Tom Coldron
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This is an entry for the 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest.



Elvic
A tiny game of big ambitions
By Tom Coldron

Players: 2-4
Game Time: 10-25 minutes





Summary:
In this area-control microgame, players compete to increase their influence in each of the five regions of the kingdom, either by using military force or more underhand and secretive methods.

Components:
5 region cards
5 army/intrigue cards
8 mercenary cards
36 control tokens (9 each of 4 different colours)
20 intrigue tokens
Start player marker

Links to pdf game files on Dropbox:
Cards - https://www.dropbox.com/s/48i5ydqmo6hj2w3/Elvic%20cards.pdf?...
Rules - https://www.dropbox.com/s/t86hio9mgz1ut50/Elvic%20rules.pdf?...
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Alex Bardy
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready

Hi Tom,

I look forward to seeing how things pan out with any changes to the way Athmere works -- I'll be sure to give this one another try at some point over the next few weeks, possibly at our regular Travelling Man, York meet on Thursday...

Thanks again for the P'n'P files!

And best o' luck!

 
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Tom Coldron
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
Thanks Alex!
 
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Alex Bardy
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready

Hi again, Tom!

Just to let you know I've put some temporary backs onto your cards, and sent you the PDF via email.

It's rough'n'ready, but better than nowt at all!

Take care,

Alex
 
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Douglas Ramsey
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
nordloc wrote:
There is some art on the region cards but I just found that from a google search for ‘fantasy castle drawing’ (or something along those lines) and I didn’t note down where I got it from. I wish I remembered the artist as I do like their style and I’d like to credit them. At some point I suppose I’ll have to replace the art with something which isn't stolen.


If you still have the original image, you can use tineye.com or images.google.com to search for those artist. Did you already try that?

Good luck with the contest!
 
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Ian Fisher
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
I really like where you are going with the game conceptually, If I may suggest a slight re-theme before getting into the guts of design. It has a sort of LOTR world feel to it
 
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Tom Coldron
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
f15h wrote:
I really like where you are going with the game conceptually, If I may suggest a slight re-theme before getting into the guts of design. It has a sort of LOTR world feel to it


Thanks. There's certainly a lot of battles and intrigue in LOTR. I'd have to consider how that might change the feel of things. I feel it would need something extra, like some sort of menacing power in the background in addition to the players' jostling for control if I went with that theme.

I keep thinking I'd like to try out something totally different with the theme. The current Game of Thrones-ish idea is supposed to get people in the right mood for intrigue but it's such a simple system that I'm sure it wouldn't take much to adapt it for lots of different themes.

E.g. maybe instead of players acting as lords choosing whether to use armies or intrigue to gain influence in five fantasy cities, maybe they could be bodybuilders choosing whether to lift weights or pose to try and gain favour with the five judges of the contest. Too silly?
 
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Tom Coldron
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
Updated. I didn't go for the wacky theme in the end but I've fleshed out the medieval fantasy land theme a little. Also got my partner to do some sketches which I can use in place of the stolen-off-the-internet artwork I had before.

I'm also using a couple of icons which were made available under creative commons. Here's the sources:

Cloak and dagger icon
By Lorc under CC3
From http://game-icons.net/lorc/originals/cloak-dagger.html

Sword and shield icon
By Lorc under CC3
From http://game-icons.net/lorc/originals/swords-emblem.html
 
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Tyler Brownwell
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
I really like the simplicity you have going on here. The interesting player interaction is intriguing. I wish the last player had a bit more choice though. Could there be a challenging where you attempt to swap a card with one in your hand with one in front of someone by using and mercenary or Intrigue token?

I could easily see this game expand with different action cards, making every game different. That would be exciting! But balancing that might be a bit challenging.

Also, I noticed in the rules you didn't state explicitly how many players the game was for and how long a game takes to play. I think these can be easily slipped in right after your theme intro.

And lastly, I like the mercenary art. It has a unique feel. I wish the Action cards had more of the "hard edge" art found on the rest of the cards.

Best of luck friend!
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Tom Coldron
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
Thanks so much for taking a look at my game.

tbonesticks94 wrote:
I really like the simplicity you have going on here. The interesting player interaction is intriguing. I wish the last player had a bit more choice though. Could there be a challenging where you attempt to swap a card with one in your hand with one in front of someone by using and mercenary or Intrigue token?


I guess it does feel a little weird for the last two players to have no option about who to pass it. My feeling at the moment is that putting in an extra rule to give them a choice may be extra complication every round for too little benefit though. I've tried to make sure every step of this game is quick and snappy.

The procedure as it stands does end up with the desired effect of everyone knowing one player's card and having their card known by a different player. Also, whatever tactical advantage you have as first player in getting to choose who to give your card to is probably outweighed by the disadvantage of having to declare your play of 'army' or 'intrigue' before anyone else. It is an assymetric situation in each round but the first player marker does move round so everyone will get the pros and cons of each position.

I could be persuaded, though. A variant could be for the last player to have the choice of either giving their card to the start player or giving it to another player and the card which was in front of them going to the start player instead. You could end up with the situation where two players know each others cards instead of having a chain but that isn't necessarily bad. I think spending tokens to do it would be too much as I can't think it would be ever worth the exchange.


tbonesticks94 wrote:
I could easily see this game expand with different action cards, making every game different. That would be exciting! But balancing that might be a bit challenging.


It would be nice to do that but I've been wary of adding different cards because the different combos to test and balance would increase exponentially.

tbonesticks94 wrote:
Also, I noticed in the rules you didn't state explicitly how many players the game was for and how long a game takes to play. I think these can be easily slipped in right after your theme intro.


Good spot. Thanks.

tbonesticks94 wrote:
And lastly, I like the mercenary art. It has a unique feel. I wish the Action cards had more of the "hard edge" art found on the rest of the cards.


Very true. I know it looks like two different art directions at the moment. If I get a chance to do another pass on the card designs I'll try and fix this. Maybe I can persuade my partner to do a couple more images for me.

Thanks again for your input. It's super helpful.
 
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Samuel Stancill
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
When I first played I thought the passing cards mechanic was weird and maybe mostly pointless, and the game was too random.

Then there's a round when the thought creeps up on you: "Huh, did he give a card to her earlier because it's a card with a location on which they're not competing? If so, I definitely have a bigger army than her." Then you wonder "Did the person I just give my card to make their decision becuase of the information they saw on the card they gave away? And what does that tell me?"

Each player has a tantalizing quantum of information which means they can spend some suprising energy grasping for an answer that is impossible to hold.

A very elegant and effective filler that reminds me of Love Letter.
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Tom Coldron
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
Thanks Sam.
 
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Tom Coldron
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready
A few tweaks to the files to correct some typographical errors.

In a play last night, we came up with some potential tweaks to the rules as well, but I would need to try them out to see if they actually make it better or not so I likely won't be putting them in this close to the deadline.
 
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Alex Bardy
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Re: [WIP] Elvic - 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components ready

Hi again, Tom,

Why not consider releasing a small insert of 'optional rules' like I did with Minty's Football? Assuming you get the chance to playtest them a bit more?

I'd definitely like to see something done with Athmere and Baranon to make them more appealing for placement...

Probably way off base, but quite like the idea of Athmere having an end-of-game ability, and Baranon maybe having something extra when placing on them (perhaps something like a half-mercenary +550 Army or +400 Army card or somesuch?)

Best o' luck with it regardless - I'm deffo a fan!

Alex
 
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