Mansion Expansion Play Testing!

We’re back again blog fans, and this week it was finally time for play testing!!

Overall, things went well and the session was very helpful.  Before I started the first game with my mom though, I realized I completely forgot to write what resources were needed on the Room cards, so I had to fix that real fast (see below).  After that though, I was able to play two 2-player games and I have a pretty clear idea about what I want to fix for next time. I’m posting all of the rough notes below. There’s a lot, but if you read any of it, read the quotes from my 16-year-old brother at the end. They do not disappoint. The highlights are as follows, though:

  • Get rid of action to put Room card in reserve, replace with action to sweep available rooms
  • Less wood & cloth cards, more greenery & tile cards, more Resource cards overall
  • Need to create a player “guide”/”cheat sheet” card for reference
  • Will change resources required for specific Room cards
  • Will start game with 2 Resources instead of 3 in hand

Rough Notes:

First Play Test – 2 players, with my mom

  • Rules we played with:
    • 2 players:
      • 12 base + 14 expansion = 26 cards 
      • End = 10 Rooms, Need 4/4 Base Rooms
    • Started with 3 Resource cards each
    • 5 of each card face-up
    • Forgot to take my last turn when my mom finished the game
  • Notes:
    • Took about 2 minutes to realize I messed up… lol oops
      • Added resources to room cards
    • Took roughly 8 min to explain rules
    • Took roughly 25 min to play
    • Ending Scores: 53 to 51
    • Idea for base room deduction: 5 points?
  • Room for improvement:
    • Frequency of Cards:
      • Annoyed because greenery and tile were hard to find
      • Want stables to be worth more since wood is abundant
      • Surprised that there was only one of each non-base Room card
      • Wanted two of each room (wants to change the 8 and the 2)
        • Move Wine Cellar to 8?
        • Add butler’s pantry for 2
        • Front hall?
      • Wants to remove double resources on cards
      • Wanted to spend an action to sweep the rooms
        • Will use to replace with action of keeping a room in your reserve
      • Doesn’t want to keep the trading for a wild with 2 cards rule, change to 3?
      • Wants to have luxury versions of the base rooms, more expensive
      • Had to shuffle twice, didn’t want to
        • Will introduce more greenery cards and fix the shuffle issue
      • Never used action of reserving a room
      • Need player cheat sheet card to tell which the base rooms are
    • Objective Thoughts:
      • Did not like the competition having to do with us needing the same room lol
        • Sort of?  Said she liked that element after the fact
      • Wants more objectives overall, unsure why
    • Things my mom liked:
      • Like that it’s short and sweet
        • Really likes that it’s a filler game and simple
        • Very producible
      • Apparently she likes the art
      • Really likes the idea of different open/known by all bonuses for “green thumb” or “open floor plan”
        • Longest Train
      • Likes that any age can play
        • Thinks a 6 year old could play…unsure if that’s good or bad
      • Happy with the resource cards and how they look
      • LOVES the idea of expansion packs… it’s a money-making venture
      • Happy to start with 3 Resource cards
      • Felt good about having two actions per turn

First (and a half) Play Test – 2 players, with my brother

  • Rules we played with:
    • 2 players:
      • 12 base + 14 expansion = 26 cards 
      • End = 10 Rooms, Need 4/4 Base Rooms
    • Started with 3 Resource cards each
    • 5 of each card face-up
  • Notes:
    • Took roughly 6 min to explain rules
    • Took roughly 21 min to play
    • Final Score: 54 to 46
  • Room for Improvement:
    • Didn’t like that the patio had no greenery
    • Could add a garage or a yard card
    • Says I need an artist… I agree
    • Wanted more tile cards
    • Had more cloth than necessary
    • Thought length was fine
    • Interested to see what happens with four players
    • Would start with two resources
      • Would slow the game down
    • Wants to know if there would be player handicaps
    • Agrees with 3 cards for a wild
    • Wants a list of all the rooms?
      • Also a number of each resource available?
      • I’ll consider that
    • Wants another 8 and another 2
    • Wants to take out a base set for two players…. Risky!!
    • Wants to take out one base set of rooms and make it “luxury”
      • Agreed with my mom, but she wanted just extra rooms
    • Wants extra points on objective cards
    • Had to shuffle twice
  • Things he liked:
    • Thinks it was good, he would play it again
    • It’s not too long
    • Feels like he has a chance at winning
    • Truly feels like it’s not stacked toward anyone winning
    • Likes the strategy of buying the base cards so I have to take a deduction
      • Also likes the strategy of buying the cards at once and ending the game abruptly
    • Felt annoyed that he was forced to play but he was “content” and “vibing”
      • “There are some games that just straight up annoy me, but this isn’t one of them”
    • Thinks it’s appropriate for younger audiences, and also my dad.  Lmao (he is not strategic, nor does he play games with us).
    • “You could play this with your kids, but then you could use strategy to absolutely destroy your kids”

So overall, things went well! Looking to make a few changes, and then I’ll play test again and hopefully advance to a 3-player game. Stay tuned.

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2 thoughts on “Mansion Expansion Play Testing!

  1. Sounds like you had some constructive playtest sessions. I think the fact that your game is easy to learn is probably a good thing overall. Of course, it depends on your audience, but I think there are more people that would want to play an easy-to-learn game than a hard one. There’s good games with simple rules, and there’s good games with complex rules. I think you shouldn’t worry too much about the complexity. I look forward to hearing more!

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