Monday, August 13, 2012

Of Power & Glory Playtesting

I posted the following to a Secrets Factory meetup discussion. But I thought I would copy it here:

First, I want to thank everyone who helped me play test Of Power & Glory this weekend.  You are all a great help. 

So after having a little time to reflect on some of the feedback I've made a few decisions on the game and I wanted to run them by people to see what they think.  I really liked the rule change we played with the second time around... the one where territory cards that don't result in an actual battle just get removed.  So I want to make that change.  It also more elegantly solves the problem that the silly the-king-takes-a-ring-from-a-player rule was trying to address, so I want to remove that rule.  Rodger indirectly suggested something to me that makes me want another rule change:  He kept trying to change turn order as an action instead of favor.  I think that's actually a good idea.  So I want to make that change.  That leaves 4 favors and all of them are about the king.  Floyd had mentioned that the turn order favor wasn't really about the King and until he said that, I didn't really consider it thematically...  but you were absolutely right!  So it shouldn't be a favor, it should be an action.

Floyd as recommended using cubes for the map and rings for the titles.  I'm willing to give that a shot, but I'm not compelled right now to make that change.  Yesterday, while reflecting on the playtesting, I rediscovered why I wanted those two things to be linked in the first place.  Of course my  silly the-king-takes-a-ring-from-a-player rule (which may go down as one of the worst things I did to my game), destroyed the effect.  So here's the reasoning:
If one King, say the red king, starts to get powerful, players will start to take more red rings.  That effectively limits the amount that the red King can expand and makes that other kings more attractive comparatively.  My thinking is that that will tend to even out the power of the kings and make it less possible for one player to control the whole game. 

I did, however, start thinking about the number of rings.  If you think about it a bit, the fewer rings you have, the greater the effect described above.  And after a little math, I decided I want to add two more rings per king.  That's enough to (almost) cover the board and allow all 20 possible nobles to max out their rings.  Of course, some kings will die reducing the number of rings, but on the other hand, not all 20 nobles will be used and not all that are used will max out their rings.

I've also decided to make the conditions on the King cards easier.  I don't want them to be just as good as taking a glory favor, but they should be within the realm of being possible.  Here's what I'm thinking for them: 

  • Have at least 1 territory
  • Have at least 3 territories
  • Have at least 5 territories
  • Have move power than at least 1 other king (including defeated kings)
  • Have move power than at least 2 other kings (including defeated kings)
  • Have move power than at least 3 other kings (including defeated kings)
I would love to hear what other people think about this.  Thanks!

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