Friday, September 23, 2016

The Nanobot Mortar : fierce, helpful robots to shoot at your foes

On Tuesday we played a game of The Age of Vikings at lunch at work. We had 6 players, and we didn't get through a full game before lunch ended. It is a much bigger game than is usually playable in a lunch hour (I only rarely work on such games because it is hard to playtest them to make sure that they work properly). The game is working pretty well - people with different strategies still got similar scores and nothing seemed really broken. It took a long time, however there are a lot of important decisions that have to be made at every juncture, so it is not that surprising given that some of our players have some analysis paralysis.

Since that game, we have added and tested out 6 new god cards and a new "helpful" action reminder card.

I am currently working on resizing the island hexes to make them fit on a game crafter medium hex tile. I might have to scale down the tokens to make it work, but it should make the game fit in a smaller box.

On Thursday we played a game of Grifters at work, which was really fun. I liked all of the mechanics and it offered very interesting decisions. The only beef I have with it is the size of the game. With only 4 players we won't be able to play it that often because our group is often 5 or 6 large, and that is a hard size for us.

Thursday night my wife and I played another game of Terran Robot Defense League. We didn't die this time, however it was still pretty darn close. We couldn't get corrosive damage without researching the nanobot mortar. We ended up defeating the mothership in a totally cinematic manner which felt very satisfying after we pummeled the four escort aliens.

Trying to figure out what things we needed to do to win was fun (the final four defenders were Biollante, Battleship, Daidarabochi, and Leviathan, (two of the hardest monsters, and a hard and easy one) so we didn't get off easy by any means), and we did end up building up a nearly perfect robot before the game ended. After the end of the game we sat around discussing both strategy, and weather the game was too hard. I think that it needs a little bit of balancing, and a way to adjust the difficulty based on player's desires.


We have an idea of adding character cards to the game, but we haven't done it yet. I really think that it will spice up the player interaction.

We also think that the robot that has to be built to win the game is pretty hard to build. We are thinking of adding +1 space to all of the chassis. The reason for this is that the only way we have ever won is to add the Dimensional Generator to a robot, and perhaps that is a problem. It is possible to win without it, but not very. We also wonder weather the Dimensional Generator is even a fair card. It makes it ever so much more possible to win.

We also think that the reactors all want to be smaller and provide less electricity, since the large ones are not really used ever.

The final open question is: Do I want fewer chassis and more weapons in the research deck? People like weapons, so probably the answer should be yes.