Robert Jamison
United States
Washington
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Hi All,

Would love your feedback on our in-development board game, Kingpin.



Overview: Kingpin is a crime-themed strategy game where 2-4 players compete for control of a city. Players control a Kingpin and their Lieutenant, who they move through locations on the board to gain control of abilities and resources. Players compete against each other and NPC cops who roam across the board, interfering with Player's plans.

Designers: Josh Hoff and Bob Jamison from Escapist Games (http://escapist.games)

Illustrator: Hai Pham

Players: 2-4

Play Time: 45-90 minutes

Components:
1 Game Board
9 Kingpins
20 Lieutenants
14 Cops
43 Standees
54 Event Cards
54 Heat Cards
6-Sided Dice
Money Tokens
Drug Tokens

Game Manual: http://www.escapist.games/s/Kingpin-Game-Manual-Prototype-20...

Prototype on Tabletopia: https://beta.tabletopia.com/playground/play/kingpin-wqu0y5

More Info: http://escapist.games/kingpin


 
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Robert Jamison
United States
Washington
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Hi All,

We launched a prototype for playtesting on Tabletopia. Link in the updated post above. Would love your feedback, good or ill, if you take a look.


Thanks,

Bob
 
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patrick mullen
United States
Washington
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Just from the rules it seems well thought out and quite far along. I love the way the police work, where everyone is trying to get away with doing crime, but if too many people do so, everyone is going to lose. One potential downside I see in this kind of mechanic is that a player who knows they are clearly going to lose could manipulate things so that everyone loses rather than allow there to be a winner, which might not be so fun for everyone else.

Moving on to the other victory conditions, it sounds like the player who is controlling too many zones is at high risk for everyone ganging up and eliminating him, in the same way as a player with a lot of points who goes into tokyo is going to cause everyone to roll for fists in King of Tokyo. I can see that working really well. Although I could see it going the other way, where a player with an early lead on controlling locations (since they only have to roll a 4) will get too far ahead to where no one can easily catch up.

I'm also not sure how I feel about the mechanic of bringing out your kingpin at high risk, high reward, with no way to change your mind later.

Finally, player elimination in a 45 minute game is fine, at 90 minutes it is pushing it. Do players often get eliminated early in the game? If not maybe not a big deal, but just wanted to point it out as a potential issue.
 
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Robert Jamison
United States
Washington
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Much thanks for the feedback! You make a great point about players manipulating heat to make everyone lose, but in practice this doesn't seem to happen that often. In fact, we include a "Undercover Cop" Secret Motivation card where the player must trigger that condition to win, but feedback was that it was too easy to counter.

The ganging up issues is also a great point, a difficult thing to balance out with a competitive game. We're attempting todo that by making it difficult to determine the strategy of a player, which works well so far in most of our playtesting, but depends on careful balance that we still have a couple of holes in. Appreciate any advice you have or pointers to how other head-to-head games counteract those issues.

Player elimination seems to be a factor in 2-player games, but we haven't seen a win via elimination with more players. I think the tendency is for players to be more defensive with multiple opponents and the difficulty of that condition increases dramatically with more players. That said, we're a little worried about not having enough variety in strategies with a 3-4 player game, causing a stalemate to evolve in some of our playtests. Options we've considered are creating a victory condition using Influence or making the win condition that you only have to knock out one other player.
 
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