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Subject: Changes and Updates rss

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Aaron Brock
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I have finally put together my first complete set of changes based on feedback; welcome to Dynasty 1.5!

Look over the "Dynasty Rules and Terminology Changes" document to get a sense for some of the edits I have made to game play and game components.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwP5NhaA07iqdFp0YndIbFRmRE...

If you would like to test out the changes, simply print out the board and cards you find in the following files. Let me know if it is not clear what to cut out. If you feel that is asking too much, alert me and I will endeavor to send you some prefabricated sets printed on card stock when I have a few spare minutes.

Advisor Cards and player aides:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwP5NhaA07iqbXp4NlM1T0x2U2...

Player Board (Court):

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwP5NhaA07iqdUVpdTFZbFFSd2...

Use this forum to let me know how the new components and ideas are working out. Thanks again for all of your ideas!
 
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DG G
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Trying to get my head around this...

If I'm reading between the lines correctly - All the provinces I control make up my personal dynasty. The dynasty "collapses" when I can no longer pay the maintenance cost.

When I set up the game I randomly fill the first three columns with any EXCEPT the identified "later stage" cards - those I would put in the fourth column, right?

What happens when/if all the "later stage" cards are claimed? Do we refresh with the other cards or do the slots remain void?

For the advisor cards - Do you want to have a total of 9 cards available for the random draw (in other words, 2 per player in a 4-player game with one not used)? Here I'm only asking for current play purposes and how many I should print out.

We will give it a go tomorrow and let you know.

Diane
 
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Kennith Grotjohn
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So, the abilities on the advisers that require a discard... Are you discarding to your maintenance discard, or your active discard.

If I discard a commerce card with enough value, can I activate more than one adviser?

Do I get to use abilities on the commerce cards I discard for advisers?

When during my turn can I use them? If I can use them during the maintenance phase, and the card I discarded was worth more than was required to pay for the activation, can I apply the excess to my maintenance?

If acquiring a card from a province is now called a claim action, the adviser that lets you do more of this should say that you can take +1 claim action, not +1 gain action.
 
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DG G
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What, exactly, is a Province? Once I claim a province, is now the entire row considered my province, or just the cards I played? This matters greatly with the Advisor card that forces an opponent to discard all cards in one province.

The advisor card that lets you force an opponent to discard a card: Is it their choice which card or random or your choice? And does the card come from their hand, deck, discard, or province?

The Advisor that has you draw 6 cards - I'm assuming that is a total of 6, not an additional 6, correct? If so, then it would be much clearer to just have the advisor say "Draw an additional card at the end of your turn."

For the advisors with a Maintenance cost - am I obligated to use their action, since I was obligated to pay the cost? This could be an issue for the advisor that draws extra card if my deck is smaller than 6.

 
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DG G
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So, 4 of us just finished the third game with your latest revisions. Overall, we like the changes and continue to think the game is pretty awesome. However, there are a few things we found that need attention:
1. While we believe the intent is to make the Advisors' abilities available once per turn, there is nothing that specifically states that. We played one game allowing multiple payments for multiple abilities on the non-maintenance Advisors. That quickly broke the game's balance. We suggest that the Advisors' text clearly identify that the ability can only be used once per turn.
2. The turn phase is not clear that you settle AND claim and/or score. The suggestion from the group was that it would be better if "settle" was its own phase.
3. One of the group asked if you would consider calling the "projects" "Wonders"? It seemed to "fit" the theme and made intuitive sense.
4. Once again the group said a mat would really help. Not one for the players, but one for the empire/province/projects layout. One of the group suggested a mat as an add-on, especially if you do a kick-starter.

Again, we're enjoying it enough play 3 times on a night when we all have to be at work in the morning, so I'd say it's pretty much a winner!

I'll let you know how the next rounds go this week-end.

Diane
 
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Aaron Brock
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Whistlind wrote:
Trying to get my head around this...

If I'm reading between the lines correctly - All the provinces I control make up my personal dynasty. The dynasty "collapses" when I can no longer pay the maintenance cost.

When I set up the game I randomly fill the first three columns with any EXCEPT the identified "later stage" cards - those I would put in the fourth column, right?

What happens when/if all the "later stage" cards are claimed? Do we refresh with the other cards or do the slots remain void?

For the advisor cards - Do you want to have a total of 9 cards available for the random draw (in other words, 2 per player in a 4-player game with one not used)? Here I'm only asking for current play purposes and how many I should print out.

We will give it a go tomorrow and let you know.

Diane


You are correct about your first two assumptions. If any draw stack runs out (including the "later stage" cards) treat that as an end game condition (finish the current turn). You are also correct about the advisor cards (you only need one set)
 
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Aaron Brock
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Rahler wrote:
So, the abilities on the advisers that require a discard... Are you discarding to your maintenance discard, or your active discard.

If I discard a commerce card with enough value, can I activate more than one adviser?

Do I get to use abilities on the commerce cards I discard for advisers?

When during my turn can I use them? If I can use them during the maintenance phase, and the card I discarded was worth more than was required to pay for the activation, can I apply the excess to my maintenance?

If acquiring a card from a province is now called a claim action, the adviser that lets you do more of this should say that you can take +1 claim action, not +1 gain action.


- Discards go to maintenance discard
- You can activate more than one advisor with a single commerce card (but can only activate each advisor once per turn)
- Yes, you can use abilities on Commerce cards when discarding for advisors
- You can use the advisors when their ability would be pertinent; you cannot split payment between maintenance and advisors (treat as two separate transactions)
- Agreed, that last bit was a goof; I will change the file; for now, scratch out "gain" and write in "claim"
 
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Kennith Grotjohn
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@Diane: The empire phase (where you claim/score) is already a separate phase from the province phase (where you settle/develop/attack)

@Aaron: If the purpose of not allowing you to gain the fourth column of cards is to make it feel like you're getting to more powerful stuff later, you should instead increase the military strength needed to gain from that column. Gaining access to the stronger cards (something you want) by collapsing (something bad that you want to avoid) makes no thematic or mechanical sense.

As for the new advisers: why is only one of them worth VPs? Also, if you start with both the +gain and +score advisers, you're going to hit your first collapse crazy quickly, especially if your first turn you only draw Levees.

Why not instead have all the advisers have some active ability, be worth 15 VP, and not have a maintenance cost (so that collapsing will always actually increase your costs and decrease your score)?
 
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Aaron Brock
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Whistlind wrote:
What, exactly, is a Province? Once I claim a province, is now the entire row considered my province, or just the cards I played? This matters greatly with the Advisor card that forces an opponent to discard all cards in one province.

The advisor card that lets you force an opponent to discard a card: Is it their choice which card or random or your choice? And does the card come from their hand, deck, discard, or province?

The Advisor that has you draw 6 cards - I'm assuming that is a total of 6, not an additional 6, correct? If so, then it would be much clearer to just have the advisor say "Draw an additional card at the end of your turn."

For the advisors with a Maintenance cost - am I obligated to use their action, since I was obligated to pay the cost? This could be an issue for the advisor that draws extra card if my deck is smaller than 6.



- Province is just the cards under your control that were played from your deck (to the left of the unclaimed empire cards)
- Forced discard is the choice of the person who used the advisor (after all, that person is also discarding, so what they force the player to get rid of should be at least as valuable)
- Yes, it should just say draw an additional card at the end of your turn
- You are never obliged to take an action if you do not wish; some advisors are more useful earlier in the turn
 
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Kennith Grotjohn
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BlackKnightGames wrote:
Whistlind wrote:
The advisor card that lets you force an opponent to discard a card: Is it their choice which card or random or your choice? And does the card come from their hand, deck, discard, or province?


- Forced discard is the choice of the person who used the advisor (after all, that person is also discarding, so what they force the player to get rid of should be at least as valuable)


So does it also let you see their hand?
 
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Aaron Brock
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Rahler wrote:

@Aaron: If the purpose of not allowing you to gain the fourth column of cards is to make it feel like you're getting to more powerful stuff later, you should instead increase the military strength needed to gain from that column. Gaining access to the stronger cards (something you want) by collapsing (something bad that you want to avoid) makes no thematic or mechanical sense.

As for the new advisers: why is only one of them worth VPs? Also, if you start with both the +gain and +score advisers, you're going to hit your first collapse crazy quickly, especially if your first turn you only draw Levees.

Why not instead have all the advisers have some active ability, be worth 15 VP, and not have a maintenance cost (so that collapsing will always actually increase your costs and decrease your score)?


- I like the first idea; I will try both, and see which plays better
- One of the advisors needs a base maintenance cost, or there needs to be one on the player board; there needs to be a minimum cost each turn (mechanically)
- I will play around with combinations of VP and abilities, but it is easier to balance a game by introducing a few separate elements, seeing what works, then working out combinations and values
- At the moment collapse will always increase your costs; the idea with the separate VP card was to give player's a choice about whether they lose the VP or not; some play testers felt the fact that you could almost never maintain your empire with all of the initial VPs felt like an arbitrary tease
 
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Kennith Grotjohn
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BlackKnightGames wrote:

- One of the advisors needs a base maintenance cost, or there needs to be one on the player board; there needs to be a minimum cost each turn (mechanically)
- I will play around with combinations of VP and abilities, but it is easier to balance a game by introducing a few separate elements, seeing what works, then working out combinations and values
- At the moment collapse will always increase your costs; the idea with the separate VP card was to give player's a choice about whether they lose the VP or not; some play testers felt the fact that you could almost never maintain your empire with all of the initial VPs felt like an arbitrary tease


I had assumed that you would add the base maintenance cost to the board if you went that route.

I don't see how having all the advisers with say... 15 VP (so you always lose VP with collapse, as before) is harder to balance than only 1 adviser having VP. I can see your point about making the loss of VP a player choice though.

Collapse currently does not increase your maintenance costs if you choose to lose any of the advisers with passive abilities (+1 draw, +1 claim, +1 score).
 
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DG G
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Rahler wrote:
BlackKnightGames wrote:

- One of the advisors needs a base maintenance cost, or there needs to be one on the player board; there needs to be a minimum cost each turn (mechanically)
- I will play around with combinations of VP and abilities, but it is easier to balance a game by introducing a few separate elements, seeing what works, then working out combinations and values
- At the moment collapse will always increase your costs; the idea with the separate VP card was to give player's a choice about whether they lose the VP or not; some play testers felt the fact that you could almost never maintain your empire with all of the initial VPs felt like an arbitrary tease


I had assumed that you would add the base maintenance cost to the board if you went that route.

I don't see how having all the advisers with say... 15 VP (so you always lose VP with collapse, as before) is harder to balance than only 1 adviser having VP. I can see your point about making the loss of VP a player choice though.

Collapse currently does not increase your maintenance costs if you choose to lose any of the advisers with passive abilities (+1 draw, +1 claim, +1 score).


True - losing the advisers with passive abilities don't increase maintenance cost, but we found last night that the loss in the abilities was fairly significant in actual play.

What was more significant in play was whether someone drew two of the passive abilities or two of the "active" abilities, or one of each. This really did make a huge difference and created some terribly OP players. Could this be more balanced by having each player take one of each type of advisor?
 
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Aaron Brock
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@ Kennith: You are right that maintenance would basically stay the same with the passives; this is an experiment, so see if they are worth the difficulty they present early on for the player with that ability. Your feedback is always thought out, so I am definitely taking note. For the time being, I'm going to play this rough version until I have another short list of feedback from multiple channels. In all likelihood, many of your ideas will go into effect shortly.
 
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Aaron Brock
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@Diane: Perhaps try a draft, so players can choose their ability? Alternately, you could designate "types" and only allow players one of each type. If you make sure the OP combos are in the same type categories, that might do it.

Also, I have done no balancing yet with the abilities, so that might just be something I need to actually see in action. Let me know which combinations in particular are consistently OP, and I can start to make the necessary adjustments.

I will try to find some time this weekend to do some serious playing with the new additions (just haven't had more than a few free minutes here and there), and see how that looks on my end.
 
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DG G
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Rahler wrote:
@Diane: The empire phase (where you claim/score) is already a separate phase from the province phase (where you settle/develop/attack)


True, but you have the OPTION of develop/attack. Settle is something you MUST do. It seems strange to have the 3 in the same phase.
 
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Kennith Grotjohn
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Whistlind wrote:
you have the OPTION of develop/attack. Settle is something you MUST do. It seems strange to have the 3 in the same phase.

You don't HAVE to settle. Maybe you are principally opposed to winning a province without a fight, and will only acquire provinces via attacks.

They are in the same phase as they are the three ways you can alter what you are able to do in the following (claim/score) phase.
 
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Kennith Grotjohn
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I've updated my "new rules" https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dcTS2MfbZRCen74iY8wuQ0Fv... to include the new changes. It probably needs a section describing how the abilities on the advisers work.
 
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DG G
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Rahler wrote:
Whistlind wrote:
you have the OPTION of develop/attack. Settle is something you MUST do. It seems strange to have the 3 in the same phase.

You don't HAVE to settle. Maybe you are principally opposed to winning a province without a fight, and will only acquire provinces via attacks.

They are in the same phase as they are the three ways you can alter what you are able to do in the following (claim/score) phase.


Sorry - my bad...

On the new "player aides" sheets: where is the part where you restock the empire/project cards? And is there a reason for the term changes? You did have the phases named as Empire, Province, Refresh. On the aides those names are not listed.
 
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DG G
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Aaron -
Quick feed-back from the game day. I had the chance to play with some more people, some of whom had played with you at Strategicon. All thought the changes improved the game. Definitely positive feed-back about the Advisors and maintenance costts preferred over taxes. Several comments along the line that the Advisors provide some growth room with later additions, if desired.

Two clarifications are definitely needed: 1. How does the Mercenary's strength work? Does it change with a change in the non-claimed cards? (We've been playing as though it does, and that seems to work.) 2. Is it "legal" to Unify China on the first turn? If so, then the first player can almost always unify, making first player a huge advantage.

Overall, we really liked playing with the changes. Nice.
 
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Kennith Grotjohn
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The first player does have a significant advantage. They are less likely to be able to unify in a 3-4-player game, as that is only possible there if their starting hand had 1 or 0 rice farms, but still... I'd imagine the last player in a four-player game would have it especially bad, as likely all four rows would require at least strength 2 (if not 3) to attack.
 
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Aaron Brock
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I am working on Dynasty 2.0. Much of what you are saying is being echoed by some play testers up north, and I have played through the new version a few times myself to find the rough patches. Work has been nuts, but I am hoping I can work up a complete set of edits (with all the requisite visual aids) this weekend.

I will also be reaching out in the next month or so to get feedback about naming, terminology, iconography and finished artwork. Please forward the message along to your game groups so I can get the broadest possible spectrum of feedback for those elements.

Thanks again for all of the help!
 
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