Today’s inspiration is directly from my friend Sebastian Bleasdale (of Keyflower fame) and his newest published game, Black Fleet from Space Cowboys. The goal of the game is to save enough money to be able to pay for all of your development cards, before paying to flip the final card, the Princess. The trick is that each of the other development cards have different costs, and a different special ability associated with them, but you can choose in which order you acquire them! Essentially, you can save up for a better one, or get a cheaper one that you can use more often.

I really like this basic dichotomy between getting something now that you could use, or waiting to get something better in the future, knowing that there is an optimal time to do either (especially if there is a way for your opponents to mess with your plans!). So I wonder if there is a way to expand on a new iteration of this type of mechanism.

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Day 54: Buy or Wait?

There is a board with several locations in it, each connected with various paths. Players are moving from location to location, trying to get the most out of their travels. A player has to move on their turn, and can move as far as they like; however, whenever they move through a location they have to generate a resource or item that it associated with that place, which they leave on the location. Once they reach a location that they wish to stop at, they do, and they take all the resources at that location. In this way, players can choose whether they want more choice, and therefore move further, but with the caveat that they are possibly giving more things to their opponents. Or players can take the stuff they want now, moving very slowly along the map, and not leaving too many opportunities for the other players.

When spending the resources, you have the choice of many different items with different costs, with the better items having the higher cost. The trick is that when you buy an item, you have to discard all the other resources that you didn’t use, so if you are saving up for a better item, it is likely you will have picked up some resources of other types that you might waste.

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Obviously, this is only the kernel of a bigger game, but I do like this idea that the more choice you give yourself the more you give your opponents. What would you add to this mechanic to make it a better game?