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Robin Gibson
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I've been working for some time on a little card game, and I have a nice stable build of it right now that I'd like to get a bunch of people to test for me.

This game has shown up a couple times in previous incarnations on BGG before, but this version is significantly different (In no small part based on feedback I received here)

Even if you can't play the game, I would appreciate it if you could read through the rules and let me know if there's anything that is confusing or doesn't make sense.

Thank you for you time! I appreciate your interest.

Barring disaster, This is the last PnP version I'm going to make of the cards, so if you have been waiting for a "Stable Release" to print, this is the one.

Okay so I lied. There's a new version of the cards and rules now, you can get them Here.

EDIT: (2015/07/26) I've updated the rules and cards in response to feedback.

EDIT: (2015/08/27) I've updated the rules and cards. The cards have art now.
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Brendan Riley
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Rules are easy to read and understand -- no glaring errors. I won't be able to try it out for some time, but I've downloaded the cards and will comment if/when I have a chance to play.
 
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Robin Gibson
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Thanks so much! Whenever you can get the time is good.
 
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Leah M
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Read through the directions. They are clear. Simple to understand. My only confusion was with bribing cards from other people.

So I bribe a guy from my hand and he goes in front of me with one coin. So if the next person wants to take that guy he has to give me my coin back then pay 2 coins?
 
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Leah M
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So we played two games, both two players. Here are my thoughts and problems:

The game is interesting. As it, not a good two player game. Both shuffles we each ended up with very similar cards in our hands (duplicates) so strategy was difficult. Rounds were short due to lack of of coin's. Points per round were 4-9 or so.

How and when to use card abilities is confusing. It is somewhat explained on page one where you layout the cards. It is not explained in the turn sequence area. So that took some hunting to figure out when and how that is used.

Being two player, it was mostly us playing the card from our hand that we wanted to pay for. Stealing/bribing of cards from in front of each other was only done using card abilities.

So more coins are needed. More cards or variations of cards and abilities.

But I like the concept and mechanics.
 
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Robin Gibson
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Napalmenator wrote:
Read through the directions. They are clear. Simple to understand. My only confusion was with bribing cards from other people.

So I bribe a guy from my hand and he goes in front of me with one coin. So if the next person wants to take that guy he has to give me my coin back then pay 2 coins?


That is correct. Basically, if a card has been bribed three times, it will have three coins on it.
 
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Robin Gibson
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Napalmenator wrote:
So we played two games, both two players. Here are my thoughts and problems:

The game is interesting. As it, not a good two player game. Both shuffles we each ended up with very similar cards in our hands (duplicates) so strategy was difficult. Rounds were short due to lack of of coin's. Points per round were 4-9 or so.

How and when to use card abilities is confusing. It is somewhat explained on page one where you layout the cards. It is not explained in the turn sequence area. So that took some hunting to figure out when and how that is used.

Being two player, it was mostly us playing the card from our hand that we wanted to pay for. Stealing/bribing of cards from in front of each other was only done using card abilities.

So more coins are needed. More cards or variations of cards and abilities.

But I like the concept and mechanics.


Thank you so much for giving this a try.

If you decide to try again, Remove one of each of the cards with doubles. (Ranger, Monk, Builder etc.) The 15-card deck is a little less wide open. (I'm going to add that to the rules)

Also, were you keeping your coins at the end of each round? Or were you starting each round with three? The game is designed around a steady economic growth, The coins in your tableau return to your supply for the next round. (I realized I didn't actually spell this out in the rules. That's pretty significant.)
 
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Leah M
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No. We were not keeping the coins. Just leaving them on the cards. That would make a difference. We will give it a try next time we play.
 
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Lane O.
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Ok I've read the rules, and looked over the cards and can't wait to try it, but there are two things that I found confusing.

1. Placement of the bribe rules.
It looks a little awkward reading through, not really a big deal, but it is a little confusing.

2. The Scribe
The card's text says "Secretly look at the Monarch. Remove the scribe from play. X2 points" does this mean that I use the ability and then discard the card gaining no points from it or choose not to use the ability and gain 2 points at the end of the round if he is of the same guild as the monarch? Or does this mean that I use the ability and then the card is set to the side and my opponent's cannot bribe the scribe again?

Otherwise looks like a fun game.
 
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Dejan Rackovic
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What's the max player count for the game? There's nothing in the rules or this thread that specifies this. Looks interesting I'll probably try it out. Any intentions of releasing this with at least b&w/demo artwork for print?

 
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Robin Gibson
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Hey, sorry I vanished a bit there. Let's see if I can answer some stuff!

Lprogrammed wrote:
1. Placement of the bribe rules.
It looks a little awkward reading through, not really a big deal, but it is a little confusing.

Can you let me know what part of the wording is confusing. Not being confrontational, this has been the hardest part of the rules to write.

Lprogrammed wrote:
2. The Scribe
The card's text says "Secretly look at the Monarch. Remove the scribe from play. X2 points" does this mean that I use the ability and then discard the card gaining no points from it or choose not to use the ability and gain 2 points at the end of the round if he is of the same guild as the monarch? Or does this mean that I use the ability and then the card is set to the side and my opponent's cannot bribe the scribe again?

Card scoring happens at the end of the round, so yeah, you have a choice between getting the points, or using the effect. Otherwise this card would be super overpowered.

SkyPirate wrote:
What's the max player count for the game? There's nothing in the rules or this thread that specifies this.

Oh, yeah, it's 2-5 players. I'll add it to the rules. You could stretch it to 6, maybe, but everyone would have 2 cards.

SkyPirate wrote:
Looks interesting I'll probably try it out. Any intentions of releasing this with at least b&w/demo artwork for print?

Once the art is done, I'll put up a version with pictures.
 
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Dejan Rackovic
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Yeah, 6 players looks too much. Haven't played it yet but reading through the rules it seems that 3 coins as starting supply is very low considering there are very few cards that make you gain additional coins. Your variation with 5 coins and/or gaining coin at the start of turn sounds better.
For example: Imagine having the banker in your starting hand, you play it and spend all 3 of your coins. Then everyone else have only one turn because already in my second turn the round would end. (Yes, I know you can strategies and save it for later but you probably wouldn't have coins to bribe him.) Also, for a 2 player game having armorer in play would cut any interaction for one player with another player's cards. With more players there would be always players that are not protected. But then again, these are all observations just from reading the rules and cards and not actually playing the game.

 
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Robin Gibson
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Sorry It took me so long to get to this, My internet went out for a couple days.

Thank you for the feedback. I will definitely keep an eye on your concerns in future playtests. Adding a coin each round may well become the standard rules, I once managed to reduce myself to one coin, drastically shortening the rounds (On the other hand this is hardly a valid strategy, since the other players just kept bribing my cards to keep the turn going)

SkyPirate wrote:
Haven't played it yet but reading through the rules it seems that 3 coins as starting supply is very low considering there are very few cards that make you gain additional coins. Your variation with 5 coins and/or gaining coin at the start of turn sounds better.

There is a steady build to the economy, since there are five cards that add coins to the game (Potentially seven with the engineers) and two that remove them (And then only voluntarily)

The rounds start off very short, then get progressively longer as more coins are introduced into the economy. This is by design, It puts new and experienced players on more of an equal footing at the start of the game, and ensures that everyone understands how every part of the game works within the first five minutes.

SkyPirate wrote:
For example: Imagine having the banker in your starting hand, you play it and spend all 3 of your coins. Then everyone else have only one turn because already in my second turn the round would end.

There are a few very powerful cards. The Banker is one of them. Part of its power is ending the round early. However, the Bard easily nerfs it.

SkyPirate wrote:
Also, for a 2 player game having armorer in play would cut any interaction for one player with another player's cards. With more players there would be always players that are not protected.

Both the Armorer and Philosopher protect your cards in a way, but they are still vulnerable, so if someone really has it out for you, you're only protected for two turns at most.
(Now if you manage to get enough coins on an Armorer that nobody else can bribe it, But that's the result of strong tactics, which is kind of what I want to reward in this game)
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Joel Finch
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Looks good! I added some comments to the rules doc as well, but these are about the individual cards:

Thief: typo, should be "player's"

Philosopher: has an effect which doesn't apply at the point when the Philosopher is bribed, so it should probably be marked with an hourglass and described as "Constant"...? It also needs to clarify what happens when the Philosopher is the one bribed - does the effect trigger before the villager leaves your control, so that you get a coin?

Scribe, Banker: x2 points is not clear - x2 for this villager, or for your whole score that round? Or it could be read as x2 my current points total at the moment when I bribe the villager (thus activating their ability), since the abilities are triggered by bribing.

Scribe: I would expect to activate all rules in a rules box when bribing. It's not clear that I have a choice to see the monarch and discard the scribe from the game OR keep the scribe and score x2 points (but presumably only at the end of the round if I control that villager?) I think the x2 effect is a different type of beast from regular ability rules if it's an end-of-round effect, and shouldn't be in the normal rules box.
 
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Robin Gibson
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joelfinch wrote:
Looks good! I added some comments to the rules doc as well, but these are about the individual cards


Thank you so much! I've basically taken all of your advice, and I think it made the rules a lot stronger. Much appreciated.
 
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Joel Finch
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Some suggestions for rewording card rules, to standardise the language and usage a little. I'm suggesting:

"villager" means a face-up card on the table.
"your villager" means a villager in your tableau.

Ranger - Immediately bribe another villager.

Armorer - Constant: None of your villagers may be bribed or affected by actions, except this one.

Bard - Choose any villager. Return any coins on that villager to their owner's supply, and put the card into your hand.

Goon - Take 1 coin from any villager and put it into your supply.

Monk - Return 1 coin to the bank to gain 2 points.

Philosopher - Constant: Gain 1 coin from the bank when any of your villagers are bribed, including this one.

Merchant - Gain 1 coin from the bank.

Banker - The minimum bribe for this villager is 3 coins.

Carpenter - Add 1 coin from the bank to any villager in a player's tableau.

Engineer - Immediately use the action of any other villager. (I may not be clear on this - does the current wording mean that players can wait and use the Engineer in a later turn, or must the Engineer be used immediately upon bribing? Immediately means there's no need to track any extra game state of whether it has been used or not.)

The change to the monk is a subtlety that some may otherwise rules-lawyer about - two separate statements usually mean two independent actions performed in sequence, so some may argue that "return a coin" and "gain two points" are separate, and that failing to complete the first part doesn't prevent the second. So making it one sentence closes that possible exploit.

I hope that's all of some help!
 
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Bruno Machado
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Just saves the card and read the PDF. I'll play it when possible and will give you feed back whenever I can.
 
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Robin Gibson
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Thank you everyone for your help hammering out the rules! I took some time on this version, 'cause I wanted to get lineart done for the characters. I also used a bunch of feedback to streamline the rules and card text. So thank you everyone.

If you've been waiting to print this until it was more stable, this is the one. Unless there's a stupid problem that crops up, I'm not going to make a new version of this game.

So, yeah, please play my game, it's pretty cool.


Cards (PDF) || Rules (Google Doc)




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Joel Finch
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Looks great, the colour and illustrations help to bring it alive too

Reading back over the cards, I realised the text I suggested for the armorer is ambiguous, it should probably be re-phrased something like:

Armorer - Constant: None of your villagers except this one may be bribed or affected by actions.

 
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Dejan Rackovic
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Wow, cards look a lot more appealing with art included I'm gonna definitely print this one.
 
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Robin Gibson
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joelfinch wrote:
Looks great, the colour and illustrations help to bring it alive too

Reading back over the cards, I realised the text I suggested for the armorer is ambiguous, it should probably be re-phrased something like:

Armorer - Constant: None of your villagers except this one may be bribed or affected by actions.


Thank you! And the Armorer's fine for now I think. But I will be sure to fix that in later versions. I really appreciate all the help you've been with proofreading.

SkyPirate wrote:
Wow, cards look a lot more appealing with art included I'm gonna definitely print this one.


Great! Let me know how it goes.
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Dejan Rackovic
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You have an unfinished sentence in the rules under "Playing" section that says:

"If for any reason a villager doesn’t have any coins, they return to the middle of the"

Also, I think it's clear but just to confirm, cards that give you points as action, you gain them immidietly and write them down, not at the end of round? (Printer, Inkeeper) And if other player bribes them you don't lose those points.

EDIT: Also, at the top of rulebook you haven't changed the version it still says v0.41
 
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Brendan Riley
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Posted some comments. I added text-level suggestions too -- feel free (obviously) to reject any/all of them.

Sounds fun!
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Dejan Rackovic
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I've printed and sleeved the cards and we played 3 games, 2 of which were 2-player and 1 was with 5-players.
The overall impression was good, I think people found it interesting. Specific thoughts and questions:

Before playing the game it seemed to me that starting with 3 coins is too low but now that I played it it seems just about right. Also, for 2-player game 25 coins were more then enough, but with 5 players we had to add more (not sure how much, at least 10?) Is bank supply suposed to run out?

Cards:

SPY - was very useful in 2-player game because if you know your and your opponent's hand then you know who's the monarch and you can leave scribe for x2 points. Interesting situation happens when you use it on first turn and then opp. bribes it in second so we both know who's the monarch. In 5-player game determining who the monarch is is very hard and noone seemed to use spy's ability.

THIEF - Also good in 2p if you know that your opp. has a card from same guild as monarch and you hope to get it.

SCRIBE - If you use it's action you remove it from play, but what if someone else uses it's action due to effects like Engineer's? Do you still lose it?

BANKER - Minimum bribe for it is 3 coins. So if it loses a coin due to effect like Goon's and now has only 2 does it return to middle of the table (and coins back to owner)? Or it returns only if it has no coins as normally stated in rules?

INKEEPER - Rules state that round is over when at the start of someone's turn he/she has no coins or cards, but if he/she has Inkeeper card does the effect happen at the start of that last turn?

ENGINEER - He can use another villager's action but not abilities that are Constant? For example Inkeeper's to gain 2 points?

Those were some things that we were uncertain of.
Also, there are some cool combos that you can do, for example on same turn you can bribe/use up to 3 villagers, for example:
Bribe Ranger (immidietly bribe another villager) + Engineer (Use action of another villager) + any other villager's action.

EDIT: Also, when using engineer, can you use literaly any villager's action that is in play (unbribed from middle of table, from other player's and also your own?)
 
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Robin Gibson
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SkyPirate wrote:
I've printed and sleeved the cards and we played 3 games, 2 of which were 2-player and 1 was with 5-players.
The overall impression was good, I think people found it interesting. Specific thoughts and questions:

Before playing the game it seemed to me that starting with 3 coins is too low but now that I played it it seems just about right. Also, for 2-player game 25 coins were more then enough, but with 5 players we had to add more (not sure how much, at least 10?) Is bank supply suposed to run out?


No the bank isn't supposed to run out. I kinda want to keep components low with this game, but 35-40 coins is reasonable

SkyPirate wrote:
SPY - was very useful in 2-player game because if you know your and your opponent's hand then you know who's the monarch and you can leave scribe for x2 points. Interesting situation happens when you use it on first turn and then opp. bribes it in second so we both know who's the monarch. In 5-player game determining who the monarch is is very hard and noone seemed to use spy's ability.

This is a difficult thing to figure out. The game in general is stronger with multiple players, but some of the cards are more useful in two-player games.

SkyPirate wrote:
THIEF - Also good in 2p if you know that your opp. has a card from same guild as monarch and you hope to get it.
The other use for the Thief is to shorten the round, since not having cards can end a round.

SkyPirate wrote:
SCRIBE - If you use it's action you remove it from play, but what if someone else uses it's action due to effects like Engineer's? Do you still lose it?

The action of the Scribe specifically says "Remove the Scribe from play" so, that would happen if it was invoked by an engineer as well. If you're playing it for points, you want to do so late in the round.

Or behind the protection of an Armorer. Incidentally, because it would kill the Scribe, you can't use an Engineer on a Scribe if it's protected by an armorer.

SkyPirate wrote:
BANKER - Minimum bribe for it is 3 coins. So if it loses a coin due to effect like Goon's and now has only 2 does it return to middle of the table (and coins back to owner)? Or it returns only if it has no coins as normally stated in rules?

Minimum bribe is 3 coins. The card should stay with you if it goes below 3 coins, but even if it only has 1 coin, another player would have to bribe it with 3.

SkyPirate wrote:
INKEEPER - Rules state that round is over when at the start of someone's turn he/she has no coins or cards, but if he/she has Inkeeper card does the effect happen at the start of that last turn?

Last turn point getting is more fun, so I'll say that one.

SkyPirate wrote:
ENGINEER - He can use another villager's action but not abilities that are Constant? For example Inkeeper's to gain 2 points?

If the Engineer used the Innkeeper's power, it would stop working at the end of the turn, therefore, it couldn't get any points at the start of the next turn. Basically, the Engineer doesn't work with Constant powers.

SkyPirate wrote:
Also, there are some cool combos that you can do, for example on same turn you can bribe/use up to 3 villagers, for example:
Bribe Ranger (immidietly bribe another villager) + Engineer (Use action of another villager) + any other villager's action.

It's all about the combos. The Ranger, Engineer, Ranger loop is a great way to empty your coin supply.

SkyPirate wrote:
EDIT: Also, when using engineer, can you use literaly any villager's action that is in play (unbribed from middle of table, from other player's and also your own?)

Except for a Villager with a Constant action, or a Scribe hiding behind an Armorer, yep!

Thanks for playing, and for asking these questions!
 
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