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Subject: Weekend Playtesting Results rss

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Andrew Oakey
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So got a few games in over the last few days. In general everything went quite well. Though I noticed a few things:

I few typos, the most being "Gain [1] in the Fancial District"

More importantly, too many cards are being trashed instead of discarded. This makes the Magician's action less powerful, and in some round unusable.

The solution to this would seem to be to change some cards that say to trash into discard cards. I'm thinking Recycle is a prime target for this, plus the Scholar's action. This should result in more cards being discarded and therefore a return of balance (hopefully!). It will also make the effected actions a bit more thought provoking in that which cards are discarded and in which order will become more important.

Has anybody else come across an balance or gameplay issues?

Cheers
Andy
 
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lotus dweller
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We've played two 4P games. The draw pile can disappear very quickly - but that can be done deliberately to prevent the Magician, the Scholar and the Merchant/Banker maximizing the benefit of their abilities and actions.
ie If the draw pile empties that prevents the Merchant discarding and getting more gold.

(First game with newcomers was sloooow. Second was fast - just enough time to have my next move ready. All buildings done by round 3.5 - so lots of gold available for removing influence and searching piles for "dwindling" cards. Good game. Noobies won.)
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Andrew Oakey
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Ok, I've made a few small updates to resolve the issues I discovered.

The updated rules and a sheet of the 6 updates cards can be found at:
http://www.awakener76.net/games/guilds/city_of_guilds.pdf
http://www.awakener76.net/games/guilds/updated_cards.pdf

Here's a break down of the changes:
- Corrected spelling mistake on "Gain [1] in the Financial District" cards
- Changed Malicious Rumours from 3 gold to 2 gold.
- Changed Recycle from Trash to Discard
- Changed Scholar's action from Trash to Discard
- Changed Scholar's ability so that they now draw 3, keep 1, discard 1, replace 1 on the draw pile

The rules pdf has simply been updated to reflect the card changes, plus there is a small clarification of the "Gain [1] ..." cards. It should have been made clearer that the player can both "Gain [1]" and "Pay (3) to remove [1]"

Cheers
Andy

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Andrew Oakey
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Went to the Canterbury board games club last night and managed to get a 4 player play test done. In general it went quite well, but a few serious issues did arise:

1. There could be a need for starting gold, one player got a hand of cards, all of which required gold to use in his first turn. So I'm considering allowing players to start with 2 gold.

2. Guilds actions and abilities.

This was the biggest area of required change. The merchant action is weak, the banker's ability is pointless and the magician's ability is too powerful.

So my solution is quite involved. I'll break it down by Guild:
Banker - scrap the useless existing ability and gain the craftsman's buildings cost 1 less ability.
Craftsmen - Needs a new ability as I'm going to give the existing ability to the banker. Also Craftsmen was the least used guild, so need to come up with a useful ability.
Magicians - Action to become "Draw a card and play it immediately", whilst the ability will become "May draw the top card from the discard pile instead of the draw pile". All other players will no longer be able to draw from the discard pile.
Merchants - Gain the magician's original action "Search the discard pile and take one card into your hand"

3. There's no card's that allow players to gain gold, and only one guild ability that does, so more cards need to give gold.This is going to need a bit of thought, but my initial idea is to change a few of the cards so they take the form "Do action X, or do action Y (which is less than X) and gain (1)". Not sure how it's going to work just yet, any ideas more than welcome!

Other than that the only remaining issues were with the clarity of some of the card text. This is easy to resolve, though may mean more text on some cards. I may change the iconography slightly to make it clearer when smaller, as having more text will necessitate smaller fonts and icons on some cards.

Cheers
Andy
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Andrew Oakey
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Ok, I've had a thought about gold generating card changes, and here are my initial ideas. Basically it's to add "Or" conditions to some cards. This allows you to take the positive actions (which often involves paying gold) or to take a negative action that gains you gold.

Beggars:
Pay 1 Gold, remove 1 influence cube of an opponent, place 1 influence cube of your own in the Poor Quarter. You may choose not to remove an influence cube.
Or
Remove all your influence from the Poor Quarter, gain 1 gold for each influence cube removed.


Malicious Rumours
Pay 2 gold, then remove 1 influence cube of your choice from either the Royal Quarter or Cherriton. You may choose not to remove an influence cube.
Or Remove 1 of your influence cubes from Cherriton, Gain 1 gold.


Political Machinations
Pay 2 gold, remove 1 influence cube of your choice from the Royal Quarter, then gain 1 influence cube in the Royal Quarter. You may choose not to remove an influence cube.
Or Remove 1 of your influence cubes from Royal Quarter, Gain 1 gold.


Plus I wanted an easy way to get gold, so Swap becomes:

Swap any two influence cube on the board. Gain 1 gold.



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lotus dweller
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Sounds like your playtesters were doing things very differently to us.

Here the challenge was to decide which guild to play.
If the Merchant was in play then the Banker does very nicely with receiving an equal amount of Gold.
If the Magician is in play the Scholar can nullify his advantage.

A initial hand requiring Gold? Maybe let the players re-draw their initial hands?

Perhaps your playtesters were more thinking "What's not working and how can this game be improved?" Put Carcasonne or Citadels or Scrable in front of a group of people and ask them "Whats wrong with these games?" and they and I would come up will many necessary improvements. Put these games in front of people and let them play and they have a very different experience. (Not saying that you asked for "improvements" or "problems" - maybe your playtesters were just feeling critical. Or maybe City of Guilds is more of an entry level game and your playtesters wanted something else.)

When we approach City of Guilds as a game to be played it works well.

I'll see if my brother and his family (9, 13, 40s, 40s) will do a blind play test.

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Andrew Oakey
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Thanks for that, makes me feel better about it all.

I think I will still go ahead with some of the changes, especially the text clarification.

Your point about level could be pertinent too. We had just finished playing Midgard and Alhambra, so possibly it is a bit lighter than these two and therefore got a bit more criticism.

Once again, thanks
 
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