Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Notes from Forty-sixth Playtest

Board at End Game
This was the second test of a super powerful form of scouting where you can start from the village and explore every empty space you pass. When done correctly (*cough* playtest 45 group *cough*) this will let you explore 3 spaces, gathering lots of information and rapidly accelerating the end of the game.

Another note was that it's a good way to guarantee those 3 tiles are adjacent to your own area.

To Try:
Scouting follows normal exploration rules (4 moves, 2 explores, 2nd explore ends the turn). It would still be restricted to when you don't have any tiles, but it doesn't matter where you start or end your turn. My hope is that this would make it more consistent with other rules, more versatile than it is now, but less powerful in influencing the pace of the game.

Village 1-1-2-3-4
These values are the best so far at balancing the Hunt and Gather score tracks. They punish players who hoard a bunch of animals and try to sell them all at once.) Three out of four players scored higher in Gather, though not the player who won.

But the numbers are too low. I would like there to be more choice in which weapons you take, but in this game the points were so tight I actually went out hunting a second time with a club, even though I had the points to buy something else. And that turned out to be the correct decision, I clubbed a bear and got 2nd place, 2 points behind first.

Also, with the points so low the "secret goal" scoring made too much difference. The winner should have been a runaway winner, but the 10 point swing of guessing wrong while others guess made it really close. Now if we had worked harder to make those goals, that would be a different story...

To Try:
Values: 2-2-3-4-5. Those are very similar (although proportionally they're closer in value to each other). And again, I think that will take us one step closer back to where we started and I'm predicting we will end up: 1-2-3-4-5.

Wounded Animals
There was a suggestion that instead of the hunter getting to choose where a wounded animal runs, that another player should do that. We had been using the driving of the animal (not without historical precedent) as part of our strategy, moving the animal into a more strategic position for our area majority bonus. But I'm willing to try any suggestion, so we'll give it a go.

One effect of having one of your neighbors move the fleeing animal would be to weaken the higher "to hid" odds but lower damage weapons, the Sling and the Bow. Now, compared to the Club and Spear I might be OK with that, it's my opinion that Club and Spear are a little weak. But it would also increase the power of the Atlatl, and that would be bad. It's taken a long time to get that thing balanced.

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