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Cole Wehrle on the design of Pax: Mouse Guard, Root
charlest wrote: I don't agree with the playtime comment. They play in almost exactly the same time for my group at 3-4 player count. Cthulhu Wars is a very fast game generally. It also requires no setup as the board is virtually empty when starting out.
Good enough for me. Retract that playtime comment, I've never played CW and went by the time estimates.
If you're struggling to get Nexus Ops or Small World out as well, you probably won't play much Root either.
"species-ism", Michael. Totally different. I'm interested to see if asymmetric DoaMs is actually going to be a design trend. Personally, I doubt it, but I'm also okay with being wrong here.
4 would be ideal, 3 would be good. Above that and I think we'd get into a rules mess for learning games. The games should turn around pretty fast, though, so plenty of opportunity to swap people around if we need to.
No dramas if that's no good for you guys.
UI is not its strong point, and "always run the logfile" is the mistake every new player makes.
A move per day is about all I'd ever expect. Rarely am I in a PBEM group that can turn around a full set of moves in 24 hours (it takes some careful timezone arranging, usually).
We're also all working adults, so "can't do it right now, move coming tomorrow" is a completely legit message. No stress there.
I'm able to take any base faction, I know the game reasonably well. I'm not picky if other people want to try something specific. (It's a good idea to know the rules of each faction and not just the one you pick, obviously).
Root doesn't really have a long opening development phase. Most special powers games have this extended period of building up and specializing. Root has shorn almost all of that off in higher player counts by having a very limited number of clearings and starting the cats as spread all over the map to start. So after maybe turn 1 or maybe 2 you are *in it*, brawling with the other players and racking up VPs quickly. It's an interesting choice. I don't know yet if it works or not, but it definitely separates it from a lot of these types of games.
(although, reacking up VPs quickly, not so much.... heh).
Seeing as the aim is to look at, I guess, situational power, I think that's pretty effective. "Here's the situation. What happens next? Who makes the grab, and how?"
I really like the guided narrative of it. The Eagles really make a lot of sense - pegged off in a corner surrounded by their ursupers, it feels right... as does their cumbersome way of doing things, in response. I'm sort of railroaded into action - i have to take those cats down - and yet, I've still got choices about how to do it.... pretty cool so far.
I know all the reviews have said it, but it's obvious how much you are going to need to know what the factions do to make it work for you. I get what the cats do, I kind of get what the Alliance can do, but that vagabond character is going to be pretty important.... which is a cool little thought bubble about power itself.