So it's been a number of days since I hosted Space Game and Sorcerer's Duel at the Second Saturday Playtest. Overall things went well. While playing Space Game however, some players were receiving elements from planets that didn't have that element associated with them. I realized I'd made a mistake and packed Space Game Mine cards wrong.
Given that fact, the play test itself wasn't a great measure of how the game stood at the moment. I also realized that by increasing the distance of some of the planets from Airia, the trips to go out and gather materials and supplies further exacerbated the problem of "lost time." Lost time is where a player can only complete 1 action on their turn while leaving the secondary half of their turn unused. This is a common problem with board games. I had thought by increasing the distance and manipulating the actions a slight bit would relieve this issue. I was mistaken.
I haven't been able to do it yet but I need to fully deconstruct the board, the cards, and the actions available and revamp the entire thing. I may move to add an asteroid or derelict vessel in the game to liven up the starting portion of the game where it's not very quick. Additionally given the distance between planets and Airia, it has increased the gameplay tie as well. I want game play to sit at no more than 1 hour, (including explanation). It's currently sitting at well over 1.5 hours.
As for Sorcerer's Duel, it also had some issues. Two players dueled, gave various feedback while playing, and then asked if they could play it again. The thinking was that the player who lost, had just been dealt a poor starting hand and was not able to get things up and running.
That was not the case. It in fact boiled down to 1 card in particular that was screwing things up for him. I knew that that particular card was causing issues with the game, and had taken steps to mitigate it. However, those steps I'd taken had not done much to change the outcome.
Typhoon, the cards name, allows you to rotate 3 elements in the center 180 degrees. Originally this only required you to have a certain amount of mana. Then I added the caveat that a player needed to discard a card to actually play it. This additional caveat didn't help much at all. So now I added in that Typhoon needed to be destroyed after play, as well as increasing it's mana cost. I'm hopeful this will mitigate some of the issues. I also reduced the number of Typhoon cards in the deck.
I also added in two other cards with this. One, Mulligan, allows the player to discard their entire hand and draw back up to 4 cards. The other, Chaos, allows the player to rotate all cards 180 degrees. This has the benefit of mixing up all of the elements to the opposite side, not just by choice.
I'm hoping that with these additional cards as well as the reduction of replayability of Typhoon will ease playing and increase fun. For the rules sides of things I also stated that the element cards at the beginning of each round must be set back to their starting state. (i.e. two facing one player and two facing the other player)
If you want the new decks and ruleset it's available here.
One man team heading the independent board game company in Eugene, OR.