The wonderful Dews, Carl and Myself got a first playtest of Mother Road (3.0).
In this version a few major changes:
* Players start with six cards, two for traffic, two for employees, and two for managers. These cards would be numbered 1-10 and when played, the lower numbered card of each type would go first. If a player didn't play two cards, they would draw the difference (up to two. Play 0 cards, draw two, play one draw 1, play 2 draw 0)
* Traffic was completely changed to be numbered disks representing a vehicle with 1-7 customers looking for one type of business.
* Money was completely removed from the game. Everything is driven by actions and points are scored.
* Workers can handle 8 customers, but workers can't help each other with customers.
I think the test went well, we had a total of 13 rounds and we hammered out a few things:
* Traffic disks will be made available on the table (1 per player) rather than pulled from a bag.
* Traffic leaving town AND workers leaving town both advance the end of round marker.
* During the second round, each player gets three card actions.
* Building houses were moved from Management to Employee phase.
* Houses will also be built when a business is three rows deep (touching the residential area)
* A business with neon gets an extra traffic pull during the scoring round.
* Actions were consolidated, hiring and placing a worker, obtaining and building a business. This sped up the game.
Of course, I have been chewing on it since then and have a few more minor tweaks:
* Traffic will need to be on a bell curve and adjusted. There were too many traffic disks, way more than needed.
* Need to develop a good round marker movement chart/size to keep the game moving.
* Looking at changing the bits for the buildings. It was very fiddley trying to get the building cutouts onto the table. Thinking about having only the starting shapes and then the additions would be single blocks. Players would pick up cards representing available shapes and the cards would have scoring points on them.
* Will resize the town so that the town starts with 2x# of players for starting size. Town will grow when no more room for houses and +2 each scoring round. Game ends 1 complete turn after town doubles in size.
* How about increasing the number of player actions available each time the town grows?
* Maybe 1st place gets 2 actions, 2nd gets 3, 3rd gets 4, 4th gets 5 actions? Would also need a penalty for card hoarding. This might speed up the game even more.