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Subject: My Steampunk Train Game: "Return to Lionsgate City" rss

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Robin Gibson
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This is a revisiting of This Thread

“It's been nearly five decades since the war forced us underground. Those of us who remember the sky have kept the hope of a new life on the surface alive, and give those of us born in the dark a better world to dream of when the lights go out.

Life in the hole is rough; men and women, slowly losing sanity as they scrabble through the dirt for something valuable, rushing to sell it before it gets stolen. Those of us still in our right minds know it's only a matter of time before we can't live here anymore...”


I've been working for a while on this game, calling it "Steam Tunnels" for conversation's sake. Essentially it's a pick-up and deliver, with some character driven mechanisms, a lot of direct player interaction.

Each action you take in the game plays like its own mini-game. Mining is done by drawing tiles from a bag: as more are drawn the payout gets bigger, but so does the risk of getting nothing. Fighting bandits is done by rolling dice. Moving through tunnels is complicated by your opponents blocking tracks and setting traps. And each crew member you can hire significantly changes how you play.

If you would like to find out more, I have a Revised Copy of the Rules up on Google Docs, along with a list of all the cards


This is my prototype board:



I've also been playing around some with card layout, I'm an Illustrator at heart, so I couldn't help adding characters to the cards:


This project started with the idea of a Space-Opera game where the interaction of your crewmembers was the most important part of the game. The mechanics I came up with early on though seemed more suitable thematically for trains. That got me started, and I've shifted the focus from the characters a bit, saving those ideas for another game.

Anyway, this is what I'm working on. I'd love any feedback, especially the negative kind
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Nate K
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Re: My Steampunk Train Game
Cool! I dig the art style!

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Scott B
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Re: My Steampunk Train Game
Starflier wrote:
Anyway, this is what I'm working on. I'd love any feedback, especially the negative kind

Ok, but remember, you asked for it... Clearly, the rule book isn't finished, so I've kept that in mind.

In at least a few places you refer to brass, when I assume you mean copper. Ditto steel for iron. Nevermind - see below for my semi-enlightenment.

Advice: refer to the extra resources as a stockpile, or common pool, or something like that, not just a pile.

I assume "Put one engine for each player on the “Mercenary Guild” spot on the map" means the player places their engine on the Mercenary Guild spot, thus, they begin there...

I'm not really clear what's going on with the boxcars during the Move action. In fact, the Move action is a bit unclear. So, if I'm carrying 5 items, and I wind up moving 2 spaces (so, there is one space between where I begin and where I finish) I will place...1 boxcar? Or 2, one in the space I began and one in the space I moved through? Is the goal here to create a chain of boxcars? What if I run out?

The Dig action has some potentially confusing rules. I THINK would be an example. The risk counter is on 1 (so, no bonus). I'm in (whatever "in" means - when do I know I can dig?) the iron mine. I turn 5 mining worth of mercs, so I draw 5 tiles (one at a time? or all at once?). I draw 1 dynamite, 2 pickaxes, and 2 shovels. Do I add 6 total iron to the square, for 1 set of 3 and then an extra 1, they dynamite not counting? I don't like the skunk result of the Dig action, but I understand the entire action rules.

I don't understand the Load action at all. For example, unloading on a town - do I need a box car in the town to unload? When can I unload? What can I unload? I assume I can only unload goods in a town if it matches a color in the town. I'm not positive what you mean by "You cannot load goods that are in coloured squares." but I assume you're saying you can only unload into empty colored spaces...

An example for the Fight action would be super beneficial, but I THINK I get the gist of it. But when cubes are "lost" where are they lost from? Typo in the last sentence of the Fight action (the first "shown" isn't necessary).

I'm not sure, but it sounds like there is no Pass action...

"Replace every pair of input goods on a factory with the corresponding output good." Um, wut? Also, which good is removed from the town? The highest or lowest value?

Upgrading: when can I upgrade? I guess this just "happens" during the Unload action?

"When you unload two steel or two brass onto the appropriate workshop" what now? Sounds like a holdover from a previous version. Not sure what a workshop is... Nevermind, I see now - there are indeed 2 workshops on the map - still I assume you don't mean steel and brass... Huh...or were you at some point going to introduce the idea of smelting steel and brass? That's not a bad idea at all... Oooooh, now I see... there are 2 smelters on the map. I was wondering what the cylinders were for. You NEVER mentioned them in the rules. Haven't written that part yet?

Derailing: So, there are a couple of things here I don't get. How do I "un-derail?" When would a boxcar ever be derailed but my engine isn't? Also, you refer to the nearest cave in this sections - what's a cave?

When can a player Buy Shares? I mean, I realize that you can buy shares in a town that is full of goods (only?), but when during a turn? I also don't know what you mean by "large towns take two share tokens." You haven't show the players mat yet, but I assume there is a row or something of spaces where share tokens are kept, and are placed on the game board in a specific order, and these share token spaces have point values shown on them.

Ghost Towns: this is actually kind of a neat mechanism, but I'm not sure when a town becomes a Ghost Town. Is it when there are no goods cubes of ANY kind on the town, or only when one type of good is missing? BTW, what is with the numbers on the goods squares in the towns (nevermind, I see now that it is points you score for unloading into a town normally - are you sure you want to score the most points early on? Seems like it might make more sense thematically to score more points when the town is on the verge of going ghost...). I assume to revive a Ghost Town, you Unload into as normal, but you don't get any VPs...

I'm not sure what the VP comment in Banking has to do with the Banking action...

Finally, I'm not sure what "Toll Tunnel" means, and what the gold bar x100 means. At least, I hope I don't... Does that mean it takes 100 gold bars to move from the large towns to Lionsgate City?
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Sam Mercer
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Re: My Steampunk Train Game
Scott, thanks for your investment into this.

Robin - this looks fantastic. the cards are great - love your quirky, comic book style

The main board might need to be taken a look at. As in, strictly superficially: the style of it is quite blocky and square compared to your awesome illustrations

If I get some time, I'll see if I can give you a hand!

Really impressed friend,

Sam
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Robin Gibson
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Re: My Steampunk Train Game
Thank's so much for all that input Scott, I'm working on clarifying the rules based on your comments, then I'll address them here.

The Player Mat prototype:


And Sam: Thanks a lot! The board is just the prototype, I didn't want to spend time prettying it up until I was sure the layout works in-game.
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Robin Gibson
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Spent today Polishing up the rules some. Also, I've changed the running title from the already-taken "Steam Tunnels" to "Return to Lionsgate City"

Yesterday I made a few changes to the board before printing it:


Feedback is still very appreciated
 
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Robin Gibson
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Landstander wrote:
Advice: refer to the extra resources as a stockpile, or common pool, or something like that, not just a pile.

Did it!

Landstander wrote:
I assume "Put one engine for each player on the “Mercenary Guild” spot on the map" means the player places their engine on the Mercenary Guild spot, thus, they begin there...

That's exactly what it means, I clarified it a bit in the new rules.


Landstander wrote:
I'm not really clear what's going on with the boxcars during the Move action. In fact, the Move action is a bit unclear. So, if I'm carrying 5 items, and I wind up moving 2 spaces (so, there is one space between where I begin and where I finish) I will place...1 boxcar? Or 2, one in the space I began and one in the space I moved through? Is the goal here to create a chain of boxcars? What if I run out?

The idea behind the boxcars is that they trail behind you, and more are added as you pick up more cargo, a bit like the snake's tail in Nibbler, and work as a bit of a blocking mechanism. I've explicitly stated this in the rules now in the hopes that knowing what the rule is for will help it be more intuitive.

Landstander wrote:
The Dig action has some potentially confusing rules. I THINK would be an example. The risk counter is on 1 (so, no bonus). I'm in (whatever "in" means - when do I know I can dig?) the iron mine. I turn 5 mining worth of mercs, so I draw 5 tiles (one at a time? or all at once?). I draw 1 dynamite, 2 pickaxes, and 2 shovels. Do I add 6 total iron to the square, for 1 set of 3 and then an extra 1, they dynamite not counting? I don't like the skunk result of the Dig action, but I understand the entire action rules.

Clarified that you only get the multiplier for where the Risk Track is at the start of your turn.
The Skunk is kind of necessary for rhe "Push-your-luck" mechanism I was going for, simulating the increased possibility of a cave-in, the more you remove from a mine.


Landstander wrote:
I don't understand the Load action at all. For example, unloading on a town - do I need a box car in the town to unload? When can I unload? What can I unload? I assume I can only unload goods in a town if it matches a color in the town. I'm not positive what you mean by "You cannot load goods that are in coloured squares." but I assume you're saying you can only unload into empty colored spaces...

Started referring to the "coloured squares" as "Resource tracks" and explain that you unload goods onto the leftmost open space on the Track. Removed the "Convert Gold to Money" mechanism in favor of letting Gold just be a "Wild card" that can be used in place of any Good.
One thing that was in the first set of rules was the fact that all of the towns start completely full. The idea is that the more badly they need something, the more they pay for it.



Landstander wrote:
An example for the Fight action would be super beneficial, but I THINK I get the gist of it. But when cubes are "lost" where are they lost from? Typo in the last sentence of the Fight action (the first "shown" isn't necessary).

Clarified that cubes are taken from the Right side/back of the train.

Landstander wrote:
I'm not sure, but it sounds like there is no Pass action...

It's called "Assigning all of your team to a Move action, then choosing to go through 0 tunnels


Landstander wrote:
"Replace every pair of input goods on a factory with the corresponding output good." Um, wut? Also, which good is removed from the town? The highest or lowest value?

I changed the wording and specified both of these.


Landstander wrote:
Upgrading: when can I upgrade? I guess this just "happens" during the Unload action?

Upgrades are instant. I clarified this.


Landstander wrote:
Derailing: So, there are a couple of things here I don't get. How do I "un-derail?" When would a boxcar ever be derailed but my engine isn't? Also, you refer to the nearest cave in this sections - what's a cave?

Derailing only lasts until the end of the Round. I clarified that. Certain Pipe cards allow you to derail either a an engine or a Boxcar. And I added a little glossary at the start of the rules, that should help.

Landstander wrote:
When can a player Buy Shares? I mean, I realize that you can buy shares in a town that is full of goods (only?), but when during a turn? I also don't know what you mean by "large towns take two share tokens." You haven't show the players mat yet, but I assume there is a row or something of spaces where share tokens are kept, and are placed on the game board in a specific order, and these share token spaces have point values shown on them.

You mostly assume correct. I took out the bit where you couldn't buy shares until the towns were full, because I wanted the ability to actually use up all of your Share Tokens, then get screwed by spreading yourself too thin. With the Large towns, after buying a share, you place two tokens on the circle, rather than one.

Landstander wrote:
Ghost Towns: this is actually kind of a neat mechanism, but I'm not sure when a town becomes a Ghost Town. Is it when there are no goods cubes of ANY kind on the town, or only when one type of good is missing? BTW, what is with the numbers on the goods squares in the towns (nevermind, I see now that it is points you score for unloading into a town normally - are you sure you want to score the most points early on? Seems like it might make more sense thematically to score more points when the town is on the verge of going ghost...). I assume to revive a Ghost Town, you Unload into as normal, but you don't get any VPs...

I'm glad you like this, It's my favorite bit
If both Resource Tracks are empty, the Town dies at the end of the round. This might be too easy to prevent, in which case it will become "If one Resource Track is empty"
You Unload goods onto a town from left to right, but the diminish from right to left, so if you're rushing in to save a town from starvation, one turn before it dies, you will get paid the most money

Landstander wrote:
I'm not sure what the VP comment in Banking has to do with the Banking action...

"VP" replaced with "Money" now and "Banking" has been removed in favor of Gold simply being a "Wild Card" cube.


Landstander wrote:
Finally, I'm not sure what "Toll Tunnel" means, and what the gold bar x100 means. At least, I hope I don't... Does that mean it takes 100 gold bars to move from the large towns to Lionsgate City?

Initially, Gold was equivalent to Victory Points. Banking just converted them on a 1:1 basis, so I thought of the VP as something like Gold notes from an old bank. so yes. That's what it means. I fixed it on the new board to just be "Money" which has replaced VPs
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Andreas Pelikan
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For easier wording, feedback is mostly in imperative form. Bear in mind that whatever sounds like a command is just a recommendation after all. And ignore comments that became obsolete while I typed this.

- Setup: better formulation: "Fill the town markets (or Resource Tracks as you call them) by placing a Goods cube of the same color on every colored square." (mentioning that those colored bars are markets, and they are initially saturated. After first read, I had the fuzzy feeling that there's only one cube in each town to start with. It's not ambiguous, but it's not educative, either)

- Engines are not mentioned in components list. Assuming there are one engine and 4 boxcars in each color.

- Dice are missing from components list (10D6?)

- Placing one gold on each mercenary at the start of the draft doesn't feel elegant (second player: new card for zero or old cards for 2 gold).

- Number of Mercs seems still in flux. As I understand, you want to draft N Mercs initially, and allow a maximum of N+1 during the game, with the option to replace them. Try to be consistent, and put comments in the text that this value might change. "The first player to assign all three of their Mercenaries", should just be 'all' when they can be 3/4 or 4/5, respectively.

- "If your Engine moves through a tunnel with one or more Bandit Tokens in it*, draw that many Bandit Cards, placing them face-up on your Player Mat." * is this inclusive or exclusive the bandit tokens just placed in the previous step? As is, I'd bet on inclusive. Clarity over brevity.

- "Rocks" as a means of mining feel strange. Chisel? Sledge Hammer? I know, they look similar to the shovel and pickaxe.

- Cogwheels as a symbol for doubles/triples are dangerous, as you use that symbol in a different context (upgrades). Rocks could work here, or lorries as a symbol for mining. I'd probably separate the 'allowed tools' from the first line like this:

wheat / ore / brick
purpletrain = colonist
purpletrainpurpletrain = colonistcolonistcolonist
purpletrainpurpletrainpurpletrain = colonistcolonistcolonistcolonistcolonist


- Copper mine on the map: last line shows doubles instead of triples.

- It is indeed still not clear whether you must choose a single tool after drawing, or whether all tools "produce" goods. I'd interpret the slash as exclusive or, but it could be inclusive, and the rules should be explicit about that.

- Not mentioned what happens when you place a tile on the RESET space. It's intuitive, but still it should be said.

- "If you draw a Skunk token, all tiles* are returned to the bag, and you get nothing." * all tiles drawn in your turn AND all tiles on the Mining Risk Track? Or only all tiles drawn this turn?

- "Weather or not you choose to Fight," Should be whether

- "You may move five Goods" better: up to five Goods (both in Loading and Unloading)

- Is it allowed to unload goods in a cave where they are of no use? (e.g. I was more successful in gold mining than I had hoped for, and want to unload stuff to free space for the gold)

- may cogs be discarded (e.g. if I don't want the annoying whistle)? What happens if I have 3 cogs already and unload more steel in the cog workshop?

- may I split my unloading actions? E.g. unload 2+2 steel for two random cogs instead of one cog out of 3?

- Share tracks are depleted (and sometimes refilled) in the opposite direction to all other tracks (town markets, boxcars). Might be consistent to change the order. BTW it's currently not mentioned that you should use the leftmost share marker first.

- "If any Town that started the Round with no Goods in its Resource Track still has no Goods, place a Ghost Town Tile on it." Wouldn't it be easier to move the 'Towns Consume' bullet further down, and then say "If no goods cube has been consumed ...". No need to remember how things were at the start of the round.

- It would be consistent if there were a "0" difficulty level icon on the path to Lionsgate City (or why not make it a 1?).

- When you enter Lionsgate City, the other players complete the present round as normal, and play another full round (up to 3/4/5 turns)? Can you still fight Bandits in Lionsgate City?

- How are Bandit Tokens ever removed from the Map? What happens if you run out of tokens?

Steampunk always is cool. The final goal is a bit awkward, unless Lionsgate City is unpopulated, and the tollway leading there is automated and inbreachable. Otherwise, why wouldn't a Liongater be King by now, or one of the tollway workers.
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Jason Glover
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Just letting you know that there is a Steampunk Game Design Contest going on at The Game Crafter. You might be interested. Winner gets store credits.

http://news.thegamecrafter.com/page/3
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Matt Riddle
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i like the name , thought lionsgate is a pretty big movie company. not sure if that is an issue
 
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Robin Gibson
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GreyGnome wrote:
Just letting you know that there is a Steampunk Game Design Contest going on at The Game Crafter. You might be interested. Winner gets store credits.

http://news.thegamecrafter.com/page/3


Well, that's cool, I wonder if I could make a mini game out of one of the mechanisms in this one...
 
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Robin Gibson
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riddlen wrote:
i like the name , thought lionsgate is a pretty big movie company. not sure if that is an issue


Lionsgate City is also what Kenneth Opal calls Vancouver in his steampunk books. But it's also the name of one of the city's most prolific bridges (You drive across it in Need for Speed II)

And this is a board game, not a novel...
 
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Puschl wrote:
- Setup: better formulation: "Fill the town markets (or Resource Tracks as you call them) by placing a Goods cube of the same color on every colored square." (mentioning that those colored bars are markets, and they are initially saturated. After first read, I had the fuzzy feeling that there's only one cube in each town to start with. It's not ambiguous, but it's not educative, either)

Ooh! "Market" is a much better term than "Resource Track" (I was possibly getting tired...)

Puschl wrote:
- Engines are not mentioned in components list. Assuming there are one engine and 4 boxcars in each color.

That's right. You can only use three Boxcars normally, there's a Cog that lets you use the fourth.
Puschl wrote:
- Dice are missing from components list (10D6?)

Oops! And yes, I don't think there are any situations that require more dice than that.

Puschl wrote:
- Placing one gold on each mercenary at the start of the draft doesn't feel elegant (second player: new card for zero or old cards for 2 gold).

Playing this through a few times works alright though, the Money players get at the end of this phase has no relationship to their starting position, since if you're trying to get a balanced, or specialized team, you'll pass up the card with thirteen gold on it, and be able to make that back in-game with your superior skillset. Might just make it so the cards start with no gold

Puschl wrote:
- Number of Mercs seems still in flux. As I understand, you want to draft N Mercs initially, and allow a maximum of N+1 during the game, with the option to replace them. Try to be consistent, and put comments in the text that this value might change. "The first player to assign all three of their Mercenaries", should just be 'all' when they can be 3/4 or 4/5, respectively.

Noted. I'll fix that.

Puschl wrote:
- "If your Engine moves through a tunnel with one or more Bandit Tokens in it*, draw that many Bandit Cards, placing them face-up on your Player Mat." * is this inclusive or exclusive the bandit tokens just placed in the previous step? As is, I'd bet on inclusive. Clarity over brevity.

Yeah, no, I tried to be clear that you put the Bandit Token down after you move through a tunnel, and you draw the cards as you move through, but I'll work on the wording a bit.

Puschl wrote:
- "Rocks" as a means of mining feel strange. Chisel? Sledge Hammer? I know, they look similar to the shovel and pickaxe.

Might get a Jackhammer in there between Pickaxe and Dynamite. Originally I was going to use slot-machine symbols. It seemed alright, since this bit was fairly abstract, but I decided that using mining tools was a better way to go.

Puschl wrote:
- Cogwheels as a symbol for doubles/triples are dangerous, as you use that symbol in a different context (upgrades). Rocks could work here, or lorries as a symbol for mining. I'd probably separate the 'allowed tools' from the first line like this:

wheat / ore / brick
purpletrain = colonist
purpletrainpurpletrain = colonistcolonistcolonist
purpletrainpurpletrainpurpletrain = colonistcolonistcolonistcolonistcolonist

I was using Asterisks, because for some reason in my brain they count as "Anything" (I think it has something to do with early search engines) In any case, apparently they don't have that connexion for everyone, and I should use something else. I might use the Rock symbol on the back of the tiles, then use that as the "Anything".

Puschl wrote:
- Copper mine on the map: last line shows doubles instead of triples.

Oops! Will fix!

Puschl wrote:
- It is indeed still not clear whether you must choose a single tool after drawing, or whether all tools "produce" goods. I'd interpret the slash as exclusive or, but it could be inclusive, and the rules should be explicit about that.

I'll take out the slashes. Probably some examples of play would help here...

Puschl wrote:
- Not mentioned what happens when you place a tile on the RESET space. It's intuitive, but still it should be said.

Right, I missed that. basically you return all the tiles, both the ones you've drawn, and the ones on the track to the bag.

Puschl wrote:
- "If you draw a Skunk token, all tiles* are returned to the bag, and you get nothing." * all tiles drawn in your turn AND all tiles on the Mining Risk Track? Or only all tiles drawn this turn?

Drawing a Skunk Tile is the same as reaching the top of the Mining Track, except that you don't get any Ore.

Puschl wrote:
- Is it allowed to unload goods in a cave where they are of no use? (e.g. I was more successful in gold mining than I had hoped for, and want to unload stuff to free space for the gold)

Yes, and they stay in the cave until they are picked up by someone.

Puschl wrote:
- may cogs be discarded (e.g. if I don't want the annoying whistle)? What happens if I have 3 cogs already and unload more steel in the cog workshop?

Should clarify that you can replace Upgrades, the same as Mercenaries. And yes, I suppose you should be allowed to just remove them

Puschl wrote:
- may I split my unloading actions? E.g. unload 2+2 steel for two random cogs instead of one cog out of 3?

The rules don't say this, but they don't limit the number of times you can unload onto a Workshop. Originally it was going to be: "Unload at least two Steel to instantly draw a Cog Card. For every extra Steel you unload, draw an extra card. Choose one of the Cards you've drawn to immediately put on your Player Mat" that might be more elegant.

Puschl wrote:
- Share tracks are depleted (and sometimes refilled) in the opposite direction to all other tracks (town markets, boxcars). Might be consistent to change the order. BTW it's currently not mentioned that you should use the leftmost share marker first.

Anything good changes on tracks move from Left to Right. Bad changes from Right to Left. Shares work better by removing things from your mat than they do by adding them, so that's why that is, but it's still Left-to-Right growth.

Puschl wrote:
- "If any Town that started the Round with no Goods in its Resource Track still has no Goods, place a Ghost Town Tile on it." Wouldn't it be easier to move the 'Towns Consume' bullet further down, and then say "If no goods cube has been consumed ...". No need to remember how things were at the start of the round.

Good point. That's a nice way to do it.

Puschl wrote:

- It would be consistent if there were a "0" difficulty level icon on the path to Lionsgate City (or why not make it a 1?).

Ditto


Puschl wrote:
- When you enter Lionsgate City, the other players complete the present round as normal, and play another full round (up to 3/4/5 turns)? Can you still fight Bandits in Lionsgate City?

I didn't consider that. That might be a cool last-turn bit of strategy. I'll put the icons on the board, so that can happen

Puschl wrote:
- How are Bandit Tokens ever removed from the Map? What happens if you run out of tokens?

Bandit tokens are removed when you defeat their cards. I missed that in this version of the rules.

Puschl wrote:
Steampunk always is cool. The final goal is a bit awkward, unless Lionsgate City is unpopulated, and the tollway leading there is automated and inbreachable. Otherwise, why wouldn't a Liongater be King by now, or one of the tollway workers.

My thought was that the Toll tunnel was guarded by a bunch of Bandits without the brains or skill to actually benefit from the opportunity of returning to Lionsgate City.
 
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Starflier wrote:

Yeah, no, I tried to be clear that you put the Bandit Token down after you move through a tunnel, and you draw the cards as you move through, but I'll work on the wording a bit.

Maybe reverse the order: when you move through a tunnel with bandit tokens, draw bandit cards. Afterward, place 0/1/2 tokens if you have no goods/only regular goods/gold.

Starflier wrote:
Originally I was going to use slot-machine symbols. It seemed alright, since this bit was fairly abstract, but I decided that using mining tools was a better way to go.

thumbsup Mining tools are way better to immerse in the theme.

Starflier wrote:
I was using Asterisks, because for some reason in my brain they count as "Anything"

I missed that subtle difference, although it felt awkwardly familiar


Starflier wrote:
Puschl wrote:
- It is indeed still not clear whether you must choose a single tool after drawing, or whether all tools "produce" goods. I'd interpret the slash as exclusive or, but it could be inclusive, and the rules should be explicit about that.

I'll take out the slashes. Probably some examples of play would help here...

Oh, like this:
o The Mining Tiles all have different symbols. Each Mine shows which tools can be used to mine for this kind of Ore.
o When you're done drawing tiles, count the number of tiles showing a usable tool. Place a number of Ore Cubes on the Mine, depending on the number of tiles: one cube for a single tile, three cubes for two tiles, or 5 cubes for three or more usable tiles.

The terms doubles and triples sound more like two or three of the same, and less like two or three of anything usable.

Starflier wrote:
Puschl wrote:
- Share tracks are depleted (and sometimes refilled) in the opposite direction to all other tracks (town markets, boxcars). Might be consistent to change the order. BTW it's currently not mentioned that you should use the leftmost share marker first.

Anything good changes on tracks move from Left to Right. Bad changes from Right to Left. Shares work better by removing things from your mat than they do by adding them, so that's why that is, but it's still Left-to-Right growth.

Makes sense. The advantage of playtesting versus theorizing

Starflier wrote:
Puschl wrote:
- When you enter Lionsgate City, the other players complete the present round as normal, and play another full round (up to 3/4/5 turns)? Can you still fight Bandits in Lionsgate City?

I didn't consider that. That might be a cool last-turn bit of strategy. I'll put the icons on the board, so that can happen

Actually I was thinking of something else. A bandit icon on the tollway might lead to people lurking in the big cities, not using the tollway until somebody else does (and then getting an extra bandit). But there might be cases where I've got 100+ cash, and a bunch of gangsters on my train. Instead of fighting them off immediately, I rush to Liongate City to shorten the time for the other players. Although I'll derail at the end of the turn, I'll have time to fight the Bandits on the next round.

Starflier wrote:
Puschl wrote:
Steampunk always is cool. The final goal is a bit awkward, unless Lionsgate City is unpopulated, and the tollway leading there is automated and inbreachable. Otherwise, why wouldn't a Liongater be King by now, or one of the tollway workers.

My thought was that the Toll tunnel was guarded by a bunch of Bandits without the brains or skill to actually benefit from the opportunity of returning to Lionsgate City.

Oh, dumb bandits is even awesomer(!) than automated tollgates. Definitely put that into the story. Maybe even consider putting a guard bandit token on the tollway right from the start (giving another incentive to move through the tollway quickly).
 
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So, I did a couple fixes to the rules, incorporating Puschl's input, I'm going to try and actually run a full game for my group this Board Games Night.

Most of the changes involved reordering instructions so they made more sense, but the big one was specifying that you can Derail on your way to Lionsgate City, and adding a rule that you are exempt from winning if you do. So if you rush in from across the board, and pick up a bunch of Bandit cards, there's a bit of risk involved. Also you have to be careful, because another player could pick up Dueling Turret or something in their final round, sort of a last turn power grab.

I also changed how drawing the Upgrades works, Two Alloys gets you the top card of the deck, but for every additional Alloy you spend, you may draw an extra card, then choose one of them.

I cleaned up the board some as well. Just information layout stuff.
 
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A Layout for the Player mat I was experementing with. The colours are pretty bad, I need to fix them, (The goal is to digitally paint on top of this,) but I do like how it all works together.

Two specific questions with this,
A: Is it too visually busy?
B: Is the "Money Gauge" too confusing?
 
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Here's a preview of the box art for Lionsgate City. I'm working with a couple other artists to do the character art, and I want to be able to pick three of the most interesting to go on the cover, so I left the characters as gestural drawings to be fleshed out later.
 
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