New player aid.
The really short version is that my response to recent playtester feedback was overly generous and enthusiastic. The correct response is more conservative and curmudgeonly. I’m keeping the response to Slow Start, albeit slightly muted. That’s fine and even admirable. Automatic proa upgrades is not such a good idea. I considered that model extensively in the early development of the game and threw it out then, which I then forgot more recently. The game needs an additional drain on fish/shells for the first few rounds while the players build their networks. The drain doesn’t have to be big, but it has to be non-negligible. This prevents a too-early and crippling kula rush before the route-network can support it. I tossed out the ability to cash in kula for VPs immediately upon receipt as it destabilised the kula and VP markets in oddly feed-back-prone ways. The split kula remains as a fine way of maintaining off-turn player involvement while also adding pleasantly collusive elements, but the prestige and VP allocation is heavily adjusted with an eye to reducing the total number of manual transactions per turn and per gift.
Note: The kula/prestige/VP values are not final — I’ve not quite finished running models.
I also threw out the redundant About Fish & Shells section of the rules, which saved half a page. The only original material there was the statement that VPs could be discarded for fish and shells, which has been moved further up the document.
In summary two changes remain in the offing:
- Adjusting kula/prestige/VP values
- Pull in the end-game prestige line a bit (~27?) while also shortening the prestige multiplier brackets.