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Belfort: The Expansion Expansion» Forums » General

Subject: Any reviews from play testers? rss

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Mathue Faulkner
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While I respect the design of Belfort, it just didn't click with me. It seemed almost 'too balanced' for its own good, and I would've appreciated a bit more engine building. I also wasn't a huge fan of the 2-player variant...

I'm hoping the expansion could add just enough spice to make the game more enjoyable. The base game was solid...I just didn't find it to be fun.

Any thoughts from play testers?
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J
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Played with Assistants a few times and Expansion Permits once (albeit it was only a prototype of Expansion Permits and not the up-to-date buildings).

I thought Assistants were really clever and added a lot to the game while Expansion Permits completely ruined it for me. I won't talk about it too much but in our game with the Prototype of Expansion Permits was a bit of a joke.

Again I stress that we used a prototype of Expansion Permits but I still disliked them cause some seemed much easier to score with than the others and rather than assisting the game they took it over.
 
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Jay Cormier
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Cool - thanks allstar64 for your comments! Glad you liked the Assistants - and thanks to you and other play testers, we really fine tuned and balanced the expansions so that they are all fair! We also had to balance it to make sure that it wasn't the dominant strategy - that a player could win without doing any - but that a player COULD win by focusing on them as well...hence why we had over 70 playtest groups help us balance the heck out of it!

I hope you all enjoy what we ended up with!

-Jay Cormier
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Antonio Nessuno
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Can you work on 2° variant for 2 Player?
Ideas can be:

Elfs or Dwarfs (NP) increase 1 Calendar...

NP also work for the resources (Don't know how to implement it)
 
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J
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allstar64 wrote:

Again I stress that we used a prototype of Expansion Permits but I still disliked them cause some seemed much easier to score with than the others and rather than assisting the game they took it over.


I really should clarify what the difference is. In our game Garden expansions gave 1 point for every 3 wood you had in your buildings (current version requires 5 wood for one point). The player who won ended up getting both Garden Expansions and together his expansions alone got him around 30 points and easily let him win the game. Each garden needs 3 wood so on Gardens alone he was getting 4 points each scoring phase. Also any time he built a 3 wood building it would be 2 "bonus" points to him per scoring phase. Again I remind everyone that the Wood necessary for points has been increased to 5 now. It just seemed to us that Expansions were lopsided in how good they were. Ones like the Gardens, Pub and Keep were just unbalancedly good as they would give you lots of points while not really getting in the way of your strategy or forcing you to go out of your way for them. Buildings like the Bank, Library and Market on the other hand forced you to "split your attention" so to speak between playing the game and getting points from your expansions.

Personally part of what I liked about assistants is that I felt it did a great job of balancing out the funky turn order the Belfort has (which I've always felt needed fixing). Part of what I hated about Expansion Permits is that, especially in the early game, It felt like it made the choice of assistants irrelevant since you could always just alternatively take an Expansion Permit and many of the assistants early game abilities did not come close to equaling the points granted by taking an Expansion Permit.
 
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Brent Wilson
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In all my playtests, I found the assistants to be an awesome addition to the game. There were quite a few tweaks (and some math) to balance both their power and their mechanics. Allowing for them to be drafted really added to the turn-order manipulation side of the game (that was a little flat in the base game). Their powers speed up the engine building and also make each turn unique.

I didn't play as much with the permits and after a year I don't remember them well enough for specific comments but I do remember it being painful to sacrifice an assistants power to take a permit. That alone made it an interesting choice to leverage your turn order to grab an assistant someone else wanted (but you couldn't make use of) for an opportunity for a permit, or to salvage a weak turn order to grab a permit when assistants you wanted were gone.
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Chris
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I have heard from reviewers that Belfort was a bit long for its own good and can lead to some AP. I haven't played Belfort yet, but I took a leap and recently picked it up and kickstarted the Expansion. I am wondering if the concern was valid and if so, should I wait till I get the expansion before I expose it to my group? First impressions with my group make or break a game.
 
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I'm Gonna Wreck It!
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TriColoredTiger wrote:
I have heard from reviewers that Belfort was a bit long for its own good and can lead to some AP...


Welcome to the world of Euros. This can pretty much be said of any of them. If it becomes a big enough issue (or you have people particularly prone to it) I HIGHLY suggest a timer.

TriColoredTiger wrote:

I haven't played Belfort yet, but I took a leap and recently picked it up and kickstarted the Expansion. I am wondering if the concern was valid and if so, should I wait till I get the expansion before I expose it to my group? First impressions with my group make or break a game.


I personally recommend to anybody that they try a game before getting the expansion (unless you can get both at a lower cost than the base game). Money is hard earned and once a game is opened you will almost never get it all back. Like driving a car off the lot...

That said, if your group likes Euros I think the base game is one of the best I've ever played -- and I'm not that big a fan of Euros in general.
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J
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allstar64 wrote:
allstar64 wrote:

Again I stress that we used a prototype of Expansion Permits but I still disliked them cause some seemed much easier to score with than the others and rather than assisting the game they took it over.


I really should clarify what the difference is. In our game Garden expansions gave 1 point for every 3 wood you had in your buildings (current version requires 5 wood for one point). The player who won ended up getting both Garden Expansions and together his expansions alone got him around 30 points and easily let him win the game. Each garden needs 3 wood so on Gardens alone he was getting 4 points each scoring phase. Also any time he built a 3 wood building it would be 2 "bonus" points to him per scoring phase. Again I remind everyone that the Wood necessary for points has been increased to 5 now. It just seemed to us that Expansions were lopsided in how good they were. Ones like the Gardens, Pub and Keep were just unbalancedly good as they would give you lots of points while not really getting in the way of your strategy or forcing you to go out of your way for them. Buildings like the Bank, Library and Market on the other hand forced you to "split your attention" so to speak between playing the game and getting points from your expansions.

Personally part of what I liked about assistants is that I felt it did a great job of balancing out the funky turn order the Belfort has (which I've always felt needed fixing). Part of what I hated about Expansion Permits is that, especially in the early game, It felt like it made the choice of assistants irrelevant since you could always just alternatively take an Expansion Permit and many of the assistants early game abilities did not come close to equaling the points granted by taking an Expansion Permit.



A quick update to what I said above. After over a year I finally had a chance to play with the actual Expansion Expansion.

Previously I said that the Expansion permits had come off as a joke because they granted many more points compared to the assistant abilities at least in the early game. This was based on being part of the play testing team and seeing how many extra points they were worth.

Even though I had played only a proto-type, the actual version of the Expansion permits didn't seem like enough of a departure from the prototype to make a difference.

However there was 1 (actually 2) things I was unaware of at the time namely that the game had been shortened by 1 round and scores starting at 6 (Taxes at 1). This extra constraint really changed things for us and we often found ourself so strapped for cash that we basically didn't grow our units that much.

None of us had properly taken the money drain into account nor the loss of a round which hurt us all greatly down the line and really makes (some) of the assistant abilities far more important.

The Jury is still out on how much we like the new changes but the issue above with expansion permets being dominant doesn't see to be as big and issue as it was in the prototype.
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Seth Jaffee
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allstar64 wrote:
allstar64 wrote:
allstar64 wrote:

Again I stress that we used a prototype of Expansion Permits but I still disliked them cause some seemed much easier to score with than the others and rather than assisting the game they took it over.


I really should clarify what the difference is. In our game Garden expansions gave 1 point for every 3 wood you had in your buildings (current version requires 5 wood for one point). The player who won ended up getting both Garden Expansions and together his expansions alone got him around 30 points and easily let him win the game. Each garden needs 3 wood so on Gardens alone he was getting 4 points each scoring phase. Also any time he built a 3 wood building it would be 2 "bonus" points to him per scoring phase. Again I remind everyone that the Wood necessary for points has been increased to 5 now. It just seemed to us that Expansions were lopsided in how good they were. Ones like the Gardens, Pub and Keep were just unbalancedly good as they would give you lots of points while not really getting in the way of your strategy or forcing you to go out of your way for them. Buildings like the Bank, Library and Market on the other hand forced you to "split your attention" so to speak between playing the game and getting points from your expansions.

Personally part of what I liked about assistants is that I felt it did a great job of balancing out the funky turn order the Belfort has (which I've always felt needed fixing). Part of what I hated about Expansion Permits is that, especially in the early game, It felt like it made the choice of assistants irrelevant since you could always just alternatively take an Expansion Permit and many of the assistants early game abilities did not come close to equaling the points granted by taking an Expansion Permit.



A quick update to what I said above. After over a year I finally had a chance to play with the actual Expansion Expansion.

Previously I said that the Expansion permits had come off as a joke because they granted many more points compared to the assistant abilities at least in the early game. This was based on being part of the play testing team and seeing how many extra points they were worth.

Even though I had played only a proto-type, the actual version of the Expansion permits didn't seem like enough of a departure from the prototype to make a difference.

However there was 1 (actually 2) things I was unaware of at the time namely that the game had been shortened by 1 round and scores starting at 6 (Taxes at 1). This extra constraint really changed things for us and we often found ourself so strapped for cash that we basically didn't grow our units that much.

None of us had properly taken the money drain into account nor the loss of a round which hurt us all greatly down the line and really makes (some) of the assistant abilities far more important.

The Jury is still out on how much we like the new changes but the issue above with expansion permets being dominant doesn't see to be as big and issue as it was in the prototype.

Originally I think you were right - some of the Expansion Permits were over-powerful / worth too much. We worked to balance those out so that they did not overpower the game.

I think we did a good job with that, but YMMV.

Glad you got a chance to play the final version! Thanks for revisiting this thread.
 
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