Many gamers use the terms area influence and area control interchangeably. To me area control is when players are ‘battling’ to have the most ‘pieces’ in a specific area of the board – usually a map. El Grande, Mission Red Planet are examples of area control games Controlling areas on the board is the goal of the game. Controlling areas on the board is the way a player wins the game.
So what is area influence? Revolution! uses influence to control areas on a map. So maybe area influence is the mechanism that allow players to control areas on the map. In which case area influence is not another term to describe area control but a mechanism that is synonymous with area control games. Maybe. I would be interested to see what you think.
This internal discussion about area influence and area control had me thinking about a new mechanism that involves both terms. Of course, whenever I think I have come up with a new mechanic for a game, I usually find out it has done before. Here is my idea:
What if area control led to some kind of influence in a game which led to an engine by which players scored points. Imagine a map that represents various districts. Each district can be influenced by placing counters/cubes/meeples on the map. At the end of the round the players that have the most influence in the district get a reward. I guess this is similar to a worker placement mechanic. But in this case, all players can go deploy influence in a district. So, each player may play any number of influence in a district on a turn and everyone (or more than one player) gets a reward depending on how much influence they have in a district.
Another idea – any games I am forgetting that already do this?