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Forged in Steel» Forums » General

Subject: Q RE: Changes from early rules to now rss

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The Dave
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I was watching some videos and reading some sessions and checking out the old version of the rules. It seems that at some point the game design switched from having the Mayor be highest in influence (so breaks all ties) to being lowest in turn order.

Also, I wondered about the banking mechanic. In an early version, you banked cards each era specifically for the last era. Now at the beginning of era 2, you can choose to play the era 1 banked cards, discard those cards, or continue to bank them for era 3.

I was just curious about these changes (the banking one is really just curious) but the Mayor change is particularly intriguing as it seems the mayor could be really powerful, especially considering it's randomly decided who starts as Mayor.
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Wade Broadhead
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Hello,

Yes there was a lot of refining to the game in the last year specifically. The design team at Knighworks wanted something more flexible for non all- -the-time-GMT gamers I think, and I wasn't thrilled at first but I came around to understand and enjoy it. The flexibility of accessing banked cards every turn seems to help people along the way. It can be a little more confusing but accessing those cards may allow people to see new synergies and enjoy the choosing a lot more.

The mayor resulted from the city ownership cubes which were a slightly later addition to the game. Tracking those became a problem for some so those were just rolled into the Mayoral role, and yes this can be powerful in Era one because it's random and there are many points to be had generally. I think I've posted here that people can take the variant that city cubes are tracked separately and awarded every round via the election which is more strategic.

Wade
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The Dave
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Thanks Wade!

I think the new banking is probably a good thing, especially for newer players. I can see how in the future I might be tempted to try to original variant, but as someone who doesn't know the game well, accessing banked cards (and possibly switching them out) has been far more forgiving and tactical.

As for the mayor - I remember reading the variant you discussed. I think that's what I'll play from now on because to gobble up so many points early on seems problematic. (Disclaimer: I've only solo played two 4p games so far...). It seems that the player who is given mayor to begin the game has incentive to spam the city cubes and place his/her houses on them early on. (granted, that assumes the mayor gets cards to place city cubes). The other players have much less incentive to place/use city cubes, at least in era 1.

The variant you mentioned solves that, it seems, and I'll give that a try the next time I play (solo or otherwise )

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Jack
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Only been able to do 1 play, but I really liked how the banking worked - getting some control of what you had turn 2/3 in advance and giving you an idea what to build towards was really good. Quite surprised it was a late development because it seemed to work so well, I had kind of assumed it was integral to the design.

I did feel similar that the randomly assigned mayor turn 1 felt quite powerful (although not too bad because of the fairly low numbers of city cubes we had that early in the game) and was going to try the power of elections variant next time.
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Don Lloyd
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whattheproblemis wrote:
I was watching some videos and reading some sessions and checking out the old version of the rules. It seems that at some point the game design switched from having the Mayor be highest in influence (so breaks all ties) to being lowest in turn order.

Also, I wondered about the banking mechanic. In an early version, you banked cards each era specifically for the last era. Now at the beginning of era 2, you can choose to play the era 1 banked cards, discard those cards, or continue to bank them for era 3.

I was just curious about these changes (the banking one is really just curious) but the Mayor change is particularly intriguing as it seems the mayor could be really powerful, especially considering it's randomly decided who starts as Mayor.

20 yards of linen wrote:
Only been able to do 1 play, but I really liked how the banking worked - getting some control of what you had turn 2/3 in advance and giving you an idea what to build towards was really good. Quite surprised it was a late development because it seemed to work so well, I had kind of assumed it was integral to the design.

I did feel similar that the randomly assigned mayor turn 1 felt quite powerful (although not too bad because of the fairly low numbers of city cubes we had that early in the game) and was going to try the power of elections variant next time.

The ability to bank cards has been a part of the game design since the beginning. However, in prior versions you could only access your bank until the final 1910 Era. Essentially, players banked 2 in 1890, 2 in the 1900 Era, and finally accessed those banked cards in the final 1910 Era.

Once I began to conduct blind play tests, I noticed that this caused newer players a bit of angst. The general feedback was that new players felt their banked cards (in the 1910 Era) no longer fit their overall goals. At the end of the day, Forged in Steel is a game that favors an experienced player and that will never change. But, new players (in my honest opinion) had a tougher learning curve before the changes were made. Another consideration was that the ability to bank in the first Era and immediately take advantage of those 2 banked cards in the 2nd Era benefited both new and experienced players. Less stress for new players, but still giving experienced players the ability to change gears, per se. With a simple, and sweet, modification both player types were addressed. This was a common approach to a majority of the changes that Eric and I implemented.

Eric Johnson
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The way the Elections and Mayor points work now was a bit of a trade off versus the old mechanism. In earlier versions of the game, the player who received the Mayor (Official Role) only received the benefit of breaking a tie during the Election. Another subtle benefit was that the Mayor was last in turn order therefore was allowed to play the last card in that round. (Note: SAS was implemented in the recent changes and players previously took turns playing cards in Influence Order.)

During development, we weighed the Mayor's benefits against the other Official Roles/Abilities and found it to be lopsided. The current rules give the player, with the Mayor role, an opportunity to receive some decent VPs, but players have to consider what the value of say... being the Mining Official or City Planner is compared to those points.

Games of Forged in Steel can easily be won by players who never receive the Mayor role. Learning what cards to bank, taking card advantage when possible, the foresight in dumping a strategy/tactic if it is failing, and the willingness to use your cards for MM when an opening presents itself is the key to victory, in my humble opinion.

I would argue, if played correctly (with the right cards in your hand), a player with the Mining Official can score similar amounts of VPs if not much higher! With the City Planner role you have to weigh what the value of card advantage is in a "card driven game". If being the City Planner allows you to draft a card that can be banked and will net you 20-30 points in a late game power move then that has to be taken into consideration.

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Michael Giron
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Regarding the Mayor role...In my first play (4P) the player who started as Mayor really cleaned up the first couple of rounds. He was able to place a bunch of city cubes and build houses on them which not only scored him mucho points but helped him get re-elected twice. He even said himself at one point that it seemed unfair that he was able to start off as Mayor by pure chance.

However as any 'take that' type of game, being the early leader just means you are everyone's target. By the time the dust settled he finished in 4th place. That changed our mind about the random chance of first mayor really making that big of a difference.

The conversion then turned to the last round. We didn't like that there wasn't an election in the last era. We enjoyed the fight for votes that happened during the 1st two eras and it made the last era seem less interesting. I saw a variant in another thread the awarded 8 points to the winner of the 3rd era election. I also like the idea of tracking city points and only awarding them to the newly elected mayor. Any recommendation on which of these may work better?
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The Dave
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eskmoe wrote:
Regarding the Mayor role...In my first play (4P) the player who started as Mayor really cleaned up the first couple of rounds. He was able to place a bunch of city cubes and build houses on them which not only scored him mucho points but helped him get re-elected twice. He even said himself at one point that it seemed unfair that he was able to start off as Mayor by pure chance.

However as any 'take that' type of game, being the early leader just means you are everyone's target. By the time the dust settled he finished in 4th place. That changed our mind about the random chance of first mayor really making that big of a difference.

The conversion then turned to the last round. We didn't like that there wasn't an election in the last era. We enjoyed the fight for votes that happened during the 1st two eras and it made the last era seem less interesting. I saw a variant in another thread the awarded 8 points to the winner of the 3rd era election. I also like the idea of tracking city points and only awarding them to the newly elected mayor. Any recommendation on which of these may work better?


My hunch (and it's only that!) is the tracking city points seems to be the way to go because it is balanced by the players. In games where not many city cubes are placed/claim, Mayor won't be that big of a deal, and the game play will probably reflect that. In a game where lots of city cubes are placed/claim, the race for Mayor will necessarily tighten.

If there is a straight 8VP awarded for Mayor, some games that could be a huge incentive and others it won't be. In some games 8VP could determine the winner (low-scoring, high destruction, etc). In other games 8VP won't mean much.

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Don Lloyd
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eskmoe wrote:
The conversion then turned to the last round. We didn't like that there wasn't an election in the last era. We enjoyed the fight for votes that happened during the 1st two eras and it made the last era seem less interesting. I saw a variant in another thread the awarded 8 points to the winner of the 3rd era election. I also like the idea of tracking city points and only awarding them to the newly elected mayor. Any recommendation on which of these may work better?

Players are welcome to use the "Power of Elections" variant as described in the Companion Guide. A free B&W version of that guide can be obtained here:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/136779/bw-companion-g...

The reason why the Elections were changed, from the original game design, was to standardize and simplify how the player with the Mayor role scores points. The current version allows the Mayor to collect a VP each time a City Cube is built/placed on. This is how scoring works whenever any player builds on an Owned Lot. The other benefit of this is to reward the player who receives the Mayor role when the game starts. Otherwise, the player is given a role that has very little effect in each and every Era besides breaking ties in the Election. The way the game is played now, the active Mayor is not guessing if they will win the Election. They know for a fact that if they build, or the opponents build, on City Cubes then they will receive VP.

Another thought was breaking the wash-rinse-repeat of game rounds in a Euro style game. With there being no Election at the end of the final 1910 Era it creates a subtle nuance to the game rounds. As well as players not needing to score the Election.

One of the major concerns during final creative development was how scoring would be perceived. Eric and I felt that not having an Election in the final Era helped speed things up and created that unique asymmetrical aspect between the first two Eras and the final Era.

On a flip side, playing Devil's Advocate devil, we knew that players would potentially enjoy the fact of there being three Elections. That was one of the reasons why the Companion Guide, with its variants, was offered in a free B&W version.


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Wade Broadhead
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Exactly, it has what we called the Shogun effect, whoever is way ahead at the scoring round, rarely wins. You want to be sneaky until the end.
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