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Subject: Board Size? rss

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Sam Froehlke
United States
South Dakota
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I'm working on a board game centered around the Caucasus, and I was wondering at what point people would consider the board to be too big?
Right now, it's about 44" x 46" in order to leave enough room for the pieces to not crowd any of the regions too much.
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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How many players?

Is it a wargame?
 
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Bruce Gazdecki
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Lindsey
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Sounds too big as that's almost a 4 ft square and I think most tables are 3'x5' or 4'x6'
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Gary Selkirk
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Truro
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That's cool. Will it be hex and counter. I think you're doing the summer '42 German offensive. If so, what size of units - Division, Brigade?
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G G
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If your game is larger than the typical kitchen table, it's too big. In America, kitchen tables are 5' wide, 3' deep, and you should leave at least an inch so it doesn't overhang. Maximum board space 34"x58".

From a production standpoint, you don't want tiles more than 11" square, or they're hard to ship in a non-oversize box with 1' maximum dimension. This sets your board at 33"x55"

Personally, I'd suggest you shrink your game down to 33" square.

OTOH, if you're expecting to play on a wargaming table, with a roll-up map, you can go as large as 4'x6', but this severely restricts your audience.
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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The rules for board size are a bit... different... if you are making a wargame vs other games, so this depends on your intended audience.

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G G
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Even if you're making a wargame, Memoir '44 is close to the gold standard for playabilty.
 
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Sam Froehlke
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I started by wanting to make a more detailed version of Risk, and decided to focus on a small area instead of the whole world. I picked the Caucasus because there are a lot of variations in terrain in a small area. The players would need to build their countries out of settlements and resources, growing towns and then using part of the population to create armies which, along with the cities, need to be constantly fed and supplied.
This is a first draft of the board.
 
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Corsaire
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Rotate it 45 degrees and move the roman numeral boxes into a sideboard. A 44 x 46 board is market limiting.
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G G
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OK, most of that board is wasted space.

The rectangles definitely don't need to be on the map like that, that's a vast amount of space to dedicate for minimal gameplay value.

The coastline should be playable, but you're not doing anything with it.

You have a huge number of regions, but they're not necessarily divided by physical bounds like rivers or mountain ranges. Follow actual natural features, which means fewer larger "continents", or perhaps none at all (just apply a uniform hex grid).

Rework the entire thing to fit on a 3' wide / 2' deep board.
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Sam Froehlke
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The rectangles marked with roman numerals are areas for placing resources while placing the corresponding numbered token on the map; hopefully reducing unwieldy piles of blocks on the board.

The larger sections of the map are divided along political boundaries: Krasnodar, Stavropol, Dagestan, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The smaller divisions are mostly along physical boundaries.

I don't know what you mean by "The coastline should be playable".

As to reducing the size of the board, on a smaller board (anything under 36"w) piles of resources quickly take up entire regions.
 
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G G
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You said you were redoing Risk, which only tracks Troops, not Resources.

If players are building their own settlements, then current political boundries should be removed.

The coastline should enable units to move from one area to another via water, not land.

What you now describe sounds grossly overcomplicated. Why do you need so many resources? Why do you need so many regions? Why 12 resource pools? What is a typical 4-player game duration?

It seems to me that you need to look at simplifying and streamlining this game down to its core, unless you have a specific intent for something that is really complicated and only going to appeal to the much narrower market with space for a 48" square map that requires a dozen 5x10" piles of resources, and the time to develop it over several hours of gameplay.

If Diplomacy can play on a 26" x 18", and Axis & Allies can play on 40" x 26", then you absolutely should be able to play on something smaller.
 
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Derek H
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GrauGeist wrote:
Even if you're making a wargame, Memoir '44 is close to the gold standard for playabilty.
Well, maybe if you're aiming at the Euro-crowd. As has been said already, wargamers standards/expectations are ... a little different.
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Ryan Keane
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Without reading the rules, I won't provide any feedback on the map layout, but I agree that it seems the Roman numeral boxes do not need to be on the same board. I feel like they would be more appropriate as a 1-2 long linear side-boards.

Then orient the map in whichever way will allow it to fit in a rectangle with the least unused space; the cardinal directions of the real map don't need to align with the board sides, and I don't think aligning them adds anything to the theme or playability.

I would really try to limit the shorter dimension of that rectangle to around 24" max, if at all possible. If that means that regions are too small to hold all the components that are potentially going to be in a region, then rethink if there's a way to represent multiple components as a single component, or use a reference marker that represents a group of components physically located off-board.

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G G
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gamesbook wrote:
GrauGeist wrote:
Even if you're making a wargame, Memoir '44 is close to the gold standard for playabilty.
Well, maybe if you're aiming at the Euro-crowd. As has been said already, wargamers standards/expectations are ... a little different.

I'm pretty sure M'44 is more Ameritrash than Eurotrash - it's entirely combat with loads of toy soldiers, not passive-aggressive "expansion" by cubes without combat. The fact that the C&C engine is super clean doesn't make it Eurotrash.
 
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Sam Froehlke
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Yeah, I should be able to retool it some, e.g. a larger red cube to represent 5 iron instead of 5 smaller cubes.
As concerning sea travel, there is a system where you build a structure (laboratory? university? I haven't settled on a name yet) in your capital (represented by a smaller player board with spaces for building tiles and resource pools) and you get one research point every turn. You can buy civilization advances (like increasing the range of resource movement per turn, or allowing shipment from one port city to another) with research, although every advancement you learn, the next one costs twice the points; 1,2,4,8,16... making the players choose how they want their country to play in the game, given that they can only reasonably learn a quarter of the possible advancements.
 
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G G
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Sodaker wrote:
every advancement you learn, the next one costs twice the points; 1,2,4,8,16...

Strongly consider Fibonacci sequence instead of doubling: 1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34...

It's a half-step slower than doubling, and just as easy to calculate.
 
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