Rethinking and Adding Some Concepts
This one is easy. Too much downtime in a complex game sucks. So, I’m implementing the very typical Chudyk thing: play in rounds, there’s a leader who decides what you do, then everyone else decides to follow or prep for next time.
I mean it’s a 4X game, so stuff should build. One thing that I couldn’t get past with Chudyk’s design is that you really didn’t have to build towards anything - it was more like, if you happened into the right circumstances, you could just deploy a thing. No drama, no sense of Pride and Accomplishment.
So, a bunch of stuff can be Developed kinda like Melding in Innovation. You can change out a card for a larger size if it’s the same color, or a smaller size if it’s a different color.
I had always likened the Impulse to a Galactic Senate - it’s the area where collected intent emerges, and from which all players derive utility. But in both the base game and my redesign, it kinda played second fiddle to the larger machine, which always seemed blah to me.
So, since I want a directly political game, and I want the politics to be a major driver, I might as well go ahead and actually make the Impulse a directly political Senate-like thing.
I’m thinking face-up cards that the Leader selects as what you do this turn. Nobody has to play anything from the hand, you just go with it or not. If nobody else goes along with it, the Leader does their thing and then we shut that one down - flip it over, and we don’t get to do that one again (unless it gets re-developed later on). Shut down the whole government, and everything falls apart and the game ends.
And to make that even more central, the Impulse is gonna be the only way that actions happen. Everything else changes actions up, but the Impulse actually creates the spark that lets you do things at all.
Techs, Sectors, the Plan
Since I don’t want other ways to make actions, I’m thinking about changing the other parts of the game to affect how actions play out, but not actually create actions themselves.
Techs give powers that change the way actions work.
The Plan should allow your actions to have breadth, by giving you the ability to swap actions along color lines.
Sectors won’t generate actions on their own. Instead, they’ll be like Helpers or Clients - when you occupy a Sector, and its action is lead by the Leader, you can get extra actions for each Sector of that action you occupy. That should give people incentive to hold territory, because that effectively becomes your governmental machine.
Fully Standard Actions
Both the base game and the redesign have a pile of effectively unique actions to track, so instead, I’m reducing it down to the 10 named actions. Each action is the same, size will affect how much of it happens.
So, like, Build will now be “Build X ships at home” where “X” is the size of the Build action. That’s it. Nothing else. All things follow from this. No action will give you a choice of “do this or do that;” it’s “do this for this much.”
Execute didn’t jive with my idea, so I’m thinking about making that effectively a wild card - its power is “do any other power,” and each player in a round gets to put their own spin on it.
There are more bits and pieces that emanate from these ideas, but the gist is basically this:
- The political machine is the only way to actually make your empire do anything.
- Pieces of your empire have to be developed progressively.
- Action selection necessarily means your opponents get to do things too.
- Components of your empire affect how actions play out, but do not create impetus.
- Actions are the same and only vary by the amount on the card, further reducing decision fatigue.
Working on writing up a rules sketch to coalesce my current ideas, but this is where I’m heading.