Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Euro-izing " Brit-like games

I've made a "current" list of techniques for making Brit-like games more like Euro or German-style games. Can anyone think of something that might be added?

Almost all of these methods are used in "Brit Lite" and have been playtested in that game or another.

1. No dice
I use cards for combat, each player playing one (usually); each player has an identical pile of cards, and has a hand of several of those cards at any given time.

2. Fewer areas
There is a danger of clogging movement channels here; however, occasional joint occupancy (two nations in one area) seems to work well enough, in conjunction with the card-based combat

3. Fewer pieces
However, I've found by testing that reducing stacking to one in difficult terrain and two in clear just doesn't work right. 2 and 3 seem to be the minimums. But with fewer areas you can end up with fewer pieces. Also, the "overstack" can be one greater than the normal max, perhaps +1 more if a leader is present.

4. Fewer decisions to make
Fewer pieces can help, but the extreme is an action system, where you can take only a few actions in a turn (that is, you won't be able to move all your pieces)

5. Fewer turns
8 to 10 looks viable (Brit lite has 9)

6. Easy points method
Points based on one (or two) areas, no nation cards needed (or very simple)

7. Score points at the end of the Nation Turn (immediate feedback, typical of Euros)
But NOT scoring every round--that just doesn't work

8. Choose up sides option
Players choose their nations at game start; when this works, it allows for three and five player versions, too (standard setups included as well)

9. Event cards for an optional version of the game (not tournament standard). These can provide lots of historical flavor, too

10. Quicker combat resolution
This is provided by the card option, very quick

11. Less "death"
If you have fewer pieces, and a combat system that doesn't result in massacres but more likely in retreats, this works out

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