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Amathul

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  1. First off, nice list, as always, but you forgot that Highlight the Flaws is a Fire role locked card. ^^ Which also had me wondering, if crane gets a fire locked card, of which the already have one, and lion gets a fire locked card, which would be the last element they are missing, are we going to get two elemental locked cards per clan this cycle?
  2. The release schedule of the packs was shifted around, to have them all release much quicker then originally intended. This is surely a remnant of the original release schedule.
  3. After following the facebook post since shortly after you having posted it, I have given the whole thing a lot of thought and I feel the urge to voice some of my ideas and concerns, so I'll probably go on a tangent. To satisfy your urge of picking JUST ONE thing, I'll give you my thoughts on one thing first. For context reasons: I've only ever been competitively active in one card game and that's been ages ago, though I'd like to try my hands on L5R. Right now I mostly collect the cards for the game and enjoy it somewhat casually because where I currently live I have at least 50 km of dead zone for almost any type of card-gaming. A good 100 for L5R. I stumbled into this game because I both enjoy FFG games (components/quality) and the old L5R CCG (setting/feel/complexity). What irks me the most, from my casual standpoint is that the game often times feels extremely dominated by the competitive player base connected to it. (Which in turn can also feed into the problem of attracting new players.) The way cards are evaluated usually come down to it being 'trash' or 'god-tier' in a competitive light, and little thought, at least by the vocal parts of the community, seem to be going into how 'fun' something can be. To give it a tagline it would probably be something like 'Too much crunch, not enough jank.' Now I do understand that most of this also derives itself from the way the game is set up. It is a complex game with a high skill ceiling that takes quite a bit of time to play with also a lot to consider when building your deck - oof, the roles at least during a time where you had to fight for them and the focus on larger and smaller tournaments all around. So this isn't necessarily something you can 'solve' in that sense. Perhaps getting the multi-player format more into the spotlight as a lighter variant or even having that Shadowlands VS all type of product might help in those regards though. This also somewhat feeds back into the attraction of new players: if there seems to be little or no casual basis between the players, many probably won't want to jump into the game as well. -- Concerning other points frequently brought up: Attracting new player: I have been wondering for a long time when that Championdeck from Erik Baalhuis is finally coming out (it seems more and more like FFG are waiting until this year's winter court) and why they wouldn't do one for each clan, or at least for the top 4 players. Those decks are a lot more complex than your typical starter decks so they maybe don't quite fit the bill for that, but together with the respective clan pack the would certainly give a new player some options to toy around with. Full on starter decks, one per clan, would surely need to be designed a little simpler. This would, theoretically, decrease the entry-cost into the game for an individual as well. One counterpoint that's been brought up on FB a couple of times regarding starter decks that I entirely don't understand is that a product like this would be useless as they'd be unplayable in half a year (or so). Personally, I don't think you'd want to attend a tournament with a starter deck anyway, so.... What I can understand more is the problem with shelf-space for the retailer. This type of product feels a lot more specialized than the general core box FFG has put out so far, and honestly speaking, I got nothing on that. Perhaps make them print on demand, but that would leave the FLGS behind again as well, deepening the problem further. Getting back to the costs. I can only say, whilst the 90-something € to get the three core sets is somewhat expensive, maintaining this cardgame is so much cheaper than an traditional CCG or TCG. I can't complain about costs at all. Especially as you're getting a full play set of each card. I'm sure you'd be able to pay that amount of money for a single play-set of some 'mandatory' Magic card easily (for current decks). The flipside of the LCG is the card pool that is expanding a lot slower than with a CCG. Partially because sets don't 'need' to be filled with chaff to a certain degree. Of course, in any game, not all cards are created equal, and neither should they be, but for CCG's there just are cards that are designed to be bad. I don't think this logic applies for LCG's as much. Roles and role locked cards: First off, perhaps an unpopular opinion, I like the idea behind the keeper/seeker elemental roles. In theory they force players to shift their attention to new cards as old roles rotated away from them and new ones become available. By having the playerbase vote on them you bind their attention to the competitive aspects of the game and give them the opportunity to have their choice affect the game at large. Also, having these powerful cards associated with each role that rotate in and out of graps of each clan could also prevent the need for having a restricted list. That sounds so nice... In reality the discrepancies between the roles was probably too large from a get go. Having a full set of elementally locked cards for each clan to begin with (1 air, 1 earth, 1 fire and so on) or released in the first cycle could have maybe shored that up a bit better. Also as it stands right now, the way every clan can choose whatever they want, without the contention of before, it feels like we're heading towards peak-void (my insight into this is limited, so please correct me if I'm wrong). The void-provinces as they are now are still very strong and there seems to be little incentive for most of the clans to not want to have seeker of void. In other words - as it is now their selection feels more pointless than before. The old system would then see seeker of void be picked first in most circumstances, and a bottom of the barrel role would also come into existence - which probably could be shifted around by adding targeted neutral cards of the element (or keeper/seeker) in question Funnily enough I feel like if you'd errata or reprinted most of the currently restricted cards with an elemental role attached a lot of the discrepancies between roles could be treated. At the very least some clans would suddenly gain interest in roles they hadn't really looked at before. Niten Master sounds like a water card to me. Guest of Honor like earth. Charge like air or fire. Tadaka is also obviously an earth card. And for a final point: communication: FFG had a rough last two months with the spoilers. As somebody said over on FB, that were a good few marketing opportunities down the drain. (Shouldn't we also be seeing a first look or hint at the crab clan pack soon-ish?) All in all it feels awfully quiet at the moment, and I'm sure a thread like this is also mostly rooted in the silence experienced right now. About availability... I find it hilarious that it took me two extra months to get my hands on the crane clan pack (collecting all my cards in English despite living in Germany) but I got my copy of For the Empire 2 1/2 weeks too early. This also screams borked internal communications to me. Or at least with the retailer. There you go, my 20 cents on the matter. I know it's not exactly what you asked for, but please forgive me. 😉
  4. Going by what was said during the live stream - that all element locked cards are in Bonds of Blood - Alluring Patron, the scorpion fire conflict character should be in there as well, making it card number 42 in your list
  5. With Civilization IV Gathering Storm out for about a month now, the question whether Civilization: A New Dawn would maybe soon-ish (or, at all, really) get an expansion returned for me. Uncertain as that may be, my mind began wandering and I came up with a few ideas for a similar expansion for the board game, which I would like to share with you. Now first things first, I have to admit, I’m useless when it come to putting together pretty images and the likes, so it’s going to be text only, sorry, but I’m useless like that. Secondly, I’m lacking the time, resources and man-power to give these things a thorough testing, so in the end this is all just theory-crafting and mad science in a way. With these two things in mind, I’m going to give you an overview of what I think could be contained in such an expansion if I were to design it, before going into detail and offering up any additional thoughts concerning the single items along the way. This is going to be quite a bit of text. Overview I could see an expansion like this being sold in the same box with about the same price tag as the base game. It would contain 1 new global mechanic for all games, 1 optional mechanic and, most of all, more stuff. 1 New global mechanic – Rising sea levels 1 arctic board 40-70 single space ice/water tokens 1 global warming marker 1 random/optional mechanic – volcanoes 2 new tiles 5th player materials (1 capitol, 7 cities, 3 caravans, tech dial, diplomacy cards, focus cards, focus bar, 31 control tokes / whilst black or white come to mind for color, a muted purple would also fit into the existing roster imo, although I do not know how that would impact colorblind players) 8 new Civs 12 new wonders (1 per era per type) 1 new resource (Aluminum) 1 new tech level (Future Tech) 4 (?) new victory conditions 8 natural wonders (on 4 tiles) 4 new city states (on 2 tiles, 1 per type) 4 general tiles 1 spawn point tiles All in all not as much plastic as in the base game, but a lot of card board New Mechanics At the heart of Civ IV’s Gathering Storm lies climate change as a new mechanic. Something that should be reproduceable for the board game as well, with simplifications, of course. Rising Sea Levels At the heart of my idea lies a side board, holding the ludicrous amount of single tile tokens, neatly staked with their ice-side up, representing the ice in the arctic. Around the little board goes a track for the global warming marker. Every time a player resolves a card, depending on which era it came from, the global warming marker advances a few spaces. If it manages to make its way around the board once (12 spaces for one lap seems reasonable), every participating player takes on ice-tile and places it on the game board, first flooding grassland tiles next to the border of the map. With this, space on the map will start to dwindle faster and faster, forcing people towards each other before eventually being able to work against the rising sea levels. Essentially this mechanic would expand a player’s turn by one step after resolving his or her focus card to advance global warming. The amount of spaces the marker travels depends on the era the focus card came from. (Era I – 0 / Era II – 1 / Era III – 2 / Era IV – 3 / Era V – 0) Whilst it would seem natural that different techs advance global warming differently, it feels too fiddly to have to refer to some sort of list and I wouldn’t reprint all focus cards just for a single stat. This in turn keeps it fairly simple and predictable how quickly waters will rise. People begin placing water tiles first on grasslands on the edge of the map, filling adjacent grassland in until there is none left, after that the water starts flooding hills, woods and desert alike. Any control token and none-capitol city of players on tiles being flooded are taken off the board. City-states, capitols and natural wonders cannot be flooded. This mechanic would need at least 40, more like 60 or 70 to properly work and transition from annoyance to an actual problem the players have to deal with as you have something between 90 and 150 spaces across all tiles to work with, depending on player count and the amount of water already present on the board. The amount of ice in the arctic should be adjusted to the player count. The fiddly-ness of all of this shouldn’t be that much of an issues as it should hardly make a difference if you place a little circle onto a space or a full-on hexagon (given that they should be just slightly smaller than a single space to prevent mass tidal waves caused by a single nudge). As a whole rising sea levels would be a fairly useful tool in the early to midgame as only grasslands connected to the board edge or water that in turn connects to the board edge fills up, granting you some easily matured cities. But as soon as the water has filled up said grasslands and starts flooding hills, forests and deserts, players should start panicking, with a first few cities being destroyed by floods caused by devious other players. This should force them up mountains or along the tech tree towards the future era tech. Volcanoes As a second little new mechanic I offer you volcanoes. 2 tiles, 4 different volcanoes. These tiles are very rich in resources, compelling you to settle on them. Each space on the tile has a little dice symbol as well, showing a number. And when the event dial reaches the empty space you roll to see if and how the volcano erupts. An eruption removes any barbarians, cities, control tokens or caravans from the space. Some volcanoes will have some numbers on their own space, meaning they won’t erupt if those numbers are rolled. Mt. Vesuvius (doesn’t erupt on 4,5,6) Eyjafjallajökull Pihaga (doesn’t erupt on 3,4,5,6) Thera (doesn’t erupt on 4,5,6) Tech Level V Playing off of the new mechanics comes the addition of a new tech level, giving the players access to future tech, offering stronger versions of the respective tech, adding a couple of new features to deal with the, by then, risen sea levels. After you have maxed out your tech dial for the first time, maxing it out again at 24 grants you access to your first Era V technology. And on every subsequent maxing of your tech dial you can gain another. Culture Seasteads Place 3 control tokens on spaces matching this slot’s terrain or lower, or water, that are adjacent to friendly cities or your control tokens on water spaces. Industry Smart Materials Build 1 world wonder. Your production equals this slots number +1. Or, build 1 city on a legal space of this slot’s terrain or lower within 5 spaces of a friendly space. You can count through water. Then, if you built a city, you can immediately build a wonder in that city. Your production equals this slots number -2 Military Robotics Reinforce a number of your control tokens up to double this slots number. Or, perform up to 3 attacks within 6 spaces of a friendly space. Your combat value equals this slots number +4. You can count through water, barbarians and city states. Reinforced control tokens, control tokens and cities you defeat are immediately removed from the board. They do not get replaced by your own. (Wonders stay on the board.) Science Global Warming Mitigation Advance your tech dial a number of spaces equal to this slots number +1. Then, you may remove up to 1 empty Water space added to the board by global warming. Trade Globalization Move each of your caravans up to 8 spaces. They can move into spaces matching this slot’s terrain or lower, as well as water. Your caravans can not be destroyed by barbarians and multiple of them can enter the same city or city-state during a single turn. All level V techs have the same trade token options as the eras before them. New Civs I tried to keep these relatively simple whilst true to their in-game identity, as it feels like most of the more defining aspect in A New Dawn come from wonders or city states and I wanted to keep it that way. Germany – Frederick Barbarossa When attacking a barbarian or city-state, increase your combat value by 2. (Pot – FT – As – Ma – EE) Maori – Kupe You can count through water and your caravans can move through water. (As – Pot – FF – Ma – EE) Indonesia – Gitarja You can place control tokens on water spaces. They count as terrain difficulty 3 and can only be destroyed by opponents, not replaced. (Ma – Pot – EE – As – FT) Mali – Mansa Musa After setup, gain 2 random resources. (Pot – As – EE – FT – Ma) China – Qin Shi Huang When defending, increase the terrain difficulty of the attacked space by 1. (FT – Ma – As – Pot – EE) Ottoman – Suleiman Your caravans can move an additional 2 spaces each. (As – FT – Pot – EE – Ma) England – Victoria You can build cities 3 spaces further away than normal. (Pot – As – Ma – EE – FT) Greece – Gorgo After you reset your military focus card, if you won at least 1 attack, you may place a control token on an empty space next to a friendly space. (FT – As – EE – Ma – Pot) Wonders As with the base game, wonders usually change some rule of the game or allow you to slowly snowball into one direction of your choice. Culture Colosseum Ancient Wonder Once per turn, after you have place one or more control tokens, you may immediately fortify one of them. 9 – Marble/Oil Angkor Wat Medieval Wonder Whenever a rival player has resolved their culture focus card, you may advance your tech dial by 1. 10 – Marble/Mercury Broadway Modern Wonder When placing control tokens, you may place them up to 3 spaces away from your cities. 11 – Marble/Aluminum Military Statue of Zeus Ancient Wonder When you defeat a barbarian, you may immediately build a city on the barbarian’s space. 8 – Oil/Marble Casa the Contratacion Medieval Wonder When attacking or defending increase your combat value by 4 if you control no diplomacy cards of any other player. 10 – Oil/Diamond Statue of Liberty Modern Wonder You do not lose diplomacy cards for attacking players. 12 – Oil/Aluminum Science Apadana Ancient Wonder Choose a rival player. Place one of their control tokens onto this card. Every time you or the chosen player resolve their science focus card, each of you advance their tech dial by 1. 7 – Mercury/Aluminum University of Sankore Medieval Wonder At the start of your turn you may advance or retreat the global warming track by 2. 10 – Mercury/Marble Amundsen Scott Research Station Modern Wonder When you build this wonder, choose a card in your focus row. Replace it with the level-V card of the same type. 12 – Mercury/Aluminum Trade The Great Bath Ancient Wonder The city this wonder is built in cannot be destroyed by rising sea levels. Each time a water tile is placed adjacent to one of your cities, gain a trade token. 8 – Diamond/Marble Taj Mahal Medieval Wonder You may build 2 wonders per city. 11 – Diamond/Aluminum Panama Canal Modern Wonder Place up to 5 water tokens in a straight line, connecting 2 existing water spaces on the board, removing barbarians, caravans and control tokens as needed. You cannot place these water tiles on cities, city-states or natural wonders. Then gain 2 trade tokens for each water tile put down by this wonder. 11 – Diamond/Aluminum Natural Wonder Short and sweet, as with the base game the resources they give don’t really have anything to do with the natural wonder. It’s more about looking good on the tile. Sahara el Beyda - Marble Lake Retba - Mercury Eye of the Sahara - Diamond Dead Sea - Oil Tsingy de Bemaraha - Aluminum Zhang ye Danxia - Aluminum Mato Tipila - Aluminum Piopiotahi - Aluminum City States Venice Culture When the trade icon on the event dial gets resolved, gain 1 additional trade token per city-state card you have. Hong Kong Industry At the start of your turn you may exchange one of your resources for a different type. Preslaw Military When you are resolving your military focus card, you may attack an additional time and/or reinforce an additional control token. Babylon Science If a barbarian would enter one of your spaces by crossing water, treat the water space as if it were ocean. Victory Conditions Now these were the one thing I really had trouble with. Most of them feel either random, or much more lengthy than the ones in the base game. This might not be a bad thing, but they do stand out in their own way in any case. Industrious Have 1 wonder of every type. OR Capitalist Have at least 12 trade tokens on your focus cards. Environmentalist Remove at least 4 water tiles caused by global warming. OR Futurist Have 2 level-V techs or more Natural Historian Take control of a volcano’s crater. OR Destroy an opponents city due to global warming. Resistance Kill 3 barbarians in 1 turn. OR Reformist Take 2 barbarian encampments in 1 turn. A different approach to more victory conditions would be giving out highly specific hidden victory conditions at random to the players. To have them build, for example, specific wonders (like the Colosseum and the Estadio de Maracanã) and then have them reveal it once it has been achieved. This would lead to some unfortunate scenarios however, when somebody else takes one or even both wonders, denying you that possible point, as well as the fact that game length gets less predictable. Alternatively you could split them in major and minor victory conditions, requiring players to achieve two minor and at least one major one. Hrm... Anyway, I’m not sure about these. Final Thoughts I very much deliberately stayed away from most of the religious wonders or civs because I could envision faith making its way into the game in some form or another, adding a new focus card type as well as a new type of wonders and city states. Something more Rise and Fall-like could also find its way into the board game or even just a big box of cardboard with tiles over tiles, maybe even adding different terrain, jungle, savanna, tundra or others. Aside from that, I hope at least one person got a kick out reading all that. Feedback is very welcome, again sadly none of this has been tried out in an actual game so it is all hypothetical. I tried to make it ‘balanced’ but its probably all over the place. Thanks for having a look.
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