[NaGaDeMon] Domo: Playtest Results and Price Fixing

I've finished the Alpha Playtest game. Red eked out a win, 29-28. I took pictures at the start of each season to see changes in seasonal chunks instead of monthly chunks.

I upped action prices, adding 1 Gold per holding rating to act or resist actions. It helped, but I think I'm going to increase Influence costs a bit for actions and lower income for owning a hex as well. I think the Government Intercession rules are enough of a bonus for hex ownership, so I'll drop income to 1 Gold and 1 Influence per season for hex ownership. Hopefully I don't overcompensate and make players sit around unable to afford any actions in a month as they wait for seasonal income in a 4-player game.

Year 1, Season 4
Blue pulls off a Coup in the top center hex, and Red loses a Militari attack against Blue's Religio in that hex, but adds an Arcanum-1 holding in an attempt to hold off the Coup. This was a terrible season for Red, and the next season's income reflects that.
Year 2, Season 1 Income. Red gets pasted.
Year 2, Season 1
Red expands Militari holdings, then Moves them to make a Militari-4 holding in the upper left hex in Month 3. Blue adds Arcanum holdings in 2 hexes to pave the way for other mischief, and Expands the Religio holding in the upper left hex to prep for an Attack against Red's Militari next season.
Year 2, Season 2 Income.
At this point there were so many resources that I used cathedrals to track 10s.

Year 2, Season 2
Red's successful Coup in the upper left hex is the story of the year. Red Declares War and goes on to win 2 Coup actions to take over the hex. Blue cast a Curse Holding spell, then relied too heavily on it, choosing to Expand into the lower right hex with a Religio-2 holding. Red used Government Intercession, but failed to block the Expansion twice.
Year 2, Season 3 Income.
It's more even, though Red is still behind on Influence.
Note the huge resource stockpiles. Need to find a way to limit that behavior,
but I bet the resource drain will be much more severe in a 4-player game.

Year 2, Season 3
Blue attempts a counter-Coup in the upper left hex after Red adds an Economia-1 holding there. Red's Militari-4 rises to the occasion and overcomes the Declare War +1 bonus to defense, crushing the rebellious Religio holding after they declared their intentions. In 2 months, Red's soldiers destroyed the entire holding, its leaders driven underground. Some escaped to the lower left hex as Blue Expanded to a Religio-2 holding there in Month 3.
Year 2, Season 4 Income.
I can't spend resources fast enough.
What if we limit the resource stockpile between seasons?
This season brings home the depth of story that can spring out of a game of Domo. And who wouldn't want to adventure in a region with this war happening in the background? The potential for PC involvement in a plotline like this is huge. This is why I wanted to make this game, and I'm very happy with the way Domo produces stories like this.

Year 2, Season 4
Neither side was in a position to do anything earth-shaking. Blue Reduced Red's Economia-1 holding out of existence in the top center hex, but Red Expanded 2 holdings to Economia-2s and added a Religio-1 holding in the upper left hex. I guess that new Government is working out well for Red.
Final tally: Blue 28, Red 29.
At game end, the next season's income total
(Gold+Influence) is counted as victory points.
What Now?
I've got notes madly scribbled onto my printed copy of the rules. I'll go back and revise with abandon, lowering hex ownership income, clarifying the Government Intercession rules, and raising prices on just about every action. We'll see how that works.

I need to figure out a logical limit for resources between seasons, so we don't end a game with 40ish of each resource in reserve ever again. I think a flat limit would work better than x per hex, as that would really limit what a player can do without owning a hex. Hm. I'll look at the pictures again and noodle on that for the next rev.

In a solo game, each season took about 5 minutes to play out, so I'm guessing about 10-15 minute seasons with 3-4 players, making this a 1-2 hour game for 2 years of game time. I think the power of Domo is the potential for ongoing play not arbitrarily ended after a time limit.

Overall Domo feels very fast to play. It's got an interesting mix of strategy and blind luck, and it's very easy to set up Arcanum holdings all over the place and throw monkey wrenches into other players' plans. I like it, but it's becoming time to let it free and expose it to everyone out there. It's probably just as easy to keep track of what's happening on paper instead of getting physical tokens and making dividers, though I can easily see this working as an app, too. More things to ponder as the process continues...

Thanks for reading!

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