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SW Playtest Session in Tucson, AZ - 10:00am Saturday 5/14

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sedjtroll
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Just out of curiosity...
Is anyone planning on, or even close enough, to come ot Phoenix on the 24th (a week and a half from now!) for playtesting? Or is it going to be just me and Fastlearner?

- Seth

Games on the playtest list (as far as I know):
A revamped Everest
maybe Elvencraft (another of Fastlearner's masterpieces)
All For One (new and improved)
and maybe even a long forgotten 8/7 Central.

Scurra
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Re: SW BGDF Regional playtest

sedjtroll wrote:
All For One (new and improved)

What was wrong with the old and broken version? Oh, wait a second, I guess I answered my own question there :)

(In passing, Seth, I will note that my new card-set has no combat references on the cards at all, just the colours, and it doesn't seem to have lost anything.)

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Well

You might want to send out a personal e-mail invitation to Donovan Loucks. If I remember correctly, he lives in your neck of the woods.

-Darkehorse

sedjtroll
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Re: SW BGDF Regional playtest

Scurra wrote:
My new card-set has no combat references on the cards at all, just the colours, and it doesn't seem to have lost anything.

Has anything else changed in the card set? Are the missions any different?

- Seth

Scurra
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Re: SW BGDF Regional playtest

(Apologies for this off-topic digression)

sedjtroll wrote:
Has anything else changed in the card set? Are the missions any different?

Nope - everyone seems happy to have a Horse plot token and Horses as two distinct entities (maybe it's a particular Horse?!)
I haven't changed the Missions yet, but there are still one or two that are a little unbalanced (I think there's still one that asks you to take A to the Cardinal's Palace which is where it starts!)
You do now get an extra point for doing a "named character" mission though, but this hasn't been tested at all. (Maybe you could try it with that amendment?)

sedjtroll
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All For One update [was: SW BGDF Regional playtest]

As for being off-topic... It's my thread, and I'm the one who went off topic with it- so I think we're ok.

Scurra wrote:
I haven't changed the Missions yet, but there are still one or two that are a little unbalanced (I think there's still one that asks you to take A to the Cardinal's Palace which is where it starts!)

I don't recall ever seeing one like that.

Quote:
You do now get an extra point for doing a "named character" mission though, but this hasn't been tested at all. (Maybe you could try it with that amendment?)

I have already written this change on the cards.

If you could, review this for me and let me know if it isn't entirely correct:
http://www.dakotacom.net/~sej/all41rules.htm

- Seth

Scurra
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All for One notes

Some notes on that ruleset:

In the dueling section, it should read "Each player chooses one of their Mission cards in hand and plays it face down." (not "dueling" as this makes things a little confusing.)
Green cards add 1 to the defender regardless of who they are (i.e. it works for the Cardinal's Agents as well.)
I think we concluded that Purple cards add 1 to the defender if the defender is a Musketeer, but this will need some careful testing.

Dueling Guards: A Purple Named Mission card (i.e. one specifically for Rochefort or Milady) counts double for a guard.
A duel against a Guard does not continue - if the active character loses (which is fairly tough!) then their turn ends then.

Likewise, if the Active player loses a duel vs another character, their turn also ends there.

Characters only earn Favors if they outright win - winning on a tie only gets them the plot token (or defeats a guard.) This stops people from simply chasing Guards to earn Favors easily - you still can, by using specific character cards but it is less easy. (It also makes it so that a defender will get a Favor if they win every time since they never win ties!)

(Note that you need to adjust the earlier paragraph about the guards as well.)

Oh yeah, and you need to state specifically that the Mission cards used for dueling are discarded, not returned to hand or removed from the game.

Completing a Mission: Needs to be amended to say that the Active character receives 1 Favor for completing the mission plus 1 Favor if the Mission was for that specific character.
It also needs to state that any impossible open Mission may be removed when another Mission is completed, not just ones made impossible by that particular Mission. This allows players the option to "dump" useless Missions to be cleared the next time a Mission is completed.

Apart from that... :) I can't see anything else that leaps out at me.
In our last test game, the players thought that it was a bit strong to be able to pick up and drop in the same turn, especially now that wounds have been lost from the game, so it is rather easy to manipulate what a character is carrying. It may be necessary to make that a 1/turn option again, or perhaps only allow one or the other (so if a character drops something, they cannot pick up on the same turn.)
Have you adjusted the characters so they only have three spaces for plot tokens?

sedjtroll
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Re: All for One notes

Scurra wrote:
In the dueling section, it should read "Each player chooses one of their Mission cards in hand and plays it face down." (not "dueling" as this makes things a little confusing.)

Noted.

Quote:
Green cards add 1 to the defender regardless of who they are (i.e. it works for the Cardinal's Agents as well.)

Is that what we decided? I forgot weather it was that or Green cards mean nothing. What was our reasoning behind that? We don't want it too hard to win a fight, or noone will ever fight. Then again, each character has a bonus to help them win the fight anyway...

Quote:
I think we concluded that Purple cards add 1 to the defender if the defender is a Musketeer, but this will need some careful testing.

I believe that was to keep it so that the fights are always Purple vs Yellow. This is also why the Green cards initially didn't count. But it's easy enough to say "Purple vs Yellow, green counts toward defense".

Quote:
Dueling Guards: A Purple Named Mission card (i.e. one specifically for Rochefort or Milady) counts double for a guard.

OK.
Quote:
A duel against a Guard does not continue - if the active character loses (which is fairly tough!) then their turn ends then.

This is true of every fight except vs D'Artagnan if I remember correctly (his ability says if he loses a fight, fight again).

Quote:
Likewise, if the Active player loses a duel vs another character, their turn also ends there.

If this is true then I think it ought to be pretty easy to win the fight (at the cost of a card of course) or at least tie. If it's hard to win AND you get penalized for losing then it might not be worth doing.

Quote:
Characters only earn Favors if they outright win - winning on a tie only gets them the plot token (or defeats a guard.) This stops people from simply chasing Guards to earn Favors easily

I agree, but I don't know if I mind it being 'easy' to chase guards around... you score 1vp for beating a guard (at the cost of at least 1 card), and you score 1vp PER TOKEN plus possibly an extra VP for the character if you do a mission. Plus, there's only so many guards on the board.

Quote:
(Note that you need to adjust the earlier paragraph about the guards as well.)
Which paragraph? I guess I should go have a look!

Quote:
state specifically that the Mission cards used for dueling are discarded, not returned to hand or removed from the game.

OK.

Quote:
Completing a Mission: Needs to be amended to say that the Active character receives 1 Favor for completing the mission plus 1 Favor if the Mission was for that specific character.

Really? I never thought about the CHARACTER scoring extra for the 'harder' missions. Just the PLAYER. In fact, I think that's important because we are trying to entice people to use characters that are not their own... therefore the player needs to outscore the character for the 'harder' character-specific missions.

Quote:
It also needs to state that any impossible open Mission may be removed when another Mission is completed, not just ones made impossible by that particular Mission.

Right, ok.

Quote:
In our last test game, the players thought that it was a bit strong to be able to pick up and drop in the same turn... It may be necessary to make that a 1/turn option again, or perhaps only allow one or the other.

As we've discussed, I think that's perposterous :)

Quote:
Have you adjusted the characters so they only have three spaces for plot tokens?

Yes and no. I have not physically crossed out the 4th circle on the applicable cards, but I intend to.

sedjtroll
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SW Playtest Session in Tucson, AZ - 10:00am Saturday 5/14

Here's how my experience at the SW BGDF Playfest went last weekend:

I drove up to Phoenix with Gary and got to Gamer's Edge at 1:00, right on time (we thought). Chris (another friend who moved up to Phoenix) arrived shortly thereafter. Chris and Gary were at the last (unofficial) playtest session where we played the very original version of All For One as well as Fastlearner's Everest and Elvencraft. When noone else arrived right away we decided to get started on 8/7 Central, a game that only supports 3 right now because I haven't made enough cards for more. It was a very close game, although Gary made a play that put the proverbial nail in my coffin during the last week. Final scores were something like 25-24-19 or so, I believe Chris beat out Gary by 1vp.

I'll get into how each game went below, for now I'll continue with the narrative...

While we were playing, Wayne arrived and began seperating out cards for about 6 different games which he had just gotten printed. One was about selling brains to zombies, another was as I understand it a first person shooter like Frag, only fast paced and fun. I didn't really get a chance to see any of Waynes games, but that FPS one (Cowboy Shooter?) looked pretty fun. Another guy, Matt, also arrived and after 8/7c we had 5 people and pulled out All For One. Chris sat this one out because he continues to dislike thegame and insist that it's too easy to get a bad draw of missions and get screwed. I can't force the guy to like the game, but he's the ONLY one who's made that complaint at all, let alone on every play. And he's played the game both the original way and with the initial sweeping changes. So rest of us played All For One. Gary and I tied with 12vp each, but he had done 1 more mission than I had and therefore won the game on the tiebreaker. Wayne and Matt, having never seen the game before, were still struggling with grasping the game mechanics and trying to figure out what to really do. That's one thing this game is up against- it's sort of a puzzle every turn, so the learning curve is kind of steep.

During that game some more people arrived- Chris' wife Becky, another wayne, Fastlearner (that's right, another Matthew), Jason (who had been there last time), and another guy who's name I unfortunately forget.

With ten of us we obviously had to break into 2 groups. Gary, Chris, Becky and I had a really bad experience the last time we played a zombie game, so we opted to play Everest with Matthew. I was more interested in that anyway since I had played it a lot before and wanted to see the changes. In fact, in that group of 5 we had all played Everest before, several times each. The other group played Zombie Cafe, and they went on to play the Cowboy Shooter game and something that looked like a poker variant or something. I guess Everest took a little while.

After Everest the place was getting ready to close, and Gary had to leave in about 6 hours for a long drive accross country, so we headed home. I had some fun and got to play the games I wanted to play, but I think I'll be calling the next Playfest for 9am so we can get going before 4:00. It's something of a drive from Tucson to Phoenix, and I'm happy to do it but I'd like to get more game time in.

here's how the games I played went:

8/7 Central: We tried a few rules changes from the last time I'd played (it's been such a long time, I had to re-read my own rules!). Here are the major (and moinor) rules changes we used:
1. Variable Start Player- player with most VPs is start player each day. Might even try using VPs as turn order (rather than clockwise from Start player)
2. Programs with lots of ratings counters don't die when they jump the shark anymore, they just lose their counters. All Programs make a jump check, not just 1 chosen by an opponent.
3. There's a way to get money other than advertisements- as an action you can discard a card to get $2. It was going to be that you get the cards cost in $s, but we errata'ed it to a static $2.
4. Streamlined the moving/placing programs a little- your choices during move/place are:
a. Place a program from your 'hand' into an open 1/2 hour time slot. If a 1hr program is placed this way, any existing program on the same day is 'bumped' (return to hand).
b. Bump a program - pay $1 and return a program to hand
c. Pass - cannot pass if you have a program in hand.
I think I'll add Cancel, discard a program from hand. Maybe you should be able to cancel a program in play as well, rather than having to pay $1 to pick it up then discard it. The rule that any program that moves loses a ratings counter still applies, and currently modifiers move with programs but ads fall off (are discarded)

Gary, who'd never played before, loved it. Chris, who has played it a bunch, thought it was getting better. I thought it took too long, and I still am not happy with the rules about moving programs. I think I'm zeroing in on that though. I really liked the Start Player mechanic. I'm toying with the idea that a program can only have 1 modifier on it at a time, thus when you play a modifier, any existing modifiers on that program are discarded. I don't know if I like that yet, might have to try it and see.

All For One: All new compared to the original version, with even some changes since the last time I played it. Unfortunately the original version of All For one was not to anyone's liking, but the extensive changes that Scurra and I have worked on since then have made A41 into what I thinkis a fun and interesting game. It went MUCH better this time than the original, and the new combat I like a lot better (first time I've tried it). Scurra and I have discussed a number of further changes to streamline the rules and make the game easier to grasp, I think they will be good. Here's a summary of what we played, followed by some of the ideas for next time:
1. New combat- each player plays a card which applies to either the offense or the defense, then all players draw a card except the one that started the fight. This includes everyone, isn't really random, and only costs the guy who started the fight without costing the other players cards. Duelling a guard is a little different, you play your card and the guard plays the top card of the deck which could help or hurt you- chances are pretty good you'll tie which is enough to not lose the rest of your turn, but defeating a guard and earning a VP is a little tougher.
2. New character abilities- to go along with the new combat the characters abilities needed to change. They need some fine tuning but they seem OK in principle. With each character you can basically discard a card to help win (or not lose) a fight.

New ideas to try:
1. individual starting locations for each character (rather than the musketeers starting in 1 spot and the Cardinal's Agents starting in another).
2. Stationary guards rather than guards that patrol around the city.
3. Guards summonend by players rather than by the game system.
4. Streamline the action list by having missions be completed from hand (no Aqcuire a Mission action), and lift any 1x/turn restrictions on actions (like Move)
5. Allow movement directly from location I to location Z (extreme bottom left of board to extreme upper right) like the secret passage in Clue. Call it taking a carraige or something.
6. Have no player score for D'Artagnan- making him 'safe' for all players to use and therefore a more central part of the story (which he ought to be)

Everest: Fastlearner's changes were for the most part much better. He had a modified method to determine turn order, so it's not just that the lowest down the mountain goes first, but that turn order is deceided by location on the mountain. There are now 3 actions per turn, so people when climbing can climb much faster (you can catch up more easily if you are down the mountain). The numbers on climbers had been adjusted to really differentiate the different types of terrain each climber is good at. Then there was a change that I really didn't like much- in order to add a sort of hand-management aspect we tried a rule where not all your climbers are active at the same time. I like the idea in principle, but the implimentation this time was not so good- 1/2 of your climbers (rounded up) are used at a time. This meant you need to hire twice as many climbers as before and it really encouraged sitting back and hiring a team rather than climbing the mountain. The suggested change that we talked about was just having new hires go into your hand, and when you camp those new climbers can 'catch up' and add to your team. Also at camp (and this is similar to what we tried this play) you can leave some climbers behind (in your hand, not necessrily at that camp) to rest and regain their energy.

The game was still good, for the most part better than before. There are still things to try and FastLearner has some ideas to really change the game up, and from what I have heard I think they will work out well.

That's all the games I had time for, but I did look up and see the Cowboy Shooter game going on. It looked like people were having fun, and in talking to them it sounded like the game was faster paced than Frag- which would be a good thing.

- Seth

sedjtroll
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SW Playtest Session in Tucson, AZ - 10:00am Saturday 5/14

FastLearner and I had scheduled a 'SW Regional BGDF Playfest' for today, 3/19. However around here 'BGDF Playfest' means less that BGDF members get together and more that gamers get together to test BGDF games. Here's how it went:

Matthew couldn't make it - car trouble and his back hurting. But Chris and Becky came down from Phoenix [admittedly to play Elvencraft, but oh well], and Tyler and Stirler came by.

Chris and I played a game of Micropul while we were the only two there. He didn't like it, or so he said, but later he seemed very interested when Tyler and Stirler were playing [see below].

When Tyler and Stirler arrived we played All For One. I just got the new set of cards from Scurra, so we were able to use the new missions (and new mission types!) and the new board. It took a lot longer than I expected [2 hours] but the score was kinda close... Seth 12/ Tyler 9/ Chris 8/ Jacob 7. There were complaints that some of the missions were way harder than others, but I'm not convinced they're valid. Much of the complaining was by Tyler, who also thinks some of the characters are better than others. It occured to us that every single time he's played the game, in every incarnation, he's been randomly dealt Milady. That might be tainting his judgement. It should be easiest to do missions with Milady, but I think she doesn't suit his play style. He's done decently whenever he's played but won no more than once, and always felt like he's at a disadvantage.

It seems like Scurra and I discussed this before, but since the "draw a card" rule was changed to be "refill your hand" I think it's important to nerf Rocheforts "Discard a card" ability to 1x/fight or he can just win every fight. Then again, maybe he should be allowed to run around and menace the Musketeers, maybe it would still be hard to win that way. Worth thinking about at least.

Chris and I even played some Chasing Tail (my Game Design Showdown entry), and we got Becky to play 3 player with us as well. We made some modifications after playtesting, so I guess I'd better update my entry! It's actually getting pretty interesting. And it doesn't take long, so it's seems kinda like one of those cutesie fillers with an amusing theme.

While I cooked dinner I had Tyler play Micropul against Stirler. They liked it, I could tell because they played it a second time, and were talking about what they could have done better and stuff.It ended up being 1 game apiece- the first to Stirler because he was quicker to grasp the rules, and the second to Tyler because Jake pretty much drew poorly [that's not to say he couldn't have [played better though]. I would have liked to see them play a third game to see what happened.

Finally, after dinner Chris and Becky had to head back to Phoenix. Tyler, Jake, and I played a game of Disciples. This took longer than it should have because we also put on Bring It On. They seemed to like the game OK, but we fear the goals are severely out of balance. Here's the breakdown:

Jacob: 39 points. Thomas [7VP] and Bartholomew [8VP], and about 5 VP from about 6 Gospel tokens
Tyler: 30 points. Peter [0], Matthew [5], and 1 VP from 3 Gospel tokens.
Seth: 26 points. Phillip [5], Judas [-4], and 2 Vp from 4 Gospel tokens.

If I had betrayed near the end of the game I would only have gotten 19 VP total. I think [especially in a 3 player game, maybe not with more] if you are going to betray at all, it has to be very early. Either that or Judas' reward is simply not good enough.This concern has come up every time we've played. Some have insisted that at no time would the Traiter have been able to win. I won't go that far, but I think there's a point after which that's true. I also think the point may come too early. Maybe the VP goal could simply be '+1 for each deed that didn't increase the Pharises' [drop the '-1 for each deed that did']. This game that would have made my bonus from that goal +2 instead of -4, making it much closer [and 2nd place instead of 3rd]

A couple questions for Jeff:
When two people are tied with Gospel tokens, what score do they get? Also, if the traitr betrays, do they score for Gospels? Does the player with the next most gospels count Judas' Gospels for Gospel scoring? And you don't add your traitor points to your other goal, do you? If so my potential score would have been 24, still not good.

All in all an OK session I guess. I had some fun, although I WAS looking foreward to Elvencraft :( Maybe next time.

Oh, one last thing about Disciples. Every time I've played the game, EVERYONE has forgotten the "event triggers when a Deed appears in Jesus' location" rule. I think it's the kind of rule that is easily forgotten and I wonder if it's really important to begin with.

sedjtroll
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SW Regional Playtest Session 5-14-05 (or 5-15-05) in TUCSON

Not this weekend but the next, 5/14 and/or 5/15, there will be another SW Regional playtest session here in Tucson. The location is TBA, but will probably be either Hat's Games (on Alvernon south of 22nd), or Amazing Discoveries (on Broadway just west of Country Club). Barring those establishments it will be at my house. I will post directions or e-mail them to attendees soon.

If you are in the Tucson or Phoenix area (Hedge-O-Matic?), come join FastLearner and myself and some of our gamer friends for some playtesting of (time permitting)...

Elvencraft (by Fastlearner): a 90 minute game about fulfilling orders by making connections (routes)
Everest (by FastLearner): a 70+ minute trek up the side of a mountain with your climbing team
Medicine Wheel (by Fastlearner): a 15 minute filler
VelociRacers (by Fastlearner): a 30+ minute race to the finish line with other velociratops (literally) nipping at your heels.
8/7 Central (by sedjtroll): a 70+ minute showdown between network execs with lineups of competing TV programs.
Bungle in the Jungle (by sedjtroll): a 15 minute filler auction game.
All For One (by Scurra and sedjtroll): a 90 minute romp through Paris with The Three Musketeers, doing missions for the King or Cardinal Richelieu
Acts of the Disciples (by jwarrend): a +/- 90 minute opportunity to accompany Jesus to biblical towns doing deeds of preaching, compassion, healing, and exorcism.

and if time permits between now and then,
Hot and Fresh (by sedjtroll): a +/- 90 minute race to complete pizza deliveries while traffic lights change to impede your route and traffic cops threaten to bust you for breaking traffic laws.

We hope to have comment sheets for the games as well, so playtesters can have their comments count for something concrete.

RSVP to sedjtroll@yahoo.com or reply to this post to let me know if you're coming and we'll get an accurate head count.

- Seth

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SW Playtest Session in Tucson, AZ - 10:00am Saturday 5/14

Hey, I'm in Tucson! I'll be there, if that's cool. Are there any free slots for additional playtesting?

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SW Playtest Session in Tucson, AZ - 10:00am Saturday 5/14

We were hoping you'd post here. :)

Yes, I'm certain slots are open. Whaddya wanna test, and roughly how long are the games?

-- Matthew

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SW Playtest Session in Tucson, AZ - 10:00am Saturday 5/14

The SW Playtest will be This Saturday, 5/14, from 10am til whenever at Hat's Games on Alvernon and 29th.

Take Alvernon south from 22nd and it'll be on your left, almost directly across from Cactus Bowl, in a shopping strip with a pizza place and an Eegee's.

Dave (Hat) has been really nice and accomodating to board gamers. He allows outside food and drink, and sells candy and soda for cheap prices. So while you're there, take a look around the shop and see if there's anything you could use, throw some business his way. He has a bunch of board games behind the counter as well, just ask him about them.

See you there!
- Seth

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SW Playtest Session in Tucson, AZ - 10:00am Saturday 5/14

Google advises me that it's:

Hat's Games
1835 S Alvernon Suite 201
Tucson, AZ 85701

520-514-2960

And that it has a different zip code for it (85711), and it displayed a lovely map for me. Clicking the "Satellite" link is very handy.

sedjtroll
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SW Playtest Session in Tucson, AZ - 10:00am Saturday 5/14

FastLearner wrote:
Google advises me that it's:

Hat's Games
1835 S Alvernon Suite 201
Tucson, AZ 85701

520-514-2960

And that it has a different zip code for it (85711), and it displayed a lovely map for me. Clicking the "Satellite" link is very handy.
Thanks for posting the map. Different zip code than what?
See you there :)

- Seth

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