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Subject: 2 Players and Complexity? rss

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Andy Palmer
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I'm really, really excited about this game having seen it on the hotness list. I've been looking for a while for a game that has a tile laying mechanic (thus producing a beautiful world), but a richer gaming experience than say Carcassonne. I think my wife and I will really enjoy this, but before I go ahead and preorder can I ask a couple of questions?

1) I see from the rules that the 2 player game removes the Pacifist and Separatist cards from the game - to what extent does this change the game for the better/worse?

2) How complicated is this game? The rules do make the game seem fairly complex (more so than say Agricola's base game and Puerto Rico). So is this really only a game for dedicated gamers? Or can it be easily taught to those who have only played Carcassonne?

Many many thanks - really really looking forward to this one!
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Chris Boelinger
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Hello,

Okay, first of All, you have To know that I am the Designer.
But I like to imagine myself as composed of two different entities.
One is the Player, the other is the Designer. Sometimes there is like a spinning cycle of back and forth between the two. Specially when it concerns a game they both really like. The Player is asking for expansions, and the Designer is full of ideas to satisfy the Player. And when it starts spinning like that, and both of them are happy, it usually means that they are both onto something that should prove good at least
Anyway....
Being so my comments here are to be taken as from the Player.

I really think the two player game works perfectly and is very addictive and attractive. It cannot function with the two roles Separatist and Pacifist. it's impossible or the Designer don't see how to make it work ( You stupido ! Get some ideas ! Lol, sometimes the Player is mad at the Designer because he cannot give him what he wants

Really truly I love playing it two players, it plays faster, and it's one of the only two player games I know of in which you sometimes really have to negotiate or want to negotiate.

Lately I was in a small gaming convention and one friend who use to be a huge DT fan and now owns the Game Publishing Company called Ludonautes wanted to try the proto game. He played a 4 or 5 player game. And then asked me how it was as a two player game. So I explained to him the few rules differences, and we started to debate about all that... And then he gets to this point : I would never ever negotiate with my opponent in a two player game, no matter the game.
I was agreeing with him that this seems to be a quite logical and rational way of thinking. But strangely in Archipelago, well... For me and my experiences, this golden rule doesn't apply. So since he couldn't believe me, I challenged him to play a two player game with me, with only one goal, being the winner, or no winner at all if you see you are about to lose. Cause even if there are no separatist objective, the revolt level and war of independence is still a threat. Well guess what ? We negotiated quite a few times in the game, we made promises and played very sneaky, optimizing everywhere... I mean really playing to win. And we have negotiated like I had never seen in any other two player game before. And I was facing somebody who was totally against that ! Lol

Now of course it depends on the two players around the table, but through my playtests there was always at least a minimum of negotiating and exchanging or pronpmises to both give something to avoid the revolt, etc...

So to tell the truth I like it as much as a 2-3-4 player game. And I don't think the game loses anything as a two player game, on the contrary it gains speed, which is something I really enjoy

Now answers to question number 2 :

It's not so complicated cause everything is quite instinctive and natural. The number of different actions you can do is probably wider than in some other games of that type, but not so much more.
What you don't want to do is explain all the rules to a bunch of beginners before playing.
Nope ! You want to explain them the theme, basic goal. And enter directly what I call a Video Game Tutorial mode, where they directly play and you teach them things along the game, and they just have to make simple choices each time. After the first full turn, they will have understand everything.
I was thinking of doing a video movie of me explaining the rules in english to some players or simulate my way of explaining the game. I might do it, if I can find the time and equipment and we'll post it for you guys.
So that before your gaming session you can send the link to your play friends and tell them to go watch the designer explaining the rules before coming to your house
How's that ?
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Andy Palmer
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Brilliant - thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. You have well and truly sold me the game. Looking forward to its release! Many, many thanks, Andy
 
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Fabrice Wiels
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palmerar wrote:
1) I see from the rules that the 2 player game removes the Pacifist and Separatist cards from the game - to what extent does this change the game for the better/worse?


Chris already answered your question, but there is another difference in the 2 player game that I want to emphasize : in a 2 player game, you have access to 2 colors of game pieces, which means you have up to 20 population and 8 ships for each player, for the same number of actions...

That makes a huge difference when you play long games, and it clearly allows you to do a lot more than with only 10 pop and 4 ships. When it comes to that point, the 2 player game is somehow better than when you play with 3 or 4 players...

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Chris Boelinger
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Yep that's true too. Thanks Sherinford.

By the way we just filmed a game of Archipelago today with me explaining the rules in english, in the bright sunlight of the French riviera because we didn't have a filming studio with the correct artificial lights.
It was so hot ! Almost a pain playing under those conditions, but we did it until the end of a short three player game
So it's in the box. we just have to mount the movie, arrange the sound, and in a few weeks you'll have this video available on the web to really see what the gameplay is like, and also see, to my POV, what is the best way to explain the rules to beginners
Just wait for a few days / week, cause it's also more work for Jean Charles now, who has well deserved a week of vacations. So time for him to go singing with a choir for a week. He's got some vocal energies to release, and when he'll come back super powered, he will be the wizard behind the final video mix

Just a little patience...

Oh and of course the video will be shot with the prototype, so the same kind we made in French on Tric Trac, because we do not have yet a final published game with the final graphics... If needed, we might do another one when the game is out. So just to make sure you got it right : the majority of the graphics you will see on this video are not the final ones, they are from my prototype crafted by my own little hands and just a designer computer work
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Andy Palmer
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Wow, I'm really excited about this video - please keep us updated on the forums about how this project is getting along. (-; The videos that FFG did for Blood Bowl Team Manager were really useful for teaching the game.

Also, now that I have preordered a copy, will I be emailed about when I am to pay the rest?
 
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