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DIG: the Card Game» Forums » Rules

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Jason Fordham
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Three great ideas have been suggested. . .

1.) The number of the Tunnel Level indicates the maximum number of dwarves who may mine there.

Example:

Tunnel Level 1 may only "hold" one dwarf.
Tunnel Level 2 may only "hold" two dwarves.
Tunnel Level 3 may only "hold" three dwarves.

2.) The turn order for each day is determined as follows:

Old way: The player with the least amount of gold goes first, followed by a clockwise order.

New way: The player with the least amount of gold goes first, followed by the player with the second least amount of gold, and so on.

3.) Allow players to review the six Provision cards before they are shuffled during setup. This allows players to have a better awareness of market prices and, although the Provision cards are still random, plan better for selling at the highest prices.

I welcome comments. If these ideas receive positive feedback, they may make it into the rules revision!
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Manuel Pasi
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my 2

1) as a variant why not, but generally speaking this will make it that much worse if a tunnel collapses...if someone gets lucky he will just runaway with his mining...

2)if it's not too fiddly I like the idea

3) don't like that at all...in an earlier version of Dig there were only as many provision cards as rounds. I wasn't crazy about it. It completely eliminates the push your luck factor and makes the game a lot more boring
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Sean M
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And here's my take:

1) I know why this would be implemented -- to avoid players loading up the level 1 and 2 collapse-free tunnels. If that's the intention, then I think it's super. It's thematic as well - the mining space does become larger as you go down.

2) Agreed with PasiMax -- good balancer as long as it's not too fiddly. In a five-player game that could be tough to track. I know if my wife's playing she'll just want clockwise/counter-clockwise, regardless of the balance benefits.

3) Have to strongly agree with PasiMax on this one. The wacky randomness of the Provision cards is the key element to the game that got us hooked on it. Yeah, it's frustrating when you hold cards till the end for better prices and never get the better prices, but tough luck -- that's the risk.
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A.J. Porfirio
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1) Not sure about this one. It eliminates a strategy. And it is a bit moot for probably the level 4 and 5 tunnels as you likely would only have those for 1 or 2 days (rounds) anyway. If you get stuck with a lot of apprentice dwarfs and few journeyman/master dwarfs you are screwed. For the record I am not necessarily against some sort of limit, this one just seems a little TOO restrictive.

2) Could be good, may try this one out.

3) Not a big fan of this one either. It isn't intuitive at all. Yeah it adds a memory aspect, but just doesn't make much sense.

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Jason Fordham
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So here's what I'm learning about what I already knew . . .



A.) Those who enjoy press-your-luck games adore DIG.
B.) Those who enjoy games without luck detest DIG.
C.) I should design games for one crowd or the other.

And here will be my compromise.

As there are some fantastic ideas coming in from those who want DIG to be more strategic, I think an Advanced Game option is in order.

Keep in mind, DIG went through all manner of "version" before I arrived at the fun (in my opinion), press-your-luck version. Included in those versions were separate Cave-In Decks, graduated set-up options for Gem values, and the like.

So, regarding the three rules variants suggested in the original post, what I'm hearing is what we already heard in playtesting:

1.) Not a bad idea, but not necessarily a good idea.
2.) Good result but probably fiddly (complicated) execution.
3.) Hated, so far, by those who've commented.

I welcome opposing opinions, and, remember, games are meant to be enjoyed. So, if you think up a variant that makes the game better for your group, then by all means, implement it!

Enjoy,
Jason

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A.J. Porfirio
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Great reply Jason. I sense some frustration and I can definitely understand that. You aren't ever going to please everyone so stay true to your design. I personally find myself wanting to play again so consider me happy with it (though I think A&B statements you mention above are extreme absolutes).

Unlike some of the comments, I do think there are some meaningful choices in the game. Though they won't necessarily be game changing all the time or maybe even most of the time. But so what?.

Looking forward to more DIG!
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Nate K
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1) Not a bad idea, although it may not be necessary. So far, I haven't seen any problems with loading up on Tunnels 1 and 2, so I don't know if you need to counter that strategy in the rules. But others may have had a different experience.

2) Most people aren't going to be playing this way. Why fight people's natural tendencies? You might as well shrug and write the rule as it's going to be played.

3) Absolutely not. The push-your-luck factor is what makes the game interesting. If I KNOW that I can wait and get better prices, there's less tension, and therefor less fun.
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Manuel Pasi
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Quote:
Unlike some of the comments, I do think there are some meaningful choices in the game.


I agree, and some of the most tense decisions are whether to sell or not...and they are tense IMHO because you do not know how the prices will develop.
If on the other hand you do know, selling at a low price will only happen if you absolutely have to do it, so you can invest in tools etc. Which would take away any meaningful decision concerning the whole market aspect.
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Jason Fordham
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vanrydergames wrote:
Great reply Jason. I sense some frustration and I can definitely understand that. You aren't ever going to please everyone so stay true to your design. I personally find myself wanting to play again so consider me happy with it (though I think A&B statements you mention above are extreme absolutes).

Unlike some of the comments, I do think there are some meaningful choices in the game. Though they won't necessarily be game changing all the time or maybe even most of the time. But so what?.

Looking forward to more DIG!


It's frustration, as you say, but not negative frustration. I want everyone to:

1.) Enjoy DIG for what it is.
2.) Not enjoy DIG for what it is.
3.) Comment on what they like or did not like.

I want to feel like the game is a success, but I have to temper that with the understanding that only those who enjoy light, press-your-luck games (with fantastic art) will label it as such.

And, you're right, I should stay true to my design.

I do appreciate ALL comments though, whether someone liked the game or not. We all like different things about different games.

What I've found is that all of us game players are also game designers at heart. Any game we play can be improved to suit our gaming style. We might add this, subtract that, change this just a bit to make the game "better." So, my solution is: go ahead and make it work for you!

And, for those who do love more strategy options, remember, on the horizon are mini-expansions for DIG that provide additional options for planning, danger, and safety!

Enjoy playing,
Jason
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Jason Fordham
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PasiMax wrote:
Quote:
Unlike some of the comments, I do think there are some meaningful choices in the game.


I agree, and some of the most tense decisions are whether to sell or not...and they are tense IMHO because you do not know how the prices will develop.
If on the other hand you do know, selling at a low price will only happen if you absolutely have to do it, so you can invest in tools etc. Which would take away any meaningful decision concerning the whole market aspect.


I always felt this way, too, but understand that I'm not a gamer who thinks through the entire game to make the perfect move.

Sometimes I enjoy the risk/uncertainty that comes from gambling a bit.

Unlike Chess, where you try to think ahead four-six-eight moves to make sure you aren't walking into a trap, DIG is meant to be about dwarves mining a dangerous mountain. Good luck trying to strategize that!

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Justin Fitzgerald
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I mean no offense Jason and do not seek to elicit a response. I just don't see how this is a push-your-luck game. Maybe it's there but if two players play the exact same game, they can end up with wildly different scores. That's not push-your-luck. That's dumb-luck.
 
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Jason Fordham
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KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
I mean no offense Jason and do not seek to elicit a response. I just don't see how this is a push-your-luck game. Maybe it's there but if two players play the exact same game, they can end up with wildly different scores. That's not push-your-luck. That's dumb-luck.


No offense taken at all. Fair question.

You choose whether or not your dwarves mine.

If your score is 18 Gold and my score is 19 Gold, for example, I will not press-my-luck and mine on Day 6 if I think that you will mine and draw Cave-Ins. Or, if all other players have had their turns, and I am pretty sure no one has enough gems to sell (to win) I will pass on mining as well.

Maybe we have different definitions?

Gem and Cave-In distribution are pure luck. Whether you choose to mine is press-your-luck.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Yeah, I guess the thing is, the turn breakdown seems like this:
1. Pure luck
2. Pure luck
3. Pure luck
4. Pure luck.
5. Pure luck, but tool purchased now can't be sold turn 6.
6. Evaluate relative positions, push your luck as necessary.

I suspect you're going to find dominant strategies like "only apprentice miners, only one each on levels 1 and 2, sell tools" or something. I suppose this drops the game more into a "block your opponent's key strategy" which actually might be semi-strategic.

But to make a second point, my wife and I played basically the exact same game, spending roughly the same amount each turn to acquire what we needed, then each tried to mine lvls 1-3 with 1 Dwarf each. We ended the game with scores of 10 to 30-something. Pure luck in every round determined the winner. Now you might argue that I could have got more gold by digging deeper into level 4 or 5. The problem was virtually every card I drew was a cave-in, virtually every card she drew was a gem. If I had taken more risk by digging into level 4 or 5, I would have ended up in worse shape yet since my expensive dwarves and their gear would have been destroyed anyway since I was consistently pulling cave-ins which destroy those levels.

In the two games I played, I would have been better off doing nothing but buying and selling tools. I suspect in most games that'd be a winning strategy too and that just seems odd to me in a digging game.
 
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Jason Fordham
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KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
Yeah, I guess the thing is, the turn breakdown seems like this:
1. Pure luck
2. Pure luck
3. Pure luck
4. Pure luck.
5. Pure luck, but you now know tool purchased now can't be sold turn 6.
6. Evaluate relative positions, push your luck as necessary.

I suspect you're going to find dominant strategies like "only apprentice miners, only one each on levels 1 and 2, sell tools" or something. I suppose this drops the game more into a "block your opponent's key strategy" which actually might be semi-strategic.

But to make a second point, my wife and I played basically the exact same game, spending roughly the same amount each turn to acquire what we needed, then each tried to mine lvls 1-3 with 1 Dwarf each. We ended the game with scores of 10 to 30-something. Pure luck in every round determined the winner. Now you might argue that I could have got more gold by digging deeper into level 4 or 5. The problem was virtually every card I drew was a cave-in, virtually every card she drew was a gem. If I had taken more risk by digging into level 4 or 5, I would have ended up in worse shape yet since my expensive dwarves and their gear would have been destroyed anyway since I was consistently pulling cave-ins which destroy those levels.

In the two games I played, I would have been better off doing nothing but buying and selling tools. I suspect in most games that'd be a winning strategy too and that just seems odd to me in a digging game.


This is going to sound like sarcasm, so let me assure you it absolutely is a sincere response:

I do not think quite to this meta level. The luck portions of the game make DIG an exercise in experiencing mining a dangerous mountain and hoping for the best haul. There are decisions to be made, sure, but the fun is in doing your best with what fate throws your way.

I know people differ greatly on what a game should be or what makes a game fun. I feel a game can be many things spanning 100% luck to 100% deterministic.

The rules to DIG should make it clear that cave-ins are a deadly part of the day-to-day lives of mining dwarves. Maybe the rules should state the luck factor.

DIG is still fun for many of us who play maybe more thematically based on luck and press-your-luck.

I appreciate your feedback and welcome your ideas as I am working on some changes to offer a less luck or no luck variant.
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