Being the Fucking Governor – Part 2: Game Balance

mwg-website-blog-exiles-being-the-fucking-governor-p2-game-balance

In Part I we talked about how it’s not the Governor’s job to kill all the players.

Now we’re going to talk about how to avoid accidentally murdering all of the players.

In Exiles, the line between one unfortunate death due to player idiocy and a total Character holocaust can be pretty goddamn thin, so it’s a good idea to keep a few best practices in mind.

First, be careful about outnumbering the Characters, especially in your first few games.

 

surrounded-small

Fuck you, Carl… Just… Fuck you.

It can be really tempting to put all of those Toady models on the table, but there’s a good reason why you only get 6 of them. It’s actually for game balance!

Once the Characters are out-numbered, a run of hot dice can have the entire posse pushing daisies. Keeping some models off the table also allows you to be more flexible during a game, which can be a real lifesaver when it comes to Betterments!

Second, focus on your Betterments.

As we learned in Part 1, Betterments help you play to the story, but they also help keep the game balanced. Pick your Betterments Before We Start, and make damn sure you have a plan for achieving them before putting dudes on the table.

Not only does playing to the Betterments make the game more dynamic and interesting (and gets you cool shit), it also helps give the Characters much-needed breathing room.

toady-betterments

Come on El Pato! Hogtie this fucking Henchman already!

As the Governor, playing to your Betterments forces you to creatively use violence to influence the players’ behavior, as opposed to simply killing their Characters, which isn’t all that difficult anyhow.

And that should be your primary goal: make the characters do what you need them to do in order to get your Betterments.

When the Characters are trying to achieve their objectives and you are trying to achieve yours, violence inevitably serves the drama of the story, and Character death becomes a natural outgrowth of the story, instead of a giant clusterfuck.

Next time we’ll talk about what Dead Guy tokens have to do with game balance.