Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Of Power & Glory

Someone played Of Power & Glory and had a bad experience with it.  As I understand it, in their game, 3 kings were killed very early.  Of the remaining five kings, two were small and therefore not involved in many battles.  The other 3 kings had all of there titles taken so the game ground to a halt.

I suspect this is a rare situation since I've never encountered it, but I do want to do something about it.  My current solution is to make the following rule change:
If a King needs to expand into a territory and there are no rings left, but there are rings on some of the nobles in his court, take a ring from the noble in the 1 position.

If that rule were in place, then the game would not have ground to a halt.  The three big kings would continue to expand as the title collected from them by the players get eaten up.  Here's a little math on the subject:  there are 24 territories and each King has 9 rings available for expansion.  So with only 3 kings, that's enough for all 24 territories (and then some).  Even if you only had 2 kings, that would be enough for 18 of the territories.  And if there was only one King... then the game has bigger problems.  I'm not sure if I should protect against that or not.  It may be such a rare thing that I don't worry about it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Post Atlanta Gamefest

Well, I've taken a long time follow up.  Sorry about that!  The gamefest didn't go as I expected...  I went in hoping to spend the whole time playtesting my games and it just didn't happen like that.  I did get one game of Of Power & Glory and I started playing Of Feast & Famine with a player who wasn't really into it.  I also explained Quintavox to a few people... but that's it.  But I did get a bit out of it.  Here's what I learned:

Of Power & Glory
I got a good suggestion to add marks at the top of the board to indicate where the cards should go and also indicate the three ones that are active for the round.  Someone also said that they thought the Espionage favor was under powered.  I'll wait for the review from the Gamer's Table to make any official changes (because I might have a lot more!)  but I'm pretty sure I'll at least add the card marks.

Two people both suggested a change in theme.  So for the umpteenth time, I've switched it back to Political Agenda set in the US in modern times.  I've work mainly on this game lately...  the map has 29 states so there's a little poetic license going on there.  I also added a new concept "Lobbyists" to the game.  It's something I've had in the back of my mind for a while, so I decided to run with it.  Another big change:  I decided to let players use the Senate backwards.  That is to say that they can move down in the Senate a get action points back.  The Senate can now serve as sort of a repository of action points.  But it's not guaranteed because another player could just jump over you.

Of Feast & Famine
I've got the most work remaining with this one.  The game just didn't work.  But there is still hope for it...  in fact I'm still optimistic about it.  The main problem was that the was no requirement to build up to oncoming threats.  So your enemies are getting closer and closer and you don't have to do a thing until they're right on your doorstep and then move everyone into the barracks.  So here are the changes to help address that:
Now, workers can only be added to location unstacked.  It requires an additional action later to stack them.  I would love to have an easy way to ensure that that happened in another season, but as of yet I don't have one.  This makes some thematic sense.  But this means that the workers can't come back to a starting location each season.  The reason I like doing that is that it gave players something to do every turn.  Now I'll have to find other ways to do that.  To that end, I've decided to add gold to the game.  Gold is exchanged to and from Food, Stone and Medicine.  You make gold by taxing the workers which they don't like.  So I needed to have some for them to do when they get mad....  which is that they go to "the fields" (a new location) and they can't be moved until you have a "Faire" (another new location).  I'll have to see has these changes go...  if there's still not enough for each player to do I'll have to come up with more!

Other News:
Bradfield Acres was a finalist in the resource contest, but it didn't win.  What hurts a bit is that the notes from the contest were released and it was seen as the least fun of the finalist games.  Ouch.  Oh well,  live and learn!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Atlanta Gamefest

Just a quick post here to let you know that I'll be going to Atlanta Gamefest for the next few days.  I hope to playtest a lot of my games and get new ideas!  I'm sure I'll have more to post later!