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Author Topic: Territories: New Landscape Mechanic  (Read 131 times)

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scott_pilgrim

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Territories: New Landscape Mechanic
« on: October 12, 2020, 03:42:47 pm »
+3

This is an idea I came up with in the shower yesterday, for a new landscape card-shaped thing. The idea is to use a self-balancing mechanic to create player interaction, and lead to more unique things that can happen in games. The mechanics can also be combined with existing Projects, Landmarks, and Events (though it doesn't work well with a lot of events).

Basically, Territories are like Projects, in that they (usually) give the owner some ongoing ability that they can use, with the following differences:
  • Only one player may have their cube on a particular Territory at any given time.
  • Territories have no fixed cost. Instead, the first player to ever buy a particular Territory pays at least $1 for it, and then each subsequent player must pay at least $1 more than the current owner. When they do, the current owner is kicked off and the new player takes over ("claims" the Territory).

So when another player out-bids you, they take over the effect and you no longer get it. There is nothing about the nature of partial orderings that prevents the mechanic from working with potion- and debt-costs in addition to coin-costs, but I think that feels a little wonky and gets hard to track (I imagine the way you track it with coin costs is by simply putting 1 token on the card per $ you paid), so I recommend just using $ costs.

Some ideas I came up with (none tested):
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At the start of each of your turns, +1 Card.
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At the start of each of your turns, +$1.
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At the start of each of your turns, each other player gains a Curse.
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At the start of each of your turns, gain a card costing up to $5.
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At the start of each of your turns, each other player discards down to 3 cards in hand.
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At the start of each of your clean-up phases, gain a copy of every card you have in play.
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Whenever you play an action card, +$1.
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Whenever you play an action card you do not have a copy of in play, +1 Action.
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Cards cost $2 less on your turn (but not less than $0).
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Copper produces $1 extra on your turns.
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Whenever you gain a card, you may trash it, exile it, or put it on top of your deck.
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Whenever you play a Horse, +2 cards. When you claim this, gain 2 Horses.
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Whenever you trash a card, put it into your hand.
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When you claim this, trash up to 2 cards from your hand or play area.
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At the start of each of your clean-up phases, put up to 2 cards from play onto your deck.
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Whenever you play the Special card from your hand, play it again.

Set-up: Choose a random Action card in the supply to be the Special card.
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At the end of each of your clean-up phases, draw an extra card per $1 you left unspent.

As mentioned above, existing Projects, Landmarks, and Events can also be turned into Territories. For Projects, the conversion is trivial: ignore the printed cost and follow the rules above. For Events, the conversion is also straightforward: you are basically just changing the rules for how much the Event costs. For Landmarks, it's a little more complicated, based on several cases:
  • Landmarks that hand out VP throughout the game: Only the current owner of the Landmark can receive the VP.
  • Landmarks that score positive VP at the end of the game: Only the owner of the Landmark at the end of the game gets the VP.
  • Landmarks that score negative VP at the end of the game (e.g. Wolf Den, Bandit Fort): Everyone except the owner of the Landmark gets the VP.
You could even use this mechanic for buying cards, but I don't think that works well for most cards. The way I originally came up with the mechanic was by thinking about a Flag Bearer variant that would cost $1 on top, and then each subsequent Flag Bearer costs $1 more than the previous. Maybe something similar works for certain cards.

Additionally, you can have negative Territories. These introduce a new rule that applies for the game (if the Territory is chosen), which usually hurts players, but the owner of the Territory can ignore the effect. A few examples:
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At the start of each of your turns, gain a Copper, putting it into your hand.
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Whenever you buy a card, take 1 debt per copy of that card you have in play.
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At the start of each of your turns, discard down to 4 cards in hand.
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You cannot buy victory cards. When you claim this, +1 buy.
That last one might be a terrible idea.


Anyway, what are people's thoughts on this mechanic? The intent is to add some self-balancing to the game to enable more variety of crazy effects, but maybe it causes problems with sunk costs in multi-player games, or maybe it can lead to un-ending games, or other problems I haven't considered.
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gambit05

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Re: Territories: New Landscape Mechanic
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2020, 04:16:39 pm »
+2

Territories have no fixed cost. Instead, the first player to ever buy a particular Territory pays at least $1 for it
Some ideas I came up with (none tested):
Quote
At the start of each of your turns, +1 Card.

Quite a lot of text to fully grasp the idea. I more or less stopped just at the first option.

I think the first player in the opening who has $5, buys this for $5 and gets an instant Hireling. Other players may have a hard time to catch up.

Edit: I thought a bit more about this. How about you have a specific Supply card that allows, when played, to buy one of the available Territories in the same way as you proposed?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 05:07:32 pm by gambit05 »
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scott_pilgrim

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Re: Territories: New Landscape Mechanic
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 07:43:37 pm »
0

Territories have no fixed cost. Instead, the first player to ever buy a particular Territory pays at least $1 for it
Some ideas I came up with (none tested):
Quote
At the start of each of your turns, +1 Card.

Quite a lot of text to fully grasp the idea. I more or less stopped just at the first option.

I think the first player in the opening who has $5, buys this for $5 and gets an instant Hireling. Other players may have a hard time to catch up.

Edit: I thought a bit more about this. How about you have a specific Supply card that allows, when played, to buy one of the available Territories in the same way as you proposed?

Yeah, I think there may be a bit of a problem with catching up to the first player who hits $5. Having a specific supply card that allows it seems like a pretty clever way to delay how early you have access, I'll have to think about that some more.
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gambit05

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Re: Territories: New Landscape Mechanic
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2020, 04:59:41 am »
+1

Territories have no fixed cost. Instead, the first player to ever buy a particular Territory pays at least $1 for it
Some ideas I came up with (none tested):
Quote
At the start of each of your turns, +1 Card.

Quite a lot of text to fully grasp the idea. I more or less stopped just at the first option.

I think the first player in the opening who has $5, buys this for $5 and gets an instant Hireling. Other players may have a hard time to catch up.

Edit: I thought a bit more about this. How about you have a specific Supply card that allows, when played, to buy one of the available Territories in the same way as you proposed?

Yeah, I think there may be a bit of a problem with catching up to the first player who hits $5. Having a specific supply card that allows it seems like a pretty clever way to delay how early you have access, I'll have to think about that some more.

I think this has a great potential for an interesting concept. There could be a couple of cards a la Fate cards that give the effect "You may claim a Territory" combined with some other (simple) effects, e.g. +1 Action; or +$2 or things like that; it may be an option out of two or more, e.g. "Choose one: +2 Cards; or claim a Territory" and much more. I would start to keep the effects of the Territories relatively simple, like some of the effects you have listed, and I would avoid mixing them with any existing landscape "cards".
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