Thursday, September 11, 2008

Moctezuma's Revenge - first playtest

Ben and I ran through a 2 player game of Moctezuma's Revenge tonight - it took maybe 40 minutes. The rules are simple, the game is pretty simple, and I wondered if it would be interesting to play or just boring.

While at first I was skeptical, and the action felt a little uninteresting, I'm happy to report that as the game developed it did feel more fun and more interesting. There were a couple of issues that I'll address for the next playtest, which will be tomorrow night, probably with 3 players:

* With the 5 actions a turn, and the only thing costing 1 action being "move", there were a lot of times when you simply had to waste an action. This felt crappy, and I remember from All For One playtests that players don't like that. I considered just making it 3 actions per turn, so you could move and search a little, you could move, move, move, or you could spend your whole turn searching a temple - no wasted actions! Another idea which I think I'll use instead (or in addition) is to add an action when searching. Currently it's 2 actions = draw 2 cards, keep 1; 3 actions = draw 5 cards keep 1. I think I'll add 1 action = draw 1 card, keep none. (cards not kept go on the bottom of the Temple deck).

* I think peeking at 2 or 5 Curse chits at a time s pretty powerful - I'm going to try making it 1 action = peek at 1 chit, 2 actions peek at 3 chits, no option to spend 3 actions looking at 5 chits. So maximum in one turn you could look at 3+3+1=7 chits, which happens to be the same maximum per turn under current rules (2+5), but I think that will be better overall. I might reduce the actions to 3 per turn as well, which means in one turn you could look at a maximum of 4 chits. I would like it to be worth looking at some chit sometimes, but not worth it to spend a bunch of urns just looking at chits.

* I'm thinking for the Clue temples - in order for the treasures to 'count as clues' and score the bonus, maybe they ought to have to be larger than 1vp worth... or "one from each temple, minimum value 2 (or 3)". Or maybe the value of the bonus could be the sum ff the values on the set of cards collected, you just have to get 1 of each to score them.
Edit: I'm liking the idea of scoring based on the actual cards you take out of the temple... part of the game I kind of like is acting based on your opponents' actions, so if they pull out a 5vp card vs a 1vp card, that should mean something. I think for the Lost City clue temples to be interesting, they should encourage taking a larger valued clue.

* I might try a more random method of determining which temple's curse chits are revealed each round, Ben suggested rolling 2d8, which would speed up the game some, but not too much because often the die would come up 8 (when nothing would happen), and once temples start to get fully flipped, they could be rolled again (in which case probably nothing happens). The strict flipping of 1 chit each round seemed to work fine, but it might have given us too many turns each. I think it would be neat if you could visit every temple and collect 1 card from each only if you don't dilly-dally or stop to do research.
Edit: I think I'll stick with a mechanical "flip the next chit" rule for now.

No comments: