Notes on Blocks: Richard III on Steam

Notes on Blocks: Richard III on Steam

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Natus
Notes on Blocks: Richard III on Steam

Greetings, Avalon Digital! I'm a huge fan of Columbia Games and was a playtester for Richard III. I've played about ten games and made some bug and UI notes. I sent you these notes via email from your site, but I wasn't sure they went through, so I'm posting them here. I hope that's OK. Thank you for adapting these amazing games to digital!

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1. Why is there an unnecessary animation of card backs before cards are presented for drawing and in the post-Political shuffle?

2. Hitting UNDO often puts one back in the Main Menu.

3. Why ask the player to select a card if there is only one card to choose from?

4. Why ask the player to select a battle to resolve when there is only one?

5. Sea borders should ALWAYS be delineated, not just if a player happens to mouse over it.

6. Sometimes future Heirs show up in the recruiting pool.

7. Sometimes the AI forgets to play its card, particularly when a battle is about to be fought.

8. The AI often takes unnecessary attrition.

9. The off-board delineation of permanently removed Rose nobles and Heirs, future Heirs, and Yorkist and Lancastrian pools could be better defined. That information should be immediately accessible.

10. Players should choose where their Heirs and nobles go to Exile, not AI. None should start over-stacked in Exile except via player decision.

11. It's difficult to tell what territory the city of Coventry is in.

12. Why does Henry Tudor look exactly like Somerset? Henry Tudor's face was very distinctive.

13. Sometimes city markers hide blocks behind them, especially if there are five there (this happens in Middlesex quite a bit).

14. Isn't Middlesex a Major port?

15. Why can't players see what cards are in their hands during a round?  

Natus

BATTLES

16. Shouldn't players assign hits to their blocks in battle if they are of equal strength, not the AI?

17. The AI could proceed with the battle die animations more quickly, or at least we should be given an option to speed animations up.

18. Battles could be notated more carefully, especially the use of special abilities, which should be highlighted.

19. I find the battleboard very confusing and opaque. There are some great fan-made ones in the Files section.

20. The Fire button in battles covers the pips of the block that is firing.

21. Neither the Bombard nor the Rebels should ever receive a defensive "home" bonus.

22.Reserves sometimes get confused with blocks on the map in battle. They should have their own clearly demarcated space in Round 1 of battle.

23. Battles are not very stable. Sometimes, dice rolled as hits aren't accepted as hits, some AI "A" blocks forget to fire, and sometimes the AI will start rolling for my blocks, as if it was a preliminary bombardment. 

24. The AI did not recognize when I had killed all five opposing Heirs in the second Campaign season, so the game dragged on until the end of the third campaign season.

Avalon
Avalon's picture

Many thanks for all the comments, we'll pass them forward to the developer.

Natus

Salut! After a few more games, it occurred to me that the auto-rolling I mentioned done by my nobles was in response to Heir Charges. But the charges and the response happen so quickly you can't tell what's happening,. I only knew what happened because of the log.

My suggestion for special abilities (Treachery, Heir Charges) in battle is to make them a big deal. Add sound cues if you haven't already and visual cues as well. It should be a dramatic moment in the battle, not just another roll. Think how it would be on table-top. It goes by way too fast. Even a failed Treachery roll should feel like something. And the player should ALWAYS roll his or her own dice.