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Subject: Julius Caesar is now Complete! rss

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Justin Thompson
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Julius Caesar is now complete!

This past weekend I played the final play test games of Julius Caesar. I won all 4 games with the scores being:

8 to 5 - Julius Caesar Win,
8 to 5 - Pompey Win,
9 to 5 - Julius Caesar Win (Pompey Block Captured)
9 to 5 - Pompey Win (Scipio Block Captured)

One of my hands of cards that I had were (1) Command card and 4 event cards. I had 5 events but in this game we allow you to draw 6 cards and discard one card to make your 5 card hand.

Another game I captured Alexandria from Pompey as Cleopatra was in Crete for the summer. In the same game I had 5 blocks in Italy all strength of 1 in the end.

One game the Vulcan Event card killed Pompey and on the last turn killed a unit on a VP to make the game 9-5.

Many times a Mars Event card was stopped by another event card. Wow talking about holding on by the gods!

If you’re looking for an good 2 player game this is it! I hope you all enjoy this game!

Justin Thompson
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Pete Pariseau
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Good news! Has there been a decision as to whether or not the game will include an End of the Second Triumvirate scenario, i.e., Octavian vs. Anthony?
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Justin Thompson
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I expect that the second 1/2 of the war will be an expansion set. More fun!

Justin Thompson
 
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Bill Wallace
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"I won all four games..."

Really? And that is good for us buying public...how?

"Complete." (but that's what you said in Sept of 09!

(Sept 02, 2009 CsW post)
Quote:
Rome vs Rome Update!

The game is done! I did my last play test at the WBC! I plan on going to the Congress of Gamers in a few weeks and I will be playing it with friends there. I also plan to attend Euro quest in Nov to promote and play it there. I am hoping to have this game published by Dec 15th at the latest. We will see.


It's got cards, it doesn't have cards, it's got cards again...

And again and again, self-proclaiming one's own design as "epic."

These are hardly positive attributes...

Put me in the "wait and see" category... probably a long time.
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Robert Buccheri
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It sounds like this game has come a long way. Justin asked my to playtest this at WBCs 08 and again in 09. He gave me a brief explaination on how the game worked and I decided to pass on the playtesting simply based on time. I'm glad I passed because the game sounds like it has been refined. Postive feed back from Prezcon 2010 and Justin's consistent updates have sold me. This game looks great and sounds like good fun. Thanks for the hard work Justin. I've order a copy.

Tweaks
 
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Justin Thompson
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Ok, Bill I quess you are a wait and see guy. I get it. The proof is in the final game right?

I am not bragging about winning 4 games. The reason I mentioned it was to let you know the game is very balanced. I am sorry if you find my open and honest promotion of this game to be changing all the time. I decided when I started this to be honest about the changes as we made them so folks could follow the progress of the game. This game has changed a 1000 times over the past 4 years Bill and I expect we will make twiks to the rules right up to the ship date.

This is how Columbia makes games! As a matter of fact this game is finished and I will answer questions about the game if you have any.

Thanks for your comments!

Justin Thompson
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Kevin Duke
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In bill's defense, and as I mentioned myself to you a couple years ago, the loud style of self-promotion can be a bit off-putting to folks. While Commands and Colors/Battlelore may have weakened the language by using "Epic" to mean 'bigger than normal," the term does have a laudatory denotation that makes telling folks "my game is epic" sound like something beyond "my game is an instant classic."

It also does not help with the multiple times you've told folks the game is "finished" and the shrill shilling just makes it worse when six months or a year passes and, more changes later, the game still is not released.

Yes, this is the way Columbia-- and many other game companies-- work... and I think most players/consumers would rather games be refined and developed until they are really 'ready.' Perhaps more moderate language like, "It is looking good" or "I am pleased with how things are going" would be easier for folks to read, since those are obviously personal opinions and observations, where "the game is an epic" amount to judgments better reserved for outside observers. Coming from the designer, it sounds a little too much like, 'my baby is the most beautiful, smart, talented, and psychic in her whole day care."

Just get it done, Justin, and let the players decide if it's great, epic, classic, or--what we'll all be satisfied with-- a lot of fun to play.
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Justin Thompson
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Wow!

Justin

"leaving the stage left"

This will be the last comment about the game from me. Please check the Columbia Website for updates and info about Ship dates and such. http://www.columbiagames.com
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Pete Pariseau
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Kingmaker961 wrote:
Wow!

Justin

"leaving the stage left"

This will be the last comment about the game from me. Please check the Columbia Website for updates and info about Ship dates and such. http://www.columbiagames.com


Some people on BGG look at self-promotion with a highly critical eye. I'm sure kduke is trying to be constructive.

But many of us couldn't care less about your choice of words. What strikes others as shrill may strike lots of people as normal excitement. Don't take it seriously, keep us posted. Certainly no one at Columbia is going to do it, so it's up to you.

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Pete Pariseau
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Hey, has anyone ever done a poll about the language designers use to promote their games?
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Bill Wallace
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I did a poll like that-- it was an instant classic.
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Steve Duke
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I quess you are a wait and see guy. I get it. The proof is in the final game right?

Pardon our haste to proclaim this amazing discovery. Columbia's track record is to produce half baked block games with major holes in the development and then issue living rules later on that 'fix' what should or could have been fixed in proper development.

So not trying to rain on your parade, but fool me once, shame on you....

 
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Daniel Harrison
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Quote:
Columbia's track record is to produce half baked block games with major holes in the development and then issue living rules later on that 'fix' what should or could have been fixed in proper development.


Really? My experience has been pretty good. Other than Crusader Rex, which CG games did you feel had major holes in them?
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Niko Ruf
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harro wrote:
Really? My experience has been pretty good. Other than Crusader Rex, which CG games did you feel had major holes in them?


More recently, Athens & Sparta doesn't really work, as a turtling Athens player is pretty much guaranteed a boring auto-victory. But Richard III seems to work well with the initial rules provided, and Texas Glory also appears well received (haven't played it myself). Overall, I am very happy with the games I got from CG.

However, I wish that the company was more active in promoting their games, answering rules questions, and keeping people in the loop about their upcoming releases. So far, this is pretty much left up to the individual designers. And that's why I'm grateful that Justin has kept us informed about the game. Jerry Taylor also did an excellent job with his RIII design updates.

One drawback for the person doing these updates is that people worry about the many changes that occur during game development, even close to publication. I can understand that to a degree (who wants a half-baked product), but please realize that the alternative is getting nothing but a marketing blurb prior to release. So I would ask the people who complain to tone it down a little, lest more designers decide that updates are not worth their effort.
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Rob Francis
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Well, I for one am thrilled that JC is now complete. Hope it starts shipping sooner rather than later and thanks Justin.
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Pete Pariseau
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Niko Ruf wrote:
One drawback for the person doing these updates is that people worry about the many changes that occur during game development, even close to publication.


From reading about this process with other Columbia games I've inferred that the designer has no real control over the changes Columbia makes during development, except to take his game elsewhere. So complaints re: uncertainty about proposed changes would be better addressed to the publisher.
 
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Rich Horton
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Thanks for the update Justin. I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on it.

I must say I don't quite understand the carping at Justin. So the designer of a game talks it up and says its a good game! Oh! The Horror! The next thing you know we will have politicians claiming people should vote for them instead of someone else! Breakfast cereals will claim to be tastier than other breakfast cereals. Pepsi will claim to be tastier than Coke! Civilization itself might just end.

I really don't see anything wrong in Justin expressing his enthusiasm for his game. After all its a caveat emptor world out there and if you haven't learned that yet....ah well. Besides, if we are going to get any real news about a game before it is released we are only going to get it from people involved in its production, be it the designer or playtesters, etc. Could they be biased because of their close connection to the game? Of course, but if we don't hear from them we won't hear anything. I'm quite interested in the subject matter of the game so I'd rather hear more about it.

Ah well...the soapbox just broke under me so I'll stop.

Rich Horton

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Kevin Duke
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I appreciate Peter's grace- I was trying to be constructive.

And I appreciate designer enthusiasm also. And updates.

JC has been in development a couple years now and part of the problem/confusion is getting a great many details, with extreme specifics, and being told something is "complete," or "finished" or "all done" or whatever phrase was used on any given day as far back as a year ago.

Things like exact language for cards--of which there was a series of posts-- get to be somewhat jarring when we are later told that the game won't use cards at all and then later told it will use cards but not THOSE cards.

Enthusiasm is fine-- I would hope a designer can manage to NOT be sick of a game by the time the birthing process is complete (and a good thing, because once it is released, there will be many questions, no matter how good the rules are).

Hyperbole makes us wary though.

Good luck on all of it, Justin. I mean that.
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Jon Badolato
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I eagerly await wielding the reins of power and crushing all those who would stand in my way. I shall be Imperator !!
 
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Justin Thompson
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Ok, I relent! I am just to excited about the game to hold it in.

I will be playing another game with Grant via Vassel tonight and will report on the game tomorrow.

I played a game with Grant Wed night and what a game it was. In the end Pompey controlled, All of Spain, Gaul, Italy and Africa. Caesar had the entire East including Alexandria and Syracuse. I lost Scipio and Grant lost Mark Antony. Final Score Pompey 8......Caesar 7. Pompey won on the last turn by capturing Athens.

A excellent game that was a balanced with either side being able to win in the end.

Justin Thompson

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Evan Stegman
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Do you know if it is still on track to start shipping tomorrow May 15th as the web site says?
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Justin Thompson
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I don't really know much at this point. As I have stated before the May 15th ship date was looking shaky because the cards weren't made yet. I know for a fact that Columbia submitted the cards to be printed 3 weeks ago. As soon as they arrive I expect they will ship out the game straight away.

Justin Thompson
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Chris Farrell
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sduke wrote:
I quess you are a wait and see guy. I get it. The proof is in the final game right?

Pardon our haste to proclaim this amazing discovery. Columbia's track record is to produce half baked block games with major holes in the development and then issue living rules later on that 'fix' what should or could have been fixed in proper development.

So not trying to rain on your parade, but fool me once, shame on you....



Columbia's track record has been mixed, and recent games have been a little dicey. But, they have also made several of the all-time classic games in the wargamer's repertoire (EastFront, Rommel in the Desert, Napoleon, Quebec, and Hammer of the Scots). While I do think their recent consistency problems have been troubling, they also have put out a lot of really good games.
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Michael Vinarcik
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Columbia's site still says shipping 5/15. If they've blown that date they should pull it and replace with TBD.
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Justin Thompson
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As I stated above I don't have any control over shipping the product but I can tell you that they are waiting on the nice new cards. As far as I know nothing else is holding it up at this time. I have seen the final art for the Cards, Labels, Map. Grant told me he already has a person pre-sorting the blocks so the release must be close. I expect rules twiks right up until they close the boxs.

I am playing every night now using vassel. I will extend the opportunity for folks to play me as soon as the game comes out. I am not sure but they do have a way for folks to observe players in a game. I am also not sure about how that works. If I can set it up maybe all of you who would like to see it being played can observe a game? I need to find out what vassel can do for us first. Stay tuned!

Justin Thompson
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