I have been thinking a lot more about theme and how to make a good strategy game in which the theme works. In Seth Jaffee’s blog, Cumbersome, he comes up with a great theme for a game – The Knights Templar. In his game he has a mechanism that combines the traditional mancala mechanism with a rondell. The movement of tokens around the rondell allows for the control of actions to be taken throughout the game.
Trying to combine theme with mechanism, my thoughts led me to wonder what other themes might naturally fit with the rondel/rondcala mechanic. My only idea so far is something to do with the Knights of the Round Table. Maybe the rondell is the table and by moving around tokens you activate different knights that have different abilities to help you in your quest.
I guess for theme to fit the rondell mechanism there has to be some kind of circular event/thing used in the setting. Finca uses a rondell in which you move your people around a windmill to gain fruit. While the mechanic is cool and I like the game and the windmill fits with the theme, there is not logical reason for people to be moving around the windmill picking fruit.
And so the age old problem persists…how do you make a strategy (Euro) game that immerses the player in the theme? Is it possible?