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Medieval Micromanager – Play Through – Turns #7 through #10

Before moving on through the next several turns, I’m going to comment on a few things I’ve thought of on the way.

One, it has become obvious that blinding attacking from the first turn isn’t a good idea if the initial conditions remain as they are.

Two, while it is relatively important to start players out with exactly the same resources, I’m thinking of mixing it up a bit by allowing the player to choose one “boon” to start with.  A boon is one of the following:

  • 2 extra units of any type (peasant,craftsman, militia, soldier) – even if they player does pick craftsman, militia, or soldier, they still don’t have any tools, swords, or shields, and so they are still effectively peasants until the resources are available
  • 10 commodities of any type(can mix types as well) – lumber is an obvious good choice, grain is silly, as it would be the same as 2 extra peasants, stone is not a bad choice either. 5 grain and 5 lumber would be a good choice also, as it is like 1 extra peasant and the ability to build 1 extra building from the outset
  • 1 extra building of any type – sawmill being the obvious choice, but a wall isn’t bad either

Three, the attacker, when successful, has too much power over the effects of the attack.  Currently, he can either Loot or Raze. I think this needs to change to by default be Raze, but allow the defender to offer his goods in exchange for points of damage. The attacker needs to accept what is offered, and the cost is 1 commodity unit per damage point, and the attacker can indicate what he wants, but the defender can instead decide to just do damage to buildings rather than give “tribute” to the attacker.

Four, currently there is no manner of trading between players, and I think there needs to be. Not sure what sort of shape that will take.

Five, and I’m not sure about this one, but I think there needs to be some way for the attacker to capture a building.

And now my intent is to round out the rest of the first ten turns, and assess whether or not to continue the game, or to tweak rules and start over.

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ROUND 7

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My Turn

Starting Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 4 Peasants

I start a Timber Camp this turn, with 5 Damage Tokens.
I need 5 Grain to get another Peasant, so I have three Peasants Farm for 3 Grain, use the 5 Grain to make the fifth Peasant.  I’m at maximum sustainable population for the moment.

The Farm does not deplete.

I have two Peasants left who haven’t done anything, so they will both build on the Timber Camp.

Ending Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (3 Damage), 5 Peasants

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John’s Turn

Starting Assets: 1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (3 Damage), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage), 3 Peasants

Now that he has a Sawmill, John is close to having a decent workflow for new buildings. He can produce 2 timber, followed by 1 Lumber from the 2 Timber at the Sawmill, followed by a repair action.

Unfortunately, he is short 1 Peasant, so at the moment, he could produce 1 Lumber, but that would be subject to Looting.

So, to balance between getting to 4 peasants and producing more lumber, he has two peasants Farm and the other gather timber.

Neither Farm nor Timber Camp deplete.

Ending Assets: 1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse(1 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (3 Damage), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage), 3 Peasants

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Ron’s Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 3 Peasants

Ron targets John for more resources, since I currently don’t have any, and attacks with all three Peasants.

All three fail. Neither Ron nor John have any change in resources.

Ending Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 3 Peasants

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Round Summary:

This turn makes the illustration of the “blindly attack” strategy more painful. Ron lags pretty far behind.

John has almost achieved an assembly lines to start cranking out buildings. He’ll be able to partially construct a number of buildings after another turn.

I’m at full capacity, which means that Farming will not be important until I need a new House.  I’ll be able to turn my 5 full actions next turn to creating a building.

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ROUND 8

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My Turn

Starting Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (3 Damage), 5 Peasants

I have no need to Farm, so I don’t.

Instead, I use all 5 Peasants at the Timber Camp. 2 produce Timber, and the other 3 remove the remaining damage tokens.

The Timber Camp does not deplete.

Ending Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse(2 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp, 5 Peasants

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John’s Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse(1 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (3 Damage), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage), 3 Peasants

John is 3 Grain away from a new Peasant, and so sets all 3 Peasants to Farm. He then builds a new Peasant, and has that Peasant build on the Timber Camp (to thwart future depletion). The Farm does not deplete.

Ending Assets:1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse(1 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (2 Damage), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage), 4 Peasants

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Ron’s Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 3 Peasants

Realizing that his Looting of Grain is (at least for the moment) at an end, he is left with a choice of A) attempt to loot Timber, do some production on his own, or attack to Raze.

He is still a blind attacker, so he decides to try and Raze, but it doesn’t really matter who, so he randomly picks John.

John does not defend.

The attack causes 1 Damage.

John applies the damage to his Granary.

Ending Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 3 Peasants

(John’s Revised Assets:1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary(1 Damage), 1 Warehouse(1 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (2 Damage), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage), 4 Peasants)

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Round Summary:

Ron’s strategy is really done for now. Both John and I have the workforce to repair the maximum damage that Ron can do in a turn, which means he can slow us down, but not stop us.

John has a more flexible position regarding options that he has.

I have nearly caught up to John in that flexibility, and I have more workforce.

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ROUND 9

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My Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse(2 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp, 5 Peasants

For maximum efficiency with Timber, I start a Sawmill(5 Damage)

I use 3 Peasants to gather Timber(+3 Timber), 1 Peasant to change that Timber into Lumber(-4 Timber, +1 Lumber), and 1 Peasant to spend that Lumber building the Sawmill(-1 Lumber, -1 Damage).

The Timber Camp does not deplete.

Ending Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse(1 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp, 1 Sawmill(4 Damage), 5 Peasants

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John’s Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary(1 Damage), 1 Warehouse(1 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (2 Damage), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage), 4 Peasants

John starts a Mine (5 Damage)

John works one peasant on the Timber Camp(+1 Timber), one peasant on the Sawmill(-2 Timber, +1 Lumber), and uses one peasant to build on the Mine (-1 Lumber, -1 Damage). The final peasant works to build the Timber Camp (-1 Damage).  The Timber Camp depletes!

Ending Assets:1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary(1 Damage), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (1 Damage, 1 Depletion), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage),1 Mine(4 Damage), 4 Peasants

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Ron’s Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 3 Peasants

Ron decides to attack to Raze again, since looting is limited. He randomly chooses John again.

He scores no hits, and so no damage is done.

Ending Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 3 Peasants

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Round Summary:

Ron is getting nowhere, fast.

John has the most versatility, as he can now start mining ore.

I have the best workforce, but my my building advancement is slow since I like to completely build my buildings before moving on to a new one.

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ROUND 10

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My Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse(1 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp, 1 Sawmill(4 Damage), 5 Peasants

Three Peasants work the Timber Camp (+3 Timber)

Timber Camp does not deplete.

One Peasant works the Sawmill (-2 Timber, +1 Lumber)

One Peasant builds the Sawmill(-1 Lumber, -1 Damage)

Ending Assets:1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse(2 Timber), 1 House, 1 Timber Camp, 1 Sawmill(3 Damage), 5 Peasants

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John’s Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary(1 Damage), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (1 Damage, 1 Depletion), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage),1 Mine(4 Damage), 4 Peasants

John is fed up with Ron’s constant attacks, and decides for the good of the game, he must be eliminated.

He does a full attack, realizing that in worst case scenario, he still has one guy remaining to rebuild.

Ron decides not to defend.

John scores three hits, decides to Raze.

Ron allocates three damage points to his Farm.

Ending Assets:1 Farm(1 Depletion), 1 Granary(1 Damage), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (1 Damage, 1 Depletion), 1 Sawmill (4 Damage),1 Mine(4 Damage), 4 Peasants

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Ron’s Turn

Starting Assets:1 Farm(3 Damage), 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 3 Peasants

Blind attack to Raze again. Chooses John.

Full on attack.

John decides to full on defend.

Ron gets two hits.

John gets four successful defends (a very lucky roll)

Ron loses two peasants.

Ending Assets:1 Farm(3 Damage), 1 Granary(2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 1 Peasant

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Round Summary:

Ron is in severe trouble. If he attacks again, the chance of defense is pretty good, which means he will be out of peasants, and out of the game, since he cannot buy more.

John’s condition didn’t really improve, unless you count the partial nullification of Ron improvement, which he does.

I am plugging along, and in a few turns will be done with a Sawmill and moving on to building a House.

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After 10 rounds, nobody is very far along.  Ron will likely be crushed next turn, whether he attacks or not.

John has a bunch of partially broken buildings, but has 23 undamaged points worth of buildings(but to be fair, that’s 2 points of depletion, so he potentially would have had 25).

I have 27 undamaged points worth of buildings, but I have an important advantage: I have 5 peasants, which I can set to Farm and create a new Peasant each turn, barring depletion of the farm.  Or, I can alternately build a complete Farm or Timber Camp in a single turn.

So what does it all mean?

Don’t start out attacking, for one.  Or at least not all-out attacking. Probably best to hold off.

I think the factor of Ron’s constant attacks slowed things down for both other players, though, but that’s all that sort of thing will do.

At this point, I can’t really tell if the “build perfectly” or the “build in a balanced fashion” methods are better than one another.  I’d need to do a new trial.

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Medieval Micromanager – Play Through – Turn #1

I don’t really have the time or people necessary to properly play test my board game, so I’ll be doing it virtually through my blog.

I will be playing three different players, each with their own playing style and strategy.

The first of these three players is myself, and my playing style is that of a careful builder. I don’t act rashly, and I’m looking for the long term well-being and success of my estate.

The second player is the opposite, Reckless Ron. His style is to play as aggressively as possible, and end the game as quickly as he can, even if he dies trying. He goes for short-term gain only, and is secretly trying to “break” the game by subverting the rules.

The third player is somewhere in between, Pragmatic John. His style is to balance long and short term goals, and change as needed.

Why no, these names have absolutely no bearing on anyone that I know… why do you ask?

Randomly deciding the order of play (thanks to random.org!), it will be Myself, then John, and finally Ron.

So, begin turn #1:

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My Turn

Starting Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 2 Peasants

Since I know that I’m going to need more Peasants, the most important thing for me initially is to beef up my workforce, so I have both Peasants work the Farm, gaining my 2 Grain. When I check for depletion, the Farm doesn’t gain any, so that’s good. I am able to quarter both Peasants in my House, so I’m good to go. Quick turn.

Ending Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary (2 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 2 Peasants

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John’s Turn

Starting Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 2 Peasants

John, too, sees the value of more workforce, but also sees that it will be necessary to start new buildings, so decides to start building a Timber Camp(which starts with 5 Damage). One Peasant works on building the Timber Camp(removing one Damage from the Timber Camp), and one works on Farming, gaining 1 Grain. The Farm suffers no depletion.

Ending Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary (1 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 1 Timber Camp (4 Damage), 2 Peasants

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Ron’s Turn

Starting Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary, 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 2 Peasants

Ron decides to mobilize both Peasants to attack. He decides to have both attack my estate, since he can potentially grab 2 of my assets from looting if he is successful, whereas he can only grab 1 from John. I decide not to defend, as I cannot afford to any Peasants at this point.

When the attack is resolved, the attack total is 1 for Ron, and 0 for me, meaning that he won. He decides to Loot, and takes one Grain.

Ending Assets: 1 Farm, 1 Granary (1 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 2 Peasants

(My assets following the attack: 1 Farm, 1 Granary (1 Grain), 1 Warehouse, 1 House, 2 Peasants)

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Post round summary:

So far, John seems to have the most to show, since he actually invested in a Timber Camp.

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Medieval Micromanager – The Board Game

Over the last several weeks, I played the game Forgotten Lands – First Colony. I even bought it. It was $5 at Big Fish Games. I played it through. It reminded me of my game idea for Medieval Micromanager, which was a game idea that defied all attempts at actually getting anywhere with development of the game.

I also played the board game Pandemic. After these two things, I realized something….

Medieval Micromanager doesn’t have to be a computer game. It could instead be a BOARD GAME. This makes it even more interesting to play as one would play it against other people(rather than a computer controlled Barbarian Horde).  Plus, as an added bonus, it takes a REALLY LONG time to play and build up from the next-to-nothing resources one starts with.  However, unlike other lengthy games, the setup is quite simple.

So, I put together a draft of the rules, and I’ll (as soon as I have opportunity) be play testing these.  I’ll be looking for the areas I need to tweak in order for it to work out in a balanced manner. I’m also quite interested to see what the preferred strategies will be in playing.  I have a suspicion that I’ll also need to add some sort of special events cards for players to draw and play.

Plus, I’m going to need to buy a bunch of 8mm colored wooden cubes, and print out some tiles and cards for the prototype.

 

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Medieval Micromanager Rethought

The game idea I had which I call “Medieval Micromanager” I used to think of in terms of a turn based strategy game, with a lot of game play from the original DOS version of Sid Meier’s Colonization (as in, you assign workers to different tasks, and they perform their tasks when you click the “turn” button).

I’m now rethinking it in terms of a time management game.  So far, the way that I conceive that the game would work would flow much better.  You’d have a pool of workers, a number of buildings for producing different sorts of items, and you’d drag a worker onto the building and have him perform the work, and a little timer bar does its thing, and the finished goods are produced, the raw goods are consumed, and the worker is put back into the pool.

If I had an artist, I could even make it cute.

Still just an idea on the back burner, though.

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Triumphant Return

The standard turn of the year sabbatical has ended, and I am back.

Between school, turkey day, Christmas, and so on, pretty much the entirety of November and December are dedicated to Other Things that are not Game Development.

Usually, this extends quite a bit into January.  About the first half of this month, I was doing Nothing Game Development Related.

Part of the reason for this is that I am a new NetFlixian, and with my Mac hooked up to my TV, this means that I can stream a whole lot of things into my TV.  So I watched a couple of serial dramas, including Jericho and the first few seasons of Heroes.

However, this doesn’t mean that absolutely no game development has gone on since my last post, just not a whole lot, and definitely nothing releasable.

I have worked on three games: TextQuest Lite, Island Interloper, and Medieval Micromanager.

Now to temper this a bit, I am attempting in most cases to learn the lesson of HamQuest, which is to break out my game logic from my client display logic.

I still actually have to do this for TQLite, but it is early enough along to be able to do so without weeks of pain.  Likely, this is the next task for this game.

Here’s a breakdown of all of the games I am working on and where they are at:

HamQuest: I haven’t put an updated version up in ages, and that should probably be the next thing I do. While it is not in a perfect state, I don’t know how much energy I’ll be putting into it, and it is relatively stable at this point.

Assembla Space: http://www.assembla.com/wiki/show/hamquest

Island Interloper: I have the rudiments of a back end and console client going. I can navigate from one island to another, and the seeds of a commodity system are in place. Still can’t buy and sell commodities yet, but that’ll be next.

Assembla Space: http://www.assembla.com/wiki/show/d_-FIkM8ar3OV0eJe5afGb

Medieval Micromanager: Another rudimentary back end and console client. Currently, I can manage units and look at commodities. Next to put in in the land manager, at which point it’ll be close to functioning state.

Assembla Space: http://www.assembla.com/wiki/show/pdg-medievalmicromanager

Text Quest Lite: Not yet separated into back end/console client. I’ve gotten to the point of being able to perform a single action (Chewing Gum… takes 1 action point, and earns 1 experience point)

Assembla Space: http://www.assembla.com/wiki/show/tqlite

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Wii and Profiling PlayDeez.Com Traffic

Great news everyone!

One, my wife and I got a Wii. We just have Wii sports and Wii play at the moment, but as soon as a Wii fit becomes available, we’ll be getting that as well.

Other than that, it is probably unlikely to get a whole slew of games for it, other than downloading some classic games.

Two, I have put hit counters on the pages of PlayDeez.com.  They are invisible (I did a homebrew completely easy to spoof solution, but I don’t plan on keeping it around forever, so it doesn’t matter).

Why do this?

I knew that my website got a small smattering of hits each day, around 50 or so.  I wanted to know where those hits were going, since every page has a game on it, this will tell me which of my games are the most popular.

While I plan to let it go for a while longer, the answer is pipes/hexircuit, with Connect! being a close second.  Jetlag comes in third, and then click the yellow rhombus.

The reason that pipes is the big winner is mainly because I have it on widgetbox, and hence on facebook.

I do this so that I can know where my time is best spent.  Apparently the answer is pipes.

In other news, the HamQuest port is going nicely.  I’ve nearly got item populating, and creatures is next.  Believe it or not, the work from there to the end is rather simple.

I’ve also been giving a bit of thought to Medieval Micromanager, and some to Island Interloper.  I think MM is more likely to get some time spent on it first, but I’ve also got the Adventure Maker to finish up.