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Subject: Getting Destroyed at Castellan rss

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Philip Reed
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Kyle
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Yesterday I took time to teach Monica Valentinelli how to play Castellan. We are getting closer to sending the game to print and I wanted her to have a better understanding of the game before we announce a release date (Monica is our Marketing Director so she must know about all of our games). And since it was just the two of us I thought I would snap a few pics during the game . . . and now I'm wishing I hadn't even shot the first photo.

But I did shoot the photos, and posted them to Twitter, so in the interest of giving everyone a better look at the game I've posted those pics to BGG.



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I sat down with Monica Valentinelli today (January 20, 2012) to teach her Castellan. Here's the first play of the game; I started the castle.




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My January 20, 2012 Castellan game with Monica Valentinelli as I claim the first area. 4 points for me!




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The January 20, 2012 Castellan game with Monica Valentinelli continues . . . and she's starting to crush me. (I made a horrible decision very early in the game.)




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The end of my game with Monica Valentinelli on January 20, 2012. Monica beat me 46 to 31. And I deserved it (I really should have counted better earlier in the game). I lost? I don't lose at Castellan! I call foul (on my brain).


So what was early -- and very bad -- decision? One thing about Castellan is that on your turn you can play up to your entire hand of cards . . . but since you only draw one card at the end of each turn blowing your hand is a risk. And I took this risk:

* - Too early.
* - Without making absolutely certain that I had counted correctly.

So in the end all I did with that move was leave the castle in a position that Monica was able to capitalize on and she made some great moves.

I never recovered. Why did I never recover? Because of my second HUGE mistake during the game:

* - I didn't pay attention to my remaining castle building pieces and I kept drawing "wall" cards when I should have been drawing "tower" cards. You see, each player has two decks to draw from (two identical decks) and the back of the decks give you an idea of what kinds of pieces you'll get to work with. By NOT paying attention to what I was doing I never had a chance to really get back into the game; almost everything I did was wrong.

What did I learn? Never play Castellan after a long week of meetings and when tired.

I want a rematch!
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Philip Reed
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PhilReed wrote:
You see, each player has two decks to draw from (two identical decks) and the back of the decks give you an idea of what kinds of pieces you'll get to work with.


Okay, I must have been tired when I wrote this. Trying again:

Each player has two decks. Each of the two decks is different. But the decks each player has are identical.

Nope, not any clearer.

Again:

I have a wall deck and a tower deck. You also have a wall deck and a tower deck. My wall deck is identical to your wall deck. And my tower deck is identical to your tower deck.

So we're each playing with the same resources, we just get those resources at different times during the game based on our card draws.

Wow, I'm gonna take a nap now.
 
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Rogue Liberty
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Thanks for posting...looks like a game I may be interested in.

However...I wish you guys would have gone with round towers for the stand alone keeps, and square towers for the wall pieces. (With no joints, just flush, flat surfaces).

The round tower wall pieces and walls look cool enough, except for the male/female joint you are using...it really kills the otherwise cool visual.
By using square towers for the wall pieces, players could have easily been able to eye the pieces up to place them.
(The way it is designed, I suspect was to address this issue of lining the pieces up in a straight manner). I don't think it was needed, if you used square towers, and it makes the game look less appealing than without them.

Just my feedback. Opinions are not unlike Monty Python's "man with three buttocks"...we all have them. :D

 
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Philip Reed
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rogueliberty wrote:
However...I wish you guys would have gone with round towers for the stand alone keeps, and square towers for the wall pieces. (With no joints, just flush, flat surfaces).


One serious benefit to the round towers is that you can perfectly test-fit your pieces without actually slotting the towers and walls together. Just rotate the round tower and then place the walls where you think you want them.

That would not have worked with square towers.
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Rogue Liberty
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hmmm...

Looks like there are only 2 different wall length pieces, 1 square tower, and 1 round tower.

Not alot to visually keep track of.
Those 2 different wall section lengths all seem fairly obvious how you could lay them out as the game would progress, and is where I'm really not seeing the need for the round towers and wall sections with joints.

...If, instead square towers were used, they and the walls would not need joints and would just look better overall.
The joints really cheapen the look of the components of an otherwise cool looking game visual, Imho.

It's not too late to adjust those pieces. Simply cut off the male joints, and fill in the female joints to a flat end, and have them re-prototyped.
;D

Still looks like a cool game concept.
 
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Philip Reed
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rogueliberty wrote:
The joints really cheapen the look of the components of an otherwise cool looking game visual, Imho.


I'm going to disagree. I've played the game, a lot, and those joints make it way easier to play than the original set that did not lock together.

The interlocking pieces allow you, for example, to slide the entire castle around on the table when playing. Your castle growing too near one edge of the table? Just swing the entire construction around.

The interlocking pieces also help hold the castle together when your less-than-graceful players jar the table.
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Paul Jimenez
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I agree with Phil here - I played a demo of this at BGGcon '11 (where I was apparently one of the few to beat the SJG guy on my first play) and definitely see his point about being able to slide the game around a bit. Not to mention making it more immune to things like folk accidentally bumping the table.
 
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Russ Williams
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We just played it at Essen, and the locking was indeed nice for being able to move the entire structure. But it was also a bit fiddly at times (both when locking during play and when unlocking it all after finishing to clean up). So I'm undecided about the locking.
 
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