An update...

Empire-building among the stars
mj12games
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Re: Board game fail

Postby mj12games » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:23 pm

Really? "Fail"? Sheesh...

mundungus wrote:Someone said there was "nothing innovative" about the game. Another described it as "like slow-motion Risk".

I never claimed to be innovative.

One player said, "I'm not making interesting decisions battle-wise." I know the combat system has been kept simple to make it easier to coordinate with Starmada, but this may make it too bland for a stand-alone board game.

I'm not entirely sure what sort of "interesting" battle decisions your playtesters would want...

The testers wondered if the game should have an inherent clock to ensure that it eventually ends.

Already ahead of you.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I guess it's better to find out now than after publication.

You'll forgive me if I don't give up on it just yet. :)

So -- where do we go from here? I would like to have feedback from some other people before making wholesale changes...
Daniel Kast
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Re: Board game fail

Postby mundungus » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:37 pm

cricket wrote:You'll forgive me if I don't give up on it just yet.


Oh, I'm not suggesting you give up, just make radical changes ... and I have no idea what they should be.

As for goals, I think the two biggest things missing are:

1) Surprises. There's currently no way to have sneak attacks or sudden reversals of fortune. Someone pulls slightly ahead in the first couple of moves, then they very slowly pull farther and farther ahead.

2) Decisions of the low-risk-low-reward vs high-risk-high-reward variety. In Risk, I can make a grab for an entire continent; there's a big payoff if I pull it off, but I'll be hopelessly overextended if I don't quite make it. In Go, I can invade enemy territory. In Starmada, I can maneuver my torpedo boat (with its weak shields and powerful, short-ranged weapons) into the middle of the enemy formation, hoping I'll have a target in arc. Here ... not so much.

Erik M
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Re: An update...

Postby Erik M » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:28 pm

There's a solid base here. And if that is solid enough, then things can be added to spice things up.
More later, soggy ears...

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Re: An update...

Postby mj12games » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:38 pm

Okay... I'm still hoping there are others out there who can playtest the current version (HINT HINT) but in the meantime, here are some ideas I have in response to Peter's feedback:

1) Eliminate maintenance costs. It's likely I'm the only one who thinks it's a good idea.

2) Remove the "reach XX points to win" victory conditions and instead play for X number of turns, at which point the player with the most VPs wins. (X can either be finite or randomly determined.)

3) To start the game, alternate placing one army on any unoccupied system until ALL are claimed. (Certainly, there can be game variants with open space, but as there is not currently an "exploration" phase, having empty systems seems pointless.)

I'm open to ideas on how to make the combat system more interesting/innovative...
Daniel Kast
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Re: An update...

Postby mundungus » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:30 pm

cricket wrote:I'm still hoping there are others out there who can playtest the current version (HINT HINT)

Indeed! The more testing (and the more testers) the better.

as there is not currently an "exploration" phase, having empty systems seems pointless.

IMHO, the non-system hexes are pointless.
<glances meaningfully over at OoM tiles>

In our test, it seemed very rare for a system to be within striking distance of more than two or three enemy systems. This, combined with the move-one-stack-at-a-time rule (which itself is probably a good one) and the time it takes to cross one's own empire, made it difficult to attack. The target had plenty of time to mount a defense.

I'm open to ideas on how to make the combat system more interesting/innovative...

That's a very tough call, especially if you want a battle to have the same result distribution whether it's resolved simply or using Starmada.

My inclination is to leave the combat system alone and have the board game interest derive from movement, victory conditions, etc.

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Re: An update...

Postby underling » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:24 pm

cricket wrote:Okay... I'm still hoping there are others out there who can playtest the current version (HINT HINT) but in the meantime, here are some ideas I have in response to Peter's feedback:

Eh...
Still sounds hideously boring.
Or maybe "heinously boring"...
I guess either one fits. ;)

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Re: An update...

Postby Erik M » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:32 pm

There must be an element of the unforeseen.
Also armies shouldn't add to space-battles (unless their assault ship has ½ an influence) and vice versa for spaceships.

Not to much random outside player control. Bad weather is one thing, singular solar flares exterminating one player's system is quite another. But misjumps are ok, they are after a direct result of player action.

Misjumps and failed orders are good things to spice things up.

I really would like a copy of the previous TSS. To see what Daniel is up to here. Easier to help then.

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Re: An update...

Postby Enpeze » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:18 pm

Is it just my browser or have the SS preview files been removed?

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Re: An update...

Postby Erik M » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:32 pm


Enpeze
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Re: An update...

Postby Enpeze » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:27 am

ah. thank you. :)


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