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Tradewars - Homeworld: Tuesday Game Night

Well I am writing this post-mortem after yesterday's Tuesday Game Night at a local FLGS. The evening started out a bit slow - but I took the time to setup the cards and prepare the upgrade piles for play. And with that we had a gamer or two who were intrigued by the layout itself.

That's one thing about the game - the LAYOUT.

Although it suggests some kind of duel game - the cards emphasize something more visual. Something appealing to the eyes especially with all of the artwork being completed. I was still playing with "proof" copies so there were still some errors in the cards (maybe 5 cards in all).

So starting out slow - the first 2 player duel slowly "teased" itself with one player using Tactic cards to "combo" his opponent and defeat his Homeworld by reducing his Defense Points to 0.

That's one thing that I am REALLY PLEASED with: the Tactic cards can be played in combo and are great counters. Just when you think you have enough Firepower to challenge your opponent, he beats you down with a Tactic that stop the assault.

Combos played a big factor in all the games played. One player did 8 Damage in one turn (almost 50% total Defense points)... Tell me if that's not "TAKE-THAT"! :)

The games were are little "long-ish", that's the thing when you teach someone HOW to play the game. The second match was a stalemate as the hour was getting late into the evening.

The good news is that the gamers genuinely liked the game overall - and I even got invited to do ANOTHER demo at a local Mini-Con next month!

This means new gamers and a chance to exhibit/demo the game again.

I'm trying to plan something *special* for this event - but I am having some difficulties putting it all together...

Will keep you posted as to my progress!

Cheers.

Comments

Last minute changes...

Because of some more playtesting (myself and with others), I have concluded that some "last minute" changes are required to the "Tradewars" Scenario objective. Instead of the goal being 200 qS - it will now be 100 qs. I am doing this because we removed missions from the game that allows a player to score 30 points for the successful completion of a mission. Now that missions will be offered in an "Expansion", it makes sense to drop the victory condition for this Scenario.

Also I have lowered the Starship Unlocking to 10-20-40-80.

This is again because of the lower victory condition. Also makes a lot of sense. I'm surprised none of the playtest groups found that there was a PACING issue with this scenario - it's simply too long at 200 qS. 100 qS is much more reasonable...

Other noteworthy news

I am also not going to include the "Days of Glory" scenario in the future KS campaign. A custom box, vac-tray and an exclusive game mat is what will be the difference between "The Game Crafter" version and the KS one.

"Days of Glory" will go into the FIRST Expansion as one of the scenarios and I will be using fixed intervals for unlocking starships. For each 40 qS you accumulate, you earn a Galactic Achievement and unlock another starship.

This scenario will include the use of Missions, Trade-routes and Tradeships. All these additional "goodies" will balance out the 200 qS scenario.

For example the planetary bonuses have been simplified to three (3) possibilities. 1: x2, 2: +5 and 3: x3.

This will reduce the amount of card searching and offer sufficient bonuses in addition to the missions undertaken by your Tradeship.

My plan for the Mini-Con in late August

So I already spoke with the Organizer and told him of the challenges with TGC "out-of-stock" of Red d6s. I personally solved this by creating a COPY of my game and removing ALL the parts.

The GOAL is to have FOUR (4) copies on hand to play a Spacewars battle 2 vs. 2...

That will be exciting... I personally have never playtested a four (4) player game. Although Joe has playtested this in both Florida and Pensylvania and our Massachusetts group also have three (3) different groups playing a four (4) player game.

So we've playtested it... I just wasn't partaking in the results (directly) of those specific playtests.

The goal of this is to SPEED UP the game and since it will be four (4) players, it will be a little slower. So this is a way of BALANCING out the game. There may be less likelihood of Combos (maybe - maybe not...) We shall see.

I'm happy the PLAN for this Mini-CON is back on it's feet!

Progression: usually that is the "feeling" in a Deck-Builder

Tuesday's Gamers pointed out one "sticky" aspect about the game: random upgrade piles.

The idea is that most Deck-Building games have a feeling of "progression". You start out at the beginning buying weaker cards and towards the end of a game you are buying stronger cards.

While this is ENTIRELY possible with our game - I don't want to "enforce" it. If you want to play this way, it's entirely up to you. But I don't want to write in the rules that players should SORT the upgrade piles...

Personally I LIKE the randomness of shuffled upgrade piles. You don't know exactly what you will get and this sometimes means having a feeling of being "ahead" of your opponent and other times being "behind".

This was ONE (1) of two (2) sticky points.

Modify random rolls during combat

The 2nd point (which I really LIKE) is the randomness of dice rolls during combat.

The idea brought forth (and this one might be a VARIANT rule) is that stats should ALSO be used during Initiative rolls.

Say you have a starship with a Firepower of 3 and your opponent has a starship with Resistance 2... You can LAUNCH an attack.

The 2nd point is that those STATS should be a part of combat. HOW?

Player #1 gets a +3 to his Red dice roll and Player #2 gets a +2 to his Blue dice roll. Effectively in this example, the net outcome would be a +1 Bonus to Player #1...

This is an INTERESTING idea. I really like the STAT-based combat. It really brings a fresh concept to the game and I would like to include this as being a VARIANT way of resolving combat.

The only thing is that it merits some more PLAYTESTING to see if the idea is good during a game or not!

Cheers.

Another point of contention was...

Being able to "trash" cards from your deck.

Essentially players wanted to be able to "permanently" remove cards from their draw pile. Once you progressed and had a bigger deck - the capability to remove low scoring cards to "optimize" the deck was *asked* for.

I think this option should only be made available in games where the setup is NOT RANDOM. In "sequential play", it might be valuable to have this option...

I will probably add this in the future as a "variant" way of playing the game. Trashing a card could cost 10 qS (for example)... Something moderately expensive - but something you could do IF you were ahead in the game or later in the Spacewars scenario where money is no longer needed (after 40 qS)...

Could make for an interesting game dynamic...

Update: Something more "reasonable" could be 10 qS to "trash" three (3) cards from your hand... 24 / 3 = 8 or 80 qS to rid a deck of all of the lower scoring cards. Seems more realistic and "do-able" with points and cards...

We're in-sync

Kris,

You and your developer are clearly in-sync, as I just sent you an e-mail a few hours ago regarding the same idea. I'm not a fan of Dominion or other deck building games as they're very "samey" after a while. Having the ability to truly shape the cards in your hand/deck is much more attractive to me. and obviously to others, as well.

Cheers,
Joe
TWHW Developer

Some more thoughts

Joe has brought up an interesting IDEA: using qS as actual currency to be able to "BUY" something that is a *perk* that gives you a special bonus.

This has got me thinking about "modifying" the "Days of Glory" scenario...

Instead of the FIRST player to earn the *perk*, these perks go into your deck. So IF you get the first Achievement "Galactic Archives", you could use this card to EARN three (3) Upgrade cards (on that turn). Each time you get this card, you can use it to speed up the game.

Or the second Achievement "Credit Corporation", you can use this to earn ten (10) quickSilver... making it a quick way to progress each time you get this card.

We would need to modify the third Achievement "Trade Federation", instead of being three (3) cards drawn when using the Trader role, it could be "draw +4 cards when using the Trader role".

Maybe the order should be "Trade Federation", "Credit Corporation", "Galactic Archives", "Imperial Senate".

"Imperial Senate" could be "Deploy +1 Starship into your Space Lane (Maximum of 5)"... Something along those lines.

These are just early thoughts... Cheers!

Reverse side of each *perk*

Perhaps each *perk* could be worth "10 qS"... So they could also have a Trade Value on the reverse side of the card.

And of course they could be subject to the "Smuggler" and maybe get stolen from your hand on any given turn! :)

Just thinking *aloud*!

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