We’ve been working on this expansion for quite some time now. We could have rushed it out the door long ago but it just didn’t feel right. I might be too much of a perfectionist sometimes. In this case, I’m glad I held out. What resulted is really spectacular and well worth the wait.
We really liked the ‘idea’ of the old Fortuna Deck: Add random events into the world. True. Often times random events can trigger world conflict. I also think people were looking to the Fortuna deck to ‘fix’ the broken market. Moving the market around at random loosened things up and gave players more chances to buy and sell. In the old design, it did help.
Well, the market is fixed now. It doesn’t need random moves. What else did the deck do? Apart from random market moves, it added natural disasters. This sounded like fun to us at first. In practice it gets old real quick. How many massive typhoons, earthquakes, etc. can hit per turn? Seriously.
Finally, we had a burst of inspiration: Why not use the Fortuna deck to control the Minor countries? They just sit there and do nothing but get invaded. In the real world, the actions of Minor countries can often prompt the Superpowers to act. They trigger all kinds of world conflict, even war.
So the new ‘deck’ controls the actions of Minors. Tin pot dictators pop up in Minor countries with varying degrees of annoyance. They might just build up their army. They might decide to seize all factories under their control. They can actually invade their peaceful neighbors and seize those factories. They can acquire ICBMs from the black market. There can even be outbreaks of deadly pandemic viruses. Perfect.
We had one last improvement: we converted the ‘deck’ into dice! So it’s not a deck at all really. They are Fortuna Dice.
We were inspired by a bit of old technology: Kriegsspiel Dice. It is amazing how much critical info can be packed onto a few tiny cubes. No charts. No tables. No rules. Nothing to look up. They are smaller, lighter and faster to use than a deck of cards. A quick toss and bam, there’s the result.
Sometimes the Old and Unimproved ways are simply much better.