Friday, October 14, 2011

Notes from Fifty-eight Playtest

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Today's Story
Let me tell you about this damn wolf. I was making a path out of the village (yellow player in the photo). The wolf showed up right at a pinch point between a mountain and the side of the board. I kept going after it with an atlatl and spear, and died over and over again. Each time I'd die I'd get another goal, "Brave", "Largest Territory", "Pathfinder", each adding more incentive to kill that wolf. But also losing 2 points as I re-equipped. I finally killed it, but not until the other players had pulled well ahead. Next time I'll be less stupid and try a bow and arrow instead, or drive it away with a sling.

Oh, and as a side effect of my stubbornness, the player to my left had the "Copy Cat" goal, and was able to find one of my 7 goals that let him tie for the win!

Rules Tried
Village: 1-2-2-3-4
This works, and should help me use the same score track for 2 and 3 players as for 4 and 5. The village needs to have lower values, because the number of tiles remains constant at 24, even if there are fewer players.

Wounded Animals Flee 1 Space (diagonal OK)
Think this works. Really need to go bow hunting to try it out more. I had the largest territory bonus, so I used the atlatl instead this time, going for one shot kills.

Three Player Board Setup
The village & mountain setup shown here works well. I like it in this corner too, closer to the village track.

Goals Audit
We went through all the goals currently in circulation and made notes on each.

Copycat: Change to copy one goal from a player to your left or right.

Explorer: Change to 4 points.

Brave: Change to 6 points for killing 3 deadly animals.

Master Scout: Works as is.

Most Types of Disks Sold: Needs more testing

Fewest Types of Disks Sold: Change to 6 points.

Basher & Fletcher: kill both, too arbitrary, not in line with other activity happening in the game.

Homebody: Change to 3 points, this is a benefit by itself.

Crack Shot: Simplify to 5 for either killing 2 rabbits or 2 squirrels.

Wolf Master: New goal! Kill 2 wolves, 6 points.

Frightened: Getting rid of this goal. Don't want to encourage people to lose.

Productive: Reduce to 3 points, have to be successful to attempt this.

No Claimed spaces Next to Village: Haven't tested.

Omnivore: Increase to 5 points, I like this one, but it's tricky to pull off so needs a bit more incentive.

Hoarder: Name is inaccurate - maybe monopoly? Or maybe change it so you don't have to score them at the village. New points scheme: 1 point each disc for any pairs or triplets.

End Game Both Characters Not in Village: This is a good one. Tricky to pull off, down to the wire. Needs a name: Wanderers.

Pathfinder: This is good.
Largest territory: This is good.

Craven: Needs testing

Paranoid: Change to 7 points so someone actually tries it. Anticipating that it makes movement very hard.

Update: 10/18/2011
Based on feedback from multiple sources I want to try a couple different number patterns for the village, representing perhaps people giving up on resources that are too scarce? These are not 2 & 3 player variants, just a different way of playing:
2-3-4-5-4 or 2-3-4-5-3

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