Game Ideas

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Ben 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #1792

    Ben
    Keymaster

    I have converted the Game Ideas thread from Miniature Trading into a standard page.  This thread is for any Game Ideas submissions you have that are NOT already on the list, and I will likely add them to that page, crediting your username as the creator.  This thread can also be a launch point for discussion/revision of basic game ideas, though large campaign rulesets can have their own threads.

    #3450

    Jack
    Participant

     

    I typically play the standard 40 point, 4 island, 30 gold game. And it’s fun and balanced but just so quick. I’ve also played 100 point deathmatch, which is fun but typically whoever goes first wins. I’ve been playing a “campaign’ mode I found online where you start with 20 points and work your way up by buying ships/crew with gold that I found really fun, however. Any other variants on how to play the game that people have done?

    #3453

    Ben
    Keymaster

    Any other variants on how to play the game that people have done?

    That’s why this thread and the associated page linked above exists – I may still sticky it so it’s more visible.  I merged your topic into this one so there won’t be tons of different threads about the same topic over time.

    The Game Ideas page has enough content to keep you busy for many years.  I’ve done a bunch of them, but there are more rulesets and scenarios I’d like to play than I have already played, and I’m the most experienced Pirates player (that we know of haha).

    Since you like the general cumulative game rules, I’d suggest the Campaign Game rulesets.  Economy Edition is a classic and looks to be the basis for many games going forward, including both the current CG4 and THC.  If you don’t have time, simply varying the build total and player/fleet count is fun.  3-4 players at 60-100 points can be really great.  Also don’t be afraid to go tiny.  Control multiple fleets of only 10-25 points for some wackiness, especially when combined with Water World or other stuff.

    If you do come up with your own variant(s), feel free to share them here so I can add them to the list!

    #3456

    Jack
    Participant

    Actually now that I think about it I have splashed Pirates CSG into other games.

    The best one IMO has been Catan. If you have expansions, you can play a seafaring variant of Catan and a gold mechanic is introduced. I’ve played it but replacing their ship system with Pirates CSG ships. Ships cost one wood and wool per mast, and coins equal to their point cost. Crew also cost gold equal to points.

    I’ve never expanded it beyond being an upgrade to the basic Catan game, but you could in theory make a megagame out of it, with your Catan cities producing ships which you then use to play Pirates CSG.

    #3457

    Ben
    Keymaster

    I’ve never expanded it beyond being an upgrade to the basic Catan game, but you could in theory make a megagame out of it, with your Catan cities producing ships which you then use to play Pirates CSG.

    I assume you saw Woelf‘s version on the page?  His alternate ruleset is one I’ve wanted to try for a while, but I want to learn how to play Catan first.

    #3458

    Robert
    Participant

     

    Game ideas

      <li style=”text-align: center;”>a standard 40 point game, but ships are damaged permanently and realistically (shot by actual cannons when they are hit in game)
      <li style=”text-align: center;”>a standard 40 point game, but both players must be blindfolded
      <li style=”text-align: center;”>a standard 40 point game, but all ships used MUST be the Batavian Bat.
      <li style=”text-align: center;”>a standard 40 point game,
      <li style=”text-align: center;”>a standard 40 point game, but take a shot any time any action is taken, anytime a ship loses a mast, anytime an ability is used, and take a shot for each point of gold value you obtain at your home island.

    1. a standard 40 point game, but the rules are combined with the NASCAR race day game (participants are also blindfolded)

    i hope you implement some of my ideas in future campaign games!

     

    I hope some of you use my ideas!

    #3461

    Ben
    Keymaster

    a standard 40 point game, but ships are damaged permanently and realistically (shot by actual cannons when they are hit in game)

    I want to do something like that someday, but you’d have to have bigger ships to make it work unless we can utilize technology to really miniaturize the shots and damage to a tiny scale.

    a standard 40 point game, but both players must be blindfolded

    I assume you’d have a ref to make sure stuff didn’t get broken?  To me it doesn’t sound very fun.

    a standard 40 point game, but all ships used MUST be the Batavian Bat.

    I think it would be funnier to do it with the Banshee’s Cry, or Jolly Mon for swarm chaos.  XD

    a standard 40 point game, but the rules are combined with the NASCAR race day game (participants are also blindfolded)

    Check out what Cadet-Captain Mike did!

    #3610

    Jack
    Participant

    Alternate Boarding Rules

    This is an alternate way to conduct boardings which I’ve seen online as a house rule: It makes boardings more like real life and way more powerful, but potentially unbalanced:

    If a boarding is declared, each player rolls a d6 for every mast and crew on their ship. The players compare their highest rolls, and the loser eliminates one mast or crew, and then eliminates a die. If the players tied for the highest roll, compare their next highest. Nothing happens if every die is the same. When a ship runs out of dice (so has no crew or masts remaining) it is captured.

    – Ships/Crew that add +1 to boarding rolls add an extra die instead.

    – I’m not sure what to do with Inquisitor-type cards that eliminate all crew on a successful boarding. The doc I read didn’t offer any ideas. I think perhaps you could say they eliminate all crew with a successful roll, instead of just one at a time, but that’s really strong. I do like it though…

    Example:

    The Zephyr, carrying Captain Jack Hawkins and an Oarsman, rams El Leon, carrying an explorer.

    The ram does no damage due to Leon’s ability. The Zephyr shoots and misses. Hawkins’s ability eliminates the explorer on El Leon immediately, and then the pirate player declares a boarding.

    Zephyr begins with 4 dice, one for each crew, one for its single mast, one for its ability.

    El Leon begins with 3, one for each mast. It would have begun with 4 had the explorer not died.

    The Zephyr rolls 6, 3, 1, 1

    El Leon rolls 4, 3, 3

    Zephyr wins, El Leon doesn’t have any crew to eliminate so must eliminate a mast.

     

    Round 2:

    Zephyr: 4, 4, 2, 1

    El Leon: 5, 3

    Zephyr obviously doesn’t want to eliminate a mast, so the oarsman is sacrificed.

     

    Round 3:

    Zephyr: 4, 2, 2

    Leon: 4, 1

    Zephyr wins. A second mast is eliminated from Leon.

     

    Final round:

    Zephyr: 6, 4, 3

    Leon: 5

     

    The final mast is eliminated from Leon, the Zephyr captures it.

    EDIT- This wasn’t in the doc I read but spitballing some possible restrictions on here:

    – Only one boarding roll can occur per turn

    – A ship which is being boarded can not move or shoot. The attacking ship may not shoot, but can move away (and call off the boarding) if they are not pinned.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Jack.
    #3627

    Ben
    Keymaster

    This is an alternate way to conduct boardings which I’ve seen online as a house rule

    Do you know who came up with it?  Please include a link to the original source if possible.

    – I’m not sure what to do with Inquisitor-type cards that eliminate all crew on a successful boarding. The doc I read didn’t offer any ideas. I think perhaps you could say they eliminate all crew with a successful roll, instead of just one at a time, but that’s really strong. I do like it though…

    I do too because Massacre is overpriced (not usually worth 5 points) and lots of times you’ll only eliminate one or two extra crew (still powerful, but not likely to happen much in games).

    The ram does no damage due to Leon’s ability. The Zephyr shoots and misses.

    The shot would come first; order of operations is move-shoot-ram-board.

    I like how the number of dice is tied to how many crew are actually on the ship.  Of course an “empty” ship wouldn’t actually have nobody aboard, but the game doesn’t represent that very well with a single person normally taking up an entire cargo space by themselves.

    The main issue I have is that thematically it’s a bit strange.  If the other ship has already run out of crew, why bother chopping masts down from a ship you’re trying to capture?  I think being able to eliminate all of a ship’s masts just from declaring a boarding party is too much, and makes very little sense historically.  It’s hard to imagine the melee of a boarding party knocking down a full mast in most circumstances, especially intentionally by the boarders.

    I do like that boarding can lead directly to capturing the ship, but a lot of captures (probably most) in the Age of Sail happened without the other ship getting dismasted first.  I’ve been toying with the idea of a “super capture” boarding ability that lets you capture an enemy ship without making it derelict first, but it’s tough to do with making it extremely expensive and overpowered.

    Only one boarding roll can occur per turn

    What does that mean?  You can only intentionally board one enemy ship per turn?

    A ship which is being boarded can not move or shoot. The attacking ship may not shoot, but can move away (and call off the boarding) if they are not pinned.

    When?  If it’s your turn, the enemy wouldn’t be able to get actions anyway.  Is the attacking ship not allowed to shoot due to cannon angles?  It’s harder to pull off in Pirates, but plenty of boarding in the Age of Sail happened with ships broadside to each other, rather than a head-on ram.  If a Galley wasn’t pinned but wasn’t interested in continuing the boarding rolls, moving away would require an extra action because a move action ends when you hit something.  S-Boarding would make it more complicated.

    I think there’s some potential here.  I think it would be interesting to allow crewless ships to be captured regardless, which could incentivize people to put more crew on gold runners and make the game more combat/piracy oriented.

    #3641

    Jack
    Participant

    I found these rules here

    The mast destroying mechanic is definitely just there for balance. Otherwise A) what would you do with large ships without crew? and B) this would obviously be overpowered af. Perhaps you could find a middle ground where the captured ship must sail back to your home island before it can be given anything other than a move action or something like that.

    One boarding roll per turn would mean that you can’t conduct this action all at once. You eliminate one crew/mast a turn. So in the example above it would take the Zephyr four turns to finish the boarding action and capture El Leon. Over the course of those 4 moves, El Leon can’t move or shoot, and Zephyr can’t shoot and can’t move unless it becomes no longer pinned.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Jack.
    #3644

    Ben
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the link, I’ll add it to the Game Ideas page.  I’ve seen that document before but never looked at it in detail.

    Perhaps you could find a middle ground where the captured ship must sail back to your home island before it can be given anything other than a move action or something like that.

    Interesting idea that makes sense, neat!

    One boarding roll per turn would mean that you can’t conduct this action all at once. You eliminate one crew/mast a turn. So in the example above it would take the Zephyr four turns to finish the boarding action and capture El Leon. Over the course of those 4 moves, El Leon can’t move or shoot, and Zephyr can’t shoot and can’t move unless it becomes no longer pinned.

    Whoa… that changes everything about this, and seems like way too long of a battle (relative to this game) considering all that can happen in those turns.  That makes boarding too big of an event in my opinion, and it shouldn’t really be a separate action.

    One thing is for sure – you should NOT be able to immobilize an enemy ship just by ramming them.  There’s a reason “reverse pinning” was banned once the old Bonaparte strategy got popular.  Also, stopping the rammed ship from shooting is hard to imagine as well.  You could ram a fully loaded 10 master with a 1 master and keep it from moving AND shooting until the boarding stuff ended….

    #3744

    Jack
    Participant

    That’s a good point about how it could be used to unfairly delay ships. I was thinking that that would be a nerf, but it might actually be less powerful if you had to risk everything at once.

    —–

    So for my next game, I’m coming up with a scenario sort of riffing off your Economy Edition but not quite as intensive, but still quite long. I ordered Aruj Barbarossa online, and as it will take between 2-3 weeks to get here from the UK, I’m coming up with a scenario to play in the meantime.

    The Barbary Corsairs have to survive until Barbarossa arrives. The Knights of Malta (Spain/England/France mixed fleet) are trying to starve them out.

    Each of them will start with 40 point fleets, and can exchange coins for ships/crew at their HI of equal value. The Corsairs have three HIs: Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers. The Knights of Malta only have Malta. As long as at least one HI remains under Corsair control when Barbarossa arrives, they’ll win.

    Named crew can not be regained if they’re eliminated. Same with ships. The Barbary Corsairs may use generic Pirate crew if I run out of generic Corsairs.

    The part I’m taking from your Economy Edition is food and blockades. All three islands need to feed themselves, afterall. So in addition to new ships/crew, they can turn gold into food, probably at a 1:2 ratio. Each HI goes through one food per turn. The Knights of Malta can declare a blockade if one of their ships is within L of a Barbary HI. A blockading ship will eliminate one food per mast it currently has per turn. If a Barbary HI runs out of food, and a Maltese ship is blockading it, it surrenders. If Malta runs out of food… I don’t know. They don’t lose, though.

    Finally, ALL Barbary Corsair ships are considered to have the Barbary Banner UT on board, and ALL Malta ships are considered to have the Banner of Malta UT on board.

    #3748

    Ben
    Keymaster

    @Jack: That sounds awesome!  I love how you’re playing a game based on a real-life outside force.  I really love that the game hinges on an unknown – will Barbarossa arrive soon??  XD  (though of course with tracking you can get a very good idea; I think it would be interesting to not check it though)  There is a weird scenario where your game does end up taking “forever” – if Barbarossa gets lost in the mail!  Meaning his transit ship went down with him.  Hope that doesn’t happen of course.

    I know my 2015 Economy Edition game kinda made it seem like it’s “my” ruleset, but all credit goes to cannonfury (not at Miniature Trading anymore).  Hopefully I made that clear enough on the Game Ideas page and at the outset of the EE battle report.

    Will your map somewhat resemble the Mediterranean, or is it just the 4 HI’s placed reasonably similarly to where they are on a map? (with no extra land area, whether imaginary or not)  What about the wild islands – geographically similar or random?

    Interesting that you need a steady stream of gold to keep the ports alive.  It makes more sense than what I like to do (no gold/food maintenance), I just like to launch new stuff and constant maintenance costs slow down campaign games in that regard and just aren’t my thing.  Glad you’re trying that though since it will be fun to see how it goes.

    If Malta runs out of food… I don’t know. They don’t lose, though.

    Either they could start the game with tons of food (I assume there will be some food for each port at the start?  Else they’d die Turn 2), or perhaps get a reinforcement fleet from Europe.  (though introducing free points would unbalance things of course)

    All those UT’s floating around will be really interesting – it makes boarding the opposing fleet to try and flip the effect around for gold a viable strategy.  I have some other thoughts on how the strategy might play out, but I don’t want to put thoughts in your head….

    #3749

    Jack
    Participant

    So I just completed Day 1.

    I just can’t find a big enough flat space for this game in my house, I wanted to make the islands 6L at least apart but it wound up being 4.

    “Tunis” “Tripoli” and “Algiers” were all placed to roughly resemble their places on the Barbary Coast, with Algiers and Tunis closer to the wild islands (and Malta) than Tripoli. Wild islands were placed for balance, not realism. One was close to Algiers, one close to Malta, and two neutral. A fog bank lies between the neutral islands and Malta, a reef bank between the neutral islands and the Barbary Coast, and a Sargasso Sea off to the east.

    Too late to change it but I gave each Barbary city 10 food to start, and Malta 30. This worked to create a sense of the Barbary Coast being on the backfoot, but Malta’s got a big advantage in ship power already since they didn’t need to worry about food for several turns.

    The Corsair ship Algiers was captured and I actually forgot to give Malta their 5 gold. Whoops. Gonna do a longer write up over on the Battle Reports section now.

    #4217

    Jack
    Participant

    Working on a scenario to play when my copy of Captain Nemo arrives.

    3 player game. One Mercenary, one English, and one French fleet.

    Set up is standard for a 40 point game. However, the Mercenary player does not have a HI at all. Instead, they place their ship S-away from one of the wild islands, all of which are mysterious islands. The English and French player may build any 40 point fleet they like. However, the Mercenary player starts with this exact fleet:

    Their one and only ship is the Nautilus.

    On board is Captain Nemo, a Captain, a helmsman, and the UTs Nemo’s Plans, Nemo’s Charts, Screw Engine, Power Cannons, Mines, Metal Hull, Targeting Scope, and Periscope.

    To the English and French fleets, eliminating a crew from the Nautilus yields coin equal to their point cost. Sinking the Nautilus gives 16 coins. They may need to work together in order to beat the Nautilus, but they’re still also competing against each other.

    Not sure what else to add to top it off. I think that I am going to add one nerf to the Nautilus by making it forced to surface at least once every three or so turns in order to “refill its air tanks.”

    #4218

    Ben
    Keymaster

    Sounds quite unique.  Nemo’s Plans makes that Nautilus very OP, so I’d be inclined to simply avoid her.

    #4220

    Mechavelli
    Participant

    You’ve got a sub moving at 4S that has 2L rank 3 cannons, one of which hits automatically. It removes a mast from any approaching ship and can cancel once per turn, but on top of that has a saving throw of 6 on any hit and it’s natural defense of “two hits to remove a segment”.

     

    I’d be surprised if Nemo didn’t win every single time. It’d be child’s play to pick off the opposing fleets and sit back and watch as they break themselves trying to sink you.

    #4222

    Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, Nemo’s supposed to be very strong, like in the books. I think if team France and England don’t start out the scenario as allies then they’re doomed to lose. But even then he may well be unstoppable.

    #4229

    Ed
    Participant

    This scenario would work best with 2 or 4 players; but could be altered for 3(see bottom of posts for changes).

    To Begin:

    1. Place an object about 3L across and four isles touching it in a square- these isles will be called ports
    2.  Divide 15 gold per player amongst these ports. Each port has their own “internal economy“- *we will revisit this.
    3. Next, place 1 wild isle 3L away from each port.
    4. Then, place each HI across from eachother In between the wild isles

    This should all come to form a square. It would be best for players to be sitting acoss from one another as well.

    • Each wild isle has a luxury good on it to replace treasure (I chose diomond, emerald, sapphire & amethyst but they can be anything).

    The goal is to deliver these luxury goods first, to the Ports*

    *Ports pay different amounts of gold for luxury goods. 1GP from the Port closest to the luxury good’s origin isle. 2GP from the two Ports second closest and 4GP from the farthest port *these are the internal economies)

    Then, deliver your gold home.

    The end game is triggered when the last gold is delivered home or if someone collects half the gold themselves.

    This could also be played by 3 people with only 3 luxuries and arranged into a triangle.

    This scenario was inspired by Capin’Gerg

    #4275

    Ben
    Keymaster

    @Ed: Interesting set of ideas there.  Have you played that scenario yet?

    I just added the Master Mariner variant ruleset to the main page, which was created by game industry veteran Tim Kask.  🙂  (there are 5 pictures associated with it, from Gygax magazine)

    #4307

    Ed
    Participant

    I got to play a 1vs1 of the scenario and I realized I have to either change some wording or ban some abilities since I have 2 ships that may take a random treasure from any other wild island…ruining the fun and realism. Move S after unloading was a little over powered but id say it was at least viable and not game breaking.

    #4309

    Ben
    Keymaster

    I got to play a 1vs1 of the scenario and I realized I have to either change some wording or ban some abilities since I have 2 ships that may take a random treasure from any other wild island…ruining the fun and realism.

    Interesting, I haven’t found the Island treasure trading ability (what I call it) to be all that powerful or fun-ruining.

    If you’re ever looking for some house rules to make the game more realistic/historical, the Caribbean game has a bunch.

    #4314

    Ed
    Participant

    I don’t think it would break a regular game but if you pick up a treasure in my scenario then trade it for treasure from the other end of the sea you can now just deliver it and make it home with 4 gold in 2 or 3 turns compared to like 10 or so…

    #6109

    Ben
    Keymaster

    Had these ideas recently, added them to the main page.  Might even try to use the bottleneck idea this year.

    -All sunken ships become wrecks at the bottom of the ocean.  Submerged submarines can be given explore actions underwater where they sunk to recover gold (which is NOT revealed when ship is sunk), + crew that now have Ghost Ship or Eternal keywords.  If shipwreck within S of an island, can use an action to try and raise it (only works on 5-6 or with Hoist ship, etc).

    -Uneven tables at different heights.  Waterfall into bay.  Can only go down onto lower ocean, not back up unless Turbine/Submarine (perhaps sea creatures too).  1 whirlpool on lower table that can be used to get to 2+ whirlpools on higher table.

    -Table bottleneck – line up 2 tables diagonally with small space connecting them.  Can also create a bottleneck with land dividing ocean with tables still aligned.

    #6174

    Xerecs
    Participant

    I really like the sunken ship/shipwreck idea. I’ve thought about doing stuff like that before, but with an actual smaller table underneath my main table, making a sot of ‘underwater map’ that is entirely submerged and is where Sea Monsters and other submersible things go when they submerge from the main table. I think this would wok best with a sturdy glass table or tables.

    #6176

    Ben
    Keymaster

    I really like the sunken ship/shipwreck idea. I’ve thought about doing stuff like that before, but with an actual smaller table underneath my main table, making a sot of ‘underwater map’ that is entirely submerged and is where Sea Monsters and other submersible things go when they submerge from the main table. I think this would wok best with a sturdy glass table or tables.

    Yup, part of the reason I thought of it was because of the plastic mold I got recently that was posted in the other thread.  I do see it as a logistical issue because if the underwater stuff stays on the main flat surface, it’s tough to represent it accurately without taking stuff apart.  (taking out sea creature segments, or having just a ship’s main deck for a sunken ship)  A lower table could work but I feel like it would be annoying or physically difficult to reach and use stuff on it.

    #6204

    Ed
    Participant

    I like the idea of using flat cardstock of the propper shape to represent sunken stuff that would especially be cool to be underneath a fogbank or mabye iceberg.

    #7610

    Ben
    Keymaster

    Brainstorming basic ideas for the 4 Viking coins found in FN that were part of the mail in for the Nordic Raiders pack:
    Axe: +1 to boarding rolls
    Shield: Enemy ships get -1 to their boarding rolls against this ship.
    Spear: Kill extra crew if you win a boarding party in addition to other results (maybe can throw at a ship within S as a one-time use; 1-3 the other ship gets it for free if they have cargo, 4-6 one of their crew is eliminated (maybe they still keep it)
    Helmet: Link UT to a crew on this ship; that crew cannot be eliminated unless this UT is.

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