Made in Britain Designer’s Diary Part 5 – Ragnar Brothers are working on Promised Land for a Kickstarter project
Designer Diary (part 5)
You may remember that we wanted to create a game for 2-6 players. 4-players is the natural and probably best number for the game, but there’s not a huge number of 6-player games around, particularly in this genre. That wasn’t always the case. History of the World was first produced at a time when playing in larger groups was, I think more common and there were plenty of games to give that opportunity (chicken or egg?). Anyhow, here are some bullet points on making Promised Land work for 2,3,5 and 6 players.
- As far as possible we wanted the rules and set-up of the game to be the same, irrespective of the number of players.
- Using more or less kingdoms wasn’t a good option as the game balance and game length would be adversely affected. Therefore, unlike History of the World the game could not ‘self-balance’ i.e. if two players play against three then the two players will have more kingdoms and more turns (three per Book as opposed to two per Book).
- Card distribution was therefore set as follows:
2 players per team – deal 4 cards and discard 1 (3 cards per Book)
3 players per team – deal 3 cards and discard 1 (2 cards per Book)
1 player per team – deal 6cards and discard 1 (5 cards per Book – 1 less than the norm)
- Using just two other variables it was possible to give players the same amount of buying power (revenue) and activity (actions).
- You may recall the revenue rates for Patriarch’s in a 4-player game (2 players on a team):
If the number of players in a team is increased to 3 (i.e. 5 or 6 player games) then these revenues increase:
- Similarly the number of actions (placing Patriarchs, moving on Kingdom track or Royal track) also increases from 3 actions per turn (2 players in a team) to 4 actions per turn (3 players in a team).
- If only 1 player is in the ‘team’ then revenue collection remains the same as the 2 player per team. However the number of actions decreases to just 2 per turn. In addition the phases are limited so that in a turn a player may either ‘collect revenue’ or ‘buy Artefact’. The player may not do both.
We anticipate getting this information neatly organised and placed on a crib sheet / card for each player – which will also double as a supply base. No doubt some of the combat rules will also appear there.
Through the post-Christmas period some of the details in the game were modified. The Artefacts fell into two categories; those that had been incorporated into the rondell and whose problems had long been sorted (e.g. ‘Recruit’, ‘Siege-craft’. ‘Masons’) and those more recent ideas that needed to be honed and also correctly valued (e.g. ‘Alliance’, ‘Warriors’, ‘Capitulation’). Only repeat trialling with different players can knock these into final shape. When solo trialling it’s difficult not to have favourite strategies.
Currently there are no icons to go with the Artefacts; trial tiles are simple with plenty of room to cross out and re-value.
Currently there are no icons to go with the Artefacts; trial tiles are simple with plenty of room to cross out and re-value. Note: the larger square designates an Artefact that may be used throughout the game. Smaller squares show once only use. We will have to show which Artefacts are used in one turn, but where that use may be more than once e.g. ‘Siege-craft’.
This period of solo trialling took the game through the winter months. As Spring approached (it’s still approaching, even now!) so did opportunities to trial again with the Ragnars.
Meanwhile here’s another glimpse of the box-top.