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Defenders of Wessex at FallCon!

In Calgary we have an annual board game convention called FallCon; some of you may have heard of it or even attended. There were several hundred people there on the Saturday (when I went). Overall it was a good time. I play tested a buddies game, and then I found an empty spot in Prototype Alley, set up Defenders of Wessex, and waited. And waited. And waited a bit more.

At first I worried that I would get no exposure at all; Prototype Alley was in the very back corner of the Con, and my table was in the very back corner of Prototype Alley. I was literally two feet in two directions from sitting in the parking lot. Plus in a 3rd direction was a large booth, which meant that despite my best efforts the visibility for my pet project was pretty small. But we actually managed to have some success.

We started out by setting everything up (I say we because my brother, who has been aware of the project since its inception came along with me; he's also the most experienced player aside from me and is perfectly capable of explaining how to play the game to someone). After a few minutes I figured we might a well enjoy ourselves, so we began to play. Then one guy wandered over, saying that one of his friends had recommended the game to him. Turns out one of his friends is also one of my chief go-to guys for play testing. So the three of us played and we got it done in about 45 minutes, which means some of the edits to game play that I made to streamline things worked out.

He was pleased with the game, gave us rave reviews, and signed up for the game newsletter. He also had no negative feedback - he could think of nothing that should be changed! Thats a huge plus because he is actually a gamer.

The afternoon passed by and for the next 2 hours my brother and I took turns manning the table and checking out the Con. We had a couple more people stop by and we did quick demos, then around 4 we had another game with a guy who stopped by. He had a few little recommendations, like implementing a random setup as opposed to the scripted setup in use currently. He also offered some ideas on accomplishing a fast-start/fast gameplay that I've been wrestling with. So I might be able to implement that to make things go even better.

All told on Saturday the 3 tests were successful! I made a few changes to make the game win-able (because having an 8% win ratio did not seem great to me). Now the win ratio is about 50%. I'd like to hit 30-40% win ratio, but 50 is still good.

So I'm looking at making a few changes- I'd like to make the game able to start on the equivalent of the current turn 3, which is when the action really starts. New players tend to like the first 3 turns for learning curve purposes, but veterans want to get into it fast. So I'm trying to figure that out. I'm also toying with the idea of altering combat, which right now is fundamentally risk based, but I'd like to change it to use special dice to streamline combat and make things a little more intense...but I'm not sure if that plan will work. I'm going to test it thoroughly out of the game confines before it goes into the game confines.

I have more to add, but I'm running out of time, so I'll tp another blog later on.

Thanks for reading!


Could you combine the 2

Could you combine the 2 aspects of combat? Have one where there is still a risk but it can be calculated or one using the dice for greater risk/greater reward? The players can then decide their own risk, maybe they like to play a long strategic safe game or maybe they like to do those daring moves that will totally be awesome & a major tale for retelling or totally stuff them & possibly still a tale that is retold (like setting your ships on fire & aiming them at the armada in the hope that they continue on target after you bail out).

Well, when I say "Risk Based"

Well, when I say "Risk Based" what I mean is that combat is reminiscent of Risk: The Game of World Domination (or whatever it is called). I'm toying with a system that uses custom dice ala Dragon Dice or similar dice based games. If it works, I think it will enhance the combat and feel of the game.

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