I just finished my first solo playtest of my game in its current state. I simplified my strategy with both “players” and assumed that neither was going to use the Banishment or Intercession powers for my own sanity. The game seems completely playable without those two powers, which is pretty cool, actually. Mainly, I wanted a glimpse at basic gameplay, which is what I got.

Most of the obvious strategy is in choosing your first card to reserve and knowing when to stop revealing cards during development. I never “busted” with only two cards, but I did bust a few times when I went for three. The player who went first won the game, but the second player had the lead through most of the game. Since I ran both sides, I’m not sure what the turning point was.

Throughout the game, I would periodically stop to check the number of cards in each player’s Outskirts (usually at the end of the second player’s turn) but other than knowing which player was ahead, I couldn’t tell anything about what kinds of cards were being lost. Each player accumulated a few cards in their Resources which couldn’t be used to activate their reserved cards and were too small to be depleted.

I also noticed that the mix of high- and low-valued cards stayed pretty consistent throughout the game. I was afraid that Depletion would knock out all the high-valued cards and the rest of the game would be full of failure-to-activate moments, but the pace of card activations was pretty consistent. Because one player was running an ace, and the other a two, both activated several times each turn.

The question will be how Banishment and Intercession change gameplay, and how likely players are to reserve and forfeit cards quickly to try and gain an advantage, or to avoid card loss. Seeing how other people interpret and abuse certain powers will be key in figuring out what kinds of card powers I need to devise.

All in all, I was very satisfied with how the first playtest concluded. (Technically my second because I botched a couple rules horribly in the first run-through.)