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Subject: Hypothetical Kanban Deluxe Edition: What Would You Like to See? rss

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Steve G.
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I recall Lacerta saying in a podcast interview (Paul Grogan's Gaming Rules, IIRC) that he'd like to revisit his other games in the same way he was able to with the Vinhos Deluxe Edition. Not just improving the production quality, but using lessons learned to tweak the rules.

Got me thinking about things in Kanban that might benefit from the deluxe treatment:

1) A tray to sort the cards and components and allow for faster setup and breakdown.

2) Maybe some custom tokens to provide a thematic representation of the car parts. Sounds frivolous and perhaps unfeasible, but I've seen what has been done for other cube games like Waterdeep.

3) Make mean Sandra more interesting. I currently prefer playing with nice Sandra, and not because I want a more carebear game, but rather because she impacts the early game too heavily, and the later game not much at all. What tends to happen in games I've played on Boitejeaux is that players all scramble from the get-go to bank shifts. Instead of pursuing individual strategies, all players prioritize staunching the bleeding (e.g. going into design just to grab whatever the two rightmost designs are). Conversely, once players have built up their banked shifts, along with filling up their garages, upgraded designs, and certifications, mean Sandra loses relevancy to a degree that nice Sandra never does.

4) Stabilize pacing by making meetings less erratic. Games of Kanban can come crashing to an abrupt brick-wall ending. This leads to bad impressions when a player's introductory game suddenly terminates because a flood of cars got banged out at once. Heck, even hardcore veterans might not enjoy having the plugged pulled on their engine, even if experience lets them see it coming. Perhaps the pace car advances to a checkered spot a little too quickly?

Anyway, be interested to hear what you guys would like to see improved by a hypothetical deluxe version.
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Lawrence
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I'd be all in for shaped/painted car components and a clean up of the board art. When I first played, the board was cluttered and overwhelming. After a few games, we're pretty used to it, but I'd really love to see a cleaner, sleeker look like they did with Vinhos and Gallerist.

I agree with you on meetings. I play mostly 2p and it feels like they come every other turn.
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David Larkin
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Maybe mean Sandra could set future goals in someway when she visits departments so that her demand increase each time she returns
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I want this:


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Kristi S
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An official solo variant
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Jonathan Franklin
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I think an optional reenvisioned board that is cleaner/less intimidating is about the only change I can imagine.

I think the sudden ending is pretty key, as it gives players control over the pacing of the game. Maybe a rule change for newbies aka Kanban with training wheels.

Also, the modified Nice Sandra should maybe be the official Nice Sandra.
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maho wrote:
I want this:


This image is from user "Roolz", I hope he doesn't mind....


You can buy them direct from Roolz himself.

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Ben M
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I actually love the variable ending. In the games I've played, there's been much excitement as one player tries to shut things down with a third week scoring while another doubles down on production to force a meeting.

A cleaned up board would be lovely, and perhaps some aids or better iconography to demystify some of the more tricky scoring situations (i.e. Multipliers on meetings goals, end game scoring vis a vis tested parts). I see players constantly getting tripped up on those concepts.
 
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Phil Triest
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The game is great why change it?
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To stabilize pacing, another idea would be to just use the two player track and say that the white pace car can't move more than one space per round (or per player turn).

That's probably been proposed somewhere in the forums before.
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Steve G.
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grandslam wrote:
I think the sudden ending is pretty key, as it gives players control over the pacing of the game. Maybe a rule change for newbies aka Kanban with training wheels.


Well, it can certainly give *one* player control over the pace. Too easily IME.

Paulwei wrote:
To stabilize pacing, another idea would be to just use the two player track and say that the white pace car can't move more than one space per round (or per player turn).

That's probably been proposed somewhere in the forums before.


As you can see in this thread, cheap-shotting the endgame trigger can be seen as a feature rather than a flaw. I was initially surprised that there was no way to stymie one player from pushing the pace car along too far, even indirectly by doing something to block the flow of cars in the assembly line. But generally all blocking does is force a player to push out more cars, which is a move in the wrong direction.

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I agree with you on meetings. I play mostly 2p and it feels like they come every other turn.

With more players, they can come even more frequently. A second and third meeting can follow each other pretty much immediately, which can make scoring strategies other than chair-hoarding moot.
 
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mavericklancer wrote:
maho wrote:
I want this:


This image is from user "Roolz", I hope he doesn't mind....


You can buy them direct from Roolz himself.



Thank you!
I will contact him
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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steveg700 wrote:
I currently prefer playing with nice Sandra, and not because I want a more carebear game, but rather because she impacts the early game too heavily, and the later game not much at all. What tends to happen in games I've played on Boitejeaux is that players all scramble from the get-go to bank shifts. Instead of pursuing individual strategies, all players prioritize staunching the bleeding (e.g. going into design just to grab whatever the two rightmost designs are). Conversely, once players have built up their banked shifts, along with filling up their garages, upgraded designs, and certifications, mean Sandra loses relevancy to a degree that nice Sandra never does.
I much prefer that to Nice Sandra where everyone banks a lot of shifts and tries to train to get a ton of points in evaluations. Which meant people focused on getting points via training more than the car making aspects of the game.

I suppose that's better now that Vital, admitting he only put Nice Sandra in as a teaching game mechanic, nerfed it to a max of 5 points with the official nice Sandra variant.

The only thing I want in a deluxe version is a cleaner, more elegant, less busy, less gaudy board. Something that won't scare new players away.
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Steve G.
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Thunkd wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
I currently prefer playing with nice Sandra, and not because I want a more carebear game, but rather because she impacts the early game too heavily, and the later game not much at all. What tends to happen in games I've played on Boitejeaux is that players all scramble from the get-go to bank shifts. Instead of pursuing individual strategies, all players prioritize staunching the bleeding (e.g. going into design just to grab whatever the two rightmost designs are). Conversely, once players have built up their banked shifts, along with filling up their garages, upgraded designs, and certifications, mean Sandra loses relevancy to a degree that nice Sandra never does.
I much prefer that to Nice Sandra where everyone banks a lot of shifts and tries to train to get a ton of points in evaluations. Which meant people focused on getting points via training more than the car making aspects of the game.

Well, that seems less of a vindication of Mean Sandra than a condemnation of Nice Sandra. Essentially, better to have little meaningful impact than excessive impact. To which I can only say..."fair enough".

I similarly noticed in this other thread that folks would defend one Sandra by arguing that the other was worse, with nobody conceding that perhaps neither were really functioning in an ideal capacity. Leaves me wondering how Vital might re-envision the way she rewards or penalizes players.
 
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steveg700 wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
I currently prefer playing with nice Sandra, and not because I want a more carebear game, but rather because she impacts the early game too heavily, and the later game not much at all. What tends to happen in games I've played on Boitejeaux is that players all scramble from the get-go to bank shifts. Instead of pursuing individual strategies, all players prioritize staunching the bleeding (e.g. going into design just to grab whatever the two rightmost designs are). Conversely, once players have built up their banked shifts, along with filling up their garages, upgraded designs, and certifications, mean Sandra loses relevancy to a degree that nice Sandra never does.
I much prefer that to Nice Sandra where everyone banks a lot of shifts and tries to train to get a ton of points in evaluations. Which meant people focused on getting points via training more than the car making aspects of the game.

Well, that seems less of a vindication of Mean Sandra than a condemnation of Nice Sandra. Essentially, better to have little meaningful impact than excessive impact. To which I can only say..."fair enough".

Either way, it begs the question of whether Vital might re-envision the way she rewards or penalizes players.


He already has re-envisioned Nice Sandra. Sandra 'Nice' variant -Official
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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steveg700 wrote:
Either way, it begs the question of whether Vital might re-envision the way she rewards or penalizes players.
That's not what "begs the question" means.
 
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Steve G.
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Thunkd wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
Either way, it begs the question of whether Vital might re-envision the way she rewards or penalizes players.
That's not what "begs the question" means.


It raise a question or point that isn't being addressed directly, and therefore it meets the semantic criterion.

bikefreak wrote:
He already has re-envisioned Nice Sandra. Sandra 'Nice' variant -Official

No revision of Mean Sandra though, huh? I noticed in his post that he found himself surprised that a lot of folks wanted to stick with Nice Sandra, which could partially stem from the sense that version's scoring mechanism doesn't really contribute much to the gameplay.
 
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Ben M
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I might suggest that the greatest virtue of mean Sandra is the tension she creates in the game.
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Bryan Thunkd
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steveg700 wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
Either way, it begs the question of whether Vital might re-envision the way she rewards or penalizes players.
That's not what "begs the question" means.


It raise a question or point that isn't being addressed directly, and therefore it meets the semantic criterion.
The only reason that "beg" would fit in that sentence better than "asks" or "raises" is because "begs the question" is an expression... but as the expression doesn't mean what you want to say, it's just a mistake. Even if you believe that it's technically correct usage, everyone will judge you as making a grammatical error.
http://begthequestion.info/

steveg700 wrote:
bikefreak wrote:
He already has re-envisioned Nice Sandra. Sandra 'Nice' variant -Official

No revision of Mean Sandra though, huh?
There's no reason you need to adjust Mean Sandra now. Nice Sandra wasn't balanced when compared to Mean Sandra. You could lose at max 5 points with Mean Sandra, but you could score many more points with Nice Sandra. Adjusting Nice Sandra to limit it to 5 points just brings it into line with Mean Sandra. Now the contest for training is a competition for 5 points at most, regardless of which one you're playing.

steveg700 wrote:
I noticed in his post that he found himself surprised that a lot of folks wanted to stick with Nice Sandra, which could partially stem from the sense that version's scoring mechanism doesn't really contribute much to the gameplay.
Exactly. You could score so many points by winning evaluations that it didn't make sense to do anything else. The guy who went after cars and upgraded designs would find himself really far behind the guy who had banked a bunch of shifts and got ahead on the certification tracks. So games ended up becoming training competitions more than car manufacturing. So yeah, in Mean Sandra at some point you stop caring about evaluations... but that's not a bad thing because it encourages you to get cars and upgrade designs instead of pushing hard at training the entire game. And when you limit Nice Sandra the same thing is true. At some point, getting a car or upgraded design is probably worth more than 5 points. Especially as they often appear as scoring goals in meetings.
 
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Steve G.
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Thunkd wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
Either way, it begs the question of whether Vital might re-envision the way she rewards or penalizes players.
That's not what "begs the question" means.


It raise a question or point that isn't being addressed directly, and therefore it meets the semantic criterion.
The only reason that "beg" would fit in that sentence better than "asks" or "raises" is because "begs the question" is an expression... but as the expression doesn't mean what you want to say, it's just a mistake. Even if you believe that it's technically correct usage, everyone will judge you as making a grammatical error.
http://begthequestion.info/

This usage of the expression has been conventional for a fair while now--couple hundred years at least, I'd bet--so I'd have to suspect most folks would get the gist and not give it a second thought. We enjoy or endure (depending on your frame of mind) a transformative language, one which is not subject to arbitration by a central source. Language is a means to an ends: a tool. As such, consider the distinction between using a tool in a manner that is unconventional versus a manner that is incorrect. I don't think either is the case here, but the latter is of course dependent on what ends one believes language should serve. I tend to favor the communication of ideas myself.

For those inclined towards prescriptive grammar--the notion that language should be held in sacrosanct stasis by a luminary elite--well, they have to draw a line somewhere. So many words and expressions don't carry the meaning they once did. The word "nice" is a good example to cite in such discussions, as its meaning has transformed gradually over a long period of time, starting out as being pejorative, and gradually becoming a compliment. Would you correct people who would now use "nice" to mean "kind" or "pleasurable" because only the originally-intended meaning matters? That wouldn't be very nice--or would it?

Quote:
There's no reason you need to adjust Mean Sandra now. Nice Sandra wasn't balanced when compared to Mean Sandra. You could lose at max 5 points with Mean Sandra, but you could score many more points with Nice Sandra. Adjusting Nice Sandra to limit it to 5 points just brings it into line with Mean Sandra. Now the contest for training is a competition for 5 points at most, regardless of which one you're playing.

Exactly. You could score so many points by winning evaluations that it didn't make sense to do anything else. The guy who went after cars and upgraded designs would find himself really far behind the guy who had banked a bunch of shifts and got ahead on the certification tracks. So games ended up becoming training competitions more than car manufacturing. So yeah, in Mean Sandra at some point you stop caring about evaluations... but that's not a bad thing because it encourages you to get cars and upgrade designs instead of pushing hard at training the entire game. And when you limit Nice Sandra the same thing is true. At some point, getting a car or upgraded design is probably worth more than 5 points. Especially as they often appear as scoring goals in meetings.

Like I said previously, I have no problem conceding that your argument for the problems stemming from Nice Sandra 1.0 is compelling. Again though, I don't think that deconstructing Nice Sandra vindicates Mean Sandra's implementation, other than perhaps to advocate that Sandra simply shouldn't be a disruptive factor in the scoring element period; she should just clean up departments and go on her merry (or not-so-merry) way. As you say, once players are able to bank enough shifts that she stops hammering players for negative VP, they are then able to ignore her and get on with the business of production. If that's the sentiment at hand, then that b...ahem, "raises" the question of why it's undesirable to steer players into pursuing certification in lieu of production (as is the case with Nice Sandra), but it's good and well to steer players into pursuing banked shifts instead of production (which is Mean Sandra's net effect on gameplay). Isn't the lesser of two evils still a bad thing ultimately?

It doesn't sound like either is accomplishing what was likely intended, which was for Sandra to be an extra strategic consideration that throws a curveball into the otherwise procedural routine of migrating workers between departments. I posit that Mean Sandra should be a potential fly in the ointment. She should be able to disrupt gameplay, not make it even more procedural.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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We'll have to agree to disagree on "begs the question".

steveg700 wrote:
It doesn't sound like either is accomplishing what was likely intended, which was for Sandra to be an extra strategic consideration that throws a curveball into the otherwise procedural routine of migrating workers between departments. I posit that Mean Sandra should be a potential fly in the ointment. She should be able to disrupt gameplay, not make it even more procedural.
Sandra is simply another factor to consider. Five points, positive or negative, is nothing to sneeze at and should be something you think about when making your move. I don't think it should "disrupt gameplay". Certainly not to the point where it becomes the focus of the game... something I think was a little too likely with the original version of Nice Sandra. That version diminished the interesting choices in the game by making training an obvious choice.

I disagree that Mean Sandra is something that you simply ignore later in the game, if only for the fact that if you're keeping extra banked shifts, you're not spending those shifts to do more cool things. It's not clear to me that keeping those shifts banked to avoid getting docked by Sandra is an obvious choice. It depends on what you can do with those extra shifts and whether you're low man on the training totem pole and whether you've met the goal that's being evaluated. I'll often give up the shifts to be able to do something that helps me a lot, even if it means I'll get docked by Sandra a few times. If you'd never consider doing so, then you're constraining yourself and possibly missing opportunities.
 
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Steve G.
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Zark wrote:
Maybe mean Sandra could set future goals in someway when she visits departments so that her demand increase each time she returns


How about a debt mechanism instead of negative points, or some other sort of deferred penalty that you can work-off or otherwise manipulate throughout the course of the game? Not just a short, sudden, initially-unavoidable, later-ignorable punch below the belt, but a source of long-term concern.

Perhaps player would earn demerits (possibly ranked on a track) and negative points would be assigned at the end game based on most/least earned (sort of like the reverse of how certifications are scored at the end). As for working them off, that could be another type of bonus placed at the top of a certification track. Or maybe it could be another action available in the administration department (perhaps one unlocked by getting certified there).
 
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Vital Lacerda
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So yeah, in Mean Sandra at some point you stop caring about evaluations...

This is intentional. She keeps creating tension for the end game scoring and end of game pace. I want that players focus on their strategy at mid game. And at this point players keep competing for the most points in the training track.

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if only for the fact that if you're keeping extra banked shifts, you're not spending those shifts to do more cool things.

I agree with this sentence.
If you notice the best kanban players, they are more worried in spending the extra shifts in the beguining then banked them to avoid Sandra. Not spending the extra shifts in the first turns with good players on the table may makes you lose the train. There are best ways to avoid beeing penalized by Sandra. And the advantages of losing a few points are bigger than not spending shifts.

I may change a few things in a future reprint of the game. Cars, game cover and board are 3 of them. Mean Sandra probably not.

But anyway, just want to leave my two cents. Does not mean they are the right ones. Only my vision.

But thank you for the nice discussion and please keep going.
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Jonathan Franklin
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Vital,

If you decide to do a Deluxe version, it would be wonderful if we could get the new board as a separate upgrade without the new box or fancy cars (the ones in the box work fine for me).

Of course, if there are big rule changes that change the board, then I understand why that might not work.
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Steve G.
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newrev wrote:
Quote:
So yeah, in Mean Sandra at some point you stop caring about evaluations...

This is intentional. She keeps creating tension for the end game scoring and end of game pace. I want that players focus on their strategy at mid game. And at this point players keep competing for the most points in the training track.

Quote:
if only for the fact that if you're keeping extra banked shifts, you're not spending those shifts to do more cool things.

I agree with this sentence.
If you notice the best kanban players, they are more worried in spending the extra shifts in the beguining then banked them to avoid Sandra. Not spending the extra shifts in the first turns with good players on the table may makes you lose the train. There are best ways to avoid beeing penalized by Sandra. And the advantages of losing a few points are bigger than not spending shifts.

I appreciate the response. Could you explain what the point of Mean Sandra is really intended to be then? If she's not really intended to be a tactical consideration throughout the game, if she's intentionally designed to lose relevance, and if spending banked shifts are more advantageous than sloughing off negative points even in the first turns where's she's gutting everyone, then what is her intended function of giving players fifteen points and then bleeding them out? Even aside from banked shifts, just picking up cars, upgrading designs, and getting certifications go a long way towards making her a moot scoring factor.

Thanks again!

Quote:
I may change a few things in a future reprint of the game. Cars, game cover and board are 3 of them. Mean Sandra probably not.

But anyway, just want to leave my two cents. Does not mean they are the right ones. Only my vision.

But thank you for the nice discussion and please keep going.

Well, let's face it, they're probably the right ones, they just might not be the right ones for me. If both Mean Sandra and the erratic pace were to remain as-is, I'd probably not be interested in a deluxe version just to get a cosmetic facelift, but many others would be I'm sure. Guess getting Buonocore to help Kickstart this project might be a challenge, given his oft-expressed sentiments on the matter.

Having said that, consider some player reference sheets that summarize the departments' actions, and the various inputs and outputs those actions entail. I know I've seen players get to the assembly line all ready to bang out a couple of cars only to realize too late it's not gonna happen.

Can't wait to get my mits on Vinhos Deluxe.
 
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