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Europa Universalis: The Price of Power DD#19

This is a copy of the Kickstarter Update #29. Source: https://bit.ly/EU-Up29

Keep yourself updated!
First and foremost, if you would like day-to-day updates about development. The place to go is Aegir Games Facebook Page and Aegir Gamesโ€™ Discord Server where there are daily discussions and playtesting of the game. There is also a collection of Kickstarter Updates with in-depth information about the game development over the past year.

Second anniversary! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

A few days back, as I am sure many of you are aware, we passed the second anniversary of the completion of the Kickstarter campaign. So much has happened since, and even we are surprised at how long it all has taken. I don’t want to dive too much into it, because even if I love this project, to bits, I want it out already, to take on a life of its own. As a friend said, “my 24yo who I love but I want out of home”.
๐Ÿ‘ด Working on it after two years? We thought it was almost finished, truly, already back then. A bit rough maybe, but all there, just needing to be polished. Then, with stretch goals, a lot of new content was added which we wanted to add, and for which we had the ideas, but which took longer to get right than we thought. I’m going to list all finished stretch goals, could seem redundant, but I need to show how much extra work they entailed.
  • 1618 map (took 5 times longer than expected, but it is done)
  • Ulm scenario (this went smooth as butter)
  • GameTrayz (a lot of back and forth, trial and error, to get dimensions right, etc.)
  • New Events for Kalmar Union (Denmark and Sweden), Portugal, Brandenburg, Venice, Netherlands, Mamluks, Generics (challenging to maintain general, yet engaging and relevant for everyone), and commissioning the artwork needed for all of those
  • New Missions for the above Realms
  • More, interconnecting Generic Missions (a much deeper system than initially planned, with several rounds of playtesting and feedback)
  • More Milestones (with scaling challenges in tune with how the game progresses)
  • Byzantine Scenario (with the help of Patrick and Aaron, great guys)
  • More Bots (each of these has to be tested and be sensible to the natural map/historic development)
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Having a host of new gamers playing it repeatedly on TTS made us realize that even if we had a solid foundation, the game was far from finished if we wanted it to fulfill its potential. And boy, are we glad to have had our baby shared with everyone so that the fans of the PC game and the fans of what we were (and are) making could chip in, testing and even extensively report from the games they have played. So it became the game we wanted to play + the game that now hundreds of people have chipped in on (some almost daily even) to make it the game that they really want to play. Or, like a great game designer once said to us, “it is 80% done, now let’s crack on with the remaining 80%” (we should have listened more carefully back then).
๐Ÿ“… Where is the timeline? The one that we follow to the millisecond.

We have to make sure the Solo Rulebook and the Scenarios reflect the changes and revisions in the Main Rules. That should not take too long, and we ask for a final timeline from our manufacturer once they have everything ready to print. A timeline that we can get behind with confidence on our part. But we are optimistic that before this year ends, this will be in the hands of the manufacturer; and then Panda Game Manufacturing will have a timeline for production, and then the fulfillment center looking at that will be able to make a guess, depending on how the global shipping situation develops during the rest of the year. THEN, we can give you a timeline that does not depend on us.
To celebrate the anniversary we could all re-watch the Kickstarter video. Which I still am very proud of.

โœ”๏ธ To-do List Update & the Administrative Advisors

On Discord, we have these roles or tags called “Military Advisors”, mostly because Eivind likes to see his name in red. But we are just Administrative Advisors at this point, or so it feels.

After Essen, there has been a lot of follow-up work with all the people we met there. Many emails, many video calls. That’s why the main Rulebook is coming now.

And it is all stuff we have to clear out, like VAT in EU, VAT in the UK, looking for the best fulfillment partners and configurations, meeting with those guys, making sure they understand the requirements that come with a project on this scale.

Also, we are looking into getting help to get distribution deals worldwide in the future and that took us some time too.

On top, we had been talking with people about localization deals, that if they come to fruition, will add some new possible languages. I cannot say much until the paperwork is signed. But these have also taken us a bit of time from development.

โœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ The To-Do-List looks like this:
All in-progress already:
  • Update the Player Aid. (2 pages, we are on it)
  • Solo Rulebook: Most revisions are done. Now we need to align it with the finalized rules and cards. Again, there have been, and are at the moment, major helpers that have given us so much feedback, that a system close to perfect is coming.
  • Scenario Booklets: They are virtually done, we have to cross-check them with the current, newer rules and they’ll soon be available for you to peek on them.
  • Final feedback and proofreading: Going through the final feedback from you guys, as well as our own final proofreading of all printed elements.

โœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ Then comes the Administrative work:

  • The moment we send these last files (the ones above) to Panda GM, they will provide us with a timeline on production. And that timeline will be truer than anything we can estimate.
  • Making sure we are in tune with new VAT regulations for the European Union. We have budgeted for this already. But it has added a lot of additional stress.
  • Organize fulfillment for KS backers. This one comes with the above and the bits I explained earlier. and it is also a decision that involves a lot of money, so we have to make it right. But we are already working on it, and have been for some time.
  • Try to get a hold of those few remaining backers who haven’t completed their orders on Gamefound. Yes, they still exist.
  • Organize shipments for retailers and distributors.
  • Write more Updates when we have anything meaningful to say.

Main Rulebook revisions, done. ๐Ÿ““๐Ÿ““๐Ÿ““

The third and last part of the rulebook is done. This one includes Events, Religion, NPR, DNPR, Rebels, the Holy Roman Empire mechanics, and Papal Curia Actions (Crusades and Excommunications), Prestige, and 2-Player variants. So, a very packed last part of the booklet.

Essen Spiel 2021 ๐Ÿ‘”๐Ÿ‘”๐Ÿ‘”

Oh boy! Do I love conventions? I do. You are going to see very few pictures of me because tis’ was I, making most of ’em.

Mikhs and I leading the All against the designer on Saturday (more of that at the end)

Thanks to the first-class fans of the game that came traveling from far and wide: from Paris, Utrecht, ลรณdลบ, Switzerland, Oslo, and across Germany; some grabbed a t-shirt and even dared to host a demo to strangers to the game. They help us every day and enjoy the game with us online, and now even IN REAL LIFE. It gives me joy that I can put faces to the voices, and find out they are even better people than I already imagined. Now every time they post or talk, I rejoice knowing that I have met them. It is different now.

Packed with people playing and spectators all the time
On Sunday, Kalli, Even, Tails, and a table led by Eivind
Even and Mikhs in “the tension of battle”
Jarige using the Force for demo purposes

Another highlight of the convention was the “All Against the Designer” demo game which happened on Friday evening just at the end of convention day. The pictures can show you how crazy it was, and Arccos (the guy on the very left in the photo above) will tell you how it went.

๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ Europe in Flames (All against the designer) ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ
Written by our beloved community member, Arccosย 

In Europa Universalis the Price of Power, you can follow the safer and easier way or a riskier and possibly the most rewarding route. In our first live game with four experienced players, we wanted to do something different. Something more exciting. Knowing that the designer of this game, Eivind, was playing one of the most complicated yet most powerful nations in the game, France, the other players were already planning on how they would manage to bring him to his knees.

As the first player, France set the tone of the game by Declaring War on England and heavily recruiting all his manpower and some mercenaries, planning to invade the English provinces in France. Castile continued by taking their event and making the Iberian Wedding, gaining an alliance and a royal marriage with Aragon. England followed with their event, War of the Roses, and prepared to crush the rebels in Northumbria. Austria will see the occasion of the Hungarian Throne and will accept the Hungarian monarchs, increasing their influence in Hungary. Returning to France, they decided that now was the time to move their mighty army to regain their lost land on mainland Europe. And so the first player vs. player war began. France declared war upon England, called their two allies, Scotland and Provence, and marched their biggest army in Brittany and Normandy. On the other side, the diplomacy was already on, as Castile, on their turn, proposed to help England to fight over France. Castile’s goal was to conquer most of the provinces in Aquitaine. England would gladly accept the help from Castile in these challenging times.

Castile allied with Navara preparing a Subjugate card to annex them diplomatically. England needed to finance their army, so it traded well in the English channel. After improving its relations with Hungary, Austria decided to ally with them and consider helping Castile and England in their war with France. France sieged down Bordeaux, making it the first province to liberate from England. Castile diplomatically annexed Navara, and now they could recruit in the Aragones area, which would be easier for them to march in France. Out of retaliation for besieging their province, England attacked the small France navy in the Bay of Biscay, losing one British ship but capturing France’s ship. Austria, seeing the opportunity, placed a claim in Burgundy, hoping that they could also get a piece from this pie. Castile, in their turn, made their move and declared a no Casus-belli war upon France, losing some stability and marching their army into France territory. They fought with a small France army and received minor casualties. Castile didn’t call Aragon into this war. France now was cornered in the wall from all sides. France couldn’t attack Castile as their army was almost equal, and even with a victory, the British military would quickly sweep for the win. Plus, with the Austria claim, France was expecting an invasion from the east. As France’s most significant advantage was that they had more military power than all the other realms, they needed to wait until Castile, at least, used all of theirs so they could outmaneuver them. So France remained by trying to trade. Due to unfortunate lousy luck and the English blockade, it was impossible for France to trade in Bordeaux. Castile then used all of its military power to siege and occupy all of France’s provinces in Aquitaine. England recruited some extra lightships in the English channel. But don’t they have enough already?

Austria, in their turn, finding their opportunity, declared war on France and marched their army in Bavaria & Swabia by getting Military access from the HRE realms. France marched to Rhineland, going closer to the Austrian army. Castile tried to trade, but unfortunately for them, they traded poorly as none of their close trade nodes were selected. England, on their move, understood the situation France was in. They negotiated not to hit each other for the rest of the round and leave the English provinces in Brittany & Normandy intact if England helped France in the war. Finding the weak spot of Castile of not having military power, England backstabbed Castile by declaring a surprise war without Casus Belli to them and also calling Portugal to the war. Many naval battles occurred between Castile and Portugal, with Castile losing all of their ships in the Central Atlantic but managing to save one ship in Western Mediterranean.

Surprised by this chain of events, Austria retreated and split the army, leaving their biggest army in the capital and a smaller one in Tirol. France continued paying some ducats in Bavaria & Swabia to get military access and move in that area. Castile, unable to do anything, decided to be the first player to pass. Combining naval activation with army transportation, England moved one ship to the Central Atlantic and sent a small army from East Anglia to Andalucia. Austria moved their small army from Tirol to Lombardy by requesting military access again from the HRE realms. France attacked the Austrian army in Wien and easily won the battle without many casualties due to better general and higher numbers. England sieged down the provinces in Andalucia while Austria moved their small army in Languedoc and fought a small Provence army. Now was the time for England to deal with the rebels in the War of The Roses event and recruited a small army in Northumbria that was assisted by mercenaries, winning the battle. France siege down Wien and ร–sterreich while Austria siege Toulouse and Montpellier. Finally, the round ended with England moving and besieging the capital of Castile and France penetrating into the Alps to siege Tirol and Kรคrnten. Now France and England were able to force peace to Austria and Castile, respectively.

As agreed in the peace resolution, France didn’t ask Scotland to invade England for their help and peace with England by getting Bordeaux. France humiliated Austria, winning 10 Prestige from them, and returned all occupied provinces back to France. France also agreed to peace out with Castile as Castile decided to return two provinces to France. England forced Castile to pay ten ducats by giving back their capital and keeping England’s two provinces in Andalucia. Also, Portugal invaded Leon, sieging one province. After the rebel dice rolls, the war reparation paid to England, and the costly recruits to fight and keep the provinces in France, Castile went bankrupt!

The first round of our live game was finished. England was leading at the prestige track as they were able to complete first many of the milestones and missions, keeping the provinces in Brittany and establishing a base in Andalucia. France was able to compete on the prestige track with England by getting the humiliating victory from Austria. With a bankrupted Castile, it would be easier to reconquer their land in later rounds. Austria would recover economically and maybe make some comeback on the prestige track as now they were last but not the target for any player. You, the reader, need to keep from this game because in Europa Universalis: The Price of Power, you are never safe. A no Casus-belli war can always be an option!

We are looking forward to seeing how you will shape the fate of Europe in your campaign!


Keep yourself updated!
First and foremost, if you would like day-to-day updates about development. The place to go is Aegir Games Facebook Page and Aegir Gamesโ€™ Discord Server where there are daily discussions and playtesting of the game. There is also a collection of Kickstarter Updates with in-depth information about the game development over the past year.

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