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Raiders of the North Sea: Hall of Heroes» Forums » General

Subject: Designer Diary: Hall of Heroes rss

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Shem Phillips
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Waikanae
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The initial design concept behind Hall of Heroes was to allow players to use their cards in hand as a sort of "currency." My original idea was themed around players sending off warriors as mercenaries to fight for the Saxons, Byzantines and Franks. One of the early prototypes had three separate boards - one for each empire. Players had to discard a minimum amount of strength to a chosen empire. After doing this, they would pick up the previously placed worker in that empire and gain rewards from a list of possibilities.

Early on I knew the strength-as-currency mechanism would work. But the original designs seemed too disconnected from the main board and theme of Raiders. I played around with new areas to place workers, other than raids or the village. But eventually it just felt better to add one or two new locations into the village. Some of my early concepts had a siege workshop. This allowed players to draw from a deck of siege weapons, which could be used during raids. This concept was eventually spun into the new resource of mead. I also had a second location for drafting cards. I think it was called the encampment - something like that.

It wasn't long before I decided to combine both village locations into a single one. Having two possible actions meant that players would use the new location more often. Having a face-up card drafting area was a no-brainer. Bringing quests onto the board, rather than having separate empire boards made so much sense. It kept people's focus on the board, rather than constantly looking over to the side. Developing the quests was an interesting task. Initially I wanted to make them unique, with all sorts of powers and interesting actions. But it was just too much. In the end I wanted the quests to primarily be a new way for players to get resources like provisions and iron. So I kept them simple, but added the subtle set collection element with reputation tiles.

I knew this expansion needed to have player boards. But as with most design decisions, I didn't want them to be purely cosmetic. The fact that ten quest tiles fit perfectly across the width of the main board was just too good to pass up. So I designed the player boards to be the same width and added the score track along the top of each player board.

There was a lot of tweaking and altering of values on the quests. I had to make sure they were enticing enough to players, without being too powerful. They turned out just right in the end. Overall, Hall of Heroes turned out better than I could have hoped. It adds a lot more depth, with more decisions and options to players on each turn.
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Holger Schmid
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This initial idea is so brilliant - it adds so much to the base game.
The dilemma of hiring a strong townsfolk card or keeping it for questing can be a tough tactical choice. However, sometimes you draw townsfolk that does not fit/ combo with your crew and then it's a valid option to dicard them for quests. So, optimized hand managment becomes even more important but due to the mead hall action not much more difficult.
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Jordan Booth
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I noticed right away that the quests offer a nice alternative strategy, but your available points are limited by how well others are doing clearing those raids, so it keeps the tension on the raiding, beautiful!
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