TGDRT #54: Playtest Report

TGDRT

Episode #54 is live!

Jon and Dirk meet up to play several tabletop games and discuss what works and what doesn’t. Included in the discussion are Ploy, Race for the Galaxy, and Hansa Teutonica.

Dirk and I decided to mix things up a bit this week and do a ‘livecast’ of some of the games we played over the weekend. We dissect the design of the games pretty extensively, so it’s more than just an after action report!

- Jon

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  1. Hi Jon and Dirk, I’m a big fan of the podcast, and an absolutely huge fan of Hansa Teutonica so I was excited to see you did a podcast about it. I enjoyed your discussion about all three games, and after hearing your comments about RftG and Ploy, I was a little surprised to hear that Dirk was a fan of the basically themeless abstract HT.

    I’ve played somewhere around 40 games of Hansa Teutonica, though the game still feels as fresh and deep as Lake Baikal. As an amateur board game designer, I marvel at the elegance, balance, subtlety, and depth of the systems every time I play it, and it’s one of my few “10’s” on BGG.

    I wanted to share some thoughts about the design and what little I understand about it strategically:

    * Hansa Teutonica isn’t a worker placement game, it’s a network/route building game with action point allowance. Worker placement is a type of “action drafting” while players take their entire turns in one go in HT and none of the actions a player can take precludes another player from taking an action on their turn since actions aren’t associated with a spot on the board.

    * I’ve had several long post-game discussions about how scripted the first turn or so is, and we’ve found that consensus breaks down almost immediately and certainly by the second turn.

    * The 5 actions players can take are so simple. Pull cubes/discs from your reserve, place an active cube/disc on the board, move your cubes/discs on the board, clear a route, bump a cube/disc. The way these actions fit together is so deep and subtle is astounding.

    * There is no “all in” strategy, every game is a blend of everything, and the optimal blend ebbs and flows with what everyone else is doing.

    Reply

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