Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Another TLDR post

We played TLDR at the board game design group meeting last night. It was a solo game against three motherships. By the time that the guy ended the game, he had a robot that could defeat nearly any mothership that could exist. It was fun to watch how he built his robot (he had way more healing than I would have expected any robot to ever need, but he made serious use of it, as he also had a ton of damage providing parts).

The game took about two and a half hours, but he beat the first mothership at about two hours. He said that he had had a fun time, and that the game seemed well balanced, but he did have a few ideas:

  • Make a draft for a one player game (with starting cards). (Not sure if I will do this before the end of the contest)
  • Figure out how to get trade working in a one player game. (Not sure if I will do this before the end of the contest)
  • Make foes that move at different speeds? (Not sure if I will do this before the end of the contest)
  • The ability to repair cities might be nice (I could modify the construction worker card to do this, and it would make more sense than his current ability.)
  • Remove auto-repair action - your robot can repair inside of combat, or take an action to repair. (I might do this - I will have to consider the effects of it)
  • Remove normal repair action (probably I will not do this, this action is useful to people that don't go all out on repair parts)
  • Battleship looks like it most be a mothership (Perhaps I need a symbol that denotes "This is a mothership")
  • What order do you place your new foe columns? Do you know where on the map the alien figurine will go before you select the card? (we played yes, but I have since decided no.)
  • Neural implants and Multitask drivers need to be changed (I need to do this before the contest - the last change to the tech draft really messed up these cards)
  • Mothership corpses should be worth more as a corpse (1 wild corpse? I can probably do something)
  • Escort ship is not an "escort". Either the card needs to be renamed, or there is a game term that needs updating. (I can easily rename the card)
  • Need to be able to cycle through the tech cards faster. Perhaps as an action (this is really good, so I probably will do it.  I just have to make sure that the balance remains the same.)
  • The mothership moves to which tied column? (This is already in the rules. We just had to remember what the rules stated)
  • Rules need to be written out clearly and lots of hand holding has to happen for this to work for a player that doesn't know the game perfectly (This is a point well made. I need to do this.)
Now, I only have so much time before the contest ends, so I can't do all of these things right now, but the ones that shouldn't affect the balance of the game seem totally within the limits of what is reasonable.

We reached a point in the game where he was supremely confidant about his ability to defeat every possible opponent, and because of that, I told him to enter the Alien Dimension, and take the fight to the aliens. That is when he faced the final mothership and won the game. This was the first time in a game that that happened, but it worked out fairly well.

Probably the biggest thing that I still need to do it clean up the rules and make them much more easy to understand, but I am also going to fix the two cards that need work based on the new rules, and I will probably also incorporate as many of the other fixes before I am done.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Working on TLDR again

Last night I played a game of Terran League of Defense Robots with Alison for our date night. We turned up the difficulty and included two Motherships in the game, and I found it to be a very satisfying victory. We are getting quite good at that game.

We added in ideas from last playtest, and found them to mostly work well. Here are what we changed, and what we thought about it:

  • The minions are now integrated into the foe cards - They are on play abilities that add a "Minion" cube to the tile. Minions fight as a block, and deal (and require) damage equal to their count. They take any damage type as full damage (even generic).
    • This felt pretty good. The minions were hard to fight, but not overpowering. The real game will want minion tokens that are like coins with a pow symbol on them.
    • The mothership's minions and her escort's minions combined to make a stack of 14 minions. That is practically unkillable. We decided that the mothership should summon minionless escorts. 
  • Technology cards are now a draft that slowly cycles if you don't pick them. You can pick each turn the card that leaves the draft, so you can hold a tech indefinitely if you like it but can't afford it. Having scientists in your lab lets you have more cards in the draft (you start with three), and you still spend scientists out of your engineering bay to build techs.
    • This worked fairly well. Some of the cities and characters don't make sense any more. I need to fix that.
  • We also decreased the space that each chassis provides - basic lost 2, normal lost 1, and tech didn't lose any.
    • This made me personally feel the space requirements more keenly. I think that it worked out.
We decided that the aliens should still be able to damage a city if you are not properly defending it, which means that you need to engage the entire stack if you don't want the city to slowly get destroyed.

I have also been working more and more on Grab the Loot. I am really excited about that one (mainly because it is so easy to playtest it, since it can be played twice at work during lunch.) Multiple times my co-workers have specifically requested that game as the game that we play at lunch, which is pretty rare. Once the survival contest is over, I will probably work on GTL for a while.

I have also been working on The Madness Place a bit, and it is nearly ready to playtest again. I hope that this time I have made the game work better, and not be so fiddly.

I have been wondering if I should reduce the number of energy types in the game. It would make the problem of always drawing the wrong thing less likely to occur.

Finally, I have submitted The Perfect Moment - my entry to the Button Shy wallet games contest. I think that it is pretty good, and like how it turned out. Hopefully Jason feels the same.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Grabbin' more and more loot

I have been splitting my time between Grab the Loot, and The Perfect Moment right now. I showed both of them at the BGDG meeting last Tuesday, and got some good feedback.

I have implemented nearly all of the feedback that I got from the week before, and I also implemented most of the stuff from this last week. The game is working really well right now. The guys at work prefer it to published games on most days. Adding to the Captain's greed is really working out well.

I think that the next change that I make is going to be the ability to have hidden treasure(s), and also the ability to look at some of the greed cards that were removed from the game. Perhaps I will add in a sixth player (because more players is always fun, and the game seems to scale well).

I need to however re-balance the amount of loot you start with with different player counts. The captain having 8 loot at the beginning is too many with 2-3 players, and too few for 5 players. Perhaps the captain gets 2 treasure per player in the game?

The Perfect Moment went through a major change to the terminology this week, which didn't really change the way that the game is played, but makes understanding the game much easier to first time players.

I hope.

Really I should post a poll to BGG and see if it does the job that I was hoping it would. I need to finish this game soon, as I have to submit it in 2 weeks to the contest. Here's to hoping that I get it done on time.

Finally, I played some Skylines today, and won with vengeance. It was super fun.