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Subject: Examples of game system, part 3 [Use it or lose it] rss

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Ignacy Trzewiczek
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This short series of articles will not present all the rules of the game. You won't be able to sit and play 51st State after you finish reading the last installment of the series. It will, however, show you the fundamental mechanisms of the game and show you what is important in 51st State. Today I want to tell you about Resources and how I used them to make players make decisions.


Let us look at the Fuel Tank card. It is a very simple card. It produces Fuel resource:



As you can see, if we have a Deal with the owners of Fuel Tank, we will receive one Fuel token every round. If we Invade them, we take 3 Fuel tokens.

So why talk and deal with them? Just burn it and take the stuff, right?

Not so easy.

At the end of every turn of the game, there is a Cleaning Phase. You discard all resources you haven't used. You don't use it? You lose it.

So, look at the situation here, on the player's table:



The player has a plenty of Locations. But none of them is really dedicated to use a Fuel. If the player Invades Fuel Tank, he will get 3 Fuel tokens. One Fuel he uses at Oil Trader,but the rest... They get wasted.

Use it or lose it.

If your State can not use the stuff you have, you will lose the stuff.

That is why players have to decide. Have one Fuel every round (Deal) or have many of them once (Invade). That is why you need to develop your State so you can use many Resources and nothing gets wasted. That is why Mutants (one of Faction) seems to be very powerful (for Beginners) as they can Invade anyone, but... they can not use the stuff they get! Mutants Invade, take stuff and lose stuff. Pure aggression.

Let us look at the other player playing area:



He has an Oil Trader, who exchange Fuel into Victory Points, a Merchants Guild, who exchange signed Deals into Victory Points, and a Gun Trader, who changes Gun into Victory Points. If you Invade a Fuel Tank and you have 3 Fuel tokens, you can...

You spend one Fuel at Oil Trader. You get 1 VP. Then, you spend 2 Fuel to sign a Deal (note: every player can sign a Deal for Fuel). It doesn't matter what a Deal you sign, you take any card from your hand and sign a Deal with it. And with a signed Deal, you change it into 2 VP at Merchants Guild!

Now we talkin'

You Invaded Fuel Tank, you get 3 Fuel tokens and you used every single token, you have 3 VP.That is a good State. Nothing wasted.

Use it or lose it.
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Marcin Krupiński
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trzewik wrote:
That is why Mutants (one of Faction) seems to be very powerful (for Beginners) as they can Invade anyone, but... they can not use the stuff they get! Mutants Invade, take stuff and lose stuff. Pure aggression.


Sounds more and more interesting.

One question: is it possible to play Mutants different way or am I always restricted to play aggressively with them? I can imagine that I can try to play differently but if aggressive style is natural for them (so it's the easiest way to play with them that way) will I ever be even considering to play in a different style with the same faction?
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Ignacy Trzewiczek
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In the first turn of the game you play as your faction suggest (Mutants attack, Merchants sign a Deal...).

And since now, you HAVE to make you faction as flexible as possible. It will be very hard to win if your Mutants will only Invade (it is possible if you play very good and can use their aggression in the most effective way, have a aggressive Leader, have Locations that support aggression etc.).

Generally, the more flexible you are, the more options you have thanks to Locations you built, the better.
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Eric Taylor
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It sounds somewhat like Race for the Galaxy in that your starting "planet" (or in this case, faction) will influence your early game (i.e. you need to play with what resources and abilities you have available, which in the beginning is very limited), but from there you can viably choose to go in many different directions. This (to me) is good game design.
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Mary Weisbeck
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Is very card unique or are there multiple cards for each location? And, since I'm unfamiliar with the Neuroshima world, how many Factions are there?
 
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Ignacy Trzewiczek
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In Neuroshima RPG there are 10 Factions, here, in card game you will find 4.

Every card (except two cards) is unique.
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Mary Weisbeck
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trzewik wrote:
In Neuroshima RPG there are 10 Factions, here, in card game you will find 4.

Every card (except two cards) is unique.

Ahhh, room for expansion(s).

I'm really looking forward to this. I didn't get into Dominion, Race For The Galaxy, or even Innovation but this sounds very much my thing. Would you say this has a fair balance between luck and skill?
 
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Ignacy Trzewiczek
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I would say luck factor is very low (as for card game). This is because of 2 things:
- you get cards from draft (I will discuss it in one of future articles), not just draw a card (like in RftG or Dominion)
- every card can be played with 3 different ways, so I'd say - you have always something interesting to do (with 5 cards on hand you have 15 ways of playing a card!)
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Adam Ruzzo
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ahhhh find a distributor so I can buy this!!!!!
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Itai Perez
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I am impatient to try it tomorrow...
 
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Mary Weisbeck
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Itai wrote:
I am impatient to try it tomorrow...

And you WILL take notes and post a detailed first opinion, riiight?
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Itai Perez
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I'll certainly try.
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Bourg Ghislain
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All those examples of game system are very interesting and i can't wait to play the game (by the way, did you find a distributor ?).

I know that you will not explain all the rules here, but i have a few questions :

1. what are the icons above and under the illustration for ?
2. on the left side of the illustration, what are the two cards (?) for ? Are they the ressources that must be paid for building a card in a state ?
3. on the right side of the illustration, what is the number in the arrow ? Someone suggested that it was somehow the level of complexity of the card (its cost...)
4. Are the four possible actions (invade, make a deal, build, redevelop) resolved the same way or do they "work" differently ? Do i only decide which action i make ? Or my actions are determined by other rules : invasion has a specific cost, making a deal has another cost...
 
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Ignacy Trzewiczek
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ad1. It is for interaction, I will describe it in an article about interaction in 51

ad2. these are icon that have to match, when you redevelop one location with other

ad3. how far the card is (distance), higher number means greater distance - more difficult to reach, I will tell about it when writing about factions and differencec between them

ad4. they work in a guite similar way, I will describe it when I will be showing differences about factions
 
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Itai Perez
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For those asking: 51th state has already a french publisher: Iello. It should be available in France (and in french of course) shortly after Essen.

Unfortunately, 51th State was not yet available at Le Monde du Jeu today. They had the prototype and just recieved the rules but hadn't had the time to study them. So I wasn't able to try it out. Other french people should be able to play it saturday and sunday though, so we should get reports from them, hopefully...
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