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Subject: [ArchiTaku] WONDER BOARD: North Korea rss

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Archi Taku
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Hi BGG community. Here's a fun experiment we're doing. We made a North Korea themed custom wonder board!

A side


B side



S T A R T I N G R E S O U R C E

North Korea's (NK from herein) base resource is a passive where all brown/silver resources count as yellow cards, thus turning resources no longer purchasable by its neighbors.

We expect NK's play style to be oriented either entirely self sufficient or constantly in need for coins as nobody is paying NK for resources. This reflects NK's participation in the global market/economy. This effect in a sense is a handicap, which is to be compensated by its wonder stages.



W O N D E R S T A G E S

Wonder stages are characterized by ironic mix of diplomacy tokens and military shields, which places NK in a interesting political position and negotiation power.

A side's stages give NK opportunities to choose between strengthening military prowess or forfeiting from the conflicts. In theory, one's play style will involve negotiating some kind of benefits from one's neighbors in promise of defaulting from the conflicts. NK will have to keep in mind that going all in to military grants 3 shields, which is significant, but not acquiring all of them might make them less effective towards the end of the game. At the same time, early aggression can lose favors from neighbors.

B side is unique in that each wonder stage provides BOTH military shields and diplomacy tokens. The final stage of B side is nicknamed 'nuke' as it destroys a single card in play from each enemy. This iconic yet controversial ability is yet to be settled. Ideas that are passed along include, whether cards used to build wonder stages can be destroyed; should NK decide which card to discard; open to suggestions from BGG! B side also grants equal amount of military shields as side A, but it has no choice to utilize its military prowess until age 3 (or never) due to mandatory diplomacy. Side B's negotiation power comes from its ability to decide which cards in the play to destroy. Friends of NK will lose less important cards, and foes will lose that of greater value.


CONCLUSION

One of main objectives of this wonder was to translate as much of North Korea's character into 7 Wonders mechanics and language. We have many theories in play but it is to be play tested and adjusted in the coming days.

I have faith in putting heads together online and adding optional spices to games we love. I hope everyone will see the humor behind the pursuit and extend our vision to potentially make it viable in the game play. Please lend us your wisdom Board Game Gurus!!
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Archi Taku
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Printed and laminated on museum board, waiting to be play tested..

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PenumbraPenguin
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Side A looks incredibly weak to me. Keep in mind that the maximum value of three diplomacy tokens is six points (plus a little because other players will score fewer points). Compare it to Rhodes A, which gets 10 points and two shields.

Side B is closer to reasonable in value, but I think it's still not very good. At best, let's count the last stage as 6-10 points (because it takes about this much away from each opponent, assuming you get to choose which cards to destroy. If you don't, this ability is almost worthless).

The first two stages... well, theoretically you could get 14 points - by not getting two -1's in ages 1 and 2, and then winning both sides in age 3, but this requires the game to follow a very specific course. I think it's hard to see the first two stages as being worth more than about 7 points, and often less. To replace the three shields, you need to take an age 3 military card, so let's say that's got an opportunity cost of 5 points, and then a relatively generous valuation of those diplomacy tokens at a point each - keep in mind that this doesn't let you win conflicts in the first two ages, and so you're less likely to take military cards in those ages, so you're less likely to be winning conflicts in age 3.

So you have a wonder with no starting resource, which can't get coins from trade, with a wonder board that gives about 15 points if fairly specific things happen. Yuck. I think this is pretty clearly worse than Giza A or either side of Rhodes, say.

You also refer to negotiations, which makes me think that you're playing 7 wonders quite differently to how I do. Is there usually much negotiation?
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Anthony Heitzinger
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Agree with the person above, seems very weak. Give them the nuke ability every single upgrade (1st one only hits age 1 cards, 2nd age 2, and 3rd age 3). That would be neat, and possibly enough to make up for no starting resource. Each player losing one card seems super strong, but it's really only worth around 3/5/7 pts depending on the age, which is around what most wonder boards get anyways. It's strong since you can hit military cards and science, allowing you to decide who wins wars you're not involved in, and making it very bad to go for the typical 2 science sets.

The ability to hit brown/grey/gold cards probably isnt that useful, just mildly annoying.
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PenumbraPenguin
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Rachelisapoopy wrote:
The ability to hit brown/grey/gold cards probably isnt that useful, just mildly annoying.
On the contrary, this ability would allow you to choose a grey resource and prevent almost anyone from having access to it... and they can't even trade from yours!
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Archi Taku
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Thank you so much for your input. Those are great points you made! I fully acknowledge its relative weaknesses compared to Rhodes and Byzantium, especially on the side A. I would love to get your advice on alternative revamps to these wonder stages without diluting the play style of North Korea. My first instinct is to give more victory points or shields added to each stage, but I feel like it can be more interesting.

To expand your point about removal of resources - an example scenario where NK destroys all glasses from the board in the beginning of age 3, can deny a handful of age 3 cards from all players. Nuke is detrimental to any strategy hinging on a single card! One possible counter play may involve playing redundant cards but in a game where every card counts towards victory, it's a huge handicap for most players.
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Archi Taku
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Initial test has proven that North Korea has pretty interesting effect on the game. Overall game score is lower as expected due to NK's ability destroy cards. North Korea also tends to fall behind in score more. A few reasons we suspect is due to under powered wonder stages that provide no direct incentives to the scores. Another can be its lack of cash flow which could be covered with leaders.

One interesting side effect we found is that neighbors of North Korea has to find alternative ways to acquire resources, since they only have one neighbor to trade from. Which consequently makes their lives much harder too.

Overall, it was a fun concept and brings a fresh breath to the game, but it brings a fair amount of misery to most players.

One of us proposed new idea for North Korea's starting resource, which is to allow trades but when North Korea purchases from its neighbors, North Korea has to pay one extra coin either to the bank or the player. We'll report on our findings next time!
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