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Press Your Luck, 9.18.08

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The Mechanic for today is Press Your Luck. Taking risk is a part of life; as is giving it as a gift to your 10 year old nephew. Pressing said risk too far can often lead to abysmal failure, which, so long as it happens in a board game, is hilarious. In our rational minds, we know that statistically, we will NOT roll those three 6s with four dice in one shot; but we do it anyway. Here’s a few ways it can be done…

-Dice Rolls. Players have ‘X’ die rolls of a set number of dice to create the most optimal combination. This is the standard for Press your Luck. Roll those bones and hope they go your way. There are still choices, though. Do you keep that set of 2s or re-roll the whole lot? In a steampunk machinery game, the dice could indicate how well the machine may function. Do you take the time and tinker your creation for more re-rolls, or do you slap something together and hope for the best in one or two rolls?

-Diminishing Return Draw. Players draw a starting hand of cards. If they do not like the hand, they may discard it and draw one fewer card. This may be done as many times as a player wishes. Another sub-mechanic made popular by Magic, Diminishing Return Draw allows players to weigh the strength of their hand for the current round and
redraw in an attempt to get something better. Of course, you could get something worse… In a factory game, your hand could be your output, worker movement and special actions. Should you keep that hand of ‘blah’ output and good worker movement? Or do you want to try to get that one action from your deck that will save your butt
guaranteed this round?

-Action Point Limit. Players must complete their actions within a set action point limit. Players may go over the limit, but risk increasing penalty if they do. Good for a game where just o-o-one more action will get you through the round. Granted, you may get the tar kicked out of you by the board if you go overboard with too many actions, but what are the chances of your one little action causing that? In a robbery game, the action allowance could be how much activity won’t attract a security guard. Do you press for more swag and risk getting caught? If it’s a cooperative robbery game, it may be necessary to go over for the good of the team to get a bigger cut… if you don’t get caught yourself.

There ya go. I’ve pressed my luck as much as I’m willing to for now. I pass.

Keep on designing, yo!

Phil

Written by krinklechip

August 18, 2009 at 2:18 am

Dice, 9.5.08

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I’ma trash it up today, as fair warning. Yup, you guessed it:  dice. D4, D8, D20… I loves ’em. Just don’t mistake them for cereal. Dice get a bad rap for being ‘random’ and ‘uncontrolled’. Both true. But, if used properly, it can provide good randomness to your game while saving on cardboard cost.

-Area Activation. The section of the board rolled is active/gets a bonus for the round. This kind of thing would encourage players to spread out a bit in order to get shiny bonuses for being in the right place. In a robot factory game, the section rolled could have machinery activated for the round. In a hunting game, that section of the board could be repopulated with some animals.

-Resource Generation. The resource designated on the dice is generated for the players. This is about as straightforward as it gets… It is here for purposes of completeness. As a twist, what if everything *except* what was rolled produced resources?

-Accessory Bonus. All accessories with the number rolled have a bonus for the round. Good for a fantasy adventure game or castle defense game. The party has toys that activate at different times… at the ‘whim of the gods’, ranging from combat bonuses to wonky stuff. For castle defense, that particular defense is armed and ready to use for the turn.

-Research. Roll dice to further research into new upgrades and advances. This is a classic empire game mechanic. Players choose where to put whatever research tokens with different numbers on what they want to research. Whenever a given number comes up, that tech advances closer to becoming available. You could even dump all your numbers into one or two spots… at a cost. Or, techs themselves with the given numbers advance when the number is rolled. That would be more chrome-y for that really hard to get tech having only one number advance its research track…
Keep on designing, yo!

Phil

Written by krinklechip

August 18, 2009 at 1:30 am

Posted in Dice, Game Design, Mechanics

Variant Combat Dice 8.15.2008

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Here is the first Mechanic of the Day from August 15, 2008.

Here is a mechanic for perusal/thoughts/use/abuse by fellow designers. The idea is that it’ll stretch the mental muscles, and they may spur someone to design something awesome. And by awesome, I mean totally sweet.

The first mechanic of the day is going to be an Ameritrash-y one:  variant combat dice. In Axis and Allies, you roll D6s and hope to roll low, regardless of unit. Ho hum. But what if you had a target number for each unit, and a die type assigned based on weapon? For example, a squad of soldiers with AR-5s would roll D6s, while the
specialist with the RPG would roll a D10. A tank would roll (at least) a D12, and so forth. The better the weapon, the higher the target number it can hit.

You could also apply the same thing for morale checks based on training. An elite unit would roll D10s or D12s; while conscripts would likely roll D4s, MAYBE D6s.

So there you go. Whatcha people think? See ya tomorrow.

Keep on designing, yo!

Phil

Written by krinklechip

August 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Posted in Dice, Game Design, Mechanics