Saturday, April 07, 2012

Tons of Warmninger/Escalation testing!

I am happy to report that I have had a lot of opportunity to playtest Warmonger (I think I'll start calling it Escalation and see how I like it) this week, and it's been very productive!

In addition, I have received some playtest reports from people who have printed out the Print-n'-Play files, and they have been very useful as well. So a great big THANK YOU to everyone who has tried the game out!

For those following along at home, here are a few card comments and potential tweaks. I'll be updating my PDFs again tonight and tomorrow to take some of these into account. Also, at the end of this post there'll be a sneak peak at a new piece of the expansion that is, frankly, pretty awesome!

Card Tweaks:
Scientific Method: This card has seemed to be much too powerful for my liking. The next tweak is to allow the additional tech card purchase on your own turn only. Perhaps I'll phrase it like this: "You may follow your own Research role."

Midnight Oil: I had put 2 Exotic icons on Midnight Oil - pretty much because I didn't know what else to put there. After playing with it, I feel like that's not useful or fun at all - so I will replace those Exotic icons with a Destroyer. For the most part, Midnight Oil hasn't proven to be terribly useful, but I like that it exists, and maybe people will buy it for the Destroyer.

Civilized Planets: I have changed the Colonize cost of each of the Civilized planets to 4.

Action Planets: I have changed the Colonize cost of each of the planets with Actions on them to 4.

Diverse Tech Cards: I would like to try increasing the cost of the L2 Diverse techs to 2 Destroyers rather than 1 Destroyer. 1 Destroyer seems too easy to get. I am still waffling on whether I want the other L2 cards to cost Destroyers or not. Improved Fleet would probably still cost 5 Fighters I think...

Destroyer Technology: I don't like how easily Destroyer Tech chains into other techs by providing the destroyers necessary to obtain other Diverse techs, which you obviously already qualify for. Therefore I think I'll move Destroyer Tech back to the Metallic stack.

Dreadnaught Technology: It appears that Dreadnaught Technology is a bit too powerful. The thing about Dreadnaughts is that they are supposed to be difficult to get - on par with a L3 tech card. So a L2 tech card that just GIVES you one seems a bit too good.

One idea instead is to put a Dreadnaught in the corner, rather than allow it to put your Dreadnaught into play. But frankly, I'm not sure that's any better. Making the card into a Dreadnaught still means you can buy one for the cost of an L2, and I don't like that. Annex has a Dreadnaught on it, and it's a L3. So I think either Dreadnaught tech should not exist, or it should be a L3 tech. Probably L3 in the Diverse stack.

Utility: I fear that Utility might be a bit too good for a L1 tech. Thorough Scanning and Freedom of Trade seem about right - but Utility can ramp a player up to L2 tech very quickly. Comparing to Warfare Tech just confirms that Utility should be a L2 tech. The question is, is it good enough on its own to be L2? Or should it get a Resource Slot, or maybe a Production symbol?

If I do add a Production symbol, then I might consider adding a Warfare symbol to Warfare Tech. Though I don't really feel that's necessary, so maybe Utility is OK as is? Fighters are not limited by Resource Slots like Resources are, so maybe that's justification for Utility having something extra.

Biosphere: I think I'll swap this with Utility, making it a level 1 tech. I will probably remove either the Production icon, or the Resource slot. Whichever I remove, maybe I'll add to utility, so both in play together will have 2 slots and a Produce icon, just like currently. Frankly that combo, while it seems pretty good, does not seem to compete with other strategies.

Annex: Mike suggested I make Annex a L2 tech, with a Destroyer rather than a Dreadnaught on it. I'm not sure if I like that or not. Maybe I'll give it a shot.

There's a new aspect of the expansion that I think people will really dig. I don't want to spill all of the beans about it, but here's a hint... they're called Scenarios. Specific custom starting setups which we think make for a really interesting game :)

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