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Subject: Rise of a town destroyed by tornado rss

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nathan hayden
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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The designer Wade, Alan and I sat down for a playtest of Adobe, Stone And Steel. The game is about the history of the town of Pueblo Colorado. It's a CDG (card driven game) empire builder (rather town builder) game that plays in 2 hours.

The game is played in 3 eras. In era one and two players are dealt 8 cards as an initial hand, but must bank 2 cards for later use, out of the six remaining cards one must be discarded. Players randomly choose a mayor to begin. The mayor assigns offices to the other players which also dictates turn order. The offices also give players special abilities. The tax official draws a few more cards and from this players select one more card for a 6 card hand. In era three players use the cards they have been holding onto, so it is sort of long term planning.

The strategy phase begins and like other CDGs players play one card at a time using the card as op points or for events. It's during this phase you will realize you are not killing anybody with your cards as in other CDGs, rather you are building the town of Pueblo. A primary use of OPs points would be building properties and building houses on top of properties. If a player owns a property they will receive victory points if others build on top of their land. Other points are giving if you build adjacent to Civic centers and build Industry related factories. Certain events on cards can increase the value of industry. More points are made by building railroads and mines, also owning rock quarries can earn points, plus many other nifty things.

In our game, era one was overall friendly we built properties and populated the properties which yielded a player a certain amount of votes to be mayor. Naturally I think some nasty events were played such as plagues, but nothing too extreme. Adobe, Stone and Steel is great because for every crappy thing that can happen with events it can be undone by something else. The plague can suck but if you have invested in hospitals you may be okay. We finished the round without too many problems and with some clever play I assured the mayor role for the next round by winning the most votes.

Being mayor earns a player 8 points so I was happy entering era two. Round two I believe Wade had some cards that aided him in beginning a mining business. I watched someone build a commercial building and thought it looked cool. Overcome with envy I think I made sure I'd have the most commercial buildings.
Alan was more interested in properties and, I believe, assuring better value out of his factories. I nicely destroyed his good work with a properly timed mafia event which took some housing away from him. There's so much that can be done to earn points. At the end of this era we had an immigration problem which caused a riot. The national guard came to the rescue and helped us out, and I believe the riot destroyed only one house.

Entering the third era we received the cards we had be saving. For me every card was a destruction related beauty, but at this time I noticed most of my cards would hurt me too. We played our action cards and there were some problems of disease, floods and such. I was able to build a great city center. Alan too made a great park and city area too. His area was so nice and perfectly designed that I played a Tornado Event and destroy over half of it. To bad for me that the immigrants rioted again and destroyed my city area. The national guard in era 3 was rather wimpy and I was crushed.

In the history books of the Pueblo we built, Alan was the greatest champion followed closely by Wade who trailed by one point and then me 10 or so points behind. Even though I lost I felt I had done rather well for a first time shot. The game is a feast of strategy and awards properly timed events. The town building is a charming take on the CDG.
Look out for it.

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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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This one sounds awful fun, and a lot of detail put into the game. Seems like a whole lot of options - which makes for a great game. And different way to go about winning.
Thanks for sharing

Game On'
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Adam Alleman
United States
Denver
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It is a blast and I hope a publisher picks it up. It seems to have a great theme and the screwage is fun. I think it has the potential to be a star. Plus if somebody picks it up, Wade can start designing more games.
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Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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Thanks Nate, glad you enjoyed the game. It was nice to see some of the synergies on the cards working better, like after I was destroyed by a flood only to play insurance and reap some VP.

Don't worry Adam I have about 3 protoypes hanging around and I'm working on another multiplayer CDG as we speak that refines the Adobe format and takes the genre in a different direction (if it works out). Still I'd like to "finish" this one and work on Old World, New World to scratch my exploration civ building itch.

Still if I could only give the game away and have people enjoy it, the project would be a success for me.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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GIve it away, Give it away, Give it away Now ( as sung by the Chili Peppers ) - you keep perfecting these games and someone is bound to take notice when people start playing them. Oh wait that means I need to get on the ball and play test H&H ( HIbiscus & Hurricanes ) blush and let people know how cool one of your other games is.

I would think working out the balance of the cards to be one of the hardest parts of the game?

Game On'
 
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Wade Broadhead
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Well now please play H and H before you think its good. It may not be your style, although it is certainly your environment.

Balancing the cards is pretty tough. Taking a different tack and making the ops 3-6 instead of 1-4 helps ALOT! Everything is more incremental and you have the ability to protect your investments a bit more. Players can steal buildings but the cost is greater and it adds to the "Unrest".

There are only a few "powerful cards" and those have counter cards so player beware. Also, part of the balance is infusing the game with theme-orientated interplay that makes for an interesting and fun game. I'll be adding a couple more cards and some modified rules for the next few plays. Otherwise every game has had a pretty close finish.
 
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