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Subject: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Contest-ready rss

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Javier Martin
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This game has been created for the 2014 Solitaire Print and Play contest.

Update:

Blood Rush is now contest-ready!

Update 2:

The game is now in the BGG database!

Update 3:

Do you want to learn to play Blood Rush in a few minutes? Check the new video tutorial! (Captions recommended.)



Just download the 2-page PDF, cut the cards, grab a couple dice and you're ready to play! I've also added the non-necessary card backs as an optional download.

Components download (2 pages, color version):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6QEJ0uMUUXRenkwbFBENkRxVW8...

Components download (2 pages, printer-friendly version):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6QEJ0uMUUXRQmJJdlB5TFRoOHc...

Rules download (6 pages, color version):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6QEJ0uMUUXRWXdZaEVseGhqaTA...

Rules download (2 pages, printer-friendly version):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6QEJ0uMUUXRZE1hZ2RDb1NsZWc...

OPTIONAL DOWNLOADS

Non-essential card backs (2 pages, color version):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6QEJ0uMUUXRSkVjOU00M28zczA...









Introduction

The girl danced wildly to the music of the festival, uncaring of the rest of the masked villagers that swirled around her.

There was good cause for celebration in the small village. The harvest had been bountiful and winter didn't feel that scary anymore. The girl danced furiously to the uplifting tones of the music. The music had a virulent quality to it, and she felt both beautiful and independent away from the supervision of her parents, who had retired home early. Her carefree motions were in no small part due to the tipsiness from the wine, but there was also a great deal of deliberate coquetry in her actions. She had set her eyes on a tall stranger dressed in black that wore a curious, pale, skin-like mask that covered his entire face. She felt bold, the night was young and the man looked so alluringly exotic.

As if reading her thoughts, the stranger turned to face her. He came directly to her, almost as if gliding, and looked at her with wide-open, unsettling eyes without saying a word.

"Charming festival, don't you think?", she asked, as a way of introduction. The stranger simply cocked his head slightly. She found that gesture somewhat disturbing for some reason, but she couldn't focus on why. The wine and the stranger's eyes were making her head spin. She adjusted her own mask in a way that she hoped would look dainty and sophisticated.

"It's a pity that we have to end the festival early and go get barred in our homes", she continued. "Those superstitious old geezers from the inquisition and their stupid rules! They're such a bore!" She actually pouted, but then realized that the stranger couldn't see her face behind the mask, and suddenly felt foolish and vulnerable.

"Indeed", the figure said at length, and the voice had an unsettling tone to it. It was too deep, too well-modulated. Too wrong. The mask, she thought. It's just distorting his voice. That's all.

"That's an interesting mask you've brought, my good sir", she said with a forced laugh. "Although, truth be told, there's nothing I would like better than to see the charming gentleman behind it", she added, trying to appear confident.

"My dear child, I'm really sorry to disappoint you", the stranger said after a few moments of silence. "I'm wearing no mask."

And then, as in a daze, she walked with the stranger towards the forest, away from the music and the safety of the village.





Blood Rush is a short and thematic micro-game designed for solo play about a vampire and his minions raiding a small town for victims. The game features minimal components, strategic decisions and interesting character abilities. Make smart use of your powers and race against the clock to capture villagers before the inquisition shows up!


To keep track of the theoretical side of development, I'm following the design with a series of blog entries. Part 1 is up now, in case there's anyone interested!

Please consider this game for the following prize categories:

Best Thematic Game
Best Written Rules
Best Artwork
Best Small Game
Best Greyscale Printed Game Category
Most Innovative Mechanic Category
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Luke Phillips
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
Subscribed, good luck
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Nate K
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
Have you read much H.P. Lovecraft, Javier? That intro story reminded me of some of his work. I liked it.
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Javier Martin
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
kurthl33t wrote:
Have you read much H.P. Lovecraft, Javier? That intro story reminded me of some of his work. I liked it.


Thanks a lot, Nate! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I'm a pretty big fan of supernatural horror in general and Lovecraft in particular. Some mythos-like motifs may have unconsciously sneaked in (as they usually do...)
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Javier Martin
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
To keep track of the theoretical side of development, I'm following the design with a series of blog entries. Part 1 is up now, in case there's anyone interested!
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
lukerazor wrote:
Subscribed, good luck


Thanks a lot, Luke! I'm going to need it if I want to make the deadline.

Although in the worst case scenario, it will at least be another learning experience, right?
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Javier Martin
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
Feeling exhausted after a whole weekend of testing and tweaking, but the game mechanics are starting to feel really tight and interesting! It always surprises me how many combinations you can get out of a very limited number of cards.

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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
Very cool sounding game! Looking forward to it!
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Javier Martin
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
I've been working on Blood Rush every day. I think it's the most time I've dedicated to polishing the mechanics of a project!

I'm right now tweaking the balance to make it challenging but fair, since right now I'm winning more often than I'm losing. I would be happy with a 50-60% chance of winning.

In the meantime, here's a couple images. This is all of course a WIP, but I thought I could share it in case someone wants to give some feedback about the iconology or the general feel of the cards.



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Nate K
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
Gorgeous.
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
Looks awesome!
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
nice
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Javier Martin
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Internal Playtesting
Blood Rush is component-ready and available for public testing! Just download the 2-page PDF, cut the cards, grab a couple dice and you're ready to play!




Components download (2 pages):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6QEJ0uMUUXRNjVHNlE3Z0xnd1U...

Components download (2 pages, printer-friendly version):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6QEJ0uMUUXRSmozUTJNRmtPcjA...

Rules download (2 pages):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6QEJ0uMUUXRYTd3RVkwWXRYUG8...

Several points to note:
- All the mechanics and rules are finished, but the formatting of the rules will look way nicer on the final release.
- The layout of the cards is finished, but the art is not ready yet. If you want to have an idea of how the portraits will look, have a look at my WiP thread!
- I'm not really expecting any meaningful feedback this late in the contest, but if you give the game a go and find some degenerate strategy that breaks the game, I would appreciate it you could let me know. Of course, any other kind of comments, whether positive and negative, are really appreciated. On this note, I'm really sorry that I haven't had the chance to give any feedback to other projects myself--it's really been a race against the clock.
- I would love to make a video to show people how to play, but I may not have it ready before the final deadline. The game is really easy to play, but I thought it would be a cool detail. TBD.
- Other missing stuff TBD: A logo, the credits section in the rules, non-essential card backs, aesthetic details.
- This is a bit embarrassing, but I'm not sure how to categorize the game mechanics! I guess it can be classified under Worker Placement, but I'm not really sure, since I haven't played many games of that kind. Have a look at the game and see if you can suggest a few categories!


How to build the game:
1 Print the two pages of components.
2 Cut the cards.
3 Match the Monster cards with their corresponding card backs. Paste them or sleeve them together.
4 Acquire two dice, either peacefully or forcefully-we're not here to judge anyone.
5 Play!

Thanks for your time!
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David White
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
This is somewhat embarrassing, but I can't figure out how to resolve a monster at the lair.. cry

It says "if you win", emphasis on "if", so I was wondering how it's done.

Thanks! zombie
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
MrDwhitey wrote:
This is somewhat embarrassing, but I can't figure out how to resolve a monster at the lair.. cry

It says "if you win", emphasis on "if", so I was wondering how it's done.

Thanks! zombie

I was wondering the same, David.

The only thing I can think of is that you must use a Monster ability to bring a Villager to the Lair, and then resolve the encounter....maybe?

Otherwise, there are no Shields at the Lair and the Monster would always "win."

I'm sure Javier will respond in the morning.

Mo
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
Javier - I have not had a chance to play yet, but I did proofread your rules. Here is a Dropbox link to my notes (it's easier than trying to type them all out). If you cannot access it, send me a GM with your email address, and I will send it directly to you.

Also, English/Grammar was not my strong suit in school, so take these suggestions with a grain of salt. It's totally up to you to use my suggestions.

And let me know if you can't read my writing or don't understand what I wrote.

BR Proofread

I hope to get in a couple of plays before the weekend. I'll let you know how I make out.

Mo
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
MrDwhitey wrote:
This is somewhat embarrassing, but I can't figure out how to resolve a monster at the lair.. cry

It says "if you win", emphasis on "if", so I was wondering how it's done.

Thanks! zombie


Hi and thanks a lot for giving Blood Rush a go!


To resolve an encounter in the Lair, you simply follow the steps as usual. So you count the Shield icons on the Villager (none) and the location (again, none), and then compare them with the number of Bat icons. That means that, under normal circumstances, and as Mo said, you would always win an encounter at the Lair. This is intended. By committing 1 or more monsters to the Lair, you are leaving at least one Town Location undefended. The trade-off is that you can still use abilities in the Lair as well as change the Event die, but you won't get any victims.

(More as a side-note: it IS possible to bring a Villager to the Lair using the vampire's abilities. The objective of this would be to fight a Villager in your own ground, at a location with no Shield icons, if you're really worried about a specific Villager effect... but there's a chance you will tie the encounter instead of winning.)

Note that this goes for Villagers too! If you don't have any monsters at a location, the Villagers will win the encounter and their ability will trigger, so sometimes it's in your best interest to cover as many bases as possible, so to speak. Also, likewise, if you manage to remove a Villager from a Location in which

I hope this makes sense! If you guys think this would clarify things, I can explain this more in detail in the final rules.
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
mo7189 wrote:
Javier - I have not had a chance to play yet, but I did proofread your rules. Here is a Dropbox link to my notes (it's easier than trying to type them all out). If you cannot access it, send me a GM with your email address, and I will send it directly to you.

Also, English/Grammar was not my strong suit in school, so take these suggestions with a grain of salt. It's totally up to you to use my suggestions.

And let me know if you can't read my writing or don't understand what I wrote.

BR Proofread

I hope to get in a couple of plays before the weekend. I'll let you know how I make out.

Mo


Nice! I was a bit unsure about the wording of some parts, so I'm really glad for your feedback. Thanks a lot!
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
dummiesday wrote:
Note that this goes for Villagers too! If you don't have any monsters at a location, the Villagers will win the encounter and their ability will trigger, so sometimes it's in your best interest to cover as many bases as possible, so to speak. Also, likewise, if you manage to remove a Villager from a Location in which

Looks like your sentence got cut off, Javier. What is the rest of it? Maybe....

...in which you have a Monster, you win that location as long as you have more bats than Location shields.

A similar question would be, if there is no Villager and no Monster at a Location then nothing happens, correct? The Location action (at the Church, for example) does not trigger?

Mo
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
I played a couple of turns before heading to bed last night to get an understanding of the rules in action. And now, I just finished my first game. Here are some questions:

1. "Exchange 2 Villagers" (Vampiress) - is this any combo? In other words, 2 revealed Villagers, 1 revealed and 1 unrevealed, and 2 unrevealed?

2. "Skip the Next Encounter" (Thrall) - do I still flip the Villager card in that no-encounter or leave it unrevealed?

3. "Weaken 1 Monster" (Priest) - if all four Monsters are already weakened, then nothing happens? Or is there an additional penalty?

I am using Card Warden at the moment...just in case of any last minute changes to the cards (save myself some ink). So, here is the state of the board during Turn 1:



I am at the Festival where it is under a Blood Rush. I had put the Thrall and the Vampiress there. When that Location turn came up, I revealed the Seer. Questions about timing:

A. Can I exchange the Seer with the Locksmith using the Vampiress?

B. If so, I can then resolve the encounter and win, correct?

C. If so, what happens back at the Bridge when the Seer gets put there? Anything? Or because it has already been resolved, nothing happens?

D. I had already claimed the Locksmith as a Victim when I resolved the Bridge. Does that affect any of this? In other words, if the Locksmith is already a victim, is he still there to be exchanged with the Seer? Or is the Locksmith considered removed from play after becoming a victim?

The rules are listed as:

1. Use Monster Abilities
2. Reveal Villager
3. Resolve Encounter
4. Use Monster Abilities

I guess my overall question is, Are those in a strict order? Or can Monster abilities be used during the encounter?

I scored 5 victims on my first game. Very neat game, Javier. I'll definitely play some more and let you know.

You should look at another contest entry, Elevenses for One. While on opposite ends of the theme spectrum, they do have some similarities with managing your cards, wanting to resolve actions in certain order, and activating special abilities to your advantage.

They are also different games, but I thought it pretty interesting that there are two solo micro games with a puzzle-y, logic resolution feel to them.

Oh, BTW, Hand Management is a game category for this one. I'll have to look and see what else it might be considered.

Mo
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
Suggestions:

Game Category = Horror, Deduction (sort of), Puzzle (but that can have a negative connotation), Card Game, Print & Play (well, duh)

Game Mechanic = Area Control (possibly), Hand Management, Press Your Luck (sort of)

I wouldn't call it Worker Placement. To me, you are putting a piece/pawn/whatever onto a specific space so you can gain a specific action/resource/whatever.

Mo
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
mo7189 wrote:
Suggestions:

Game Category = Horror, Deduction (sort of), Puzzle (but that can have a negative connotation), Card Game, Print & Play (well, duh)

Game Mechanic = Area Control (possibly), Hand Management, Press Your Luck (sort of)

I wouldn't call it Worker Placement. To me, you are putting a piece/pawn/whatever onto a specific space so you can gain a specific action/resource/whatever.

Mo


You really are one of a kind, Mo! I have to go through your comments now, but you are pretty much spot on most of your assumptions. Thanks a lot for also suggesting the categories, please accept a few bag!
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
mo7189 wrote:
dummiesday wrote:
Note that this goes for Villagers too! If you don't have any monsters at a location, the Villagers will win the encounter and their ability will trigger, so sometimes it's in your best interest to cover as many bases as possible, so to speak. Also, likewise, if you manage to remove a Villager from a Location in which

Looks like your sentence got cut off, Javier. What is the rest of it? Maybe....

...in which you have a Monster, you win that location as long as you have more bats than Location shields.

A similar question would be, if there is no Villager and no Monster at a Location then nothing happens, correct? The Location action (at the Church, for example) does not trigger?

Mo


Oh. Isn't that how you create suspense?

Sorry, I typed that in the morning before work and I must have missed the end of the sentence for some reason. Thanks for the heads-up!

Right, as long as bats outnumber shields, you're good.

If there's no Monster or Villager, nothing happens. The Church action only happens if you win. Since you can't possibly win in a location unless you have at least 1 Monster there, you can't restore your guys. And, in any case, that action only restores Monsters assigned to the Church, so it wouldn't matter much anyway!

Good questions, all in all! Now, onto the *really* meaty issues...
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
dummiesday wrote:
Oh. Isn't that how you create suspense?

Sorry, I typed that in the morning before work and I must have missed the end of the sentence for some reason. Thanks for the heads-up!

Right, as long as bats outnumber shields, you're good.

If there's no Monster or Villager, nothing happens. The Church action only happens if you win. Since you can't possibly win in a location unless you have at least 1 Monster there, you can't restore your guys. And, in any case, that action only restores Monsters assigned to the Church, so it wouldn't matter much anyway!

Good questions, all in all! Now, onto the *really* meaty issues...

Oh! I did not catch that at all. I thought you could restore a Monster anywhere. Good to know!

Mo
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Re: [WIP] Blood Rush - 2014 Solo PnP Contest Entry - Public Playtesting
mo7189 wrote:
I played a couple of turns before heading to bed last night to get an understanding of the rules in action. And now, I just finished my first game. Here are some questions:

1. "Exchange 2 Villagers" (Vampiress) - is this any combo? In other words, 2 revealed Villagers, 1 revealed and 1 unrevealed, and 2 unrevealed?

2. "Skip the Next Encounter" (Thrall) - do I still flip the Villager card in that no-encounter or leave it unrevealed?

3. "Weaken 1 Monster" (Priest) - if all four Monsters are already weakened, then nothing happens? Or is there an additional penalty?

I am using Card Warden at the moment...just in case of any last minute changes to the cards (save myself some ink). So, here is the state of the board during Turn 1:



I am at the Festival where it is under a Blood Rush. I had put the Thrall and the Vampiress there. When that Location turn came up, I revealed the Seer. Questions about timing:

A. Can I exchange the Seer with the Locksmith using the Vampiress?

B. If so, I can then resolve the encounter and win, correct?

C. If so, what happens back at the Bridge when the Seer gets put there? Anything? Or because it has already been resolved, nothing happens?

D. I had already claimed the Locksmith as a Victim when I resolved the Bridge. Does that affect any of this? In other words, if the Locksmith is already a victim, is he still there to be exchanged with the Seer? Or is the Locksmith considered removed from play after becoming a victim?

The rules are listed as:

1. Use Monster Abilities
2. Reveal Villager
3. Resolve Encounter
4. Use Monster Abilities

I guess my overall question is, Are those in a strict order? Or can Monster abilities be used during the encounter?

I scored 5 victims on my first game. Very neat game, Javier. I'll definitely play some more and let you know.

You should look at another contest entry, Elevenses for One. While on opposite ends of the theme spectrum, they do have some similarities with managing your cards, wanting to resolve actions in certain order, and activating special abilities to your advantage.

They are also different games, but I thought it pretty interesting that there are two solo micro games with a puzzle-y, logic resolution feel to them.

Oh, BTW, Hand Management is a game category for this one. I'll have to look and see what else it might be considered.

Mo






All of these are excellent questions and I'll be happy to answer them to the best of my abilities!

Quote:
1. "Exchange 2 Villagers" (Vampiress) - is this any combo? In other words, 2 revealed Villagers, 1 revealed and 1 unrevealed, and 2 unrevealed?


Yes. The wording is intended--you can combine them however you wish.

Quote:
2. "Skip the Next Encounter" (Thrall) - do I still flip the Villager card in that no-encounter or leave it unrevealed?


The intention is that you skip it completely, and don't even reveal the Villager, but I can see how that can come out ambiguous. Sorry about that! Revealing it could give you some critical information to be used later in the round.

Quote:
3. "Weaken 1 Monster" (Priest) - if all four Monsters are already weakened, then nothing happens? Or is there an additional penalty?


No penalty. It used to for a while, but I thought it didn't really work. The Priest knows only one trick, but he does it very well.

Quote:
I am at the Festival where it is under a Blood Rush. I had put the Thrall and the Vampiress there. When that Location turn came up, I revealed the Seer. Questions about timing:

A. Can I exchange the Seer with the Locksmith using the Vampiress?

Absolutely!

Quote:
B. If so, I can then resolve the encounter and win, correct?


Yes, you can! That's a pretty neat use of that specific card. Of course, it has its risk. It's pretty useful if a low card has been already revealed *and* you know you can win the encounter. I've occasionally used it even if I know I will only tie, in order to avoid potential disasters.

That said, it looks like you would already win the Encounter at the Festival even without using the Vampiress' ability, right? 5 bat icons to 4 the shield icons of the Seer (since it's under the BR effect, the Festival location icon are not counted). Or am I missing something?

Quote:
C. If so, what happens back at the Bridge when the Seer gets put there? Anything? Or because it has already been resolved, nothing happens?


Since the Bridge has already been resolved, not much happens, since it can't be resolved again.

Quote:
D. I had already claimed the Locksmith as a Victim when I resolved the Bridge. Does that affect any of this? In other words, if the Locksmith is already a victim, is he still there to be exchanged with the Seer? Or is the Locksmith considered removed from play after becoming a victim?


Now this is probably the most interesting question to me, since it's more of a theme interpretation issue. In my mind, these Villagers are not the victims themselves; they're especially powerful or important people that are protecting the nameless victims. So if you manage to sneak past or overpower the Seer, you will go into the Festival and capture a victim. If you are considering them to be the victims, I can see why it would feel strange to capture them more than once.

In practical terms, you are exchanging two "guardians" from two different locations, one of which has been already resolved. In this example, the Locksmith would go to the bridge and stay there, twiddling his thumbs. Keep in mind that he could still be interacted with; you could, for example, bring him to the Vampire's location if he was at a later location and you could use his ability.

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The rules are listed as:

1. Use Monster Abilities
2. Reveal Villager
3. Resolve Encounter
4. Use Monster Abilities

I guess my overall question is, Are those in a strict order? Or can Monster abilities be used during the encounter?


I'm sorry this wasn't very clear. It's meant to be a strict order. The idea is that you have to decide if you want to use the ability *before* seeing the card, since it could be too late afterwards. The revealed card could be a Seer that forces you to re-reroll the Event die, which could potentially make the location lose the BR effect. If that happened, you wouldn't be allowed use the ability any more, since the location is no longer under the BR effect.

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I scored 5 victims on my first game. Very neat game, Javier. I'll definitely play some more and let you know.

You should look at another contest entry, Elevenses for One. While on opposite ends of the theme spectrum, they do have some similarities with managing your cards, wanting to resolve actions in certain order, and activating special abilities to your advantage.

They are also different games, but I thought it pretty interesting that there are two solo micro games with a puzzle-y, logic resolution feel to them.

Oh, BTW, Hand Management is a game category for this one. I'll have to look and see what else it might be considered.

Mo


Glad to hear you are enjoying it! I can't thank you enough for all your feedback. I will make a point to clarify the points you brought up in the final revision of the rulebook.

On a closing note, I've noticed that in the screenshot you attached there were only 3 Villagers, and the Church was unoccupied. I assume this is because you were simply staging the situation to show the screenshot, but I wanted to check just in case I had missed something.

Thanks again!
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