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Subject: Deck of Thieves rss

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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
With the Duel Deck Variant, I am thinking that 28 cards in your play area--give or take what others have stolen, of course--is too many.

I could keep the old empty hand trigger or:

Once any player has ten (?) Gold Coins in his play area.

Thoughts?

I like this as it gives each player goals beyond just getting points:

A.) You must watch/steal Gold Coins to prevent a game end if you are down on points.

B.) You must hold back your own Gold Coins and thefts to prevent a premature end game.

Will have to test!

EDIT:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tested this several times last night and this morning. It is working really well (so far) and feels really tight (to me).

I am loving the 10 Gold Coin end game trigger. I like how you have to carefully watch the other player to make sure he's not too close. One clever combo could clean out one of your Coin Purses or your Lock Box and game over. You'd better keep a Watchman handy for just that very occurrence.

Ideas:

I think Market Day may be broken for this version of the game. Drawing one card per Gold Coin in your play area floods your hand with five or six (or more) cards--suddenly a lot of choices which can be overwhelming. I feel like the game would play even better if Market Day read:

Draw one card for each Gold Coin you place on the bottom of your Draw Deck.

This accomplishes a couple of things:

1.) You now have to pay for those draws--but you can get those Gold Coins back if you can hold on till the end of your Draw Deck.
2.) It forces you to balance the risk of payment with the benefit of the draw.

Also, and we've talked about this before, but should Traveling Merchant have a cost? Maybe she should read:

Play in your play area. Search the draw deck for a Lock Pick or Thieves’ Tools. Show the card to your opponents and place that card in your hand. Shuffle the draw deck and place one Gold Coin from your hand or play area on the bottom. This ability is only activated when you play the card.

That is the Glossary Text, the card text would be abbreviated as follows:

Search the draw deck for a Lock Pick or Thieves’ Tools. Show the card to your opponents, place the card in your hand, shuffle the draw
deck, and place one of your Gold Coins on the bottom.

Thinking out loud; chime in if you like!


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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Ok, it's a good thing you Playtesters have thick skins to wade through all of these versions.

Here is the most recent variant of Deck of Thieves, as discussed in the last several posts (The Duel Deck).

This is a two-player variant that changes things considerably from the base game. Most notably, each player has an identical draw deck. This is really working well for me in tests, and I look forward to comments when/if some of you get a chance to try it.

Keep in mind, if you have two (or three) full decks of Deck of Thieves, this version of the game easily scales to four (or six) players. Probably would work with eight players, too, but I'm stretching my guess-work as this has not been tested. Theoretically, as long as each player has his 27 cards, anyone can play anyone number of other folks.

Rules 2.4.8.3 | Cards 2.4.8.3
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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Who would have known that Valentines day would derail game testing?

My family used up all my printing cardstock to make cards last week. Gah. I'll have a new deck to work with tomorrow, and will give it a whirl. Will let you know how it goes.
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Grondhammar wrote:
Who would have known that Valentines day would derail game testing?

My family used up all my printing cardstock to make cards last week. Gah. I'll have a new deck to work with tomorrow, and will give it a whirl. Will let you know how it goes.


You need a vault for cardstock.

Use 2.4.8.3!
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Ok, to get everyone on the same page, I have decided to summarize the major versions of the game in this post as a catch-up.

The original game should be fairly set in stone as of now. There could still be some very slight tweaks to card counts and/or card values, but it should play as it will in final form.

The Market Variant utilizes the original game's cards in a slightly different way--refer to the 2.4.8.2 rules for the details.

The Duel Deck Variant is actually shaping itself up into a completely different game using what I'm calling the hand-building mechanic. Each player has an identical deck from which he draws cards into his hand. He'll play these cards as in the original game, but they'll be taken from his draw deck rather than a general draw deck. This allows for more planning for combos, offensive play, and defensive play as you know you'll get all the cards you need eventually (assuming the end game condition does not trigger before you have a chance to make your last card draw). The question is: will you get what you need before you need it. Guild Hall, Market Day, and Traveling Merchant (along with two Tricksters per player) will aid greatly in your game play, as together they allow for several opportunities for extra draws and searching your deck for a specific card.

So, here are the versions:

Original Game: (Fast and Fun)
Rules 2.4.8.1 | Cards 2.4.8.1

Market Variant: (Slightly more complex and more tactical)
Rules 2.4.8.2 | Cards 2.4.8.2

Duel Deck Variant: (Much more tactical with some light strategy)
Rules 2.4.8.3 | Cards 2.4.8.3


Thanks for testing and thanks for all of your comments (good or bad, they're all welcome).
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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Hey Jason, it looks like the *.8.3 cards (at least, haven't checked the others) have somehow been replaced by the rules -- i.e. both Cards and Rules are the rules doc. I checked both *.8.3 links from this thread and they're both the same...?

edit: looks like *.8.1 and *.8.2 are fine
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
I edited the link. Should be the correct link now.

Sorry!
Jason
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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Looks good, thanks!
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Results of my testing today (2-player) of the Duel Deck Variant.

We tried the following, and it moved things along very well:

Turn Options:

1.) Draw one card and play one card or
2.) State that you wish to do so, and draw two cards

The "statement" requirement of option 2 prevents someone from changing their mind upon seeing their first draw and casually turning option 1 into option 2.

Otherwise, the game played fast, tight, and was a lot of fun!

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Matthew Rodgers
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
I didn't get my chance to do my playtest like I expected/wanted but I wouder almost if doing the Duel(Dual) Deck idea would be an interesting way to go:

Buy a 2-player base* for X, Buy another player for Y.

Would allow everyone to customize their purchase for their intended group. Also, if each of the expansions had a mini-tuckbox, then setup is a breeze, just toss everyone a tuckbox and tell them to shuffle.

---

* The two-player base set would be two tuckboxes in a larger box or just held together with a sleeve (since after initial opening, the tuckboxes will be functionally identical anyways.
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
zedturtle wrote:
I didn't get my chance to do my playtest like I expected/wanted but I wouder almost if doing the Duel(Dual) Deck idea would be an interesting way to go:

Buy a 2-player base* for X, Buy another player for Y.

Would allow everyone to customize their purchase for their intended group. Also, if each of the expansions had a mini-tuckbox, then setup is a breeze, just toss everyone a tuckbox and tell them to shuffle.

---

* The two-player base set would be two tuckboxes in a larger box or just held together with a sleeve (since after initial opening, the tuckboxes will be functionally identical anyways.


Exactly, Matthew.

If this variant of the game takes hold and tests well, I envision each card of each player deck having a symbol on its face (lower right corner as with other such card games requiring you to pull-out or add-in cards for variants). So, for the base game, you just ignore the symbol, shuffle all 54 cards together, and play. But, for the Duel Deck variant, you sort through the cards (assuming they weren't divided up during break down) and pull out your 27.

I can't wait to hear how this variant plays with three or four or five players. My test group almost always consists of 2-3 players, so I'm eager to hear reports.

I will say this: having identical draw decks--rather than a large communal deck--has really made the game a joy to play for my pals.

Jason



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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Playtest Report

# Players: 4

Demographics: 2 teenage males, 1 adult male, 1 adult female

# Games: 11

Game Length: average 3 minutes, short was 1 min 20 seconds, long was abt 8 minutes

Game Types:

1 Standard game as a baseline, 6 duel deck variants as in 2.4.8.3 rules, 4 duel deck with deckbuild (described below)

Variant Not Tested:

We didn't use the "draw one & play one, or draw two" idea (totally missed it before tonight, might have been nice for lengthening our games)

Summary:

My playtest group really enjoyed the duel variant, enough that two of the other three playtesters recommended that it be the standard way to play the game. My other playtesters wanted a deckbuilding option, so we tried that out with our limited card resources, with mixed results.

Deckbuild Variant:

For the two 4-player deckbuilder games we made the build phase "take your 27 card duel deck and remove any 7 cards". For the 2-player deckbuilder games, since we had 2 full decks, we made the build phase "build a hand of 27 cards from one full deck".

Hangups:

First, due to adverse card draws, Cutpurses were rarely seen, and Cutpurse/Thieves Tools combos were even more rare. Traveling Merchant mitigates this a bit but we didn't see a single Coin Purse emptying combo in 9 of the 11 games.

Results were largely dependent on initial hand configuration. Those who started with 2+ gold in their initial draw were in contention for a win while those who got 1 or 0 almost always lost. There were 2 exceptions to this out of 11 games.

The extreme sensitivity to initial conditions existed because of the (very) short game length. My players knew very well that emptying their hand was a way to end the game so if they had two gold, they'd bet that they could win by simply playing all their cards. And most of the time, no one had time to put together a good theft combo, so they were in fact right.

Mitigation:

Before realising this was due to game length, we tried the deckbuilding variant games as a way to mitigate this.

The 20-card built decks for 4 players just made it worse -- my players dropped their thieves tools, cutpurses, pickpockets, and lock picks, and so gold was nearly half of everyone's decks. Again, those with initial gold piles won, those without lost.

The two-player deckbuilding game did change this. The winning deck both times had 4 cutpurses, 4 thieves tools, 2 pickpockets, 2 lock picks, 4 watchmen, 2 daggers, 3 other cards, and only 6 gold. This worked because player 1 (the one with the cutpurse deck) was relentless with the thievery, so player 2 (the one with a more standard deck) didn't want to end the game quickly. Player 2 kept drawing to try to get a theft combo, and player 1 stole everything while slowly emptying his hand.

Praise:

In unfettered speed-play mode, the game is obviously boiled down to it's essence. As such, it's concentrated theft, and is at times really funny. The one game that lasted less than 90 seconds was hilarious. It's a great filler played that way, and really addictive in an "I'll get you next time" sort of fashion.

Also, an intangible/unquantifiable effect of the duel deck idea was that my players really responded well to having "their own" cards. Even though they were just halves of each deck, the players really latched onto "their" cards and seemed more fulfilled with a win, like it was their win rather than just a win due to some lucky draws.

Suggestions:

After some post-mortem chat, we came to the (late) conclusion that the heavy effect of start conditions came from the short game length. We talked about what could be done to change this. One of my players mentioned the "draw one and play one" mechanic, which would have made it much harder to empty a hand. And we all felt that the full-deckbuild variant would provide some length because that would allow for more detailed strategies.



The End (whew, sorry for the word count!)
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Eleven Plays sounds great!

I'm going to spend today thinking on your report.

First impression, though:

1.) "an intangible/unquantifiable effect of the duel deck idea was that my players really responded well to having "their own" cards. Even though they were just halves of each deck, the players really latched onto "their" cards and seemed more fulfilled with a win, like it was their win rather than just a win due to some lucky draws."

That sounds like a pro and a con, right? Hmm. We felt an ownership of our "Guild," too, as it were. We really liked having our own deck because, as you say, we felt responsible for what happened.

2.) Game length mitigating luck of the draw (ideas).

Flushing a deck for the win was why I added in the other end game trigger: Whenever a player has ten Gold Coins in his play area . . . What if that were the only end game condition? That would essentially add player elimination--if you run out of cards and don't already have enough points, you're dead. Or what if Traveling Merchant let you buy any card, or if there were one or two more of Traveling Merchant per player?

Did you feel like there were too few "card getting cards" or did it seem about right?

3.) Yeah, the draw-a-card/play-a-card method is much better. It feels better and makes more sense, I think.

4.) I'm considering a mulligan option for the starting hand.

Something along the lines of: If you don't like your starting hand, discard up to four cards and draw the same number of cards. Shuffle the four discarded cards back into your draw deck.

5.) I've also considered adding a card to each player's deck.

The Key. The key would allow you to lock your Lock Box, thereby creating a perfectly safe environment for 4 Gold Coins. The catch: If Dirty Thief hits your play area, from then on, once it is in play--unless it is killed by the Dagger--it can steal your key and give it to the player of the Dirty Thief. He can then use it to swipe the contents of your Lock Box. It'd be powerful, but fun, for sure. Thoughts?

6.) For your deck-building, this was only for the first hand right? Clarify how that worked a bit.

Here is another option. Each player draws ten cards from his shuffled start deck. From those ten cards, he selects five. Shuffle the other five back into his draw deck. Begin. That mitigates some of the bad-hand problem, but keeps the game from becoming scripted--as if you can build your deck from all of your cards, everyone would eventually--assuming everyone had the same skill-level--build perfect start hands.

7.) If I may be so bold, and I know the word "fun" is subjective, but: did your group have fun with the game? Was there laughing and backstabbing and howling with mock rage and threats of future thefts and gang-ups and various and sundry other forms of "theivly" behaivior?

Thanks for the feedback, and I'll reply heavily later this evening.
Jason
P.S. Gave ya a wee tip.
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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
CalebSkye wrote:
That sounds like a pro and a con, right?


(this was re: the "ownership" of a half-deck). I'd say it was a full positive, unless you consider everyone wanting their own deck to be a negative. As you said, it was easier to slip into the role of a guild owner, rather than just someone playing a card game.

CalebSkye wrote:
What if that were the only end game condition?


(this was re: the 10-coin end condition) Just tried this out twice with a different tester than last night, and this makes a HUGE difference... though 10 is a LOT of gold. We cut it down to six, and that works well. Our shortest game was 5 minutes long. Opening hand had had very little impact on either game. It didn't feel like it plodded, but it did have a more tactical, meaty feel to it.

CalebSkye wrote:
That would essentially add player elimination--if you run out of cards and don't already have enough points, you're dead.


In theory, yes. In practice, I have never run out of cards. Even in our just-finished 5 and 8 minute games, we both had 7-8 cards left in the draw deck. I'd say don't fix this until it actually shows up as a problem condition.

CalebSkye wrote:
Did you feel like there were too few "card-getting cards" or did it seem about right?


Pretty close to just right. There was a lot of theft going on, and going on from near the start of the game. No problems to report.

CalebSkye wrote:
I'm considering a mulligan option for the starting hand


Sounds fine, though again with the longer game time it's not much of an issue. Good option to have though.

CalebSkye wrote:
I've also considered adding a card to each player's deck - The Key


I personally think it's fine as-is - we've enjoyed the diversification of Lock Box vs Coin Purse, and that split plus the threat of a Watchman cancel is enough discouragement.

CalebSkye wrote:
For your deck-building, this was only for the first hand right? Clarify how that worked a bit.


Deckbuilding was a totally separate out-of-game phase, having nothing to do with the first hand. Just as in MtG, deckbuilding was accomplished before the game started, then the decks were shuffled and the players drew from the (randomly-shuffled) deck. There was no hand-building or deck-stacking or anything like that. Think MtG but with the limited set of cards available in a single DoT deck.

CalebSkye wrote:
...did your group have fun with the game? Was there laughing and backstabbing and howling with mock rage and threats of future thefts and gang-ups and various and sundry other forms of "theivly" behaivior?


Absolutely. The players I played with last night had all played before, so they knew what they were in for -- and we did have a blast with it. Additional to all you mentioned, there were a number of smug re-thefts, surprise endings due to Dirty Thief's discard ability, and games won by a single point. Good times.

The limited deckbuild was a big hit, and I've been asked if we could do another round tonight with the new endgame rule (i.e. when any player has X gold in their area, everyone else gets a final turn and the game ends). We're going with 6 gold as an end target -- 5 gold is kind-of like 7 treasure in Dominion (it happens often, and getting over the bump to 8 takes some work).
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
My comments below in red.

Grondhammar wrote:
CalebSkye wrote:
That sounds like a pro and a con, right?


(this was re: the "ownership" of a half-deck). I'd say it was a full positive, unless you consider everyone wanting their own deck to be a negative. As you said, it was easier to slip into the role of a guild owner, rather than just someone playing a card game.

Exactly. To me, theme is huge in these simple, fast-play games. Having your own little stack of stuff is easily more immersive.

CalebSkye wrote:
What if that were the only end game condition?


(this was re: the 10-coin end condition) Just tried this out twice with a different tester than last night, and this makes a HUGE difference... though 10 is a LOT of gold. We cut it down to six, and that works well. Our shortest game was 5 minutes long. Opening hand had had very little impact on either game. It didn't feel like it plodded, but it did have a more tactical, meaty feel to it.

I was trying to figure out where this end-game trigger should land, number-of-coins-wise. Ten felt right because you can relatively safely store 7 (3 in your purse and 4 in your lock box) leaving three loose in your play area. It seemed like a challenge to keep them safe long enough to have ten at the end of your turn. You didn't experience that, though, it seems. I'll try 6 or 7 and see how it goes!

CalebSkye wrote:
That would essentially add player elimination--if you run out of cards and don't already have enough points, you're dead.


In theory, yes. In practice, I have never run out of cards. Even in our just-finished 5 and 8 minute games, we both had 7-8 cards left in the draw deck. I'd say don't fix this until it actually shows up as a problem condition.

Does it not make sense, though, that if it's theoretically possible, it should be in the rules to save a FAQ later? I'll think on this.

CalebSkye wrote:
Did you feel like there were too few "card-getting cards" or did it seem about right?


Pretty close to just right. There was a lot of theft going on, and going on from near the start of the game. No problems to report.

My question was weighted, of course, and I agree. I felt like maybe one more stuff-getting card would be about right if not one too many. We'll hold tight for now.

CalebSkye wrote:
I'm considering a mulligan option for the starting hand


Sounds fine, though again with the longer game time it's not much of an issue. Good option to have though.

I think this would help satisfy some who are on the fence regarding luck of the draw. This game does have a good bit of luck, of course, but a Mulligan option, and the tactics involved with combos, etc, round it out for a simple filler, I think.

CalebSkye wrote:
I've also considered adding a card to each player's deck - The Key


I personally think it's fine as-is - we've enjoyed the diversification of Lock Box vs Coin Purse, and that split plus the threat of a Watchman cancel is enough discouragement.

I'll just draw this card with an orange crayon to spite the artist!

So no real problems with: I steal your three coins, you immediately steal them back, she steals my four coins, I block her, you steal her three coins. I think all that is fun. I take it you did, too.

CalebSkye wrote:
For your deck-building, this was only for the first hand right? Clarify how that worked a bit.


Deckbuilding was a totally separate out-of-game phase, having nothing to do with the first hand. Just as in MtG, deckbuilding was accomplished before the game started, then the decks were shuffled and the players drew from the (randomly-shuffled) deck. There was no hand-building or deck-stacking or anything like that. Think MtG but with the limited set of cards available in a single DoT deck.

I see! You mean pre-constructed decks, basically. I understand now.

CalebSkye wrote:
...did your group have fun with the game? Was there laughing and backstabbing and howling with mock rage and threats of future thefts and gang-ups and various and sundry other forms of "theivly" behaivior?


Absolutely. The players I played with last night had all played before, so they knew what they were in for -- and we did have a blast with it. Additional to all you mentioned, there were a number of smug re-thefts, surprise endings due to Dirty Thief's discard ability, and games won by a single point. Good times.

I love the take-that aspect of the game. The last time I tested with 2-Players--and this was with the dull black-text-on-white-sleeved-paper-cards--my buddy literally said, "sweet." So, I knew at least he enjoys the game. We had fun with it right before learning (ugh) Rune Age. Nice, beautiful game, though, that Rune Age.

The limited deckbuild was a big hit, and I've been asked if we could do another round tonight with the new endgame rule (i.e. when any player has X gold in their area, everyone else gets a final turn and the game ends). We're going with 6 gold as an end target -- 5 gold is kind-of like 7 treasure in Dominion (it happens often, and getting over the bump to 8 takes some work).


Great feedback. Another tip for you!
Jason
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Matthew Rodgers
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Grondhammar wrote:
The limited deckbuild was a big hit, and I've been asked if we could do another round tonight with the new endgame rule (i.e. when any player has X gold in their area, everyone else gets a final turn and the game ends). We're going with 6 gold as an end target -- 5 gold is kind-of like 7 treasure in Dominion (it happens often, and getting over the bump to 8 takes some work).


Was that the draw ten, keep five option? I liked that, since it's kind of a preemptive mulligan and should give players enough options to select a playstyle -- e.g. am I going for victory by theft or victory by hoarding?
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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
zedturtle wrote:
Was that the draw ten, keep five option?


No, this was a full deckbuild á la Magic:The Gathering. I do like the hand-build idea of draw 10, keep five though, as that would also mitigate the luck effect. We haven't used it, though.
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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
One more note: we've had a few more games tonight, 3 and 4 player, with only the split decks (no deckbuilding or deck manipulation). And they have gone really well.
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
zedturtle wrote:
Grondhammar wrote:
The limited deckbuild was a big hit, and I've been asked if we could do another round tonight with the new endgame rule (i.e. when any player has X gold in their area, everyone else gets a final turn and the game ends). We're going with 6 gold as an end target -- 5 gold is kind-of like 7 treasure in Dominion (it happens often, and getting over the bump to 8 takes some work).


Was that the draw ten, keep five option? I liked that, since it's kind of a preemptive mulligan and should give players enough options to select a playstyle -- e.g. am I going for victory by theft or victory by hoarding?


I haven't tested this yet, but, you're right. In theory, this is everyone taking a Mulligan before a Mulligan is needed--saves a step, and doesn't add an additional paralysis moment. Everyone just does it.
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Grondhammar wrote:
One more note: we've had a few more games tonight, 3 and 4 player, with only the split decks (no deckbuilding or deck manipulation). And they have gone really well.


Ok, so, in summary, Sean, you're groups have had fun the most fun with:

The Deck-Build (where you build small player decks from the existing big deck and then play the game using Duel Variant Rules).

and

The standard Duel Deck Variant found in 2.4.8.3 rules, but with the endgame trigger being X Gold Coins in a player's play area.

What did X equal, in your final test games?

Thanks!

I wonder: Does the Mulligan step eliminate the need for Player 2 to draw 6 (instead of 5) cards? I'm thinking, yes, it does. Player 1 still gets first play, though, so, maybe not.
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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
Summary of our flurry of DoT playing...


First and most important: the duel deck is a keeper. It's pretty likely that we will never play it any other way. The feeling of ownership is way too attractive to leave out now.


Second, we tried a number of ideas to try to solve the following three problems:

1) Game outcome was dependent on initial hand.
2) Game time was very short, not allowing time to develop a strategy.
3) Players did not feeling they had any control of the game.

Deck building/construction helps with #3. It doesn't do much for #1, and nothing for #2.

Hand building (i.e. draw 10, keep 5 or mulligan) helps with #1. However, it doesn't do anything for #2, and only very faintly helps with #3.

The gold target endgame condition (i.e. first one to 6 gold ends the game) definitely solves #2. But in our tests, it completely solves #1 and makes a significant difference in #3 as well.

With just that single gold-target rule change, we are getting 6-10 minute play times with three players. Players are feeling more in control, and the initial hand bonus/penalty is a complete non-issue.

What is an issue is the same thing as with any other card game -- not getting the right card at the right time and having to improvise. That could be addressed via deck construction, or it could just be left alone as part of the genre.

Hope this was helpful.


Quote:
What did X equal...


X = 6 That gave us a nice play time that didn't seem too long, nor too short. That X may be different in a 2-player game, though.


(as a side note, I agree that the mulligan or draw-10-keep-5 would make the 6/5 initial draw unnecessary)
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - Are your gold coins safe?
My comments in red.

Grondhammar wrote:
Summary of our flurry of DoT playing...


First and most important: the duel deck is a keeper. It's pretty likely that we will never play it any other way. The feeling of ownership is way too attractive to leave out now.

Now you see how I felt when I first played it this way. A light bulb definitely went off for me. The old random deck of cards no longer felt "good" at all. The Duel Deck method accomplishes three things: better theme, better card draws, better planning. Plus, it just feels cool.


Second, we tried a number of ideas to try to solve the following three problems:

1) Game outcome was dependent on initial hand.
2) Game time was very short, not allowing time to develop a strategy.
3) Players did not feeling they had any control of the game.

Deck building/construction helps with #3. It doesn't do much for #1, and nothing for #2.

Hand building (i.e. draw 10, keep 5 or mulligan) helps with #1. However, it doesn't do anything for #2, and only very faintly helps with #3.

The gold target endgame condition (i.e. first one to 6 gold ends the game) definitely solves #2. But in our tests, it completely solves #1 and makes a significant difference in #3 as well.

With just that single gold-target rule change, we are getting 6-10 minute play times with three players. Players are feeling more in control, and the initial hand bonus/penalty is a complete non-issue.

What is an issue is the same thing as with any other card game -- not getting the right card at the right time and having to improvise. That could be addressed via deck construction, or it could just be left alone as part of the genre.

I'm feeling like it should be left alone. When I set out to design Deck of Thieves, I knew I did not want a perfect information game. I wanted a game with some luck. I think the luck of the draw is what makes the County Faire Variant (play three games, total points wins) so attractive.

I also considered adding one card to the mix that does the following:

Search your deck for any card. Reshuffle your deck and place the chosen card on top.

Or something similar. Or, instead of adding a card, I could add a secondary (discard or pay) ability to an existing card to do this search option.

Again, it would help mitigate things a bit, but we are probably okay with things as they are.


Hope this was helpful.


Quote:
What did X equal...


X = 6 That gave us a nice play time that didn't seem too long, nor too short. That X may be different in a 2-player game, though.

We were easily able to hit eight Gold Coins in a 2-player game. I will test this out.

(as a side note, I agree that the mulligan or draw-10-keep-5 would make the 6/5 initial draw unnecessary)

Yeah, and one less setup step!


I'm going to test all of this again (and again), but here is how the rules would look with the following implemented:

1.) Draw 10, keep 5.
2.) End Game Trigger: 6 Gold Coins (8 Gold Coins for 2-Player)
3.) No extra card-draw for Player Two.

Rules 2.4.8.4 | Cards 2.4.8.4--did not change from 2.4.8.3
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - A cutthroat card game.
We tested and this version of the game is working really, really well so far. It's thematic and fun with a good bit of luck-mitigation.

See previous post for more information.

Rules 2.4.8.4 | Cards 2.4.8.4--did not change from 2.4.8.3
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Jason Fordham
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Re: Deck of Thieves - A cutthroat card game.
Testing out a new secondary ability for Guild Hall:

Card Text:

Draw two cards.

When in your play area You may search your deck for any one card. Place Guild Hall on the bottom of your deck.

Card Glossary Text:

Guild Hall - Worth 1 Point
Play in your play area. Draw two cards from the draw deck. This ability is only activated when you play the card. Once Guild Hall is in your play area during consecutive turns, instead of your normal turn, you may search your draw deck for any card, place that card in your hand, and place Guild Hall on the bottom of your draw deck

This will give players one more option to build combos.

I did not change the rules version numbers, but this change appears in the 2.4.8.4 rules as in the previous post.

Jason
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Sean M
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Re: Deck of Thieves - A cutthroat card game.
Gut reaction: ack! I don't want anyone to get Thieves' Tools more easily!

Second reaction: Guild Hall was a pretty ho-hum card, would be nice to have some secondary option with it, and it'd Really handy to pull a Watchman when you need it.

Third reaction: This would be a killer if there is ever a super-power promo card. Maybe limit it to a class of card? (i.e. "any character", "any equipment")

Fourth reaction (as always): Will have to playtest it!
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