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This game will be reprinted by Stronghold Games in North America. See thread below for details.

Stronghold Games Reveals First Two Games of the 2010 Catalog
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Kevin Nesbitt
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Today I posted the Beta version of the cover and main board.

Your comments are welcomed.

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Russ Williams
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Hm... The new box cover makes it look like a highly themed game about the Cold War; I'd expect it to be something like Twilight Struggle. Yet from what I can tell it's an abstract chess/stratego-like game.

That seems incongruous and potentially risky from a marketing point of view, doesn't it?

It makes me think of how Cthulhu fans are disappointed by the abstract Knizia game Cthulhu Rising which has nothing to do with Cthulhu despite the packaging, and the abstract fans who would enjoy it will glance right past it on the store shelf, assuming that it is some theme-heavy Cthulhu adventure game instead of a neat little abstract game.

EDIT: To be clear - I think the art itself looks nicely done. I don't want to give the impression I'm saying the art itself is bad. It just seems rather misleading and inappropriate to this particular game. I.e. imagine this same cold-war and spy themed art being used for the box and board of a Chess or Go or Hex set. Or inversely, imagine the stark minimalist style of a Go board and black and white go stones being used for Twilight Struggle or Squad Leader.
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roger beatson
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I really like the artwork for both the board and the box.
Any chance of seeing the playing pieces.Will they be cubes as in the original ?
Also, will there be any alterations to the rules ?
Sorry for not really adding much in terms of comment regarding the artwork but looking forward to seeing this developed.The artwork was what prompted me to take a look at this game which I'd never heard of previously so in that respect it certainly caught my attention .
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Antonio Recuenco-Muñoz
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I'm quite sorry because the artwork seems to be done with great care, but having played a typical white print and play version I suppose I'd find all those colours rather distracting. Besides, giving the game a topic reminds me of those versions of Shakespeare plays where actors wear jeans... I can't really fit a cold war topic into that sort of gameplay - I can't really fit ANY topic into that sort of gameplay. The abstract game is already beautiful, I see no need to sacrifice its purity targeting it to a market sector (wargamers and the sort) different to the one that might actually enjoy the game the most.
 
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Kevin Nesbitt
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roughneck2 wrote:

I really like the artwork for both the board and the box.
Any chance of seeing the playing pieces.Will they be cubes as in the original ?
Also, will there be any alterations to the rules ?
Sorry for not really adding much in terms of comment regarding the artwork but looking forward to seeing this developed.The artwork was what prompted me to take a look at this game which I'd never heard of previously so in that respect it certainly caught my attention .


I'll be posting some pictures of the prototype playing pieces next week. These pictures show the pieces in their final form, minus the artwork.

We are using a different system for the pieces than the previous version. In our version, each spy is represented by a large Mah-Jongg-sized block made from the same material used to make high-quality dominoes (heavy pieces!). Each of these pieces has the back section hollowed out, and into this a "secondary piece" is placed denoting the piece's movement on the board. This also lets us put some artwork on the "main" pieces.As an added benefit there will be no remembering what each piece is due to wood-grain because after each game the secondary-pieces are randomly shuffled around and reinserted into new pieces.

No major alterations to the rules to speak of with the exception of:

i) A slightly narrower board, although we include optional rules which allow you to play on the full size board too. As you can see in the posted artwork showing the board, the optional rules expand the playing area back out to 11x11 as opposed to the new ruleset's 9x11.

ii) A "Double-Agent" piece whose role I will write about on BGG in the coming weeks. This piece adds a very exciting and thematic element to the game.

iii) Special action tokens. This are optional tokens which both players receive at the start of the game, and may play only once per game. The available actions are "Swap 2", "Move 2", and "Reveal 1". These are recommended for new players, or people wanting to shake up the game a little bit from the original rules.

These tokens ALSO allow for handicapping between two players. If player A is far better than player B, then player B can be allowed to play with one, two, or three of these tokens while player A plays with none. This is sort of like in chess where one player sacrifices pieces in order to even out the matchup.

Swap Two - Swap the position of any two of your pieces provided neither are holding the briefcase (neutral piece).

Move 2 - This turn, move two of your pieces, provided neither hold the briefcase and both are on your own side of the board.

Reveal 1 - The identity of one piece of your choosing is revealed to you, provided it is not carrying the briefcase.


Rules i) and iii) are optional and the game completely supports play with or without them. Hardcore fans of the original can even make rule ii) optional if they insist, although the rules won't officially support it.

More details to come!
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Kevin Nesbitt
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russ wrote:
Hm... The new box cover makes it look like a highly themed game about the Cold War; I'd expect it to be something like Twilight Struggle. Yet from what I can tell it's an abstract chess/stratego-like game.

That seems incongruous and potentially risky from a marketing point of view, doesn't it?



We've incorporated a theme to the game to obtain wider appeal. However, at the same time we left the core mechanics unchanged.

We've introduced the "Double-Agent" piece which fits wonderfully with the new theme.I'll go into more details of how this piece moves in an article for BGG at a later time, but for now suffice it to say that this piece gives a wonderful new element and angle to the gameplay while reinforcing the thematic fit.

ottia wrote:
I see no need to sacrifice its purity targeting it to a market sector (wargamers and the sort) different to the one that might actually enjoy the game the most.


I don't think adding a theme has sacrificed any of Confusion's purity. We've been very careful in selecting the theme, having started with several ideas before trimming down to three possible themes. We built each of these 3 themes into a "work-up" and then carefully picked the one that best fit. The reason we settled on the Cold War as the theme is because it best fit the core mechanics of the game without sacrificing the quality of the gameplay.

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Greg Clensy
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I love the theme and would never have bought this game if it were not themed.

Just out of curiosity, what other themes were tossed around before settling on Cold War spies? Which ones were seriously considered?
 
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