Author Topic: Board Game Banter  (Read 4251 times)

etdoesgood

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #100 on: February 22, 2021, 07:53:33 PM »
The latest Stonemaier game is getting some early press, Red Rising, a card game by Jamey Stegmaier and a new Alexander Schmidt, a newcomer to boardgame design. It's based off a sci-fi series I had never heard of

Just thought I'd chime is, as I read the initial trilogy (I think there are others now, like far into the future, or maybe the kids of the protagonists, or whatever. I haven't followed, but maybe should?). I REALLY liked Red Rising. It's in the vain of The Hunger Games, but I like this better, I think it's more exacting in its socio-political commentary, especially in regards to elites v. common people, and it's just overall very suspenseful and page-turning with some really good characters. (I feel like The Hunger Games series fell-off in the last installment. This one stays strong.) Is the game a single-player, from, I assume, Darrow's perspective? It'd be interesting to know more. I could look it up, but better to hear it from someone you know that's played it.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #101 on: February 22, 2021, 10:43:19 PM »
Well, I haven't played it but I watched video playthroughs. It's a card game where you play a card that gives you an action then you get to pick up a card. You score points based on both the cards you have in your hand at the end of the game plus four different ways you get points based on where you pick up a card on your turn. The mechanics don't particularly fit the setting according to a big fan of the books who played it. Also there are a lot of cards. Like over 100+ which means they make up a lot of characters to fill out the deck.

The two flaws seem to be that the four extra ways to get points are not well balanced. One track goes up exponentially, another gives you a flat bonus at the end, the third gives your a few points for each time for grab it and the final one only gives you points if you hold it at the very end of the game.

Also, each faction has a special ability and some are just demonstrably better than others based on how imbalanced the above point system is. It's baffling to me because any basic good euro design already has a better grasp of numbers than this game does at a glance. It would be so easy to rebalance the game is you just tested it enough and see how certain factions and strategies are not being rewarded enough.

As an easy example, many eurogames have the idea of a point track where you get exponentially more points as you go up but there's almost always a high threshold to get to the point that it is more rewarding than other paths. So maybe you need to do it seven times for it to pass that threshold and it takes meeting a certain condition that takes at minimum two actions. You could do 14 other actions that get you guaranteed points but if the other player risks it to get the exponential points and makes it every time they will then surpass the steady increase.

Of course this requires both luck and assuming no one else at the table will hider you from doing this strategy. Red Rising looks like a lot of times it's just best to push up on one track as much as possible and just cycle out the cards that are making you the least amount of points.

I kinda went down a board game design rabbit hole there but that's the kind of thing I think about when I look at these games and see what seems to me a clear lack of crunching the numbers and running enough playthroughs to collect enough actionable data.

Edit: here's an article series where I'm getting some of my design ideas.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 10:50:09 PM by Sam the Cinema Snob »
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smirnoff

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #102 on: February 24, 2021, 01:46:55 PM »
Combined with the general consensus that Tapestry was not playtested thoroughly,

I would certainly agree with that criticism. We ended up getting the expansion which does improve things in that regard. The weaker civs from the base game are buffed and the stronger ones get nerfed. I've enjoyed the additional civs and tapestries included in the expansion as well.

I think my primary complaint about the game is the rulebook. It's too short and doesn't address the myriad of conflicts that arise with certain card combinations. Usually with a very literal reading of the card, and a realistic sense of what would be considered over/under powered when you consider the range of other cards and actions, you can come to a reasonable conclusion about how a certain card or action was meant to be taken. But we've had several times where it's been unclear, and we find ourselves arguing on different sides... which is really the last thing you want to do in the middle of a game. The nature of the game is that you do quite a lot of planning. In some cases you have developed a clear end-game plan of action after your very first turn, because of your civ and the tapestry card you've drawn. To reach that point only to then find that you may have misinterpreted the interaction of a card, or there is a dispute over such an action, well it can really throw your whole game out the window. You could of course try to settle the matter up front, but then you're revealing you strategy to the table. When you run into these things it is always in a situation where depending on how you rule, you are either going to have a great game, or your entire game is likely ruined.

I really hate having to stop a game (any game, not just Tapestry), and go online and try and settle a matter. Scrolling through endless threads on boardgamegeek's forums to try and find the situation you're faced with. I've played through the game maybe 20-30 times at this point and in that time we've probably ruled on 10-15 situations which required some combination of online investigation and our own discretion... in effect developing our own "house rules" for all that was left out of the rule book. It comes back to your point about not having been thoroughly play-tested.

All that said, I do still enjoy the game. :)



We too have Villainous and one expansion, but we haven't yet cracked it open. Looking forward to taking it for a spin though. :)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #103 on: February 24, 2021, 01:57:47 PM »
Combined with the general consensus that Tapestry was not playtested thoroughly,

I would certainly agree with that criticism. We ended up getting the expansion which does improve things in that regard. The weaker civs from the base game are buffed and the stronger ones get nerfed. I've enjoyed the additional civs and tapestries included in the expansion as well.
I'm glad to hear the expansion rebalances the game. Like I said in the initial review, there was stuff I liked about it but it didn't all come together for me. I'd replay with the expansion for sure.
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