Game Mechanic For Hire

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Trade, 8.25.09

with 4 comments

Trading is typically resource for resource… ore for wheat, ore for energy, ore for rowing power and so forth.  Lets have a look at what kind of play trading other things as well may have…

-Board Position.  Players exchange positions on the game board.  This kind of trade would need a game where board position importance changes for each player as the game progresses.  Perhaps it’s a fast food chain game where players exchange positions of their restaurants to maximize the desire for their type of food in different areas of town at different points in the game.  Or you could offer board position in addition to resources.  A claimjumping game where deeds to different gold mines are constantly changing hands could create some interesting play…

-Turn Order.  Players may exchange when their turn takes place.  In a game where going before another player is important later in the game, this could create some heated trades.  In a stock market game, perhaps the order in which shares are bought and sold over the course of a round.  You’d want to go earlier if you saw the price for what you want to buy is low, or later to give it a chance to go up.  Bear in mind this would be combined with standard resource trading; you need to give ’em reason to trade their turn order away…

I traded my time with the computer for this article.  Fair traid, I’d say…

Keep on designing, yo!



Written by krinklechip

August 25, 2009 at 5:27 am

4 Responses

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  1. Trading for an alliance with another player. In a game where Alliances are central for gameplay, maybe joining an Alliance can cost X depending on the number of players already in that Alliance.
    Maybe a game where you have to form squadrons and when a unit enters a squadron it (the squadron) becomes stronger or more suited to other parts of the board, but you have to “pay”? Mmmmh…


    EDIT: I just re-read my answer and it doesn’t sound trade-ish at all. Sorry


    August 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    • No worries, Mariano. You’re onto something here. What if you traded the ability to attack (or perform other actions with) other players? Each player is dealt out different non-aggression and attack authorization cards from a Galactic Senate deck. You can’t attack a particular player unless you have the card to do so. You may have a player on the ropes militarily, but if you can’t get Galactic Senate sanction, you gotta leave them alone.



      August 25, 2009 at 6:05 pm

  2. Thank you!

    That’s a great idea you just said, I might use it for my home-made RISK-ish board game!



    August 27, 2009 at 1:17 am

  3. In a way, trading a resource for an ability or choice is like a bribe, no? heh. In “Struggle of Empires,” which has a very tight economy, players can freely give money to each for whatever reason. In our games, this is often done two ways.

    First, the game uses a forced alliance system. At the start of each War (a round of play, which consists of each player taking 2 actions, 5 or 6 times; the game is 3 rounds long), players are divided into two alliances via a bidding process. Allies can NOT attack each other and MAY help each other. The result is that alliance bidding is often heated because players try to ally with people they don’t want to be attacked by, or making sure someone you need to attack for your plans that round is not in your alliance.

    Anyway, what frequently happens is there will be a couple of players whose plans/positions support each other, and they will pool money in the bidding (i.e., one player will keep bidding, while another player offers money to help him keep bidding).

    The second form of “trading” (bribery) is usually to get an ally to help you in a battle. Help is usually free early in the game, but late in the game the risk of helping grows because not only can the ally potentially lose a unit if things go badly, but every loss (in the game) generates unrest. At the end of the game, anyone with 20+ unrest automatically loses, plus the players with the most unrest (under 20) has a stiff VP penalty.

    I guess that was more than you probably wanted to know about SoE, but it immediately came to mind when talking about trading a resource (money) for non-resources (plans and assistance).


    August 27, 2009 at 8:10 pm

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