So I’ve got about 6 games of blight in now (mostly 6 player games) and I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on how games roll out.
Early Game - is all about taking as much territory as possible, while capturing strategic locations and making interesting choices about Valor and Mana.
Mid Game - is all about using your armies, kiting the zombie hordes and trying to get behind their lines to stop them generating. Making sure to get rid of any zombie lords is paramount.
Late game - is primarily an exercise in patience and planning, the zombies are pretty much under control between your special units and regular military units. It’s merely a matter of time before the win happens.
So far the best part of the game for me is the beginning, the struggle and trying to make it all work, and while the mid game is fun, the end game is to tedious but still requires too much vigilance to skip through. Large maps are especially bad because units can take days to reach the other side to help out.
I think what the problem really boils down to is that the game becomes very static in the late mid game (specifically on large maps). There are a few ways to alleviate that, let the game get over with faster, or add in some random elements to the game.
Speeding up the Mid - Late game
For large maps a couple of simple solutions;
- More teleport-y units
- Warp gates that speed up travel times
- Expensive Portals between towns.
Randomizing Mid - Late game
This is where I think Blight would change from a good game to a great game.
Adding Randomized events after the Early game would keep players on their toes and not lock them into an “optimal strategy” approach where all units fly to the nearest front as fast as possible.
Adding in randomized elements, such as;
- Zombie incursions on the borders of the maps
- Random towns falling to the blight
- Random Hero Zombies
- Extra zombies rise
- New player objectives (for coins)
–Capture and hold X
–Recruit X of Y
–Recruit all heros from Deck
However one of the biggest strengths of Blight is that you have near perfect information of the battle field. So in order to preserve that some sort of messaging system or deck random system could work to keep players informed about what will happen just not exactly when or where.
For example, at the start of a game the computer generates a deck of events. One event is pulled every 24 hours. Events scale based on the number of days played and the current map score. Players can access what is in the deck and how many events are left before the deck gets reshuffled. Much like pandemic this can add a ton of tension by forcing sub-optimal decisions in order to cope with the known unknowns (wow seems a little philosophical there…).
Anyhow I’m still really enjoying the game, I just want it to be the best damn game possible!