Then I thought about using d6s in four colors to note the level of the power center, plus a cube or a disk to sit the die on to show who owns that power center. Workable, except it'll get crowded if everyone wants to make an economic center in a hex. And again, I only have a piles of d6s in blue and white, not the 4 colors I'll need to make this thing work. Back to the idea well to see what this pull brings up.
And the well bucket is full of colored cubes. I think I'll be able to cobble together enough - I can use houses from Settlers for 3 and cities for 5 to keep things from getting too cluttered. It should be easy for all players to dump a cube in a quarter of a hex and not have things spill everywhere. And the number of your-colored cubes in a power center equates to the type of die you roll to do anything with that power center. So one cube will get you a d4, 5 will get you a d12, and I'll cap it there. Sounds like it's workable, but we'll see how it plays.
So now I'm thinking of making cardboard hex dividers, with one quadrant each for Arcane, Economic, Military, and Religious power centers, plus space in the middle for a cube to keep track of who controls a province. The divider can be really low, probably 1/4" high or so, just tall enough to keep the cubes from getting bumped over into a different quadrant.
So I've got that construction to look forward to. Yay, crafty stuff!
Then I started listing out actions to perform on a monthly turn. Ideas compounded, and I started going down ratholes. I really like the idea of having a Shadow Power Center, where you choose one of the power centers and get a special espionage ability based on that. Then you roll a die one step smaller than your power center in a hex and make shifty things happen there.
But then a directive sounded deep inside my head, a smooth baritone dripping with authority and wisdom, a clarion call that I need to share with other NaGaDeMon fighters this month:
WRITE THE BASIC GAME FIRST. COMPLICATE THINGS LATER.
And with that, I'll go back and cut my notes into 2 files: one to keep working on, and a tickler file for future options, expansions, and complications.
Let's see if this thing can walk before we bolt on the clockwork wings.