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Isla Margarita playtest

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doho123's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

For those who are interested in reading about play test sessions:

Current Rules:

Finally had a chance to playtest IM this last Saturday. The game went surprisingly well. There was no obvious runaway leader problem (since there are points scored from many places, it was tough to get a good grip on who was the leader), and no obvious broken rule that someone can take advantage of.

It turns out one player went for Ports, one for Pirates, one for small majorities, and one just playing the best tactic at the time. Pirate player came in last with 50 points, port and best tactic players with 56, and majority with 58, winning the game. However, the port player didn't realize halfway through the game that bridges could be bought with cash from both islands, so that most likely skewed her strategy towards ports.

The final score makes me think that the game is fairly balanced at this point, with lot's of sifferent strategies that were being played coming so close to the point totals of each other.

Only different rule we played with was starting with 25 coins instead of 30, which didn't have too much of a bearing on the game, except that the Pirate player ran out of coins to build his last pirate port, which, would have had him tie the winner (but lose on tie breaking conditions).

The "get 3 Commerce Cards for 2 Bridges cards" while powerful (enabling the pirate player to pick up 3 pirate cards early), wasn't an overwhelming factor at this point.

Changes to be made:
--larger board
--some rules clarifications
--Some thoughts after game that seemed to conclude that possibly only going after ports would be a winning strategy. This combined with the comment that the bridges don't act like bridges have got me thinking of a new rule, which will boost up the bridge value slightly.

Basically, there will be a King token that starts on Isla Margarita, and crowns on all the other islands. Building a bridge on an island that the King currently exists on moves the King across the bridge, and the player then can collect the crown on the new island for points.

--The bridge builder card got passed around a lot, and it's bonus +1 coin for bridge building was only used once. I will probably change it to +2 because of this, and again to slightly devalue Port building.

Otherwise, it's wait for the next chance to play, and see if anyone can break the game by coming up with an unbeatable strategy, while tweaking some of the elements.

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