Recurrence versus replaybility
Last week I discussed problem of recurrence in Imperial Settlers. I showed you how I was making each faction unique and how I made it more or less predictable. I presented you how I managed to achieve that simple thing – if you choose a Barbarian deck, you will be able to pillage, raze and destroy enemy each time you play.
With a little help from google translator I called it recurrence.
So basically last week I wrote whole damn article showing you that Imperial Settlers is a fucking boring card game – you pick a faction and it plays each time the same. Recurrence, he calls it. You played it once, you played it 100 times.
Yeah. That’s me. Super seller.
So now it’s time to deny every single word I wrote last week…
OK, but joking aside. The problem we are facing here is that on one hand we expect our deck (whenever it is Barbarians deck in Imperial Settlers or Weyland deck in Netrunner) to have a specific nature and be predictable (recurrence) but on the other hand we want it to work different each time we play it – we want fun each time we play (replayibility).
Here come Twist cards, I mentioned last week. 9 cards in each faction deck that change everything. Let me show you:
Barbarians may build Barter card that let them change any resources into Victory Points. Suddenly your people become peaceful traders! Or perhaps you build Robbers card and now you can steal Deals from other players. It changes their strategy a lot! Or you want to build Temple? Very expensive card that will give you just like that 6 VP!
Egyptians may put Desert into play and from now on they will discard cards from opponent hand! Or they build Chariot builder and suddenly they are crazy vicious! Or they have Oasis and they take opponent’s workers who were sent to work…
When Japanese build Casino, they become very rich (spend 1 worker to earn 1 gold!) but when they put Negotiator in play and they can change their Deals into actual Buildings in their Empire…
Romans can build Barracks and now they produce 2 more workers and their game changes a lot. Or they build Colossus and they go for stone – with Colossus they can spend 3 stone into 4 Victory Points!
Each of this cards is very strong. Each of this cards change the game. Your game will be different if you have Barracks in play and different if you have Colossus in play. This 9 twist cards gives you what you want – it gives you replaybility. They change each game. Without killing recurrence, they add replayibility.
Each faction deck has 9 such cards. You will draw few of them during game. You will build some of these few. They will have great impact on the game. and will give you lots of fun.
I think that’s all I wanted to share about designing Imperial Settlers. I believe you have your opinion about the game and you know if this is your cup of tea or not. After weekend I will post rulebook in PDF format.
I hope you enjoyed the series of articles. I hope to see you at Gen Con, Essen and any other con you attend. Have fun!