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Innovation: Artifacts of History» Forums » General

Subject: Updated Dig Rule (No more Dig Sites / Refilling!) rss

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Chris Cieslik
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(Copied from our last Inno Deluxe KS Update)

We ran lots of demos of both Cities and Artifacts in our event room at Gen Con, and while the feedback on Cities was very positive, the results from Artifacts were not so hot. My top priority is always to release the best game we can, and simply put: I haven't been happy with how Artifacts has been playing for a while. We'd tried out lots of ideas, and finally this week I think we've nailed it. We're removing dig sites, and instead changing the thematic idea to revolve around you putting the artifact you've just dug up On Display (because hey, when you dig up the Necronomicon, you're going to show it off before you use it, right?)

An artifact On Display sits face-up atop your reference card, and you can meld it with a normal action OR at the start of your turn, you can target it with a free dogma action to use it one time (and then return it). This leads to an interesting choice of holding on to an artifact to use it multiple times by melding it, or taking a three-action turn to really turn the corner against an opponent.

The PnP is updated: http://asmadigames.com/InnovationArtifacts_PnP.pdf

The way that the Public cards work has also been updated. Below is the full text of the changed sections of the rules:

--

Setup

When placing the age decks at the start of the game, shuffle the ten decks of Artifacts and keep each of them to the side. Do not mix them with the cards from the base set or the Echoes, Figures, or Cities expansions. Like with the previous expansions, keep the Artifact decks separate, and stack the decks for each age in a cross, with base game cards on top, supported by Echoes if you are playing with them, Figures below that if in the game, possibly Cities, and finally Artifacts. Start the game in the usual fashion with two age 1 base cards, or one base and one Echoes as appropriate.

“Public” Cards: There are five special cards included in Artifacts, of each of the five types included in all the Innovation sets; a base card, Complex Numbers; an Echoes card, Safety Pin; a Figures card, Ching Shih; a City card, Timbuktu; and an Artifacts card, Newton-Wilkins Telescope. For each set you are not using, set aside the Public card in the game box. The others will be used in the next step of setup: Dig Sites. Public cards currently have no back, to make them easier to separate during testing. This will change before we go to press. For all intents and purposes once the game begins, a Public card is a normal card of that type and age.

At the start of the game, each Public card being used is placed face-up next to the supply pile of its age. Each Public Card not in use (ex: Age 3 Timbuktu if you’re not also playing with Cities), is replaced by a face-up base set card of that age. There should be a face-up card next to the supply piles for ages 3 through 7.

When you Dig an artifact of an age, if there is a Public card visible of that age, draw it into your hand in addition to the dig.




Digging up Artifacts (NEW IN AUG 14 VERSION)

Artifact cards are drawn through a mechanic called Dig. A Dig occurs when you take a Meld action to place a card on top of another card with its hexagonal card image in the same location. (ex: Code of Laws on top of City States -- both have their card image in the upper-left slot) You draw an artifact card of value equal to the covered up card, and place it face-up on top of your reference card. This card is now On Display. There are three ways to use this card:

(1) At the start of your turn, you may take a free dogma action targeting the displayed card. Execute all its effects (and before that, any echo effects on your board in its color), including the icons on the card in your count for sharing and demands. At the conclusion of the free dogma action, return the displayed card.

(2) At the start of your turn, you may return the displayed card. If it’s an effect you really don’t want to use, this is an option.

(3) You may take a normal Meld action to place the displayed card onto your board. This can trigger another dig, foreshadowing, or a city draw, as normal.

A card On Display is not part of your board or hand, and cannot be affected at all by any effects. Its visible icons do not count as part of your board. If you have a displayed card, ignore the Dig that would result from a Meld action.

Remember that if the base supply pile for an age is empty, you skip it when drawing expansion cards. For example, if there are no base 1s, and you would dig up an artifact 1, dig up a 2 instead.

--
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Monika Żabicka
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Wow! Seems simplier, seems good.
But why did you change the trigger for drawing an artifact? The previous one made it a compensation for not developing a given colour. Now it's simply a technical thing.
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Chris Cieslik
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It wasn't happening enough, is the main reason. This increases the rate a little bit, and also gives you a more likely chance of being able to do it.
 
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Candace Mercer
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I am liking these changes!!! I will have to play them.

Why not just kill the public card idea? To me that has been the fiddliest part for several reasons, biggest being the amount of extra cognitive load to manage them. Given the new digging rules, why not just dump public cards entirely? Maybe I am missing something but I don't really get the point of them. Being public ruins the theme of digging, I think it is much better to draw cards and show them. That is thematic!

My critique is out of love! Innovation is probably my most played game next to Dominion
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Rafal Kruczek
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angelkurisu wrote:
It wasn't happening enough, is the main reason. This increases the rate a little bit, and also gives you a more likely chance of being able to do it.

So Artifacts rarely will be in players hands (unless transfered etc).
And now with this rules drawing of Artifact s severaley limited (as Cities was) which may be good - and drawing "publicly" gives other player a shadow of chance for preventing early win with Dancing Girl.
If I understood correctly BEST thing changed is that now Artefacts don't interfere with forecast.

I have one concern - in late ages game speed is very high -games rarely take more than 2 turns in once 10 age is reached - and such rules make it even harder to artefacts from age 10 to be played. You have to cover a 10 to draw/Dig/display Artefact 10 - and it won't be played in turn it is drawn. So effects of [10] artefact will be probably played 2 turns after drawing first [10] (unless you are helped by others players or teammates..


 
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Rafal Kruczek
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candio wrote:

Why not just kill the public card idea? To me that has been the fiddliest part for several reasons, biggest being the amount of extra cognitive load to manage them. Given the new digging rules, why not just dump public cards entirely? Maybe I am missing something but I don't really get the point of them. Being public ruins the theme of digging, I think it is much better to draw cards and show them. That is thematic!

Idea of public, cards was interesting when it gave a choice of drawing them instead of normal draw.
In new rules, as I understand them ,public cards become only a bonus to the first displayed artifact from ages 3-7.
If so, idea is dead already.
 
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Will Moller
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Question regarding using an "on display" card in method (1): since the card is not part of my board, if the top card of "on display" card's color has an echo and/or icons that would normally be covered up by a meld, I still count the icons/do the echo effect when doing the one-off dogma of the On Display card?
 
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Chris Cieslik
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mospinach wrote:
Question regarding using an "on display" card in method (1): since the card is not part of my board, if the top card of "on display" card's color has an echo and/or icons that would normally be covered up by a meld, I still count the icons/do the echo effect when doing the one-off dogma of the On Display card?


Yes -- everything on the top card of the color matching the displayed card counts. The display card never covers-up anything.
 
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Monika Żabicka
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Well, we played last night and probably "simplier" doesn't necessarily mean "better"...

The biggest flaw is that you have to use the artifact. Either in dogma action or in meld action. You draw it as a bonus but it may become a curse. My friend got stuck with an artifact he didn't like.

Another thing is that we drew artifacts very rarely. Much more rarely than with the previous trigger rule.

Of course, we have to play again, but the first impression is not very good :(
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Will Moller
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I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I believe I clarified with Chris previously that if a color is splayed, you still just make sure the hexagons are in the same position when you meld, regardless of splay. You don't factor in how the color is splayed or anything.

Maybe this is too much, but if Artifact cards aren't coming out enough still, what if 'any' meld possibly triggers a dig, not just the 'meld' action? Or maybe an in-between situation, like any time you meld from your hand or the 'On Display' card, either via the 'meld' action or from a dogma. But, don't trigger it from 'draw and meld's nor melding from your forecast/score pile/opponents board, etc. Perhaps it would also be helpful to allow multiple cards in your dig site, but every time you trigger a card in the dig site or meld one to your board, the remainder are returned.
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Monika Żabicka
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We have played again.
This time I got stuck with an artifact on my display. It was "compell" effect that I couldn't play. Moreover, the artifact was from a low age and I didn't want to meld it either...

I know, splaying doesn't matter when it comes to checking the trigger for drawing an artifact. Nevertheless, we still drew only few of them :/

All in all, we decided to play over the mix of rules and when we do, I'll write here if it works.
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Chris Cieslik
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We're adding another rule:

"At the start of your turn, you may return your on-display artifact".

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Pater Absurdus
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angelkurisu wrote:
We're adding another rule:

"At the start of your turn, you may return your on-display artifact".



Perhaps it should be tuck...
 
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Chris Cieslik
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Rules have been updated with the return option.

In addition, we've refined the rules for the Relic (previously 'public') cards.

Relic Cards (NEW: AUG 19): There are five special cards included in Artifacts, a lost card from each of the five Innovation sets; a base card, Complex Numbers; an Echoes card, Safety Pin; a Figures card, Ching Shih; a City card, Timbuktu; and an Artifacts card, Newton-Wilkins Telescope. At the start of the game, place these cards face-up next to the supply pile matching their age.

When you Dig an artifact, if there is a Public card visible of that age, you have a choice: Either draw it into your hand (in addition to the dig), or achieve it immediately, ignoring all requirements. If the set for the card is not being used (ex: Safety Pin, if playing with just Base + Artifacts), you must achieve it, and cannot draw it.

**Note: Currently the Relic cards have no back. This will change before release,**
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Monika Żabicka
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Are you sure it is really a choice? Will anybody choose drawing instead of achieving? :what:
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Monika Żabicka
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Ok, as you're "digging" into the rules, I'll just write what we think is the best way to play artifacts :)

1. Set-up: just like in the previous rules - 5 public cards plus basic cards in the rest of ages.
2. Drawing an artifact: like in the previous rules - when you meld a card not higher than the covered active card. BUT drawing an artifact only from a face-down deck exactly of the age of the covered card. And you draw only into your hand.
3. Dig site: just like in the previous rules - when you draw an artifact, you fill up empty ages in the dig site with artifacts of the given ages.
4. Theorize action: instead of standard drawing, you draw a face-up card from the dig site and put it on display. (We don't know if you should make an additional standard drawing).
5. You can use the theorized card either to play in dogma action for free and return it (so, just like previously but we are not sure if this should be limited to the beginning of the turn only) OR to meld it (as an action).

So, this is a mix of rules from different updates :) We like the idea of drawing face-up cards in theorize action. They act like on-display artifacts, but you know what you risk as they are face-up.
To simplify the game we are doubtful about "at the beginning of your turn" rule and drawing 2 cards instead of 1 (in theorize action). In general, playing with all the expansions, you aren't short of cards in hand.
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Chris Cieslik
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Veridiana wrote:
Ok, as you're "digging" into the rules, I'll just write what we think is the best way to play artifacts

1. Set-up: just like in the previous rules - 5 public cards plus basic cards in the rest of ages.
2. Drawing an artifact: like in the previous rules - when you meld a card not higher than the covered active card. BUT drawing an artifact only from a face-down deck exactly of the age of the covered card. And you draw only into your hand.
3. Dig site: just like in the previous rules - when you draw an artifact, you fill up empty ages in the dig site with artifacts of the given ages.
4. Theorize action: instead of standard drawing, you draw a face-up card from the dig site and put it on display. (We don't know if you should make an additional standard drawing).
5. You can use the theorized card either to play in dogma action for free and return it (so, just like previously but we are not sure if this should be limited to the beginning of the turn only) OR to meld it (as an action).

So, this is a mix of rules from different updates We like the idea of drawing face-up cards in theorize action. They act like on-display artifacts, but you know what you risk as they are face-up.
To simplify the game we are doubtful about "at the beginning of your turn" rule and drawing 2 cards instead of 1 (in theorize action). In general, playing with all the expansions, you aren't short of cards in hand.


I appreciate the enthusiasm, but we're happy with the new display rules for drawing. Relics might need another tweak or two, still.
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Monika Żabicka
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Another game and ONE artifact drawn.
Do you really draw any more artifacts according to the new rules?
 
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Chris Cieslik
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Do you just not use the Meld action? We draw 5+ artifacts per game each, although a couple games have ended early before we got to draw very many.
 
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Monika Żabicka
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Of course, we do. But hardly ever do the icons match. Moreover, even if they luckily do, it's not always advantageous to meld this particular card.

If an artifact was drawn into hand and I could do anything with it - maybe then I would meld any matching card just to get one. But now, I don't want to take that risk.
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Rafal Kruczek
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Veridiana wrote:
Of course, we do. But hardly ever do the icons match. Moreover, even if they luckily do, it's not always advantageous to meld this particular card.

If an artifact was drawn into hand and I could do anything with it - maybe then I would meld any matching card just to get one. But now, I don't want to take that risk.

In Base,Echoes,Figure and Artifacs, icon can be in one of 4 places so rough estimate could be 25% of Meld actions would cause Digging.
BUT there are two other aspects
- if there is a top card in particular color already on the table , chance of getiing second one is smaller
- you are deliberately using meld action to draw artefacts ratio may be a little higher.
But using Digging deliberatery requires good knowlegde of cards and icons on cards ( I remeber effects on most cards below 8 age in Base ,but rerely remeber icons especially empty places. Anyway card counting isn't the most fascinating mechanic out there...

And the is Cities case. For digging they are 0% compatible with other cards and 100% compatible with other Cities. There are also many effects that trigger form melding a city with meld ACTION. So "only" problem with Digging with Cities is drawing 2 cities of the same color. But since you can draw City only after getting rid of the first one, this method may be even harder.
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Matthew Ryan
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angelkurisu wrote:
We've refined the rules for the Relic (previously 'public') cards.

Relic Cards (NEW: AUG 19): There are five special cards included in Artifacts, a lost card from each of the five Innovation sets; a base card, Complex Numbers; an Echoes card, Safety Pin; a Figures card, Ching Shih; a City card, Timbuktu; and an Artifacts card, Newton-Wilkins Telescope. At the start of the game, place these cards face-up next to the supply pile matching their age.

When you Dig an artifact, if there is a Public card visible of that age, you have a choice: Either draw it into your hand (in addition to the dig), or achieve it immediately, ignoring all requirements. If the set for the card is not being used (ex: Safety Pin, if playing with just Base + Artifacts), you must achieve it, and cannot draw it.

**Note: Currently the Relic cards have no back. This will change before release,**


Help me out here, why is this whole mechanic in the game? It's a bunch of complexity to explain and extra setup to manage, not to mention awkward consumption of table real estate for single cards, for unclear gameplay reward. As a teacher of games, I'm having a hard time seeing myself justifying this to my group as opposed to "there's some stuff about special cards but let's just play without them".

I see it's now a source of achievements so that's an endgame balance issue, it just seems so disjointed compared to extra sources of achievements in other expansions.
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Chris Cieslik
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What we're going to do is use both draw rules:

If you take a Meld action and play a card on top of another card, you dig up an artifact if the covered up card is higher than the card you melded, or if its card image is in the same location as the card you melded. The artifact is still of value equal to the covered up card.

I didn't account for the decrease in artifact draws when using multiple expansions, we must have just had a lucky game when I tried it out!
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R. Eric Reuss
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mattlistener wrote:
I see it's now a source of achievements so that's an endgame balance issue, it just seems so disjointed compared to extra sources of achievements in other expansions.

Ah! That makes sense; I hadn't made the connection.

I think I'd find them worlds more intuitive if they were presented as "Special Achievements (which also happen to be playable as cards if you're using the right expansion)" rather than "Singleton cards from various expansions (which can be directly achieved with nonstandard rules under special circumstances)".
 
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Rafal Kruczek
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angelkurisu wrote:
What we're going to do is use both draw rules:

If you take a Meld action and play a card on top of another card, you dig up an artifact if the covered up card is higher than the card you melded, or if its card image is in the same location as the card you melded. The artifact is still of value equal to the covered up card.

I didn't account for the decrease in artifact draws when using multiple expansions, we must have just had a lucky game when I tried it out!

So it will be next expansion (after Figures and Cities)with two different ways to draw cards from? Very good for the variety of the game. A little harder to explain, but I wouldn't play with multipe expansion with beginners.

 
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