7th Sea: City of 5 Sails Playtest Preview

7th Sea: City of 5 Sails Playtest Preview

We are Ketal and Hastur, two French playtesters for 7th Sea: City of Five Sails and we are honored to discuss this upcoming expandable card game from Pine Box Entertainment. Here we present the City Deck, one of the core mechanics of 7th Sea: CIty of Five Sails. As previously noted, in this game, players will deploy characters whose goal is to control the City of Five Sails. To do so they’ll try to take control of the 3 main city locations which are the Forum, Docks, and Bazaar.

The locations, by themselves, do not have a lot of differences between them. At the beginning of each turn, however, a card drawn from the City Deck will come into play for each of those 3 locations. This bit of randomness means that each game will be truly unique, and players need to be aware of how the revealed cards can benefit them or their opponent. Cards can be one of the three following types: Mercenaries, Attachments, or Events.

 MERCENARIES 

 The first type of card that can appear at the locations are characters which either already live in the City of Five Sails or have just docked for a short stay. They may be pirates, robbers, or local celebrities. Recruit Mercenaries by Exhausting or turning sideways one of your own characters at the same location. Note that Exhausted characters cannot perform further actions that require Exhausting, such as Claiming a Location or initiating combat. In exchange, however, the newly recruited Mercenary will join your crew and will even be able to act this turn.

At the same time, Mercenaries aren’t totally free. The Mercenary will ask you to pay a cost which is visible at the top-left of the card. Hopefully, your characters have a high Influence value, which allows you to reduce the cost of the Mercenary they are Recruiting. You will need to plan carefully, since your influential characters are good at taking control of Locations and preventing your opponent from doing so for your victory. Will you send them to risk their lives to hire some fresh blood, and by doing so, maybe let control of the city slip between your fingers?

 



The character we can introduce is Takama Siad, a Healer originating from the Maghreb region of Théah in the 7th Sea universe. With a cost of 3, she’s not too difficult to hire on for your crew, but with a 0 for Combat and Finesse values, she’s not much of a fighter. Her 2 Influence value, however, makes her an interesting character that can take control of locations, or even Recruit other Mercenaries. What makes her special is her ability: every time a Duel takes place in her location, Takama Siad can heal a wound from your participating character. This ability can occur only once per turn, but in the long run it can help you keep your character alive longer so you can keep your grasp over the City of Five Sails!

 ATTACHMENTS

 The second card type able to appear at your locations represents all the goods passing through the City of Five Sails. Weapons, armor, even magical artifacts are some of the items we can find at these locations. With sufficient funds, everything is obtainable. It’ll be about making the correct purchases to equip and empower your characters or to prevent your opponent having access to these coveted goods!

A character can have only one weapon, one armor, and one attire. Characters can, however, possess as many Attachments as you want to multiply their abilities and let you have access to more possible Actions. Attachments can give you direct stat bonuses, grant you new Techniques to use in Duels, or even grant powerful actions to take during your turn! Obtain Attachments the same way you Recruit Mercenaries, by Exhausting your Character to Recruit the item to that Character, paying Cost minus Influence. Attachments remain with a character until they leave the game. Attachments are a way to boost your characters for the long haul. Since there are not many easy ways to destroy them, attachments are reliable investments to tilt the game’s balance in your favour!

 

 

For a low cost of 3, this versatile Attachment lets you increase the Influence value of the buying character. As previously stated, Influence lets you reduce the cost of recruitments and help gain control of Locations. That’s already a huge advantage. But furthermore, Smuggled Item possesses an incredible action. Destroy it, and you can buy another Attachment on any Location for free, or even play without cost an Attachment from your hand! Yes, you need to be clever and shrewd to survive in the City of Five Sails. Keeping an ace in your sleeve to play with perfect timing can be THE turning point of your game.

 EVENTS

 The last type of card that can appear at the Locations, and often the most devastating, are Events. Even if you are here to contest the control of the City, the city was here long before your struggle for control and will exist long after. An array of colorful figures run the city despite any and all attempts to challenge the established order. Event cards depict… Events (the name is on point isn’t it?) that occur in the city at the same time you are jostling for a position of power within the City of Five Sails. Events can be linked to monstrous creatures, mob uprisings, or even just to a specific character from the City itself. In any case, these revealed Events will greatly influence what happens within the game.


Mechanically, Events can give a particular action for the first player who triggers it, or simply cards that will change the game’s rules for their particular location. You will need to adapt and adjust to emerge victorious in a city where everything can change each turn.

 

In the 7th Sea universe, sirens are real and their melody is still confusing and deadly, able to drive mad even the toughest or the smartest sailor. To reflect this, Siren’s Scream is an Event that lets you Exhaust one of your characters at this Location to Exhaust all of your opponent characters at the same Location. But since it self-destructs this way, you’ll have to use it first! Even if exhausting your character to do the same to a single opponent can be useful, wouldn’t it be better if you waited to see if another opponent character moves to this Location? But what if your opponent triggers it first? Siren’s Scream poses huge dilemmas and serious headaches for the players with the luck (or not?) to see this Event appear during their games.

 Conclusion

The City Deck is a real plus for 7th Sea: City of Five Sails. It’s a simple way to give more value to your character movements, to the three different Locations, but especially it’ll make each game a unique experience. Randomness is already present in our decks along with drawing cards from shuffled decks. Each turn, the vagaries of the City Deck will potentially enhance or disrupt each player’s plans for that and subsequent turns. An all-mighty weapon? A fearsome mercenary? Or a game changing event? Everything can happen and you’ll need to adapt each turn to all the new arrivals because even if you don’t need all of them, you’ll sometimes need to fight to get them because you can’t let your opponent lay hands on them!

Another good thing about it is the fact that the City Deck will change over time! Through player decisions at online or in person Organized Play events, new cards will go in, some others will go out. Thus the City Deck provides an effective means to give more lore and especially more life to the game. Since this deck will never stay the same, your games will also change over time.

 We are really eager to help the development team polish the game into the evolving tabletop experience that everyone will enjoy playing. For now, we’ll simply say Au Revoir, as we still need to play our 654th match-up between us. We hope we’ll quickly meet you around a game table!

 

 

Announcing Doomtown: Weird West Edition

Announcing Doomtown: Weird West Edition

Weird West Edition

 

  • New ways to play with your existing collection, including Solo Play, Co-Op, 2v1, and more. 
  • Doomtown Goes Digital: Play online with our new officially supported platform: Doomtown: Online! 
  • The Latest Rules Revision: All of the latest updates, including new ones, to keep Strategy and Fun at the heart of Doomtown. 
  • 100% compatible with your current Doomtown collection.The original Deadlands: The Weird West card game is getting a new base set and a refreshed environment; stay tuned for the Kickstarter launching August 17 by signing up here.

“The Year is 1876, but the history is not our own…”. This was how Pinnacle Entertainment Group’s Deadlands role playing game was introduced way back in 1996. AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) licensed the alternate history setting and in 1998 created a collectible card game that would inspire an incredible fan base.

AEG relaunched Doomtown: Reloaded in 2014, and in 2016, Pinnacle and Pine Box took over to expand and support this beloved game and its die-hard community. 

So much has been accomplished since then. Pine Box’s first expansion, ‘There Comes A Reckoning,’ was funded through Kickstarter and brought Doomtown from Deadlands’ the Great Maze to the rest of the Weird West. This initial expansion introduced cards for four of Deadlands’ big bads, the “Servitors”, as well as key characters such as Morgan Lash and the Cackler.

We didn’t stop there though. Through player driven storyline interaction, Pine Box took Doomtown to the town of Tombstone, Arizona, creating a trilogy of expansions aptly titled “Too Tough to Die,” “Out for Blood,” and “Hell’s Comin’ With Me.” The team and players walked the boardwalk in Tombstone itself at our 2019 Doomtown Destination Event. In 2020, we continued to explore the Weird West with our latest expansion, “Welcome to Deadwood,” bringing our unique card total to 269 new options for players to enjoy. 

A New Base Set

On August 17, 2021, Doomtown: The Weird West Edition will come to Kickstarter to usher in a new era for this beloved property. Doomtown is a deep, strategic, constructible card game that features unique movement and poker-driven combat. For those unfamiliar with Doomtown and its current iteration, you read all about it here.  

At the Tombstone Destination Event, our design team discussed the current status of the player base and card pool. Two issues needed to be resolved: 

  1. Cards inherited from the AEG era of the game, such as Unprepared and Calling the Cavalry, had become problematic for the game.
  2. A large cardpool and old, out of print expansions were making it difficult to add fresh blood to our existing posse of players.

After much discussion, we decided the best way forward was to create a new Base Set.Shortly after our meeting in Tombstone, work began on it in earnest.

This new Base Set serves as a launching point for new and existing players into the latest evolution of the game. For the Standard format of Doomtown organised play events, all cards from the AEG Base Set to “Blood Moon Rising” will no longer be legal for tournament play. Some legacy cards will be removed while others will receive an update, clarifying rules interactions and balancing effects that proved problematic in their original iteration.

The following sets will remain legal for Standard tournament play: There Comes A Reckoning, Too Tough to Die, Out for Blood, Hell’s Comin’ With Me, and Welcome to Deadwood. 

The AEG era will still be supported as a Legacy format that includes all expansions, which can be found listed here

Fear Level/Town Square Markers, Solo play, Co-op 2v1 story scenarios, Multiplayer

 Not only are we introducing a new Base Set, we’ve got much more to offer as we continue our exploration of the Weird West beyond Gomorra and Tombstone into Deadwood, South Dakota!

The new Base Set includes four new variants of play, including:

  • Introduction Mulligan
  • Clock Timer Fear Level
  • Deadly Shootout
  • Town Control

 These options are sure to entice Greenhorn and Veteran players into alternative methods of play. For example, we implement an updated version of Classic Doomtown’s Fear Level. Instead of empowering Abomination dudes, this variant adds a clock timer.  As with all things Deadlands, Evil is a choice. Do you try and fight the encroaching darkness or choose to take advantage of it?

Tackle solo scenarios highlighting key facets of the game. You can also replay key storyline moments in a new 2v1 Boss mode:

  • Showdown at the Clanton Ranch
  • Showstopper 

But that’s not all, these scenarios feature the return of Event type cards from Classic Doomtown. While Events in Classic were part of deck construction, a separate Event deck will influence these scenarios.

What Else Is New?

Not only are there a variety of new ways to play, the rules are updating too, pardners! These changes serve both to make the game new-player friendly, while also clarifying potential issues for existing players. Some key changes include:

  • Kung Fu is now mechanically similar to Spells and Gadgets
  • Deed costs and production tweaked to promote town building and allowing for more Dudes to enter play
  • Problematic cards have been addressed, e.g. an updated version of “Unprepared”
  • Token Dude Statistics have been updated
  • Core Deeds no longer count against your Starting Dude limit

Last and certainly not least, more than 30 new cards join this set alongside many returning favorites.That’s just an overview of all the ways we think community feedback has helped us make a better experience for new players and veterans alike.

Pine Box UK

Our new UK partners at Inquisitive Goblin ensure the new Base Set, existing expansions, and future expansions will be available at an affordable rate to our friends across the pond.

Organized Play 

Our next Organized Play Series features a new Control/Influence dial, Revolver Faction Spinners, Stud/Draw Coins, and brand-new promotional cards. This is part of our upcoming Undertaker program where Pine Box Entertainment volunteer players receive various promotional items to distribute to their FLGS to promote Doomtown and other games.

 Story Plans

The continuation of Doomtown and the move from Gomorra to Tombstone created three major storylines:

-Stone and a Hard Place: The tale of Lucy’s fate and the hunt for her killer continues and concludes as the posse continues to avenge her (as told by Jason Pere)

-Twilight Protocol: The latest fiction by Jeff Bailey wraps up the Abram Grothe v. Mason Adler storyline originally presented through WildCards and currently being transcribed into fiction (as told by Ronnie Andrew Gouge)

-Aces Low: The tale of Jonah Essex traveling from Gomorra to Deadwood (as told by Owen Lean)

All of the current storylines will be wrapped up as Dave Hogg takes over as Doomtown Story Lead to bring us into a new era. All future sets will be designed in mind with the continuation of a main storyline and a more cohesive fiction plan for all players to follow.

Digital Plans

Through COVID-19, players have been able to enjoy Doomtown on TTS, OCTGN, and Untap, but we’ve also been working on an official browser-based online platform specific to Doomtown that features all the proper tokens, our gorgeous playmats, card packs, promos, animations, premium subscriptions, and more! This ensures the future of Doomtown contains a digital version that complements the physical cards and accessories. All backers of the Kickstarter will have access to this feature, and a preview video can be found here.

Previews

From now until the 17th of August, every Tuesday and Friday will feature spoilers of cards from the new Base Set. You can track spoilers and news on all things Doomtown via our various social media outlets listed here.


Why are we doing a Kickstarter?

We are going back to a Kickstarter for this project due to the success of “There Comes A Reckoning,” and also to create outreach regarding our existing product line. 

What’s to Follow?

On August 19, 2021, Pine Box Entertainment and our partners at Pinnacle Entertainment Group invite players to join us in the town of Deadwood for the 25th Anniversary of Deadlands, This celebration held during the Kickstarter campaign will feature the world championship Marshal of Deadwood event, a ‘Traitor’ variant round-up, Dueling in Deadwood, Greenhorn Shooting Range, Deadlands roleplaying sessions and a variety of expeditions in town. Check out the full schedule here pardners.

Doomtown will continue with future expansions and organized play for the standard and Legacy formats.Thank you so much to all our fans and players for supporting us and welcoming Doomtown into its next iteration.