and it specifically hits the leaders only.  Combined with the speed boost the leader gets, you get tense play.  Can you take out the leader and take his place?  If you do, can you maintain your lead?  Or will you be blown up by that small yield tactical nuke as well?

-Target On Your Back.  Create a special ‘Target The Leader’ deck/set of actions.  Being in the lead is great, but it gives others opportunities to act against you.  This works best in games where rounds are short and/or taking the lead isn’t to do.  Perhaps in a claimjumping game other players may steal gold from mines of the leader with less penalty.  In an First Person Shooter style game, players could get bonus attacks against the leader.  Combine this kind of mechanic with some form of bonus for being in the lead and you have quite a frenetic game, indeed.

Bash The Leader-style games should focus on making the being the leader exciting and terrifying at the same time.  Make being the Leader something fantastic… the leader will need it with the entire board turning against her.  It should also focus more either on shorter rounds of play (to end the leader’s misery if completely destroyed and give others the chance to become the Leader).  If you’ll excuse me, I have a small yield tactical nuke that is begging for use…

Keep on designing, yo!



Written by krinklechip

August 21, 2009 at 1:16 am

One Response

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  1. I like Age of Steam’s increasing shrinkage mechanic because it effects everybody, just to a different magnitude. And by the time it’s really starting to hinder you, you’re already cash rich and don’t mind getting dropped a notch.

    Another good one is Reef Encounter’s shrimps. As a player scores, he loses a little control for the rest of the game. I also like because it gets you freedom on when you want to score.

    Mike Dowd

    August 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm

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