DR Comments and suggestions

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DR Comments and suggestions

Postby PieAir » 25 Oct 2015, 17:43

Thanks everyone for helping out with the first playtest. Since the goal of the playtest was to see if the map has potential and to find possible improvements, I'd be very much interested in your comments and suggestions. More specifically, I'd be interested in the following:

- Do you feel that the map is balanced, or that some powers are under or overpowered?
- How would you rank the provinces in terms of 1) growth potential, 2) defensive position and 3) strategic/alliance flexibility?
- Did you have the feeling that you had enough tactical options in the game or were there instances in which you felt that the map was holding you down by not providing enough tactical alternatives?
- Did you have the feeling that you had enough options to choose from alliance-ways, or did you have the feeling that the map more or less pushed you into a certain direction?
- Did you feel that you could 'sell' your builds before the first year to everyone, or did you already felt forced to commit with your first builds?
- Are there any specific changes that you think would improve the map?
- Are there any other comments or thoughts you'd like to share?

Please be as elaborate as possible in answerhing these questions, the more feedback the bettter. Thanks again for playing and I'm looking forward to your thoughts!
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Re: DR Comments and suggestions

Postby Gooderian » 25 Oct 2015, 19:42

First, some gelre comments:

In the game, I made a NAP with my northern neighbor Overijssel and never looked back north. The impassable area nest to Zwolle and Deventer is a good thing by preventing a full-on invasion by Overijssel, but it also prevents any move north by my forces might I want to make one.

I didn´t have many reasons to invade Utrecht, since it is easy to defend against and Brabant is much more attractive with 2 builds. Taking those commits me to a southern struggle, which in turn allows Utrecht to pick up 2 builds and become a fortress and a threat to both me and Holland.

@PrinceofParma: I am really curious about your thoughts, since you played Utrecht.

Next, comments about the north: The northern three powers of Overijssel, Groningen and Friesland all suffer from a lack of options. Friesland has really small chances to take Coevorden, and if it somehow does its overextended garrison provides an easy target for either of the 2 remaining powers. Because of this, moving west is the only option.
Friesland is hard to attack for Groningen, and to the east is the border of the map. So his only option is to move south, via Coevorden into Overijssel and beyond.

Lastly, Overijssel can´t do a lot at all. Urk is taken year one, but then what? Gelre takes a while to even start invading because of the impassible area, and Groningen will put up a fight for Coevorden. The window to Friesland is only one space big, easy to block.

I can´t really comment about the coastal provinces of Holland and Zeeland, I´ll leave that to JonS and Joe92.
A few suggestions:
1. Make Ameland reachable for Groningen in year one, so he has a reason to engage Friesland in more ways then just saying ¨hey let´s make peace¨
2. At the very end of your post, better is written with a triple T.
3. Expand the number of Neutral SCs in the northern area. My first suggestion is to add another German SC, and move the Zwolle home SC east (to Twente) in order to make moving south easier for Overijssel, plus expanding the conflict north.
4. RENAME NIJKERK TO ERMELO!


Those are my first thoughts, let´s hear it from the others!
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Re: DR Comments and suggestions

Postby PrinceofParma » 25 Oct 2015, 22:05

First some confessions;

First, I was in notoriously bad form for communicating to the further reaches for the map. As such, after writing an early message to the said reaches of the map, I forgot all about hunting them down, and to be honest I was not punished accordingly.

Secondly, I entirely forgot that this was only going to be... So short. I am certain I would have done worse had I known this :D .

Secondly thoughts concerning Utrecht.

1. I really liked it as a defensive position.
2. Had I been more careful in my play I would have had many options.
3. It is quite possible that my fleet in the unsayable water area just north of the unpronounceable seacoast, may have eventually moved north, but I think that would have required quite a touch of diplomacy beyond me.
In conclusion of Utrecht;
Pros
I really liked the defensive abilities,
The positioning seemed most versatile,
And no-one in their right mind would invade me by sea!

Cons
The names... It is pathetic I know, but the sea zones made for some excruciating orders. I consider myself a good and capable speller, and seriously do not like being corrected on my spelling, which happened twice... So if you have names that are slightly more passable to the English trained mind, or ones that I can tie down with battles I have read of, I would be quite pleased.


General thoughts on the map. (Pardon my offhanded spelling.)

Seems to allow Grongigen almost the most gunboat like play possible, and really, unless they have serious chip on their shoulder against Friesland, I can think of nothing better for them to do than an improvised Juggernaut on the Overjessel. Overjessel is therefore somewhat tied up with Grongenien and Friesland, and unable to really effectively think about anything else. No one can really help them, or at least not until they are certain to be at the disadvantage.

Holland was pleasing to my mind, as I recognized all of the territories and had fond memories of studying their histories. Their options are varied, and they actually can think seriously about going into the Atlantic. Zealand likewise interested me with its options and the canals in particular seemed fascinating and quite nicely kept them from being entirely trapped at sea.

I of course may be biased in this regard, but it seems very favorable to the men of Utrecht to look into war with the province of Gelre, as soon as the first year is over. This of course equally should interest the men of Gelre in eliminating Utrecht. This also seems somewhat constricting, because if Grongengien and Friesland are into some sort of war with Overjessel it will be very dangerous for Gelre to do anything about it.

Over all, good map, but would like slightly more pronounceable/rememberable/well-known place names (no offense if you live in Ijsselstein, but that is really no fun to try and say that out-loud), also if the such-such sea (both halves) could be divided into five or six more spaces and not exactly slow things down for anyone. And maybe do something for Grongegen so they can discuss something at all with Utrecht and Zealand.
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Re: DR Comments and suggestions

Postby ThorondorNL » 26 Oct 2015, 00:42

As Groningen I didnt feel like I had another choice then either to attack Friesland or to cooperate with Friesland. I started good but forgot to communicate much and some strange orders more random then normal, as to the NMR in the build phase I forgot it completely :( (was used to three day builds because of the running seismic which had that).

I feel like Groningen has no options once the positions are set around Coevorden, it will become a big stalemate in my opinion.

The names are typically dutch, I think they could easily be shortened all a lot haha
"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie."
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Re: DR Comments and suggestions

Postby Nanook » 26 Oct 2015, 02:10

From the perspective of running it, I had two main thoughts. One, is theses spaces really need work. Just the names--too many names that all sound the same to an English thinking mind, it gets very confusing. And makes for some very difficult abbreviations.

Second, I believe this game would be better served as a six power game rather than seven. I'm not sure exactly who should be cut and how it should be realigned, I haven't spent enough time thinking of that, but everything felt a little too crowded to me, and I think making it six players instead of seven and realigning centers to accommodate that would ease that crowdedness quite a bit.
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Re: DR Comments and suggestions

Postby joe92 » 26 Oct 2015, 15:22

Having read through the thread I agree with a lot that has been said here. Will add my own thoughts too.

Firstly, PieAir, thanks for developing the map. It is extremely well made was overall a fun map to play, but as requested here are my constructive criticisms:

From the perspective of Holland, the country no one voted for, I think it has way too many enemies while Zeeland has too few. Within 2 spaces Holland borders Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelre and Friesland - 67% of the other players. Meanwhile, within 2 spaces Zeeland only borders Holland - 17% of the other players. This creates a very difficult situation for both. As Holland I was having to talk to everybody making deals left right and centre, but I didn't feel like I could make any deal with Zeeland. The reason being, the geography of the map only gives Zeeland 1 way to realistically expand, and that is through Holland. So I committed my lower 2 units to attacking Zeeland and there was nothing Zeeland could say to change my mind. Perhaps a different Holland would have a different view, but that was mine.

My other criticism would be that Holland is split into two. Like Russia in standard dip, as Holland I was having to fight two different fronts right from the get go. But unlike Russia in standard dip, I didn't have the advantageous position of my back to the wall. After 2 years Friesen fleets were in the seas to my west, Zeeland was to my south and Gelre to my east. It was very hard to consolidate my forces into a defensible position. If the other problem was fixed though, I feel this would be less of an issue.

I didn't have problems with the names, but perhaps to solve the naming problem for others you could add 3-letter abbreviations to the map. Zuidelijke Zuiderzee could be Zzz for example ;)

PieAir wrote:- Do you feel that the map is balanced, or that some powers are under or overpowered?
- How would you rank the provinces in terms of 1) growth potential, 2) defensive position and 3) strategic/alliance flexibility?
- Did you have the feeling that you had enough tactical options in the game or were there instances in which you felt that the map was holding you down by not providing enough tactical alternatives?
- Did you have the feeling that you had enough options to choose from alliance-ways, or did you have the feeling that the map more or less pushed you into a certain direction?
- Did you feel that you could 'sell' your builds before the first year to everyone, or did you already felt forced to commit with your first builds?
- Are there any specific changes that you think would improve the map?
- Are there any other comments or thoughts you'd like to share?


To answer the questions directly:
- As stated above.
- Growth potential: Gelre. Defensive position: Utrecht. Strategic / alliance flexibility: Holland.
- I think Holland had enough tactical options but Zeeland did not.
- I had options in terms of alliances but felt the map pushed me against Zeeland.
- I could have probably sold my builds, but I didn't negotiate much on this round. Perhaps in another game I would spend a little more time negotiating during this round.
- As stated above.
- All been said that I can think of.

I would be interested to hear Zeeland's thoughts on this map.
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