Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 23, 2010.

Update #42

Update #42 - Holy smokes!

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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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Update #41

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

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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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Update #40

Progress!

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MORE CARDS POSTED

To start things off this week, we have posted some more final cards over at BGG:

* Bureaucracy, sponsored by Todd Derscheid and illustrated by Ryan Johnson

* War Path, illustrated by Ryan Johnson

* Data Network, sponsored by Alfredo Nevarez and illustrated by Eric J Carter

All three are images you'd seen before, but now they are up in final card form. They all look great, but Data Network is one of my favorite illustrations from the game! See how many of the visible web pages you can identify.

PRODUCTION PROOF PROGRESS

We just learned this morning that the the proofs and materials package for Eminent Domain (and Homesteaders and Belfort) have been sent for our approval via fedex, and the package is scheduled to arrive on Friday by 10:30am! Hopefully everything will be 100% correct and they can get to printing the actual game already! Can you tell I'm a little antsy?

PRINT AND PLAY EXPANSION NEWS

For those following my game design blog, you have heard that I fixed my technical problem which was keeping me from making PDF files. That means I am 1 step closer to releasing the Exotic Expansion for Print and Play testing! I still want to try some of the new stuff I have added and make sure the expansion is ready for mass consumption before releasing it, but in preparation for that I will re-open the DropBox for Print and Play files for the base game - for those that missed out before. If you are interested in printing out the PROTOTYPE cards (not the fancy ones with the final art) in order to play the game, and especially to play with the Expansion in a week or so, 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. In about a week I will announce when the Exotic Expansion files will become available.

TECH CARD HIGHLIGHTS: LOGISTICS AND PRODUCTIVITY

Let's take a look at a couple of the Level 3 technologies. Level 3 tech costs a bundle - you must play 7 Research symbols at a time (no small feat), AND you must have 3 planets of the same type in play before you can purchase one. These technologies are intended for players concentrating on a heavy Research strategy, not someone who just picks up a tech card here or there while they focus on something else. Therefore, they have 2 features to really reward that kind of effort and investment:

Influence, and power!

Influence: Each Level 3 technology is worth 5 Influence! Compare that to the planets and you'll see it's nothing to scoff at! In many games, especially 4 player games, your big late game play will simply be to get a Level 3 tech into play, never mind using it's ability. Like the big buildings in Puerto Rico, dropping a 5 point bomb in Eminent Domain can be the nail in your opponent's coffin.

Power: As I mentioned, the 5 Influence is reason enough to go for a Level 3 tech. But if they were merely worth points, what fun would that be? Instead, each Level 3 tech stays in play, and has a powerful ability on it. In some games this ability won't be in play long enough to use more than once or twice, but in other games, especially 2 player games, it's possible to get these techs into play and utilize their ability to overcome your opponent!

Each Level 3 technology is two-sided, and you can only have 1 side in play in any given game... let's take a look at the Level 3 Metallic technologies:

Productivity (see image, below)is a fairly straightforward ability - instead of playing just 1 card per turn, you can play 2! That's twice as many, and therefore it's obviously a good ability to have! This allows you to do things like Survey for 2 cards in hopes of finding a particular card to play, or collect that last Fighter needed to attack a planet. When combined with Improved technology cards this becomes even more exciting!



Logistics is far less straightforward than Productivity, but can easily be as good. It allows you to play the Action and Role phases of your turn in any order. So what does that mean? Most obviously it means you can use a Warfare Role to collect several Fighters, then a Warfare action to attack a planet - rather than having to wait for the next turn. Similarly, you could use a colonize Role followed by a Colonize action in order to flip a planet more quickly. You could also use a research Role to obtain a new Technology card, and then play it for its Action effect right away. The power of this ability is in the timing, allowing you the flexibility to be a lot more efficient with your turns.

PREVIEW NIGHT - COMING SOON!

Just another reminder of the Eminent Domain Preview Night promotion. I'd hate for anybody to forget! Tell your local retailer to get signed up! Hopefully next update we'll have a better idea of when these Preview Night events will occur, since we'll have seen the proofs and may know better what the actual printing schedule is. Until then, have a good week!

- Seth

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Update #39

More final card images at BGG, and more Tech Card Highlights!

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New final cards posted:

The new cards uploaded this week to BGG are:

Fertile Ground Improved Colonize Improved Research

The Improved technologies have had their illustrations posted already, but now they are up in final-card form, with the borders and text in place.

Tech Card Highlights: Imperialism and Fertile Ground

This week we look 2 of the Level 2 Permanent techs - Imperialism and Fertile Ground. These 2 cards stay in play rather than going into your deck, and they each provide a variety of symbols to use when Following or Boosting a Role.

Offering 3 symbols, both of these techs are very useful in decks that plan to call those specific roles a lot.

Imperialism offers Trade, Warfare, and Survey symbols, great for getting planets into play, conquering them, and even helps "shipping" strategies (Produce/Trade cycles).

Fertile Ground offers Produce, Colonize, and Research symbols, great for settling planets, scoring high level Research cards, and also helps a "shipping" strategy.  

History:

Originally all of the tech cards went into your deck, none stayed in play. When I looked at the cards that were always chosen and the cards that were never chosen, I tweaked them to try and make each card interesting and desirable. One thing I did to give the less popular cards a boost was to allow them to stay in play so their effect applied constantly rather than only when the card was played!

I liked the way that worked, but in order to evenly distribute those types of cards I needed to design 2 more. As a placeholder I just stuck some Symbols on the cards, assuming I'd change that later. In practice I liked the way those symbols behaved, and so I decided to keep Imperialism and Fertile Ground in the game!

Next week I'll look at 2 of the more powerful Level 3 technologies.

Don't forget about the Preview Nights!

Contact your local retailer and tell them to check out the Eminent Domain Preview Nights and sign up!


Update #38

Planet previews, Preview nights, Exotic update, and Tech Card Highlights!

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Until now, updates have been for backers only. This one is for anyone, so let me begin by linking to the BoardGameGeek image gallery for Eminent Domain, where several technology card illustrations have been posted as previews for the upcoming release of the game!

Planet Previews

This week we have some more images for you - but instead of more Technology cards I thought you'd like to see some Planets! Over at BGG we've posted 3 planets, one of each type:

Marghannah Prime - a Metallic planet with a hand size increase! Sponsored by Mark Long.

Srod Avein N2 - an Advanced planet with a Research icon! Sponsored by Jorge Nieva.

Artigas GNS-111 - a Fertile planet with 2 resource slots! Sponsored by the Game night Society from Uruguay.

I'd like to thank the sponsors again, not just those listed for these cards, but all of our supporters. I hope all Gold supporters are happy with their cards!

Preview Nights

The response to the Preview nights has been great! Evidently we're taxing the system Mike had set up to handle it. Make sure to contact your local retailer and tell them to check out the Eminent Domain Preview Nights and sign up!

Exotic Expansion

As I said in the last update, I have been posting some thoughts and preview info for the first full expansion to Eminent Domain in my Game design Blog. I'm getting close to ready to release the expansion for print and play to solicit feedback from those of you who printed out the original game (or wanted to - I'll make all the files available when the time comes). The main thrust of the expansion is a new planet type: Exotic. It has its own resource type (currently called Unobtanium, but I will need a real name for it) and its own Technology stack. The Exotic planets tend to build on each other, becoming better as you have more of them, so like many aspects of Eminent Domain, it could pay to specialize in Exotic planets, but just dabbling in them can also be useful The expansion also includes 5 new Start Planets, and more role cards to support a 5th player.

Mike is a big fan of the Exotic Expansion, so far he's 13-0 in 2 player games with the Exotic planets!

Tech Card Highlights

We've been showcasing the Technology cards, but so far we've mostly been marveling at the insane artwork. I'm going to try something new each week called Tech Card Highlights. I'll introduce a technology card and talk a little bit about it's effect on the game. this week I'll start with the Improved Techs - all of the level 1 technologies.

The Improved Techs are basically better versions of the standard role cards - they have an action witch is is 1-1/2 to 2 times better than the standard cards, and they each have 2 Symbols rather than 1. These cards are intended for the early game, allowing a player to add better cards to his deck, cards he's likely to want to use later in the game.

Improved Colonize - Basically allows you to do 2 Colonize actions. If timed properly, Improved Colonize can be very useful for Settling 2 planets at once - very efficient!

Improved Production - Producing 2 resources at a time with your action can fill up resource slots fast, making your Trade roles much more efficient. Also, this could allow you to do a Trade role without having taken a Produce role (giving opponents a chance to fill up on resources)

Improved Research - Removing cards in hand from the game can keep your deck nice and lean. Improved Research first replaces itself in your hand, then allows you to remove several unwanted cards from the game.

Improved Survey - Drawing 3 cards is better than drawing 2 cards!

Improved Trade - Normally it would take a Produce action followed by a Trade action in order to generate 1 Influence point. Improved Trade allows you to skip the production step and simply collect an Influence. In a turn where you haven't got another action you really want to take, being able to collect 1 vp is pretty darn good!

Improved Warfare - Collecting 2 Armies at once is much better than just collecting 1 with a regular Warfare card. And it still gives you the option to attack instead!

Next week I'll start talking about the more unique Level 2 Techs, which are designed to support and define certain strategies - which are generally speaking various mixtures of roles you'll be choosing over the course of the game.


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    Tasty Minstrel Games sponsored game night. Michael Mindes and Seth Jaffee will fly out to your hometown, hand deliver you a copy of each TMG product (Terra Prime, Homesteaders, Belfort, Train of Thought, Jab, and Eminent Domain) and host your game night. There is only one opportunity for this, so get your group to pitch in quick! Also, you will be forever known as the "TMG Uber Fan" in the Eminent Domain rulebook. You'll also get everything from the $200 reward above. **USA ONLY**

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