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Subject: W.I.P. Intrigue in the Royal Court rss

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Will
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INTRIGUE IN THE ROYAL COURT





Quote:


This is a game that takes 15 to 30 minutes (with a learning curve of 3 games to fully get the juice out of your strategy).

Each player represents a royal family that is attempting to influence the King or the Queen of an Ancient Kingdom in order to gain the royal favor that will make you become the next most powerfull family in the land.

In order to do so, the players have at their disposal 10 (TEN) archetypes.

Each of these archetypes is represented by a tile with their icon and its own ability:

1) The Assassin: allows you to remove an opponent tile in play from the game.

2) The Joker: returns an opponent´s tile in play to the activation zone of your opponent.

3) The Spy: once you place this tile it changes position with an opponent tile in play.

4) The Thief: return another of your tiles in play and one of your opponent´s tiles in play to your respective activation zones.

5) The Bishop: turn to the inactive size one of your opponent´s unplayed tiles in his activation zone.

6) The Captain: when you place this tile you must place a second tile but you cannot activate its ability.

7) The Wizard: move a royal consort (king or queen) 1 position.

8) The Healer: return one of your tiles in play to your activation zone and ACTIVATE it.

9) The Diplomat: Force an opponent to play a predefined tile on his next turn (you choose the tile to be played).

10) The Courtisan: the opponent will not be able to activate the ability of the next tile played.


SETUP

Place your 10 tiles with the ACTIVE side up in your Activation Area (your side of the table )

Place the king and the queen in the same row with 2 spaces between them.

The game will be played in an imaginary grid with each space the size of one tile.


GAMPLAY

The older player will begin the game.

On your turn you must do the following actions:

1) PLAY A TILE from your Activation Area (and turn it to the INactive side)

2) ACTIVE its ability (if possible)

3) MOVE ONE OF YOUR TILES IN PLAY (diagonally or perpendicularly but just one space)

One important thing to notice is that the first tile played by each player WILL NOT ACTIVATE ITS ABILITY. So it is very important you choose well which of your archetypes wont be used in the game.

Secondly, if any tile returns to your Activation Area it will always return INACTIVE unless a specific ability say the contrary.

The players will try to surround the opponent Royal Consort (king or queen) until there are no more tiles to play or one of the players starts his/her turn with his target consort surrounded by his own tiles.


END GAME & WINNING CONDITIONS

The game will end when one of this two conditions happen:

1) The players have played all of their tiles

2) One player starts his/her turn with his target consort surrounded by his own tiles.

On the second condition the victory is total.

The first condition resolves the game by counting the influence number in the tiles surrounding their target consort. The player with the most influence wins. In the case of a tie the players are even and can resolve this situation in another game.


STRATEGY

Total Victory is easy on the first games because it happens mostly due to an opponent bad decision. But as the game is played the strategy will go deeper and deeper and the game will resolve by the second condition.

So it is important that the players remember they have to use their tiles as effective as possible not only to surrender a Royal consort but also to place as much influence as possible around them.

Careful planning turns this game into a mental battle that might lead to analysis paralysis. If this is the case use a 30 second timer. If your opponent cannot place or move his tiles on time you are the winner.

-----------------------

DESIGN NOTES:

My prototype was a little rough:



So I decided to hire a professional artist I am very fond of to create really cool pieces... and this is the result:



Definitely quite a difference!
(You can see some of her works by clicking on the icons. Thank you so much, Julieta!)

I created this game because I wanted something you can carry around that doesnt occupy too much space, can be played almost anywhere and has a deep level of strategy. Its a game that changes a lot when you play it on your 3 or 4 game with the same player because the first and second game are very relaxed... each other is getting familiar with the abilities and doesnt care much who wins.. but after the third game, the nice person is no more and your start trying to outbrain your opponent at every move. Its fun to see the other player so focused into the possibilities.

I ve played this with some friends and in the beginning everybody tells me that I have to make 2 version so the game: one with just 6 abilities or so and the other one with the hole. I will let you decide this. For me the abilties are not hard to remember and with continuous playing you can see a few rounds in the future and never again forget what each archetype does.

Anyway, I will try to have the DEMO as soon as possible so you can enjoy this freebie

I am very thankful to the community for all that I have learned and all the opportunities I gathered so this is my way to saying thanks...
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Will
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And here is the final artwork:



Thank you so much Julieta for the awesome work !!!

The files will be up soon for download
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Marco López Piñatelli
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Great art, I want to play it already.

PD: Are you going to release a spanish version? I'd love to play it with my gf.
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Will
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Hi, thanks for the feedback.

Yes I will release both an english and a spanish version. They will be ready on the first days of this week. But I want to be sure the tiles look awesome so I am printing them tomorrow on a professional print shop. There I will get the size right and prepare the pdf for download
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Will
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Almost there... I will print the game today with my latest modifications and the files will be ready to be downloaded in both Spanish and English
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Marco López Piñatelli
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Great, I can't wait for them.
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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Is there any concern about name confusion with Succession: Intrigue in the Royal Court?
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Will
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Hi, Josh, no concerns because aparently that game enhances the SUCCESSION as the main name and only mentions as a secondary "intrigue it the royal court". Check down and you will see the true name is SUCCESSION: Intrigue in the royal court. But thanks for pointing that out, I forgot to look for the name on the bgg
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Will
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Files are Up! and ready for download

Enjoy guys and let me know your opinions.

Thank you very much for the patience!

Will
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Will
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Here are some pictures of the cutting and gluying of the pieces



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Will
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Well, I found 3 spell errors:

Courtesan
Powerful
Perpendicularly

Already corrected and reuploaded
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Will
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An important update to the rules:

If at the end of the game one player has his Royal Consort surrounded by pieces of his color, he/she wins the game.

If at the end of the game both players have their Royal Consort surrounded by pieces of their color, the game is defined by the condition of Influence Points.


I will make the proper changes and upload a new file. But if you have already printed the previous version the only change will be this adendum.
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Will
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The game has been added to BGG database:

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/157137/intrigue-in-the-ro...
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János Décsei
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This game looks amazing, I love these simple but stylish illustrations!
I hope it will be as great strategic game as it sounds. Will definitely try this out!
Only one little thing bothers me, the inactive side of the components. Not fan of that candy-like 3D round shape (protection token as you call it in the rulebook) on them, it doesn't fit the 2D art in my opinion (maybe it's just me, not that I know art and stuff).
I would suggest a less saturated color instead, to imply the inactive state. Or less contrast. Or giving a slight tint of another color.
And instead of the 3D shape I think the protection token should be a shield or a fortress symbol, that fits the stylish 2D art.
I hope you don't mind my remarks, everything else looks superb, the rules are well made (found some strange wording in the rules, but I'm not a native english speaker, so those very well could be my mistakes), the player aids are great and again the illustrations are fantastic.
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Will
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The protection token was in the beginning a token the players have to place on the tiles. I decided to keep that idea but without tokens so instead I draw the token on the other side.

It´s not a bad idea at all to place a shield or another symbol but wanted the tiles to look like the have a token on them instead. So it is not for the theme I did that but more for the feeling. Now you turn the tile and it looks like you have placed a token on it. Problem solved, no extra components required.
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Moose Much?
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Printed it up today! Going to play it and let you know how it goes by this weekend hopefully
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Will
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Awesome Shea, bear in mind it will take a few games to know well the different powers and when and how to use them. But with 15 minutes each game it´s not that much

have fun!!
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Marco López Piñatelli
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Played it with my gf last weekend, she doesn´t like boardgames, but enjoyed this one, we had a lot of fun. I'll definitely vote for this game!
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Moose Much?
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willdesigns wrote:
Awesome Shea, bear in mind it will take a few games to know well the different powers and when and how to use them. But with 15 minutes each game it´s not that much

have fun!!


Thanks. Well we played about 8 games. Here is a small overview of our thoughts.

We loved the art. We liked that it was so easy to print and start playing. Variable token ability made it fun to learn.

Some things that would be good to change:

If you could figure out how to make the first turn useful that would be awesome. Having a throw away turn right off the bat is kind of a turn off. It would be easier on our morale to randomly select the first tile to play out of a bag, rather than to start every game with the act of choosing which power you will play without.


In the rules, the gameplay flow needs to be stated in an overview. For example, right after it says Gameplay, say this, "On your turn you must do the following: 1. Play a tile 2. Activate its ability and 3. Move a tile." From there your rules will flow with the reader having an understanding of the whole game while reading. (also, do you really "have to" move a piece on every turn, or can you choose not to? And does the game end when the players' turns are over and there are no more tiles in either activation area? Or does it end "when the last tile is placed..."?)

(and a note for the sake of s) In the rules, you warn that players will make "bad decisions" that will result in different wins. And in the thread you say, "bear in mind." I think take those warnings out of your vocabulary and let people have fun discovering your game. No decision is a bad decision if your having fun and learning the strategy!

There are quite a few grammar mistakes that could be worked out in the rules, I'll see if I have time to send you a grammar edit through geek mail.

I want to play it a few more times, but my playing partner was burnt out and called it quits....could be because I won all 8 times .
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Will
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Wow, thanks Shea for the great feedback.

The idea of the inactive first token is to add more strategy to the decisions the players do from the beginning. On the first games sure pick the first one randomly but I do not think you want to do that on your next games. At least not with experienced players.

Ok, now the two questions:

1) WHEN DOES THE GAME END

It was truly meant to end at the end of the turn of the last player to play a tile. I ve changed that condition and are uploading the new rules up now

now in the rules: "2) The players have played all of their tiles and the last player´s turn is over."

2) MOVING is optional. Also in the joker you have an extra movement but do not have to use it as MOVEMENT is optional.

Already uploaded the new rules but I m waiting for it´s aproval.

-------------

Shea, I am thankfull for your feedback. Definitely those things were loose in the rules.

About your victory, yes, you have to let him win from time to time unless you are playing for the "I am the winner of the entire universe" tile that give you some priviledges

I usually warn players because I know that some players get really stressed when playing competitively. When I was at school I participated in many chess tournaments and have seen how stress can make you make mistakes you wouldn´t have made if you have been cool. That is why I recommend to play this game (at least on the first attempts) with a funny spirit instead of a competitive one.
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Weston Stapleton
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Hey Will. I played through 2 rounds of this with my wife in the past 2 days. I don't think she really enjoys this style of game, and I tried to tell her it may take 3 or so games before it starts to make sense . . . but I could not talk her into trying it again right away. I think the mechanics and tile interaction are interesting, but perhaps I will have to give it another try with a new opponent. Here are some of my comments/questions:

a) The terminology in general is quite confusing. Inactive side, activation zone, in play, active tile, unplayed tile, etc etc. It can confuse a few people, when they have to read so many similar phrases that have very different meanings. Perhaps try and work on contrasting the terminology a bit to make it more concise.

b) Can an inactive tile in your activation zone be targeted with abilities? You state that inactive tiles cannot be targeted while in play, but nothing about inactive tiles out of play. Can I target an opponents inactive tile (token side up) with the Diplomat if it is in their activation area?

c) Rules state that tiles affected by an ability are turned to the inactive side. Does using an ability count as being affected by it? When you use the Wizard's ability, he is only affecting another tile and not himself . . . so would you flip both to inactive side? On the other hand, the Spy swaps places with another tile, so both tiles are affected . . . do both tiles flip to the inactive side?

d) The Healer uses the term "activate" to mean flip the tile from inactive to active side. This is confusing because (as far as I know) activate always means flipping a tile to the inactive side in the rest of the game.

Our first game came down to a Influence count, and even though I won, I was pretty clueless at how it happened (like you said, the first few games are learning games). The second game I won by surrounding the Queen for the victory. I had a little better grasp of the tiles by then, but there were still many moments of "Uhh, ok what does that mean" . . and "can I do this?".
Like I said above, the terminology is quite the speed bump, and may need some reworking. I really like the abilities and when reading them it sounds like some cool moments and tough decisions can arise, but when playing, it wasn't quite as intuitive. Of course the artwork is beautiful and inviting, so that is a good selling point. I think the game has a good seed of an idea, and I had a good time playing. Hopefully you can continue working on it, and really bring out the best points even more. Good Luck in the contest
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Will
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Hi, Weston. Glad to read from you. Let start with the answers

a) I completely understand the issue. I will see how this can be improved

b) Yes, inactive tiles can be targeted outside play.

c) The tiles that trigger the ability are not considered to be affected by it so they do not flip. They are the cause, not the effect. So the spy and the wizard do not flip, only their targets.

d) yes, again the terminology confuses. I meant to make an inactive tile, active again.

I will check the rules again and see how I can make the terminology more intuitive. It´s not a game for everyone, I know that. Not an easy sellpoint if you have to play 3 games to understand your options but as a chess player I recalled my first games to be completely clueless and they lasted for a lot more than 15 minutes.

I understand abstract games have to be more intuitive. I will recheck the rules and see how that goes. I have a beginners mode in mind that uses only half of the tiles at first and adds a new tile after you played another one so that you keep only 5 tiles in your activation area at all times. Will let you know when i playtest it more.

Thank you very much for taking the time to play the game. The feedback you gave really helped me to understand some of the flaws. I will try to correct them asap
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Weston Stapleton
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Yeah, the 15 minute timeframe is definitely awesome. And I think that is enough to overcome the fact you need to play a few games to really grasp the strategy. It takes several games to really get a grasp on the strategy of some of the most popular euro games . . . and they take *gasp* 2 or 3 hours.
The beginners mode sounds like a very good idea as well. I am subscribed to this thread. So as long as you update it here, I will be on it. I will be taking this game to my group's Games Day at the end of the month as well, so hopefully I cna get a few more rounds in.
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Will
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This is a game I play a lot with my gf and it has come to pass that after the 4th game the smile of the initial play starts to fade away and comes the competitive personality to take place and take care of the slaughter. She won more games than I did so the slaughter was mine to bear but I am used to lose on this kind of games with her so the habit heals all wounds.

I completely understand the frustration of the first games. I know gamers want to dive into the strategies as soon as they read the rules but in my experience the best games end up being those that allow you to think what you could have done in your previous game and this one has a lot of that.

It happens all the time when I introduce the game to new players I see their faces twich and grinde as if I am explaining a complex equation but after the first game I see a glimpse of understanding replacing the expresions and the next games become more and more fluid. That is why I made it 15 minutes only. It gives you the chance to try it and learn it at the same time. If you like it you keep digging into it and if you don´t, well those have been just 15 minutes of your time

Please let me know how it goes your next session. Hopefully you will find new partners to play it
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