Some of the hardcore fans of the first edition of 51st State complain that Rule of 3 got removed from the new edition of 51st State. Let me today provoke brainstorming with me. Let’s discuss this topic.
Rule of 3 and Deals.
Rule of 3 says you have 3 spaces for Deals and/or Spoils in your HQ. If you wanted to have at least one free space for Spoils – and we all know that you indeed wanted it – that meant you actually had space for only two Deals. Right?
So you guys were able to use this whole mechanism of making Deals, managing blue Contact Tokens and all that shit dedicated to Deal action twice in a game. Let me repeat – you could do it twice in a whole game. That’s freaking awesome, right? Design few pages of rules about the shit you can activate twice during the whole game.
Yeah, I was piece of a designer back then.
Opening space for Deals, I finally gave you actual choice. You can have as many Deals as you want. That means you can explore and test this strategy as deep and intense as you want. You can play with no Deals. You can play with 15 Deals. You finally have a choice. You finally make decision.
Rule of 3 and Victory Point tokens
Hardcore fans got really pissed of about this one. Before we start let me make it clear: I appreciate every single comment they posted. That means they care. That’s the most humbling thing that can happen to the designer. I am humbled with every hate post they wrote.
But now, let me explain why I removed Rule of 3.
In the first edition each card that scored points could be activated three times during the whole game. Then it was useless and player needed to rebuilt it into something new. That was thematic and that was interesting way to push players to constant look for new strategies and new cards. Their engine needed to evolve over and over. That was a very interesting design.
In the new edition you can activate scoring cards as many times as you want and you can decide to rebuild it at any point. There is no urge to evolve and change strategy. Players will rebuild cards when they feel they found better idea and combination of cards, not when their scoring card become just useless.
Stick with me here. Do you have a choice when you can do it only 3 times and you need to rebuild it or do you have a choice when you can do it as many times as you want and you rebuild it when you want.
Removing Rule of 3 was a chance to give you choice. You rebuild locations when you want, not when they are useless. Therefore the timing of this choice finally matters.
Once again, thank you for all comments, I appreciate all of them, both critics and praise for new rules. Comments mean you care. As I said, that’s the most humbling thing that can happen.
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