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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

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jwarrend
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

sedjtroll wrote:

I disagree. This workshop is about telling people what you think and offering constructive criticism. It's not as if you don't offer reasons that mechanic should be cut, and it's not as if others haven't also ennumerated the same. I think the designer can understand that the suggestion is to nix that particular part of the game (not necessarily even replace it, but to give it the axe), which is a perfectly valid suggestion. It's of course up to Jeff in the end if the mechanic stays, changes, or goes.

So long as people keep this last in mind, I think we'll all be happy -- the game up for discussion is, in the end, the designer's to do with what he wants, and I think suggestions should be made in a way that recognizes this. The larger point is that the commentors need to keep in mind that they have never played these games, and haven't thought about them nearly as much as the designer. So, what seems like a "bad" mechanic may exist for a perfectly good reason. With this in mind, I think an appropriate level of tentativeness in suggestions is called for. I'm not speaking specifically to you, hpox, or whoever, just making a generic and broad point about the GDW as a whole.

And, if the designer wants to reject certain suggestions, that's well within his prerogative -- we aren't trying to design each other's games, we're trying to give honest suggestions based on our impressions from reading the rules.

Quote:

Yes, the "Automatic Jesus" mechanic is probably the way to go. I liked the suggestion of moving jesus to the town with the most deeds-that-need-doing best. In fact, is there a reason Jesus has to move 1 step at a time? Or can he just teleport (travel) all the way to the town in most need at the beginning of each round or whenever? In other words- move Jeseus all the way to the town in most need, not just 1 step. Otehrwise people near Jesus will simply always be near Jesus.

The problem is that some towns will have more Deeds than others in the deck. Thus, a "teleporting" Jesus would spend too much time in those towns. Of course, there will be an event or two that cause Him to teleport.

As for an "automatic Jesus", I'm a bit unsure whether this will work, mainly because I'm concerned that there won't always be a Deed of whatever action category happens to be at 4 in whatever town Jesus happens to visit. I think that I like Matthew's suggestion better -- Jesus either moves towards the town w/most Deeds, or stays put -- you decide. Sure, it's a bit athematic, but I think it's ok.

It's a little hard to say. I think I'll try to make up some sample cards and just try moving some pieces around on the board to see how likely it is that Jesus, through random movement and automatic Deed performing, actually would be able to perform any Deeds. It's worth trying it out to see...

-Jeff

FastLearner
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

jwarrend wrote:
With this in mind, I think an appropriate level of tentativeness in suggestions is called for. I'm not speaking specifically to you, hpox, or whoever, just making a generic and broad point about the GDW as a whole.

I think this is really important. Really, really important.

Yes, it's absolutely true and mostly "understood' that every single paragraph posted in the GDW -- except those made by the designer -- is prefaced with either "I suggest," or "In my opinion," or "It seems like," or "Perhaps." That's good.

But, I think it's important that we all work hard to use those phrases anyway. I think it comes down to "manners," an old-fashioned concept that, while it's becoming less and less popular every day, is still an important thing.

There's a sense -- a strong sense, and a good sense -- that we're all friends here. But we're really not friends, not in the sense of people you've spent weeks worth of hours around, whose every intonation you grasp instantly and whose every insult you know is "just kidding." We're actually strangers with a shared interest, and who also happen to be nice people that sincerely want good things for each other. And over time friendships have begun to form.

There are at least two people here who I consider real friends, people I think I can be really frank with and know that they will definitely automatically understand that the "In my opinion"s and "I suggest"s are part of every paragraph. In theory it's safe for me to say "that's a bad idea, do not do that" to those folks.

But even with them I still add in the clear "this is a suggestion" words most of the time, as I know that in written communication -- in particular the type of brief written communication that tends to occur on the net -- it's very, very difficult to know the tone in which something was "said."

I'm not suggesting we baby each other, and never criticize each others ideas or work, since the whole GDW is designed around giving criticism and suggesting new ideas. I am suggesting, though, that we consciously work to make certain our words sound polite.

*Steps off soapbox*

-- Matthew

sedjtroll
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

Regarding manners and format of suggestions:

jwarrend wrote:

sedjtroll wrote:

It's of course up to Jeff in the end if the mechanic stays, changes, or goes.

So long as people keep this last in mind, I think we'll all be happy -- the game up for discussion is, in the end, the designer's to do with what he wants, and I think suggestions should be made in a way that recognizes this.

I dunno. We're not saying "here's a suggestion that you know, maybe you could consider thinking about like, if you decide you don't like what you've got already..."

We're saying "I looked at what you've got, and this is what I think would make it better." These are active suggestions- they are opinions, and as such if they're to carry any way they should be definitive in nature. There's a big difference between the suggestion "After you try playing it that way, you might think about playing it this way... just a suggestion." and "I think there's a flaw in how this is going to work. In order to do what you say you want to do you should change it like this."

Am I loony toons? Or is there indeed a difference there? One may sound more polite or something, but the other will actually help the designer more (and if you ask me, is not even impolite).

Now, back to the GDW:

Quote:
As for an "Automatic Jesus", I'm a bit unsure whether this will work, mainly because I'm concerned that there won't always be a Deed of whatever action category happens to be at 4 in whatever town Jesus happens to visit.

I thought the idea was that Jesus moves to [wherever], and if there's a deed at 4 then he does it. So Jesus moves automatically, and in a sensible way (going where he's needed), players want to follow him around because there's a benefit to being in the same town as him, they can predict where he'll go and sort of meet him there... so far all in-theme.

Then if there's a face-up deed card that's at cost 4 or whatever, then Jesus does it (resetting the number to 0).

- Seth

jwarrend
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Thanks

Just wanted to thank you all again for your excellent suggestions on the game. I will be (hopefully) playtesting the game this week, and some suggestions (Torrent/Seth's truncated game end, Matthew's "Jesus moves algorithmically", zaiga's "one goal card per disciple", others) will be put into practice immediately. Many of the other suggestions ("nix guessing the traitor scoring") will sit on the back burner, and may get changed if they don't work in the way that I'm envisioning.

I will keep you all posted on this game, and on the follow-up game that I've begun to think more aggressively about, as they get a little further along.

Thanks again, and looking forward to hearing from SVan, who's up this week!

-Jeff

SVan
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

Once I get my files to the site I'll be up and running. I guess I'm just waiting for permission to place the files on the gdw download section is this correct? (I already put the rules up, I am adding the rest as I post this.)

jwarrend
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

Playtests for this one seem to be suggesting that the scoring breakdown is probably something like the following:

Goal cards: 45-50%
Deeds performed: 25-35%
Gospel tokens: 10-20%
Symbols in hand: 5-10%
Guess the traitor: 10-15%

Obviously, these aren't hard and fast, but the idea seems to be that players will score a good chunk of their points from the goals. Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of differentiation between the points received from the goals or from the number of Deeds performed, which means that the "all-or-nothing" rewards of the gospel tokens make a big difference. This may necessitate reenvisioning how the Gospel tokens score; I considered a "Web of Power"-style scheme where you get as many points as the number of tokens held by the player with the next-most tokens after you.

Even with that, the Deeds may need to come up in importance relative to goals. However, just making them worth more points could lead to an "any deed is good enough" approach which may not be as interesting, and may hinder players' ability to complete their goals.

One possible scheme I considered is something like this. When you complete a Deed, you get one point for the Deed, plus 1 point if one or more other players are in the town, plus 1 point if Jesus is in the town. Each other player in the town gets one point.

This makes the value of the deeds much more "configurational" which could be interesting, it also provides some real-time feedback as to how you're doing in the game. One does need to worry about how to handle the Traitor in this -- does he keep the points he's earned during the game, or lose them and just score points for the Pharisees and the number of face up deeds (I lean to the latter...)

Anyway, just a few ideas that are on the table for anyone who's been following the development of this one...

-Jeff

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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

jwarrend wrote:
...which means that the "all-or-nothing" rewards of the gospel tokens make a big difference. This may necessitate reenvisioning how the Gospel tokens score; I considered a "Web of Power"-style scheme where you get as many points as the number of tokens held by the player with the next-most tokens after you.

That sounds like an interesting approach (wasn't there something similar suggested for Profit & Provenance?) How many Gospel tokens are people collecting in general? This would make it easier to get a handle on what an individual token should be worth.

All Deeds are worth the same, right? The big points come from completing Deeds that match your goals? Is there a way of scoring something for the Deeds that don't match your goal? (it doesn't have to be very big, but it could make a difference.) I've done something like that in All for One, where you score bonus points if you were playing for the minority side - there are two sides and each player secretly chooses to be in one at the start of the game.

zaiga
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

jwarrend wrote:

Goal cards: 45-50%
Deeds performed: 25-35%
Gospel tokens: 10-20%
Symbols in hand: 5-10%
Guess the traitor: 10-15%

Could you explain in short how each type of scoring works now (except for the goal cards, which are probably too diverse to explain in detail. I'll take them fro granted)? Maybe I have some ideas...

- René Wiersma

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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

Quote:
(wasn't there something similar suggested for Profit & Provenance?)

Yes, although, to be honest, I haven't thought about that game in such a long time that I can't remember what the definitive changes were...

Quote:

How many Gospel tokens are people collecting in general? This would make it easier to get a handle on what an individual token should be worth.

Right now, it's typically between 2 and 6. They need to be worth less than Deeds, I think, because they require less net actions to acquire than Deeds do.

Quote:

All Deeds are worth the same, right? The big points come from completing Deeds that match your goals? Is there a way of scoring something for the Deeds that don't match your goal? (it doesn't have to be very big, but it could make a difference.)

What I'm considering is an "in-game" scoring system where you're rewarded for Deeds based on whether other players are in the town (+1 VP) and whether Jesus is in the town (+1 VP) (in addition to the 1 VP that you get anyway). And, if others are in the town, they get 1 VP as well. This would incentivize performing Deeds above and beyond, or at least in addition to, those that contribute to your goal, yet it would still give some means for differentiating the Deeds; what I don't want is a "why not?" attitude where "any deed is good enough."

Quote:

I've done something like that in All for One, where you score bonus points if you were playing for the minority side - there are two sides and each player secretly chooses to be in one at the start of the game.

Obviously there's sort of an element of that in this game, except that there's only one bad guy! Ironically, some players have found it useful to try to "help the traitor", in an effort to push for an early game ending. My feeling is that this is not something I want, and I'm trying to restructure the goals so as to diminish anyone's interest in forcing the game to an early conclusion (other than the traitor).

Thanks for the thoughts!

-Jeff

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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

zaiga wrote:
jwarrend wrote:

Goal cards: 45-50%
Deeds performed: 25-35%
Gospel tokens: 10-20%
Symbols in hand: 5-10%
Guess the traitor: 10-15%

Could you explain in short how each type of scoring works now (except for the goal cards, which are probably too diverse to explain in detail. I'll take them fro granted)? Maybe I have some ideas...

- René Wiersma

Yes, of course. The goals are indeed quite variable, but in general they say something like "receive X Vps for each Y of Z that you perform" where Z can be "Compassion deeds" or "towns in which you preached", etc. They seem to typically be scoring between 3 and 7 points each, so a player with 2 goal cards will typically net about 10 points total.

The Deeds are just "1 VP for each Deed you've performed", and people will typically perform between 4 and 7 Deeds during the game.

Gospel tokens award 4 points to the player with the most (typically 5 or 6 tokens) and 2 points to the player with the 2nd-most.

"Fewest symbols" gives points to the player with the fewest action symbols remaining in his hand at the game end, with the player receiving as many points as he has symbols. It's actually pretty common for a player to have no symbols, so 0 points is a common score for this aspect, but 2 or 3 points have been received through this mechanism as well.

Last, correctly guessing the traitor gives +3 points, and someone typically has guessed the traitor correctly in the games where there has been one. Although, this mechanic is still in a state of flux.

The changes I'm considering include reworking the payouts of the goals, changing the payout schedule for the Gospel tokens, and increasing the value of Deeds (but preferably in a more interesting way than just "each Deed is worth 2 points" instead of 1 -- I outlined one such scheme in my earlier post...)

I would obviously welcome any thoughts! Thanks!

-Jeff

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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

jwarrend wrote:

[re: Gospel tokens] Right now, it's typically between 2 and 6. They need to be worth less than Deeds, I think, because they require less net actions to acquire than Deeds do.

Is there an upper limit on Gospel tokens? I mean, if they've all gone before a certain point can you not get any more? That would affect how they could be valued.
If there are an essentially unlimited number (i.e. everyone could have 6) then something like twice the VPs of the number of tokens collected by the next lowest player might work, which would probably result in someone collecting 8 points for their Gospel but also opens up some amusing "tied scores" possibilities. If player A has 5 tokens, player B has 3 tokens, player C has 2 tokens and player D has none, then A will score 6, B will score 4 and C will score 0. But if player C collects another token then both player B and player C will score 0. This may be nothing like what you want, of course, but I reckon it could cause some tense moments. :)

Quote:

What I'm considering is an "in-game" scoring system where you're rewarded for Deeds based on whether other players are in the town (+1 VP) and whether Jesus is in the town (+1 VP) (in addition to the 1 VP that you get anyway). And, if others are in the town, they get 1 VP as well.

That sounds much better. The more people who see you perform your deed, the more likely it is to be recorded.

zaiga
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

Jeff,

Some ideas:

You have different (three?) types of Deeds, right? If so, you could award some bonus points if a player manages to get a set of Deeds (one of each type). This might create some interesting decisions. Should a player go for an "easy" Deed or go for the more difficult Deed that completes his set?

Award points to a player who has the majority of a certain type of Deed. This could create some extra competition between players.

Add an extra scoring round halfway the game, where only Deeds are scored. This creates a sense of urgency and adds a bit of story arc to the game.

Having various ways to score is great, but you should watch out that the scoring doesn't become too arcane, especially because you want to keep the game relatively light.

- René Wiersma

jwarrend
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

zaiga wrote:
Jeff,

Some ideas:

Thanks, I appreciate it!

Quote:

You have different (three?) types of Deeds, right? If so, you could award some bonus points if a player manages to get a set of Deeds (one of each type). This might create some interesting decisions. Should a player go for an "easy" Deed or go for the more difficult Deed that completes his set?

This is sort of how some of the "goal" cards work already (although they are more "scaling" than a fixed payout for a given set). I contemplated an idea like this one, but didn't add it because I was afraid it was a bit "gamey", and anyway, set collection has been done so much! (though, for good reason, obviously)

Quote:

Award points to a player who has the majority of a certain type of Deed. This could create some extra competition between players.

This is definitely another possibility, though again it is kind of similar to some of the goals.

One thing we're finding in playtesting is that the game definitely has a "building my own kingdom" feel to it, where you're working on your goals but not necessarily actively trying to hinder the other players. This works just fine thematically, and I think that the fact that there are a limited number of Deeds for which all players are competing creates a satisfactory element of "competition" -- I think...

Quote:

Add an extra scoring round halfway the game, where only Deeds are scored. This creates a sense of urgency and adds a bit of story arc to the game.

This is an idea I quite like, as it could easily be pulled off via an Event card, and encourages you to push aggressively right from the start.

Quote:

Having various ways to score is great, but you should watch out that the scoring doesn't become too arcane, especially because you want to keep the game relatively light.

Yes, I agree with this. I think that the five I listed above are a manageable set, but if I had to chuck a couple overboard, it would probably be the "guess the traitor" scoring and the fewest symbols scoring. I like both of these, and think they're both very successful, but I'm becoming increasingly concerned about the "guess the traitor" mechanic. I worry that players knowing which of them is the traitor somewhat reduces the tension in the endgame, and keeping it secret might be better; but, I can't seem to come up with the right reward/penalty values to properly incentivize trying to figure out the traitor but also to disincentivize random guessing or "playing suspicious just to entice someone else to guess falsely".

So, your point is definitely well-taken. I played the game once with a group of high schoolers and the scoring system didn't seem to blow anyone away. But, clearly more testing with non-gamers is essential.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

-Jeff

- René Wiersma

Anonymous
Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

I enjoyed having an opportunity to playtest 12 Disciples over the weekend at the Albany playtest session. I have some comments on the revised version that we played. I hope that I'm not duplicating comments, but I wanted to get my thoughts out before I forget them.

Great game! You stated in early posts that you wanted a religious themed game with Germanesque gameplay, I think you have succeeded in exactly that. The game is rich and complex enough to draw any gamer into the experience regardless of their religious beliefs. The cards and themes work very well to draw a player into the historical world of Jesus.

On to the game:

Torrent wrote:
...when you start marketing it I wonder if you might have any problems with players unwilling to play the Traitor for emotional reasons.

This problem could be easily solved by including one more goal than twice the maximum number of players so that the game could be played without the Traitor if absolutely objected to. I know that the Traitor is a very integral part of the game and the story of Jesus, but it is something to consider as an inclusion to acknowledge that some may object to playing that part.

Also, on the topic of the Traitor, I did have quite a lot of fun trying to determine who the Traitor was (poor Gil), but I felt that there wasn't enough I could do to stop him. Even though we fingered the wrong disciple as the Traitor, in a game where the Traitor was correctly identified, it seemed like the remaining players didn't have enough control over Jesus' movements to be able to keep Him safe. I'm not sure if that's terribly important, maybe we should have been playing more to keep the Pharisees (sp?) track from advancing.

Also, the deeds cost track did work very well, but I'm wondering if, in a game with fewer players, it would take too long for the deeds to increment to the level where players could ask Jesus to perform them. Possibly having the deeds cost track on a separate card, and have different cards that have different distributions for differing numbers of players? For 3 (possibly 4) players have the numbers max out at 3, and for (possibly) 4 or more players leave as normal.

I think the Pharisees track worked out well in terms of the game scores. Yes, it was powerful, but we weren't playing very smartly when it came to keeping the track from increasing. Something that I as a player would learn to do for future playings.

Deed cards were a little light coming out, but I understand that this is more of a rarity and that not all games go this way.

There is a heavy bookkeeping element, but I don't think that it is too much for the game. The game flows smoothly and quickly enough that the bookkeeping is at an acceptable level. I did like the suggestion of some sort of player's card for each play to keep track of the number of their used actions, possibly with reminders to increment the deeds cost track, etc. I noticed that you did quite a lot of this yourself and I wonder if some aspects of the bookkeeping would be forgotten in a blind playtest.

Overall, a great game! I thoroughly enjoyed both the religious/historical aspect as well as the game play. It is a true synergy that you have brought them together so well.

jwarrend
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

SiskNY wrote:
I enjoyed having an opportunity to playtest 12 Disciples over the weekend at the Albany playtest session. I have some comments on the revised version that we played. I hope that I'm not duplicating comments, but I wanted to get my thoughts out before I forget them.

Thanks so much for your comments, Steve. I'll respond to them here, and may address similar things in my session report...

Quote:

This problem could be easily solved by including one more goal than twice the maximum number of players so that the game could be played without the Traitor if absolutely objected to. I know that the Traitor is a very integral part of the game and the story of Jesus, but it is something to consider as an inclusion to acknowledge that some may object to playing that part.

The one thing that I may not have stated clearly the other day was that the traitor doesn't have to betray; there is an "alternative" goal on the Judas goal card, which the traitor uses if the game ends via the Rome track. But I have also considered how to play the game sans Judas. There are enough goals to do it currently. But the only way to make it happen, I think, is to ignore the Political tracks altogether, which actually is still plenty fun, but it does take something away from the richness of the game as we played it (at least in my opinion...).

Quote:

Also, on the topic of the Traitor, I did have quite a lot of fun trying to determine who the Traitor was (poor Gil), but I felt that there wasn't enough I could do to stop him. Even though we fingered the wrong disciple as the Traitor, in a game where the Traitor was correctly identified, it seemed like the remaining players didn't have enough control over Jesus' movements to be able to keep Him safe.

This is a fair point, and in a sense, this is by design. I originally had a "guess the traitor" mechanic, but you're right, it does seem that even if you know, it doesn't matter; you can't really do anything to stop him. This is deliberate to a point -- the disciples weren't actively trying to stop Judas in the Gospels; his betrayal was something that he chose to do, and neither Jesus nor the Disciples tried to prevent it (one could argue that the Disciples may have had they really grasped that Jesus was telling them one of them was a traitor). I think there are ways to make betrayal less lucrative, but I agree that knowing who the traitor is doesn't mean you can keep him from winning. Not sure if it's a problem or not...

Quote:

Also, the deeds cost track did work very well, but I'm wondering if, in a game with fewer players, it would take too long for the deeds to increment to the level where players could ask Jesus to perform them. Possibly having the deeds cost track on a separate card, and have different cards that have different distributions for differing numbers of players? For 3 (possibly 4) players have the numbers max out at 3, and for (possibly) 4 or more players leave as normal.

I'm not 100% sure; I've only had one "live" playtest with 4 players, and it seemed to be ok. In fact, in that game, Jesus performed 8 Deeds, I believe, so getting the tracks to 4 certainly wasn't a problem. Something I'll look out for, thanks!

Quote:

Deed cards were a little light coming out, but I understand that this is more of a rarity and that not all games go this way.

Maybe, maybe not; I have seen the "not many Deeds" situation happen somewhat often. It usually heals itself during the game (as it seemed to in ours). Maybe instead of "don't reveal a Deed when an Event card comes up", I'll just have that every turn starts by revealing (at least) one Deed. And I may add "Reveal a Deed" as a turn action, at least to try out in a playtest...

Quote:

There is a heavy bookkeeping element, but I don't think that it is too much for the game.

This is probably the chief complaint about the game, and the one that probably would be toughest in a family gameplay setting. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what to do about it; the different tracks are what really give the game its depth, so I haven't found a way yet to do away with the bookeeping elements of the game. The one I considered was removing the rule that "after you perform a Deed, you increment the corresponding Action track". This would really change things a lot, though; not sure if it would be for the better.

Quote:
I noticed that you did quite a lot of this yourself and I wonder if some aspects of the bookkeeping would be forgotten in a blind playtest.

A good point. I definitely need to get this played by an outside group before calling it "done". But my guess is that now that you know the game, you guys could have done just fine without me there; it's that first playing that might be tough. There is a lot to do after performing a Deed; I'm not sure how serious a problem it is, or what to do if it is indeed bad.

Quote:
Overall, a great game! I thoroughly enjoyed both the religious/historical aspect as well as the game play. It is a true synergy that you have brought them together so well.

Thanks so much, I appreciate your kind words. I'm glad you liked the game, and hope you'll get to play it again soon/next time!

Best,

Jeff

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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

I recently received feedback from the Hippodice club about Disciples. I
thought I'd post them here for anyone who has read about the game or who is interested in how Hippodice rates the games that make the playtesting round.

Hippodice rates on a scale of 1-6, where 1 is good and 6 is bad. The overall rating for Disciples was 2.73, compared to the average of 2.86 for all games that were playtested. If 50 games are playtested, that puts Disciples perhaps in the top 30 or so, which I think is a satisfying outcome.

I gather that the overall rating is the composite of several sub categories. I'll give the categories and then give Disciples' rating followed by the average of all tested games in parentheses.

Quote:

Playing is great fun (1) / is dull (6) 2.7 (2.8)
Mechanism works well (1) / does not work (6): 2.0 (1.5)
New idea (1) / well known idea (6) 2.7 (3.1)
Play it again at once (1) / never again (6) 2.7 (3,1)
Complete rules (1) / incomplete rules (6) 1.3 (1.9)
Rules easy to understand (1) / not understandable (6) 1.7 (2.0)

Too short (1)/Too long (6) 4.3
Luck only (1)/Strategic and Tactical thinking 3.0

The length was based on an average play time of 82 minutes, which is probably about right. I think the game can be played by 4 players in about 60-75 minutes, but whether that's too long or just right is obviously a judgement call. My design goal for this game probably would have been slightly closer to the strategic end, but it's always interesting to get someone else's take on this.

They also provided the following comments from the playtesters:

Quote:

1 The victory conditions are way too unbalanced.
2 Authentic atmosphere, nice historical subject.
3 Scoring of gospel tokens is too complicated and too much dependent from good luck, but generally the mechanisms of the game work very well.

It's hard to know how much weight to put on point 1, in part because I'm not sure how many times they played the game and it's a very common complaint among new players. I suspect there are slight imbalances between the different goal cards (which is what I assume point 1 is referring to), but in over 20 playings of the game, I've never detected one goal being overwhelmingly strong. What does happen is that in any particular playing, some goals will do better than others, but the goals that do well vary from game to game.

Point 2 is satisfying, since it further confirms that the game could be of
interest even to non-Christians.

Point 3 is a valid concern, and one that I'll have to look at again. I'd like a Gospel scoring mechanism that allows Gospel tokens to have an intrinsic value but also encourages you to make sure other players have Gospels tokens, and to not just hoard them. The current system (average your tally and that of the player with the next lower tally) is the closest I've found to achieve that, but maybe others are possible.

So, overall, I think the feedback is basically positive, although I wish a
little more detail had been provided.

In other Disciples news, I submitted the game for consideration to Cactus games, a Christian publisher primarily known for their Redemption CCG and for the Settlers of Canaan board game. They chose not to publish the game, primarily for sales reasons. They felt the game could sell X copies per year, but they need it to sell Y copies for year for it to be profitable.
They didn't seem blown away by the game, but perhaps would still have been interested if it could have sold better. Figure "X" seemed to be more related to the typical sales of comparable games rather than something intrinsic to the game itself. And, X was actually higher than I had initially expected, so it was actually somewhat encouraging even though it was a rejection!

-Jeff

IngredientX
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

That feedback sounds good, if a little vague. It's an interesting and unique game.

And you know, a relatively quick rejection is not necessarily a bad thing. Now you can shop the game elsewhere...

sedjtroll
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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

jwarrend wrote:
Point 3 [Gospel scoring is comfusing] is a valid concern, and one that I'll have to look at again. I'd like a Gospel scoring mechanism that allows Gospel tokens to have an intrinsic value but also encourages you to make sure other players have Gospels tokens, and to not just hoard them. The current system (average your tally and that of the player with the next lower tally) is the closest I've found to achieve that, but maybe others are possible.

I have to agree with comment 3, having played the game - and I think I thought so even before playing the game. I see what you're getting at there, but the mathy average just doesn't fit. I can't necessarily think of anything better, but if I do I'll certainly let you know!

Quote:
In other Disciples news, I submitted the game for consideration to Cactus games, a Christian publisher primarily known for their Redemption CCG and for the Settlers of Canaan board game. They chose not to publish the game, primarily for sales reasons. They felt the game could sell X copies per year, but they need it to sell Y copies for year for it to be profitable.
That really is decent news! I'm sorry their Y was greater than X, but at least they think it'd sell! There could be worse rejections than that.

Keep it up, the game is a good one. There was an entrant to the KublaCon design contest which was called Pillars of Faith. They didn't say much about it except that it was component heavy though. I got the impression Acts would have been better received than that one, but that's mostly just a guess.

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Game #16: The 12 Disciples by jwarrend

jwarrend wrote:
I recently received feedback from the Hippodice club about Disciples. I
thought I'd post them here for anyone who has read about the game or who is interested in how Hippodice rates the games that make the playtesting round.

-Jeff

Jeff, did you get your feedback in English or German? I just received Hippodice feedback yesterday for Die Wichtelmanner, and it was only in German; translating with babelfish isn't always clear. Glad you got some positive feedback on your game, I was also hoping for a bit more details in the playtest report.

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