|Left to right: Ryan, Kris, Lester, |
What we tried
- Hunger cubes
- Called shots
- 3 goal limit
- draw 2 keep 1 goal when re-spawn
- black disks were just tar pits
Some second and third time players in this group, as well as playtest veterans. One new idea was that variable terrain might be interesting. Hopefully I'll capture a bit of that feel with the new "event disks" (or whatever I end up calling them). An underlying issue the desire for terrain brings up in making board position interesting. Only having one explore per turn (plus possible hunger cube) means less interaction with the board, and tar pits were spread out in this 5 player game.
Called shots encourage poaching, which I don't think is a bad thing. As I watch new players figure out the game, the most successful beginners are the ones who figure out that the best way to increase your odds is to use the information other players give you when they fail to pick something up.
The 3 goal limit didn't come up. In a 5 player game there's isn't as much time for intentionally collecting goals as there is with any less.
Drawing 2 goals and keeping 1 introduces another decision an the beginning of players' turns. It wasn't an issue in this game, but normally I like to let people ruminate while other people go, that's why I moved the purchasing of equipment to as you leave the village, not as you enter it. If I gave the goal as soon as a character died, I'd have to balance that against intentional last turn suicides.
The hunger cubes seem to balance out the flow of play. People remember to use them better than they remember to claim spaces after a successful hunt/gather. It's nice to be guaranteed to get something at the end of every turn.
The bow & arrow are, if anything, too effective. They are expensive, and it can be tricky when you run out of arrows, but only missing 1 in 10 shots is great.
Recommended board setup should have the village near a corner, to make board position interesting, and give more sense of exploration.
I need to try the event disks with more people, I'm sorry I forgot my cheat-sheet this time.
It might be interesting to try putting the atl-atl at a cost of 4 points, so players could start out with it, even if it won't do anything until they gather and score enough for a spear. Alternately, if the sling and club start becoming too unpopular, I could shift Bow, Atlatl, and Pouch all up one or two, and increase the starting equipment points.