The author of this prototype...

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The author of this prototype...

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 20:48

I start here, ok? ok ok ...

Hi, my name is Nicola Iannone (here on the Forum as Veldriss) born in 1972, live in province of Bergamo near Iseo lake and I'm the author of this boardgame prototype: MedioEvo Universalis.

I always always always played, when I was a little boy my passions were the Lego and miniatures 1/48, then I fell in love of the games "strategic" and "managerial" (both boardgame and PC).
LEGO allowed me to range quietly with fantasy: the central police became a spaceship and a truck became a supercharged submarine ... imagine when I start with Lego Tecnic!

This "way" to play I always took with me: wrote a book of spells of up to 100° level for Tunnels&Trolls; created 3 additional armies for Garibaldi (game of Clementoni); a "maxi Risiko" on map of 182 territories, a "maxi Axis & Allies" on map 3600x1800 mm.; board and rules for playing up to eight (4 vs 4) with Magic the gathering; 2D maps and 3D for siege to the Castle and mega Master Panel D&D supercharged for D&D Master (almost complete); etc. etc. ...

How many of you, I liked "change" the rules of all games to create variants or completely new.
My luck was to enter in 1988 in the team rowing of Lovere (Canottieri Sebino): there I knew some guys of my age who had the same passion for Boardgames ... Played mainly Risiko, but not 100% sure that these athletes always hungry, came to my house to play during weekend ... or rather to make a mega snack from fruit tarts, tiramisu and so on ... crazy!

Being many during these meetings "snack&play" I think has influenced a lot the way that we took about our way to playing ...

I start in 2008 to write about MedioEvo Universalis on the italian forum side, now I decide to open an english section because the game will soon be produced by Giochix... sorry if my english is not very well :P
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...and the prototype

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 7 dicembre 2016, 19:24

We also say 2 words of presentation on prototype:

It was born by mistake and definitely a necessity for us to play all together rather than in 2 or 3 separate groups.

It has evolved over time thanks to my friends "canottieri" who have spent hundreds ... yeah, calculating that we started in the 80's ... thousands of hours playing with me.

We have always been fascinated by the idea of trade to be able to manage and buy means/armed/fortifications and not have the resources automatically as in other games.
If you think that we start with the map and cards of Marco Polo (Clementoni), tanks of Risiko and money of Monopolies ... we made very long road.

Already then we had introduced the cards to attack and to defense, calamities, random events ... computers as we know now not existed yet (only the commodore 64 and early PC 8086 and 8088), so we "stolen" any game canned in my possession for exploit, if possible, the components and perhaps give its meanings sometimes completely different ... we had arrived at use a deck of mixed cards that exceeded calmly 300.

I thing we have tried and plytested everything:

- add Shogun units for special combat units

- miniatures of Civilization to try diplomacy with emissaries that physically moved on the map

- using sticky notes exchanged among the players

- locked alliances, 2, 3, to areas, random and so on

- 2 and even 3 parallel systems of coins, maybe an exchange for goods and armies

- calamities managed/controlled by players

- various historical periods and not ... the game for a short period had taken the way of the Napoleonic period (I had already bought 3 boxes of Napoleon in Europe to prepare myself)

- a player extra whitch became GM and/or banker

- infinite number of units and not

- 4 types of maps completely different ... it was also preparing a map "universal" (3600x1800 mm.) that could be used both for this prototype that for other boardgames (Risiko and axis & Allies for example), but always scale to 10 players.

- and much more ...

Many ideas inside my mind that already more than 2 years ago we write to try to implement some aspects of the game ... I still have the 2 sheets of Zamein with at least some forty notes and/or suggestions:

- new combat system, it is our main strengths, we would like to create a similar system and simple, yet completely different

- custom cards about COMMANDER, like previous characters as Richard the Lionheart, Saladin etc etc

- strategic cards combined expertise of the FLAG to implement combat bonus, like Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage

- adding diplomatic options like type regal marriages

- and so on...

Everything that you see in this prototype is the rationalisation of what we invented, copied or modified by other boardgames or PC games. The same maps that were created in 1999, still in use since today, were the summary of that super deck of 300 cards used for previous 12-15 years.

Currently the game can be defined as a managerial one, set in the medieval period, more precisely in 1265.
Considering that a full round is equivalent to approximately 1-2 months real time, the longest matches don't go over 5 years ... also because historically Europe 5 years later would already be quite different.

Each player has to start match one of the major Kingdoms of the era:
Kingdom Almohad
Kingdom Mamluks
Horde gold
Byzantine Empire
Novgorod Republic
Kingdom of Hungary
Holy Roman Empire
Kingdom of France
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of England

Map is modular, divided in SET1 according to play up to 5-6 players and 2 EXPANSIONS to play up to 10! The player has available land and sea units to trade 8 different types of goods in 36 cities on the map, so fiorini obtained can be invested to increase the cities, building fortifications, buy new units, recruit new General, build siege machines or new cathedrals/mosques to have more control over the population, specialize the cities in a commercial sector, and more.

With fiorini also you can buy technologies to improve some aspects of the game; technologies are divided into 5 kinds, up to 3 layers, so if I will have STREETS, I must buy ARCHITECTURE and MATHEMATICS before yet.
The technologies also help me to eliminate or reduce the effects of CALAMITIES: MEDICINA against PLAGUE, AGRICULTURE against FAMINE, etc etc etc.

There are also game cards, named EMPIRE that allow the player to do more things: spying your opponent's cards, earn more by trade, taxing better territories, ask truce during a war, get bonuses during attack or defence etc etc etc.
Many of these cards have combinations with technologies, for example the GENIUS has + 1 bonus during attack or defence, but if it is accompanied by the ENGINEERING he take + 2 bonus... and so on... MERCHANT with COINS, TEMPLARE with MONOTHEISM, MERCENARY with ARMY etc etc etc.

As you may have noticed, I used the colors to help you learn many components of game, there are references and descriptions on each card and also I inserted in front of the player a summary of the game turn and 3 summary tables of classic 50 questions that a player always stolen ... so I have dramatically reduced learning time and in fact, when I played with my friends younger (13-14 years) the thing was very useful.


In addition to CALAMITIES cards there are random events which affect only 1 areas of the map; I added other units on the map, the neutral (or dead, barbarian, as you prefer), which with 4 simple automatic rules can expand its neighbours or attack weaker player or rebel territories with low defense... to move even more the game.

The territories have 5 different terrain types: plain, hill, forest, mountain, desert and in addition the rivers ... all this leads to limits of population or costs in movement.

Also diplomacy: there are 6 diplomatic options that can be broken at any time (so look back!), obviously players take consequences (for example, if a player Christian declares war to another Christian would almost certainly the excommunication of the Pope and therefore would fall out of favor).

The sequence of players is random, if now you are the 1st, in the next turn you could be the 3rd or last ... pay attention to your enemies!

Object of the game is to get as many HONOR POINTS ... during the game, depending on what you do, you may gain or lose HONOR POINTS.
So you can play: by TIME, with a MAX NUMBER of points to reach or with a defined number of TURNS.
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BEST features

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 7 dicembre 2016, 19:25

MedioEvo Universalis

Game of commerce, diplomacy, strategy and conquest.

- Number of players: 3-5 with BASE box, 6-10 with EXPANSION box. Added the "dead", which has rules to reinforce himself, attack and rebel territories of players poor defended.

- Age: 14 + players, the simplicity of the rules and structure of the game allow fast and easy learning ... then the players will choose from endless possibilities to create more complex strategies.

- Terrain: 7 types of terrain combined with city's fortifications and technologies give modifiers for movements and overpopulation.

- Trade: players have at their disposal sea and land transportations to trade 8 types of goods in 36 cities on the map to earn florins.

- Technological advancement: 36 technologies deployed in 5 families on a maximum of 4 levels improve their Reign in economy, trade, military and diplomacy. These technologies implement the features of other playing cards or allow to protect yourself from Calamities.

- Very rare events: calamities can disrupt and modify a lot all strategies... If the player is prepared, he will able to survive almost unscathed, otherwise ...

- Random Events: a series of positive and negative random events, but less catastrophic, will hit the various areas of land or sea in which the map is divided: storms, missions required by the Pope, tournaments between players, merchants who offer trade … etc.

- Development: the player has the opportunity to expand their cities, increase the fortifications and defenses, armies, military and commercial transport... and more.

- Playing cards: allow to improve armies and defenses, the construction of fortifications, taxes, diplomacy, the purchase of new mercenary's armies ... etc.

- Combat: the combination of technologies with the card game allows you to get a bonus set of modifiers during battles... and how about a nice Crusade? Don't forget to Corsairs, pirates and Mongol invasions.

- Diplomacy: 6 diplomatic options and Casus Belli with other players; 1 player also controls the Pope and must organize the Crusades... if the others Christian kingdoms try to refuse, Pope can excommunicate them... and if the Mamluks conquered Rome?

- Expansion: the player is invited to expand his Kingdom to create an empire.

- AIM of the game: get the most Honor Points from the various aspects of the game as: military expansion, killing an enemy General, conquering a Kingdom, winning a crusade, completing a mission … etc.

MORE INFORMATION at BGG: ... niversalis
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definition of COMPLEXITY by Frank Chadwick

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 7 dicembre 2016, 19:25

Very interesting thing is the definition of COMPLEXITY by Frank Chadwick (historian author command Decision)... I try to find the original text, but I have only the italian traslated, so I traslate again in english... I hope to made good traslation:

"more than one player COMMAND DECISON veteran, when he felt that I was working on a new edition with simplified mechanical, has expressed doubts that I was 'making'. In my view, this aspect derives partly from the fact that the term 'complexity' became the most abused and not included in the terminology of the game.
We were invariably say that this game is 'too complex', or that this game is for beginners because it is not too complex.
All this points to a lack of understanding of how does each game work and why do people play them.
The only thing important about whether a game is attractive or not, is its complexity. If is not complex, nobody plays.
Chess have lasted for centuries because they are a game of an almost infinite complexity. Poker remains fascinating because the unknown combination of cards and game styles of multiple players, they are equally a game of infinite complexity. All games of resistance passionately because are very complicated. And how these games are not complicated! The complicated of mechanical is what usually is patently wrong error for complexity, and this is more of a simple problem of semantics.
Since we we abuse of the word complexity related to the game, with both meanings, developers often really reduces the complexity when trying to make a game not complicated, with the result that becomes really "commoditized" – boring and unattractive.
But few people would consider chess be a trivial game despite the simplicity of its mechanical properties.
When we say that COMMAND DECISON is too difficult to play, we're not saying that is too complex. Anyone who has played with command DECISON knows that the complexity of the interaction of various weapons, the different degrees of moral, the different levels of quality of troops, is what makes one so rich gaming experience. Instead what we mean is simply that its mechanisms are too complicated. And so, how can we reduce the complicated without complexity? Since I have examined the rules COMMAND DECISON, I was impressed by the fact that no rule was terribly difficult or complicated individually. The game was pretty complicated from simple mass mechanics separate subsystems. A rule was used to direct heat anti-tank. A completely different mechanical system was used to fire arms. Another completely different for localization. Another different for the request of the artillery. Another for air support. Whenever something else happened on the table, players overall had to invoke collectively a different context of rules. The tool for which CD3™ reduces the complicated while maintaining accuracy and complexity is very simple. Uses a single game mechanics to cover the above conditions."
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