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BUS: Delivering passengers right on time - Round 0: Game Setup

MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
edited June 14 in Critical Failures
Bus_Logo.png
BUS
A Splotter Spellen game

Overview
In Bus, players are operators of bus lines in a rapidly growing city. As time passes, players will use their bus lines to transport passengers between their homes, offices, pubs, and back home – the player who transports the most passengers wins the game. To do this, players will not only extend their bus lines and bus fleets, but also attract new citizens and make decisions on buildings to add to the city. Oh, and there's a crazy scientist with a machine that can stop time… how else would you expect the city to be built up so quickly?

Game Map and Setup
Below is an image of the map at the start of a (four-player) game. The game starts with an empty city map with routes connecting the city's intersections. In the west and east are train stations (octagonal icons) where new passengers Passenger.png will arrive into the city. Every other intersection is associated with one or two building lots (rounded squares), labeled A through D. To the upper right is a clock showing the current time of day, and an area for action selection. In the upper left is a table of player actions remaining, bus fleet size, number of passengers transported, and number of clock stones taken. Each player starts with twenty action markers and one bus. At the start of the game, the clock points towards "home" and one passenger is placed on each of the four intersections in the center of the city, labeled C1 to C4.
Bus_4P_Setup.png
After deciding on a player order, each player will seed the city with its starting buildings. In player order, each player will choose two empty A-labeled building slots to build in, selecting a home House.png, office Office.png, or pub Pub.png for each. After all players have added two buildings, each player will start their bus lines. In the same player order, each player will select an empty edge between adjacent intersections to start their personal bus route. Then, in reverse player order, each player will add one more edge to their bus route following the standard line extension rules (as they will be described later on).

Game Flow
Each round will resolve in two phases: an action selection phase, and an action resolution phase. In the action selection phase, players will place their action markers onto spots in the action selection area of the board. Once all players have finished deciding on actions, they will be resolved in order of action type from left to right. Rounds will continue repeating these two phases until one of the ending conditions has been reached.

Action Selection Phase
In the action selection phase, players place their action markers onto action spaces one at a time, starting from the lead player. There are seven different actions, which are described in the seven following sections. Each action space can only hold one marker; three actions (purchase bus, the clock, lead player) have only one space, while the other four actions (line expansion, add passengers, add buildings, transport passengers) have six spaces. For the latter actions, spaces are filled in a specific order: from right to left for line expansion and add buildings and left to right for add passengers and transport passengers. It is possible for a player to take multiple actions of the same type in a single round.

When it is time to place an action marker, a player may instead pass their turn. They will not place any additional markers for the round. However, each player must place at least two markers per round before they can pass. Note: since action markers are discarded after use, there will be at most ten rounds in a game of Bus. A player might end up placing actions in fewer rounds if they place more actions in earlier rounds than the other players.

Line Expansion Line_Expansion.png
Once all action selection has been performed, the resolution phase starts with line expansion. Each player's route must be a continuous path without any branches or double-backing; the ends of the route are known as its heads. It is possible for a route to form a loop, but the intersection of the line heads is retained for further expansion purposes. Once a route is placed, it is permanent.

When extending a line, a new edge must be added to the end of one of the line's existing heads. Usually, if there are any empty edges at a line head, then one of those must be chosen for expansion. However, if your line's head is at the same intersection as the head of another player's line, then you may extend your line parallel to the other player's route instead of into an empty edge. In addition, if your line head is at an intersection with no open edges, then it can expand in any direction.
Bus_Extension_Example.png
The amount of times a line is extended depends on how many buses are in the largest fleet. The player in the right-most spot must extend their line by a number of edges equal to the largest fleet size. The spot to its left can build one fewer, and so on to a minimum of zero. For example, if the largest bus fleet is three buses, then the first three spaces will result in no expansion, and the final three action spaces will result in one, two, and three line extensions from left to right. In a five-player game, the base number of extensions is equal to the maximum fleet size plus one. Reminder: Even though this action's spots are filled from right to left for this action, they are resolved from left to right.

Purchase Bus Purchase_Bus.png
The player that takes this action adds one bus to their total fleet. As seen in the line expansion action, the number of buses in the largest fleet has an effect on the efficiency of actions taken. Therefore, this action can change the actions that follow this one in the resolution phase! In addition, each bus in an individual player's fleet also affects how many passengers can be transported with each transport passengers action.

New Passengers New_Passengers.png
This action brings new passengers into the city to be moved to their desired destinations. Each new passenger must be placed at one of the two train stations on the west or east side of the city. If multiple passengers are brought in, the placing player can also choose to divide the passengers between the two stations.

The number of passengers to be placed depends on the largest bus fleet size. This starts equal to the number of buses in the left-most space and decreasing by one for each following space. There is a component limit of fifteen passengers in the city, which includes the four passengers that start the game in the middle of the board.

New Buildings New_Buildings.png
This action adds new buildings to the city to which passengers may be delivered. There are three types of buildings: houses House.png, offices Office.png, and pubs Pub.png, and passengers will cycle between the three over the course of the game. Each new building must be placed in an empty lot; once placed, it is permanent. Building lots must be filled in letter order. In other words, all A-location lots must be filled before B-location lots can start to be filled, and similar applies for C- and D- lots.

The number of buildings that must be placed depends on the largest bus fleet size. This is equal to the number of buses in the right-most space, decreasing by one for each space to the left. There can be at most thirty buildings of a single type in the city. If, at the end of a round, all forty-seven lots have been filled, this indicates the end of the game. Reminder: Even though this action's spots are filled from right to left for this action, they are resolved from left to right.

The Clock The_Clock.png
There are three clock states: home, office, and pub, indicating the destination that passengers will want to go. Normally, the clock will advance at this point in each round to the next state in sequence: home to office, office to pub, or pub to home.

However, if a player has taken this action, they may of activating the time-stop device, preventing the clock state from changing in this round. Unlike the other actions, where the effects must be executed to their maximum extents, using the action's ability is optional. Thus, a player might take this action to prevent another player from stopping time.

If time is stopped, then the acting player will also claim one of the five clock stones Clock_Stone.png that have been placed next to the clock action space. Each clock stone is worth one negative point; this can be significant in this game, which features fairly low scoring. If time is not stopped, then no penalty is taken. If all five clock stones are taken, then the time-space continuum breaks down and the game ends immediately (as opposed to at the end of a round, via other methods).

Transport Passengers Transport_Passengers.png
Each passenger and building is associated with a particular intersection in the city. If a passenger is at an intersection with a building matching the clock's current time, then they will move to that building; there can be at most one passenger at each building. All other passengers who are not paired with a building are eligible for transport.

With this action, players use each bus in their fleet to transport one passenger at an intersection in their route to a desired building on the route. One point is gained for each passenger moved. Unlike the other actions, the number of transports is not dependent on the largest fleet size or action order, only on the number of buses in each player's fleet. If a player takes this action multiple times in a round, they will use all of their buses each time. The main benefit of placing an action earlier, then, is being able to move passengers before the other players.

Lead Player and Starting a New Round Lead_Player.png
When a player takes this action, they will become the lead player, and place the first action marker in the next round. If no player takes this action, then the lead player will pass to the next player in play order (i.e. the previously lead player will be last in the order in the following round).

As actions in a round are resolved, action markers that have been resolved are discarded from play – each player can make at most twenty actions per game. One all actions have been resolved, a new round begins with an action selection phase, unless one of the game-end conditions is met.

Ending the Game
There are three ways in which the end of the game is declared. If, at the end of a round, at most one player has any action markers left, then the game ends. (In other words, it is impossible for a single player to monopolize a round.) The game also ends at the end of a round if all of the building lots have been filled. Finally, the game ends immediately after the clock is stopped a fifth time; in this last case, passengers will not be transported a final time.

A player's score at the end of the game is the number of passengers transported minus the number of clock stones taken. In the case of a tie, then the tied player with the most clock stones wins. If that too is equal, then the player who reached the tied score first wins.

Game Link Index
Game Setup

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MrBlarney on

Posts

  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Player Signups
    This will be a four or five player game of Bus. If you're interested in playing, post your sign up in bold, colorful text to make sure I see it. Signups will be open for approximately the next 24 hours, assuming that at least four people sign up. From those who sign up, I'll randomly select up to five to be the players for this edition of the game. If four players haven't signed up in the first 24 hours, signups will be extended in 24-hour intervals until at least four signups have been achieved.

    chirisigtext.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Yay! Web building!
    Not sure I get why the 6-tracks for the actions fill in opposite directions for the same effect. But whatever.

    I'm also not clear on those route building rules..
    Must you build on an empty edge if one is available, rather than being able to build parallel to an opponent?

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    Not sure I get why the 6-tracks for the actions fill in opposite directions for the same effect. But whatever.
    I'm not exactly sure why either, but it does have an effect, since seeing what other people do or taking the initiative could have an effect on action choices. And, of course, selecting an action earlier means that you get more out of it.
    discrider wrote: »
    I'm also not clear on those route building rules..
    Must you build on an empty edge if one is available, rather than being able to build parallel to an opponent?
    No, you can build parallel to another player's line if one of your line's head meets their head, regardless of if there are other empty edges possible. The only other time you can build parallel to your opponent's line is if there are no empty edges available. I'll try to craft an example and add it to the post tomorrow.

    chirisigtext.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited June 9
    MrBlarney wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    Not sure I get why the 6-tracks for the actions fill in opposite directions for the same effect. But whatever.
    I'm not exactly sure why either, but it does have an effect, since seeing what other people do or taking the initiative could have an effect on action choices. And, of course, selecting an action earlier means that you get more out of it.
    discrider wrote: »
    I'm also not clear on those route building rules..
    Must you build on an empty edge if one is available, rather than being able to build parallel to an opponent?
    No, you can build parallel to another player's line if one of your line's head meets their head, regardless of if there are other empty edges possible. The only other time you can build parallel to your opponent's line is if there are no empty edges available. I'll try to craft an example and add it to the post tomorrow.

    Ah. It looks like there's a missing word in the rules then.
    It's currently 'However, if your line's head is at the same intersection as another player's line (missing: head), then it is possible' ...

    discrider on
    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    Sign up.

    Just FYI, I'll be in limited contact for a few days next week.

  • DaemonisDaemonis Registered User regular
    Sign up

  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    MrBlarney wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    I'm also not clear on those route building rules..
    Must you build on an empty edge if one is available, rather than being able to build parallel to an opponent?
    No, you can build parallel to another player's line if one of your line's head meets their head, regardless of if there are other empty edges possible. The only other time you can build parallel to your opponent's line is if there are no empty edges available. I'll try to craft an example and add it to the post tomorrow.

    Ah. It looks like there's a missing word in the rules then.
    It's currently 'However, if your line's head is at the same intersection as another player's line (missing: head), then it is possible' ...
    Yeah, that was poorly-worded on my part. I've edited the text and added an example image.

    chirisigtext.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    MrBlarney wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    Not sure I get why the 6-tracks for the actions fill in opposite directions for the same effect. But whatever.
    I'm not exactly sure why either, but it does have an effect, since seeing what other people do or taking the initiative could have an effect on action choices. And, of course, selecting an action earlier means that you get more out of it.

    Oh...
    All the actions resolve left to right.
    So for route extension and building building, you can either claim the action first to get more stuff built but resolving last, or claim the action later to resolve before other players but without building as much.

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    MrBlarney wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    Not sure I get why the 6-tracks for the actions fill in opposite directions for the same effect. But whatever.
    I'm not exactly sure why either, but it does have an effect, since seeing what other people do or taking the initiative could have an effect on action choices. And, of course, selecting an action earlier means that you get more out of it.

    Oh...
    All the actions resolve left to right.
    So for route extension and building building, you can either claim the action first to get more stuff built but resolving last, or claim the action later to resolve before other players but without building as much.
    Right. I've added a couple of sentences to corresponding action sections as a clarification and reminder.

    Three signups so far means that we're one away from the idealized four player count. However, Bus can be played at three players, so if here aren't any new signups in the next day or two, I'll just run the game at three. The worker and route placement will be less cramped since there'll be one fewer player, but better to have some game than no game, right?

    chirisigtext.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    @Jpants also seemed to be interested in the boardgames thread...

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • JPantsJPants Registered User regular
    I totally am interested but we just had a big round of layoffs at work so my availability is totally up in the air while we all scramble to fill in for the recently departed. If sign ups go on another day or two I should hopefully have a better idea of how things are going to shake out.

    Definitely interested though.

  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    No worries, I don't think it's a problem keeping signups open for a couple more days for you (or any other interested parties!) to make a decision.

    In other news, you've possibly noticed that the artwork I've produced for this game is remarkably non-pixelated compared to the art assets I've produced for my other PbP games. I decided that pixel art wasn't a good aesthetic for this particular game (also for For-Ex) and so I decided to try my hand at vector art instead. I'm slightly regretting that decision, because the layering of art assets for this game is gonna be somewhat obnoxious. Also, I realized after creating everything that it's all larger than it really needed to be - I could have made the map about 70% of its current size (down to about 800px a side) and everything would still be quite easily legible. Oh well. I guess you could consider this a 'deluxe version' of my style of game assets?

    chirisigtext.png
    discrider
  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    I have never played a Splotter game, let alone this game, but are you ok with new players?

    RkyXDNV.pngjswidget.php?username=ArcSyn&numitems=5&header=0&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=center&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Yeah, new players are totally welcome. In fact, I suspect that most if not all of us are new to this game, myself included.

    chirisigtext.png
    discrider
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Alright, folks. Ideally, I'm still looking for one more player, but it'll be better to get this game rolling sooner than later. So I'm calling one final day for signups, and I'll start the game proper in about 24 hours. If you're interested in trying this game out for a test drive, here's your final call.

    chirisigtext.png
  • JPantsJPants Registered User regular
    Go ahead and Reserve Up

    If someone else wants to jump in, they will probably be more active than I. Otherwise if there are no other takers, I'll fill the last spot.

  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Game Setup

    The following players have signed up for the game:
    1. discrider
    2. Hedgethorn
    3. Daemonis
    4. JPants

    First, we roll for player order:

    Geth roll 4p4 for Player Order

    Player Order:
    4p4 24 [4p4=4, 3, 2, 1]

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  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    This will be the starting player order for the game (color code in parentheses):
    1. JPants (crimson)
    2. Daemonis (dodgerblue)
    3. Hedgethorn (forestgreen)
    4. discrider (goldenrod)

    Game Map
    Bus-G01-R00-0.png

    The following setup actions will take place:
    • @JPants - Place 2 Buildings
    • Daemonis - Place 2 Buildings
    • Hedgethorn - Place 2 Buildings
    • discrider - Place 2 Buildings
    • JPants - Start Bus Line, 1 segment
    • Daemonis - Start Bus Line, 1 segment
    • Hedgethorn - Start Bus Line, 1 segment
    • discrider - Start Bus Line, 2 segments
    • Hedgethorn - Expand Line, 1 segment
    • Daemonis - Expand Line, 1 segment
    • JPants - Expand Line, 1 segment

    When placing buildings, specify the intersection at which the building (house, office, or pub) will be placed, e.g. Place Office at C1. At the start of the game, only A-lots can be filled; as the game continues, all A-lots must be filled before B-location lots can start to be filled, and similar applies for C- and D- lots.

    When placing your starting route or making a line expansion, specify the two intersections that will be connected, e.g. Start line between C1 and C2 or Extend line from C1 to C4. See the opening post, under "Line Expansion", for rules for line expansion.

    chirisigtext.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited June 14
    @Arcsyn (courtesy ping - not sure if you were thinking of signing up still)

    discrider on
    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Ah, right - it'll probably be fine if anyone else wanted to sub in for JPants before the end of the setup. Shouldn't make a huge difference unless some majorly odd plays are made (like sticking the initial line out in one of the north or south corners).

    chirisigtext.png
  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    Arcsyn (courtesy ping - not sure if you were thinking of signing up still)

    Ah, thanks for the ping. I'll play if JPants doesn't want to.

    RkyXDNV.pngjswidget.php?username=ArcSyn&numitems=5&header=0&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=center&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    Arcsyn (courtesy ping - not sure if you were thinking of signing up still)

    Ah, thanks for the ping. I'll play if JPants doesn't want to.

    Thought we were looking for five tbh.

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    Thought we were looking for five tbh.
    I was looking for four or five, really. Five seems like it's a little bit crowded (and there's a nudge in the rules for line expansion for five players) so four seemed like the ideal count for a beginner game. However, I wasn't going to just outright deny a fifth player if there was enough player demand and the game supported it. Since JPants did list himself as a reserve due to being busy, I think it's fine for @Arcsyn to take his place instead.

    chirisigtext.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    (which means it is @Arcsyn 's turn)

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    Alright, so I'm picking two buildings:
    C1: Office
    W4: Pub

    RkyXDNV.pngjswidget.php?username=ArcSyn&numitems=5&header=0&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=center&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • JPantsJPants Registered User regular
    Sorry all, had some real life stuff come up unexpectedly and am just getting back online. Glad you had someone to take over. Good luck ArcSyn et al!

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    JPants wrote: »
    Sorry all, had some real life stuff come up unexpectedly and am just getting back online. Glad you had someone to take over. Good luck ArcSyn et al!

    Now we get you to take @Daemonis 's turn :P

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
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