Players were eager to screw each other over as middle-men, making themselves a necessary evil in the cut-throat world of Fixer at Birmingham Boardgame Bash 5.

There were two regular playtests, trialling small variations to the game length to get the right balance between pressure to earn points and time to build your deck. In addition the third playtest was a crazy combination of a new game length variant, 5 players (to see if the game can take it) as well as 3 of the players each trying to break the game in their own way (and succeeding!).

Results

  • The game length does need some sort of limit, as otherwise the players could drag it on for a long time.
  • The game works fine with 5 players! A little bit of work is needed to fit it in right but nothing important was broken.
  • There is an exploit that can make it too easy to just make money from your deck, making the “normal” scoring method redundant.
  • Some cards are definitely too powerful while others are basically not worth buying – so some balancing is needed to make all cards important for different uses.
  • The “Dominion” style layout that the deck building part of the game originated from needs to go.
  • Recent changes to the high supply cards have effectively made them more balanced.

 

Next steps

  • A new layout of the card stacks (ditching the Dominion style layout) where the cards become available randomly will be developed.
  • The above layout will integrated with the availability of Nightlancer demands (which are the primary way of earning points), bringing in the gradually encroaching game end as part of the core gameplay.
  • Low-supply cards (like the start cards) will be given some extra abilities or utility to make them more rewarding.
  • Demand cards will be increased in value, to make them more competitive against the currently game-breaking strategy of Junkie grind.

 

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