Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Distant Colonies Playtest Report

After a bit of playtesting, I wanted to update how things were going in Distant Colonies. I'll give a card-by-card report for the ones I got around to using.

To put it simply, this card is absolutely bonkers. I played a game where it comboed ridiculously well with Rabble, and utterly stomped. It may have just been a lucky combo, so further testing is required. I am considering bumping this to a $5 cost.

I think this card is exactly where I want it to be. It does everything I want it to, in exactly the way I want it to.

Almoner is pretty fun to play with. It generates interesting decisions, and allows you to develop a strategy based on the differences in your decks. I am actually considering reducing the cost to $2; its main effect cannot stack, so it being amassable isn't an issue, and opening it in a 5/2 split shouldn't put that player at an overwhelming advantage. The general philosophy on pricing is to make it as cheap as possible, so this change follows that principle.

I want to play more with Curio Stand. In the games I played with it, it didn't really work as a key card, and didn't get much play. When it was used however, I really liked having it.

I liked this one. It can be a star in the right circumstances, and it can help out a lot of decks in subtle ways. It takes some thought to use correctly. I am pretty happy with how it is now.

I didn't play with the Alchemy ones (as I don't own the physical Alchemy or potions), so no new information here. I am still considering tweaking these, though I want playtest data first.

Pretty awesome. I like how this card works; you can use it as a silver that gets you two more silver - up until when the pile runs out - then everything goes bust, and your deck is swimming in junk cards. I had fun with it the games where I had it.

Bookkeeper is probably the ultimate trap card. You can get an early province very quickly, simply by clearing out your starting estates (or shelters) and buying one extra copper. However, greening hurts a Bookkeeper deck much, much more than a regular money deck.

I may be judging it harshly, as it was up against Swindler, which is a pretty hard counter. Swindler adds junk and removes coppers. One of Bookkeeper's key weaknesses is the lack of +buy, so amassing coppers is difficult. It also didn't help that on two occasions, it managed to swindle a Bookkeeper for a Moneylender.

It is hard to tell if this card needs significant rework, or is exactly right. It seems too difficult to integrate into a wider strategy, so it may be that the cultist-esque play-from-hand effect is replaced with a generic +1 action, though that may have cascading balance effects.

Additional testing is needed.

This card feels great to use. It has a very similar application to Menagerie, though with slightly different nuances. I like it; my only concern is its similarity to its Cornucopian cousin.

Did not get a chance to try it. No new info here.

I was reasonably happy with how this card played. I actually ended up using a trash-for-benefit card on it a couple of times, and I think it is a reasonable penalty; I don't want it to be too harsh in case it gets hit by a Swindler/Knight/Saboteur.

Played it. liked it. I didn't get extensive enough use of this to be for sure, but I think this card is where it should be.

As a side note (and not at all related to my testing): this card is basically a counter to Rebuild. It is cheap enough to amass, and will probably be worth at least 4 VP by game end.

I think I am going to scrap this card. I didn't actually do any testing for it, but I lost all enthusiasm for it once I saw a kingdom with it in it.

When I tried this card out, it was very weak. In most cases, you were much better off just buying the other $5 card, and skipping Metallurgist entirely.

I still like the concept though, so I will have to come up with some ways to buff it. I have a few variants in mind; possible additions:

  • Give +X cards. This should help it to connect to treasure better, as well as making it useful in a hand without silver or gold.
  • Gain 1 or 2 silver when you play it. This helps to propel it along, and ensures a constant supply of silver for it to consume.
  • Reduce the cost, possibly in conjunction with some of the other buffs. By having it not compete with the $5 cost cards it is trying to gain, it should help it become a more desirable option. I'd prefer not to go this route though.
  • Allow it to trash coppers as well, though for no additional benefit. It helps it fit thematically with Forge, and gives it an alternate use. It pretty sharply shifts the feel of the card, so it isn't something I'd jump in with just yet.
  • Remove the no victory cards clause. This is something I'd rather not do, as it makes it too swingy, to potentially cash in your BM deck for several Dutchies in the final rounds on a lucky hand. 

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