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Alchemists: The King's Golem» Forums » News

Subject: Sneak Preview - Part 1 rss

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Paul Grogan
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Hi, my name is Paul Grogan and welcome to the first in a series of sneak preview articles for the expansion to Alchemists, The Kings Golem. And before we go any further, yes, there is a King, and yes, he has a Golem.

This expansion to the popular game Alchemists will be released at Spiel 2016. Pre-orders are now available on the CGE website

In this preview, I’m going to be covering the overall ideas within the expansion and a bit more about the Royal Library.


About this Expansion
The King's Golem actually contains 4 expansions, which I will be referring to as "modules" in this set of previews.

In Startup Funding, you get to customise your own laboratory before the game starts.
The Busy Days expansion makes each round different by offering different things on the order spaces.
The Royal Encyclopedia is an entirely new venue for publishing your research.
And in The Golem Project, you must try to animate a creature made from magic and clay. What could possibly go wrong?

The expansions are presented in order of complexity. Startup Funding and Busy Days are relatively easy and could even be used with new players. The Royal Encyclopedia is for players accustomed to the logic puzzle of the base game, and The Golem Project is for advanced players who want a new deduction challenge.

The four expansions can be combined any way you like, except that if you are using The Golem Project, you must also include The Royal Encyclopedia.



The Palace Library
Three of the expansions give you ways to “borrow” books from the Palace Library. In the game, these are represented by book tokens. Reading a book tells you some information about one of the ingredients.


Whenever you gain a book token, you must use it immediately. There is a new feature within the app called “Visit Library” which will display 4 randomly chosen ingredients. Make sure only you can see the screen, tap one of the ingredients, and you will be told whether the ingredient's alchemical is lunar or solar. What does this mean? Read on...








New Deduction Grid
The ancient classified alchemicals are divided into two classes symbolized by the moon and the sun. This is depicted on the left side of the new deduction grids. Essentially, the lunar alchemicals have 1 or 3 negative aspects and the solar alchemicals have 2 or 0 negative aspects.
When you find out which class one of the ingredients is, you can cross off everything that it isn’t







That’s enough for Part 1. Next time I’m going to be covering modules 1, 2, and 3. I’m leaving Module 4 until the end because there’s a lot to cover in that one and the Golem isn’t happy if I get it wrong!

Until next time, thanks for reading

Paul Grogan
Gaming Rules!
on behalf of CGE
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Carl G
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Thanks for posting this. These look interesting and I'm excited to see more!
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Krzysiek Domański
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PaulGrogan wrote:
New Deduction Grid
The ancient classified alchemicals are divided into two classes symbolized by the moon and the sun. This is depicted on the left side of the new deduction grids. Essentially, the lunar alchemicals have 1 or 3 negative aspects and the solar alchemicals have 2 or 0 negative aspects.
When you find out which class one of the ingredients is, you can cross off everything that it isn’t
And on your deduction grid, lunar alchemicals are in the darker rows, and solar alchemicals are in the lighter rows.
Very clever, I think.
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Tom Heath
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So excited about this! Thanks for the previews Paul!
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Andy Kerrison
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Now I have to make a new insert!

And it was difficult enough fitting all the regular components nicely into the standard box. This'll be a harder puzzle than playing the game...
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Philip Morton
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haroth9842 wrote:
PaulGrogan wrote:
New Deduction Grid
The ancient classified alchemicals are divided into two classes symbolized by the moon and the sun. This is depicted on the left side of the new deduction grids. Essentially, the lunar alchemicals have 1 or 3 negative aspects and the solar alchemicals have 2 or 0 negative aspects.
When you find out which class one of the ingredients is, you can cross off everything that it isn’t
And on your deduction grid, lunar alchemicals are in the darker rows, and solar alchemicals are in the lighter rows.
Very clever, I think.

Information-wise, unless I missed something reading that grid, it looks like for any specific color+size+sign combination (e.g. small blue +), the two alchemicals containing that combination have a different lunar/solar value. Very impressive...

PaulGrogan wrote:
The Palace Library
Three of the expansions give you ways to “borrow” books from the Palace Library. In the game, these are represented by book tokens. Reading a book tells you some information about one of the ingredients.

Whenever you gain a book token, you must use it immediately.

If you use them immediately, what's the point of having tokens for them? Limiting the number of book-tests per game (if they don't get turned in when used)? Displaying with your potion results so other players can see that you've done a lunar/solar test?
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Paul Grogan
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Chrondeath wrote:
If you use them immediately, what's the point of having tokens for them? Limiting the number of book-tests per game (if they don't get turned in when used)? Displaying with your potion results so other players can see that you've done a lunar/solar test?

There is a reason. For example, you may somehow acquire a nice mahogany bookcase to put them in, which would be worth extra points
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Migue Rodríguez
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Awesome!!
 
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Shoosh shoo
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ALchemists is a fantastic game! I can't believe it took me 1.5 years of having it sit on my shelf to play it! Very interested in seeing what the expansion will be like.

I like when Paul said in a video that Alchemists wasn't designed with an expansion in mind and they left it out in order to release it later. Because of that I believe that the expansion will not be essential, but will certainly add some really cool changes to the base game. This is a philosophy I can respect!
 
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Robert Stewart
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shooshoo wrote:
ALchemists is a fantastic game! I can't believe it took me 1.5 years of having it sit on my shelf to play it! Very interested in seeing what the expansion will be like.

I like when Paul said in a video that Alchemists wasn't designed with an expansion in mind and they left it out in order to release it later. Because of that I believe that the expansion will not be essential, but will certainly add some really cool changes to the base game. This is a philosophy I can respect!


There are several expansion-design philosophies, and there are good and bad ones that both do and do not plan the expansion during base game development.

On the one hand, you want to make the base game something that stands on its own as something fun and engaging, with plenty of replayability, so you don't want to put off significant chunks of the game just to have an expansion, or leave obvious holes in the base game just so you can plug something in later.

On the other hand, during design, you're going to come up with more ideas than you can use - some because they are bad or just plain don't fit the game; others simply because there's a limit to how complex you can afford to make the game out of the box - expansions and optional modules are good, but not having to read the complete Wheel of Time series before you can start playing is also important. Once people have learned the base game, you can afford to throw in weird stuff...

And, of course, if you don't at least consider what might fit in an expansion, you're liable to run into issues where something in the base game blocks an otherwise perfect idea...

On the other hand, ultimately, there's no requirement to release expansions, so, while it's generally worth being aware of potential for expansions, it's not worth putting too much effort into them at the expense of the core game.
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Paul Grogan
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Preview 2 is now online
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