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Subject: Wessex Expansion rss

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Steven Carpenter
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Hi Dan,

I am impressed with the theme and mechanics of this game. It would add a unique game to my collection and I love that it can be played solo.

My question is regarding the decision to add the Wessex family board without adding a fifth player on the expansion. What was the decision behind this? Was it time consideration, balance, cost or something else completely? I ask simply because we often have five playing in your group more often than four.
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Dan Hallagan

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eaglesecho wrote:
Hi Dan,

I am impressed with the theme and mechanics of this game. It would add a unique game to my collection and I love that it can be played solo.

My question is regarding the decision to add the Wessex family board without adding a fifth player on the expansion. What was the decision behind this? Was it time consideration, balance, cost or something else completely? I ask simply because we often have five playing in your group more often than four.


Thanks for the kind words!

The main reason is cost and logistics. Adding a fifth player is far more than adding a player board and a set of family cards. The various components are all, I discovered after trying five players, insufficient for completing a normal game, let alone an extended game. I increased the components for the four-player, extended play game and if it is a crazy extended play game, you'll run out of guests (rare).

So, for a five-player game, I would have to add the following:

Player Board & Family Cards (Wessex Expansion)
Upwards of 20 Improvement Tiles
Upwards of 20 guests, both types
6+ Objectives
An additional 11 servants
Rewrite the instructions

But that's doable. The problem is I play-tested such a thing only twice, and I thought it was cumbersome. I don't want to just add components and perhaps ruin a gaming experience without really knowing if some modifications would be helpful.

And time was tight, Rahdo was ready to go, and I decided to just complete this project and then, along with another expansion, add 5 players with thorough play-testing in 2018.

Dan
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Steven Carpenter
United States
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Ohio
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Completely sensible. Thank you for the response.
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Steven Carpenter
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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One follow up question, Dan.

Regarding a future 2018 expansion, would the Wessex expansion be required to have already (by purchasing it in the Kick Starter campaign) or will it be independent of the campaign? Or is that a 2018 decision that has not been fleshed out quite yet?
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Dan Hallagan

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eaglesecho wrote:
One follow up question, Dan.

Regarding a future 2018 expansion, would the Wessex expansion be required to have already (by purchasing it in the Kick Starter campaign) or will it be independent of the campaign? Or is that a 2018 decision that has not been fleshed out quite yet?


Not exactly fleshed out, but there is no way that I would make the current expansion irrelevant. The 2018 expansion would be WAY more than 5 players. I would introduce a whole new gameplay theme (events, discussed in the KS comments with even some art presented), a new Turn Track and then all the extras to make five player. I can foresee offering multiple reward tiers—one without the Wessex Expansion and one with. Even as an add-on in the Pledge Manager.

Meanwhile, the current Wessex brings a lot to the game in variety of starting boards, extra guests and tiles.

DH
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Dan Hallagan

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Steve, here was the text of the KS post:

"It was originally part of the game, but serious gamers disliked the random element of chance. Basically, for a percentage of the turns, a player drew a blind "event" tile that contained a whole host of random events (see the attached pic) that players had to cope with. They could be devastating. They could be lifesaving. Bottom line, even though I thought they were VERY thematic (think about it—death, shame, wars, inheritances, levies), they had that element of extreme chance that hardcore gamers hate.

https://imgur.com/ptEFBnS

I absolutely loved the tension and thematic impact of all these period disasters and fortunes.

So the expansion will be a way to customize these random events such that players can dial up and dial back the impact."
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Simon Coney
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I love the idea of events Dan and did some research myself when suggesting some mods to the impact of passing.
My latest thoughts are that these could be round ending (or starting) events(a bit like Bremerhaven or Yedo) that affect everyone but are thematically relevant. The idea would be to have maybe decades (starting in the mid 1800s)from which only some of the events are selected for every game so that they still arrive in the right order but are a little different every time you play. There was so much that happened in this period that it would lift the theme to a new level.
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Steven Carpenter
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I agree with Simon.

I love the idea of the events and creating periods would make sense if it can tie in well with the existing game. (Don't see why it couldn't.) It is one mechanic I really enjoy with period games like Freedom: The Underground Railroad. While the events may be random the effect is minimized as it affects all (or most) players boosting or slowing progress down equally. I think it mimics real life in the period - board game style anyway.
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Dan Hallagan

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Agree! I also think there is another reason that events can be useful: leveling the playing field. I am never going to beat Kasparov at chess. Ever. Yet I can beat him at a game where other things besides mastery of rules and strategy prevail. I don’t mind this. New players are demoralized when they sit to a game of pure strategy. I love random elements for new players, which puts them in the hunt from the get-go.

My first effort at this was too overpowering. But I have the pieces—war, illness, levies, fire, inheritance—now I need to make them customizable like in your suggestions...multiple thematic variants.
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