First impression after a game with novices.
Obviously we wanted to score slander and network cards.
Early on we added guild tiles like crazy but that stopped when we ran out of gold.
Ran out of gold you say?!? Yes, we had 5 eventcards being of the extra card type so most of the game we did not get any income (except for the daredevil who went against the trend and avoided scoring network cards).
Soon enough we shifted to slandering (just before it was time to shuffle the network deck) and then it really felt like having only 5 agents were a deviously genialic design move. Not one turn passed without a feeling of "if I only had one more..."
What you were doing was nicely tied to objective of the game, i.e. scoring support tokens this is really important to me and here it works well.
Slander works well, the mechanic for network and slander cards are so close in similarity of mechanism, but so different in how confrontational it is. Good job!
Except for the two sour grapes described below it was a nice small game that should be straight-forward to learn and quick to play. I like the mobility of the agents and that moving and attacking cost the same (giving you no reason to sit and play multi-player solitaire, which is further made impossible by the limited amount of support tokens).
I think the wonky art makes it feel more fun to slander other people, if there was a similar move in something that had a more serious feel it would feel very aggressive. Here it is good fun!
Our first 4er took over 2 hrs, probably without, but definitely with teaching.
N.B. I did not have a chance to play it before teaching so it was a bit bumpy going early.
Obviously the combined downtime between turns with the fact that 3 others messed up the board made it feeling slow and some players started playing with their phones and talking to other gamers (myself guilty of the latter). I really do not mind the part that the others messed up my plans, just that I had little incentive planning while waiting. Faster players would make this a non issue. Keep the randomness and make me a faster player!
And I really want to play with hidden support tiles next turn. Sure, it makes slandering a bit more risky, but it removes the annoying endgame where you sit and count the final score and then make your move.
Bonus house rules for faster 4ers:
*No taking back pieces when you realize you goofed up, enjoy your 2 credits from not being able to play a card instead!
*Timed rounds? Get 2 credit at the start of each round, every started minute you use cost you one credit.
Our final score 15,11(me),9,3.