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Subject: The rise of Prince Moon rss

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P.D. Magnus
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Election Day (Playtesters Wanted) was posted in January, and I have wanted to give it a try. I didn't have a chance until last night, when Chris and John came over for an evening of Decktet games.

How it played

I was dealt Wyrms as my starting Ace, meaning that I backed Prince Wyrm. (When explaining the rules, I had said that the Ace indicated which Prince you were pimping for. This worked as an explanation, but evoked the wrong theme.)

During the first debate, my preferred prince engaged in vigorous dialogue with Prince Sun. I had a bunch of Wyrm cards in my hand and a few were tossed in as the second suit by other players; for example, I think both of the Sun-Wyrms cards appeared in that debate. At the end, Prince Wyrms scored the 8 and 7. Prince Suns scored one card - I forget the value.

In the second debate, Chris - who had been backing Prince Sun - changed Aces. Prince Moon won that debate and scored a 9 and a 7.

The third debate went to different Princes, with values too low to make a difference.

I nearly won the game on the strength of having drawn good cards for the first debate. Chris had shifted allegiances to Moon. Since Prince Moon beat Wyrm by a narrow margin (16 to 15), Chris won.

Some thoughts

My strong opening was just a matter of having the right cards. Chris' comeback with Moons was barely able to beat that, and it too was just a matter of him later having the right cards. I didn't precisely know that he had switched allegiances to Prince Moon, but I strongly suspected it - and there was nothing I could do to thwart him if he had.

Although we nominally had secret allegiances, it was pretty clear who was backing which Prince. There was never any real opportunity or incentive to bluff.

We liked the premise and backstory of the game, but the actual game play seemed too straightforward. Nobody suggested that we play again.

Thinking about it, here's a change that might make the game less automatic: If players could have number cards as their secret allegiance cards, then they could be allied with two princes. Players would score the combined total of their Princes' scores. If two players had the same two princes, then the one with the higher ranked allegiance card would win the tie.
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Joe Mucchiello
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I have played one game of Election Day but with people who've heard me discussing it a lot so they were aware of some of the strategy I've been thinking about.

So you're saying no one ever played a low card that wasn't their preferred suit? I always assumed that was what people would contribute to a debate they weren't expecting to win since the more suits involved in a debate the more cards the eventual winner needs to bleed off in order to stay ahead of the debate.

Using a number card (or just any card) for the secret card might be better. I'll have to give that a try. I think the true benefit there would be in the case where your aren't dealt any cards of your suit. Come to think of it a Duoarchy is probably more thematic with Decktet cards.
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P.D. Magnus
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jmucchiello wrote:

So you're saying no one ever played a low card that wasn't their preferred suit? I always assumed that was what people would contribute to a debate they weren't expecting to win since the more suits involved in a debate the more cards the eventual winner needs to bleed off in order to stay ahead of the debate.


Bleeding people of cards didn't really seem to be an issue. I had enough Wyrm cards to muscle everyone else out in the first debate, and Chris had enough Moon cards to sieze the win in the second.

(I removed the parenthetical about our game possibly being the first, in light of the fact that you've played it.)
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