Category Archives: play test

play test

Mono Mill Feedback

I have to admit I almost feel that my Star Wars: Destiny deck posts are like link bait. I do post them on a couple  of Star Wars: Destiny fan pages on Facebook to get feedback. And gradually they have been getting more interest. Yesterday for this small niche blog was crazy. But those types of post are there to help me (provide a record of what I am working on, and get feedback) and to share with the community.

But I’ve been getting some great feedback/suggestions on how to improve the mill deck. There has been no nasty comments. And I think that is indicative of my experience on those pages. The Star Wars: Destiny community does seem to be very supportive, and helpful.

I’m going to warn you this is a long post.

So from the two groups I present the feedback I got for my Padme/eJyn Mono Mill Deck 2.5. I hope folks find me bringing all this feedback into one place helpful. This post is also acting like notes for me also. So I will be referring to this post a lot when I build the 3.0 version of this deck.

Joe Lewis on the Star Wars: Destiny page said

Way different than my list

I cut Asscension Gun very early for Hyperspace Jump. You need your Battlefield so having a card that allows you to have that when you don’t get it and to be able to get out of sticky situations is incredibly important.

I cut Cunning for Maz’s Goggles which is just a better card for what you are trying to do.

Having all of the random die removal is strange to me. We have Negotiate and Electroshock

Joe then posted this photo of his deck for me.

A discussion mainly between Sam A. Cimino and Joe about the merits of certain cards broke out. I have to admit I learnt a lot from this discussion.

Sam:Dodge, block, evade, bolt hole, and take cover are all bad cards. Electroshock, Negotiate, Cat and Mouse, are all better options.”

Joe: I cut Loth because it was free.

Joe:(see: Jyn Erso)

Sam: that only works on the first event played. It’s still better than all those other cards

Joe:The curve of the deck in general messes with Jyn’s ability. Most die removal is in reaction to something. To waste the first event (which is usually die removal for Mono-Yellow) for something like Negotiate is just stronger than playing Loth Cat

David Washburn:Loth is indispensable, dude

Joe:We’ll use his deck as an example:

The average cost of an event for him that is yellow is 0.6, making the inclusion of Jyn in the deck virtually pointless.

Adding Loth Cat and Mouse would not help that ratio. That is why a card like Negotiate and Electroshock are stronger. They serve the same function as Loth Cat and give you more.

In other decks with Yellow it’s great. However, because of Jyn you have to really be careful with what events you play so that you are getting the most value out of her as a character. Running Zero cost Yellow cards really does not do much for her. Her strength comes in fixing the cost curve of your deck.

Dice removal is generally reactionary. You seldom wait more than 2 actions to deal with a die you want to remove. Usually the threat is very clear across matchups after the problem character rolls in.

Loth Cat and Negotiate need a roll in to be live. Jynn makes a reactionary card free, which makes Loth Cat not a valuable “must include” for her.

Sam:By that logic friends is free too and isn’t a must include, since that’s often one of the first things you want to do to get the most value out of it.”

Joe:Friends fulfills a different purpose than Loth Cat though. They are both free but Friends does not have any activation requirement*. The value that you can gain from Friends in Low Places may outweight the value of it lowering your ceiling.

Cards that take away from your opponent are never as good as cards that give you things, but since Friends in Low Places is taking the role of proactive lowering of your opponents ceiling, it’s usually worth it to lower your potential ceiling to take an option away from your opponent.

*The deck has two yellow characters and will always fulfill its requirement.”

Eric Murphy: “I can justify a single copy of dodge and block, i’ve actually seen them used very effectively. but no more than one of each in a deck ever.”

From the Star Wars: Destiny UK/IRL Facebook Group Andrew Eyles wrote

I am trialing a Padme and Jyn deck and have come to the same decision that the EJyn is the way to go. An early Con artist or Cunning onto Padme makes them almost equal targets. My opposition then has to make a choice of which one is the most dangerous. As soon they make that call I try to get enough resources to get second chance and ammo belt hopefully next round.”

I did then ask how our two decks differed and Andrew replied with

I do not play Bolt hole, block, take cover or dodge. I play “fair trade”, Don’t get cocky, long con and Sabotage.

For me block and dodge are too expensive. My resources are for second chance and maybe 2 other upgrades i can get out. Sabotage is in for the annoying supports like planetary uprising but more for freely discarding imperial inspection, salvage stand and dark presence.

I do not play hunker down or Ascension gun. I have lone Operative and fast hands. In the current meta speed is everything. Having to tap a card for one shield (which a lot of the time makes no difference, i am looking at you vibroknife) is just too slow. Fast hands early gives me that scary ability to get 2 cards out your hand before you even have a go.

The whole deck obviously needs the second chance/ammo belt combo early where yours may have a little more survivability without it.

It is nuts when it all comes together – cheating and rebelling the ammo belts back out and discarding whole reams of cards from the deck and hand. It is fun to play – maybe not quite tier 1 but getting close.”

There was even a comment left on the post yesterday from a Ben:

I think you need to use Jyns ability more, cards like Negotiate and electroshock Would help more than block and take cover. Also Disarm is great, it gets rid of alot of upgrades that hurt like vibro knife. finally, trade in hunker downs for maz goggles. for 1 cost, it has two focuse sides and a “Discard” side.”

There is some great food for thought there, and I will be trying out some of those suggestions (mainly the ones that don’t require dice – I can print out the cards I don’t have as a stop gap). Those that require dice I will have to try and target buy (after my booster box of Awakenings arrives, just in case I get them). I will then target buy the cards that I feel work best after play testing them.

I was playing this deck for the first time yesterday against a ePoe/eMaz deck yesterday. Dale got three Awakenings booster boxes yesterday that gave him enough cards (like Poe!) to build an initial deck. I got creamed in our first game. Very little went my way in that game. Dice rolls, card draw, all conspired to make me eat humble pie.

The second game I won, and removing his battlefield (Starship Graveyard) and going with mine was a good start towards that victory.

I know Dale is missing some cards from a “full” ePoe/eMaz deck. He already has a couple of tweaks to the one I played against.

But that’s the interesting thing about our local meta, it’s Dale and myself with our limited card pool. Although Dale’s card pool (2.5 SOR boxes, 3 Awakenings boxes, plus 25 SOR boosters) is larger than mine (.5 SOR box, 20 SOR boosters and some targeted purchases). However if you look at our stats I have our longest win streak of 6 games. Out of 75 games I have the edge with 49 wins to 36. So I’m very happy with that. I’ll have to write a post about the decks Dale has been playing with sometime.

So near but so far

Last night saw Jonathan and I patrol once more the Streets of Commonville.

It was going to be a weird play session, there had been some “requests” made to Jonathan from some of the small but elite folks that had viewed the previous play through.

Once more we were filming the play through, but we had a wishlist of things to cover.

The first twenty minutes or so of filming was spent explaining various elements of the game. We then started a two player game.

I thought for the sake of this recording we would be taking a couple of turns and then “fast forwarding” the game state to show various in game situations.

However we were opening the board up fairly fast. A lot faster than our other two player game together.

I was soon able to level up to Captain, giving me five dice and an intuition (alter a dice to a value I need), plus my starting donut. It wasn't long before we were also able to get Jonathan up to the same rank, with similar additional powers.

But the clock was ticking. We hadn't revealed all the evidence, but we had done enough to get down to one suspect (shockingly not Dr Kinky this time), give that suspect a weapon and a set of handcuffs.

With the clock dangerously low, we had one turn to get myself to join Jonathan (who arrived the previous turn) and the suspect and defeat the suspect.

I needed three dice to get me to the suspects tile. Then we needed to score between us forty five points with our remaining dice. We totalled up our points, we had forty four points. Short by one! One lousy point!

The game had beat us. But that was the closest game we'd played. Amazingly close. Great fun.

So some editing for me, then the “directors commentary” to record and then edit back into the video, before putting up for viewing. How I ended up doing more work I don't know. All I know at the moment with the size font that will be needed in the rules book for my name in the thanks, the page will have to be a gatefold!

Cats out of the bag

You know from the posts that the last couple of weeks have seen some playtesting of a game that Jonathan and Rebecca have been working on called Streets of Commonville.

I've been recording the play sessions for Jonathan and Rebecca to review and placing them on YouTube for them. It's the easiest way to share the video considering Rebecca is in the US of A. Unless you have the link you can't see the video. Well apart from the South Park style humour from me, and my low opinion of law enforcement, these videos weren't meant for public consumption.

Anyhow this has changed with the latest one.

Today Common Man Games (home of Police Precinct game) have shared that link for the last game play with their fans on Facebook. Here is how they spilled the beans…

APB (episode 209): Today's headline reads…


Talkin' About “The Streets Of Commonville” which is a game we have mentioned previously here (see APB #193 and others). It's being designed by a UK/USA team. We (CMG) have not yet entered the process, except to say that we are ecited to see what they come up with and to publish it if we love it and think YOU will too. We want to try to feed you-all the occasional update on this game's development. Within the past 24 hours Jonathan (one of the designers) provided me with a video of a full play-through of the game as it stands now (by all reports, it's quite developed but still being tweaked). I watched some of it and it looks fun and easy to play! I would watch the whole thing right now except that I have to prepare to ship a ton of games out the door (4 pallets headed this way). YOU can watch a bit too, enjoy!…

Please remember this video is unedited, it's loooong… Nearly two hours in duration and shows the whole game being played.

If you do watch it please leave feedback in the comments below on this post. Jonathan is able read them and respond to them here.

Maybe this filmed playtesting is something I could offer as a service to publishers and designers for a small financial consideration. Wouldn't that be something? I can dream.


The Dark Knight Patrols The Streets of Commonville

Last night saw a three player play test of The Streets of Commonville. Jo, Jonathan and myself donned our suits of blue and shields and once more pounded the pavement, uncovered evidence and “questioned” suspects to capture the wrong doer.
There had been some tweaks to the game for tonight's playtest. Some graphical like the addition of the cctv camera on the arrow counters to make them a bit more thematic. The player boards now had you controlling the upgrade from a choice of three, donuts (ability to pass a dice to another player, or reroll), another dice, or the ability to alter the value of a dice known as intuition.
Before play Jonathan made a quick adjustment to a dice that swapped the ability to get two minutes of time back to the ability of swapping an ability on your player board with one in the precinct. I did disagree with Jonathan on this, it meant the dice would give you that ability 50% of the time, and no way to get time back.
Below photo property of Jonathan
This was Jo's first time playing the game, and after a brief intro to the basics of the game, we were off fighting crime, fitting up innocent people, and eating our way through a tonne of donuts.
Early on in the game the Jonathan suspect token hit the board. It wasn't long before we were fitting him up with handcuffs and transferring him into his alter ego Dr Kinky.
Below Batman captures Dr Kinky.

The game still took an hour and half to play, and like previous play throughs didn't seem that long. That's the surprise of the game. There is virtually no down time, everyone is involved through out the game. I've pointed this out before in previous posts on the game, this fact alone I think is a big big positive of the game.

Another great play through.


Fitting Up Dr Kinky

Once more wannabe police officers Jonathan, Les and myself decided to patrol The Streets of Commonville to fit up another ne'er-do-well for crimes they didn't do (this time, but they are wrong 'uns and guilty, and need getting off the streets. The ends justify the means as the motto of the American justice system goes.)

For this play session Jonathan had pimped out the the tiles and tokens from laminated paper to “chunky” cardboard. As you can see from the photo above I used Bad Cop from The Lego Movie to track my character level.

These thicker components gave a nice feel to playing the game.

Once more cams were fitted to our patrolling officers so the whole game was recorded for prosperity and to be used against us by the game designers.

Even though the game still took an hour and a half to play, it didn't seem that long. There is no down time, no analysis paralyse, everyone was involved.

With three players the game board was opened up far more quickly than the two player game.

In an earlier patrol officer Jonathan testified that one tactic he saw being an option was having one player do the majority of the levelling up by getting the hoodlums. After this session I can't see that as a viable fun tactic to persue. I got stuck going after some hoodlums that turned out to be under control, with low time rolls, I wasn't able to do much, and needed dice passed to me to allow me to do things like reveal evidence. I ended up sacrificing my rolls to get dice needed by the others. It's not much fun.

I still think that there still needs to be another way to level up other than the hoodlums. And that the hoodlums need to be in less predictable positions.

It was interesting to hear that Jonathan's partner in design plays the game differently to us. Where we discuss tactics/options, who needs what dice, and we roll our dice together to achieve our aims that turn. While the opposite is true for the other designers testing. They roll and act independently. Curious, this doesn't strike me as playing it co-operatively. Interesting none the less though.

In the end we won by fitting up the suspect who got named Dr Kinky for his penchant for handcuffs.

Did we roll too many gain two minute faces? Possibly this time that was the way the dice landed. But on other occasions we didn't get nearly the same amount.

I look forward to seeing the next rules tweak after the designers have reviewed the video and discussed things over.

Patrolling the Streets of Commonville

At the end of my post on a playtest of the in development game Streets of Commonville was I'd like to try the game with less players. Last night that wish came true after our planned attempt at the month of March in Pandemic Legacy had to be rescheduled due to illness of a team member.

So last night Jonathan and myself patrolled the mean streets of Commonville, bringing justice and fitting up an innocent suspect for crimes they never did.

At Jonathan's request I filmed the game so that the play through could be later analysed by himself and his co-designer.

Since the play through last week there had been some “minor” changes to the rules and pieces.

I will say during our play through the dice really did hate Jonathan and me.

One of the most obvious changes is that Jonathan now had these fun little donut tokens to replace the printed cardboard ones.

The character boards were changed so that at the higher rankings you had a choice to make between having an extra dice or donut. The action tracking was now controlled by the roll of the “time” dice. I did like these two changes.

Technically the game won last night because we failed to arrest a suspect within the allowed time limit of the game. However we kept playing to see how much longer it would take us to complete the game (bottom left of the photo above, we used dice to track the extra game time).

I did feel that the game board was too large to explore for two players, and that maybe there needs to be a mid point board configuration between the full setup and the solo setup for two players.

Between the two sessions I had thought that the street tiles could be smaller, which Jonathan had already got in the works. Great minds and all that.

Surprisingly it took Jonathan and I approx 90 mins to finish the game. Although as I explained earlier we played until we completed the game. If we had kept to the rules and the game winning, I the game would have lasted about an hour (naturally that will be confirmed once the designers have reviewed the tape).

Although Jonathan had replaced the character tracking token, I thought to stay thematic the tracking token could be a wooden token in the shape of a cop (similar to the security guard wooden token in Burgle Bros. see photo below)

I think this would work thematically. The cop car riding round the streets of Commonville, and the cop figure for the character tracking.

At the end of the game Jonathan and I had a brief discussion about an ability that could be added for a character. It will be interesting to see if he runs with that one.

There will be another play through later in the week with three or four players, looking forward to that.


The Streets of Commonville A Playtest

Thursday night saw Jonathan play testing the game The Streets of Commonville with myself, Debbie and Les.

The Streets of Commonville is a multiplayer co-op update of the single player print and play game Inspector Moss: House Arrest. Which won the 2011 Solitaire Print and Play Contest on bgg, and was a 2012 nominee for the Golden Geek Awards Best Print and Play award.

Inspector Moss and Streets of Commonville are designed by the partnership of Jonathan Warren and Rebekah Bissell.

Which meant this playtest session we were playing with one of the designers. Not quite Eric Lang or Ignacy Trzewiczek but still a local hero and a pretty cool thing to be doing.

Before I go any further with this post two or three of the photos here are property of Jonathan who I “borrowed” them from.

The Streets of Commonville sees you working as a team of cops, uncovering evidence, finding suspects, and working to eliminate them from your enquiries, until you have one guilty suspect left.

At the moment the game uses a fixed board layout as suggested in the rule book. Apart from the centre tile, the rest are turned blank side up until players move around the board to new locations revealing surrounding tiles. A kind of fog of war mechanic. I like this hidden information, exploration element. When you reveal a tile, the players get to decide amongst themselves which way round the tile is placed. Although it helps that the other players show the tiles revealed on their go to the others while deciding the best way to place the tile.

I have been mulling with the thought since playing does this game need all the tiles used in the session layer out at the start. Or could the tiles be added as the game progresses and have a more organic, less predictable map, similar to the Zombie! game.

Jonathan showed us another version of the player board. Which I preferred, same number of upgrades but you have to make decisions on the bonus you get, between more dice or more donuts.

Below are my notes from playing the game that we were asked to make. Jonathan requested that I include them on the blog so they are easy to find and share with his co-designer.

My notes for Jonathan to refer to!

  • The player aid needs to have the turn summary on it.
  • There needs to be some way to record the colour of your character piece on the board. This could be just having the upgrade tracker being the same colour as the main piece.
  • There needs to be more options/ways for players to upgrade their characters. Time based upgrades?
  • The rules do need some work. I'd like to see an annotated diagram explaining the game tile.
  • There needs to be graphics in the rules illustrating game play and certain situations that may arise.
  • You could remove the placing of the street punks tokens at the start, add tiles with a symbol for the street punks on, and shuffle those tiles into the tiles used for the game. The placement would be more random then, allow more adjustment for the number of players in the game to control difficulty and opportunities to upgrade.
  • At the moment I think thematically you shouldn't be able to ignore the street punks. Enter a tile with street punks on, you have to deal with them first before being able to do anything else.
  • Currently you can pass as many dice as you like between players using your donut. If as planned this gets reduced to one or two based on the number of donuts you have, then the ability to upgrade becomes even more important.
  • Make the game real time? This would cure AP, or curtail it. There is potential for an alpha gamer in the current game, a real time clock may help control that too.


I enjoyed playing the game, at the moment it did at times seem a puzzle to solve of how best to optimise the use of the dice, who gets passed what to achieve the best possible outcome that turn.

But still there is the basis of a good game here. I'm looking forward to playing it some more, especially with less players to see how it fairs.