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Stealth(2-6 player strategy game) PnP version 2.1 seeking playtesters

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T hardy
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Joined: 11/09/2013
Stealth Logo TM TGC.png

Hello, everyone! I am looking for playtesters for my board game:

STEALTH
ages 12+
60-90 mins
2 to 6 players

OVERWIEW
Built on an intense cop-criminal theme, stealth; a strategy board game, is based on movement planning and strategizing. The strategy aspect is unique as it relates to strategy planning in an encounter. As there are two teams, a cop team and a criminal team, that players assume the role of, players have seperate objectives. You are either a proffesional criminals team trying to execute your crime at a location and escape or you are the team of elite cops trying to kill the team of criminals before they do their crime and escape. The game is played on three maps/three phases where each map/phase has a continuing storyline and a different gameplay.

FILES/LINKS
Rulebook
Print and Play
HOW TO PLAY video
TGC Game Page
Brief(conceptual) rules

Thanks!

T hardy
Offline
Joined: 11/09/2013
Solutions for glitches?

Laying down the final art has started. We are still
facing the problem of very very few play testers.
Some mechanics have been modified. Duel
initiation and run away mechanics have changed
to remove a few glitches. The glitches and
changes made were:

GLITCHES:
Knife: after some final solo testing, I found out a
glitch in the knife's limitation/ability. It states
that a knife can only be used when moved on the
same block and you have to use one turn to do it.
In rare cases, when a player is left only with a
knife, and he starts dueling with another player,
the player can escape the duel without getting
any damage even if he starts the duel. The
reason is, the one with the knife will use his turn
to get in a position to use the knife, when the
opponent will just run a place back going out of
his range again. If this keeps on happening, the
duel can last forever!
Sniper: This glitch is very much similar to the first
one. Snipers special ability states that it can be
used from one block away as it is long range. But
if a player with a sniper comes on a place one
block away to a player without a sniper, he can
start the duel from there. After that, since he
used his sniper, no player would be able to shoot
from that distance. Major glitch.
(You can reffer to the brief rules I posted in the
comments)

SOLUTIONS I THOUGH MAY FIT:
I though that both these problems are related to
the range mechanic. So, I thought this might
work:
A player only starts the duel when an opponent
comes in his shooting distance. When the duel
has started a player can move only one place a
turn. If he moves, he may not shoot and if he
shoots, he may not move. The duel stops when a
player gets out of the shooting of the opponent.
This will solve both mechanics and shorten the
descriptions in the rulebook.
I have always admired the BGDF community so I
would love to know what you think. If you can
find a better/simpler or heck any other solution,
please post through the comments. Although I
know no one posts here but me :-P. Well, I have
been told to be patient to get responses so I am
patiently waiting.
As always, all feedback is really appreciated. Play
tests are really really appreciated. (that should be
like my tagline :D )

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
Sniper

Sorry, I haven't read your rulebook yet. But I thought I'd comment on snipers.

A sniper doesn't declare the start of a duel, a sniper just shoots. That's the whole point -- you shoot someone who doesn't know you're there. Modern (and by that I mean 1850's or later) Sniper rifles generally shoot a bullet that travels faster than sound, so unless the target sees the muzzle flash, a bullet hitting him or the scenery near him is the first chance he has of knowing that he's "in a duel." The bullet arrives before the BANG does.

T hardy
Offline
Joined: 11/09/2013
Hi Zag! thanks for the

Hi Zag! thanks for the info!

I wasn't that much into weapons, but since my game is partly based on them, I should be getting some more info on them. Thanks for your suggestion though. I definitely will be implementing this. maybe a sniper can have that as a special ability. It shoots from one block away but doesn't start a duel, making the opponent get 2 damage without inflicting any back.

Thanks again!
Anyone interested in a play test yet?

Carl G
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Joined: 09/21/2014
Questions

Hi There! I have seen your posts here and on BGG and finally decided to look into it a bit further and watched your youtube video. First off, I will say your communication is very clearly laid out and easy to access so great job there! I am also hoping to seek playtesters soon for a game I have made as well and your posts have given me some ideas, thanks!

I just had a few questions though as I think I may know why you may have trouble finding playtesters.

1) Where is the strategy in the game? Where are the interesting choices? Because the locations are set and known by both cops and criminals it seems like the action is preset. The cops will go camp out on each of the criminal locations and the criminals will go to those spots. What would cause the cops to go anywhere else?

2) The combat system. It looks like it would pretty much just work as trading blows. how does a fight actually play out? You kind of skimmed over that in the video but it seems like there would be limited choices there as well.

From the way the game is presented the board seems super limited as there is limited places you can go. The choices seem limited as the action flows to very specific spots, and the combat seems limited as it is hard to see strategic advantages of using different weapons.

Now I am NOT saying this is the case, it is simply how it appears. I am a person who is willing to playtest games as long as I am convinced there might be a solid game in there. If you can show your potential playtesters where the decision making comes in that would help alot. For me, this looks more like a simulation than a game.

I hope this helps in some way! It's super hard to find playtesters to begin with so I thought I might give some advice to get over those hurdles! Thanks again for ideas you have given me and I look forward to your response!

Happy Gaming!

T hardy
Offline
Joined: 11/09/2013
Hi there! Sorry for the BIG reply, but skim through as you like

Hi there! Thanks for your response! I always love to reply in parts so I'll do the same here.

Carl G wrote:
Hi There! I have seen your posts here and on BGG and finally decided to look into it a bit further and watched your youtube video. First off, I will say your communication is very clearly laid out and easy to access so great job there! I am also hoping to seek playtesters soon for a game I have made as well and your posts have given me some ideas, thanks!

Anytime! Thanks. Yes, I have also posted everywhere on BGG and I was wondering why I wasn't getting any play testers. Thanks for clearing it out! Good luck with your game.

Carl G wrote:
I just had a few questions though as I think I may know why you may have trouble finding playtesters.
1) Where is the strategy in the game? Where are the interesting choices? Because the locations are set and known by both cops and criminals it seems like the action is preset. The cops will go camp out on each of the criminal locations and the criminals will go to those spots. What would cause the cops to go anywhere else?

I'll answer the first two questions first.
The strategy in the game is based on movement planning. In a two player game, you control a team of three players/characters. If you are the cop team, each character has different special abilities(except the commando) and different weapons that do different damage. So, a major part of the strategy is moving the right player in the right direction. For eg. if you send a cop towards the terrorist, the terrorist will easily take out the cop as the cop has lesser weapons. This will let the terrorist do his mission and it will also waste the cop's special ability - the handcuff. So, sending the right players to the right criminal/direction.

If you are the criminal team, each player will have separate(far off) missions and different weapons. So, here the strategy will be how to get there, with whom to get there and how to avoid/kill cops who get in the way. Protecting/covering a criminal with less health/ammo with a criminal with more ammo. Also how to escape before getting killed, as by this time you are left less health and ammo.

Core of the strategy is also based on things like:
Weapon choices and when to use a particular weapon.
when to run and when to continue a duel
When to and how to use drains, terrace and vacant houses.
More importantly, which two criminals to kill or which two criminals should escape.

You might want to read the 'Master tips and strategies' in the 4th part of the rulebook right here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7ka7212fmr5b2lq/AAAoUOWFXJTbYtNe0HFwhshQa/Rul... .
There, are more detailed and interesting choices/strategies listed.

Answering the last question, (Almost everyone who has watched that video has asked me this question :-P)
Camping around the missions of the criminals isn't a good plan as:
- There are three missions and criminals need to do only two to win.
- One cop camping around a mission will get massacred if two or more criminals get there.
- The cops may want to go somewhere else to collect additional ammo, - take advantage of strategic locations like terraces.

Missions are generally at the center, generally equidistant from both entrances. so most times cops and criminals get there at the same time. So, yes, many times first battles happen there and cops do tend to go there. But it still becomes an enjoyable game as someone runs away/dies but the criminals still have to escape. This is when cops target the most injured criminal, criminals decide from where to escape and it becomes an interesting game.

Carl G wrote:
2) The combat system. It looks like it would pretty much just work as trading blows. how does a fight actually play out? You kind of skimmed over that in the video but it seems like there would be limited choices there as well.

Ah, Apologies. I didn't explain it all in the video. Actually, the turn order of that goes something like this:
In his turn, a player can:
1) move one step in any direction.
2) shoot the opponent by a weapon that can shoot from that distance.
3) Run away and finish the duel.
As written in the first reply, I have also modified this a bit but I'm yet to make the change in the rulebook.

Carl G wrote:
From the way the game is presented the board seems super limited as there is limited places you can go.

True, limited ways, but maybe not places. There are 6 drains, 3 vacant houses, 2 revolvers and 1 terrace. The board is more like a battle field. the main battle is dueling and fighting at different spots. The alley is also a beginner type map to get players acquainted with the game. The next two maps have a lot more options.

Carl G wrote:
The choices seem limited as the action flows to very specific spots, and the combat seems limited as it is hard to see strategic advantages of using different weapons.

Weapons have some abilities that differentiate them. A sniper is best used when an opponent tries to run away while an AK is best used when the opponent is going to stay while a knife is best used when you HAVE to battle. Although, you are right in a way, sometimes it doesn't make a difference to use a AK or a revolver. Can you suggest something to add to the strategic advantages of using different weapons?

Carl G wrote:
Now I am NOT saying this is the case, it is simply how it appears. I am a person who is willing to playtest games as long as I am convinced there might be a solid game in there. If you can show your potential playtesters where the decision making comes in that would help alot. For me, this looks more like a simulation than a game.

So, basically what i am saying is, it is bit about 'decision making' or 'taking choices' and bit more about 'planning'. To know about what exactly are the unique points about this game or what makes it good/different, watch this kickstarter preview from bowers game corner. He basically sums it all up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INOlNiyjWAU

Carl G wrote:
I hope this helps in some way! It's super hard to find playtesters to begin with so I thought I might give some advice to get over those hurdles! Thanks again for ideas you have given me and I look forward to your response!
Happy Gaming!

Of course, it is not the perfect game. But that it what i hope to achieve with playtests. It has many drawbacks or unbalanced mechanics or issues, but that is why i am looking for playtesters to tell me what exactly they are so that i can work on them and improve the game. For example, i was clueless as to what my posts to seek playtesters lacked untill you told me.
And you are very right, most people who review the rulebook or art, have negative opinions or responses, but the people who playtested(only 2 so far:-P) are pretty satisfied.

Does this make the game appear a bit more interesting?
How do you think i should add this stuff to my posts?
If you are planning on getting your game out for playtesting, maybe can we do a playtest for playtest?

I know this a LOOOOONNG reply. Thanks for reading!:)

Carl G
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Joined: 09/21/2014
Hi again! I also am known for

Hi again! I also am known for long replies so no worries there! I read through it and checked out the bower video as well. The game does seem more interesting since you have clarified things. Especially how you explain the need to find the right match ups of cop/robber battles.

Some more thoughts/questions on aspects of the game:

1) in a cop vs. robber matchup is it pre-determined who will win the battle? like if you have two specific good guys vs. two specific bad guys, knowing what weapons they start with, is it obvious who should win that encounter?

2) Linked to the above thoughts and responding to how the combat system could possibly be better, I wonder if a deckbuilding element might work?(maybe a thematic fau paux though, I'm a euro-gamer/designer though so I don't really consider those things myself). What I mean by this is if there is a possible pool of weapons each character can use that a character draws from. That way you can do the odds of the likelihood of getting into a favorable matchup with a certain other character but at the same time not knowing for sure if you have the advantage.

3) I guess my concern is that the game might be "solvable", ie. that each player by considering weapons etc. can determine which matchups are in their favor or not.

4) Another concern is the possiblity of stalling in the game, will characters just continue to run away from each other until a favorable matchup can be found? If it is obvious what is favorable or not, what will keep experienced players from perpetually running from each other?

Regarding playtesting:

1) How long does it take to play one scenario? I wonder if pitching playing one scenario might get you more bites! I see a 60-90 minute time limit and that looks like a big time commitment that I am not sure will be worth it. However, if it only takes 30 minutes to play one scenario I might be way more inclined to give it a try.

2) Even though the game sounds more interesting the way you explain it in your previous post, it still isn't enough to interest me. The problem is I can understand your answers conceptually but can't visualize it and get stuck on my concerns. I believe the only way this would change for me is a walkthrough video. If I could see you play the game and see the decisions you are making and see the combat system in action it could change my mind. If it was done in a style where you can show the viewer what each player is looking at and walk them through your decision process(like rahdo's runthrough's) it would get your potential playtesters a feel for the game and pull them into the decision space of the game.

3) Another thing I have done for one of my prototypes is physically print of the game and components, cut them up and mailed them to various BGG friends who were willing to playtest. If potential playtesters know they will literally just have to sit down and play without actually making the game its a big plus. I mailed the games out a month ago and 2 out of the 4 people I sent it to have already playtested it at least once with the other two telling me they have plans to play it soon. Now since I have mailed it away I have already seen tweaks and changes that need to be made. I have then made the changes and e-mailed them out to the playtesters. Since they have played it once and enjoyed the experience they are willing to go through the work of making the changes as they know they at least enjoy the game somewhat and also get to be apart of the design process.

You have said your playtesters enjoyed it. If you need to make copies and mail them to people to get them to play it initially then hopefully they will stick around as you make changes as you go.

4) As for myself personally, I am currently designing two games that take up alot of my spare time(which is not alot with a baby on the way!). On top of this I am committed to helping another designer playtest his game (Deckville) which I heard about in these forums(I have played his game 3 times now in the last 2 months). However, I would definately watch a walkthrough video of stealth and if it grabs my imagination and only takes 30 minutes to play I might be willing to give it a spin(I have a couple buddies who have been willing to playtest my designs and may also be willing to playtest others as well...its alot easier to playtest games with others!).

What you should add to your posts:

1) One Scenario options with a PnP that only involves what you need for the one scenario along with the time to try that one scenario.

2) A walkthrough video showing how the game plays. If a scenario only takes 30 minutes to play, with editing you can probably have a 40 minute walkthrough video including you walking the viewer through your decision making process.

Thanks for your long and thoughtful response! Your demeanor and ability to take feedback graciously and thoughtfully is a great asset as you develop this game! I hope my feedback is helpful to you! And I hope others chime in as well in this thread! As newbie designers we need all the encouragement and feedback we can get!

T hardy
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Joined: 11/09/2013
Hi! Sorry for the late

Hi! Sorry for the late response i have been busy making a game for the 18 card microgame contest on BGG.

I think the main thing you are wanting to say is - Why will the players go in unfavorable match ups?
Well, It is not really on if the match up is favorable or not as your main objective is never to not get killed. At least if you are the cop team. If you are the cop team, you have to kill two criminals before they escape, independent of how many players of your team survive. So, a cop can still go towards a terrorist if he has to, to injure him or block his way or many times to use up his weapons. So that the terrorist can then be easily defeated by the detective or the commando. That is done when you are targetting to kill the terrorist out of the criminals.

Another object of strategic deduction in the game is the win condition. The criminals need to complete only two missions and escape to win. That means that they can assign two players whose missions are closer or who are with more ammo to complete their missions while one player as distraction or as bait to use up weapons and damage the cops. The thing is the cops never know which is the bait and which two may be assigned to complete their missions. This makes a little deduction element there.

So, the criminals may want to get into unfavorable match ups to use up a cops weapons injure him and run away.

But as you mentioned, they can't run away everytime. You see, to run away, you need to get in a duel and run only when it is your turn. So, if the opponent starts the duel, you will have to take at least one blow before you can run. So every time you run withought fighting back, you are just taking damage and you will be dead by the third or fourth duel you run away from.
You run instead of using a weapon. So essentially your opponent will hit you more times than you hit him because you run instead of hitting on the last turn. The Running way strategy is used when you HAVE to discontinue the duel. (When you continue battle just for damaging and using up weapons and still want to get out alive or when you challenge an opponent because he is blocking your way to your mission/escape route.)

As for playtesting:
It takes about 20 to 30 minutes for one senario making it 60 to 90 for three.

A walkthrough video is a great idea! Although i will need some time for putting it up(calling a few friends to play, editing as i tell my desicion making process). So yes i will sure make this video in the upcoming weeks.

Thanks for suggesting what i should add to my posts! i will make the one scenario PnP. It would also reduce the no. of pages to print!

I am always 'all ears' to any feedback, good or bad. Of course your feedback is very helpful! Thanks! Yes, and i do hope other people join in on this thead.

Thanks again.

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