When it comes to Warriors & Traders, the world seems to have split in two, into those who love it and those who hate it. We are very pleased that the first category contains more people, but we still want to understand and improve so that for our future games there will be less and less people unhappy of what they get. So, we've been looking into what made some of the gamers complain about Warriors & Traders and what parts did they like the least.
After careful research we've identified two issues and both of them are related to our lack of experience at the time we developed the game and wrote the rule book.
The first and largest issue was the length and clarity of the rules. Most of the people who rated Warriors & Traders low on BoardGameGeek are those who did not agree to the way we phrased the rules and could not get a grasp of the game. Some gave up, the others survived all the way through but ended up playing only one game without ever discovering the full potential of Warriors & Traders. But we're not here to point fingers or to look for excuses. It is obvious that in spite of our enthusiasm and heavy testing, we lacked the experience of writing short, clear rules. We've improved a lot since then and the best proof is the way the rules of Exodus or Wild Fun West are written, so it would not be fair to overlook our first game and leave things the way they are.
We're starting to re-write the rules of Warriors & Traders from scratch, following the same principles of play and using the same game components. We will simply try to show everything in a new light, so that more gamers will be able to enjoy the game.
And since we're about to put a lot of effort to address one issue, we'll tackle on the second one as well. Some of the players who did not have a problem finding their way through the rules and even enjoyed the theme found Warriors & Traders too ... realistic. In other words, the limited number of options led to a too deterministic or even dry game. We worked too hard to show the shortcoming of those centuries and we ended up making people feel that with just a few more turns the game would have made so much more sense.
While developing, we've been playing around with several sets of rules. We need to go back a few steps, look over the old rules, find another point of balance between the Dark Ages setting/realism and the game play and get to work.
We believe that before the end of this winter we will have a brand new rule book for Warriors & Traders, one that reflects the experience we've accumulated and solves most (if not all) the problems people pointed out.