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Request for proofreading - Mobster Wars prototype rulebook v2

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Jerry
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Hi all,

I've attached the latest version of my rulebook. The game has changed quite a bit since I last asked for feedback.

I am wondering specifically if this new version sounds like a game you'd play, as well as for any grammatical errors, or unclear areas in the rules.

I've also adopted the use of a player sheet to reduce the amount of pieces the games has, like money, kegs, and weapons. Players now keep track of these on a "players sheet", and erase and add to it as the game changes. I would love to hear your feedback.

Do you think a "Player Sheet" is a good idea?

The Odd Fox
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Quick review of rulebook

I only had about 10 minutes to go over your rules and respond but I wanted to give you my initial impressions. I thought the organization of your rules were logical. I liked knowing upfront what the winning condition was as well as the components of the game. Word choice and sentence flow was good. I think I have a clear understanding of how to play the game.

Suggestions:
-Money was not listen in your components.
-Money denominations seem small. I'd suggest multiplying your denominations by 100. That way the lowest bill is $100. Hiring a gangster for $200 seems more appropriate than hiring for $2, even during that time period. Essentially it's the same thing but it adds to the feel of the game.

Good luck! Thanks for sharing your game!

questccg
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At least you followed the STANDARD format!

Hi Jerry,

I'm still looking through the document - your FORMAT is "excellent". This is the format "preferred" by games. And it is very readable.

One quick question. In the component section, you state:

  • Weapons cards
  • Vehicle cards

How many cards for each of them??? Okay the count varies per # of players. You should still state the "maximum" for each of these cards. If there are 10 weapons in the game, but the total is 20 overall (in the game), state 20 cards.

I really like your Police mechanic (Avenues and Streets) that is real clever! Instead of rolling one (1) dice twice, it might be better to roll 2d6s. Might feel more natural (Just an idea). And maybe let the player rolling the dice CHOOSE which Avenue/Street they prefer... (More dynamic play and adds some more strategy...)


BTW I really "like" your game. I think it has good potential. But if you want a really "great" rulebook, you're going to have to add pictures - because some aspects are less clear.

For example: When you want to "expand" your territory. I'm not certain how one knows how to mark your territory. What is a "border chit"? And for that matter: "How many of these in the game?" The component section does not state this either. Also are they color-coded according to each player??


You currency is fine. It used to cost $0.10 for a loaf of bread. Now it costs over $2. That's 20x the amount. You don't need $100+ numbers - this is back in the day, $2 to hire a gangster is fine by me (and logical).


At the end, when it states "if the game is over", I would clarify the rules for ending the game (number of weeks). I know it says "refer to number of weeks in winning the game section" but it might be clear to say:

End Game

"The game is over once you have completed the required amount of weeks. Please refer to the number weeks for winning on Page #."

Something like that... (That BTW should be your last section... And it's preceded by any Housekeeping, that should be the section just before the last section - as you call it "Week Reset Phase" - you could rename it to:"Weekly Housekeeping" for more clarity).

This looks like a SUPER good game! Wishing you all the best with this design!

Cheers!

stevebarkeruk
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Comments

In the components list you refer to "city clock tiles" which should be "city block tiles". You also list "vehicle cards" but then refer to these as "the car deck" in the set up. You don't list "business tiles" in the components but later it is clear that these are part of the game and are distinct from block tiles.

"One arrow as a 1 beside it." - the "as" should be "has".

"Any crime that happens in an adjacent block to the intersection they are on, and they arrest one gangster involved in the crime. Unless you bribe them." - this is awkward phrasing followed by a fragmentary sentence. I'd word it more like: "If a crime occurs in a block adjacent to a policed intersection, the police will arrest one involved gangster, although they can be bribed not to".

Your summary of game phases isn't very clear. You list movement first, then actions, then reset. Given that gangsters can move every day, and players get actions every day, this incorrectly suggests that you also reset tapped cards on a daily basis. (At the end of the rules when you describe the reset phase this is clarified to be weekly, but I was confused until then).

Additionally it seems like movement can happen during your actions (such as moving to attack) whereas your list of phases suggests that all movement is resolved before actions. I think removing movement as an apparently separate phase and simply noting that movement can happen at any time during your action provided each gangster only moves once would be better.

In explaining retreats you say "To be allowed this, the retreating space must have no enemy units in it, or contain their own units." - this is unclear as it could mean either that they cannot retreat into a space with their own units or (as I suspect you intend) that they can retreat into a space with enemies provided that there are also friendly units there. However, if combat happens immediately that opposing units occupy the same space, the latter case should not be possible. Either way, this needs to made clear.

Are reinforcements which can be "called in for free", still allowed to move if they have already moved that turn? That's what the rule suggests to me, but it seems like this could be exploited to get around the otherwise strict movement rules. Again, this needs to be clarified.

"Drive byes" should in all cases be "Drive bys" without the "e".

"(Must use pistol, Tommy gun, or bomb. Can’t stab a car.)" is more fragmentary writing. "(The defender must use a pistol, Tommy gun or bomb - you can't stab a car!)" would be better.

You need to be more clear about your use of the terms "tile", "block" and "space". As the blocks and businesses are both tiles, I would recommend referring to them exclusively as "block tiles" and "business tiles" so that there isn't any confusion when you just say "tile". An example of this would be when you extort a block: is it the block tile or the business tile or both (if present) that gets flipped? I assume it's just the block tile but it would help if you specified.

Finally, you need to specify what happens if a player cannot pay all of their gangsters. I assume they just lose them, but the rules don't say so.

Other than all that, this is pretty good stuff. I am extremely picky about grammar and clarity of language so don't take my feedback as discouragement!

Jerry
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questccg wrote:Hi Jerry, I'm

questccg wrote:
Hi Jerry,

I'm still looking through the document - your FORMAT is "excellent". This is the format "preferred" by games. And it is very readable.

One quick question. In the component section, you state:

+ Weapons cards
+ Vehicle cards

How many cards for each of them??? Okay the count varies per # of players. You should still state the "maximum" for each of these cards. If there are 10 weapons in the game, but the total is 20 overall (in the game), state 20 cards.

You are correct, I failed to mention how many cards there are. The full weapon deck is used no matter how many players there are, and with the vehicle deck, there are twice as many vehicle cards of each type as there are players. (2 players, 4 cars and 4 trucks)

So with a full 4 players, the whole deck of vehicle cards would be used, which is 16 cards. 8 cars and 8 trucks. Thanks for pointing that out. will clarify that in the next version.

Quote:

I really like your Police mechanic (Avenues and Streets) that is real clever! Instead of rolling one (1) dice twice, it might be better to roll 2d6s. Might feel more natural (Just an idea). And maybe let the player rolling the dice CHOOSE which Avenue/Street they prefer... (More dynamic play and adds some more strategy...)

I like this. The player who rolls the 2d6 could be the player who has the first player tile.

Quote:

BTW I really "like" your game. I think it has good potential. But if you want a really "great" rulebook, you're going to have to add pictures - because some aspects are less clear.

For example: When you want to "expand" your territory. I'm not certain how one knows how to mark your territory. What is a "border chit"? And for that matter: "How many of these in the game?" The component section does not state this either. Also are they color-coded according to each player??

Pictures are something I'm definitely looking to add once I figure out how to add them to the rule book. I'll admit, I am not very advanced when it comes to putting something like this together.

The border chits are color coded yes. Think of the roads in a game of Catan. they are similar to this. I am still in the process of figuring out how many are needed. THanks for pointing this out.

Quote:

You currency is fine. It used to cost $0.10 for a loaf of bread. Now it costs over $2. That's 20x the amount. You don't need $100+ numbers - this is back in the day, $2 to hire a gangster is fine by me (and logical).

Makes sense!

Quote:

At the end, when it states "if the game is over", I would clarify the rules for ending the game (number of weeks). I know it says "refer to number of weeks in winning the game section" but it might be clear to say:

##End Game

"The game is over once you have completed the required amount of weeks. Please refer to the number weeks for winning on Page #."

Something like that... (That BTW should be your last section... And it's preceded by any Housekeeping, that should be the section just before the last section - as you call it "Week Reset Phase" - you could rename it to:"Weekly Housekeeping" for more clarity).

This looks like a **SUPER** good game! Wishing you all the best with this design!

Cheers!

I agree, the end should get some clarification there. Good suggestions.

I appreciate your feedback, lots of good pointers which I think have good merit. Thank you!

Jerry
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stevebarkeruk wrote:In the

stevebarkeruk wrote:
In the components list you refer to "city clock tiles" which should be "city block tiles". You also list "vehicle cards" but then refer to these as "the car deck" in the set up. You don't list "business tiles" in the components but later it is clear that these are part of the game and are distinct from block tiles.

Thank you for pointing this out.I was switching up the wording to try and make it less mundane to read, but I can see now how that could just create confusion.

Quote:

"One arrow as a 1 beside it." - the "as" should be "has".

"Any crime that happens in an adjacent block to the intersection they are on, and they arrest one gangster involved in the crime. Unless you bribe them." - this is awkward phrasing followed by a fragmentary sentence. I'd word it more like: "If a crime occurs in a block adjacent to a policed intersection, the police will arrest one involved gangster, although they can be bribed not to".

Duly noted!

Quote:

Your summary of game phases isn't very clear. You list movement first, then actions, then reset. Given that gangsters can move every day, and players get actions every day, this incorrectly suggests that you also reset tapped cards on a daily basis. (At the end of the rules when you describe the reset phase this is clarified to be weekly, but I was confused until then).

Additionally it seems like movement can happen during your actions (such as moving to attack) whereas your list of phases suggests that all movement is resolved before actions. I think removing movement as an apparently separate phase and simply noting that movement can happen at any time during your action provided each gangster only moves once would be better.

Each player on their turn may move all their gangsters one space. Any triggered combat then occurs. After combat, players may then take an action.

The reason i have all movement happening before the action phase is because, players would want their gangsters to be in position to extort as many blocks as possible with an extort action. If you only move one gangster and then take an action, you may not accomplish much. Also, after you've taken your action, your turn is over and it goes to the next player.

Quote:

In explaining retreats you say "To be allowed this, the retreating space must have no enemy units in it, or contain their own units." - this is unclear as it could mean either that they cannot retreat into a space with their own units or (as I suspect you intend) that they can retreat into a space with enemies provided that there are also friendly units there. However, if combat happens immediately that opposing units occupy the same space, the latter case should not be possible. Either way, this needs to made clear.

Whoops! it's meant to come across as; the space you are retreating TO, must not have enemy units in it. It MAY have your own units in it. Definitely some re-wording to do there!

Quote:

Are reinforcements which can be "called in for free", still allowed to move if they have already moved that turn? That's what the rule suggests to me, but it seems like this could be exploited to get around the otherwise strict movement rules. Again, this needs to be clarified.

At this point, they are still allowed to be called in if they have already moved that round yes. I can see what you've saying, a reinforcement gangster can have moved two spaces that turn if it got called in. I think this is something that will have to be play tested to see how it affects game play.

Quote:

"Drive byes" should in all cases be "Drive bys" without the "e".

"(Must use pistol, Tommy gun, or bomb. Can’t stab a car.)" is more fragmentary writing. "(The defender must use a pistol, Tommy gun or bomb - you can't stab a car!)" would be better.

You need to be more clear about your use of the terms "tile", "block" and "space". As the blocks and businesses are both tiles, I would recommend referring to them exclusively as "block tiles" and "business tiles" so that there isn't any confusion when you just say "tile". An example of this would be when you extort a block: is it the block tile or the business tile or both (if present) that gets flipped? I assume it's just the block tile but it would help if you specified.

Makes sense, just some grammatical things that need to be re-worded!

Yes, in all cases it is only the city block tile that gets flipped.

Quote:

Finally, you need to specify what happens if a player cannot pay all of their gangsters. I assume they just lose them, but the rules don't say so.

Other than all that, this is pretty good stuff. I am extremely picky about grammar and clarity of language so don't take my feedback as discouragement!

Yes, any gangster that cannot be paid are lost. I can't believe I forgot to put that in there!

I really appreciate the time and thought you put into response! Thanks!

questccg
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Looks like it can be a promising game!

Jerry wrote:
...I appreciate your feedback, lots of good pointers which I think have good merit. Thank you!

First of all, following the proper rulebook format made it MUCH easier to read. And second of all, I found most of the rules to be clear. I brought up a few points like the "border chits" (and you say they are color-coded), using 2d6s for some added variability (giving one player more control and some added strategy)...

But overall, I think this is a pretty decent looking game.

I collect and read rulebooks... Because it helps me to see what works and what doesn't... And your rulebook is real easy to read. And that's important because it means that your game is more "approachable" ... maybe can be considered a "gateway worker placement" game, because you are placing and moving Mobsters to grow your influence and gain riches through prohibition type activities!

A clearly written (and easy read) rulebook - is a SIGN! This is a game that I would probably be interested in playing. It reminds me a little of Small World but your Mob game is very different. But Small World has a worker placement mechanic and your goal is to expand territory... Where you at all inspired by "Small World"??? A Clever cop mechanic, blocks of businesses (reminds me a bit of Monopoly here: control territory and build business instead of just houses and hotels!)

Anyways definitely a game that I would like to play and buy!

You now have a game! But do you have a prototype??? What are your plans for this game? Self-Publish & Kickstart or seeking a Publisher?? Or perhaps both.

I wish you much success with this game design...! Let us know what happens to it.

Jerry
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questccg wrote:Jerry

questccg wrote:
Jerry wrote:
...I appreciate your feedback, lots of good pointers which I think have good merit. Thank you!

First of all, following the proper rulebook format made it MUCH easier to read. And second of all, I found most of the rules to be clear. I brought up a few points like the "border chits" (and you say they are color-coded), using 2d6s for some added variability (giving one player more control and some added strategy)...

But overall, I think this is a pretty decent looking game.

I collect and read rulebooks... Because it helps me to see what works and what doesn't... And your rulebook is real easy to read. And that's important because it means that your game is more "approachable" ... maybe can be considered a "gateway worker placement" game, because you are placing and moving Mobsters to grow your influence and gain riches through prohibition type activities!

A clearly written (and easy read) rulebook - is a SIGN! This is a game that I would probably be interested in playing. It reminds me a little of Small World but your Mob game is very different. But Small World has a worker placement mechanic and your goal is to expand territory... Where you at all inspired by "Small World"??? A Clever cop mechanic, blocks of businesses (reminds me a bit of Monopoly here: control territory and build business instead of just houses and hotels!)

Anyways definitely a game that I would like to play and buy!

You now have a game! But do you have a prototype??? What are your plans for this game? Self-Publish & Kickstart or seeking a Publisher?? Or perhaps both.

I wish you much success with this game design...! Let us know what happens to it.

It's encouraging to hear I'm on the right track with my rulebook.

Although smallworld is a game I enjoy, I admit I did not use it as inspiration. This game is being developed through ideas I came into without any outside influence. Any similarities to other games I am considering as coincidence. :)

To answer your questions, I do have a prototype. It is not a fancy one at all - all handmade from cardstock and cardboard, plus other bits I've bought from the dollar store. My plan is to eventually use The Game Crafter to create a better prototype, and use that for more serious playtesting. I have no skills with any art programs, so even then it may be better quality, but the artwork will still be lacking.

I think that's probably ok though, as I've heard most publishers do all the art design themselves on games. Speaking of, that's the way I'm going if it comes down to it. I'd like to find a publisher who'd be willing to take my game on. I just don't have the means or resources and time to do a kickstarter or self publish.

I've been keeping a blog on bgdf here about my various stages of the game thus far. I'll be updating the progress of the game through future posts on my blog. Keep an eye out for it!

Jerry
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Updated

Hope bumping a thread is ok, I've attached a new version of my rulebook, and a player sheet, in the OP.

They are a WIP still at this point, but I've been working on them for a few days now and would love some more feedback.

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