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Subject: Why New Pandante is so much nicer than Old Pandante rss

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Ryan D

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Hello there! It's already been posted in a couple places, but in case you're unaware, the new Pandante expansion has gone up on Kickstarter! In addition to the expansion modules that it adds (such as casino cards, panda champions, etc.), it also includes a rework of the base Pandante game.

I've been fortunate enough to play some of the new Pandante throughout its beta, and here's my take on why the new version of Pandante is so much nicer than the old version.





Central Betting Board

This is the most visual and obvious change. The Pandante expansion Kickstarter rightly points out that now you can see everyone's bets at a glance, so you can easily see how far you are behind the highest bet. So the new board has some added utility, but really, that's not even my favorite thing about it.

My favorite thing about having a central board as opposed to individual boards is that it focuses attention in the middle of the table. Instead of players fiddling with their own boards separately, they have to share the same space, which creates much more of an atmosphere of players playing together. That's why we play physical board games in the first place: to spend time with other people in the real world.


Less Downtime

In old Pandante, there was nothing for a folded player to do. They had no reason to pay attention to the rest of the gambit and they just had to sit and wait while everyone else went along challenging abilities and hands and such.

But in new Pandante, a folded player can challenge the remaining players during the showdown! Now they're incentivized to pay attention to the actions of the remaining players, and even better, they occasionally get the satisfaction of successfully challenging the same player who knocked them out of the showdown earlier. Sweet vengeance!


Less Screwing Yourself Over

In old Pandante, it was possible to get into a situation where you didn't have your hand, but you also didn't have any green cards, so if you didn't want to fold, your options were basically "lie" or "lie." (Either lie about having green cards to try and dig yourself out or lie about your hand in the showdown.)

Admittedly, this was something that I found charming about old Pandante, but it's something that the people I played with universally did not like. Now, the game is less punishing and more free-form. Players can always Draw or Add to try and hit their claimed hand if they're that type of player, while more bluff-oriented players can Raise to try and force players out and Peek the hands of higher-claimed hands to try and snipe the players at the top.


Many Small Improvements

In addition to making the game slightly less punishing, removing ability challenges also makes the game feel lightning-fast compared to the old version of the game. And speaking of speeding up the game, challenges are now simultaneous instead of asking each player in turn order, which is much faster.

Also, "Full House" finally feels like a real hand. In the new version of Pandante, Full House has been moved up on the board and Floosh has been moved down.

And lastly, people who played a lot of original Pandante will be glad to know that several of the annoying exceptions have been removed in the new version! Now that folded players can challenge, challenges happen in normal turn order. Now that the starting ante is higher, players can fold during any betting round. Now that there's no breakfast, there's no exceptions for when someone folds with the highest hand and there's no free breakfast versus paid breakfast.

And my favorite exception that's been removed is that if someone with a Joker ties hands with another player, I don't have to split the pot into fourths. I already hate splitting the pot and dividing it into fourths just drove me nuts. In fact, the rule now goes the other way, so when a Joker player ties with someone else, there's no splitting at all! The non-Joker player just takes the pot, which I love.

The game is so much faster and simpler and easier to explain to new players... it's just really great.


How to Get It

The new version of Pandante just comes with the Pandante: Light & Dark expansion that's currently up on Kickstarter, along with a ton of other content.

Personally, I highly recommend backing the Kickstarter, but if you want to play with the new abilities and the new rules right away, there's also a print-and-play for the new version of Pandante on the Sirlin Games website.

If you've played Pandante before, I hope you at least give the new version a try and I hope you really like it!

Kickstarter
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sirlin/pandante-light-a...

Pandante Print & Play
http://www.sirlingames.com/products/pandante-print-and-play
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Andrew Watson
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Thanks for the post, Ryan. It does seem that the new version is much improved.

I'm a little annoyed at this. I backed the previous Pandante Kickstarter. When I got the game and looked at it, I decided that I didn't want to teach it to anyone who wasn't already sold on the concept, and I certainly didn't want to try to teach it to anyone in my family: there were just too many rules and stages and stuff.

I think that let Pandante's cute theme and art persuade me that it was a more approachable game than it actually was in that incarnation. Now, having spent the money on the original game, and bought some poker chips, I don't feel inclined to put into more money into the game.

I'm mainly annoyed with myself. I should be more wary of Kickstarters and Pandas...
 
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Lee Fisher
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AndAgainMA wrote:
Thanks for the post, Ryan. It does seem that the new version is much improved.

I'm a little annoyed at this. I backed the previous Pandante Kickstarter. When I got the game and looked at it, I decided that I didn't want to teach it to anyone who wasn't already sold on the concept, and I certainly didn't want to try to teach it to anyone in my family: there were just too many rules and stages and stuff.

I think that let Pandante's cute theme and art persuade me that it was a more approachable game than it actually was in that incarnation. Now, having spent the money on the original game, and bought some poker chips, I don't feel inclined to put into more money into the game.

I'm mainly annoyed with myself. I should be more wary of Kickstarters and Pandas...


Well $25 for the new stuff is not bad and it will make it a lot easier to play. You could also do the print and play for $8.
http://www.sirlingames.com/products/pandante-print-and-play

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Kovács György
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AndAgainMA wrote:
Now, having spent the money on the original game, and bought some poker chips, I don't feel inclined to put into more money into the game.

To upgrade your existing components to Pandante 2.0, here's the list of things you need to do:

- swap the positions of floosh and full house on the betting boards
- grab some voting tokens from Resistance (which is also an excellent game, btw)
- grab a coin (preferably a shiny one)

...And that's it. Rest of the changes are in the rulebook. (I guess you could count ability reminders as another component change, but that is essentially just help text.)

That's the zero-dollar upgrade route, and it gets you pretty close to the real thing. The reason you'd want to grab the expansion is more the new stuff, and the super nice components, I'd think.
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Mark McGee
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AndAgainMA wrote:
Now, having spent the money on the original game, and bought some poker chips, I don't feel inclined to put into more money into the game.


Sirlin did the same thing with Puzzle Strike, and was at least talking at one point about doing it with Yomi (I stopped following that a while ago).

Releasing an "updated" version of his games shortly after the initial release has slowed down his support, I think.
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Dave Kudzma
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I'm a bit put off by the fact that there's no longer a tarot sized version of the game. I understand what he says about it, but it certainly felt special to me. I liked the game enough to buy a poker-sized version but never really used it.

At this point I have to basically rebuy everything if I'm going to get the expansion. I like the changes, not that I really think most of them were necessary. Because of that I'd rather treat this like a whole new game.

And indeed, Sirlin is good for this; just look at Puzzle Strike and it's 3 editions in as many years.
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Lee Fisher
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locusshifter wrote:
I'm a bit put off by the fact that there's no longer a tarot sized version of the game. I understand what he says about it, but it certainly felt special to me. I liked the game enough to buy a poker-sized version but never really used it.

At this point I have to basically rebuy everything if I'm going to get the expansion. I like the changes, not that I really think most of them were necessary. Because of that I'd rather treat this like a whole new game.

And indeed, Sirlin is good for this; just look at Puzzle Strike and it's 3 editions in as many years.


And Yomi and well, Flash Duel in this same kickstarter

It is good he added the new $65 option though.
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David Sirlin
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That's a great summary of the new Pandante!

The ability phase and hand challenging phases both being simpler and a lot faster I think really helps. People really like the new big betting board too.

I agree with pktzer0 that you can play the rules changes for about $0 if you want, and you have a deck. Or $8 if you want the print-and-play of everything new. Or $25 if you want all the new physical components of the expansion in addition to revised base set abilities. There's a new option on the kickstarter at $65 for those who want a new deluxe set without chips.


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

Too the negative posts:

At each point of release, my games are the absolute best we know how to make them. After that, it would sure be easier on my end if I ignored everyone's feedback, and if I discover a way to improve something, just keep it to myself. I see it as a fantastic positive that I don't do that though. If there's enough reason to justify a new product, I do it so that the best product is out there.

The new Pandante has an expansion for just $25 with tons of new content AND it revises the base game too. I think a bad signal to hear "you shouldn't have even made it, just ignore any improvements that come from players or yourself later." I liked the faster, simpler rules so much that I made new base sets for new players. I didn't have to, I could have said to buy base + expansion but I thought it would be an even better value if the expansion was already built in for new people. Again, that should be a positive, not a negative.

There's a podcast here (episode 9) going over the hows and whys of the changes as well as what all the new content adds. http://www.sirlin.net/podcast/

Puzzle Strike is a bit of a different case though. That's an asymmetric competitive game, and ignoring player feedback there would be even worse. Note that 1st edition to 2nd has 0 gameplay changes though. After that, there was one set of changes in the upgrade pack. But then the expansion development showed that the core system would really be better if Combine chips had -$1 on them and a year of development on the FFA mode paid off in finally making it work without player elimination. Hence a new version that incorporated both of those things released at the same time as the expansion. Since that core system was released, there have been 0 updates. Ironically, that's seen as good by some, but the actual players of Puzzle Strike would probably really like an iteration on balance, rather than literally no iteration since a core system change. It's kind of abandoning a competitive game if you don't update it, but I'm not actually working on that right now. It's all Pandante and Flash Duel (on kickstarter now), and Codex and Flowchart will be next.

Players were incredibly hyped for the latest Yomi, by the way. It's been selling really well. It implemented a new core rule about normal attacks being able to draw a card on hit or block. Again, I could have kept that to myself, but I'm glad I implemented that and did the minor balance changes needed to go along with that rule while we added the 10 new characters. It also had lots of wording changes and graphic touchups to give it even more polish.
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Ryan D

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AndAgainMA wrote:
Thanks for the post, Ryan. It does seem that the new version is much improved.

I'm a little annoyed at this. I backed the previous Pandante Kickstarter. When I got the game and looked at it, I decided that I didn't want to teach it to anyone who wasn't already sold on the concept, and I certainly didn't want to try to teach it to anyone in my family: there were just too many rules and stages and stuff.

I think that let Pandante's cute theme and art persuade me that it was a more approachable game than it actually was in that incarnation. Now, having spent the money on the original game, and bought some poker chips, I don't feel inclined to put into more money into the game.

I'm mainly annoyed with myself. I should be more wary of Kickstarters and Pandas...


Well, if you didn't teach the game to anyone, I guess I don't really know what to tell you? (Any game kind of sucks when you don't play it. Though you're not alone: I was excited about Sekigahara and I still haven't gotten anyone to play it with me yet. ) Anyway, I think the Pandante expansion is definitely worth the $25 or $8 that it costs, but I understand that if money is tight, then it is what it is.

But hey! If you do decide to break out your copy of original Pandante with your family, you should at least consider grafting on these couple of rules from the new Pandante:

+ Simultaneous challenges
+ Folded players can challenge
+ Only first player in turn order actually gets to challenge
+ Remove the "reverse turn order challenges during showdown" exception

...all of those rules should just make the old game better without having to errata any of your components, and even though I like the new version better, original Pandante is still a totally fun game for people who like bluffing things. You should actually try playing it!
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Ryan D

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locusshifter wrote:
I'm a bit put off by the fact that there's no longer a tarot sized version of the game. I understand what he says about it, but it certainly felt special to me. I liked the game enough to buy a poker-sized version but never really used it.


If you already have the big Tarot-sized Panda cards from original Pandante, you can still use them with the new game! The composition of the deck hasn't actually changed at all. Just ignore the symbols in the corners now that abilities aren't tied to a particular color and you'll be good to go!
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Gerrit G.
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I totally agree with the reviewer. Last weekend, we played Pandante with the new rules for 4 hours straight! People were never interested in more than two or three games with the old rules. The pace of the game was noticeably faster and more fluid. Plus, less minor rules issues and exceptions to look up during play. All in all, Pandante was easier and more fun than ever before!

And we didn't even use any of the expansion content (like casino cards or panda champions) - only the basic game with the new standard light abilities. Those additional modes will surely add even more replayability later.

Btw, I got the new Print and Play version, printed out the new player boards (which have the six abilities listed right on them in the PnP version), printed two copies of the overview card / quickstart leaflet, put a few blank Puzzle Strike chips as challenge tokens and a gem chip as a gold coin into the box and was ready to play Pandante v2. (Initially, I just wanted to make my own player board with swapped floosh / full house and a list of the new abilities in MS Paint. That would have certainly worked, but I decided that I could save myself some time and support the game designer by simply getting the PnP version. $8 is not the world and this way, I also got the casino cards and panda champions and nicer looking components in general.)
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Andrew Hauge
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I don't really have the money to chip in for the Kickstarter, otherwise I'd grab the expansion to upgrade the travel version I bought shortly before the KS lanched. Sounds like it's not too much work to upgrade, though! I'm sorta contemplating maybe introducing people to the new game by printing out the new stuff.
 
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AndAgainMA wrote:
Thanks for the post, Ryan. It does seem that the new version is much improved.

I'm a little annoyed at this. I backed the previous Pandante Kickstarter. When I got the game and looked at it, I decided that I didn't want to teach it to anyone who wasn't already sold on the concept, and I certainly didn't want to try to teach it to anyone in my family: there were just too many rules and stages and stuff.

I think that let Pandante's cute theme and art persuade me that it was a more approachable game than it actually was in that incarnation. Now, having spent the money on the original game, and bought some poker chips, I don't feel inclined to put into more money into the game.

I'm mainly annoyed with myself. I should be more wary of Kickstarters and Pandas...


I would STRONGLY recommend you try out the new rules. If you want to know what's changed exactly, there's a 1 page rules difference PDF at www.sirlin.net/rules
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Sirlin wrote:
That's a great summary of the new Pandante!

The ability phase and hand challenging phases both being simpler and a lot faster I think really helps. People really like the new big betting board too.

I agree with pktzer0 that you can play the rules changes for about $0 if you want, and you have a deck. Or $8 if you want the print-and-play of everything new. Or $25 if you want all the new physical components of the expansion in addition to revised base set abilities. There's a new option on the kickstarter at $65 for those who want a new deluxe set without chips.


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

Too the negative posts:

At each point of release, my games are the absolute best we know how to make them. After that, it would sure be easier on my end if I ignored everyone's feedback, and if I discover a way to improve something, just keep it to myself. I see it as a fantastic positive that I don't do that though. If there's enough reason to justify a new product, I do it so that the best product is out there.

The new Pandante has an expansion for just $25 with tons of new content AND it revises the base game too. I think a bad signal to hear "you shouldn't have even made it, just ignore any improvements that come from players or yourself later." I liked the faster, simpler rules so much that I made new base sets for new players. I didn't have to, I could have said to buy base + expansion but I thought it would be an even better value if the expansion was already built in for new people. Again, that should be a positive, not a negative.

There's a podcast here (episode 9) going over the hows and whys of the changes as well as what all the new content adds. http://www.sirlin.net/podcast/

Puzzle Strike is a bit of a different case though. That's an asymmetric competitive game, and ignoring player feedback there would be even worse. Note that 1st edition to 2nd has 0 gameplay changes though. After that, there was one set of changes in the upgrade pack. But then the expansion development showed that the core system would really be better if Combine chips had -$1 on them and a year of development on the FFA mode paid off in finally making it work without player elimination. Hence a new version that incorporated both of those things released at the same time as the expansion. Since that core system was released, there have been 0 updates. Ironically, that's seen as good by some, but the actual players of Puzzle Strike would probably really like an iteration on balance, rather than literally no iteration since a core system change. It's kind of abandoning a competitive game if you don't update it, but I'm not actually working on that right now. It's all Pandante and Flash Duel (on kickstarter now), and Codex and Flowchart will be next.

Players were incredibly hyped for the latest Yomi, by the way. It's been selling really well. It implemented a new core rule about normal attacks being able to draw a card on hit or block. Again, I could have kept that to myself, but I'm glad I implemented that and did the minor balance changes needed to go along with that rule while we added the 10 new characters. It also had lots of wording changes and graphic touchups to give it even more polish.


Dont let the haters discourage you! I totally feel their pain for having a obsolette product on hand. However, it's way better to have a improved game than not. Imagine Starcraft or Dota without patches!

one way (which you do often) is to offer upgrade pack for their cost price to the first edition owners.

another game which has 2nd edition is through the ages. It sux to have the first edition, but the new edition is so much better. it will be a sin not to update it.
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