With it being the holiday season, this week's Action card reveal is very fitting, even though I didn't originally plan it that way.
Today's card came along midway through development of Shipload o'Gold. Early on, I wanted to set the tone that the cards in the Weather deck would make the game end, and the cards in the Action deck would keep the game going. With a few exceptions, we had a good balance between these two philosophies in the cards we put in the game.
Early on, we did not have a set hand size for Action cards, and the overwhelmingly powerful strategy was to amass as many Action cards as you could. This was also before some of the devastating Weather cards were introduced as well. If you were playing with five or more people, this strategy meant that the Action deck would run out of cards rather quickly. At that point, it would essentially just be the person with the most coins left that would win the game. That happened far too often for our liking, so we implemented quite a few changes - the hand size limit, the Weather cards that would affect your Action cards, and today's card:
This card was originally "Restock Supplies" and it is how we extended the usefulness of the Action deck for longer games, since we still didn't want the Action deck to be automatically refreshed when used up. While we did the not-very-good-thing design-wise in implementing multiple changes when trying to fix a problem, together they have ended up working well.
While the card doesn't explicitly say it, this card does get shuffled back into the Action deck, giving it the chance to show up again later in the game. This can potentially create very long games, though I have only seen it happen once, in a game of nine people (we only recommend the game to be played with up to eight people). Consider it a stress-test type play session, though it did bring that possibility to our attention. It's not present in our initial print run, but we may include an additional rule for larger play groups where you limit this to one card (there are currently two Restocks in the Action deck), or you just don't add it back into the Action deck. It's something that never came up until that nine-player session, so we don't consider it to be a broken card, but we know that it has a small chance to create a less-than-optimal play session.
There are only three cards left to reveal for Shipload o'Gold, and they're all Action cards. Since Yanaguana HQ is laying low for the holidays, rather than give the HQ updates on Thursday this week and next, I'll just use those days to reveal cards. That way, everything will be revealed before the new year. So come on back here on Thursday for the first of the final three Action card reveals!