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Subject: Madeira Preview - Part 1: The Dice rss

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Matthias Nagy
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Welcome to the first Preview of Madeira. This strategic game had a long development phase, but I'm sure you all agree to rather to not rush a release and instead give the game the time it needs to be ready. I hope you will like the result we present you, as we from What's Your Game? and the Authors Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade think it is awesome and well worth the wait. ☺

Many have heard some small hints about this game and many are curious what it is all about. So the number one request from each player who has it on their watch list is: "Need to read the rules!" I will not present the full rules today, as we are still tweaking them so that the rulebook will be easy to read and the game easy to learn. But we want to break the "wait and see" approach many of you have, so I show you some elements already today to give you more info.

I start today with the main element of the game: The Dice.



Madeira is a civilization game and it is an economic game, but from its heart it's a worker placement game. Although the game contains worker meeples for each player, the true workers from a mechanic “point of view” are the dice and their placement is the core of the game. Each die is only numbered 1 to 3, and every number is present twice on a six-sided. This reduction of the possible results reduces the variety to a level that the dice result is still important but not game breaking. We like to challenge your mind, not your nerves

But all dice are of the same color, so how do I know which are mine? We have a small drafting of them. At the start of each of the five rounds in the game, the dice are rolled in groups of three and placed on the Guild Board. In turn order, each player then chooses one group of them as their dice for this round.


(The Guild Board at the beginning of Round 1)

There are several considerations involved in choosing a group of dice.

The first are of course the dice value. You will use your dice to perform the actions and having high-numbered dice is always helpful. The two islands of Madeira are divided into three regions. A die showing a 1 can only be used in Region 1 in theory, unless you pay some bread in order to increase its value. Bread can be considered as the entrance fee you have to pay to perform actions in the other regions of the island. If you have a die showing a 3 you have the freedom to just use it anywhere and save some bread. Btw: We call these dice the Guild Dice. ☺


A bread tile

The second reason is renewing guild favors. The guild board is called this way, as the four rows represents the four guilds in the game. You will get guild favors during the game, which in theory can only be used once each. Choosing one group of dice and with it the guild that offers them, lets you renew your entire guild Favors of that one guild. Giving you an extra advantage.


One of the Guild Favors in the Game. She provides more Bread.

The third reason for picking a row is the Crown’s Requests. Each Guild offers you different Requests, made by the crown of Portugal. By choosing your group of dice, you will also choose one Request in the same row. Fulfilling the Requests is the principal way to earn Victory Points, so part of the strategy is getting the right tiles.


One of the Crown's Request. What it might do?

And last but not least choosing the group of dice also influences the order of the players during the second phase of the game, where we use the dice to perform actions. Taking a group of dice from the first row makes sure that you will be the first to perform the action.

Combining these four elements (Dice, renewing Favors, Crown's Request, and turn Order) is an exciting start into each round.

I hope you like what you have seen so far. Next time I will go into details of the actions you can perform with the dice. And if you already like what you see and read, spread the word and feel free to go here and give us a thumps up on the Spiel 2013 Preview.

Be seeing you,
Matthias from What's Your Game?
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Ray Smith
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Thank you for doing some "preemptive strike" previews.
The multiple choices of the dice mechanic is very intriguing!

It's been a loooong road, and I eagerly await its release.
Keep the goodness coming. thumbsup
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Jack Francisco
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Same here. All over it, first chance I get.
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Pedro Correia
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Played it, loved it, buying it...
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-matt s.
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I'm very excited to see this mechanic in Madeira! I've seen those dice in pictures over the past 1-1/2 years and wondered how they would be used. I love worker placement games and I love how you've taken the choosing of a group of dice to a new level - so many things to consider!
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Frank Niil
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Interesting...
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Jack Francisco
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I'm starting to get that same great feeling I got from looking at the pics of CO₂ when it was first breaking the surface. I knew that would be great and I'm pretty sure this one will be as well.
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Paulo Soledade
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AndrePOR wrote:
Played it, loved it, buying it...

...and won it!
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Daniel C. Martinez
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Hey Mattias, thanks for the preview. One question though: supposing you roll high numbers for the first guild, how do you prevent that from being too unbalanced in regards to the remaining guilds?

As I see, the first player to choose would have an enormous advantage over the others...

This might sound like a dumb question given you know all the rules and such.

Thanks.
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Mathue Faulkner
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dragos_br wrote:
Hey Mattias, thanks for the preview. One question though: supposing you roll high numbers for the first guild, how do you prevent that from being too unbalanced in regards to the remaining guilds?

As I see, the first player to choose would have an enormous advantage over the others...

This might sound like a dumb question given you know all the rules and such.

Thanks.
Unless I'm mistaken, he hasn't necessarily stated how those groups are selected by players. It could be an auction or some type of draft, etc.
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Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro
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dragos_br wrote:
Hey Mattias, thanks for the preview. One question though: supposing you roll high numbers for the first guild, how do you prevent that from being too unbalanced in regards to the remaining guilds?

As I see, the first player to choose would have an enormous advantage over the others...

This might sound like a dumb question given you know all the rules and such.

Thanks.

Hi Daniel

Good question !

There are several ways the game mitigates that kind of "luck".

On the first turn:
- The Setup takes care of that - it is made in reverse turn order . So last player choosing guild dice will have an advantage getting the better spots in the city and fields.

On all other turns:
- The first player to pass - chooses his position in the guild table so he makes the choice:
1- based on the passing bonus (better bonus for his strategy)
2- On the remaining Crown's request tiles (Getting in the head of what other players want and his one interest)
3- Order in which Guild dice will be chosen next round. (First pick can be more or less important)

- Also you can always pay (bread) to increase the value of your dice.

It's up to the players to choose the best path based on their strategies. Sometimes it even makes sense to just get the lower dice (ones) because you "really want" that bonus or Crown's request tile and don't mind playing for Porto Santo Captaincy (1).

And now i'm going to shut up and don't give everything away saving some surprises for when you first experience the game ...

ps- In order to fully understand the dice mechanic, Part 2 of Matthias great preview article series will answer some more questions...


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Daniel C. Martinez
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Obrigado, Nuno!
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Danilo Festa
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Cannot wait, where are rules???
Mariano did an excellent work (as usual)!
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Paulo Soledade
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Nylo wrote:
Cannot wait, where are rules???
Mariano did an excellent work (as usual)!

Couldn't agree more!
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Matthias Nagy
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And it continues: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1043399/madeira-preview-...
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