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[GDS] JUNE 2016 "It's Tourney Time" critiques thread

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

When you critique, list the entries in order from favourite to least favourite along with your critique. Talk about how the game did/did not meet the requirements, and what you think the most promising parts of the game are.

Joined: 07/26/2015
I laughed out loud at CCG the

I laughed out loud at CCG the board game. However, it's lacking secondary markets, price fluctuations, card bans, and Chinese knockoff cards.

Robospector seems like an interesting way to organize tournaments: playing different scenarios and comparing total score. It reminds me how bridge tournaments are held with prepared decks that are shifted around. If you have a leaderboard each round, people could really see the competition, and be motivated to push their luck harder. Its good that players will play the same boards as everyone else. However, you'll be playing with different opponents, which opens up the possibility of a losing player playing to hurt one of the score leaders rather than playing to increase their own score.

Triumvirate (I misspelled the name) was designed so that participants need to organize their deck beforehand (like a CCG), but with a limited selection that is the same for everyone so new players would not be surprised by every weird new card. Maybe, each tournament can have a few special cards mixed into the standard lineup, announced some time before the tournament. I made the game three player so that it wouldn't become a glorified rock paper scissors thing, however it might cause the same problem of players not playing to win.
Also it's still essentially a card game though ┐( ̄ー ̄)┌.

I feel that an essential part of tournament games is that you should prepare strategies yourself, but also have to react to other people's strategies.

quillenink's picture
Joined: 05/20/2016
critiques from one of the designers - not really in order...


The sort of "meta-modular" board design is a really cool idea - if this has been done somewhere else, please link it so I can look into it. I think it could definitely make for an excellent tournament experience. In a way, it's actually kind of like golf.

Riffing off that board idea, I wonder if the tournament hosts don't just choose from a set of boards, but actually can design their own boards Dungeon Master style. You could set up some rules for board creation, allow them to build their own, and add an insane amount of replay-ability.

It's a little unclear to me how moving and turns go in general. I can't really critique that intelligently without a better understanding.

The gem value fluctuation reminds me of a fascinating old video game called M.U.L.E. If you're interested in pursuing this project further, or are just interested in this kind of game, M.U.L.E. is worth deciphering. There's also a brand new game inspired by M.U.L.E. - Sumer. Check that out too!

One last snippet: while I like the idea of fluctuating gem prices, I feel like variable prices on goods/upgrades might be overkill. Hard to say without playing a prototype though.


It's really intriguing to have a deck that you build in order. I think the pro is that it adds a lot to the deck-building component, and the con is that it adds a lot to the deck-building component ha. While it's interesting and makes the player's strategy much more planned (like a political ploy), it seems to me like it would make the process of building a deck twice as complicated and possibly a bit tedious.

My friends and I would play "rigged" games of Magic: The Gathering when I was younger, but we never really went past the starting hand. It's a lot to try and parse out what's best to draw into, and now that I think about it, I'm not entirely sure if the payoff is worth it.

I'd be curious to hear what playtesters think of the "look at the player to the right's deck" mechanic. It seems a bit harsh, but it's also a pretty interesting idea.

I'll end with some questions about things that sound really interesting, but that I wasn't able to understand properly: So you can add prep tokens to any player's card? Why would you want to do that? Also, how do you kill the other players? It's included as a victory condition, but there is no mechanic governing player safety. Are there cards that kill them outright?

CCG: The Board Game

This was my submission, so I'll just do a brief blurb on what I like and don't like.

Proud of: The concept and the pitch. I think the pitch (that top paragraph) does a fair job of describing the goals of the game while using the correct silly tone to sell the idea.

Want to do better: The mechanics. I'm new to design, so of course this needs work still. I feel like I leaned too heavily on randomness, and I'm sure there could be a much more interactive and polished system for the duels.

I'm glad the idea got a laugh!

Joined: 07/26/2015
Thanks for the comments on

Thanks for the comments on Triumvirate
Since there are three players. If you know player B is going to fuck with player C, you can speed up his plot to hit player C earlier.
Killing players and victory are always dependent on ploys, and though I haven't thought that hard about the details, there's probably going to be an assassination plot to kill another player. More deaths happen on plans backfiring.
Generally, a player should only kill another player if they're pretty certain the third player is at a disadvantage, since the direct victory cards often depend on having more power or support than the other two players combined. Either kill them both, or kill one and follow up with victory bid.

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