MDC II - Microgame Design Contest Two (2002)
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In 2002 the second Microgame Design Contest was held through the Microgame Mailing List. The List was an e-mail discussion group formed to revisit the classic small-format games of the seventies and eighties (as exemplified by Metagaming's Microgames).

The winning game was determined by the scoring of the two judges who rated all of the games in five categories: Mechanics, Originality, Balance, Clarity and Enjoyability. Here are the official rankings and average scores (on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best) which determined the winner:

1. Operation Whirlwind - score 8
2. Steel and Crystal - score 7
2. Harvest the Wind - score 7
2. Glider-Pit Gladiators 2002 - score 7
3. Warp Skirmish - score 6.5
4. Way of the Warrior - score 6.4
5. Search Diver - score 6.3
6. Richthofen - score 6.1
7. WarpQuest - score 5.7
8. Leetown and Elkhorn Tavern - score 5.2
9. Blitz Commander - score 4.8

The latest version of Glider-Pit Gladiators is available for download here on BGG. Individual download files for the other games are available at:
http://wsmf.org/countermoves/Wip/mdc2002/ This link down as of 1/6/08, try the link below.

Or you can download this 11MB zip file with all of the contest games:
http://downloads.sourceforge.net/countermoves/mdc2002.zip

Finally, here is a Geeklist regarding the 1998 Microgame Design Contest:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
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1. Board Game: Operation Whirlwind [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
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Brian Train's Operation Whirlwind - 2 players

"Operation Whirlwind is a historical game on street battles between Hungarian rebels and Soviet invaders in November 1956. The game scale uses 8 hours per turn and units are roughly platoon to regiment scale. The 11 x 17" map features an area movement map of downtown Budapest. The 140 back-printed counters show Hungarian insurgents and Soviet troops. Optional forces include extra Soviet forces, US Special Forces teams and the 101st Airborne Division, jumping into battle!"

It should come as no surprise that this was the most professional and polished entry of the contest, as the designer had half-a-dozen published titles to his name. Shortly after the contest Operation Whirlwind was released by the Microgame Design Group, who had published several of the designer's games in the past.

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 8, 8
Originality - 7, 7
Balance - 8, 8
Clarity - 9, 8
Enjoyability - 9, 8
 
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2. Board Game: Steel and Crystal [Average Rating:3.62 Unranked]
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Gottardo Zancani's Steel and Crystal - solitaire

"Steel and Crystal is an easy solo game of conquest on a fantasy land. You are the General of your Empire and your mission is simple: defeat the enemies of your Emperor. Every scenario states the initial forces that you have under your command and the objectives you must obtain to win."

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 6, 7
Originality - 5, 6
Balance - 7, 8
Clarity - 8, 8
Enjoyability - 7, 8
 
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3. Board Game: Harvest the Wind [Average Rating:5.60 Unranked]
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David Allen's Harvest the Wind - 2 players

"A microgame of tactical combat in the 19th Century American West." This man-to-man scale wargame features three historical scenarios, one of which involves a major battle between Plains Indian tribes.

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 6, 7
Originality - 7, 7
Balance - 8, 6
Clarity - 7, 7
Enjoyability - 8, 7
 
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4. Board Game: Glider-Pit Gladiators [Average Rating:5.86 Unranked]
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My entry Glider-Pit Gladiators 2002 - 2 players

Deja vu all over again! Because the second Microgame Design Contest was open to pre-existing designs, I revised and updated my entry from the first contest and submitted the "new and improved" (?) design as GPG 2002.

You can download this latest version of the game from the Boardgamegeek page for Glider-Pit Gladiators.

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 7, 7
Originality - 7, 4
Balance - 8, 7
Clarity - 8, 7
Enjoyability - 8, 7
 
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5. Board Game: Warp Skirmish [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
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Lloyd Krassner's Warp Skirmish - 2 players

"Warp Skirmish is an abstract Wargame system that utilizes a mix of board, card, dice and unit elements to create a system with chess-like strategy, fog-of-war uncertainty and module expandability. Presented here are the base mechanics and several modules that are ready for play. The modules contain the game setting, background, unit and card definitions and the rules that augment or change the Warp Skirmish engine."

The contest entry included two modules: "Fix Bayonets" - an abstract skirmish level game depicting man-to-man fighting in the Argonne Forest 1918; "Martian Cloudships" - an abstract skirmish level aerial combat game depicting ship-to-ship engagements between the floating armada of the British Expeditionary Forces and a Band of Martian Cloudships in an alternative universe setting around the time of the Victorian era.

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 6, 6
Originality - 6, 7
Balance - 6, 7
Clarity - 7, 7
Enjoyability - 6, 7
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6. Board Game: Way of the Warrior [Average Rating:5.20 Unranked]
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Gottardo Zancani's Way of the Warrior - solitaire

"The Way of the Warrior (WotW) is a solo system to simulate small tactical war operations. Is not aimed at a specific period: the base version of the rules is set on WWII but is quite easy to introduce new periods/themes." A chart based solitaire game.

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 6, 7
Originality - 6, 6
Balance - 6, 6
Clarity - 7, 7
Enjoyability - 6, 7
 
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7. Board Game: Search Diver [Average Rating:4.02 Unranked]
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David H. Allen's Search Diver - 2 players

"Search Diver is a microgame involving dive planning and underwater search. Two players compete to be the first to locate a specific search target such as a drowning victim or a boat wreck. Players must plan their dives to maximize their chances of locating the target without violating dive safety guidelines."

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 4, 6
Originality - 7, 8
Balance - 7, 7
Clarity - 7, 6
Enjoyability - 5, 6
 
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8. Board Game: Richthofen [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:8220]
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Michael Maners' & Mark Jerome's Richthofen - 2 players

"Richthofen is a WWI Air Combat Card Game. You play the part of a famous fighter pilot ace, taking to the skies to engage your enemy in the life and death struggle of air combat."

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 5, 7
Originality - 5, 6
Balance - 7, 6
Clarity - 7, 6
Enjoyability - 6, 6
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9. Board Game: WarpQuest [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Lloyd Krassner's Warp Quest - 2 players

"Warp Quest is an abstract game system that depicts goal driven scenarios. Each player controls a collection of Units who are attempting to be the first to reach an objective and bring it back to the start. The units could be a party of adventuring archeologists hoping to recover a lost artifact, a squadron of bombers attempting to hit a military target and return home, a band of samurai seeking to vanquish marauding bandits or a company of mixed creatures seeking to destroy a piece of evil ornamental jewelry that has the nasty habit of trying to control the minds of all free creatures. The scenarios that use the Warp Quest engine will hold the details."

The contest entry included a "War Over the Reich" scenario which portrayed a World War II night bombing raid by British force. Also included was the "Warp Quest World" of "Artifact", with scenarios for the "Lost Continent of Atlantis" and "Mummy's Tomb."

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 5, 6
Originality - 5, 5
Balance - 5, 6
Clarity - 7, 7
Enjoyability - 5, 6
 
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10. Board Game: Leetown and Elkhorn Tavern [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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James Acerra's Leetown and Elkhorn Tavern - 2 players

"A detailed microgame covering the American Civil War battles of Leetown and Elkhorn Tavern."

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 4, 6
Originality - 3, 3
Balance - 5, 7
Clarity - 7, 6
Enjoyability - 5, 6
 
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11. Board Game: Blitz Commander [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
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J. Pardeck's Blitz Commander - 2 players

"Blitz Commander is a game representing Operational Level Warfare during World War 2. It is a universal system, in that its rules can be used to represent any given battle or period of fighting during the War. Designed to be played with plastic or metal miniatures (Axis and Allies Europe minis work great), the paper counters included with the game can be used as a rather makeshift substitute."

Scores by Judges 1 and 2:
Mechanics - 4, 6
Originality - 2, 3
Balance - 5, 6
Clarity - 5, 5
Enjoyability - 6, 6
 
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