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Subject: WIP - Crusaders (nearly done) rss

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James Mathe
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HEX TILE CONQUERING EURO-TRASH GAME...

You know how you bought a game called Kingdom Builder and though this would be a great thing to build your Kingdom... well that one turned out to be an abstract game in disguise, so I decided to see if I could make a game that had the Kingdom building feel to it.

The game starts with laying out random hex tiles for territories to conquer. Then placing encounters on each of them. Then your lord heads out to take over the world... or just build things with the resources collected using your workshops... or attempt to convert enough people to your religion to win. (3 ways to win)

The manual is very rough yet, but the game works and has been play tested before. I'm sharing it here for more thoughts and ideas to make the game better. It'll take a bit of printing to make your own copy, but here is the WHOLE thing

http://www.MinionGames.com/rules/Crusaders_PnP.zip

I welcome feedback and input.

Enjoy
James Mathe
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CW Karstens
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I did have those exact thoughts. I won't have time to print this out as I am still trying to get a few of my games ready for GenCon. Will you have a copy to play at GenCon? If so, I would like to try it out there.

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James Mathe
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I should have it with me a GenCon as well as some others if you want to find time to goof around there.

Anyway, since a picture is worth a 1000 words... here is ROUGHLY what the game looks like in play.

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James Mathe
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Just the rules (updated today):
http://www.MinionGames.com/rules/Crusaders.pdf

Also I'd suggest you make use of our feedback form and hand them out to the players to fill out.

http://www.MinionGames.com/rules/Game_Evaluation.pdf


Thanks in advance for any feedback!

James
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James Mathe
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So did anyone get to build this over the weekend? I should have my copy a GenCon and I'll be in Hall F at the Minion Games table most of the weekend if anyone wants to try this.

James
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Derk Kieft
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Just saw this and downloaded it. Looks pretty good at first glance. Hopefully I'll have a chance to dig deeper over the next few days.
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Dashiell Pinar
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just downloaded it but i haven't print anything yet, i discovered a little typo in the magic items: "ice sheild"
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James Mathe
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Still no feedback? Guess offering free PnP doesn't really work

James
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Kim Williams
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Just found this, and it looks very interesting. Hopefully I'll manage to print this out and give it a go!
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Nate K
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RPGShop wrote:
Still no feedback? Guess offering free PnP doesn't really work

James


It's just a busy month for us PnPers, that's all. We're into the playing/voting phase of the 2012 Solitaire Print and Play Contest, and with nearly 50 entries, we're all fairly occupied.
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Rocco Privetera
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Let's start by saying: the art is super good and a selling point alone. Here comes a whole lot of feedback and please - don't take personally!

Nitpicking:
- typos (i do them myself, but its worth it to note).
- I'm curious about the arrangement of hexes - it's not so easy to cut them the way they are laid out. There aren't that many, but still. Any way to line them up so you can do more straight cuts? If I printed this as a PnP i'd want to mount the hexes on foam board and straight cuts is a must.
- The one typeface you use in a few places (the spray-outline) is sort of hard to read, especially over a busy card art. To me, anyway.

Game/rules clarifications:
- You mention workshops, and what they build. But I don't see in the rules where you list what they build, and I don't see cards with buildings. I see the cards on the image of the play though. Were they left out?
- I'm missing in the rules where you explain how to use magic. I can see how to get them.
- Are "Bounty" treasure? When you beat an encounter, do you get bounty cards if they say treasure on the back?
- In the rules you say buildings can't be moved (and they count as values in combat, so knowing where they are is crucial). But in the image example buildings aren't on the tiles. How do you know where the buildings are? Do they get placed on the tiles? If so, aren't they bigger than the tiles? Am I missing something?
- In the pieces you say you need dice. For what?

Game/rules observations:
- If you always buy a workshop every turn for no cost, then the number of workshops you have is equal to the turn number. Instead of people tracking "how many workshops" they have why not keep a turn track? Unless they can be destroyed somehow. It would be easier.
- So you are telling me that a hex with a swarm of population but no buildings has a lower defensive value than a hex with ONE pop and ONE building (because if I read this correctly, only buildings create the defensive value)? I guess it could make gameplay sense but it's not very intuitive and will rub folks the wrong way.
- rules are very "sketched out". That's fine for your own playtesting group but there is no way I'd want to throw essentially an outline at a blind playtesting group. I mean, I get it from reading it, I guess if I was playing it solo to evaluate it I'd be OK, but I wouldn't want to hand it out.
- no mention of game time or number of players... well, you say "100 player cubes, 25 in each color" so I assume up to 4. Is this 2-4? 2 or 4? 4 only?
- this is my opinion only, but 8 different colors of cubes is going to get busy on the board. If you are using cubes to track resources maybe a resource card with indicators instead of more cubes? I can go either way on this.
- You've got cards (I think - I could be wrong) of all sorts of different sizes. The battle units are (basically) 6x3 cards; the encounter "tokens" 6x4, not sure about the player cards. Are they all some kind of sleevable size? Cards are going to get handled and ideally, if I like the game enough to PnP it, I want to sleeve things.
- The cards bleed right up to the edge. I could use cutting lines if I'm supposed to cut them that way. It'll be hard to print them bled that way (not every printer can). I could shrink to fit, but there goes the cards sizes...
- Are you planning on making a low-ink version? A lot of PnP'ers often ask for that. Printing a lot of color can be expensive, especially if we print multiple versions. If I print all your cards out in color I'm hoping they are the final versions I know when I playtest I like to print out low ink versions the first go around.
- A sample example of setup would be nice (in case someone can't figure out the rules).
- A sample couple of turns of play would be nice.
- Next to each rule occasionally a sample of the play would be nice. I'd like a combat example in the combat section, etc.
- You have "misc rules" before the actual rules. I see no reason why you can't include them in the rules. "You may not move your population or defense structures once placed" can be the sentance after you explaining how to acquire population and structures for example, and it would scan better, because the two rules are about each other. Misc rules are usually after all the main rules (if you need them). "selling to marker happens in market phase" isn't misc, it's a rule in the market phase!
- For consistency's sake, instead of calling it selling, why not buying from the market? The mechanic is the same (instead of "sell 1 treasure to get 3 gold", why not "you buy 3 gold with a cost of one treasure"). This way your phase is cleaner (you just buy, and this is the cost) and it's less confusing - do I sell differently than I buy? They sound like opposites.

I can kind of see where you are going with this, and I like it. The combat is especially neat. Right now my biggest criticsms is the rules (typos, missing parts, and readability) and possibly the cards (easy printing, easy cutting, low ink). The rules more than the others. I really need to see some examples.

Please continue to bang away on this! I'd like to play it.




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Eric Jome
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I know some things about Crusaders having been a playtester on it.

1) This is a playtest prototype, not a print and play game. The rules aren't final, the game pieces aren't final, all the art is lifted, and so on. If you are coming at this from a PnP perspective, that's not what it is - it doesn't mean that concerns about cost and assembly aren't valid, just that they are probably less useful.

2) Looking at the downloads, yes, a very important core game element was left out - there are no buildings. Buildings are essential to this game! If you've tried to look at the game without the buildings, it will be a complete mystery to you how it is played.

3) The rules are provided do not show one of the most important things in the game - how the Produce + Market phase works. There is a deck of buildings. These buildings are turned up each turn, one more than the number of players. A number of standard d6 is rolled equal to the number of buildings and the player who will buy last assigns them to each of the available pool of buildings - that is their cost. Buildings take resource cubes to make gold or victory points - this is essential to playing Crusaders! It is the only way to make gold to fuel your conquests and constructions.

James: you'll have to repackage the components and try again if you wanna get people to play it.
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Rocco Privetera
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I totally get that it is a prototype - but I find the feedback is useful. If (for example) nobody mentions the card sizes, he might get the idea that the cards sizes are ok, and leave them that way. Or things like hard to read fonts.

And I guess there is the reality of construction if you want people to play it. I tried making a PnP a few months back that used hexes, and I had them laid out in a very awkward to cut way (i was a newbie - my first design). I wasn't getting much feedback, and finally a few people said "I'm not gonna try assembling it, even as a prototype, if I have to spend hours meticulously cutting". And true enough, once I got a better design up where you can cut the hexes much, much easier people started printing it and trying it.
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James Mathe
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Rocco thanks for the input - it is welcome.

I can't believe I didn't include the buildings in the zip file! Ack. I've added them and saved all the card files as PDF so there is no size problems. They are all the same size cards - just that some people print them to "fit to page" and that throws things off. With PDF that won't happen. So download it again.

I didn't have time to update the manual as I'm real busy before GenCon but I will... let me see if I can quickly address your questions.

- Buildings/workshops do NOT get placed on a hex. The Walls and such do (as cubes). The buildings are in your personal play area and cannot be destroied. We toyed with putting them on hexes but it was messy as hell.

- Bounty is Treasure. I've changed the wording on the back of the encounters. Sorry.

- Dice are used to set the current market price of a building you have placed for sale at the end of each round. This obviously made no sense cause the build cards were not in the package. I included some pictures of the game setup in the package now.

- You don't always buy a workshop. You have an option to buy 1 from the market - again probably misunderstood since you didn't have the cards.

- Game play should be about 90 min 2-4 players age 10+

- You mentioned liking the art, since most of it was lifted from other sources, what specifically was nice to you? So I can make sure we stick with that kind of feel. I like the hexes, they were stolen from our game Legitimacy though - but I can get the artist to make simular or even use them since I own them. But battle cards are mostly layout and I'm much happier with them now that they are easy to play on each other off color.

Thanks again,

James
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Kim Williams
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I'm not sure if you want people to point out typos, but in case you do here are some I've spotted so far.

Mason Worksop, Architect, Parish Church and Master Artisan all have quarry spelt as qurry .

Also Master Artisin is presumably meant to be Artisan.
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James Mathe
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Actually that's what an editor is for, but I will gladly take the feedback now so it doesn't get overlooked and is easier for others to review. So yeah, make any observations you like and I'll work them in.

Thanks
James
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James Mathe
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Bump?
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Kim Williams
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RPGShop wrote:
Bump?


Any chance of fixing the typos which I listed above. I delayed printing, as I knew the typos would bug me, and was hopeful they'd get fixed!
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James Mathe
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I have updated the ZIP file listed above with the corrections you offered. Thanks for helping out with that.

James
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Kim Williams
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Great, thanks!
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James Mathe
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I have updated and moved the files. If anyone is interested in testing this pretty much completed game, please send me a PM or email.

James
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