Challenge: Make a thousand year game.
As the week wears on, the game has gotten more complicated. It has also gotten more dynamic. The changes that I made today (with Michelle's help on play-testing) drive it even more in that direction. I think that makes it more interesting game. The last game we played today in particular was interesting. Every move mattered and you could make some really cool things happen if you planned ahead and tried to distract your opponent. Cool stuff.
1) Fortifications only cost 1 action point to place and 1 action (plus a token) to destroy. Fortifications are now distinct from simply placing another piece on the board. They are a little more situational, but I like the new balance. Every time a fortification was placed was significant, but it wasn't just a stop sign.
2) Surrounded pieces are now worth 3 points. This really changed the game. I always had a scoring rule like this in there, but with 25 tokens it is difficult to set surrounded squares up. Now it is actually worth the trouble. It also makes it so you really need to watch what your opponent is trying to set up. If they manage to end a game with even a few surrounded squares, it can be devastating.
3) Ties are determined by who holds the center square. Seems a little obvious, but there it is. I'm not sure that this is the way I want to go, but it just seems to fit. I'm still thinking about this one.
4) Absolutely no "ko" type rule. If I haven't mentioned it before, the ko rule in go states that you cannot make a move that returns the board to a state that it was in 2 turns ago (i.e. on your last turn). In go this prevents infinite move states. Since tokens are a finite resource in this game, you really don't need a ko rule. If someone is willing to fight you for a specific space, you can probably really punish them for it. They (or possibly you) should have thought ahead better.
Tomorrow is the last day of week 1! I will have the final rules set plus some simple assets if you want something to print out (although you can probably improvise a board and tokens). I will also have some final analysis about how I think the week went and what to expect next week.