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Settlements: Feedback and Critique on New Game Concept

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Ben Munson
Joined: 10/24/2022
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Settlements: The Game Rulebook

"I would love to get your thoughts and feedback on a new game design that I have come up with, please read through the short rulebook and there are a few guidance questions for feedback. I welcome any feedback and critique on the idea, specific rules and ways to improve the concept."

Game Objectives
Settlements is a competitive 2-6 player village building game where players compete against one another, by gathering resources, building structures and growing into thriving settlements. The objective of Settlements is to be the most successful settlement once a Game Ending Condition has been met. The player with the highest number of Victory Points at this stage will be crowned the winner. Players take it in turn, starting with youngest, to complete a set of Daily Actions. Once completed, play moves clockwise to the next player.

Daily Actions:
1. Resource Gathering- each Settler can gather one resource type per day, up to the amount listed on their card. Card multipliers (e.g. Axe) can be given to a Settler during Gathering Action phase. Card multipliers can only be used once per day, but they can stack on a single Settler.
2. Construction/Deconstruction- Any number of Construction projects can be completed. The fire is lit (placed vertically) or extinguished (horizontal) at this phase. Previously constructed projects can be deconstructed to refund some Resources but must be deactivated (turned over).
3. Trade- 1-3 matching Resources can be offered as trade. All other players can choose whether to offer 1-3 matching alternative Resources. The original player then decides if they want to take any trade. Resources numbers or types do not have to match during a trade (e.g. 3 Wood traded for 1 Iron and 1 Stone.
4. Raiding- The ability to take the number of Resources that you have more spears than any one Settlement. One raid per day.
5. Consumption- -1F per settler, -1W for a lit fire and -1W per hut constructed. -1 Settler if not all Settlers are fed.
6. Recruitment- if a fire is lit, a hut has space and there is food in the stockpile +1 settler joins.

Game Ending Conditions:
If any of the following game ending conditions are met by a player, every remaining player completes a final turn sand the Victory Points are added up to decide a winner.
1. A Settlement builds a Temple
2. A Settlement ends a turn with 6 Settlers
3. All the Settlers in a Settlement starve

Game Setup
Each player is given the following cards:
1 Base Settler Card
2 Resource Scoring Cards
1 Food Resource Card
1 Wood Resource Card
1 Stone Resource Card
1 Iron Resource Card
1 Daily Action Rule Card
Each player sets their starting resource scoring cards as follow: 4 Food/ 2 Wood/ 2 Stone
All remaining Settlers are placed face up in a pile
Construction cards are separated into piles and place face upwards

Advanced Expanded Game Mode
In the Advanced Expanded Game Mode, an extra Daily Action is added between the Construction action and the Trade action where players have the option to blind draw an Encounter Card which can have a positive, neutral or negative impact. This action phase allows players the opportunity the further advance their Settlement but at what risk?
Daily Actions:
1. Resource Gathering
2. Construction/Deconstruction
3. Encounter
4. Trade
5. Raiding
6. Consumption
7. Recruitment

Extra Setup:
All Encounter Cards are shuffled and placed face down in a pile
Extra Daily Action:
3. Encounter- the player has a choice of drawing an Encounter Card and must complete the given action.

Questions and Feedback:
1. Does the order of the Daily Actions make logical sense?

2. Should Settlers have varied gathering statistics (e.g. new Settlers could have varied resource collection stats)?

3. Should new Settler cards be face up or anonymous (e.g. stats visible)?

4. Should the starting Settler be able to starve (e.g. should players be able to be knocked out of the game)?

5. Are encounters necessary (the advance version of the game, or does this over complicate the game/ or add necessary variation)?

6. Should players be allowed more than one hammer (reduces the cost of construction by one resource card)?

7. Should players be allowed more than one trade cart (allows players to swap one resource with another resource in the bank)?

8. Are victory points, based on the amount of construction projects completed, the correct way to judge a winning condition?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Just one comment

I think that "settlers" STARVING doesn't really send a POSITIVE message. I know that in life there are people who are malnourished and poorly fed... It's just that in a GAME it feels too "negative". Again I know it's just a game ... But in a way, people are going to look at the game and "react" to the rules.

People who play games are because they are FUN and allow CONFLICT whereas in real life such conflict could be "harmful" to any of the parties. For example, shooting Zombie ... Going around and shooting real people would be 100% unacceptable and you would go to jail (IRL) for a long time. But in a game, it is okay to take your aggressions out against the Zombies.

Maybe (and this is just an idea), somehow you CHANGE this STARVING to a settler leaves the "Settlement" to go and try to flourish elsewhere... But in any event the player LOOSES a "Settler". So instead of STARVING, a settler LEAVES the settlement to find a new home to live at...

And maybe you can turn the rules AROUND: instead of it being NEGATIVE, it is a POSITIVE and when five (5) settlers leave to find new pastures, that player wins the game.

These are just ideas for you to think about. I'm just offering you one in many opinions. Sincerely.

Note #1: I re-read the rules... And it's -1 Food for each Settler and if there is missing Food, -X Setter starves depending on how much food there is. Still a bit dire and grim TBH. Knowing that's what is in the rules... I'll try to RE-THINK some of the ideas that I proposed.

For #1: You can't have this a VICTORY condition because nobody would FEED their Settlers and they would all leave the "settlement" due to the food shortage (or simply ignoring this rule).

PERSONALLY I THINK all you need to do is some "re-wording".

Instead of STARVING, you say the Settler "Goes on a HUNT"... And then maybe there is some kind of mechanic which may be luck driven and either they return or are forever lost.

Maybe something like that might be better. So NOT feeding your Settlers can result in LOSING them to the wilderness... And there could be some kind of chance mechanic they return with some hunted food... Something like that maybe...

Joined: 09/06/2017
Unbeatable turn sequence

The turn sequence below is unbeatable for your game. (Okay technically someone could run the same strategy and get fortunate trades or event cards and beat it)

Turn 0 (setup)
4 food, 2 wood, 2 stone

Turn 1
Gather food
Light a fire
4 food, 1 wood, 2 stone
+1 settler

Turn 2
Gather 2 food
Build a granary
1 food, 1 wood, 2 stone

Turn 3
Gather 1 food, gather 1 wood
1 food, 2 wood, 2 stone

Turn 4
Gather 1 food, gather 1 wood
1 food, 3 wood, 2 stone

Turn 5
Gather 1 food, gather 1 wood
Light a fire
1 food, 3 wood, 2 stone
+1 settler

Turn 6
Gather 2 food, 1wood
Build a hut, light 2 fires
1 food, 0 wood, 0 stone
+1 settler

Turn 7
Gather 4 food
3 food, 0 wood, 0stone

Turn 8
Gather 2 food, 2 wood
Light two fires
+1 settler
2 food, 0 wood, 0 stone

Turn 9
Gather 3 food, 2 wood
Light two fires
+1 settler
Game over 8 points.

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