We play tested the new terrorist rules last night too. Everyone hated them. Hated the new expansion. Hated the rules. I’ve never heard so much bellyaching. They thought it was unfair. The terrorists were too powerful. Too strong. There was no way to stop them. No way to defeat them. It was too expensive to go after them and for what? Nothing was gained in the end. As a designer I chuckled to myself and thought: sounds perfect! =)
Yes, they are frustrating. Yes, they are difficult to deal with. In this game I played the terrorist to show everybody how they worked. It always seems like everybody hates the terrorists….. except for 1 player: the one playing them. 🙂 They love the terrorists and have a huge amount of fun being hated. In fact, after being introduced to the expansion, everyone usually fights over who gets to be the terrorists in the next game.
They are insidious. The terrorists start with nothing. As players attack and conquer things, the terrorists get money. With the money they can build terror armies. Terror armies are weaker than regular armies. They don’t fight very well in a conventional stand up fight but they have special abilities. You can build them anywhere: even in a players home country, even in the midst of their own armies! Yes, they can coexist in the same area with other armies.
They are free to stay there or move around from area to area at will. Nothing happens unless they are attacked or they decide to launch an attack. If attacked, they have the option to run away first. If they get the die roll, they simple retreat to any adjacent area unharmed. If they attack, they can destroy your company, steal the resources or steal one of your ICBMs! They can also declare a conventional attack and just fight. If they win, they can seize any company cards there like usual.
So, the terrorist start with nothing. They gradually build and get stronger; profiting off the aggression of the superpowers. If left unchecked, they can grow into a real threat. How can they win? They win by score. Add up every ones net worth at the end. The terrorist player gets a handicap by adding on the value of what all the other players start with. So they start with nothing but they don’t need as much to win.
The players in our game became so frustrated and hated my terror armies so much they began nuking them! I laughed and pointed out that they were nuking their own companies and destroying their own economy! It didn’t hurt me. I would just build new terror armies somewhere else. 🙂 -keep in mind these were younger players: 10-12 in age. Still, it illustrates the level of emotions this expansion brings out in people.
For all their howling about how unfair, unbalanced and impossible the rules were; no, I did not win. I did come in a respectable 3rd place though.