I think, perhaps, the problem with the Reinforcement power as designed is that it’s too passive. I technically wrote and scheduled the article yesterday, which means I’ve been thinking about it since yesterday, and at this point I have an idea about how to fix it. This is a little different from the other “revised rule” entries because I haven’t actually revised it yet, I’m still speculating.

One of the reasons playtesting is so important is that it brings out all the little things that you can never expect to find within the design team (especially when your design team is one person). Internal playtesting is great because it’s how you’ll discover whether your game is playable or not, but it falls short when you consider that everyone you tests the game internally already knows how to play.

It can be very difficult to “go back” to a mental state in which you didn’t know how the game was played, to see what kind of mistakes you might make in playing — or any potential loopholes, shortcuts, or exploits in the system. So, one of the problems with Reinforcement is that it only introduces one new concept (“attaching”) and it doesn’t involve any of the other players. There are a couple potential ways to fix it.

Here’s the original rule:
“Commit 1 Resource to attach 1 Reserve to another target Reserve. (An attached card doesn’t count toward the Reserve limit. It adds its value to the value of the card to which it’s attached.)

Like this, it looks like a rule from Magic: the Gathering, which is nice and all, but not what I’m looking for in the core rules of my game. It looks more like an “expansion” power than a “core” player power, like a patch or a fix or something.

One thing I could do is make the power reactive instead of active. That gives players the opportunity to use it on their opponent’s turn, which potentially keeps them in the game even when it isn’t their turn. They might choose to keep some cards in their Resources after the end of their turn, specifically for the purpose of reinforcing a card if it’s targeted for banishment. There’s an element of strategy in there.

It could be that the problem doesn’t lie solely with Reinforcement, but the inclusion of the Forfeiture power makes any conflict resolve too easily. Why reinforce a card if you can merely exhaust a card from your Reserve to reduce any exile losses? The answer might be to make Forfeiture require the exile of the Reserve. Even with that change, Reinforcement by itself is too passive and potentially game-breaking as is.