Jun 28, 2010

One or Two?

I am prepping Municipality for presentation to publishers. Part of this is finalizing how I would like the board to be laid out.

Originally the game's roles were cards that players grabbed. Eventually, someone (apologies to whomever it was for my failure to remember) suggested just leaving the cards where they were and placing player markers on them. I quickly then changed the non-moving cards into a second board for the game what was just all of the roles in a row. This morphed into the double-sided role board show below.

I've thought about spicing up that second board. Perhaps overlaying the roles on a graphic of a building, รก la Clue (but for purely aesthetic reasons with no gameplay implications).

This layout has several advantages:
  • Add to the theme of the game by allowing for graphical representation of roles instead of just a title
  • Visually separated from the main board, reducing clutter
  • Physical separation from board reduces probability of knocking over one thing when reaching for another
  • Space available for rules summary, reducing burden (and size) of player cards
However, I am also considering an alternate layout.

This layout would put everything on a single board by reducing the size of the spaces on the main board from 3" squares to 2.75" squares. Since the maximum number of objects that can be placed on a tile was reduced from infinite (one ownership plus numerous population cubes) to 6 (one ownership marker and 5 stars), they don't need to be so large. The roles in this layout would then go around two of the edges.

The advantages of this method are:
  • Reduce (by a huge amount) the table space required to play the game
  • Single board to look at means eyes have to travel less to get all game information
  • Health Commissioner and Campaign Manager can be placed near the tracks they affect
So, which would you prefer?
  1. Two boards with interesting graphics taking up 600 square inches
  2. Single utilitarian board that centralizes information taking up 400 square inches


  1. I generally prefer one board, but it's not a huge deal. I'm not sure if I like the idea of splitting the roles into two different places, though; I'd rather all the roles be in one place.

  2. Doug, are you saying you don't like the way it wraps around the corner in the single-board illustration above? (the left and bottom sides are the ones with the roles)

  3. I couldn't decipher the scribble-picture, so my comment is based on the text. Wrapping around the corner seems okay, as long as they're not in two completely separate sections of the board.

  4. Okay, I think I am going to go with the single board.

  5. Having not played the game, I don't know how much weight my opinion should carry, but I think a single board would be better all around. And for the record, I think the scribble picture got the point across (and again, I've never played the game or even seen the board!) :)

  6. Seth, if you're interested, you can watch the video in the previous post to see the two-board version and a bit of how the game works.