If you have read my older posts you will be aware of my desire to design a good deduction game. I have had many discussions about the connection between deduction and elimination. I think that deduction is more than just crossing things off a list (a la Clue). I believe brain power and higher level thinking is involved. Mystery of the Abbey does a better job, allowing the players to quiz each other about information they have gathered throughout the game. But still for me something is missing…I don’t know what! I have surrendered to the idea that deduction is elimination but still think that how you gain information and how you eliminate information is key to making a great deduction game.
With deduction in mind, I have thought of a worker placement mechanism that might be used in such a game. This is not an original idea but one that has been adapted from the diversification/regression actions in Dominant Species.
This picture represents one location with two actions. The first action is open to two players – or one player twice. This action is to take one (or two) of the resources available at this location. However, the resources are hidden. Once the resources are taken the two remaining resources to the left are slid down to the second action. If someone places another worker at this location these items are then discarded from the game. However, if no worker is placed here these two resources are revealed. If a common resource they are discarded. However, if a clue resource then something is revealed about the player that visited that location. In a discussion with Seth Jaffee he expressed an interest in designing a worker placement heist game. I think this mechanic might work for his idea. Think of the location as a place where a small crime takes place. There are rewards to be taken but clues to be left behind – like a fingerprint or DNA sample etc. Players send criminals to commit crimes and can also send a ‘cleaner’ to clean up after the crime. If a cleaner is not sent then some clues for the police are left behind. There could be a randomness factor – a card has to be drawn for that specific location for the police to get the clue…just another idea.