Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I was initially steadfast in wanting turns for TaE to be done in order one player at a time as they are done in the board game. However I've been doing some thinking about simultaneous turns, and I think the rules could be adapted to fit a simultaneous turn structure.

The biggest problem of a simultaneous rule structure with a board game style game is the possibility of two people acting on the same spot or tile or, in this case, solar system at the same time. The first solution that comes to mind is to have each player's actions resolved in some sort of order and any illegal actions will be rejected. This isn't the prettiest solution because it means that it's possible for a player to take an action that looks legal at the time, and then to have that action denied because another player's turn was processed before them. In an effort to make this fair, I've come up with two solutions:

  • Randomize the order that the turns are processed. This leaves it up to chance as to which player's order is accepted when there are conflicting orders.
  • Cycle the player order (i.e. if your orders were processed first this round, they're processed second next round). As long as players know the turn order, this could add an extra bit of strategy to the game. An order may become more risky for a player if they think another player which is ahead of them in the queue may make a conflicting order. This is the idea I'm leaning towards, but I may change my mind as I implement and test it.
Another thing to think about is the possibility of consolations to a player whose move has been rejected. This could be something like letting them perform an extra order the next turn. This is something that I'll think about adding if the game needs it.

The final possibility for simultaneous turns is to change the rules so that there are no conflicting orders. This is something that I may think about, but I think the change will have to be drastic. I'm not leaning towards this solution at the moment.


mithro said...

You might want to chat with jphr about this. He has been dealing with similar issues with his Risk ruleset.

Your options all sound interesting. You can actually test this before you implement it by doing thought experiments. Writing these can be time consuming but really help you figure out problems before they occur. Defiantly make sure they are public so people can help point out floors. It also helps people understand the rules.

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