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City Builder playtest session

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Oracle
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Joined: 06/22/2010

The rules and sample cards are still available HERE. The game summary is still very out of date, so ignore it. This information is unchanged since the game went through the GDW.

I did a fairly simple two player playtest. I didn't make a full set of cards, so we only used 16 contract cards and 4 of each stock share with 20-sided dice on top as counters for how many shares it really represents.

A big problem was it is just not suitable for 2 players. There were a lot of ties with bids of the minimum. If we both bid the minimum, nobody gains relative to the other person, if one person bids the minimum and the other doesn't, the one who bids the minimum wins. Once somebody's won one auction, all they have to do is keep bidding the minimum to guarantee either they win or it's a tie and they can make sure the other person never wins an auction, so they're basically screwed.

That makes it so the whole game is to be lucky enough to win an auction first and then watch your opponent run out of money first. Once we both realized that, we'd just bid the minimum every single time and try to make a few dollars playing with the stock market so we can last longer (and obviously that doesn't work).

With more players it would work a little better because you can bid above the minimum and hope the other players cancel each other out, but it seems like the luck factor of outguessing your opponents and casting the right bid at the right time early in the game will overpower any other aspect of the game.

The numbers are definately way off; the upkeep is crippling by the time anyone could get income.

Jason

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Hmm

What if it were possible for more than one player to win the auction?
Or is that functionally the same thing?

Also, is the game intended to be for 2 players, or 2-player-playable? Seems like games with Auctions often work better with 3 or more players.

- Seth

Oracle
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Joined: 06/22/2010
Re: Hmm

sedjtroll wrote:
What if it were possible for more than one player to win the auction?
Or is that functionally the same thing?

I'm not sure what it means for more than one player to win; it might do something in a >2 player game, but in a 2 player game, if both players win the auction equally it would have to be functially the same as neither winning.

sedjtroll wrote:
Also, is the game intended to be for 2 players, or 2-player-playable? Seems like games with Auctions often work better with 3 or more players.

The original rail game was intended to be playable with 2 players.

I'm perfectly willing to say the game requires 3 or more players but I don't think that will help much because as the game is now, it's all based on the luck of guessing the right bid.

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