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Game Design Notes (and other random thoughts)

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Nightfall 7, R&R and Guild Wars 2

David Gregg
United States
Franklinville
North Carolina
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Nightfall 7

My primary playtest group has been pretty aggressive so far with their testing (which is awesome) and has allowed the set to get to a fairly balanced point rather quickly. This is convenient for me as I can now skip the first few versions that they powered through and go right to printing a version that's likely to not need as many changes (saving money, woot). Still had my cards printed at the local Staples, but they've changed how they charge for cutting out my cards, so I've had to hunt for someone else (I know I could cut them out myself, but... it's a pain). My wifey found a local place called PIP that does printing, cutting and other stuff and quoted me about $5 to cut out the whole batch (a bit more than I was paying, but a lot less than what Staples now charges). In the future I plan to continue printing with Staples for small jobs (like updating the set I'm currently working on), but will definitely just give the entire order to PIP if I plan to have them cut them out for me.

As for the actual cards in NF7, several started out rather over-powered and have gone through some major over-hauls from their original design. The new mechanic that the set introduces is going over very well, with only a game or two needed to let it sink in. After reading all these great reports I'm itching to try it out myself, if I could just get a group together...

R & R

My BFF and I had planned to hang out the first half of Saturday including a game of disc golf and then some Nightfall playtesting, followed by heading out to see Brave with my family, but every last bit of that fell through... He forgot that he was working the grave yard shift Friday night, so wasn't going to be available Saturday morning and then I ended up getting a much needed nap Saturday, missing the movie... Alas, I did get in plenty of anime (currently working on getting caught up with Fairy Tail), so while not really productive, was a very relaxing day.

The kidos headed out with the in-laws today, so the wife and I got some nice, peaceful time together, well, aside from a game of JAB: Realtime Boxing. She isn't usually the quick thinker in the group, but did very well her first game, even scoring a round win on me in the second round (she focused on the combos while I whittled away at her health), but I knocked her out the following round. Speaking of games the wife enjoys, she very much enjoyed her first game of Rune Age! I was a bit concerned that some of the cards would upset her (she didn't care for the "Demon"), but she ended up liking the mechanics and requested that we play it again soon. I had them play the cooperative scenario first to warm them up to the mechanics and we proceeded to slowly roll down-hill. While we lost the game, everyone had fun, so I'd say that's a win!

Guild Wars 2

STRESS TEST WEDNESDAY!!! Unfortunately it's only from 1pm to 5pm Eastern time, right during the work day... Granted there are tons of people who don't live in the US, so I can understand wanting to give them the chance to participate in a stress test and even those of us in the US can play so long as we work out our schedules (I just might take the second half of the day off of work, I'm that hooked on the game).

Also on the GW2 topic, I do believe that I'll be working on a website very soon to help people see at a glance how their profession and weapon sets tend to focus with the new "trinity" of control/damage/support. My initial chart for mesmer went over pretty well and the thread gauging interest in the site was also very well received (plus I like have projects to work on), so will likely start on it pretty soon. Unfortunately my web host account is about to run out, so all of my sites are going to be down for a few days while I wait for payday (curse you monthly pay!!!) and I think that I will take this opportunity to switch to a new host (moving from Nearly Free Speech to Fat Cow).
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Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:20 am
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Rune Age, GW2 Jumping Puzzle, Father's Day and BFF Time

David Gregg
United States
Franklinville
North Carolina
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Rune Age

Finally acquired a copy of Rune Age via trade (been after it for a while now) and had to get in a few games. For my first game I attempted a solo match as the Latari Elves against the Resurgence of the Dragonlords scenario and proceeded to get my face stomped, especially once the card that inflicts 2 damage on your home world each turn that it goes undefeated came out... But was still good fun and gave me a chance to get used to the mechanics (this is the only reason I ever play board games solo).

The next day I got a chance to play a couple rounds with Uncle Dad. I let him choose the scenarios and for our first game he chose to go after the Dragonlords as well. He chose his faction first going with Waiqar the Undying and I tried out The Uthuk Y’llan. Both of our decks progressed pretty well and it wasn't long before we were both making good use of our faction combos, easily taking our strongholds early on and then the neutral cities. During the mid game my deck was focusing more on building up gold to later fund the more massive units while Uncle Dad had focused on his smaller units early for their combos and was seeing several strength heavy hands with little to go after... so he started attacking me for my cities... It wasn't long before I didn't have any cities left at all and found myself a bit choked for influence, but fortunately with my high gold hands and card draw combos I was able to pull out an 18 strength army and rolled zero skulls on the attrition die as I went after the scenario win.

Our next game we decided on the PvP focused Runewars scenario. He again chose first nabbing The Daqan Lords and I went back with The Latari Elves to give them another shot. We started out pretty evenly and traded several blows starting pretty early on as both of our decks started comboing well. But thing he got some free influence via rally event cards and it wasn't long before he was able to claim into the huge neutral dragons. I focused on the manticores and my own destructive combos, but made a huge mistake: I wasn't buying enough cheapo cards to fuel the manticores, so ended up starving my deck (got down to just 2 cards at one point)... He ended up beating on me pretty badly and got me down to just 3 health remaining on my home world. I had finally rebuilt my deck a bit and was hopeful for a decent comeback when I pulled the worst possible event card: the player with the most influence gets to inflict 3 damage on a player of their choice... so... yeah, I lost, lol.

We were wanting to play another scenario, but time ran short. So far I'm very much enjoying this game and definitely plan on going after the first expansion. It's just a nice light deckbuilder with obvious combos (but interesting decisions) that includes lots of ways to play. I'm fairly certain that this one will remain high on my "want to play" list for quite a while.

 


GW2 Jumping Puzzle

While waiting for the next Guild Wars 2 beta weekend I've been continuing to follow the GW2 subreddit along with the Facebook and Twitter feeds, just to keep an eye on any news or other interesting tidbits and came across a cool video. It's a pretty long vid, but the announcer is hilarious and the jumping puzzle they explore looks really awesome, so if you've got some time check it out:



Father's Day

This past weekend was busy with festivities for Father's Day as my wife's family takes the holiday quite seriously. Saturday the vast majority of her family gathered at her folks' place for a huge hotdog dinner followed by a hilarious game of family kickball. And just in case anyone had rebuilt some appetite, we capped off the evening with a sundae dessert. Then Sunday we headed over to my folks' place for another meal and some quality swim time in their new-ish pool (this is also when I got in the Rune Wars games mentioned above). Then yesterday my wife surprised me and her dad with another meal: a low country boil. She went all out, gathering up some snow crab legs, huge shrimp, potatoes, sausage and corn on the cob all in a giant pot. It. Was. Awesome! In addition to all the eating, wifey also surprised me with framed and matted print that I've had my eye on for a long time now and after some debate even let me hang it in the kitchen (surprised she compromised on her domain):

Gimmie that Cookie by ~Lady-Tori



BFF Time

Looks like my BFF and I are finally gonna get some time to hang out again (seems like it's been ages) this coming Saturday. Plan is to take his wife and another mutual friend out disc golfing (not sure yet if we'll hit the local course again or cruise over to another nearby course for the first time). Afterword we're planning to get in some NF7 testing (he's the primary tester in my group), which should be a ton of fun (the testing has been outstanding so far).

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Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:02 pm
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New Games, a Math Trade and More Work

David Gregg
United States
Franklinville
North Carolina
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New Game Stuff

Had a pretty epic Games for Geekgold lottery win here recently and have been starting to try out the games now that they've arrived.

First off, Cthulhu Dice is a quick little game that I've been wanting (but unwilling to spend actual money on), so was happy to win a copy. This is definitely not a game that require any real thought to play and won't be used for the main game of the night or anything, but works great when you wanna kill 5 minutes before bed or to wind down an evening. It's also extremely small and thus easy to take pretty much anywhere. So far I've played it with 4 players and with 6 and I think I prefer it with more players.

One of the other games that arrived which I hadn't previously heard of is Forceball (along with promos). After reading the rules it actually looks like a pretty solid little 2 player game which I'm looking forward to trying out. I'll probably have to wait until the next time my youngest and I have a game day since we usually play with at least 3 players at my place, but that's ok, I can wait. One thing that this one doesn't come with which I would have liked is a turn guide of some sort, though there is a user made one, but it prints out onto full size paper, so I'm thinking of remaking one pocketmod style.

Last, but not least, I just found out that Coloretto has some promos that are available in the geek store, so absolutely had to buy them given how much we play the game. I'm also planning to make myself the 2 player variant cards along with the grey side of the scoring cards since my copy didn't come with those.



Math Trade

Finally another math trade is going on, especially that it's a US only trade making shipping costs something that I can actually afford currently. I've started to gather up some smaller games that I'm needing to trade off, so I decided to make a couple "Pick Any Two" type listings.



Item #1: The Last Starfighter Combat Game, Sirocco and Sorry! Sliders.
Item #2: Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition, San Juan, Wits & Wagers Family and Munchkin Cthulhu 1, 2 and 3
Item #3: Also put up a listing for 750 geekgold

Btw, the actual geeklist is here: April trades bring May games - an April 2012 U.S.-only Math Trade



More Work

Computer Client

So, the client I had from my previous blog post called me back the very next day saying they couldn't get explorer.exe to run in order back up their files and didn't know what to do, so asked if I could look at it again... This tells me that the hard drive is failing much quicker then I had anticipated and of course offered to take another look at it, though this time I would definitely need to purchase a new hard drive for it. While installing a hard drive isn't a big deal, finding one local (client didn't want to wait for shipping) is very difficult due to where we live. I tried our local office store, but they didn't have what I needed in stock and of course neither did the local supercenter. Tried calling around local PC repair shops, but they all close pretty early and I missed them. Tried the shops again the following day by calling from work so I'd be sure to catch them while open and found ONE that actually had what I needed in stock. Was even pretty decently priced!

So after installing the new drive the first thing I wanted to try was cloning the old drive over in an attempt to keep all of the client's installed programs in tact. I like to use Acronis True Image for this type of job, not only because it works well, but because it can create a live CD which can be booted from to still manage a backup or clone even once the operating system is damaged. The cloning process completed pretty quickly, but unfortunately the OS was still damaged, so ran a repair install to fix it. After running the repair, there were still several issues with the system (found and removed a few viruses, couldn't run Windows Update and couldn't install new apps).



After trying a few various things I decided that the OS was going to need a fresh install, but still wanted to preserve the programs, so attempted a full install (without formatting) directly over top the existing install. While this did allow the system to run more smoothly, it didn't completely remedy the issues I was having. So... several hours lost and another day later I give up on saving the installed software, format the drive and just install Windows from scratch. Afterward of course I'm able to fully update the system, install Microsoft Security Essentials and then reconnect the old drive to make copying over their data as easy as possible. I didn't ask for any additional labor fees, but they were quite generous and left a nice tip.



Breakroom TV Project

Finally finished up the Powerpoint project that I mentioned last blog post and have been running it all weekend; hoping I don't come back into work Monday to see it going crazy... To get the system to work I ended up having to abandon a built in timing macro to control the slides and just go with a 12 hour slideshow set to repeat. Getting the videos to work was really tricky as I can't embed the live channel feeds, so had to run a recording schedule set to just before the times when I wanted to show the footage, a batch script to move video files around and then link the video files into the Powerpoint slides so that it'll automatically use the new videos as they're created. This particular project has been stressing me quite a bit since it was handed to me as a very high priority project during the final few weeks of a separate even larger, higher priority project...

zombie

But I got it done and the other project is wrapping up nicely, just in time for yet another project that I have to complete early May.

cool



Late Night Math

A couple nights ago I was just chillin' and about to load up the Diablo III beta (didn't like it) when some random person messaged me on Facebook. Turns out they had posted for help with their math as they had a test that night (online college course) and my mother had recommended me (love math, hate tutoring). They were working with polynomials, which I happen to enjoy, so I went ahead and dove into a tutoring session via Facebook messaging and hung around as they took their test. They were really happy to have received the last minute help and ended up buying me a gift card to Cool Stuff Inc, enough to nab Lords of Waterdeep, the #1 board game on my want list!

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Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:46 am
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Epic Game Day, Computer Repairs and Good Times

David Gregg
United States
Franklinville
North Carolina
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Epic Game Day

My wife and eldest daughter headed out of town yesterday for a school competition thingy, so my youngest daughter and I decided to play board games all day. I let her pick the first game and then we alternated the rest of the day. Ended up playing from 9:30am until 4:50pm for a total of 7 hours and 20 minutes (minus lunch).

Our ratings below go by the BGG rating scale:
9 - Excellent game. A near-classic. Always want to play it.
8 - Very good game. I like to play it. Probably I'll suggest it and will never turn down a game.
7 - Good game, usually willing to play.
6 - Fair game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood.

First up Awna wanted to play Ticket to Ride: Switzerland. My first batch of tickets included 1 long vertical route right in the center, 2 identical tickets going from Italy to Germany and another long center ticket only requiring a single track difference from my other long route, so I kept them all. After using the long vertical route to also connect Italy and Germany, I played some aggressive blocks on Awna, eventually connecting out to France and then went ahead and continue my single departure for my 4th ticket out to Austria. Once I had all 4 countries connected, I spend the majority of the rest of the game digging through tickets, finding many that I already had completed (including scoring tons on the tickets that connect countries). Awna never really went after the cross-country routes, but did get in a nice sprawling network throughout the country. In the end I scored nearly 200 points in tickets alone with a final score of 243 points while Awna had only completed 7 tickets with a score of 154 (she did get longest route).

I give this map an 8
Awna gave it a 9



Next up I chose Dungeon Run, which I've owned for a while now, but haven't really gotten to play. Awna chose to play as Paelleall and I randomly ended up with Vargagg. As we wondered through the dungeon, neither of us really had too much trouble with the monsters that were showing up, as I had plenty of brawn and Awna was able to use whichever of her stats that she needed due to her elder ability. Awna had a bit of a slow time leveling compared to me though as she did encounter 1 baddy that gets stronger as he hits you and even though she escaped him succesfully, she later got knocked out, losing a turn. Meanwhile I managed to level up twice and landed me a nice flaming sword to even further increase my brawn, destroying everything in my path. Unfortunately for me, Awna was the one that got to the boss first and he ended up in a location a bit of a hike from me (2 possible choices, other was near me). And guess who showed up? The Colossus of Galnon, who happens to be immune to brawn! BAH! So I basically wasted time meandering around the dungeon, heading toward the boss room while letting Awna beat on him and initially take the summoning stone. What I found to be rather amusing however was that Awna let the stone go to her head and she tried to face me head on in the end game, leaving her defeated within just a couple rounds. Had she rolled to escape (4 skill) she probably could have made a decent run for it and won. Oh well, I'm certainly not going to complain.

I give this game a 9
Awna gave it a 6



Next up was Awna's pick and she chose Mr. Jack. This has been one of our favorite 2 player games and we almost always play twice just to make sure that each player gets to play as both Jack and the detectives. Awna chose to be Jack, but had a terrible start, getting 5 people eliminated on the very first turn. Unfortunately, she must have planned it as Jack was now in the dark AND it was Miss Stealthy who happened to be exactly 4 spaces from an exit, thanks to swapping locations with purple during turn 1. So.. yeah, she beat me turn #2 and reveled in her victory for a bit. Of course we have to play again and this time I'm Jack. I like to take my time and use a lot of misdirection, keeping everyone in the light for a couple turns and then focus on keeping them all in the dark, making it very hard to eliminate anyone and always moving innocent characters toward the exits. Awna fell for my tactic and went ahead with a guess on turn #4, even though I told her she still had plenty of time, guessing incorrectly and giving me the win.

I give this one a 7
Awna gives it an 8



Game number four was my choice and I went with Troyes. I've had this one a while without much plays too, mostly because the large bit of simple division required throughout the game scares off most of my family... Awna however took to it just fine, having no trouble figuring out what effect her choices were going to have on the game. Being a 2 player game, we each had 1 personality to work toward. I had Henry 1st and Hugues de Paynes, so needed influence and event cards. Awna had Chretien de Troyes and Urbain IV, so needed to help with the cathedral and wanted several workers inside the 3 principal buildings. She did a better job then me with her personalities, scoring full points on hers as well as some points on mine, while I scored 1 best and 1 middle on my own (just 1 event card short) and only scored a point or 2 on her cards. Fortunately for me I had also scored a fair bit from actually completing the event cards and had also secured several points by placing workers on the action cards, while Awna had mostly ignored the action cards, with final scores of me at 41 and her at 21.

I give this one a 7
Awna gives it a 6



Game 5 was Awna's choice again, choosing JAB: Realtime Boxing. This one remains what I think is the most "fun" 2 player game that I've played, though definitely needs the players to be similarly skilled or else it'll be a landslide toward the better player (I remain undefeated). We played 2 games:
Game 1, Round 1: I win round via judge points
Game 1, Round 2: I win game via K/O
Game 2, Round 1: We tie via judge points
Game 2, Round 2: I win round via judge points
Game 2, Round 3: I win game via K/O

I give this one a 7
Awna also gives it a 7



Our final game for the day was my choice: Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin. I've had this one since release, but still hadn't managed to get it to the table, so today was destined to be the day we finally play it. I was very happy with the changes to the game this time around, including much more interesting starter decks, better card frames as well as a better setup of both the village and dungeon deck. Our setup maxed out the weapons and villages, but also had some good combos in it. Awna went straight for Falcon Arbalest (reduce hero to 0 attack, +5 physical attack against ranks 2 and 3), since her Regulars could wield it and it allowed her very early access to the dungeon. Unfortunately her deck slowed down quite a bit as she added monsters to it very early in the game. Just as her deck started to slow, my combo of Glamercast Bard (all other heroes gain +1 attack) and Royal Summons (place 3 Regulars from village into play, spoils: destroy 3 Regulars) started lining up and I was pulling some insane power, easily hitting 15+ most turns. Eventually Awna dug deep into Criochan Sergeants and starting equipping some other weapons to them as well, getting her deck up and running again. I managed to take down the guardian (the one that doesn't leave rank 3 until dungeon deck is empty), ending the game with me sitting at 49 points and Awna at 44. I was actually a little surprised that I won as Awna is really good at Thunderstone and often beats me.

I give this one an 8
Awna gives it a 9



Computer Repairs

Awna and I would have had time for another game, but I got short a bit as I received a phone call for some tech support. Someone that I had done work for in the past had referred me and the client was having some severe hard drive errors. This person actually knew their way around a bit (helps SO much) and even tried to work on it a bit via safe mode etc. First we tried some more advanced steps over the phone, but when the client says over the phone that the Windows install disc is listing several unformatted partitions, it's time to just bring me the tower. The client brought over a Dell Dimension E520, which looks nice on the outside, but is getting a bit dated on the inside. The BIOS has a lot more options then I'm used to seeing in Dell machines, so that was a nice touch, though I was getting very worried when I saw that it had the RAID controller enabled with only 1 hard drive...

After seeing the PC BSOD both during normal boot and during safe mode, I decided to pop in the Windows install disc and see what I could find. First off, this thing is running XP, so none of the bells and whistles from the newer Window's discs were present (sad face). After loading up the Windows disc I hit enter and move to the installer to see the list of OS's to gauge the damage. The list shows... wait for it... 1 large empty partition! So, I back out in a hurry, reload and head toward the recovery console to run CHKDSK on this mess. Funny note: the Windows instructions on screen say to run CHKDSK /F, but if you enter that into the prompt, it'll tell you that it doesn't recognize that flag, lol. It does however work just fine as CHKDSK /R, which is exactly what I did. This scan took a really long time, lasting roughly 3 hours, but it did finish and it did fix the problem, letting me boot into Windows normally immediately after the scan. So I've returned the system to the client and informed them that they need to backup their files and move to a new hard drive soon, as bad sectors usually means the drive is starting to fail. They were happy with the quick turn around (they had an assignment due this week) and I'm happy to get paid (nearly covered the cost of my copy of Guild Wars 2).



Also on the computer repair scene, I've been trying to figure out a bit for a project I've been working on at work. Basically, the boss man has had a large LCD screen installed in our break room and wants local weather, news and work related announcements displayed during break periods. This sounds like it'd be pretty easy, but for weather and news he actually wants live TV displayed and for work related announcements he wants a mix of prerecorded video as well as some static messages. My first thought was to use Powerpoint as that will give me lots of timing controls and can handle embedding lots of different forms of media. As for live TV, our electricians installed a digital antenna that connects to a TV tuner card in the PC. While the software that comes with the tuner works great, it doesn't really offer any way to embed the channels directly into Powerpoint. So after posting some threads in Reddit asking for help and much Googling around, I decided to setup a somewhat complex recording schedule, use some simple batch scripts to rename the clips and then create video links in the Powerpoint slides so that the presentation will always play the newest recording clip. I haven't actually finished assembling all this yet, so not 100% that it'll work out, but wish me luck, because if this doesn't work, I have no idea that I'm gonna try next...



Good Times

First up: pre-purchased my copy of Guild Wars 2 Tuesday, nabbing the digital deluxe edition. ArenaNet ran a stress test on their servers, which ended up being extra-super stressful since ALL pre-purchases were able to login due to a glitch vs only those that they had invited to the test, meaning that a ton more people were playing then planned. Fortunately I hear that the test still went well, with servers handling the extra load without issue, so hopefully the planned April beta weekend event will be this coming weekend vs the following the week.

Second: Tried to take the family to the zoo today, but place was packed, so took them disc golfing instead. My eldest and I have been before and really enjoyed it, so was nice to be able to take the wife and youngest as well. Everyone had a great time, though we left early for our church service, so we'll have to come out and play again soon.

Last, but not least: decided to make some meme pics of a couple of the more epic verbal fails from early in my wife and I's dates:

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Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:49 am
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MACE West, Podcast Questions and More

David Gregg
United States
Franklinville
North Carolina
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MACE West

Just got back home from MACE West yesterday. The con lasted from Friday through Sunday, but I had to work most of Friday, so only managed to get down there as things were starting to wrap up for the evening. Did manage to try out Wooly Bully with the family, which while being a light game, was pretty decent.

Saturday was my main event day as I ran a demo for my WIP Just in Time, a demo for Nightfall and a Nightfall tournament to round out the evening. The Just in Time demo went very well with the guys enjoying the overall mechanics. Only real comment was that the game wasn't quite keeping up the pressure as I had wanted (we were able to catch up with the tasks being created). The players had some good ideas for various ways to tweak the difficulty that I'll be trying out very soon.



As for the Nightfall stuff, I mixed all 4 existing sets together so everyone could really see the various cards and even made the starters decks from 1 of each available starter so they could try out the new ones. The demo had 3 players (not including me) and went very smooth with everyone picking up on the game right away. Two of the guys who demo'd ended up playing in the tournament with a total of four participants in the tourney (I didn't play). For the tourney we played a sort of End of the World Series (4 rounds, no elimination) with everyone swapping seats between games and the player with the least total wounds being the winner. We also used the Aggressive Wounds variant to put extra emphasis on quality deckbuilding, which the players enjoyed quite a bit. At the end of the 4th round we actually had a tie between the top two players, so they played a final 1v1 game with standard rules (2 player draft rules). The final winner won a copy of Nightfall: The Coldest War.



I did have a bit of downtime Saturday between demos, so I wondered around a bit to see what was going on at the time and found a game of Lords of Waterdeep. I've seen this one being mentioned a lot on BGG lately, so sat down to watch the game. For those that don't know, Lords of Waterdeep is a Dungeons & Dragons themed worker placement game. Players are dealt a character card (note: not 100% on my terms, so don't quote me here) which give them a secret way of gaining points at the end of the game. Players also receive a couple quests (public knowledge) and a couple intrigue cards (kept private) which give them 1 shot abilities to mess with their opponents or otherwise affect the condition of the game. Players start with a certain number of meeples of their color and take turns placing them in various locations around the board. Location abilities vary from gaining new quests to building new buildings which contain new locations to recruiting heroes for your party to playing those intrigue cards. Your heroes are represented by colored cubes (fighter/warrior, rogue/thief, wizard, cleric/priest). If you have enough gold and the correct combination of heroes to complete a quest at the end of the turn, you gain that quest's rewards. The game plays a fixed 8 rounds and the player with most victory points at the end wins. Overall I thought it looked like a great game (added at #2 on my want geeklist), looks to be rules light (rules are short and easy to understand) while maintaining some nice depth of strategy (looked like plenty of combo engines and ways to mess with people).

Podcast Questions

I caught wind that Tom Vasel is going to be putting together a podcast discussing Christian game designers, so offered up my time to assist. Looks like he's being swamped with such offers though, so he's asked me to put together a short 3-4 minute clip and send his way. Now the reason why I bring this up is that I'd like to see if you guys and gals have any questions you'd like me specifically to address. I know that some have questioned how my religious beliefs relate to Nightfall's theme, so I'll most likely be addressing that one, but I'd love to hear what other questions the community might have for me.



Just in Time

After the demo at MACE West I'm starting to feel pretty good about the game. I plan to work on some ways to add additional bursts of tasks to the timeline occasionally to keep the pressure up and that should pretty well wrap up the majority of the core mechanics. For this version I added some minor penalties that can occur each time a task is generated, but they only effect players that are in the same day as the task, so they don't always take effect and sometimes can hit multiple players. Those extra little penalties made things pretty interesting as someone's d8 roll would land on your day and you had to see what penalty awaited you. Now that the core mechanics are pretty well solid, the main things that I need to tweak is the balance of the location abilities (and to make sure each is useful and/or fun) and to make sure that the difficulty is balanced for 2, 3 and 4 players, preferably with a few difficulty options as well (easy, medium, hard).

cool

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 will be available for pre-purchase starting April 10th and one of the benefits is guaranteed access to their beta weekend events for the remainder of the time up until release day. I think the game looks awesome (as if you couldn't tell from my want geeklist) and plan to order the digital deluxe version ASAP. Can't wait to try out the various professions that I've been reading up on and watching on YouTube these past weeks. Originally I was planning to roll a Sylvari Mesmer, but the more I see in the vids, the more I find myself drooling over the Elementalist and the Charr is really starting to grow on me as well. Perhaps I'll just make 1 of each.

arrrh

New Hire

We had a spot open up at my workplace last week and as I'm the new trainer I got to see how the applicant process works and am working on training the new guy starting today. I've seen how training works already, but last time was done with the previous trainer, while this time I'll be on my own. New guy is looking pretty like a pretty solid, nice guy, so should be pretty easy to train. Still, wish me luck.

Reddit Awesomeness



If a video never loads for ya, try this page instead.
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Mon Apr 2, 2012 3:11 pm
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Playtesting, Gaming and MACE West

David Gregg
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Franklinville
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Got in a good bit of gaming this weekend between a get-together with my folks and a dedicated gaming day with my BFF and our mutual friends.

Playtesting

Our dedicated gaming day was yesterday and involved myself, Daniel and Mitch. Mitch has been working on his own game design project and our first game of the day was to playtest it. I won't go into much detail on mechanics etc as that's for him to discuss, but I'll say that it is coming along very well and Daniel and I both enjoyed the overall mechanics. Some things still need balance / tweaks of course, but I can definitely see it being a game that goes all the way to publishing.

Later on in the day we also got in a game of my WIP Just in Time, this time as a pure cooperative. Mitch had to leave a bit early, so I played with Daniel and his wife. Overall I'm pretty happy with the switch to pure coop as it lets the players be a bit more tactical with location upgrades and helping to make each other time travel to best beat the game. Unfortunately we found things to be a bit easy and by roughly 2/3rds through the game we had caught up with the game's threats to the point that it was going to be nearly impossible for the game to really do any damage to us.



Fortunately Daniel and his wife both had great input on possible tweaks, so I'll be reworking the following for our next session:

● Some of the locations currently allow solving a task within 1 day of your current time. This is overpowered as we were able to pretty much just focus on getting those locations upgraded and then using their abilities to focus down the tasks around us. I'll be changing these to still allow completing a specific task type, but only on the current day (so will only be helpful if you're far away from the actual task location). This change alone will do a lot to make the game harder, so I'll probably have to reduce the cost on these locations a bit to balance them.

● Currently there are 3 locations that can distort (remove upgrades, force players at location to time travel) which is really helpful if another player landed on a bad day and needs some help, but there's 1 location type that can't currently be distorted. I'm thinking of dropping one of the movement spaces in exchange for the 4th distort type. I'm also debating as to whether I want the distort to remove all of the upgrades or just one.

● Another change that I'm considering to increase the difficulty is for new task to cause some extra damage to the players. Since there are only 4 task types, it should be pretty simple to assign a penalty to each type (lose a time-travel disc, an action point, a location upgrade, etc). At first I was thinking that the player who's ending their turn should suffer the penalty as they place the new task, but now that I'm thinking about it, I have another idea: since these penalties are a bit harsh I'd rather them not happen every turn, so instead of penalizing the current player, I'll just penalize whichever players are currently located on the day that the task is added to. This way there will be roughly a 50% chance that someone will be penalized, but the players won't know who until the die is rolled to assign the task. I think this will add a good bit of difficulty and help to prevent the game from becoming too predictable/solvable.

Now I just need to get the bits updated ASAP for the next playtest session this coming weekend!

Gaming

Saturday evening we celebrated my step-sis' birthday party with my folks, who request to play some sort of game pretty much every time we get together, though they prefer classic card games (Hearts or Euchre mostly) or lighter games (recent favorite has been Ticket to Ride). This time however, we went with an old party fav: Spoons. For those of you who've never played Spoons, it can be hilarious, though you'll need to be pretty quick at nabbing the spoons if you want to actually remain in the game for long. We play with actual metal spoons as I can imagine the plastic ones just getting shattered after a few rounds from the way we play. It isn't uncommon at all to see people diving across the table or wrestling it out on the floor to obtain that last remaining spoon that went flying from the initial grab. We've even had to get the ER involved a time or two (such as when my wife sprained her wrist during such a match).

Was good times, even though I came in 2nd



Back to our Sunday gaming day, between the prototyping testing we also got in a game of Chaos in the Old World, one that I'd heard of several times, but never had the chance to play. Mitch had obtained a copy and brought it with him, so we tried it out. I played the blue dudes, Daniel was red and Mitch was green. I think Mitch was the quickest to understand his win condition and really powered through his dial pretty well, with me catching on fast as well and mostly keeping up with him. Daniel took a bit longer to get his war engine running, but once he did, his points took off much faster then what we were able to keep up with. The game ended via VP's from Daniel with Mitch and I being only a couple dial rotations from our respective wins. The overall game was decent, but the quantity of counters that end up laying around the board seemed fiddly and I'm not a fan of games with overly dark theme such as this.

To wrap up the evening I started up a game of Ticket to Ride with Daniel and his wife, but my wife showed up to retrieve me before we could get very far. As my wife and his chatted for a bit, I showed Daniel how to play Hearts and Euchre so that we could get in some games of them next time our families get together.

MACE West

So this weekend is MACE West and the family is ready to get in some serious gaming! I've got my events lined up for Saturday, specifically: Just in Time demo from 9am - 11:30am, Nightfall demos from 1pm - 4pm and a Nightfall tourney from 5pm - 11pm.



I plan to have the Just in Time tweaks listed above ready for MACE and am looking forward to getting some fresh perspective on the game's mechanics. As for Nightfall, I plan to use the base game mixed in with Nightfall: Martial Law with some specific commons / private archives to ensure some lovely combos / kickers. As for the tourney, I'll be mixing all 4 currently released sets into custom draft decks with each deck containing 2 of each color from each set. The players will play with starter decks consisting of 1 of each starter minion both new and old. The tourney format itself will be a End of the World series mixed with the aggressive wound variant with best final score after 4 rounds being declared the winner and any ties being worked out with a single game of the life total variant. Hopefully there'll be enough participants that I can really mix up the match-ups to prevent playing the same people over and over again.
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Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:38 pm
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Gaming with old friends, Mouse Guard and Nachos!

David Gregg
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Gaming with old friends

We had a bit of a get-together this past Friday night with some friends of ours and one of the couples that attended happened to be some that I used to hang out with when I was in middle / high school. They've turned out to be rather nice people and interested in board gaming, so we invited them over to our place Sunday for some lunch and light gaming.



We started things out with a couple games of 4 player Crokinole, which the couple loved (and she wanted to play more). Then we moved onto a 5 player game of Coloretto, which she liked as their little girl was able to help, but it looked like he was wanting to play something deeper. After that we started a game of Ticket to Ride, but had to cut it short as it was time to head out for our evening church service. Pity too as they were both really enjoying the game (she won via longest route bonus).

All had a good time, so they'll definitely be back and were already discussing which of my games they'd like to try out next time.

Gamer convert: success!

Mouse Guard

I received a copy of the new Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Box Set for Christmas this past year (my very first RPG), but haven't yet gotten to actually try it out. Someone a city or two away said they also had a copy and might be able to run a game for me if we could get our schedules aligned, but that hasn't worked out yet. So after reading through the rulebook as well as some session reports on BGG and elsewhere, I decided to just give it a shot on my own, GMing for my daughters.

Normally we don't have multiple hours at once to devote to gaming, so setting up the session was a bit of a challenge, but this past Saturday my wifey got word of a sick relative and so took a long drive out to visit.

Instant game day! meeple

As my girls and I were discussing which of my collection they wanted to play (I have a few unplayed that I was trying to sway them toward) they suddenly declared that they wanted to try out Mouse Guard. Woot! It'd been a while since I last skimmed through the rulebook, but the majority of it was still familiar, so we jumped in.



Now I know that for a first game it's recommended to use a premade character, but my daughters can handle some pretty decent gaming and I was quite sure they'd not only enjoy the game, but would make some attachment to their characters, so we went ahead with creating their own characters from scratch. Sarah, my eldest, wanted to play a protector, a guy who was always there to defend his friends. Awna however wanted a fiery lady who was quick to jump into battle, especially against mouse predators. Both took varied skills, with Sarah grabbing things such as apiarist and healer, while Awna nabbed fighter and carpenter. Both chose to be standard guard mice.

The session started out with a messenger beetle delivering a letter to the duo to report to Gwendolyn who assigned their mission: "A section of the bridge out between Shaleburrow and Barkstone collapsed during a recent delivery of pottery. The river was low and so the pottery was destroyed on the rocks below. The mice transporting the goods were only lightly injured and have already been treated. Find out what caused the collapse, repair the bridge and bring back a report of what you found."

Without even prompting the girls they immediately ran to their homes to grab supplies; Awna taking along a carving knife and saw, while Sarah offered to carry nails and ran to the bakery for some berry bread. As they prepared to leave I mentioned that the Spring weather could be a bit unpredictable and that there were grey clouds, but nothing ominous. Sarah decided to attempt beginner's luck at weather watching and rolled successfully, holding her finger to the wind and estimating that the breeze would carry away the rain clouds.

As they passed through Shaleburrow Awna made a bit of a fuss over whether or now we should stop to visit Sarah's friend who happened to live there. Sarah was in a hurry to get to the bridge and check things out, so Awna eventually gave in and they continued on.

When they arrive at the bridge I give a bit of a description: "a side section has collapsed, with the bridge still usable for mice on foot willing to cross the other side. The weather has cleared up and it's getting a bit warm."

The girls decide to have a look around the bridge for clues of what caused the collapse, with Sarah checking around the perimeter and Awna underneath. Sarah doesn't find anything of note, but Awna finds some damage near the collapse. Upon closer inspection she finds some oddly straight cracks. She has the idea to hold up her saw blade to compare it with the crack and finds a near perfect fit (so proud that she thought of that on her own). She decides to cut out the small section with the crack to bring back as evidence and I allow it without a skill check (though thinking back I should have as it fit perfect with her carpentry).

With evidence of sabotage the girls decides to scout around the area for any other traces of evidence, but only find bits of broken pottery. Upon closer inspection they find multiple potter signatures among the broken bits, but nothing that seems out of the ordinary.

They give up any further hunt for clues and begin to actually work on the bridge. The sun has risen high, becoming abnormally hot for this Spring day and giving rise to our major conflict of the day.

The sun vs the mice surprise

The sun's goal is to dehydrate the mice, having a general skill of 3 given the harshness of the spring weather. The girls' goal is to repair the bridge and they team up to pool their skills: Sarah's healing makes for a great defense (clean water from stream) while Awna's carpentry works for the attack (work hard, also Awna's trait). I used their general health for feint (breeze) and maneuver (shade).

It's a long battle lasting about 6 rounds with lots of maneuvering to go after some extra dice. The girls managed a big back-to-back attack to drop the sun to 1 disposition, but the sun recovered with a maneuver / defense combo that brought it back up to 4. After several bad rolls in a row, the sun found itself near defeat again and was finally polished off in a huge attack of 8 dice by the girls. They had only lost 2 disposition, so I gave Awna the thirsty condition as she worked the hardest and didn't have Sarah's healing skills. The girls were overjoyed with their victory, having a blast with the conflict mechanic.

After finishing up the bridge they head back to Shaleburrow, this time stopping in to check on Sarah's friend. Turns out that the some of the destroyed pottery from the bridge collapse was headed to Sarah's friend and she was able to give another clue: there was only 1 potter sending items in that shipment! The girls didn't quite catch what was going on just yet, but later picked up on that something wasn't right with the clues they had found.

They returned to Lockhaven to give their report to Gwendolyn, who was quite happy to hear of the successful bridge repairs, but troubled over the multiple potter signatures. She gave them leave to rest, but also mentioned to stay in town as she'd be assigned them to take letter to Barkstone soon to inform of the repaired bridge and to investigate the signatures at Barkstone's potters. Awna's eyes lit up at this as her enemy happened to be a potter at Barkstone.



As for the player turn, Awna used up all of her checks removing the thirsty condition as she had some bad rolls and Sarah used her checks to advance her weather watching skill, which is now just 1 point away from becoming an active skill. We discussed awards and assigned them, giving Awna MVP for her carpentry and for bringing back the evidence of the cuttings.

Four hours later and the girls have had a great time of it, wanting to make sure we play our next session soon

Nachos

Since wifey was out late I got to cook dinner gulp

Fortunately Awna had requested my wife's nachos for dinner which are pretty easy to make whistle

We use 1 lb of lean beef, 1 packet of taco seasoning, 2 jars of cheese sauce and 2 cans of spicy cheese dip all mixed together. The final product is quite delicious, though not healthy in the slightest. Unfortunately the corn starch content is rather high and Sarah ended up having a mild allergic reaction later in the evening (hasn't had a reaction in a couple years now). So we'll be stocking benadryl and keeping on eye on what she eats again.

soblue
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Tue Mar 6, 2012 2:11 pm
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Just in Time, Synergy and More Gaming

David Gregg
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Franklinville
North Carolina
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Just in Time

Got in a playtest session yesterday with my BFF (my primary playtester) and tried out some changes, mostly for the better. Also finally got in a 2 player game to test it with that many players. Report info:

● With 2 players the amount of influence that is returned to you between turns is at a lower ratio compared to the incoming tasks then what you see with more players. Though we didn't lose the game, we were too stressed over staying alive to be able to mess with each other much. Proposed solution: change amount of available essence depending on number of players (10 for 2 players, 8 for 3 players and 6 for 4 players).

● Tried out a new hidden information scoring system. Players are dealt a card at the start of the game showing 2 of the 4 task types (fire, health, weather, crime), 1 of which is worth 3 points, the other worth 2 points and the other task types being worth 1 point. These cards are revealed at the end of the game for a bit of a surprise ending. In our game, my opponent thought he was winning as he'd completed more tasks, but I had focused on my specific job tasks more and ended up winning by a fair margin. I like this scoring system and will continue to playtest with it as is.

● I wasn't happy with the way we tested the location tiles last time. Old system was: circles on tiles represent the action point cost to use the tiles, with each circle also representing an upgrade that can be performed on the tile to decrease the action's cost, eventually making the action completely free to perform. To prevent abuse, we used the rule that you can only activate each action a single time per turn and even though it worked, it felt fiddly. During yesterday's session, we dropped the number of circles on each tile by 1, making that 1 action point always required (so same cost, just 1 less upgrade available) and removed the limit on the number of times an action could be used. I was much happier with this since it automatically prevented abuse, though it did skew some of the abilities into being rather weak. I also think that I'd like to try going back to allowing full upgrades, but placing a limit that a location cannot be upgraded more then once in a single day (meaning that while an action could become free, it'd be difficult to time it so that you could actually make use of all of the building's upgrades).

● In the previous session we had played a 3 player game and stopped at 40 tasks as the timing felt right. With yesterday's 2 player game I was planning to try to play with 40 tasks again (for a static number of tasks), but decided to go with 30 as it just sounded better to me when thinking it over (# of players + 1 * 10). The 30 tasks ended up feeling great for the 2 player game, though we may increase it after making the changes to the number of essence available, we'll see. The setup is a bit fiddly though, as with the current hidden info scoring I have to shuffle each task type separately to ensure an equal number of tasks for each type (we actually played with 32 tasks, 8 of each type).

● In yesterday's test we went back to using discs strictly for time travel, with a player being able to spend a matching color disc to fudge their die results by 1 per disc. This worked out a lot better this game since we weren't hoarding discs for points and we both made great use of the discs when needed. I'd still like to try out other things though, such as instead of fudging a die roll by 1 (which is pretty weak when fudging the location die), perhaps you get to reroll just 1 of the dice instead, so if you like what day you landed on, but the location is on the wrong end of the board, you can keep the day and just reroll the location. Will probably try that out next session just to see how it plays in comparison.

● For this game we decided that we'd simply end the game when we were no longer able to draw another task from the bag, immediately handing out any completed tasks remaining on the timeline and discarding the others. It was a bit anti-climatic, but it's what we had for the time being. The idea was suggested to have a final goal to achieve after the tasks run out (similar to Dungeon Run's need for the new summoner to escape), but for now I've no idea what would work well even if I wanted to try it out. The ending is the last thing I really need to figure out, so will be continuing to brainstorm options.

Overall a great session with lots of good feedback and continuing to improve the game's balance

Was a bit sad though that my board had warped since the last test, so it wouldn't lay flat the whole time... gulp

Synergy

Finished creating the initial prototype for Synergy and had it ready to playtest yesterday too. Unfortunately as I sat there playing around with the cards a bit I noticed that I had drastically overcompensated the levels on the spells, making it near impossible to use the more powerful effects on the cards... so I'm gonna have to rework them all and reprint without even getting to play it yet...



More Gaming

I have gotten to get in quite a bit of gaming these last few days, including my first games of Dungeon Run, Troyes, YINSH, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork and Ticket to Ride: Switzerland. Also got in games of Chess and Eminent Domain.

Dungeon Run: I've played other dungeon crawlers before, but haven't yet encountered one that I really enjoyed. This one however, was a lot of fun! I only played 2 player, so wasn't a ton of player vs player combat, but even the minor interactions such as forcing a player to reroll dice when fighting certain monsters or stealing someone's intended treasure was quite entertaining. The combat mechanic was both clever and simple to use and the leveling system worked great as well. Now that I fully understand all of the game's rules I plan to get this one to the table with my family several times in the near future.

Troyes: This one has some cool mechanics and I enjoy looking for those combos that crop up through the course of the game. Unfortunately it is pretty mathy, so my lighter gamers are going to shy away from it. I do think this is a great game for those who don't mind the "mathiness" as well as for school aged kids who could use the practice. I'm definitely going to be holding onto this one and hopefully will have some good chances to get it to the table with my kidos.

YINSH: My BFF just acquired this one and has been playing it with his wifey. They've really enjoyed it, so when I came over to game he wanted to teach it to me and get in a game.

I won, almost 3-1

I'm not a huge fan of abstracts (thinking multiple moves in advance gives me hurty brain), but I don't mind playing one every now and then (great, now I regret trading off my Go set...). This game does have some interesting mechanics and I think makes for a great little abstract which I'd gladly recommend to anyone that's a fan of the genre.

Discworld: Ankh-Morpork: I've read a few of the Discworld books my Terry Pratchet and have enjoyed them immensely, so when I heard about the game coming out I was... concerned that it wouldn't live up to the books. I did keep an eye on it though, in hopes that it would turn out good and when my wifey found out about it, she made a point to make sure I ended up with a copy (love her so much). The family and I got in a 4 player game and everyone enjoyed it. The rules are pretty light and your turn is pretty quick and simple. Player interaction is decent and straight forward. Overall I think it's a pretty good game and will likely continue to hit the table in the near future.

Ticker to Ride: Switzerland: Ever since trying out Ticket to Ride at last year's Gencon my family has been hooked on the game. It's requested at nearly every game night and even my Uncle Dad requests it each time we head over to their house. TtR Switzerland has some interesting mechanics that were new to us, including tunnels (added in TtR Europe iirc) as well as tickets that allow you to end in multiple locations (the various other counters around the border) with different scoring options. It is a pity though that the map only supports 2-3 players as we tend to play 4-5 player games, so this map will be a bit limited in how often we play it. I was very happy though to see that they included the larger format cards with this one, as the 1910 expansion for the base game is nearly required unless you actually like the original tiny cards.



Chess: My BFF finally got his own chess board and asked me to show him some techniques etc (I used to compete back in high school). After showing him a few things we played a game and I got to demonstrate nearly all of the techniques that I had mentioned (much to his demise). It was an interesting game though as I described why I was making my moves and got to watch him come to understand much of the meta game (e.g. dominance in the center, control of pawn structure, etc). I think that his intention was originally to use the board as a display piece and for teaching his kids, but looks like his interest might now be sparked a bit beyond just that.



Eminent Domain: I've been playing this one quite a bit lately, but am starting to lose interest. The interaction is very low (strike 1), players' choices have very little effect on each other (strike 2) and you can pretty much just find a favorite strategy and repeat it each game without interference from opponents (strike 3, your out!). I don't "mind" playing though, so if the wifey or kidos want to get in a game, I'll still play and put up a good fight. I also don't plan on trading this one off as it's a great gateway game to the deckbuilding genre.

TL;DR

Just in Time changes played great, need to rebalance number of essence and action point cost of locations as well as come up with a solid end game.

I goofed my initial numbers on Synergy, need to reword and reprint before playing.

Got in a good chunk of gaming with Dungeon Run, Discworld and TtR Switzerland in the 8-9 rating range; Troyes probably sitting around 7; and YINSH and Eminent Domain likely at 6. I also now want my Go set back...
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Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:58 pm
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Just in Time, Synergy and Some Gaming

David Gregg
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Franklinville
North Carolina
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Just in Time

Still brainstorming the next round of tweaks for Just in Time. I've decided that I don't like using discs as points as it keep the players from being able to time travel as freely / often as I'd like. Instead, I'll have players keep their task tiles like they used to for counting points and let the new job cards be based on the type of task (vs location / color like older versions):



The only other thing I'm still trying to figure out is how the game will actually end. Currently I'm liking having the game last a static 40 tasks and having the game end when they run out, but I haven't come up with a good way of just how to end it yet. I've tried simply playing out the game until all the tasks have left the timeline, but it gets pretty boring as the number of remaining incomplete tasks reduces. I've thought of just letting there be 1 last round, but then what do I do with the remaining tasks? If I have them resolve it'll be very likely that the players will lose. If I just discard them, well, that's pretty anti-climatic...

argh... yuk

Synergy

I think I'm gonna use Synergy as the working title for my Wizard's Duel idea. I've been brainstorming this one a lot the last few days and think I'm going to swap which system counters an ability and which simply downgrades. Also, instead of rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock, I think I may just use my favorite element wheel:



I think I'll have "synergistic" elements boost the level of the following action, while if your opponent played an opposing spell it'll completely negate your action. I'll likely maintain the rock-paper-scissors mechanic via a separate icon set (I'm thinking metal, light and ice or something like that).

By the way, I've got a whole for whoever remembers/solves what that element wheel belongs to cool

Some Gaming

Lately the big games around the house have been Coloretto and Ticket to Ride. Coloretto is just so portable and quick to play that everyone likes breaking it out when we're short on time or getting ready for the main event. It's pretty much stolen the spotlight as our favorite filler. Ticket to Ride is also one of those excellent gateway games that anyone can learn and play decently right away, but still has plenty of depth for others to really dig into. I've recently acquired the Switzerland expansion, which I think looks pretty cool, but haven't yet gotten to play.



Still haven't gotten to play some of the games that were highest on my want list until my recent purchase, including Mouse Guard RPG, Dungeon Run and Troyes. I've had a basic campaign prepared for Mouse Guard for a while now, but needing a decent chunk of time to play it is holding us back from playing as our schedules have been pretty crazy lately. Similarly, we need all 4 of us available to really maximize the back-stabbery in Dungeon Run, but it just hasn't worked out. I did play a 2 player game of Troyes against myself just to learn the mechanics and think it's pretty cool (very combo heavy).
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Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:38 am
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Eminent Domain, MACE and More Life

David Gregg
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Franklinville
North Carolina
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Eminent Domain

The first pack of my new additions arrived Tuesday, bring in Dungeon Run, Eminent Domain, Hive: The Ladybug, Troyes as well as a token set for Agricola. Being a huge fan of deck construction / deck building I had to try out Eminent Domain first. I had preread the rulebook via PDF Monday (really well written btw), so was ready to play when it arrived. The game reminds me heavily of Race for the Galaxy, Puerto Rico and of course Dominion.

So far I've played one each of the learning game, level 1 tech only and a full game. The learning game was really easy to grasp and it gave a good understanding of the game's mechanics. Adding in the level 1 tech immediately felt like there was now a lot more that could be planned and strategized. Having tested heavy colonizing in one game and an even mix of stuff in the other, I knew that I had to test going heavy research / warefare.

It was a thing of beauty cool

I was able to secure two level 2 techs pretty early: can spend ships as resources and -2 cost to attack, but planet doesn't generate resources. At that point I was just cruising through, piggy backing on my opponent's survey roles and using my own turns to either dig further into the research decks or rack up even more of a military fleet. Near the end of the game I also scored the level 3 tech that allows basic research cards to gain all role icons... that was sick...

My only con so far is that player interactivity is rather low with the only real options being to attempt to plan your roles to maximize riding the wave of other players while denying them the same as well as trying to deny them critical level 2/3 tech cards.


MACE West

I attended MACE last year and had a great time learning Ticket to Ride with my family and demoing Nightfall for a few others (as well as a Nightfall a tournament!). So when I heard that MACE West is taking place near to some extended family, it became a done deal. So far I'm planning to demo my WIP Just in Time, demo Nightfall and run another Nightfall tournament. Hopefully I can get hold of some promos from AEG to hand out as well.

meeple

More Life

Few quick things here: looks like BGG is getting into full swing with beta testing their new layout and I've gotten an invite!

thumbsup

It's an interesting design and I'm trying to find my way around where the more major changes were made, but so far I'm liking what I'm seeing.

Also, the new job is going very well. Tons of tiny projects popping up, so having to stay on my toes and keep reacting to all the issues these people are generating for me.

On the negative side of things, our septic line under our house broke the other day... smelled like someone let out some terrible gas right by the air intake so it spread throughout the entire house...

gulp

Fortunately we rent and the landlord does a great job of getting things fixed in a hurry
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Thu Feb 2, 2012 4:11 am
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