I played a solo test game of Funkenschlag today and found out the following:
* The game is quite fun. It’s a bit like Age of Steam, but without the mandatory expenses. Gaining money is also easier. If you don’t get money, you can’t expand, but it isn’t a slow fall towards bankruptcy.
* I don’t think you can win in the early game, but you can definitely lose the game in few turns. The game doesn’t allow for mistakes and I think some kind of beginner handicapping system like the backup share issues of Age of Steam could be useful.
* I was thinking about playing a short game Sunday, but I think normal game might be better. At least in my test game the winner was very obvious very soon. In the longer game, there’s better chance of catching up: someone might get eight cities quickly and then struggle to get more.
* I might add a second end condition: the game ends when someone gets 20 cities or in three hours, or something like that. It can be done with a alarm clock so that nobody sees how much time is left. When the clock (ie. the cell phone) beeps, current turn is finished and then winner is declared. That way the game can’t last forever.
* My new map was quite neat. It was great to be able to drop out the useless pieces and only use the necessary parts. The pens worked great and it was very easy to wipe the board clean after the game.
So: I’m very much looking forward to play the game Sunday. It should be a blast.