An update...

Empire-building among the stars
Erik M
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Re: An update...

Postby Erik M » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:05 pm

Yeah, it looked as if there was one, but then...
cricket wrote:As an early Christmas present, here's the current draft of the rulebook. Let me know what you think.
[FILE REMOVED]
Where did it go? :shock:

mj12games
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Re: An update...

Postby mj12games » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:07 pm

Erik M wrote:
cricket wrote:[FILE REMOVED]
Where did it go? :shock:

I've been deleting the previous version each time I post an update.
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Jan 6 drafts

Postby mundungus » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:38 pm

It just keeps getting better!

A thought: what about ordering movement by income, rather than by number of systems? This would avoid a redundant counting (once for income, again for order) and probably result in fewer ties.

In a fancy production version of this, I'd want an income track so that it would be easy to see who's next and who's winning.

One must be careful not to pin down allies while reinforcing them, but that's probably okay.

I prefer allowing the primary player (since you've designated one) to allocate all hits among players. Right now, if I have one fleet in a system with ten allied fleets, I'm disinclined to help my ally because one of the first two hit will affect me.

Again, I have a nice playtesting opportunity Thursday night. Would you like me to trot this out?

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Re: Jan 6 drafts

Postby mj12games » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:54 am

mundungus wrote:A thought: what about ordering movement by income, rather than by number of systems? This would avoid a redundant counting (once for income, again for order) and probably result in fewer ties.

I don't see why not.

I prefer allowing the primary player (since you've designated one) to allocate all hits among players. Right now, if I have one fleet in a system with ten allied fleets, I'm disinclined to help my ally because one of the first two hit will affect me.

Disinclined or not, you have no choice -- players cannot remain neutral if their units are in a battle hex. I guess you could side with the attacking player... :)

I am not sold on allowing the player to assign hits as desired; I fear it may lead to abuse.

Again, I have a nice playtesting opportunity Thursday night. Would you like me to trot this out?

Sure.

What do y'all think of the bonus income for opponents' bases?
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Re: Jan 6 drafts

Postby mundungus » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:23 am

cricket wrote:
Again, I have a nice playtesting opportunity Thursday night. Would you like me to trot this out?
Sure.

Do you have a low-ink version of the sectors lying around?

cricket wrote:What do y'all think of the bonus income for opponents' bases?

Interesting -- not clear what the effect will be.

If I were behind, though, I would hole up in a system with another weak player and have both of us build bases. Maybe that's okay, because it would become a huge target...

Hmm. Huge targets are always well-defended. Since we have armies, what if bases had no firepower (but could still be taken as casualties)? I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not.

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Re: Jan 6 drafts

Postby mj12games » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:38 am

mundungus wrote:Do you have a low-ink version of the sectors lying around?

No, but I'll see what I can do.

cricket wrote:What do y'all think of the bonus income for opponents' bases?
Interesting -- not clear what the effect will be.

I'm not sure about the effect, either... but I thought it might lead to some interesting situations.

If I were behind, though, I would hole up in a system with another weak player and have both of us build bases. Maybe that's okay, because it would become a huge target...

And the more you do this, the more your fate is intertwined with the other player.

Hmm. Huge targets are always well-defended. Since we have armies, what if bases had no firepower (but could still be taken as casualties)? I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not.

I'd say leave it as is for now.
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Erik M
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Re: An update...

Postby Erik M » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:53 am

cricket wrote:New draft for today...
[FILE REMOVED -- SEE STICKY IN SOVSTARS FORUM]

Ah, here it was! Sort of. Reading time! (Then got something to do with a double acute otitis media (double ear inflammation?).

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Board game fail

Postby mundungus » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:11 am

I ran the Jan 7 version past some playtesters. It was not a success.

Like me, they did like the way you cut the tiles. If nothing else, it makes manually manufacturing them easier.

They didn't like the last sentence at the end of the "Starting Positions" subsection. It's unsatisfying to say, "This might lead to an unsolvable problem; if that happens, start over."

Handing out money and then immediately taking some back for maintenance seemed overly fiddly.

People kept getting confused by the fact that there was a VP bonus for controlling an entire sector, but not an income bonus.

The bonus for bases in shared systems was not strong enough. If an ally and I share a system, we're going to have to put at least three bases (total) in there before our total income exceeds what we'd get if we didn't share. That takes too much time and money to be worth the effort.

One playtester described the game as "very incremental". Moving three hexes was generally just enough to get from one system to the next. There was no opportunity for surprise attacks and no way for a player who fell behind to catch up.

Ironically, maintenance may have made things more turtly, because people couldn't afford to amass big enough fleets to attack. Players could also not afford to leave fleets in deep space.

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

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.

The testers wondered if the game should have an inherent clock to ensure that it eventually ends. One obvious suggestion is having VP accumulate every turn, although this risks a runaway leader problem.

One asked how long the game was supposed to last. I guessed 90-120 minutes. (We played for an hour before giving up.)

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

(If I may be bold, the OoM playtest I did went much better, although even that felt a bit bland.)

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Re: An update...

Postby Erik M » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:50 am

I think I say "+1" as to that above. But then again, isn't this the first basic rules we're looking at here?
How did TSS II look?

Anyhow, those systems look just fine, for testing. But! Perhaps the actual interesting hexes could be made without taking a year worth of toner?

Erik M
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Re: An update...

Postby Erik M » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:58 am

Hm... Another thing perhaps worth doing is to make new/changed parts in another colour?


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