The objective of the game is to reach the end of the board through the use of dice and cards.
If you are the Renegade:
- Reach the end before both of the Non-Renegades.
If you are a Non-Renegade:
- Reach the end before the Renegade.
- Help your Non-Renegade counterpart to reach the end.
This is what Renegade looked like in its first play sessions:
A quick overview of what game pieces Renegade consists of and what does what:
- 3 Player figurines – To move around the board.
- 3 Allegiance cards – These decide whether you are the Renegade or not.
- 7 dice: 1 Black die for movement, 6 coloured die – 2 Red, 2 Green, 2 Blue.
- 15 cards of each Red, Green, Blue, Yellow.
- A board.
- Blank tiles, Tile tiles & Burn card tiles.
The Chest tile: When a player lands on these they roll 1 of each of the coloured dice. The highest value is the winning suit and the player picks up two of the same coloured cards as the winning suit of die.
The Burn Card tile: When a player lands on these they draw and play immediately 1 yellow card.
Pink tile: If a player is on or after this tile – they look at their own allegiance card and do not show or tell to any other player. This is always earlier in the game and before the Pink and Yellow tile.
Pink and Yellow tile: If a player is on or after this tile – they reveal their own allegiance card to every other player. This is always later in the game and after the single Pink tile.
The red, green and blue cards can be held in the players hand’s ready for use when they are drawn or at the start of that players turn. Red cards allow a player to move other players back ‘x’ amount of tiles, and some other similar ‘hindrance some other players’ cards. Green cards allow a player to move other players forward ‘x’ amount of tiles, and some other similar ‘benefit other players’ cards. Blue cards allows a player to switch places with another player, some of the blue cards allow the player to switch another players cards in their hand with cards in the ‘card player’s hand’. Yellow cards were always played immediately on pickup – these cards made people discard cards or move backward spaces.
What went well:
The escalation of intensity as the game went on & the anonymity.
The reveal points on the game board served exactly as intended. At the start no-one knows who they are, the first reveal tile/area – players understand what their role is in the current game and can start to tailor a strategy and understand what they need focus on in order to get to the finish first. The reveal to all tile/area – If the person revealing was the renegade, regardless if the other two people knew what their role was, it became blatantly obvious what was the role the other two players had to fulfill was. If the player revealing to all was not the renegade, the players who didn’t know what their role was, it became a priority to find out. The first reveal point was important to make players understand their role in that game. The second reveal point was important because it forced players to understand who they were with, and against.
The understanding of what needed to be done other than rolling a single dice for movement.
There was a clear understanding of the interactions and results that happened within the game – when landing on a chest the players knew to roll 1 of each of the coloured dice and to pick up two cards of the same colour as the winning dice colour. Player’s knew when they were able to play cards.
The amount of cards players received when landing on a chest tile.
Two cards were a good amount because with what the actions were of the cards, players were never overpowered or under powered.
What didn’t go so well:
No card stockpiling.
There was no limit on amount of cards players could play each turn. Because of no limit – every turn, if players had or received red or green cards, they were used immediately. There was no strategy to stockpile cards for later use.
Blue and Yellow cards.
Some of the actions on Blue and yellow cards were completely useless. Blue cards allowed players to switch hands of cards with another player. Yellow cards made players discard cards. If players had or received red or green cards, they were used immediately. There was no point throughout the game where players had any red or green cards in their hand – making most yellow and blue cards useless.
Switch Card is OP (Over Powered).
The blue switch card is practically a cheat card if you have one at the right time.
The flow of player action to interesting result.
Because most of the blue and yellow cards were rendered useless – it made the game play linear. It literally became a race with no strategy involved.
If a player landed on a burn card tile – nothing happened because of no-one having useful cards to discard = not interesting. Players could make other players discard blue cards (that switch hands of cards), but because no-one had cards, what’s the big deal about discarding a useless card?
If players landed on a chest tile – they rolled the dice and because of the highest value of a dice (which is random), if the winning suit was blue – it was a disappointment rather than a victory. If the winning suit was red or green it was still just an ‘eh’ situation which resulted in moving 1 or two players backwards or forwards because of all cards being played immediately. And as another result of everyone always playing all of their cards, if a player was to move another player onto a burn card tile, it was again, pointless.
Because we are paper prototyping and the board in it’s current state is a bunch of pieces of paper that can be moved around to change the board layout on desire. This is bad because of:
A) Any player could breathe or laugh and half of the board flies away.
B) There would be varying play test results because there isn’t a single board layout being tested repeatedly, it changed once per play test.
C) Because of the board being easily changeable, there was a particular game that had too many burn tiles placed either too close to each other or immediately after or before each other. C – was extremely bad for a number of reasons.
- Each time a player lands on a burn tile the player performs the action of a burn card. When the burn tiles are so close together it results in a mass chain of players moving onto and off of burn tiles. For example: a player lands on a burn tile – the card is a – Switch place with the player that is in last place. And then the person who is in last place is on a burn tile (but has already taken action). The two people who are switching are on burn tiles which means they both need to take action on a new burn card each. If each of those burn cards have an action or result that moves a player onto another burn space – well you get the point. It causes a snowball effect.
- In the event of multiple actions being taken as the result of a burn card there was no instruction or rule as to how or which action was to be resolved first. It was a mess. Players were taking random votes on what order the card actions should be resolved or if they should be resolved at all because a new burn card had changed the situation.
- This made the game length much longer than the required play time and slightly more agonizing/frustrating for some players, but for other so much more chaotic and fun.
The Game is too long.
The brief states that this game must be between 20-30 minutes of game play the first time they play. Everything after that must be faster than that. The majority of the play tests have run longer than 30 minutes even for players not playing for the first time.
Create a single fixed board layout and tweak from there. Use some form of board layout rather than movable pieces of paper. This will fix the Board Layout going wrong to the degree that it did in this play testing session. It will cement a board layout that will allow for tweaking and progression. Although imagine a board game where you get to set up your own layout each and every time. Don’t put burn tiles so close together and so consecutively – This will fix Board Layout C) 1. All of this combined will start to help fix The Game is too long.
Create a rule to only make a certain amount of cards playable per turn. – This will help resolve No card stockpiling, Blue and Yellow cards & The flow of player action to interesting result.
Change some of the functionality of the red, green, blue and yellow cards to more interesting interactions which results in a higher risk vs reward and give people a reason to want to wait to play certain cards. This will help resolve No card stockpiling, Blue and Yellow cards, Switch Card OP & The flow of player action to interesting result.
Create some form of rule or instruction or stack overflow for actions if multiple burn cards occur. This will fix Board Layout C) 2.
Find a reason to perform revealing to ‘self’ and ‘others’ to fit into the context of the game. This wasn’t a bad thing at this point, people were just making observations and suggestions that they might like a reason as to why this is apparent all of a sudden.
Utilize the coloured dice rolling upon landing on a chest tile to make risk vs reward ‘random’, rather than just ‘random’.
Until next time –