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Grant KerwoodMemberJune 3, 2021 at 8:36 pm
I do not have a TTS group to play this with, but I played around with a few rounds playing multiple players, so some information may be inaccurate in terms of actual game play.
This game looks great!
I love the rulebook it is clear concise and is easy to understand.
The art looks great and is both clear to understand and graphically interesting.
Rule book suggestions:
In the rules I understood the income value of the different stratum, but it was not very clear and may be confusing to new players. Especially when you called the same number the gold cost later. You should clearly define this number under one term in the income phase.
“Play ends after 3 of the bedrock cards have been either dug or claimed.” I believe can be confusing with the “or” statement. It may be better to say “Play ends after 3 of the bedrock cards have been removed from the board.”
It is unclear if multiple artifacts flipped up at the end of your turn, if you are allowed to purchase both or not.
There does not appear to be a way to start, no one starts with any gold, and to place a card in your discard costs gold. so for my play test I gave each player 3 gold to start.
Sadly I found a way to break the game by making a boring “best possible strategy”, I am sure it can be fine tuned, but it illustrates how the more fun actions of: wondering whats under the tile your digging, and bluffing, can be beaten by someone who barely does anything on their turn.
Here are some statistics on how much money you lose by taking the dig action:
<div>Every time you dig grass you lose 0.43333 gold.</div><div>
Every time you top soil you lose 1.0167 gold.
Every time you dig deep you lose 2.0333 gold.
Every time you dig stone you lose 3.0167 gold.
Every time you dig bedrock you lose 3.8333 gold.
These numbers average to only gaining 1 gold a turn if you choose to dig. These numbers exclude soil piled on top, which with a single piece of soil will make it so you earn no gold in your turn.
Therefore I believe theoretically that the best thing to do on your turn is: 1. Check for a deeper stratum than the one on top of my discard, if so dig it if rich enough. 2. Do I have enough gold to Guarantee if I found an artefact If could purchase it? (those numbers are 5,10,12,14,16 ordered by descending stratum) If so dig in a place that matches my top discarded card. 3 Otherwise don’t dig. While this doesn’t cover the race to get as deep as possible once it has enough points, it should outperform most other strategy’s especially ones that focuses on the “fun” actions.
If the analysis action is to look at 1-2 card(s) privately; As it appears to be in the rules. I believe this move is a bad option, because you lose gold whenever you dig anyway. You should only dig when you are digging for an artefact. Looking makes it twice as expensive if you do it for 1 layer, and 1.5x as expensive if you do it for 2 layers. At that point you might as well dig anyway, and save your gold for purchasing artifacts.
This is a great game and I would hate to see it be shelved for the above reason, some ideas on how to improve this balance:
Have analysis cost 1 gold flat.
Have analysis be a required but free action.
Boost gold in each layer.
Reduce the cost of the deeper stratums.
Again this is a great game! I can’t wait to see where this game takes you guys. Also tell Dan that he did an amazing job on this game for me.