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June 7, 2016

True Messiah June 2016 update

Hey guys! This update on True Messiah is going to be nice and short. Here is what’s new since last month:

Tiles

Franklin Chan has completed the holy city tiles! I’m terribly pleased with them; they blend the messiahs’ temple art with the game’s “dead city” motif perfectly.

Tile Spread Holy Cities (550w)

With this, all of the game’s various components now have finished art. (I may end up tweaking the game board’s design a bit more, though–see below.)

Rulebook

The rulebook is the last thing in the game that really needs work, visually. The content is already there; but I feel the need to “bring the pretties” as well, so to speak. (Who wants to unbox a game with gorgeous art, gorgeous art…oh, and look, here’s a really visually half-assed rulebook?)

Anyway! I’ll be working on that over the coming month or so.

Rules

I’ve made a few more balance tweaks to certain cards (of note: Prophecy now costs belief, and lets you find a card in your own deck instead of stealing one from an opponent’s discard pile).

I’ve also tested the other rules changes from last time. Giving messiahs divine armor and a fixed 4 attacks per combat seems to be working out quite well. Messiahs are much more useful, but they can’t just safely charge in and win the game in the early rounds–players will still be punished if they overextend or send their messiah out without backup. There’s just enough flexibility to poke with the messiahs that they’re an interesting offensive option now.

My testing thus far has indicated that 2-player matches remain incredibly tense and fast-paced on the 4 x 6 play area, which is good–but those confines are just close enough that messiah usage becomes all but mandatory in the early game. I’m going to test out 5 x 6 for the 2-player playable area and see how that works; ideally, it’ll give the best of both worlds, with fast pacing and breathing room to try out alternate strategies.

Finally, I went ahead and scrapped the whole concept of a miracle seal. It doesn’t even exist in the rules anymore. The miracle seal confused new players, delaying their ability to get familiar with praying and performing miracles right at the moment when they first wanted to experiment with it. Granted, the miracle seal rule was there for a good reason–but the only miracle that really called for that rule was Fruit of Knowledge. Solution? I just printed the content of the old miracle seal rule onto that card specifically (i.e. “May not be played in the first round except by the last player in the turn order”). Done and dusted.

All right guys, that’s all for now; see you next month!