Sunday, March 31, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Eminent Domain cooled on me, and was a game that like 7 Wonders, I got bored with early. I almost passed it over completely after a handful of plays, but decided to go back to it, this time really looking for depth, as opposed to hoping the game would show it to me. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
The game comes with a cup full of dice. On your turn you will draw three of them and roll them. You keep the brains, which are points. You also keep the shotgun blasts. The footprints, which are "runners" you reroll once you've drawn back up to three dice from the cup. If you ever have three shotgun blasts, your turn is over and you lose the points you earned this turn. You can choose to stop whenever you want and bank your points. Once a player gets 13 brains, every other player gets an equal number of turns, and then the game ends. The player with the most brains wins. That was easy.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Rewarding success in board games is a tricky proposition. Reward players too much and the game can cease to be competitive past a certain point. Lagging players can be easily alienated and become bored. Fail to reward successful play enough and the game takes on a feeling of being too artificially balanced. It feels like no matter what you do, you do about as well as everyone else, and the winner comes down to whatever random variance is built into the game. Today I'd like to look at numerous games, what they do well, what they don't do well, and try to come to some sort of conclusion about what makes a good reward system.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Balance is a tricky issue. If you start both players off with the exact same starting position and capabilities, it is likely true that your game rewards skill and experience. Even in the best of games of this type, it results in a somewhat dry game. Incredibly deep and fun games, but typically quite dry. Sadly, many games also fall far short of their depth mark. Depth in a purely deterministic game is hard to pull off. It typically requires there to be some sort of emergent quality to the rules. And emergence is difficult to purposely accomplish.
So most games take a different path, and introduce a variety of mechanics to liven up gameplay, but maintain balance. Randomness, asymmetry, variable set ups, and so on. So today I'm going to be taking a long hard look at dice. How dice effect the gameplay, the depth of the dilemmas in the game, and the nature of the player interaction.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Monday, March 4, 2013
Battle Line is a very quick two player card game. It falls in the same category as Lost Cities and Dragonheart among others. In theory it is set during Alexander the Great's conquest of the Persian Empire, but you'd only know it because two of the special cards in the game are Alexander and Darius, and they cannot be played by the same person. So here is what I think of it.