Burying treasure and removing the Hold In

I brought Grab the Loot! to the Board Game Design Guild again. This play was testing out buried treasure and coins being valued at 4. We played a game, and then had an excellent discussion about it. Here are my notes (and what I plan to do about them).

  • Some cards need to be reworded: (so, I am going to reword them)
    • Trevyn- should say "to the captain", so that it doesn't affect stolen treasures
    • Gripe- should say "gain an item", so that you don't just shuffle coins around.
    • Sophia- should say "gain from the captain", so that it doesn't affect stolen/donated coins.
    • Bribe- should say "gain an item" like gripe
    • Trick- opposite order is more common for wording?
  • Buried treasures should not get players shot. (This is a great idea. I am going to do it.)
  • Do not "Texas Hold'em" in all of the Captain's greed cards. This spawned a large discussion, and more people were on the side of not "holding in" the cards. The arguments for the holding in were: simplified math, however the arguments against it were: one card was worth 25 points which was the most valuable card in the game by far, and the scores in our game were tighter with the holding in removed. (I did not originally have all of the cards "held in", but added that because Daniel Peterson said that it would make the math easier. With the results of the debate in, I am ready to do a lot of math after each game to determine if the scores are really tighter, but I do agree that that one card being worth 25 points is a smoking cannon which indicates a problem. I will have to fix this either way.)
  • Coins should be worth five points to make math easier (I am sort of scared that this might make them too powerful, but I'll give it a go and see if it works out.)
  • Game wants more interaction (I am always up for that.)
    • Make more cards affect the captains greed.
    • Put player abilities on player cards which can be activated by meeples and give benefit to the player as well as the player that placed their meeple. (I will try it out. It sounds interesting.)
  • Perhaps make some cards that always are available (I am up to try this out)
    • Add an ability to the "Captain Standee", so that players can visit that location no matter what.
  • Player's abilities should be secret until they are used (this sounds fun. I will try it out.)
  • Abilities that can be only used when revealed (this is a combination of the prior idea and putting placement slots on player's cards.)
  • Coins should not be in the greed. (This spawned a debate, and more people were in the "Coins should be in the greed" camp than the "coins should not be in the greed." The root cause seemed to be the following point, which I think that I can fix (even if I make coins still in the greed.))
  • Players should be able to make themselves safe from getting shot without losing all of their treasure. (I have seen three or four players that have (in the quest to not get shot) lost all of their treasure, so I feel for this point even if I have always "gone big" instead of "going home").
    • Add cards to allow players to bury more treasure -which is immune to getting you shot. (I think that this is the solution. Players that are getting antsy can bury their treasure and not lose it all. It wastes their turn, and perhaps is less advantageous to them, but it also prevents their treasure from getting stolen, so it might just be worth it.)
After the play session was over and the discussion ended I had a few more ideas while driving home.

  • Card abilities to add:
    • flip up top card without having to place on it by paying money.
    • peek at the next greed card.
    • look at all the greed cards that are out of the box (by paying money).
  • Perhaps some characters should have abilities that let them score loot differently?
All in all, I am going to be doing some more modifications to the game. I really like the way that it is heading.

In other news, I have been working on "The Madness Place" again (finally). It needs some more polishing up before I print it up again and try to play it, however it is actually going somewhere. 

Here are how the cards are now looking: There are  fewer energy types, which should alleviate the problem with getting the right energy types, and there are also now scoring rooms, which should alleviate the "one winner and a ton of losers" feel that the game had in the past. I still need to figure out what cards have what on the back sides, but I think that we are practically ready to play it.

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