Monday, June 24, 2019

Godfrey the Great (Goblivion: A Playthrough)

King Loko the Brute was preparing to defend his innocent people from the invading goblins. What his innocent people didn't know, however, was that The Brute had picked this fight. Things got too boring without a good head or two to lop off.

Solo Board Game Extravaganza

It was a perfect storm for solo gaming yesterday afternoon. My three year old needed a nap (which almost never happens anymore), my wife and other daughter went out for ice cream with some friends, and my puppy was tired and fell asleep on the floor. I ended up having almost two hours to game. Friday night and Saturday night also brought themselves about an hour each of gaming time and so I grouped that together in this post.

What did I pull out for this haven of board gaming?

Friday night was spent on Goblivion. I had lent this to my brother-in-law and was eager to play it again. I didn't know how much time I would have to play and this one only takes about 30-45 minutes, so it was a safe bet. This game has quickly become one of my favourites. It's quick and easy to pick up, but there are a lot of important choices to make in regards to what and how to add or remove cards from your deck. It really feels like a deck-builder (and just better) version of Castle Panic. 

The most exciting battle came near the end of the game when these three stormed my castle. One gluttonous troll is terrifying enough, but two?!?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Landscaping: The Real Time Dexterity Game

This is a really good game because it really engages your mind and your whole body - especially your back, legs, and groin. It can be played multiplayer or solo and players can easily jump in and out whenever they want. It is strictly a cooperative game, but occasionally you get an unintentional traitor who screws up the rest of the team. There are expansions galore - in fact, if you have money, you could spend it ALL on new features for your yard. Here are some pictures from the event.

One of my neighbors dropped in during the first game and he had the skid steer expansion. Made it so easy to bring the dirt to the backyard.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Second Printing...

Not much to report today. Put a few more boards on the fence, ordered some rocks, marked a whole whack of math quizzes. June is in the air! My artist/co-designer and I are finally getting together next week to play and plan. I've had a lot going on in my head and the last few days I actually had a little bit of time to tweak the cards and do a second printing of them. I'm hoping to have a few more pictures and a few more ideas to write about in the next few weeks. The summer especially should be a great time for getting work done.
Getting my craft on.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

I'm Spawn It!

School and tutoring are heating up lately (literally - my portable classroom was 31 degrees yesterday) and I'm also trying to hammer out some landscaping, so gaming has been taking a backseat. Even though I haven't had much hands on time playing games or designing my own, I have been doing a lot of thinking, stewing, pondering, and listening to podcasts. I've especially been enjoying the podcasts from Every Night is Game Night with a focus on game design. I'm halfway through an interview with Jamey Stegmaier from Stonemaier Games (Scythe, Viticulture) entitled "What I Wish I Would Have Known before I Got into Game Design." Wow, that's a mouthful, but very informative (thank you The Board Game Design Lab podcast for putting this on a couple years ago).
Made it out in time!

I finally got a few playthroughs of the first mission/adventure/scenario of my game the last couple of days. Here are the thoughts running through my mind right now.

(1) I want to make my "magic" system really make sense with the game mechanics. What kind of system would need you to start out weak and build up your deck each time? In what world does that make sense?

(2) Should the enemies activate after each hero's turn? Or after all the heroes have gone? What has the most balance? Which way allows for the fewest boring enemy card flips in a row? So far I've been doing it after all the heroes, but I wonder if it would work better after each (kind of like Gears of War).

(3) On that note, I'm working on the spawn cards right now. Similar to Zombicide, the level of monsters spawned ramp up as the game progressed (although it's based on a round timer, not on experience gained). Just trying to find the right amount of cards for the deck (a little one? A small one?). I was thinking dice, but that's TOO random. So do I just do 6 different cards so it's not as random and you know what's coming?

I think that's all my brain can hold for right now. I'm hoping to meet with my co-designer and artist next week and hopefully we'll get a little further. Summer should be a good time to get cracking on this game as well! My friend was asking me how long until this game would be ready and I figured 18-24 months. 9-12 to finish making it, 9-12 for playtesting and tweaking. I'm really not sure though, but, it's fun!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Top Ten Non-Fantasy Games

Sometime today Altar Quest by the Sadler brothers will hit Kickstarter. I didn't know much about it until I listened to an Every Night is Game Night podcast on the weekend where Jason, Brady, Adam, and Mike (another solo gaming guest?) were discussing it as well as coming up with their top ten tabletop fantasy adventures. I'm looking forward to the Kickstarter, but it got me thinking about my top ten fantasy games. That'd be pretty easy to hit because I'm a fantasy nerd. But, what if I made a reverse list? Tried to figure out my favourite games that were NOT fantasy? That posed a greater challenge. Let's up the ante - no Science Fiction games either (sorry Gears of War, I love you so much). So, without further ado, here's the list.

I want to begin with an honorable mention for a game that would probably had made this list if I had played it more. History is not really my thing and my short time owning Black Orchestra did not help. The game was very thematic in a boring sort of way - wait, wait, wait, attempt assassination, fail. Wait, wait, wait, try again, get captured. Or something like that. But my friend brought over Freedom: Underground Railroad and wow, was it good! It's very sobering and thought-provoking to think about the theme of the game, but the game was full of exciting and important choices. I want to get that one back to the table. Also, if you're teaching Canadian or American history at all, this is a great game to give students a taste of the experience.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Middle-earth is Overrun (The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth: A Review)

This week I finally finished my grand adventure in Middle-earth. It did not end well. In the final scenario, my heroes were overrun by the forces of evil and the land was swept into darkness. We fought bravely, but in the end my fellowship succombed to fear and perished. This does not set things up nicely for the fellowship of the ring - poor Frodo will be down a few members as he heads into Mordor.

Does this game suffer the same fate? Or does it rise up to conquer the critics?

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Adventure is Almost at an End

My ruffians. Apparently FFG sent one of them into battle without weapons. Trying to get that fixed.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A Great Week of Gaming

I'm continuing to roll solo through The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth. I finished the fifth adventure last night and noted a couple of interesting things (spoiler-free).

+ I finally received enough lore to level up some of my weapons and armor. I'm excited to see how they play out in the next adventure!

+ One of my characters received their first title! A seemingly mundane search event turned out to have a huge benefit for a certain race. Well, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and now have a new, powerful card in my deck!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Love at First Sight?

I picked up The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth from my friendly local gaming store on Friday night with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I am a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, having read most of his books (including ones like The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales) several times. The Lord of the Rings (LotR) movies are my favourite of all time (not so much The Hobbit ones). Unfortunately, the LotR games I've tried so far did not turn out so well for me.