Today I’m writing on the road , having just arrived last night in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, for the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. So between films I’ll be noting down my ideas for new games – expect some movie-inspired ideas in the days to come!
Today’s idea has to do around a central mechanism involving dice. I am extremely interested in any strategy game using dice as a mechanism, and while games such as Kingsburg and Alien Frontiers have been extremely popular using the ‘dice as workers’ trope, I think there is still a lot of room for innovation. It is also inspired in part by Pergamon, and it’s central mechanism of a row of action spaces that are resolved in a set order, and might pay out differently depending on the total pot of resources available that round.
Day 9: Dice along the path
Each player has a pool of dice that they roll and will use over the course of the round. On a central board, there are four paths leading outwards from a central point, and along each path there are available actions (for example, given by buildings). Each player also has their own personal path on their player board which again is populated with a number of bonus actions.
On their turn, a player chooses one of their rolled dice and assigns them to one of the paths – either central or personal. These will let them activate actions along those paths. The trick is that only the actions up to the sum of the dice placed on that path will be activated (a little like the provost in Caylus). Any spaces past this point cannot be used.
Once everyone has placed their dice, each path is resolved in order. Actions on the central paths are divided into two categories: shared and private actions. Shared actions are accessed by all players that placed a dice there, regardless of value, and then the player who played the highest die gets first choice of a private action (placing their die there to signify that no one else may take that action this turn), followed by the next highest die, and so on.
Players can also place a die on their private path, which allows them to access an action along the path up to the value of the die.
Throughout the game players will build more actions to make the paths longer, and can also add more actions to their own path.
Hopefully there is enough interest on weighing whether to place a high dice on a path in order to secure first pick of an action, with the downside of potentially activating a lot of free shared actions for whoever else places there. You also have the choice of developing your own private path so you always have access to certain actions. Do you think this mechanism has enough meat to be the centre of a game?