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Subject: Message in a Bottle: A Beta Tester Reflects on Nemo's War 2nd Edition rss

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John Smales
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Colonel Peter Gansevoort (1749 – 1812) Defender of Ft. Stanwix, Rome, N.Y., 1777
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Deus ex Machina:an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation

I've had the pleasure of watching this game evolve over the past several weeks and being a part of this process, albeit a very small one, has been challenging and fun. This design will be definitive--and as Nemo, you will be buffeted,battered, badgered and beleaguered by mankind and nature, but with the sense that your destiny is in your own ,usually, capable hands.

The second edition of Nemo's War feels like four games in one--and it is the elegant asymmetry of Nemo's motive which shines in this new edition. This is not simply a component upgrade of a fine little game, it is the full realization of a design's potential. Even with the modest beta test kit components Nemo's War II oozes theme, and as we get closer to it's realization, I can't wait to get my hands on the final product.

Be patient, I can assure you that when the Nautilus hits your table wrapped in its Gold Banner-- it will have been well worth the wait.

-- Somewhere in the South Pacific



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Wm Seabrook
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Thank you, John.

My appetite is truly whetted.
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Alan Emrich
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We had designer Chris Taylor by the office playtesting today. He's very pleased with how it's all coming together.

We're really closing in on the systems and mechanics and should be down to just balancing the victory points by June.

Alan Emrich
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Paul Bradshaw
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I would not ordinarily buy a revamp of game that I already own (done it once thus far), but I seriously think that I will make an exception with this project.
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Daniel Kearns
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Your sea is so great and my boat is so small.
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Cool post! cool
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Alan Emrich
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Just to add my own impressions as we're making some Herculean efforts to really put some great additional gameplay in the box, and all of this "steak" will be wrapped in the best "sizzle" from artist Ian O'Toole.

I can't address the art side of things too much at this time (Ian is starting to get his feet and submarine wet exploring all the new gameplay options and enjoying the beta kit, I'm happy to say!), but the meat on the bones I can address.

Designer Chris Taylor and I (developer Alan Emrich) made quite a study of the BGG comments re: NEMO'S WAR, as well as discussing our own reflections of "what we would do if it had it to do over." Some of the big notes that we wanted to the second edition to hit included:

THEME!! We wanted to expand and underscore the thematic elements of the game. To that end, we've added some new Adventure cards (right out of the book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, of course!), named all the ships (which I've researched for reasonable historical accuracy +/-5 years, including nationalities -- the Hunt for Nemo is a very international affair), created more Nautilus upgrades and added flavor text to their cards, put some important crew members on board for your use as resources (the Engineer and First Officer), created a more interesting map to travel across (e.g., allowing your submarine to traverse the Northwest Passage between the West Pacific and North Atlantic, which is very efficient), and altering the NOTORIETY track's narratives with both its reinforcement groups and end-game levels vis-a-vis Nemo's Motive.

GAMEPLAY!! One thing we know we needed was MOVEMENT... To that end, we got rid of the "Weekly Time Track" and tied the games activities to a single Adventure card draw followed by a dice roll (with increasing numbers of dice as Act I moves to Acts II and III) that determines both ship placement and Action Points available that turn. Some turns you have plenty of "juice" (Actions) to get things done with, other turns are "Lulls" where you have to make best use of some "down time." It's a great feel giving you time to strategize and the game's "AI" time to develop it's Oceanic Plans to Hunt You Down and Kill You.

We've streamlined a lot of the mechanics into a standard TEST procedure for just about everything. If you risk your Resources (i.e., Nemo, Hull, or Crew), there is REAL risk involved now as epic failures have epic consequences! Muhuhahah! It makes for some great gaming "moments" during play and definitely ratchets up the Dramatic Tension via exciting gameplay decisions and outcomes.

NEW THINGS TO SEE: We've mixed a lot of fun stuff into the Ship tokens. New types of ships have been added to the mix, including ships with special rewards, a Sea Monster, and the infamous French Air Ship. There is even a set of tokens you can add to raise the difficulty level a smidge that drop some Random Events into the Oceans for you to discover!

FOUR GAMES IN ONE: We're currently hard at work making the gameplay and strategies in each of the four Nemo Motives (War!, Anti-Imperialism, Explore, and Science) very distinctive. The victory conditions were slightly altered for each motive in the first edition of the game, but we're really "cooking up" a much more distinctive set of challenges and pressures for each of these four motives and trying to achieve putting "four games in the box" to give this game a helluvalot of replay value.

BALANCE: We're not there yet, balancing out the Victory Point acquisitions and Victory Levels for each Motive, but we will get there soon once all of the above stuff is nailed down. That's the last nail, but an important one for us to really get right this time.

There's more to say, of course, but I'm on break between classes at school now, so I thought I would share that time with you!

Keep looking for updates and, once Ian gets going on the art, some sneak looks at how the look of the game is shaping up.

Alan Emrich
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Wm Seabrook
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Thank you Alan, this is fantastic!

Why not include an (currently) unused area on the game board that can be used to link to another solitaire VPG game (Lincoln's Island? *) and so allows a 2-player variant using both games; like Ottoman Sunset/Hapsburg Eclipse!

(* Lincoln Island, of course, was the name given to "The Mysterious Island", home port of the Nautilus)
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Damon Asher
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Awesome, can't wait. Plus, I am hopeful that once this is done, Astra Titanus Gold Banner will move up the queue!
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Christopher Taylor
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drasher25 wrote:
Awesome, can't wait. Plus, I am hopeful that once this is done, Astra Titanus Gold Banner will move up the queue!

I like the cut of your jib.
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J Ry
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This looks awesome.

That said.
I'm glad I saw this post before I bought it on the sale today.
Guess I'll be waiting.
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