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Subject: A Case Against a Variable Board Add-on rss

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Blougaville
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After getting The Wind Gambit, I really believe that Scythe now has enough variability to keep it interesting forever - plus I'm sure the new modules from Fenris will only continue this.

Ever since this game came out there have been people who for some reason think that fixed board hurts Scythe's replay-ability, but I've always admired that Jamey has defended his design choice to make a carefully balanced board...so I was shocked to hear that he is considering releasing a modular board add-on.

Jamey, please do not cave in to pressure from loud internet people! I personally feel this will significantly change the tone of this game. I understand that if such an add-on is produced, I don't have to buy it, but it seems such a major change could be divisive within the community ("oh, you play normal Scythe? My group only plays Modular Scythe") It also seems anti-thematic (Scythe is a world, after all!). Player mats, objective/factory/encounter cards, building bonuses, airship abilities all keep the game fresh each time while keeping the feeling that you're always in the same world. I think I would feel lost in an unfamiliar place if the landscape changed every time.

Those are my two cents. Does anyone else agree with me that a modular board could hurt this game more than it could help it?
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Derry Salewski
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I think if people wanted to play it and it worked and they have fun it's not going to hurt scythe (or you.)

I'd play a TI3 style scythe setup.

I'm not begging for it though.
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Iain
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May I ask, where did you hear this?

My understanding was Fenris is the end of Scythe expansion content.
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Israel Waldrom
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Stonemaier Games recently sent out a 'Future Printing Request Update' survey. One of the options in the survey was for a modular Scythe Board.
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Iain
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Thanks Israel.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Blougaville: I totally hear you. In fact, I have a long list of reasons on the Scythe FAQ about why a modular board won't work, and you list several of them here.

However, a few months ago I had an epiphany that resulted in me designing and testing the modular board...and it's pretty cool. Thematically it doesn't make sense at all--that's not going to change. But I figured out solutions for all of the other barriers.

It's not going to be for everyone, and I'm not even sure if we'll make it, as it's a big commitment for Jakub to make the art for it. I completely understand if you don't buy it. But I wouldn't make it if I wasn't personally excitement about it and if I didn't think it added something unique to Scythe, and it really does. So we'll see.
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J Kaemmer
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Is the solution combined 3-territory tiles, and the home areas being fixed and "islands" so that riverwalk is still a thing?
 
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Peter S.
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I'm all for more tools for creating interesting and unique scenario plays, especially using the Automa.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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iswearihaveajob wrote:
Is the solution combined 3-territory tiles, and the home areas being fixed and "islands" so that riverwalk is still a thing?


That's not the solution, but it's a good guess!
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Dusty Craine
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blougaville wrote:
Does anyone else agree with me that a modular board could hurt this game more than it could help it?


I'm sure some do, but I don't. Scythe has a large table presence and a modular board might actually be really awesome for my son and I. I play a lot of 2 player Scythe and sometimes we end up at opposite ends of the board and never really make contact unless we clash at the factory, but more often than not, the first person gets there, get's their factory card and then high tails it until end game.

A modular board could completely change the Scythe experience for us. A smaller area to compete in could be completely game changing for us. It could actually present another variety of competitive play in a 2 or 3 player setting.

So I agree that it doesn't make thematic sense that a clash over Europa is being had, but the modular board could represent a land rush over new territory on a new continent. Perhaps one found after the discovery of these flying machines. Maybe just off the coast of Europa is a set of islands rich in resources that 2 or 3 factions have interest in. Instead of having a modular board that dictates that a specific faction starts there, perhaps it can be any faction.

I see so much possibility in a modular board. If Jamey makes this, I will absolutely buy it. If it makes my games with my son more competitive for resources and results in more mech or character conflict, I'm game. I'd love to see how that would affect us.

So I hate to see Jamey's consideration of this option as 'caving to the Internet masses'. I never asked for this, but upon hearing that it's a possibility, I'm excited for the possibility. And I wholeheartedly believe that Jamey wouldn't do anything to compromise his creation.

And while I also agree that this will change some people's preference, I don't believe it will be a 'major change' that disrupts the community.

And those are just my two cents. Of course you're entitled to your opinion, and it's a valid one. I just wanted to share why I think a modular board could be awesome... and obviously I'm equating modular with perhaps a smaller footprint.
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Joe Martineau
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Gribbon wrote:
May I ask, where did you hear this?

My understanding was Fenris is the end of Scythe expansion content.


Not complaining, but I had read that about Wind Gambit, too.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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While we didn't say that about the Wind Gambit, I've said that The Rise of Fenris is the last expansion, but that we have a few other Scythe-related products in the works (accessories, not expansions).
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Dusty Craine
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Pardon me for being impatient, Jamey, but do you have any idea when you'll start telling us what some of these accessories are? I just want all-the-Scythe, Jamey. You know me! lol.
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Blougaville
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Thanks for sharing your reasoning on this, Jamey. If you say you have found a way to pull it off that works well then I will reserve judgement. If it does come to fruition someday, I hope you can figure out a way to keep it thematic because that seems important. I love when a simple variable can sway a game in a very different direction and your core design and all expansions thus far have nailed that. This one seems like too big of a change for me.

Dusty, I can see why you would be into this idea based on your experiences. Thanks for contributing to the discussion!
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Derek Strand
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A modular board would be really cool!
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Jesse Moore
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jameystegmaier wrote:
However, a few months ago I had an epiphany that resulted in me designing and testing the modular board...and it's pretty cool.


You mean around the time Clans of Caldonia came out?
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Anthony Mai
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jesse_moore70 wrote:
jameystegmaier wrote:
However, a few months ago I had an epiphany that resulted in me designing and testing the modular board...and it's pretty cool.


You mean around the time Clans of Caldonia came out?

Or Civilization: A New Dawn?
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Alexey Bychenkov
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I'd really like an alternative well - balanced map. Maybe with couple new mechanics (not only fabric and tunnels), but that may be too many wishies
 
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Jesse Moore
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Delwarris wrote:
jesse_moore70 wrote:
jameystegmaier wrote:
However, a few months ago I had an epiphany that resulted in me designing and testing the modular board...and it's pretty cool.


You mean around the time Clans of Caldonia came out?

Or Civilization: A New Dawn?


Oh, that's true. How exactly do you think this could be used in Scythe?

For the Clans of Caldonia format, I was imagining four large sections of map that are double sided. Each of the four pieces always have the same position, so all the factions could still start in the same relative location while having different starting hexes on either side. This would also allow 16 different map combos, which is enough to give variety without making every layout random and most likely off balanced.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Clans of Calendonia was actually a big part of the inspiration for me to figure out the modular board for Scythe.
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Bryan Johnson
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Would the modular board scale for player count? Such as a smaller board for a 2 players and a larger board for a 7 players.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Bryan: Good question. While that isn't the intent of the modular board (the Scythe board already scales by itself: Groups who want more interaction can use the tunnels; groups who don't have room to stay away from each other), it can serve that purpose for those who want it.
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Jesse Moore
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jameystegmaier wrote:
Clans of Calendonia was actually a big part of the inspiration for me to figure out the modular board for Scythe.


Awesome! I hope that means bigger tiles to make semi predictable maps.
 
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blougaville wrote:
After getting The Wind Gambit, I really believe that Scythe now has enough variability to keep it interesting forever - plus I'm sure the new modules from Fenris will only continue this.

Ever since this game came out there have been people who for some reason think that fixed board hurts Scythe's replay-ability, but I've always admired that Jamey has defended his design choice to make a carefully balanced board...so I was shocked to hear that he is considering releasing a modular board add-on.

Jamey, please do not cave in to pressure from loud internet people! I personally feel this will significantly change the tone of this game. I understand that if such an add-on is produced, I don't have to buy it, but it seems such a major change could be divisive within the community ("oh, you play normal Scythe? My group only plays Modular Scythe") It also seems anti-thematic (Scythe is a world, after all!). Player mats, objective/factory/encounter cards, building bonuses, airship abilities all keep the game fresh each time while keeping the feeling that you're always in the same world. I think I would feel lost in an unfamiliar place if the landscape changed every time.

Those are my two cents. Does anyone else agree with me that a modular board could hurt this game more than it could help it?


Sorry my friend, but I couldn't possibly disagree with you more. The best thing for Scythe is more people playing Scythe. It doesn't matter if it is with a fox. It doesn't matter if it is in a box. More Scythe is better for Scythe, for Jamey, and for awareness of how awesome this game is.

Your concern is your concern. No one will make you play on the modular board. Isn't the desire to avoid people telling you how to play precisely what you are doing in this case? What if *I* want to play modular Scythe? Why should you take that away from me?

As for thematic concerns, I think all games are a give an take of theme and mechanistic concessions. If it helps you feel any better then I think you can envision this a "smaller" battlefield view rather than the distortion of eastern Europa that is already abstracted into the player board (if we took the theme view to the extreme we should be playing Scythe on a board that exactly mirrors the size and shape of Europe (look at the artwork indicating the faction overlay onto a real European map).

In my humble opinion, I think that a modular board will be what makes Scythe a game played for 10-15 years more. Without it, it will be "solved" more easily. The modular board allows for fan-made campaigns to be created with unique maps, it allows for unique PvE modes/mods, and lastly, it allows for really interesting gameplay of players to "build up" a map prior to the game start by taking turns placing tiles or other map features.

Tiles could even be placed upside down and are revealed when moved into the space, thus creating a fog-of-war effect as well.
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Rob
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I hadn't even thought about fog-of-war!
I was already more than interested in modular board (and am desperate for metal mechs), but fog-of-war, I love this! thumbsup
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