Now that is still a long time for some games, but it’s not the deal breaker that it used to be. And the game feels less pressing. One of the biggest problems for Gerrymandering was the rampant, nearly universal analysis paralysis players suffered. That was because of two of the decisions I had made when moving away from Shyft. One of the problems when transitioning was that the card action choice function was altered, but I wanted players to have a choice so they would have each action at least twice. To get that I gave each card two powers, and, since people felt it was overwhelming, each player only had two cards in their hand, so they only had 4 options overall.
That sounded good in theory, but it just didn’t work in practice. People had to give up an ability to use an ability, and some abilities were only situationally useful, so you only had three worthwhile choices. So listening to the suggestions I cut the cards in half, so each card has one ability. Listening to my own thoughts I cut three abilities entirely: one that turned out to be too powerful, one that was too weak, and one that was very confusing to explain and only occasionally useful. With those gone I have 9 cards. The one remaining situational card, which fits too well with the theme and gameplay to remove altogether, starts at the bottom of each deck so players only get it at the same time midway through the game. When the deck runs out shuffle up the used cards and remake the deck, and you’ve got enough cards for all 12 turns. Even adding an additional card to each player’s hand they don’t struggle as much, and they’ve got almost the same amount of options. Voila, turns remain even; decision making is dramatically simplified to the player.
If you want to test out the newest version of Gerrymandering, I will be at The Portal Comics and Gaming in Bethlehem Pennsylvania for the North East Nerd Night meetup this Saturday for International Tabletop Day.
Finally, what I’ve played:
The Lady and The Tiger: Doors, 2 players and Bones, 4 players
Gerrymandering, 2 players