Trust Me: Rules Changes

One nice thing about two-player games is that they’re a lot easier to playtest than five-player co-ops. I’ve been able to get Trust Me to the table, and have made some changes:

1. Player 1 now moves one barrier and then moves the mini one space. This allows more time for players 1 and 2 to signal whether they’re looking to cooperate or to compete. It also gives Player 1 more interaction with the barriers, which is the meat of the game.

2. Since Player 1 moves more slowly, the game is only played to the end of area 2. The print-and-play file has been updated to have the goal line in the correct place. This change also eliminates the need for area 3’s barriers, and they have been removed as well. Trust Me is now really, really quick to assemble. 🙂

3. As matters stand, it’s possible to rough out the optimal path for a Player 2 victory at the start of the game. That can lead to frustrating gameplay, either because it’s lengthy (in which case Player 2 is apt to feel like he or she can’t win no matter what), or because a player does something that appears sub-optimal (which can lead to confusing signals and ultimately post-game recriminations). There are two changes in the rules that are intended to make “solving” the board before turn one impossible:

– The game-end condition has changed: now, at the start of the 16th turn and every turn thereafter, the players roll a four-sided die. If the die comes up as a 1, the game ends.

– Most markers in area 2 are distributed during play, much like the barriers.

4. The number of markers has been changed to four in area 1 and five in area 2, with six markers needed for Player 2 to win. Having a greater percentage of markers in area 2 helps avoid situations in which Player 2 is “out” relatively early in the game.

I’m experimenting with a fifth change, in which barriers are distributed using smaller dice that place them in the middle of their areas. This avoids useless barriers that are way off to the sides, but having different numbers for distributing markers and barriers makes the board visually busy. A computerized version of this game would make setup a lot faster . . . .

Trust Me – 9-15-14

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