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