I’m keen to discuss the catchup mechanisms in The Rise of Queensdale which I’m part way through playing at present – do you like catchup mechanisms in general, or dislike them?
I see catchup mechanisms (and game balancing in general) as one of the major factors distinguishing modern game design from traditional game design and it’s interesting to see how they are managed in various games.
Spoiler Alert: these pics and the rest of this post contain spoilers for up to Epoch 4 in The Rise of Queensdale so read no further if you want to avoid them.
There are both short and long term catchup mechanics in RoQ and they seem very effective to me.
The Robber Baron tokens and Crown track help players who did poorly in the most recent game by giving them a head start and a buff in the next game. The Robber Baron gives randomised rewards and powers (such as trading one of your workers for another player’s which you prefer), and the Crown track allows carryover of a few points from a previous game which you didn’t win – those are the short term mechanisms.
In addition to that, players who fail to reach their campaign goals in a game get ‘seals’ which are then used to add stickers to the dice workers, improving their ‘talents’ in a way that lasts for the whole campaign – a longer term catchup mechanism by way of ‘dice building’.
So far they are working well in our campaign – the leader looks at risk of being caught and overtaken by the other player who now has significantly better dice, but is still hanging on to a lead (so far) – each game is close.
I think it’s an effective combination in a campaign game. Do you enjoy catchup mechanisms in a game, or do you prefer grinding the bones of your enemies? 🦴 🏴☠️ 🤣