Truly we are in the Golden Age of board games.
Components, cards, board, miniatures, and choice of narrative are at an all time high.
Traditional game houses like Fantasy Flight Games and Kickstarter.
Board games, and I’m going to throw in card games also, are more popular vs. war games and role playing games.
So why are some mechanics still lagging behind?
Early board games made use of a wargaming model 1 player vs. 1 player head to head, competition. From there it evolved out to the euro format of multiple players competing under a streamlined and combined rule-set- like Catan.
On a side note, I *would* consider Catan to be a war game.
Evolving further we saw the one vs. many format with offering like Descent 1st edition, where one player is the overlord vs. the party…
…followed with truly co-op games where all the players sit down and work together against the AI of the game- stuff like Zombicide or Gloomhaven.
So why, as both the components and narrative of board games have evolved, does such bad game design still exist?
Specifically, as an example I’m talking about the miss a turn or delay mechanics.
Something in the game, where you get hit with a negative effect and miss your next turn.
I understand what the mechanic represents in the narrative, but anytime you take a player out of the action for a turn, you rip them from the narrative of the group.
Also, feeling powerless in making choices at any time isn’t a good thing either.
Better to *limit* a players options as part of a negative effect, let them do *something* during the turn- even if it something like limiting the normal 3 actions they can take down to only one, or only being able to move, etc.
Something to keep them in the game vs. hanging around and doing nothing for a turn.
The entire miss a turn concept is VERY 1980’s- which was fine at the time.
Games have evolved, some of these bad mechanics have to evolve also.