Sunday, March 10, 2013

EmDo Expansion progress

I exchanged some internal TMG emails today about box size and components for Escalation... a nice reminder that things are happening with that. Watch your TMG newsletter for info about an upcoming Kickstarter project later this year.

I took a look at the components for Exotica, and it turns out that even though Escalation adds a 5th player (requiring 28 additional Role cards), and 18 Scenarios, Exotica has almost the same number of cards (!)

In related news, I had an idea the other day for a dice game version of Eminent Domain. I supposed it could be re-themed, but for the time being I thought I'd explore EmDo dynamics with a simple dice mechanism. I actually have 2 versions of this idea. Originally it was to remain a "deck building" mechanism, but instead of a deck of cards you would have a supply of dice. Sort of like Quarriors for example. Then I thought it might work just as well and save a lot of components if it weren't so much a deck builder. Here are both ideas in brief:

1. Eminent Domain: the Dice Building Game

For this idea there would have to be a supply of custom dice of several types, each with a different distribution of Role icons:
Early Game Die (Green): Survey/Survey/Survey/Colonize/Warfare//Politics
Mid Game Die (Yellow): Produce/Trade/Research/Research/Colonize+Warfare/Colonize+Warfare
Late Game Die (Red): Produce/Trade/Research/Research/Colonize+Warfare/Colonize+Warfare

Maybe the green dice are your starting deck, and the supply are just the other dice. I'm not really sure.

In any case, players would roll their starting dice and leave them in their play area (Empire). Some dice from the supply would be rolled into the middle of the table as the draft pool.

On your turn you would choose one of the dice in the draft pool, and execute the role on that die. You would boost that role with any matching symbols on your dice. After resolving the role, you would re-roll all of the dice used that turn (as well as any dice showing a Politics icon).

When a player chooses a Role, each opponent has the opportunity to Follow that role using dice in their Empire, and then re-rolling the dice used. Or they can Dissent, and re-roll any 1 die in their Empire.

Over time your dice pool would expand. It might be necessary to draw a hand of dice out of a bag, roll them, and discard the dice used. I'm not sure how well this would work - but it would take a lot of custom dice anyway, so I stopped thinking about it and moved on to the next idea.

2. Eminent Domain: the Dice Game

Possibly a better approach is this. All of the dice in the game simply have 1 Role symbol on each side. Each player has 6 of these dice, and rolls them into their Empire.

Rather than drafting a die to choose a role, on your turn you simply choose any role you like. Boost it with dice from your Empire, as usual. Opponents get a chance to Follow with dice from their Empire, or Dissent and re-roll 1 die. Re-roll all dice used after resolving the role.

That second idea sounds a lot more viable to me. I like the way that dice you don't use stick around, so if you don't Survey for a while, eventually your hand will be full of Survey icons and it'll be worth choosing that roll - maybe just to refresh those dice!

Resolving the roles would work largely the same way as the card game...

Survey: There could be a supply of Planet tiles, with type and Colonize/Warfare costs on the back, VP and benefits on the front. Benefits would be the same types of things as on EmDo planets - Role Icons, +1 Die (hand size), etc. The survey role would allow you to draw a certain number of them from bag and keep 1. OR - each planet could have a Survey cost, there could be several of them face up, and in order to take 1 you have to spend a number of Survey symbols equal to the Survey cost.

Warfare: There could be a supply of Fighters, like in EmDo. The Warfare role could collect Fighters, or Attack a planet, just like EmDo.

Colonize: The Colonize role would have to work a little bit differently. In this case it would probably simply be "Settle 1 Planet" - and in order to do so you would have to have enough Colonize symbols on hand at the time.

Produce/Trade: Perhaps for simplicity each planet should simply produce 1 (generic) resource. Either that, or the planet could indicate how many (0/1/2) resources it can hold. The roles would work much like they do in EmDo.

Research: Rather than a supply of Research cards, there could be a small board with technologies listed. Much like EmDo, the Level 1 techs would cost 3 Research symbols and require 1 planet of the appropriate type. Level 2 techs would cost 5 and require 2 planets. Level 3 techs would require 7 and require 3 planets. Note that 7 Research symbols on 6 dice will require a hand size bonus or Research icons on planets. I suppose players should get +1 icon when they choose the role, so a full hand of 6 Research could be enough for a Level 3 tech.

Game End:
I'm not really sure when the game should end, maybe when the supply of planets is out, or a supply of vps like in EmDo. Or when a player has a certain number of planets in his Empire. Game End triggers have always been a problem for me.

For reference, I'll just make a quick component list here:
24 (30?) Role Symbol Dice (6 per player)
XX Planet tiles
XX Fighter tokens
XX Resource tokens / VPs (these could be the same thing)

1 comment:

Steven O'Shea said...

Option 2 for sure! I'm ready to play test!