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Wu Wei: Journey of the Changing Path» Forums » General

Subject: Any non-new users with opinions about the game? rss

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Ted Spencer
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Saw the 9.80 rating and checked out the comments. Mostly from new members.

Has anyone with longevity on the geek played this game?
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Phelan
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Every rating is either from new members or from the designer.

I'd also like to know more about the game, since those make me want to stay away.
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Ted Spencer
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Not only stay away, but suspect the game itself. Bad form all around.
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Justin Waggle
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Hey guys!

I'll admit I'm still getting used to the rules and etiquette of the site. I never meant to inflate the rating on the game. I just wanted to make sure there was some activity to get it on the radar.

I just saw this post and I wanted to let you know that we have independent previews coming from GeekDad.com, Noobsource.com, CritsHappen.com, and BoardGameQuest.com. I'm also getting ready to shoot a bunch of game play videos to give you a better idea of how the game plays.

We were at the play test hall at GEN CON last August and we got a pretty positive response from the testers. A few things were tweaked with the rules and now we're on Kickstarter. I hope you can forgive the freshman enthusiasm and take a closer look as we start rolling out more information.

Best,
Justin

P.S. Please let me know if there's anything I can answer here. I'm happy to talk about the game.
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Phelan
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iamwaggle wrote:
Hey guys!

I'll admit I'm still getting used to the rules and etiquette of the site. I never meant to inflate the rating on the game. I just wanted to make sure there was some activity to get it on the radar.

I just saw this post and I wanted to let you know that we have independent previews coming from GeekDad.com, Noobsource.com, CritsHappen.com, and BoardGameQuest.com. I'm also getting ready to shoot a bunch of game play videos to give you a better idea of how the game plays.

We were at the play test hall at GEN CON last August and we got a pretty positive response from the testers. A few things were tweaked with the rules and now we're on Kickstarter. I hope you can forgive the freshman enthusiasm and take a closer look as we start rolling out more information.

Best,
Justin

P.S. Please let me know if there's anything I can answer here. I'm happy to talk about the game.
Ah, thanks. The previews should help me.

But yeah, ratings like those sometimes can be a warning sign. Hence my reserve. Better to get the buzz going some other way, and let ratings come naturally.
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TTDG
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The only preview video to date leaves me with various questions and thoughts. It looks fairly abstract, meaning if you did not tell me the theme, I doubt I'd guess it.

Is the game balanced between the emperor player and all of the others? Can anyone turn a field tile back over? Is a non-emperor player ever 'forced' to turn a tile to the field side? Does the general move along the continuous path of fields as far as they want on their turn? Is there any remedy to having a student blocked off completely by fields, or fields and the 'last' season? Some text says chi can flip fields. How? And if so, then how can the emperor player win? Does the emperor player need to 'touch base' back to the 2 yin yang tiles every time they want to switch between emperor and general? Can the emperor flip more than 1 tile to a field per turn?

From the one video we have so far, the d4s were not explained. ???

We really need independent reviews on the game play, and a posted rulebook.

Some of the art shows 6 animals, but the video mentioned only 5. ???

In a game with less than 6 players, what happens with the extra masters? If a non-emperor player wants to keep another non-emperor player from winning, can't they just play keep away with thier master and the other student? In a 2 player game, is the 2nd player always forced to be the emperor? Does the emperor have an advantage in a 2 player game versus a 6 player game?

Will a season that has already seen play once in a game ever come back around again in that same game? Will a chi card that has already seen play once in a game ever come back around again in that same game, in other words does that deck contain more than 5 cards? Where do the master pieces start play? Can a non-emperor player flip one of the yin yang tiles? How are the little square tiles placed secretly at the start of the game since both sides of them contain 'useful' information? Why are black stones placed on fields instead of the 4 corners only? If a square card is flipped up, must a player flip a tile? What do you mean 'to free towns', when towns are circle cards? What is the ratio of N, S, E, W square cards to NW, SW, NE, SE, since the former affect 4 tiles and the latter only affect 2 tiles each? How long can a player use that particular tile flipping power (only once when the card is first flipped or until the next one is flipped)? What do you mean, the army can conscript a student? What prevents a player from placing a master on 1 of the 4 corner tiles and denying the emperor player a win?

This game needs a sticky play mat so that all of the tiles don't slide about during play.


I am sure some of my questions will be answered by more videos, reviews, or posted rules, so don't complain about this post after that happens, but for now, a lot of questions remain.
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Justin Waggle
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Hey TTDG!

Thanks for stopping by! Your points are all totally valid. I'm hoping some of the previews will starting hitting the web soon. I'm working on game play videos right now. Hopefully one of our play testers will be able to chime in at some point but in the meantime I hope my answers will work. Let me roll up my sleeves here ha ha!

The game is somewhat abstract but the principles of movement and the actions you can take in the game are taken directly from Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and other arts. Yin and Yang, the only constant being change, pushing and pulling, etc. Tao literally means "the Way" and that is definitely what we're trying to help players find with this game.

We spent a lot of time getting the balance right with the Emperor and the other players. I believe everyone has a fair shot.

Anyone can flip a Field back over. This is accomplished by visiting a Square space (Palace) and flipping over a "square" card. The square card shows a direction and you can flip over unoccupied tiles in that direction (North or Southwest for example). If you don't want to flip over a terrain to the fields side you don't have to.

Every player gets three spaces to move on any given turn. They can augment that by using chi to move additional spaces. So, to answer your question about the General... he can move as far as he wants as long as he has chi to spend and fields to walk on.

The fields do not block students. Anyone can walk on fields. If a Student is blocked and cannot move, they are sent to the Center Tile and they lose their highest animal card.

Chi can be used to destroy walls. Specifically, five chi of the same kind can be used to destroy a wall or reclaim a town. It cannot be used to flip a field. Only the square cards can flip fields back and there's an element of chance there so you can't continually target the Emperor's path.

The Emperor does not have to touch base at the Yin Yang tiles. Anyone can go over those spaces. That's just where the Emperor and General start the game. If the combination of the two tiles read Black/White, you get to choose which piece to move. If it's White/White, you have to move the white piece (Student or Emperor). If it's Black/Black you have to move the black piece (Master or General). You always have one piece to move no matter what.

The Emperor flips tiles wherever he walks. He does have to obey the seasons just like any other player. Let's say the Emperor moves over three valid octagon spaces. Each space can be flipped over to the fields side. The last space he ends on can be flipped and he can add a wall. That's basically the extent of the Emperor's powers. He can also visit towns, temples, and palaces and activates them like any other piece.

Th 4-sided dice are known as Lineage Markers. Every time you move your Master you get to roll the die to gain additional Chi. If your Master is ever blocked, the 4-sided die will wind up on the matching temple on the board. The temple is the triangle space. The Master will have to recover this in order to roll it again and in order to win.

Noobsource.com just posted a preview for the game. We're expecting more in the near future! http://noobsource.com/reviews/board-games/219-lineage-the-ma...

I've been debating whether or not to post the rule book. The rules are set but I'd like to massage the explanation a little more. I currently have folks helping me edit the language and order. I will let you know if we wind up posting the full rule book. In the meantime, I'm working on game play videos right now. We're trying to put it together in bite size chunks.

The five animals mentioned are the five animals from Kung Fu: Snake, Dragon, Tiger, Leopard, and Crane. The sixth animal you see in the artwork is a Chinese Lion. That Lineage card belongs to the Emperor and represents the statues that typically guard the Palace.

In a game with less than 6 players, the extra masters stay on the board and become Stationary Masters that stay at their Temples. You can still visit them but unless they are pushed off the temple, they will remain on that space.

A big part of the game is running your Master away from other Students. The ever-elusive Master. You can definitely spend your game playing defense but the changing circumstances of the board makes it fairly impossible. Additionally, every winter players bid chi on a new First Player. Under the right circumstances you may be able to take two turns in a row and that would make it impossible to stop you from accomplishing certain goals. The Yin Yang Tiles will force players to move certain player pieces at different times so you won't be able to move your Master every time.

In a 2-player game, the Emperor cannot be chosen. Their are slightly modified rules for a 2-player game. Most significantly there are no Fields and the square cards serve to place walls instead of flipping terrains.

Seasons continue in the natural order of things. Winter becomes Spring and the process repeats throughout the game.

The circle cards that control the type of chi on them have multiples of each type (6 of each chi type) and cycle randomly throughout the game. If the deck runs out, the cards are shuffled and the process starts over again.

The Masters start on the temples (triangle spaces) matching their color.

Any player can flip a Yin Yang tile. They act like pressurized triggers. They won't change until you move off of them. By ending a turn on the space you can lock the tiles in place. But more likely than not you will be forced to leave the space the next turn.

Most of the square tiles are placed facing down at the beginning of the game. The only ones that face up are the Towns in the four corners and the temples. The others are hiding the type of chi they contain. The shape represents the type of power the space contains. The color represents the type of chi it will give you. In this way there's an element of discovery throughout the game.

The black stones represent walls and conquered towns. Essentially they represent places that are blocked off to all Masters and Students. The Emperor creates Walls and the General conquers Towns. That's the only catch with placing stones. You can also think of them as troops. If the Emperor runs out of stones (there are only 13), he can pick one up to place somewhere else.

As I mentioned earlier, players do not have to flip terrains if they don't want to when they flip square cards.

When I mentioned "free towns", I meant towns that have been conquered by the General. These are towns that have a Black stone on them. With five chi, a player can remove that stone and essentially "free" the town from the General's influence.

The ratio of N,S,E,W,SW,NW,SE,NE is equal. There are three of each. I also peppered in 6 special "Any" cards that allow you to choose a Terrain anywhere on the board. Being able to choose from four instead of two is definitely an advantage but many times the spaces are occupied with player pieces or walls and occupied terrains cannot be flipped so the advantage usually evens out.

Let me explain the square deck briefly. The color on the card that is currently showing represents the next "Influential Palace". If you can find that palace (square space) that matches this color, you get to double up on the power of this deck. Normally you'd get to flip a card and utilize that power immediately. If a new color comes up you can visit that new Palace to get the next double effect. If you manage to be at the right place at the right time (ending a turn on the Influential Palace), you get to flip a card and choose two terrains in that direction to flip. Or you can flip a card, change one terrain and flip another card to change a second terrain. I hope that all makes sense.

In the video I said Army but I really meant General. The General has plus signs all over him. If you look at the Students, they have a minus sign. If you think of the pieces in terms of electricity or magnetism, these two forces are attracted to each other. The same with Masters and Students. The Emperor alone has a complete charge and cannot share a space with others. If the General ends a turn on the same space as a Student, control of that player piece goes to the Emperor. The next time the Emperor moves he can send out this student to convert Towns for him. This is particularly effective in getting to corners that don't have Field paths.

Players can definitely place pieces in the four corners. If it's a Student, the General can grab them. If it's a Master, the Emperor could wall them in, change the Yin Yang Tiles and force them to move. The player would lose their LINEAGE Marker and wind up in the Center Tile. Not to mention, spending your whole game in a corner won't get you toward your goals.

The sticky mat is a great idea! I'm going to look into that very seriously!

Phew! You gave me a run for my money! After writing all this I might as well post the rules even if they are somewhat dry. I haven't added graphics or adjusted the order yet. The rules are 99.99% set but the explanation is still in process. Let me give them one last pass. I'll get back to you about that as soon as I can.

Thanks again for all the questions! I'm actually really excited to talk about it.

Best,
Justin


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Justin Waggle
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Here's a draft of the rule book: http://graywolfgames.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/lineage0...
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TTDG
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Okay. I need to look at the last 2 links you've posted, but I do have 1 question. If the yin yangs are both black, and the general moves away from them (which he'd need to do to have a move unless you can do nothing on a turn), then how is the following not a killer stratagy against the emperor player? Just flip the field tiles connecting the general back to the yin yangs. Since the general can only move on fields, and other players can avoid the yin yangs thereafter, or for a long time, the emperor player would be stuck moving the general back and forth on a limited path.

Really what I want to know is that the game has been playtested enough so that there are not any killer strategies like this.
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Justin Waggle
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Hey TTDG!

These issues have definitely been sorted out over many a play session.

The General can move when the Yin Yang tiles are Black/White or Black/Black. If the players flip the Yin Yang tiles to Black/Black, it's true that the General is the only piece that player can move. It's also true that players controlling Masters can only move Masters. In this scenario, the Students are not progressing because they cannot move. Eventually someone will want to move a Student or the General will have access to the Yin Yang tile.

Another mitigating circumstance are the Walls. Fields with a Wall cannot be flipped over until the Wall has been destroyed. This gives the General a little breathing room and with the proper strategy he will always be connected to a Yin Yang tile. In fact, the Emperor has the ability to completely wall off a Yin Yang tile.

The game has a lot of give and take like this. It really is impossible to employ one "killer" strategy. Your strategy has to change throughout the game otherwise you will definitely fall behind.

Best,
Justin
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Jonathan Liu
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[I just wanted to chime in—I'm non-new, although I'm also a sporadic BGG user so I don't post as much and often forget to rate games. Mostly I lurk, and I use BGG to track my plays and my collection.]

I've got one of the prototypes of Lineage for review and have only gotten to play it twice so far—a 2-player game and a 3-player game, although both times I was still working out the rules and making sure I was getting the gameplay correct.

I was using a combination of the draft of rules Justin just posted, the videos from the Kickstarter page, and several back-and-forth emails with Justin. My first impression is that the game is really fascinating, the prototype is beautiful (and if the final game looks close to the prototype then I'd want to own it for the pieces alone), but the rulebook obviously needs reworking so that it's easier to use.

Certainly with only two learning games under my belt I'm hesitant to give it a full review yet, but even in the second game I did try the strategy TTDG mentioned, where you try to trap the Emperor, but it didn't work for several reasons:

- You have to get to the Yin-Yang tile, sit there for a turn, and then leave before it triggers. Using an entire turn for this is very costly. It also gives the Emperor/General player a round to figure out what you're doing.
- Any player can spend chi tokens to move extra spaces. If you're within reach of the General while sitting on that space, you could get conscripted.
- The main thing, though, is that if you trap the Emperor, you've also trapped your students. Therefore, until somebody triggers the yin-yang again to allow white pieces to move, the students are all stuck and cannot train—therefore they can't win the game, either. I suppose if you really wanted to, you could trap the Emperor until you've managed to flip a bunch of fields back, but basically you're just delaying the game and not able to accomplish your own goals. Meanwhile, if the General has access to any Palaces, he may be able to flip tiles over to Fields without the help of the Emperor anyway, and he's going to be collecting chi the whole time.

I do think it's a strategy that can be effective at the right moment, but it's pretty tough to pull off—basically it's almost like a checkmate. It's possible, but if the Emperor-General player lets you get that far, then there were several steps leading up to that when they should've stopped you.
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boB S.
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It's actually spelled "Qi" or "Ch'i", not "chi" which is another word entirely. I wouldn't normally make a big deal of this, as I'm not a language nazi, but in your description for the game, you mentioned that you wanted to make a game "deeply rooted in Chinese philosophy", so I'd imagine you'd want to have the terms in the game and rulebook be as authentic as possible. Given than other, less serious games (such as Ghost Stories) use the correct spelling of "Qi", it looks a little silly here to use the incorrect version, even if the game is being mostly marketed to "gringos".
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