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Roman Emperors - Blind Playtest Open

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Pastor_Mora
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Roman Emperors – Playtest
Blind Playtest Open

Well, I’ve made some approaches around with Roman Emperors and small publishers have been more accessible and helpful than I thought they would. It is a small niche market where everyone knows everyone after all. I see this in the good sense. I’ve gained some interesting pointers just by being casual with them.

Anyway, as finished as the design may look like, blind playtesting is a fixed pre-entry requirement. Especially when you are a non-native speaker: your rules should be proof-read by native speakers, preferably from both sides of the ocean. Having proof-read many “native’s” rules myself, I’m not quite sure how to feel about this… whatever.

As it stands right now, the game has achieved 17 group sessions (non-blind) and many more solo ones (those are hard to count). As been played once a week, it will be a long time before it gets to my minimum standard of 15 sessions per player setup. That would be 45, since it’s a 2-4 players game. Plus, the game has a fair chance of becoming a 1-4 players setup, so…

I’m not in a hurry here. The long pilgrimage for a publisher is just beginning, but I don’t want to stick with the minimum and reviewers would appreciate more diverse feedback on it. So I’m opening the game for blind playtest from BGDF members.

The game is quite solid at its seventh version, so I don’t foresee major changes required (ironically, other than making Venus more attractive to players). You only need to print 6 pages for cards, 3 pages for the rules, and the board (A3 size preferably or tiled A4s), plus some few bingo chips. Quite a bargain components-wise actually!

I’ll use the files I’ve stored in a dropbox so you can access them whenever or wherever you want (www.dropbox.com). Just PM me with your Email address (so I know who you are here) and I’ll send you the invitation to the shared folder.

I know Civ-War euro’s are not for everyone, but I’m pretty confident I’ll manage to get some insightful feedback from you guys. Thanks a lot.

Keep thinking!

Roman Emperors Game Journal in BGDF
http://www.bgdf.com/node/3157

Roman Emperors Game Board in BGG
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/738085/pastor_mora

salish99
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Joined: 02/22/2010
Send us the rules (not only

Send us the rules (not only the sample play), we can give them a shakedown.

Pastor_Mora
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Thanks

Thanks guys. I appreciate the interest. Anyways, I'm not looking into "playtesting services" yet; just showing it around to peers. If you are interested as fellow designers, I'll be most delighted to have you both on board. You make quite a good proofreading! So, PM you email and I'll hook you up in the playtest shared folder in dropbox.com. Else, thanks again for you offer.

KT!

salish99
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Joined: 02/22/2010
uploaded

Comments on opus IX now uploaded to dropbox. Let us know if you have any questions.

Pastor_Mora
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That was fast!

Thanks for your proofreading! It is quite a pain for me to know what precise words to use since English is not my first language. So proofreading for native speakers help a lot.

Only a question (this goes for anyone):

Is it really that important to put "he/she", or "him/her", whenever you are trying to be generic? Should I put "the Emperor/Empress" in the rules every time?

PS I'll try to be more carefull with credits next time (sorry Daniel) so, can you PM me your full names (or the way you want them to appear)? thanks

hulken
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No it is not important, how

No it is not important, how you write is up to you. It is al about what you prefer. A lot of publishers do have there opinion on what wordings to use. But it al comes down to you, and what you feel is the best for youre rules. Aslong as you are consistant and use thr same way al throu out the rules.

You can even write out the gender if it realy bothers you, you can usualy put "the player" instead of he or she so there is that option aswell.

When it comes to titels like the Emperor, I think you should use what goes with the game. Do the players play difrent Emperors then you should defenetly not put Empress there aswell. This du to the simple fact that there was no Empress in rome. (I do not even know af anny roman Empress, if you do pleas tell me =)

sedjtroll
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Played again

Pastor_Mora wrote:
Only a question (this goes for anyone):

Is it really that important to put "he/she", or "him/her", whenever you are trying to be generic? Should I put "the Emperor/Empress" in the rules every time?


I'm saying this as Seth Jaffee the person, not Seth Jaffee of Tasty Minstrel Games...

I HATE he/she or s/he or any qualification like that. I don't think it's sexist to use "he" when gender is unknown or unspecified - that's just how the language works! Spanish does the same thing, as do many other languages.

So I say go ahead and use "he," "his," etc. if you ask me.

Quote:
PS I'll try to be more carefull with credits next time (sorry Daniel) so, can you PM me your full names (or the way you want them to appear)? thanks

Well, since you're asking... my last name has 2 E's in it :)

I played the game again tonight and I have some further comments for you. I also read the new version of the rules today (didn't play with them all), and had some comments there - but I'll probably have to re-read and make note of what they were.

Short version:
The change to the voting thing sounds better, but does not sound better enough. I will PM you my suggestion (which I probably already told you, but maybe it's more defined now) on how I think it ought to work. That has been the biggest complaint in both games. Also, there seems to be a lot of down time. I think for this game to succeed, there should be little down time, and the whole thing shouldn't take very long (not sure how long "very long" is).

Another, different thought: What if more often you had the option to build more than 1 Wonder (I mean 1 of 2 or 3 possible), but it wasn't just "I'll choose the one with the most VP on it." I'm not sure what else there could be, maybe some kind of set collection, or some kind of tech-tree sort of thing involved in which combination of wonders you get? I don't know, but currently it seems like you basically look at which wonder is easiest to get, try to get it, and either you succeed or maybe you fail (usually succeed I think), and there's not much strategy involved, just tactics.

Pastor_Mora
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Good, uffff.....

Good to see I'm not alone in this gender thing. It can be messy to add "s/he" every time (and IMHO it doesn't look too reader friendly).

I'll be anxiously expecting all your interesting feedback. It has been really very constructive and the game has greatly benefit from it. This goes for all the team.

Yep, the voting part is the most complex and most debated phase of the game. There is a lot to be taken in account to keep the balance between everything. And then, of course, everything has to be playtested...

Regarding building many Wonders, I think it could dramatically reduce the options available to succesive players, effectively favoring players earlier in the round. Plus, even if Wonders don't give such a large reward (this is not inmediately obvious), they do fill the function of helping players "focus" their strategic thinking. Players are thinking about wonders all the time, so removing this option for next players in turn could be very "missleading" (can't think of a better word in English).

As a note, you are usually presented with about 3 wonders to choose from. I never go for the easiest wonder (that yields less points), but maybe that's just me. I would have made a great megalomaniac Roman Emperor! Seriously, this counts for most of my players. The easiest wonder is usually your best option only if you are playing the solo game.

PS sorry about your name Seth, I'll correct it ASAP (man, I stink at copying names....)

salish99
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Pastor_Mora wrote: Is it

Pastor_Mora wrote:

Is it really that important to put "he/she", or "him/her", whenever you are trying to be generic? Should I put "the Emperor/Empress" in the rules every time?

Not important and entirely up to you. the text should be nicely readable and consistent.

sedjtroll
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Pastor_Mora wrote:I'll be

Pastor_Mora wrote:
I'll be anxiously expecting all your interesting feedback.

Sent, via email, and I'm curious to know what you think, but you'll probably dismiss my comments altogether this time :)

Quote:
Yep, the voting part is the most complex and most debated phase of the game. There is a lot to be taken in account to keep the balance between everything. And then, of course, everything has to be playtested...

I told Juan this via email, but for those following along, what do you think of this alternate voting rule?

I think each player should be able to vote as they please, for or against each campaign. Then I think there should be a Senatorial Vote deck representing the rest of the senate. You should still be able to bribe to add Approval votes, to a base number of I think 4 Approval and 4 Rejection votes. Then you shuffle the Votes deck, the players vote the way they want, and then you draw N cards from the Vote deck (N = # players in game). Then you tally all the votes, the N you drew and the opponents' votes, to see if you've won the approval of the senate.

This does several things for the game, I think:

1) It allows the other players to actively participate in the game, in a way that feels like they're making choices and participating, nit just flipping cards they were dealt.

2) It allows for some negotiation to occur... "I'll support you if you attack HERE, but not if you attack THERE"*

* I also think there could be some changes to emphasize the need or desire for players to want their opponent to attack HERE vs THERE

3.) It still gives the Emperor a chance to stack the deck with enough Approval votes that he might almost guarantee victory even if his opponents don't vote for him. Because there are N Senate cards and N-1 opponents, if you stack the deck enough that you draw 3 (in a 3p game) or 4 (in a 4p game) Approval cards, then it doesn't matter if all your opponents voted down. For each opponent you can get to agree with you, that's 1 fewer Approval you have to draw from the deck.

Quote:
Regarding building many Wonders, I think it could dramatically reduce the options available to succesive players, effectively favoring players earlier in the round.

I don't think I was being clear there - I didn't mean that a player should be able to build multiple Wonders. I may have explained better (or differently) in email.

rcjames14
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You

Pastor_Mora wrote:
Good to see I'm not alone in this gender thing. It can be messy to add "s/he" every time (and IMHO it doesn't look too reader friendly).

I try to use "You" wherever possible. Otherwise the masculine neutral.

salish99
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Joined: 02/22/2010
We tend to use "the player" /

We tend to use "the player" / "players"

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