We've finished re-balancing/culling Congress: The Board Game. We'll be redrawing the necessary materials and getting some new prototypes in the next couple of weeks, and - we hope - we'll have our finalized set of cards.
Originally, the game had both 60 rider cards and 60 action cards. (For the unfamiliar, riders can be played only on bills to amend them, while action cards are a more versatile set that can be used almost anywhere. More info on the game's page.) We found, however, that this was way too many of each. Our intent behind 60 cards per set was different for each type. Riders were used very often and so we wanted to make sure players didn't burn through the deck too quickly. In a 6-player game, 30 of those riders would be in player's hands, and if they used them all they would draw another 30 after the voting phase. Action cards, on the other hand, were used more sparingly, and a large deck increased the chance that rare cards would not be used too often.
But we went a little too far with each. Even with 60 riders we still ran through the cards several times per game, but because there were so many, players were often stuck with cards that they found useless. There was too much noise in the deck. This resulted in players choosing to discard and redraw a lot, so we burned through that rider deck more than we would have if there were fewer, but more useful, cards. And we had too many duplicates of action cards that players did not find useful and we rarely, if ever, ran through the entire action card deck.
So we've cut both decks down to 50. Each type of card is still present, but we've rebalanced the duplicates so that players are more likely to receive balanced hands. The only card we outright removed was the Whistleblower card, which allowed players to clear bribes that had been placed. No one ever used them, and we decided recently that discouraging bribes was a bad idea for Congress: The Board Game.
We've also reduced the amount of bills from 46 to 35, redesigning them so that all possible comibations are represented equally. With 46 bills we had a lot of cards that just felt extra - they weren't unique in any way and just weighed down the deck. Those are gone.
We'll have pictures for you when those cards are in our hands. Thanks for following along!
The Weather Gage Team