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Find and colonize planets, harvest resources for trade and research new technology to build the best Empire!  A "Space Civ-Lite" Game
Find and colonize planets, harvest resources for trade and research new technology to build the best Empire! A "Space Civ-Lite" Game
699 backers pledged $48,378 to help bring this project to life.

Word on progress! And licensing!

In case you didn't hear, I missed last week's update because I was at KublaCon in San Francisco! I had a great time, and met some Tasty Minstrel fans while I was there - that's always fun :)

This week we have some news on the printing progress, some other exciting news about licensing, and finally, another Tech Card Highlight. Let's get to it!

NEWS

We have received an updated estimate of a completion date for manufacturing of all of our games: Eminent Domain, Belfort, and Homesteaders 2nd Edition! They tell us that they expect production to finish June 29th, with the follow up 2nd printing of Eminent Domain to be finished about July 15. From that I'll let you all figure out for yourselves when the games may be delivered, because your guess is as good as ours - you now have all the information we have! We will not be able to answer questions like "when will we see them in Germany?" However, Michael has posted about the allocation of the print runs, to pre-emptively answer some of the questions that may pop up.

Another exciting piece of news is that Arclight Games has licensed Eminent Domain and will be printing 1000 copies in Japanese!


A few reminders
:

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

We know it's been a while since you pledged, and some of you have had a change of address since then. Please be sure to email michael@tastyminstrelgames.com if your address has changed so that Mike can update your info and your game will be mailed to the right location! Sending email to the above address will work, leaving your new address in the comments MIGHT work (and also might result in stalkers at your new home), and posting a comment or emailing simply to say that you've moved but not telling us your new address will NOT work.

PREVIEW NIGHTS

There is still some space (but not much) to get in on the Eminent Domain Preview Nights!  Tell your FLGS to email preview@playtmg.com for an auto-reply with instructions.

Additionally, email michael@tastyminstrelgames.com with the name, phone number, contact name, and address of any stores you refer. That way Mike can get you entered to win copies of all Tasty Minstrel Games titles!

EXOTIC EXPANSION

The print and play expansion files have been added to the DropBox folder. Those of you with a Print and Play copy who would like to try the expansion out, I encourage you to do so - I ask only 2 things... 

1. Please remember that the expansion is unfinished, and therefore...

2. If you do play it, please let me know what you thought of it, both generally (was it fun?) and specifically (what was lame, what would you have liked to see?)

Those of you without a Print and Play copy, the original files are there as well - feel free to take a look, and if you like download them and print them out.

Please do not remove anything from that folder! Thanks!

TECH CARD HIGHLIGHT:
STREAMLINING & HYPEREFFICIENCY

This week I'll discuss one of the fundamental dynamics of the deck building mechanism: deck thinning. Back in the day when I used to play Magic: the Gathering, my friends and I became well aware of the side benefit of cards which did things like put land into play from your deck - not only did they provide more land in play, but the fact that it removed the land from the deck turned out to be more powerful than we first realized. It meant you didn't have to draw those lands later when you would prefer to draw better cards. That dynamic has made it's way into all of the deck building games out there in one way or another.

In Dominion the most obvious card that thins your deck is Chapel, who's only effect is to remove cards from the game so you need not draw them anymore. It has been argued that Chapel is overpowered because of how efficiently it thins your deck! There are other cards too which allow you to thin your deck of lowly Copper cards while simultaneously adding better (Silver for example) cards.

Thunderstone allows you to spend a turn "resting" to remove something useless from your deck in lieu of taking a regular turn.

In Eminent Domain you are required to add a card to your deck every single turn - so I thought it made sense if one of the standard things you could do, in lieu of your action for the turn, was thin your deck of unwanted cards. The Research action does exactly that - it allows you to remove up to 2 cards in hand from the game, so you never have to see them again. A player could spend the majority of their Action phases playing Research cards, and keeping their deck very trim - which could lead to more controlled or more efficient Role selection, but it comes at the expense of doing other things with those actions.

Improved Research is a better version of the Research action, allowing you to first draw 1 card, then remove up to 3 from the game. Let's look at two higher level tech cards that can help thin your deck, thereby making your Empire more efficient!

Streamlining is a level 2 technology which allows you to streamline your deck by removing 1 unwanted card from the game each turn. Since you must increase your deck size by 1 each turn, this tech does not REDUCE the number of cards in your deck, but it does help keep your deck from getting any larger or more diluted. Note that this is like 1/2 of the Research action every turn, in addition to taking your regular action for the turn!

Hyperefficiency is a level 3 technology, and thereby should be even stronger than Streamlining. As you can see, it allows you to remove ANY NUMBER of cards in hand from the game each turn. Given a couple of uses, this could really bring a bloated deck back into focus!

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Selling out...

NEWS

As you probably saw in Michael's email update, we appear to have sold or allocated MORE than the initial 5000 copies from the initial print run! We have made arrangements for additional copies to be produced, which should arrive just a few days after the first shipment if not at the same time. Needless to say, that's pretty exciting!

DESIGNER AND PUBLISHER DIARIES ON BGG

The other day W. Eric Martin of BoardGameGeek News has posted a Designer Diary I wrote, discussing the development of Eminent Domain, and today he posted a Publisher's Diary by Mike discussing some of the process we went through and some of the things that we think contributed to a successful Kickstarter Campaign.

OTHER STUFF

Eminent Domain was not the first game to use Kickstarter, ad it wasn't the first to be successful. However, since our campaign there have been a large number of game projects being kickstarted. Most of the game projects are things I've got no experience with, but there is one campaign going on now for a game I have played... Venture Forth, by BGDF member Dan Manfredini is being Kickstarted by James Matthes and Minion games. I don't want to make a habit of promoting other KS project in updates for my KS project because it feels a bit Spammy to me, but I did get a chance to play Venture Forth a few months ago, and I did enjoy the game, so I thought I'd mention it.

And finally, a few reminders:

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

We know it's been a while since you pledged, and some of you have had a change of address since then. Please be sure to email michael@tastyminstrelgames.com if your address has changed so that Mike can update your info and your game will be mailed to the right location! Sending email to the above address will work, leaving your new address in the comments MIGHT work (and also might result in stalkers at your new home), and posting a comment or emailing simply to say that you've moved but not telling us your new address will NOT work.

PREVIEW NIGHTS

Our current estimates for the Eminent Domain Preview Nights is somewhere between 200 and 300 stores participating. THERE IS STILL TIME FOR STORES TO GET IN ON IT. Tell your FLGS to email preview@playtmg.com for an auto-reply with instructions.

Additionally, email michael@tastyminstrelgames.com with the name, phone number, contact name, and address of any stores you refer. That way Mike can get you entered to win copies of all Tasty Minstrel Games titles!

EXOTIC EXPANSION

The print and play expansion files have been added to the DropBox folder. Those of you with a Print and Play copy who would like to try the expansion out, I encourage you to do so - I ask only 2 things... 

1. Please remember that the expansion is unfinished, and therefore

2. If you do play it, please let me know what you thought of it, both generally (was it fun?) and specifically (what was lame, what would you have liked to see?)

Those of you without a Print and Play copy, the original files are there as well - feel free to take a look, and if you like download them and print them out.

Please do not remove anything from that folder! Thanks!

TECH CARD HIGHLIGHT:
SPECIALIZATION & WEAPON EMPORIUM

Last week I discussed two tech cards that can support a Produce/Trade strategy when you have a diverse set of planets/resources in your Empire. This week we have 2 more cards that can support different kinds of trade strategies:

Specialization rewards a player for producing multiple resources of the same type - like Diverse Markets, but for specializing rather than diversifying. Often a player who is in a position to take this card will have several Advanced planets in play (as Specialization is an Advanced technology card) - so perhaps they'll specialize in Silicon - but not necessarily. In any case, whenever the Specialization card comes up, you can expect a nice, juicy Trade role garnering several extra points! 

Weapon Emporium is a very interesting card, as it stays in play rather than going into your hand and allows you to trade Fighters as if they were resources. This can fit into a deck that has thus far been busy collecting a number of Fighters and attacking a number of planets while your opponents have begun calling Produce and Trade a lot. Researching out Dr. Mayhem's Weapon Emporium means you can leech a few points whenever your opponents call trade, or if you try hard enough you can actually create a situation where you actively trade handfuls of Fighters for points!

EDIT: Some people were having trouble with the pictures, so I'm uploading them again at the bottom of the post. Sorry for any inconvenience!

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  • Image 44445 original

Exotic Expansion files available for print and play

For those interested, I have finally added the print and play files for the Exotic expansion to the DropBox folder. Those who have print and play copies and would like to try out the expansion (work in progress), feel free to do so! If you do, please leave your feedback!

Anyone not interested in the expansion yet, sorry for the extra update!

- Seth

Update #42 - Holy smokes!

We're at update #42... where does the time go? This week we don't have much in the way of news.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

We know it's been a while since you pledged, and some of you have had a change of address since then. Please be sure to email michael@tastyminstrelgames.com if your address has changed so that Mike can update your info and your game will be mailed to the right location!

PREVIEW NIGHTS

Last I heard, 53 stores have signed up for the Eminent Domain Preview Nights so far, and 150 more have expressed interest. Don't forget to tell your FLGS to check it out!

PRODUCTION

Issues from the production samples have been sorted out, and production will finally begin within a couple of days! By next week's update we should have a good idea when that will finish up and what date the games will set sail for our warehouse.

EXOTIC EXPANSION

The print and play expansion files have not been posted because I have not had as much opportunity to test them as I would like. I have arranged for some playtesting to occur this weekend, and if I like how that goes then I will post the expansion files to the DropBox folder.

TECH CARD HIGHLIGHT:
DIVERSE MARKETS & GENETIC ENGINEERING

This week's tech card highlight covers a couple level 2 techs that can form the backbone of a trading strategy. Diverse Markets and Genetic Engineering both reward a player for either trading or producing a variety of resources rather than specializing in any one resource. This means that they are good when you have many resource types (and therefore planet types) represented in your Empire.

In general, a Research strategy benefits from concentrating on 1 planet type, because you need 3 of the same type of planet in play to get the high scoring technology cards. A trading strategy doesn't care too much which planets are in play, but with these 2 technologies, it pays to diversify. Both Diverse Markets and Genetic Engineering become potentially stronger with the Exotic expansion, as the new Exotic planets will have their own resource type!

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Manufacturing samples, Exotic Expansion, and more Tech Card Highlights!

PRODUCTION SAMPLES

We were very excited to receive the production samples of Eminent Domain (and Belfort and Homesteaders) last week - you can see a picture below. There was so much stuff in Belfort that it wouldn't all fit in the box! Mike went through each game very carefully and found a few items on each one that we want to make sure are corrected before printing thousands of copies. In Eminent Domain for example, 1 card was misaligned and would have been severely miscut, and the resource disk sizes and colors weren't quite what we wanted. This is why it's important to get manufacturing samples! These small errors are getting fixed, and then production can begin!

PROTOTYPE FILES AND EXOTIC EXPANSION

Last week I mentioned that I was opening up the DropBox folder with the prototype files for Eminent Domain in preparation for releasing the expansion for print and play testing to those interested. Again, the files in that folder are for the PROTOTYPE cards (not the fancy ones with the final art) in order to play the game, and especially to play with the Expansion. If you haven't already joined that folder (the same one as was originally used for the print and play of the base game) and want to, please send me an email using the following guidelines:

Mail to: seth@tastyminstrelgames.com
Subject: EmDo DropBox
Body: Include the email address you use (or would like to use) for DropBox

And I'll send you an invite to a shared folder where the prototype files live. Please do not remove files from that folder, simply copy them onto your hard drive. I plan on putting the Exotic Expansion files in there this weekend! So if you are looking forward to printing and trying the expansion cards, keep your eyes peeled for that!

Remember: The expansion is unfinished and is subject to change! If you do print and play the expansion, please leave comments (a txt or doc file in the DropBox folder will suffice) - did you like it? did you hate it? Is there something you really wish were different? Now's your chance to influence the final version of the game!

TECH CARD HIGHLIGHTS: SURVEY TEAM, DATA NETWORK, AND WAR PATH

The Technology cards in Eminent Domain have neat, unique actions which can help to shape your strategy - but another feature that should not be overlooked is their symbols. Each tech card has 2 symbols, and many of the Level 2 technologies have 2 of the same symbol, allowing you to really boost a role. Let's take a look at 2 such cards:

Survey team 

The action on Survey Team is very useful - allowing you to get a planet into your Empire without having to call the Survey Role. This means you do not need to add another Survey card to your deck, and more importantly you do not need to give your opponents a chance to follow that role! But Survey Team also has 2 Survey symbols, which means it's very useful when another player calls Survey as well - you may find yourself hard pressed to decide whether to use Survey Team to follow and grab a planet, or to use it on your own turn as an action!

Data Network

The Data Network action is great for stripping your deck of junk in the late game and making it more efficient. If nothing else it acts as a Survey card (draw 2)... but the real strength of Data Network is the 2 Research symbols on it - making it considerably easier to build up to 5 or the elusive 7 symbols needed to obtain higher level Technologies. Data Network is essential for a heavy research strategy.

War Path

War Path has 2 Warfare symbols, which allows you to collect a lot of Fighters in a short period of time. The action allows you to use those fighters more efficiently to flip 2 planets at once. This card could be the cornerstone of a warfare strategy concentrating on simply getting planets into play and then flipping them.

PRODUCTION SAMPLE PHOTO

Finally, below you can see a photo of the production samples. They're not made by the regular process, and you can kind of tell by looking that they're not the real boxes - but it's still exciting to see the full size box art! I have to say, I really like how my signature looks on the Limited Edition Eminent Domain box! :)

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