Sunday, February 28, 2010

Equilibrium Playtest

Then I got in a couple 4-player games of Equilibrium.

Overall, I think it went really well.  In the first game, the new players were still learning the mechanics and understanding what it took to win.

There were initially some concerns that it was too difficult to control what your deck composition was like at the end of the game.  We played another game right after that, and those concerns were proven false with one game under their belt.

In the first game Brandon got a great kick off a couple "ALL Score" cards that Angie played to get a nice win.

The second game was a lot tighter.  They knew what was going on and put some plans in action.  We actually all chose to quit at exactly the same time in the second game.  I stayed simple and just scored a couple "13vp for 5+ of 3 colors".  Due to all the attacks, I only ended at 10 vp.  Brandon and Ang missed some key score cards though and ended a little negative.  Cayla ended at 7 VP, but was only 1 card short of hitting a 4VP card that would have given her the win.

Overall, I enjoyed it a lot with 4 players.  I'm excited to try it some more that way.  A couple ideas came out of it:

1. Let people over-pay for cards if they want.

I'm not against this.  I'm just not sure it's needed.  In the last couple turns I could see wanting to dump some fluff, but generally your deck is pretty concentrated by that time anyway.  We tried it in the second game above, but it was only used a couple times.  Of course, the player who did do it came in second...

2. Let people have more than 1 copy of each permanent.

I'm actually not against this the more I think about it.  You could get free 3-cost score cards with enough discounting permanents.  But those discounting permanents aren't free and even "free" score cards still make you trash a card at the end of your turn.

It was interesting to see how much impact the attack cards have in a 4-player game.  It's not that they are harsher, it's that there is a much higher chance of at least one hitting play each turn.  I think it shortened the game by at least 2 turns.  Of course, I'm not actually against that since a 4-player game would usually stretch out a little bit longer just due to logistics of getting 4 people to make decisions.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mini Con Tomorrow

Woohoo! I get to game for 3 days straight.  I've got a lot of catching up to do.

So what will I bring along?  Most a bunch of 40-60 minute "Super Fillers"

Alea Iacta Est - I don't think anyone else has a copy.  And I even pimped mine out.

Homesteaders - Really want to get this played with more than 2 players.

Chaos in the Old World - My last unplayed game dang it.

Factory Fun - A hard to find one, but a good one.

Himalaya - With the 6 player expansion of course.

Witch's Brew  - Not my favorite, but plenty of people love it and I have the 6 player cards now.

UpTown - Works great in a convention setting.

What do I want to play that other people will have?

Metropolys - I really dig this game.

Piece o' Cake - Wrong name, but great filler :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Utopian Rummy Revisited

Well it's been a few months since I've done much with Utopian Rummy.  Suddenly there's at least a little bit of buzz on the game again.  I think much of it came from the great contest that Cate ran over on the geek.  But here's just a sampling of what people are currently doing with it:

1. JuanJosé Martínez is translating the game into Spanish.

2. Nick Hayes is doing a slight re-theme just to get some flavor text and a back story into the game.

3. Jeremiah Lee is making me re-think which jobs are actually more powerful over here:

Sadly I opened up my files to send them over for translation, and realized I pretty much haven't editted the game in a year.  I really was fairly happy with the final result and just couldn't bring myself to keep playtesting changes. I'd rather move onto new things, but I am happy that people are still playing my game :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dice Musings

So I'm on a real big dice kick lately.  Yea for me.  But now I'm itching to try and design a "Dice Euro" like Roll through the Ages or Ra: Dice.

I've recently had some thoughts as to how I'd do interactions:

Each player gets 8 dice.
There will be 6ish items up for grabs.

First round:
On your first turn, roll all 8 dice.
Place all 8 dice in groups onto the items.
Next player does the same.

Next rounds:
First see if you have the top group for any space.  If so, claim the item from that space and take back your dice. Opponents get pity stuff for getting their dice back.
Now roll all yours again and place them.

I'm worried a little bit about runaway leader stuff.  Not really from getting too good of stuff, instead more like the boxes and squares problem of Samurai.  Once you've won a big fight, you get to place those dice right back in the swing of things.  Maybe delay the dice you win with for a turn.  Might be difficult mechanically though.

Just some musings.  It would have to have items like the SPQR tiles from Alea Iacta Est though.  Those things are quite sweet.  Maybe one face up and one face down.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Slim Pickings

Wrapping up a local no-shipping math trade this week.  I'm doing the running on a Google Spreadsheet, so it turns into a fair amount of work for me.  This is the final leg where people send me their want lists.  Since I know everyone personally, I tend to take the time to check for spelling errors and confirm anything that needs fixed.

I of course turn in my want lists first.  And after looking everything over, I really decided there was very little I wanted to try to squeeze onto my overfull shelves.  I only ended up with two items:

Pow Wow - A simple party/bluffing game.  I like these style with the family and I think this one would catch on well.

Heroscape-marvel-the-conflict-begins - Yea, I have the other master sets just because.  Maybe I'll play them with my kids some day.  Still, this one doesn't add much on it's own.  So I'm not missing it horribly.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ra: The Dice Game - It Has Legs

Yea, I bought Ra: The Dice Game at more than full retail last year at GenCon.  At first, I sort of enjoyed it.  But I just played my 12th game, and I find that I'm actually really enjoying it even more.

What has improved my opinion of it?

It doesn't get boring even once you learn the relative value of many of the scoring opportunities.  These just influence your liklihood of rerolling the various outcomes.

The game length for 2 players is just right at about 20 minutes.

The setup time is pretty much zero.

It still has the great Ra scoring.

Hell, in fact, it's got me wanting to purchase Priests of Ra just to try and play it with my family more.  Ra Ra!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Augmenting Alea Iacta Est

So I finally ordered some new games.  (Basically I waited until my gaming budget was out of the hole.)

And of them, my fav has been Alea Iacta Est (AIE).  Probably not surprising given how much I loved Ra: The Dice game and Roll through the ages.

Anyway, there were a couple glitches with AIE.  Some of the bonus tiles needed english reminder text and I wanted a nice player aid for the game.  So, I've spend some time putting that together.

The bonus tiles I've just taped printed text too, but I think they look nice:

And as for the player aid, BGG is still awaiting approval for that.  You can check out an alpha version over here:

I've found that file uploads don't get a ton of love on the 'geek.  Which is sad, because they are some of my favorite parts.  I do need to go back and revisit a few of my files.  Such as:

Make all the changes to the Brass rules I promised.

Finish off the Uruk aid and upload it.

Yadda yadda yadda...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sorry for the Gap :)

Yea, I let the blog slide for a couple weeks.  I hit a manic session at work and was still trying to fit studying in.  I'm going to cut back to Tuesdays&Thursdays and keep the posts shorter.

Just started kicking up the dust around here for the Indianapolis Mini-Con.  It's our way to survive until GenCon rolls back around.  My main duty is a private math trade.  I run it just on Google Docs with a shared spreadsheet.  It's easier than a BGG list in some ways, but I sure do miss JeffyJeff's OLWLG.

I also want to give a shout out to for quickly coming through in support of the Con when I asked them.  They join a long list of great sponsors that make it an event to remember.