Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Winds of Fate playtest 6/20/15

6/20/15: 5 player test of Odysseus: Winds of Fate

I had a nice, successful playtest day at a local store the other day, getting in 2 games of Alter Ego and one game of Winds of Fate. Many thanks to Mandy, Hoss, Tony, Karen, and Aaron for coming by and participating!

After the Winds of Fate game we spent a lot of time talking about Timeline/Destiny bets. Maybe it would be good to combine them, so you'd "Place a Bet" on a particular round OR a particular outcome:


With the payout divided between bets on both the correct round AND the correct outcome. This might simplify the whole betting thing.

Hoss suggested that the timeline/destiny bets be matched so that when you bet, you increase the amount in the pool by more, but I think that's the same as just saying that those bets are worth more.

I definitely would like to see more god tiles in the game. There are currently 12 tiles on the board, 6 more in the decks, and 3 more in the reward tiles - that's 21 total... theoretically enough for each player to get 4-7 of them. However, it seems likely that several of the tiles from the game board won't be claimed, so realistically there's only maybe 12 god tiles in a game, which is only 3-4 per player... that doesn't do much for a set collection mechanism.

For one thing, I could start players with 1 god tile (at random, or of their choice, or one of each perhaps)... if it's at random or chosen (as opposed to one of each) then that might also give them a reason right away to prefer one location over another.

If I add three more tiles for each of Dionysus, Hades, and Hermes and then place 2 tiles at each location instead of just 1 - either awarding 1st and 2nd highest contribution, or else rewarding the highest contribution on each side help/hinder - then that gets quite a few more gods into the game.

At GameLab in Portland last March a player suggested I give each player a matching deck, rather than everyone drawing off the same deck. That could help even out luck of the draw. If I do that, then adding each of the three god tiles to EACH deck would increase the number of gods, but I think it would equate to just giving each player 2 of each god. However, if those cards were the only high value cards, then maybe players would leave them in their deck to help control outcomes... at least until the end of the game.

But I kinda like drawing off of a single deck... Aaron made an interesting suggestion - to add more god effects to more cards, like almost every card could have an alt-use god effect... then the card play might be (a) more fun, because there would be lots of stuff you could do, and (b) more interesting because the play of each card would come with an opportunity cost.

For when Odysseus arrives at a face down tile (an encounter that's already happened), we talked about how it could be better and simpler if the direction the boat goes were not based on the type of path that was taken to get there. I kind of want the gods to decide - like you flip an Olympus card and that determines which way the boat continues. Also, maybe the event could happen - giving more God effects happening. This could make the death spiral less likely, or at least less certain. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

This is the best version of the game so far, but I've clearly got a ways to go before I'd consider the game "finished." At this rate it's probably never going to be. On the up-side, it seems Greek mythology has become a popular theme of late!

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