Variant suggestion "Fast Mode" (Simultaneous Actions)

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Variant suggestion "Fast Mode" (Simultaneous Actions)

Post by Staberinde » 01 February 2021, 18:50

-- Cross post from the beta forums

One suggestion for a variant for the game on BGA would be a "Fast Mode" where certain steps are performed simultaneously.

The developer himself has suggested that some actions may be performed simultaneously on BGG.
One criticism I sometimes read about the game is the length of the games. It's true that the learning curve of the game is real, and the first game can be difficult. But don't worry, the real boardgame can be much faster than BGA, because some actions (such as human resources) are easily played simultaneously.
  • Collect Income would be a stage I would suggest as simultaneous. However if any research were claimed from the Midwest it would have to be applied in turn order afterwards (or using the system suggested below).

    Also during the Collect Income phase it might be worth considering automatically returning all workers that are on the last possible space along the transport tracks (last 2 spaces if a player has already reached the end). I cannot think of any reason not to return these workers as I see no benefit at all to keeping them on the board. You can no longer improve their income return and they gain no end of game VPs while on the board.
  • Donation could be done simultaneously as below:
    • 1st player gets to freely choose a donation
    • 2nd player chooses a donation and optionally a second choice
    • 3rd/4th player choose a donation and up to 2/3 additional choices
    • Game assigns the highest available choice in turn order.
    • If all choices are unavailable then player is reimbursed cash.
    This would speed things up significantly in a turn based game. However while it is simultaneous it might occationally lead to slightly longer Donation rounds in real time games at higher player counts
  • Human Resources is the most obvious suggestion for making simultaneous as there is no action that would interfere with anyone's move. However this does remove a significant strategic advantage later players would have in the non-simultaneous version, being able to tailor their moves based on the previous player(s) choices.
  • Management is a problem due "Strategic Planning" as people cannot simultaneously buy departments that have limited supply.
  • Construction is a problem as placing buildings cannot be done simultaneously.
  • Research & Development is a problem due to only one player allowed on the last spot of the Transport track. One possible suggestion for a simultaneous version to consider might be:
    • Players perform all their R&D departments and generate, spend and submit their reasearch points simultaneously (Most research turns will end here)
    • Any rare duplicate claims of the last Train Track spots would be won by the earliest player in turn order
    • The others would then be reset back on that track to where they were at the beginning of the turn and appropriately reimbursed in research points, then another round of research spending would occur with remaining research points
    • Continue until a last spot on a Train Track is not claimed by two people at once
    This could potentially lead to rare R&D turns that are longer than the current version, but the vast majority of research turns will not involve one or more cases of duplicate claims
As mentioned the above changes do have additional strategic implications but may still be a preferred option for what may be a significantly reduced game length, especially when playing in turn based mode.

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Re: Variant suggestion "Fast Mode" (Simultaneous Actions)

Post by Phoxtrot » 10 February 2021, 13:42

In Carnegie, what other players are doing is always important. Even for actions like HR, guessing/knowing what the opp wants to do next is paramount.

Is simultaneous play akin to everyone hiding his board behind a screen really in the spirit of the game ?
For me, that would be a different game with real different feelings and dynamics and strategies, a real computer version of the game as opposed to just a computer transcription of the game.

What can be done without modifying the game is to do like for puerto-rico where some phase are open and simultaneous but you can request to wait for your turn. But in this game, it would mostly be a bother because most of the time, you would want to wait or should...

Now what you suggest could be done for donations, but that is a bit heavy for just that.

A simpler thing that could be welcome, is a personal option to auto accept incomes when there is only 1 worker. (Akin to the Terra mystica options where players can auto accept some power). And yeah, spending research would have to wait.
Anything more, would be more complex : you would have to be able to note in advance how much workers you want to recall in each region but that could easily lead to human errors and frustration if not done properly.

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