Below is a picture of the progress with Embargo’s Contract cards. Most of these have never seen the light, but they were played with on the internal play-tests.
As you can see, since February, they’ve changed significantly, evolving into what is a simple yet effective card with icons (which is also not the final version). Business names have been removed, as they weren’t necessarily needed, and only really used through one mechanism, which was very rarely triggered — it’s also more thematic now, with the card actually depicting a truck in your loading bay of your player board.
Demonstrating the game on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon was some intense stuff! We played with over 60 different people over the course of two days. And the feedback was all positive! Well, it was, but as always, some things could be improved. So that’s what I’m doing right now.
Embargo will no longer be a ‘Euro Game’ — it will be more an ‘Engine Builder’ where players strive to create an on-going effect and as the game progresses it get’s easier to get higher point cards. At the moment, the game stagnates and stays at the same level all the way through. I want it to be able to get more intense and your warehouse get stronger in order to do the harder and higher delivery contracts. The way this is going to be done is to introduce ‘Reward’ cards — these cards are going to add a permanent increase to a specific freight colour, meaning you don’t need to have that freight in your warehouse to deliver the contract. These cards are received automatically, every 5 contracts you deliver.
A few Contracts and Sabotage cards will be face-up, out onto the table, players will be able to select what contracts they’re going to chase, which eliminates a bit of randomness to the game. Also changed is the turn system. You no longer get an action sequence of 5 actions, but you get a choice that runs along the lines of; Pick-up 3 different coloured freight, Pick-up 2 of the same coloured freight, Pick up a contract / sabotage card.
The scoring system has also changed! You can keep your total Victory Points to yourself, you’ve no need to tell everyone what you’re at, but the limit is 30. Once a player hits 30 Victory Points, the end-game begins. All other players have one more turn, before scoring up. You look at the delivery contract’s you’ve completed, and your score is your lowest completed contract colour. The player with the highest score of their lowest completed contract colour wins! This is going to create some interesting situations, and I’m looking at testing it this week with the internal testing team we use.
That’s all we have to tell at this stage, other then some thematic changes to make it more immersive, that’s it. I probably don’t have to say it, but this is all a work in progress, some things on there may not go through, but some things may! Won’t know until next time!