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To Court the King» Forums » General

Subject: To Tom - tell us what we're missing! rss

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Timothy Pinkham
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Mr. Lehmann, there are many who like To Court the King, including me. There are also many who don't like it for a number of reasons.

By now, I'm sure you've heard all the most common complaints. The primary complaints I've heard are:

- the characters are unbalanced because die-adders are much more valuable for winning and
- the General is too powerful

I admit that when I play, I almost never use any die-modifiers besides the Astronomer or the Magician. I just don't find the others useful for winning.

I know that, as the designer, you see all the strengths of the game. I know that you see how the game is balanced. I know that you saw the game through playtesting to verify that the mechanics worked well.

With the special knowledge you have of the game, would you be willing to give a defense of the game? If you will, please take this opportunity to:

- explain the best way to approach this game as a player
- deal with the common complaints I listed above
- explain how the game is well-balanced
- explain what players should look for in the game, or what they should understand about the game to make the game a more enjoyable experience
- explain any recommended rules changes or variants you've come up with since the publishing of this game

In other words, tell everyone who doesn't like the game what they're missing. As the designer, you are the one who sees all the strengths of the game. Here's your chance to promote the game and show us why it's worth playing!

If you do respond, thank you.

--Timothy

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Slawomir Krupa
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All that Timothy said is true and those are valid questions. I am extremally curious what the designer thinks now about his game, especially what he thinks about variants eg: only use one character per roll.

I'm a big fan of Tom Lehmann. He created Race for The Galaxy and no need to prove anything - he is one of the best. All his games and expansions are always interesting. Tom even improved Pandemic by co-making On the Brink. Maybe he should improve his own game now. I think that To Court The King with its orginal rules is broken.

"When I play, I almost never use any die-modifiers besides the Astronomer or the Magician. I just don't find the others useful for winning." My experience is the same as Timothy's.

Please Mr.Lemahnn tell us what do you think now about "To Court The King". It will be great if the designer could tell us something about his thoughts about the game, maybe variant could help us enjoy it more.

P.S. Uwe Rosenberg did it with loans in Le Havre. No shame to admit that he made small mistake designing loan startegy to strong.



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Tom Lehmann
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Arrggh! I just spent three hours writing a long response and the stupid BGG editor swallowed it. I simply don't have the time to reconstruct it.

Bottom line: I am reasonably happy with TCtK. The General was always intended to be strong, to provide a secondary play focus besides simply claiming the Ruler. The Astronomer/General strategy can be usually -- but not always -- beat by 2 Manipulators+Ruler, particularly if the Ruler's tie-breaking advantage is used to effectively "negate" one die in the final roll-off. Some play groups seem to have trouble discovering this...

TCtK certainly isn't perfect (no game is). Two minor flaws from my point of view are that the odds of going bust on turn 1 are slightly too high for my taste and that the Merchant is awfully weak. Both of these points I addressed in the unpublished expansion, as well as expanding the strategy space (which in turn dilutes the importance of the General). As this expansion may some day get published, I haven't posted it online.
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Slawomir Krupa
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Thanks for your time and response, Tom. I'm glad that you are happy with your design. I trust you, If Tom Lehmamnn says that the game is good, I'm sure it is . Now, when I knew that TCTK works properly, I must try some new strategies like two Manipulators + the King against General + one Manipulator.

I hope that the expansion will be published. I like dice games and this one is really beautifull.
 
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Timothy Pinkham
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Thanks for responding, Tom!

I know how miserable it can be when you have a huge post typed up and then something glitches. It just happened to me the other day.

Maybe someday, once you've recovered, you can post some more information about game balance and maybe some other suggestions for viewing and playing the game in the best way.

One of my friends recently complained that the game is too "scripted." He felt that he didn't have enough control over his strategy. I'd be interested in your response to that.

Thanks for taking the time to participate, as always!
 
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Tom Lehmann
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Quote:
One of my friends recently complained that the game is too "scripted." He felt that he didn't have enough control over his strategy. I'd be interested in your response to that.

Without knowing the details, this is probably group-think. Does this player exploit the double-turns when he is both last and first player of the next round to buy a dice manipulator?

For example, I often do it on the very first turn when I'm the last player -- buying a Serving Maid on my first turn and a die card on my second, as a Serving Maid is almost as good as an Astronomer and having it greatly decreases the odds that I go bust on my next several turns.
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Timothy Pinkham
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Interesting. Thanks for the feedback, Tom!

I don't think he's played enough to understand the possibilities of exploiting a double-turn. I think he doesn't feel like he's having to make very many significant decisions, but that the dice are somehow deciding for him.

Thanks again for the feedback! I really like insights from the designer.
 
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