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Subject: Creating a game around the components of RtE rss

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Oliver Grimm
Germany
Elsdorf
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Hi,

I like the ideas that RtE come with it, but after 2 games (1 complete 4-player, 1 aborted 7-player) i had several issues with the game. Very sad, since i really like the concept of RtE.

So, i though about make a "fan"-rulest, which are more "gamer"-like and less gambling.

My issues:

- Deck Building is completly senseless in this game, since it is totally random. Just draw a card and see what you can do with it. Or see that the card is not usable. There should be an open card-display, where the players have a choice to draw cards from.

- Deck Building 2 - Reorganisation seems to be wasting actions to changing on useless card against another. Reorganisation should be easier, e.g. you can "reorganisate" with a "free action", paying money for each card or using the action and to it without additional costs (only "paying" the action)

- Deck BUilding 3 - there is no way to "slim down" the deck. Sound like a joke to me. Incacceptable.

- Military - is highliy abstract, overcomplicated and just a lucky roll. This should be more interesting, so maybe adding groups to the map is an option. (So you have to manouver something over the map - and the map is more than a piece of think paper in the middle of the table)

- Victory Points - big issue, with each player in the game it grows bigger. It is really boring to play 4 hours and almost all VPs are granted on the end of the game based almost of pure luck in the last round. The "king of the hill"-concept is boring - after all medals are gone, the motivation for the players to advance on these tracks is gone. KotH is stupid. Maybe the tracks shpuld be MUCH longer, and have some valuation in the game and the VPs should be more granular: e.g. 3-2-1 in a 4-player game or something like this.

- Victory Points 2 - there are not much points. *Much* more points should be awarded. Maybe after each Census or something.

- Actions - Building Stacks is a nice idea, but actions are to limited. The gameplay is very static. No armies on the map, only 2 actions, very limited actions. Boring. An idea could be to make the 3 default actions as "free" additional actions that can be done in addition to the 2 "other" actions in each turn.

- Money / Coins - there is a very limited use of money/coins in the game. Paying upkeep can also be very tough (e.g. england or spain). Ideas: Rise the limit of money to the double, paying upkeep only during census, so money can (must) be used to buy cards from the display (or to discard/search the display).

- Use of art/sience/mathematic/culture/catholics/anti-catolic symbols. The use of the cards is very limited. Most of the are only used in census. Boring. Should be more integrated in the game, no idea how to.

This is just a collection of ideas from a disappointed gamer. Please do not start a "it is perfect"-discussion. If someone feels the same like me, maybe we can work out the issues and a solution to satisfy our "gamers" desires.
I'm pretty sure there are more people witch are unsatisfied with the game how it is right now.

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Rob Freeman
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This game never really claimed to be a deck builder. It's more about hand management and optimizing what you get. Other than some ambiguities the game pretty much plays exactly how I imagined from reading the rules. Yes there are some clumsy aspects, but it seems you were expecting a completely different game.
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Oliver Grimm
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Hi,

The game have a taste of deck building. I really like it. But the way how you get the cards in your deck is really boring. Nothing to decide. Just draw it and see that you can do with it ...
A little bit thin for +3 hours ...

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Oliver Grimm
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Hi,

An idea how to integrate the values of the cards into the gameplay come into my mind:

All newly drawn cards must be payed for with symbols. e.g. to draw a card from the arts-display you must pay 3 wealth and politics depending on the position in the display (for example). Buying is done in the tax-phase.

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Steven Durst
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While I respect what you're trying to do, this game is working as intended. While I think it does go a bit long, it plays pretty much how I expected. The OP had some misconceptions on what he expected and it didn't pan out. It sounds like this is not the game for you and that is ok. Plenty of other games out there.
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Oliver Grimm
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Hi,

Did you ever try a 6 or 7 player game? try it and you will hink different.

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Francisco Pizarro
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I've been wondering how to approach this post and I was going to write it off as simply a fellow gamer not enjoying the product, which is totally understandable regardless of the game. I'll never question a person's taste whether it's for our games or any other.

That said -- I feel I need to address a few specific points.

Quote:
Deck Building is completly senseless in this game, since it is totally random. Just draw a card and see what you can do with it. Or see that the card is not usable. There should be an open card-display, where the players have a choice to draw cards from.


I'd argue the notion that the draws in the game are "random" because you can pick cards from the various decks. You can make the case that with an open card draw area that it would make the game less strategic because there would be many "well that's a no brainer" moments when drawing luminaries.

Every luminary in the game has its uses. And a good player will beat a bad one in RtE regardless of the cards they get. (Well, most of the time.) It's knowing how to use the cards, when to play a specific action and when not, and learning how to deal with cards you may not initially want that is a big part of the design.

If you make the cards open it changes everything. I'm not saying the game couldn't be played that way and believe me the card drawing process went through a *lot* of revisions during the development process, but we all liked the blind draw combined with choosing a specific luminary type (color) mechanic. We wanted players to have to adjust and alter their plans and not have everything laid out and mechanical.

Quote:
Deck Building 2 - Reorganisation seems to be wasting actions to changing on useless card against another. Reorganisation should be easier, e.g. you can "reorganisate" with a "free action", paying money for each card or using the action and to it without additional costs (only "paying" the action)


I'm not sure I follow this one.

Quote:
- Deck BUilding 3 - there is no way to "slim down" the deck. Sound like a joke to me. Incacceptable.


I can assure you it's not a joke. This is why we have the three favorites in the design and we specifically did NOT want people to have a small, custom built deck filled with only the luminaries they wanted to use every turn. There is quite a bit of strategy, in my opinion, to building an RtE deck regardless of the blind color draw and the inability to make your deck smaller.

Quote:
Military - is highliy abstract, overcomplicated and just a lucky roll. This should be more interesting, so maybe adding groups to the map is an option. (So you have to manouver something over the map - and the map is more than a piece of think paper in the middle of the table)


I don't think I want to get into the notion of luck here as that's been beaten to death on BGG for years. Suffice to say, I don't agree that it's just a lucky roll. Yes, there are dice and yes you can seemingly have a huge advantage and end up rolling poorly but again, this is by design. We did not want attacks to come down to absolutes.

Now, that said, I agree that it's abstract; it was intended to be. We didn't want the game to be about moving military units across the map. It's just not that type of game.

As for its complexity, while I think calculating how combat works is pretty simple, I do agree that this is an area of the design that could use some additional streamlining.

Still, either you like dice or you don't. I wish we had included more in the box as six simply isn't enough but when a buddy has 25 D6 to roll looking for three 6 results and gets zero--everyone has different tastes but I think that's hilarious and is ALWAYS a cause for table laughter and cries of "Seriously!?" from the loser...which I always a consider a good thing.

Quote:
- Victory Points - big issue, with each player in the game it grows bigger. It is really boring to play 4 hours and almost all VPs are granted on the end of the game based almost of pure luck in the last round. The "king of the hill"-concept is boring - after all medals are gone, the motivation for the players to advance on these tracks is gone. KotH is stupid. Maybe the tracks shpuld be MUCH longer, and have some valuation in the game and the VPs should be more granular: e.g. 3-2-1 in a 4-player game or something like this.


The length of the track is actually irrelevant outside of the race to get the medals. It's supposed to be a jockeying for position model. We tried the long track model and we *all* hated it. Knowing how those tracks work, we feel, makes for more important choices about how and when to move up the track and more importantly how to build your deck. Again, this all comes with playing the game a bit more but knowing how they work will (or at least should) alter how you play the game. (And there is in fact a VP bonus for winning the Science/Art track +3 and +1 for finishing 2nd.)

Quote:
- Victory Points 2 - there are not much points. *Much* more points should be awarded. Maybe after each Census or something.


This one is just a matter of opinion. We wanted a fight for a very limited number of VPs. It's a crucial part of the entire design. Not saying you have to agree with it, but it was a goal right from the start.

Quote:
- Money / Coins - there is a very limited use of money/coins in the game. Paying upkeep can also be very tough (e.g. england or spain). Ideas: Rise the limit of money to the double, paying upkeep only during census, so money can (must) be used to buy cards from the display (or to discard/search the display).


Money is vital, I'd argue. Being able to build a decent economic engine is crucial to winning the game. So while the way money is USED may be limited (military/upkeep) its importance cannot be understated.

Quote:
- Use of art/sience/mathematic/culture/catholics/anti-catolic symbols. The use of the cards is very limited. Most of the are only used in census. Boring. Should be more integrated in the game, no idea how to.


Here's one I will concede. I agree -- I wish we had more uses for some of the basic luminary skills -- particularly science and art. It's something that I'd like to address at some point. I have always thought that favorites like Newton should be stronger or at least more diverse.

I'm genuinely sorry you didn't like the game and if you can jerry-rig it to play the way you want it to play then go for it! I really do mean that. I hope you can figure out a way to get it work work the way you want. But it is working as intended...rulebook issues aside.

--bill


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Even though deckbuilding in RtE is not similar to deckbuilding in deckbuilding games I wouldnt say that it is "senseless", it's just different. You dont have total control but you have control as you can chose the pile you draw new luminaries and you can get rid of cards with "Reorganization" and there a plenty of cards that remove themselves or getting removed by your opponent's actions/responses.

For me its a question of tough decisions: do I invest my few actions in customizing my deck better or do I try to my your strategy to suit the cards I have and get the best out of it? This is an overall theme in RtE: your amount of actions are limited and you have to split them among deckbuilding, advancing on the tracks, fighting, effecting your opponent with actions and generating money...

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