TNW Part 12 - Another Playtest Report

We played another round of the card game version of TNW today.It got off to a rocky start and raised some interesting questions. In the end, I had some pretty big take-aways.

  • The first hand can be weird, if the players can't move or gather resources.
  • The technology deck as a whole is underwhelming in actual play and there is little incentive to spend money on technology cards.
  • Sometimes it's hard to do things, due simply to luck of the draw - which is bad. Having card draw limit options is good, having it prevent you from doing anything is bad.
  • Often players end up with a ton of resource cubes toward the end of the game and nowhere/no reason to spend them.

And here are some of the resulting revisions I plan to make:

  • To address the issue of the first hand being potentially useless, for now, the plan is to simply allow players to start with one "move ship" card in their hand and then draw the remaining 3 cards.
  • Playing a second (or third, etc. "Explore Sector" card should not be required to resolve an already revealed sector.
  • Sector cards should be able to be resolved over multiple rounds.
  • Multiple players should be able to work together to resolve sector cards.
  • At the end of a player's turn, instead of filling their hand back up to 4 cards, keeping the ones they didn't play, any cards not played are discarded and 4 new cards are drawn.

And the biggest change:

  • The technology deck is going away.

Instead of having one-shot technology cards for purchase, those abilities (which are changing somewhat) will be on planet cards. Once a player has added a planet to their collective, they'll be able to pay a resource cost to activate that ability on their turn. Not all planets will have a technology ability attached. It will probably end up being about half of them.

This also means technology card caches are going away. Resource caches will remain.

This accomplishes a few things:

  1. There's more incentive to spend resources.
  2. There's more incentive to cooperate to resolve sectors and to combat each other to colonize planets.
  3. There's no overhead of maintaining the technology deck and remembering to make purchases.
  4. Technology level will be replaced by shipyards
  5. The "build ship" ability can be placed on cards containing shipyards, where it makes sense and can be activated like any other card - again, instead of needing to remember "oh yeah, I can build a ship" because there's no card that tells you you can do that. The home world will just have one three-cost shipyard.

The more I play this game, the more it changes and there's just so much work involved in making the prototypes and updating them all. So I think I'm going to whip up something to automate card generation.

Hey! I'm designing a board game.

I'm working on a lightweight sci-fi area control game for 2-4 players called These New Worlds. Follow the link below to learn more.

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