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Biomechanic Dino Battles - The Deckbuilding Game

- Co-Designing a Dino Deckbuilder -

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BDB powered by Game Salute!!

Andreas Propst
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Dear friends and fans of Biomechanic Dino Battles!

Exciting news:


We at PM Games are pleased to announce our new partnership with Game Salute, with whom we will work together closely to make Biomechanic Dino Battles a reality. As we are new to the games publishing business, this partnership with an established and experienced company like Game Salute will allow us to ensure highest quality and make Biomechanic Dino Battles better than ever!

The guys at Game Salute will demo Biomechanic Dino Battles - The Deckbuilding Game at the Origins Game Fair from 30th May till 3rd June in Columbus, Ohio. So if you are planning on going there and are curious about the game be sure to stop by at booth 100 and have a go at Biomechanic Dino Battles!

An official press-release from Game Salute will follow soon!
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Wed May 30, 2012 5:29 am
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Play Biomechanic Dino Battles for free - Demo PnP File now available!

Andreas Propst
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Good news everyone!

You can now download, print and play a free Demo version of Bioemchanic Dino Battles at

http://www.biomechanicdinobattles.com/BDB_PnP.pdf

It is basically a complete game for up to 4 players, but with a limited number of cards - one prebuilt setup. If you are a DIY Gamer / PnP enthusiast and are curious about the game do give it a try!

Thanks and cheers,

Andi
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Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:15 pm
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New BDB Website is online!!!

Andreas Propst
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Hello everyone!

Our crafty programmers and web designers worked night and day so we can now proudly present you with the new Biomechanic Dino Battles Website!

Have a look at it at www.biomechanicdinobattles.com !

There is also a forum in which you are more than welcome to post and contribute!

Many thanks to Francesc and Lluis for the great web design job!

Cheers,

Andi
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Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:06 pm
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Session Report + Card Preview!

Andreas Propst
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After quite a long while (I have been busy with illustrating and other game-related side-projects), BDB hit the table once again. I had my good old gaming buddy Berni over - we played one game which lasted about 70 minutes.

We played with the following (semi-random) setup:

Dinos:

Coelophysis
Dilophosaurus
Struthiomimus
Polacanthus
Diplodocus
Triceratops

Strategies:


Pacify
Sacrifice
Energize
Repair
Strategize
Fury
Data Rush
Quick Strike

Items:

Flamethrower
Deflectaporter

Notes:


- The Dinos were picked at random. The Strategies and Items were selected.
- This setup is a very defensive one with cards like Pacify and Repair. - It is also very Evade and Defend heavy, with only two Strategies/Items requiring Attack to buy (and use): Fury and Flamethrower.
- The Dinos are very Evade-heavy with Coelophysis (cost: E), Dilophosaurus (EE) and Struthiomimus (EEE).
- I removed two must-buy cards from the setup, namely Charge (+1 Draw, +1 Attach. +1 Combat) and Pincer (+1 Draw, +2 Strategy) and replaced them with Energize (+1 Attach, search your deck for a Combat Card and put it into your hand) and Strategize (+2 Strategy, +1 Buy).

------------------------------------------------------------

How the game went:

I wanted to try an Evade-based strategy this time, buying Coelophysis (which has 16 EVA)as my first Dino, while Berni bought a Polacanthus.
While Berni grabbed some Pacifies, I aimed for an engine revolving around Strategize, Energize (see above for a description what they do) and Data Rush (+3 Draw).

As a backup I bought Diplodocus which has a whooping 70 Hit Points and a devastating attack (Tail Swipe (cost AED): 30 damage, 5 damage to each benched Dino the opponent controls). Later in the game, through various Strategizes and Energizes I was able to perform that attack on each turn, but alas Berni always had an Evade or Defend card handy to fend off my costly attack.

Before I sent Diplodocus into battle I bought a Struthiomimus which has two great attacks and was a nice fit for my Evade-centered strategy.
Have a look at it (This is the card preview announced in the title of this post ):



Having 14 Evade, Struthio has a great attack in Swift Strike that is bound to hit against most Dinos. Combined with multiple Energizes pulling off Swift Strike every turn plus saving one Evade card for evading opponent attacks is possible each turn. In theory. In this game I was able to do it once... The other times Berni evaded with his Coelophysis, the only Dino that exceeds Struthio's Evade-value with 16. As there was no card in the setup that gave +1 Combat, I was never able to get through with Struthio's Swift Strike...

At some point Berni started buying Flamethrowers and through an extremely lucky draw in mid-late game, was able to knock out my Struthio (which has only 30 HP) by first "pacifying" the single Evade card I had attached to it and then using two Flamethrowers (each deals 15 damage to the active Dino, and 5 to all benched). In hindsight, I think that one lucky move cost me the game.

I tried to turn the table with Diplodocus using its Tail Swipe Attack, which became increasingly difficult for me as Berni had bought all the available Defend cards. That posed another problem: Having only 2 DEF cards left in my deck, I had no means of defending Berni's Flamethrowers. Maybe I should have invested in Deflectaporters (An Item which can redirect targeted effects)...

So in the end I succumbed to Berni's neverending barrage of Flamethrowers.

Bottom line: A very interesting experience playing without must-buy cards like Megalomania, Charge and Pincer (Strategize became the new must-buy card with this setup - each of us bought 5 of them). The game was tense, nobody knew who was going to win until the very end. Also I want to note that all Combat Cards were gone by mid-game...

Berni enjoyed it a lot again ("Best game ever" ) and we made Monday our BDB-day. So expect another session report in a week. At the latest...

As always, thank you for reading!

Cheers,

Andi
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Mon Mar 5, 2012 10:21 pm
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Playtest Session Report - Featuring Triceratops...Sorta

Andreas Propst
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Yesterday I had the opportunity to play BDB again after quite a break with my good old gaming buddy Berni.



We played two games with the following setup:

Dinos:

Tyrannosaurus
Triceratops
Ankylosaurus
Polacanthus
Velociraptor
Dilophosaurus

Strategies:

Pacify
Repair
Pincer
Data Rush
Sacrifice
Fury
Charge
Quick Strike

Items:

Flamethrower
Deflectaporter

Notes:

- A lot of high-cost Dinos like Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops
- Pacify as the only means of getting extra buys

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Game 1:

I was able to inflict some early Wounds with Velociraptor's "Claw Slice" attack (cost: E, 10 damage, inflict 1 Wound) but Berni started to fight back soon with Polacanthus, using the tried and tested Charge (+1 Draw, +1 Attach, +1 Combat) + Pincer (+1 Draw, +2 Strategy) + Tackle Strategy.

While I inflicted some minor damage with the Quick Strike Strategy card (Let's you perform a free attack for 5 damage) and bought a Dilophosaurus, I was planning on getting a T-Rex. As it costs four Attack cards to buy, I bought some Attacks. Meanwhile Berni, upon my advice, purchased an Ankylosaurus, which is one of my favorite Dinos due to it's useful and versatile attacks (I wrote about him in an earlier post).

I inflicted some Poison on Berni until I could finally buy T-Rex. Alas my plans where foiled by Berni who had been buying a ton of Pacify cards (Discard an attached card from a Dino, +1 Draw, +1 Buy) which he used to make it nearly impossible for me to pull off T-Rex's costly attacks (For example "Tyrant's Maw" costs an incredible AAAA).

By the time I knocked out Berni's first Dino with T-Rex, he had attached 6 (!) Combat Cards to his Ankylosaurus, as you can see below, which he then moved to the fore.



Through the Charge Strategy card, Berni was able to knock out my T-Rex in one fell swoop performing two "Club Blow" attacks with Ankylo on one turn. Left with just one already wounded Velociraptor (The littel guy has only 30 HP to begin with) on my bench, I conceded.

The game took us about 75 minuts.

Notes:

- We wondered if Quick Strike was too weak. At five damage it may seem so, but at 10 it would be obviously overpowered. We pondered about adding +1 Strategy so you could play multiples, but then again it would be quite broken as you could build your deck around it and deal something between 20 and 30 damage for free each turn...

- Nobody ever buys Fury (Strategy, cost: A, +1 Attach, target Dino gets +5 ATK)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

On to Game 2:

In game two Berni and I somewhat switched places strategy-wise. He bought a Velociraptor and I bought Polacanthus for our first Dinos. With the power of the Charge Strategy card I was able to inflict a total of 30 damage to Velo by turn 3, knocking it out already.

Somewhat later in the game Berni bought a Triceratops just for the fun of it. Have a look at the beast:



As you see it has quite impressive attacks (especially Berserk can get quite ugly). However the cost a lot to pull off, so I in turn did the same as Berni did in game 1 and invested in some Pacifies.

I won't go into further detail as for game two. Only so much:

Berni bought a Polacanthus of his own, while Triceratops was neglected on the bench and never sent into battle , and performed some awesome combos with the aid of the all-powerful pincer.

He finished off my last Dino, a Polacanthus with 30 of 40 HP left with the following Combo:

Pincer (+2 Strategy, +1 Draw), Data Rush (+3 Draw), Pincer, Charge (+1 Draw, +1 Attach, +1 Combat), Charge again. Then he attached and discarded three Attack cards to his own Polacanthus to give mine the rest dealing 30 damage in one fell swoop.

So despite Berni won again, we had some very interesting situations during the game, and that is what counts for me! laugh

Note:

Somehow I ended up with an incredibly big deck at 39 cards. I still wonder why and how...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Well that is our latest playtest session for you!

As always, thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Andi
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Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:30 pm
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My first BDB experience...

Lukas Laner
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My first actual experience with the game was when it still was a Customizable Card Game like for example Magic: The Gathering or Elemental Clash: The Basic Set (another game of my dear friend Andreas).
That was also a pretty nice concept but now it evolved into a deckbuilding game.

As today most fantasy games and whatsoever deal with vampires and werewolves, the game theme is, as far as I know, unique and more innovative than anything else.

Well, now on the game itself. The resources system is harder to handle than for example in Dominion, as you have 3 different resources (Attack, Evade and Defend) and not only one. But that’s a thing I really like about it cause this way it doesn’t get as monotonous as in other deck building games.

However the most exciting thing about the game is the win condition – killing three dinosaurs of your opponent. Your dinosaurs are your most valuable good and a lot relies on them. You should choose carefully which dinosaurs you get and which strategy you are about to follow…

You can also pimp your dinosaurs with biomechanic weapons (Items), which is a pretty trashy and fun thing about it.

Nevertheless there also the strategy, which give you extra draws, strategy, buy, etc.
(Usually you only have one draw, buy, strategy and attach)

In short, I really like the game and think that it has a lot of potential.
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Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:40 pm
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Short Playtest Session Report - Ankylo Attacks!

Andreas Propst
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So this very morning my good friend and favorite neighbor

Lukas Laner
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paid me a visit to play another game of BDB. It was his second game and we played with the same "Semi-Random" setup I used in my last games with Berni (See previous post).

This game was quite interesting. Luki bought a Velociraptor, inflicting some early wounds through its "Claw Slice" Attack (Cost: E, 5 damage, 1 Wound) and I was lucky enough to get my hands on Carnotaurus (A huge 55 HP predator with some very powerful, but costly, attacks).

Soon I retreated my Carno and sent Polacanthus into battle. Luki did the same, switching Velo for a Pola of his own. Both of us, Luki and I, bought lots of Pincers (One of the most underrated cards in my first few games) and Charges to pull off multiple attacks a turn and Pacifies for two reasons: To hamper opponent attacks and to get additional buys. In this setup Pacify was the only card to give +1 Buy.

Before his Polacanthus went KO, I recommended buying Ankylosaurus. Luki did that and when his Pola was gone, he sent Ankylo into battle. It turned out that Ankylo, especially in combination with cards like Charge, that let you perform multiple Attaches and Combat Moves, was a real beast. Have a look at it:



Once Luki was able to pull off both attacks, Club Blow and Smash, on one turn. Either of these attacks are very powerful as you may see on the above card image. Luki had me purge all my 3 initial Attack cards (So i had to spend my precious buys on purchasing additional Attack cards ) and inflicted 2 Paralyze cards to boot.

Ankylo soon killed my lone Polacanthus, which allowed my to push my benched Carnotaurus to the front and (powered by multiple Charges) pull off a deadly and unexpected "Double Horn" Attack (Cost: AAE, 30 damage, 2 Wounds) knocking out that pesky Ankylosaurus of Luki's. As all Dinos were gone from the Offering, it was all or nothing for me. Carno was my last Dino and Luki had a (poisonous) Dilophosaurus and a swift Velociraptor on his bench.

At that point each of us had scored 2 KOs. Luki picked Dilophosaurus as his new active Dino, who was then pitted against my fully healed (I had bought a couple of "Repairs" mid-game) 55 HP Carnotaurus. Luki tried in vain to pull off the only damage-dealing attack Dilopho has, Poison Bite, which costs AEE, deals 20 damage and inflicts one Poison Card.
Alas that plan was foiled by my Pacifies (which let you discard a Combat Card attached to a Dinosaur) and after some turns Luki - in good sportsmanship - conceded...

The game took us about 75 minutes and it was very exciting till the very end. If Luki had purchased another Dino than Dilophosaurus in time (Dilopho is often quite useless in late game) I think he would have won the game.

Overall we enjoyed it a lot, pondered whether or not Ankylo was overpowered (It sure has some unique attacks and maybe "Smash" should discard the Combat Card rather than purging it...) and are looking forward to more games of BDB...

Thanks for reading!

Yours,

Andi
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Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:57 pm
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Another Playtest Session - featuring T-Rex!

Andreas Propst
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It's been a while since I last posted and since I had my last game of BDB. Last weekend I was glad to have my good-old gamer buddy Berni over to get some games in.

We played 2 games with a semi-random setup (meaning I picked cards at random but made some changes to make things more interesting), one taking somewhat short of an hour, the other one and a half hours, which couldn't have been much more different from each other.

Before I get to how the games went, I want to share the setup we used:

Random Setup #2:

Dinosaurs:


Tyrannosaurus
Carnotaurus
Dilophosaurus
Velociraptor
Polacanthus
Ankylosaurus

Strategies:


Pacify
Sacrifice
Repair
Fury
Double Strike
Charge
Pincer
Data Rush

Items:


Deflectaporter
Blinding Grenade

Ok that is it. On to the games:

Game 1:

Game 1 was played fast and furious, with everyone tuning their decks to the max. My goal was to get Tyrannosaurus as soon as possible and start to deal some serious damage with it. A few turns into the game it became evident that Berni was pursueing the very same goal.

So in order to get this 4-Attack-Card-costing Beast as soon as possible, preferably before the other can get a hold of it, the both of us made heavy use of "Sacrifice" purging all kinds of useless cards from our hands and bought a lot of Attack cards.

Berni knocked out my initial Dino (the paralyzing Ankylosaurus) with his Carnotaurus, but a lucky draw allowed me to buy a Tyrannosaurus to replace it just in time!



While I made heavy use of the "Pincer" (+1 Draw, +2 Strategy) plus "Charge" (+1 Draw, +1 Attach, +1 Combat) strategy, Berni bought "Pacifies" in order to disrupt me in accumulating enough Combat Cards to make use of T-Rex's very costly attacks.

Somehow, through a combination of Pincers and Charges (a combination that works just awesome as we discovered), I was able to pull off T-Rex's "Tyrant's Maw", which costs 4 Attack cards and deals an impressive 40 damage while inflicting 3 wound cards to boot, two times in a row, killing off Berni's first and second Carnotaurus.

Berni used a third Carnotaurus to knock out my T-Rex. Wisely enough, I had bought a backup Dino (Polacanthus) earlier on, as we were all out of Dinos by that time. Pola was pefect for defending (Carno has 10 ATK and Pola 10 DEF) and dealing little but steady damage.

In the end, Berni's third Carnotaurus had 20 Hit Points left and my Polacanthus even only 10. Then, in one fell swoop, I played a Pincer and two Charges, attacking with Pola's Tackle twice, which allowed me to score my 3rd KO.



The game was very close again. If Berni had had just one more turn, I would have been toast...


On to Game 2:


We used the same setup as in game 1.

As I mentioned before, game 2 couldnt have been more different from game one. It was like a test of endurance, with great combos being played, seeminlgy endless chains of "Pincer-powered" Strategies (Almost like in Dominion)...



...a lot of back and forth and very large decks instead of small, highly-tuned ones as in the first game. In the end both our decks consistet of about 30 cards each.

The "Repairs" (which heal dino Hit Points) were the first cards that ran out. Especially Berni made heavy use of those which elongated the game to an insane extent. Basically I attacked with my lonely Polacanthus and Berni either evaded or defended, and, if he did not have an Evade or Defend card attached, healed all the damage I had dealt during his next turn using multiple "Repairs".

The whole game became a struggle of endurance, me attacking, Berni, who could not attack at all on most of his turns, as I had been so mean to buy all Attack Cards from the Supply, evading, defending, repairing, the both of us playing insane strategy combos (again I would like to emphasize the importance of Pincer - we underestimated the card in the beginning). The game dragged on and on, although, as one might suspect, it was not boring at any point at all. You could not tell who was going to win until the very last turn...

In the end (all Combat Cards were gone, as were all copies of Repair, Charge and Pincer) Berni was triumphant and knocked out my last and lonely Polacanthus, who had been pestering him for countless turns. A well earned victory.

Have a look at the playing field after "battle":



Berni summed it up quite well:

"Game 1 was totally different from game 2. That is what makes this game so interesting for me."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

So that's about all there is to tell about two games of BDB which couldn't have been more different...

As every time, thanks for reading!

Yours,

Andi
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Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:39 am
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Luki's first game of BDB

Andreas Propst
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Today I was glad to have one of my best friends and neighbour Luki

Lukas Laner
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over to finally play a first game of BDB. We never got around to it before since Luki is studying medicine in Vienna, which obviously takes a lot of time - he was either at his flat in Vienna or had to study at home in our small village of Goldberg. So I was really excited to try the game with him at last. Luki is one of my oldest Magic: the Gathering buddies, a frequent victim of my playtesting sessions and plays Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue regularly. So he brought along a good amount of general gaming experience and was quite familiar with the concept of deckbuilding games.



Teaching BDB to Luki was a piece of cake. It took about 10 minutes for me to explain the rules and for Luki to understand everything. The fact that his English is excellent helped a lot there. So unlike in my previous games with my sister and mother the language barrier wasn't an issue at all. So the game could begin...

Luki intutievely went for that "Double Tackle" strategy I talked about being a viable way to victory in some earlier blog posts. His first Dino was dodgy Velociraptor, with which he inflicted some wounds early on. To make the Double Tackle Strategy work, Luki swapped his Velociraptor for a Spinosaurus (Using Velo's "Dart" attack, which allows you to retreat him for free), bought some Megalomanias (+1 Attach, +1 Strategy, +1 Buy and +1 Draw) and Charges (+1 Draw, +1 Attach, +1 Combat) and started to "Megabite" away with his Spino, soon killing the Spino I had bought as my starting Dino.

I bought some Megalomanias and Charges as well, threw in two Pincers (+1 Draw, +2 Strategy) and, as always, purged my Wound cards and also two of my Evades with Sacrifice.

This way we exchanged hits until Luki had scored 2 KOs (I had scored only 1 at that point) and everyone was left with heavily damaged Dinos. As far as I can recall, this has been one of the closest games I had ever played. Luki played like a pro right in his first game (he is quite a smart guy I must admit ) so I had to give my best to score the two KOs that stood between me and victory.

The thing that eventually won me the game was that I purchased two Flamethrowers, which first killed Luki's benched and wounded Velociraptor and then his active Styracosaurus. I won at the very last moment - if Luki would have had one additional turn I would have been done for (see picture of the "final showdown" below).



As you can see (or not, with that blurry photo ) my two Dinos had both only 10 Hit Points left when I played my last, winning Flamethrower...

So that was my first game of BDB with Luki. It took us about 50 minutes or so.

Overall he liked it a lot, wants to play again to discover and explore the tremendous strategic possibilities and when asked for criticism, he couldn't think of any, except that he would have liked to see more Dinos, a broader variety of them (As of the current rules, you play with 6 different types of Dinosaurs in the Dino deck). I offered him to play with a "Random Setup" next time so he could play with other Dinos than in the first game, which was played with my suggested "Starter Setup".

As Luki plays Dominion every once in a while, one question was inevitable: How does BDB compare to Dominion?

Luki mentioned three major things:

1.) The goal of the game, scoring 3 KOs, seems a lot more interesting and intriguing as the rather boring VP collecting in Dominion.

2.) Dominion is easier to play (not rules-wise - as I said before I was able to explain everything in 10 minutes - but rather strategy-wise) and to "control". In Dominion, once you got a good deck running, you are already halfway there on the path to victory. Not so much in BDB, where you have to make hard decisions and adapt to your opponent until the very end.

3.) Although the newer expansions for Dominion introduced more interactivity, BDB is far more interactive and player-vs-player-oriented, as you fight each other directly on the battelfield.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

So that was my first game of BDB with my good gaming buddy Luki. I'd like to seize the opportunity and thank him a ton for taking the time for playing, despite being so busy with studying, and for the nice feedback.

I am looking forward to many more games with my neighbourino, as he proved a worthy and though opponent right on the first game!

As always, thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Andi
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Mon Feb 6, 2012 6:21 pm
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Playing with the family the third: Teaching mom to play

Andreas Propst
Austria
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OK so today my mother and I finally found some time to have a go at BDB.
Mom has like zero gaming experience, save for some classic and traditional Austrian boardgames (Pachisi, Snakes and Latter, Fox and Hens etc.), one or two games of Dominion (german version) a few years ago, which she cannot remember at all anymore...



Despite that, mom was very eager to play and went about it with a lot of enthusiasm and interest, though there were some major hurdles to overcome for her.

For once my mother speaks no English at all, even less than my sister Nora, and unlike her, mom has a terrible memory, especially when she is faced with a whole flood of information like card stats, card costs, card effects etc (all in English nonetheless).

Furthermore, the small font was a major problem for her, as her sight is already a bit bad and even with glasses she had troubles reading what the cards do. Combine that with no knowledge of English at all and you got a pretty rough condition for mom to learn and play as well as for me to teach.

Also, as mentioned above, my mother has a terrible memory, compared to my sister who had memorized all the cards after one game, and had a very hard time to remember the turn sequence, the meaning of the keywords (like "Draw", "Attach", "Combat", "Buy" etc). We will probably write up a small aid with the most common keywords and what they mean in German to solve that problem.

Despite all these "stumbling blocks", mom did not just cave in and give up, but did her best to get a hang of the game. At first we played with open hands and I basically told her what to do, what to buy and so forth. But as the game went on, she was able to more and more make her own decisions and actually started to like the game.

Amusingly, I lost (not intentional if you were assuming that ) our first game, because I missed to buy a Dino when I should have done so with all the explaining and stuff. So, with the help of the healing "Repair" Strategy card and many a Megalomania, mom was able to score her second KO while I was left with nothing else to do as to concede as there were no more Dinos left to buy in the Dino Offering.

Well at the end of the day mom's final opinion on the game was this:

"While I still need to play more games and still have to learn a lot to play more fluently and without your (my) help, I definitely want to play again. Towards the end I felt I had actually remembered quite a lot of how the game works, I enjoyed it as much as I could and even got a hint of gaming fever so to say. I will have to play some more soon..."


"Mission accomplished" I would say
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Sun Feb 5, 2012 6:31 pm
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