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Subject: UI improvements needed rss

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Alex Aminoff
United States
Beverly
Massachusetts
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I have owned Stratego Legends since the 1990s, sitting in a dusty pile in the basement. Pulled it out recently to play with my 10 year old daughter. I was struck by the inconvenience of the UI. The stickers that go on the plastic pieces have a picture and a number and a background color, nothing else. You have to look up the number and the background color on your reference cards, which include all of the possible pieces in the game, so you are searching through 3 times as many reference listings as the pieces you are actually playing with.

I suppose if one was a serious S:L aficionado one would eventually memorize most of the abilities of the units that one happened to have in one's collection, but I found it really difficult to play with any sort of strategy. A situation came up where I really wanted to be able to teleport one of my pieces someplace, so I was trying to see if any of my pieces had a teleport self or other ability... It was basically impossible.

Here's my suggestion. Let there be a few easily distinguished icons for the most common abilities, like flying, slashing, dispel magic, etc. Print the icons right on the stickers. Try to make it so that most units have all the info they need right on the sticker, eliminating the need for a separate reference for those. For the relatively few remaining, print the details of their special abilities on playing-card sized cards, one per unit. When you put together an army, you pull out just the cards for those units you are using, and have just those half dozen to a dozen in front of you. You can easily pass the stack over to your opponent to flip through to get a sense of what is there.

I would also suggest that Death Curses always have a card. When the unit dies, instead of placing the unit in the "current Death Curse location", put the card there. The cards with Death Curses should have the DC printed in extra-large letters, possibly with special colors indicating that the effect of the DC is continuous or something that happens when it ends or whatever.

If my daughter continues to enjoy the game in general, perhaps I will sit down with OpenOffice Draw and create these stickers and cards. In my Copious Free Time.

What I enjoy about S:L is that setup is minimal and playing time is remarkably quick. The random setup helps a lot with that - I remember when I was about 12 devising carefully constructed setups for regular Stratego. Random setup with a couple of swaps eliminates an opportunity for analysis paralysis, which 10-12 year olds can be just as prone to as anyone else.
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E Butler
United States
Hughesville
Pennsylvania
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Completely agree on all points!

I made enlarged cut out photocopies of each piece's information and lay those out when playing. I also started color coding the cards to identify the most common special abilities.

Yea, why didn't they just make individual cards for each type of unit? It would have made the game much more playable.


I would really suggest that if you like the game make enlarged copies of the stats bar cardboard things (what the hell are we even supposed to call those things... except awful)? It just takes a few minutes and it really helps.


Also - if you pick up singles or extra copies of the game you can customize by having up to 3 of most units, thus reducing the total number of different types of units you have to keep track of.

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