We playtested the Heist game v1 again yesterday, playing 4 games with some alternative rules which worked much better.
There were two options we tried:
Firstly to limit the number of plan cards available making only 3. The problem was that the game then took too long, making it too easy for the police to catch the criminals.
Secondly to have all players play treasure cards acting as points, but that plan cards are also played upside down. In this way anyone playing face down cards can be suspected of being the mastermind, but only the mastermind knows when the plan is ready – which I think makes sense from a thematic point of view.
We played one game of the first type and 4, 5 minute games of the second. Having the game take 5 minutes kept it interesting and fast moving, allowing the police to win 3 times and the mastermind once.
We had 2 new players which picked up the game within that time span which was also very reassuring, though having a basic ruleset on the table would be beneficial for reference.
I look forward to seeing how this game progresses, especially how positive the feedback has been from a first version.