A Position of Ignorance

Being the online journal of Dan Percival

Time to plant some fruit! 14 February 2005, 2:19 PM
 
 

Bold capital letters are tents. Small letters are the stones that players have planted in orchards. Let me know if anything doesn't show up well.



dd
3b
-
- - - d
7a
- - -

m
2
m
- - v
5b
mm
- - - -
8b
m - - -




dd
3a
e
dd
4a
vv
- - d
6c
- - v
---- d
10
m - vvv
-----
9a
mm vv
- - - -
8c
M m - - -

- - -
6d
- - -
- - -
6b
- - -
eee d
8a
  - - - v
village
0
ddd
5a
m -
dd
4b
mm
- - d D
5c
- -




ee - -
7b
m - -
- - d
6a
m vv
- - - -
7d
- - v






ee - -
7c
- - -
- - -
5d
- v V







ee
4c
e -








E e----
9b
----





Eric: 15 stones
Dan: 9 stones
Vardibidian: 11 stones
Michael: 16 stones

Final scores:

Eric: 8a + 7b + 7c + 4c + 9b = 35
Dan: 3b + 7a + 3a + 4a + 6c + 5a + 4b + 5c = 37
Vardibidian: 4a + 6c + 10 + 9a + 6a + 7d + 5d = 47
Michael: 2 + 5b + 8b + 9a + 8c + 4b = 36

Turn history:

March

Rolls for turn order: Eric = 9, Dan = 8, Vardibidian = 6, Michael = 5
Setup: 4 (north), 5 (east), 6 (south), 8 (west)

1) Eric plants 0-8-west(6b), 6-0-1-1=4 stones, +8=12.
  Crows: 5 (no effect)
Dan plants 0-8-north(3), 6-0-2-1=3 stones, +8=11.
  Crows: 12 (no effect)
Vardibidian plants 0-8-3-north(7), 6-0-3-2-1=0 stones, +8=8).
  Crows: 7 (7 is cleared; Vardibidian 8+1=9 stones)
Michael plants 0-8-south(7b), 6-0-4-1=1 stone, +8=9.
  Crows: 3 (dv -> v, Dan 11+1=12 stones)
2) Eric plants 6b-8-3-4-0-6a-7b-south(7c), 12-1-4-2-1-0-1-2-1=0 stones, +8=8.
  Crows: 4 (the 4 is cleared; Eric 8+1=9 stones)
Dan plants 3-4-0-5-north(6c), 12-3-1-0-1-1=6 stones, +6=12.
  Crows: 4 (the 4 is cleared; Dan 11+1=13 stones)
Vardibidian plants 7a-3-4-0-6a-east(7d), 9-1-2-1-0-2-1=2 stones, +7=9.
  Crows: 9 (no effect)
Michael plants 7b-6a-0-5-east(4b), 9-2-3-0-2-1=1 stones, +7=8.
  Crows: 6 (6a evm -> em, 6b ee -> e, 6c d -> 0, Vardibidian 9+1=10, Eric 9+1=10, Dan 13+1=14)
3) Eric plants 7c-south(4c), 10-1-1=8 stones, +7=15.
  Crows: 7 (7a v-v=0, 7b emm-m=em, 7c ee-e=e, 7d v-v=0; E 15+1=16, V 10+2=12, M 8+1=9)
Dan plants 6c-4a-0-6a-7d-5-4b-north(10) (14-1-2-0-3-1-2-2-1=2 stones, +10=12)
  Crows: 6 (6a edm-e=dm, 6b e-e=0, 6c d-d=0; E 16+2=18, D 12+1=13)
Vardibidian plants 7d-6a-0-4a-6c-10-north(5b) (12-2-3-0-2-1-2-1=1 stones, +10=11)
  Crows: 9 (no effect)
Michael plants 4b-10-5b-west(2) (9-2-3-2-1=1 stones, +10=11)
  Crows: 5 (5a ddm - d = dm, 5b vm - v = m; D 13+1=14, V 11+1=12)
4) Eric plants 4c-7c-7b-6a-0-8-6b-west(6d) (18-1-1-2-4-0-4-1-1=4 stones, +8=12)
  Crows: 3 (3 edv - ? = ??)
Dan plants 10-6c-5a-0-4a-3-7a-west(3b) (14-3-2-2-0-3-2-1-1=0, +10=10)
  Crows: 6 (6a edvm - e = dvm, 6b e - e = 0, 6c dv - v = d, 6d e - e = 0; E 12+3=15, V 13+1=14)
Vardibidian plants 5b-10-east(9) (14-2-4-1=7 stones, +10=17)
  Crows: 7 (7a d - d = 0, 7b eem - e = em, 7c ee - e = e, 7d dv - d = v; E 15+2=17, D 10+2=12)
Michael plants 2-5b-10-9-north (11-1-2-5-2-1 = 0 + 10 = 10)
  Crows: 8 (8a eeedvm - e = eedvm, 8b m - m = 0; E 17+1=18, M 10+1=11)
5) Eric plants 6d-6b-8a-0-6a-7b-7c-4c-south(9b) (18-1-1-4-0-4-2-1-1-1 = 3 + 9 = 12)
  Crows: 8 (8a eeedvm - m = eeedv, 8b no effect; M 11+1=12)
Dan plants 3b-7a-3a-4a-6c-5a-4b-east(5c) (12-1-1-1-2-1-2-3-1=0 + 7 = 7)
  Crows: 10 (ddvvmm - m = ddvvm; M 12+1=13)
Vardibidian plants 9a-10-6c-4a-0-6a-south(5d) (17-2-4-3-3-4-1= 1 + 10 = 11)
  Crows: 6 (6a edvvm - e = dvvm, 6b e - e = 0, 6c ddv - d = dv, 6d e - e = 0; E 12+3=15, D 7+1=8)
Michael plants 8b-9a-east(8c) (12-1-3-1= 7 + 9 = 16)
  Crows: 10 (ddvvvm - d = dvvvm; D 8+1=9 stones)

April

Eric rolls for destination: 10

There being no way for Eric to reach the 10 with 15 stones, the game ends.

~ ~ ~

I've noticed that when there are competing mechanics that could be used in the game, the easier ones tend to fit better with the orchard metaphor and the ones that require more thought tend to fit better with the city metaphor. Because of that, I'm starting to think in terms of a two-game set, with "Valley of the Drupes" being the beginner game, with a sequel game "Drupe City" that's a bit more advanced. As always, name suggestions are welcomed.

I ran a quick playtest (just through the March phase) with a couple of people face-to-face, and based on that, here are the options I'm trying out in the current test game:

1) We're using tent option #1, more or less: you have a physical location on the board, starting each turn where you ended your last. After moving, collect income equal to the best orchard you planted in.

2) In a March turn, the new orchard is hidden until after you've laid out your path to it.

3) When rolling the Crows, an 11 or 12 has no effect.

4) When rolling for a destination in April, an 11 or 12 allows you to pick any orchard as your destination.

In that playtest, I noticed that playing with the tents makes it very difficult to visit the middle of the valley, since during March you're required to both start and end your turn on the perimeter. We also noticed that with hidden orchards, the first player's turn is automatic -- a bad way to start a game. To fix both of those things, game setup is changed slightly:

The game starts with everyone's tents on the "village" tile, which is essentially a 0-orchard -- always free to pass through, can't be planted in. Around the village are placed N orchards drawn from the top of the stack, where N is the number of players in the game (up to 4 is easy, 5 is done in a V shape, 6 is an H).

 

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