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A jam submission

Berlin '70 – Capital of SpiesView project page

A map board game for 2–4 players about building espionage networks in Cold War Berlin.
Submitted by Lari Assmuth (@LariAssmuth) — 17 hours, 19 minutes before the deadline
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Berlin '70 – Capital of Spies's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
How easy to understand and use the game’s rules are#73.7034.000
How elegant the game’s design is#123.0863.333
How captivating the tone, feel and style of the game are#143.2403.500
How strongly maps are integrated into the game’s design#143.2403.500
How well the game fits the theme and goal of the jam#172.7773.000

Ranked from 6 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Submitted

Hey, thanks for the submission. With the big caveat that I haven’t actually played the game, just read it, here’s my review.

Theme

I think the game hits the theme very well. It is interesting it takes a somewhat similar approach to The Hanging Room, with one "real world" map and one "operative" map. I think the mechanics connect the networks and city map well.

Maps

Maps are central to the mechanics, so I think the game works well there.

Tone and style

The tone fits the subject matter well. The layout, tokens, and map are all excellent - it is up there with Recallers in terms of being ready to play with a nice layout. I thought it was well-written and clear.

Elegant

The design seems straightforward. I would be curious to play. I’m not sure how the USSR will fare! Like with Lifetree, as this is a board game, I felt I would need to play to really understand the strategy and elegance.

Easy to understand

I like that the mechanics are easy to understand, but I don't immediately identify the best strategy. That makes me want to play!

Thanks for submitting and allowing me to review your game. I thought this was a strong submission.

Submitted(+1)

I don’t have good English writing skills. I still hope to make myself understood in this comment.

I also leave below an Italian translation of the comment, for those who want to follow the discussion anyway.


Hi Lari!
You did a good job, although I believe in this game maps are not the main focus.

In a continuous evolution of relationships in the espionage network, in 10 rounds players try to have more contacts to score more points at the end of the game.
It seems to me a good idea for a board game, where the mechanics of resource management is the core of the game.
The randomness of the dice doesn’t seem to be too difficult to manage, although the calculations you have to make for each roll seem to me to be many.
I played Illuminati (which you mentioned in the rules) years ago and I think the feeling is pretty close: many consecutive rounds and too little control from one to the other.

  1. What feeling do you want to give the players?

  2. Are assets real characters or did you invent them?

  3. Why did you give 10 rounds of the game? Have you thought about doing less shifts, to make it more tense?

  4. Have you thought about using the map more? Maybe have the spies draw some routes, or something like that.

Note: Try looking at “Wir Sind Das Volk” and “Twilight Struggle” (only for tokens on the map), they might give you some tips on map management.

Bye!


Ciao Lari!
Hai fatto un buon lavoro, anche se credo in questo gioco le mappe non siano il punto focale.

Mi sembra una buona idea per un gioco da tavolo, in cui la meccanica della gestione risorse fa da padrone.
In un continuo evolversi di relazioni nella rete di spionaggio, in 10 turni i giocatori tentando di avere più contatti per fare più punti a fine partita.
La casualità dei dadi non sembra pesare troppo, anche se i calcoli che bisogna fare per ogni lancio di dado, forse sono tanti.
Ho giocato ad Illuminati (che hai citato nel regolamento) anni fa e il feeling mi sembra proprio quello: tanti turni consecutivi e poco controllo dall’uno all’altro.

  1. Quale feeling volevi dare ai giocatori?

  2. Gli assets sono personaggi veri o li hai inventati?

  3. Come mai hai dato 10 turni di gioco? Hai pensato di fare meno turni, in modo da renderlo più “stretto” come tempi?

  4. Hai pensato di usare di più la mappa? Magari far disegnare alle spie qualche percorso, o qualcosa del genere.

Nota: prova a guardare “Wir Sind Das Volk” e “Twilight Struggle” (per quel che riguarda la mappa e la gestione dei token), potrebbero darti delle dritte sulla gestione della mappa.

Ciao!

Submitted

Beforehand: I don't want to be rude, take my words knowing that I'm not expert and I can misunderstand some things about your game (expecially after one reading)

I don't think this boardgame fits in the theme very well: after the agents are placed (randomly) on the map, this is it. I don't see creation of a map, neither I see different facets of it, because the two different maps are not of the same space, I mean, one is about connection between people and one is about the city, and both are used to give modifiers to the difficulty of the roll.

The rules are a little numerical, but simple in their way, old-style design like wargames.

It reminds me of Twilight Struggle, but without all the flavour that puts you in those years: (yeah, I know that I'm using a giant as term of confrontation, but I think you should give a look to that to help you developing this game)

As a conclusive note: it seems to me that this game can be developed in something like a "twenty minutes Twilight Struggle", a game i would definitely play. Maybe this is not its ideal jam.