Games & Llamas

A blog about what we (Llama Dice) play and sometimes design.

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Week 03 - The Castles of Prototyping

Isra C.
Spain
Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi everybody!

Shei and I forced us to play something on Sunday just to have something to write today

When all the projects you have ongoing wakes up at the same time, all of your "play time" turns into "work time". But this is not a complaint, this is a blessing <3

So let's see what we played this week!



Flatiron
From gallery of israperrillo

Actually, despite being working in a ton of new stuff such the The Red Cathedral expansion, or our new big game for 2023, this is the only image I'm allowed to post: The TTS mod for Flatiron.

Still getting better and better with the final touches. We already know some candidates for the artwork and we cannot be more excited!! <3
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The Castles of Burgundy
From gallery of israperrillo

Since we bought the special edition, we haven't touched the old one. I don't know, the artwork sin't great but it isn't in the old version so... Who cares? Having all the miniexpansions at once is a great thing, and the thickness of the tiles pays off.

But we're not culling the old one because, you know, the feels (It was our first big euro played ever and is also our favorite game ever).
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K3
From gallery of israperrillo

One abstract game that we snagged from Helvetiq's booth at Spiel. The game could last 1 minute or 15, actually (if you didn't plan more or less careful). Feels random sometimes at planning (you have to build your mountain first, and then de-build it to select a stone to place in the middle) but with more plays does not seem that random.

Nice abstract game to play while getting coffee. And it takes about 10 minutes to play, so the randomness thing is nothing
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Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:48 am
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Week 02 - Underwater Kahunas

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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi everybody!

Second week in a row, let's see how it goes! I definitely played a lot more than this batch of games, but as I promise to myself, I'll only talk about some of them that I wanted to say something


Trismegistus: The Ultimate Formula
From gallery of israperrillo

I liked a lot some mechanics of this game and the iconography wasn't that bad as I was warned, but no, I don't need this level of complexity in a game to enjoy the hobby. Too convoluted and rules that sometimes apply and sometimes don't... I don't know, this game seems to appeal to a lot of people but definitely, this game is not for me.
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Kahuna
From gallery of israperrillo

I played this a lot on the iPad because we had it in our collection some time ago and we traded because Shei didn't like it. We bought it again at Spiel and finally hit the table. I like this game, but I feel that sometimes luck has too much to say. Another thing that happened to me in the digital version and in this one is, if a player is losing, it will force they play extremely well to catch up.

It is just a feeling because I did not play as many plays as needed to say that this will always happen.

Overall, I like it very much!
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Cascadia
From gallery of israperrillo

Despite having magenta desert salmons and spending as much time replenishing the display as playing, I love this game. I cannot tell too much about it because -everybody- has played or owned it. We have already played all the cards and now we're starting to mix sets!
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Underwater Cities & Underwater Cities: New Discoveries
From gallery of israperrillo

Finally, hit the table the expansion of one of our favorite games! And Whoah! That's a lot to swallow with just a few tweaks of the original rules.

The elimination of one entire round thanks to the starting variant made me love this game even more. And the Museum module was superb! (Although I think that is not needed in this game honestly)

All the new agents seems so broken but in a good way. Won't play again without it.
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Azul: Queen's Garden
From gallery of israperrillo

If you have to keep only 2 'azul', I'd pick the original one and this one. I liked the Summer Pavilion, but it was just too similar to the original one. This one has some twists that give Azul a "Burgundy" feel that suit it very well.

Glad I pick one at Spiel because in Spain is currently hard to find (it will be wide available with the time for sure)
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Flatiron
From gallery of israperrillo

Now some shameless self-promotion about our upcoming game Flatiron (the iconic building from New York). A 2 player euro game in the fancy of 1987 Channel Tunnel or Targi that will be published by Ludonova by Spiel 22. It is in its final development stage and probably won't differ anything from the final version.

We're really excited about how it is going to look the version with the final artwork!!
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Karekare
From gallery of israperrillo

Aonther game crossed out from our pile-of-shame. I loved the simplicity of the rules and the possibilities it brings in the gameplay, although I think that 2 player is not its best player count. It will shine at 4, probably.

I don't know why this game didn't have more attention but is a common thing of the hobby. Sometimes good games does not have the buzz they deserve.
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Alice's Garden
From gallery of israperrillo

I played this game a lot and still amazed about the draft mechanism! Nevertheless, it was the first time that I played with more than 2 and two bags got empty too soon in the game... and that was a bummer. Love this game, but I won't play it with more than 2 (maybe 3)
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Savannah Park
From gallery of israperrillo

And I closed the week with a new game in the category: A friend's game (a game that you won't own because you're not going to play it with your partner, but you're always up for a play at anytime)

Love the simplicity, love the mechanism, not sure about the replayability but... for a friend's game, that is not a problem.

See you next week!
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Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:21 am
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Week 01 - Hab & Barrage

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Alright, let's do it!

In the very first two days of 2022, Shei and I managed to play a lot of board games in that weekend.

When I did the weekly logs, I commented EVERY game I tried, but eventually that caused the ending of that posts because I couldn't keep up the pace. So I decided only to talk about the games that I really want to talk about, so... let's start!


Travel Carcassonne
From gallery of israperrillo


Every NYE (or the day after) we play a game of Carcassonne (travel or not) because we have fond memories with that one. This year, instead of playing it in the night of 31st, we played right after having breakfast. I think that Carcassonne is one of the games I can play everyday

Barrage & Barrage: The Leeghwater Project
From gallery of israperrillo


Scrolling through the BGStats app, we saw that the last time we played Barrage was in September 2020, so we decided to fix that. One of the best Euros of the lasts years, even though it's not that good for a 2 player game. The only thing (apart from the aesthetics that don't appeal to me) that I don't like, is the snowballing effect I had in every game I played of it. But still, is really enjoyable to play and is a keeper!

PARKS
From gallery of israperrillo


We spent a whole day with the people of Analisis Paralisis and we played a ton of games!!

One of the highlights is that I finally played the Spanish version of Parks, and I really liked it. No for a €50 price point, for sure (and that's the reason why it's not in our collection). The illustrations are just amazing. I could frame many cards of the game because they're outstanding!


Living Forest
From gallery of israperrillo


I played Living Forest expecting nothing, honestly. I just wanted to play because I heard some good comments about it from Analisis Paralisis and colored me intrigued. Turns out that is a great race game! Different ways to trigger the endgame, despite not being a fan of push your luck mechanisms. Would choose this instead of Port Royal (not saying that I don't like PR, but they have the same mechanism).

Savannah Park
From gallery of israperrillo


I'm a sucker for K&K games and tend to like everything from them... and I did. Not sure about the replayability of this one but is a really sweet puzzle. And very original too! I don't know how this people can keep designing these great games.

Hab & Gut
From gallery of israperrillo


And finally, we played our coolest finding in the Spiel Mathtrade: A shrink-wrapped copy of Hab & Gut!! And this time I loved it. I played Hab & Gut 3 years ago, and I disliked too much the rule of charity, but this time, with that rule in mind the whole game, it was super enjoyable (my friends still remind me about my rant). Not sure if it should have any last player compensation, but it's a quick light game so... no problem.
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Tue Jan 4, 2022 10:59 am
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Let's do this!

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi everyone!

This is, one of the most shameful post I'd ever post here: Not a single post or thread during all 2021. Not even a self-promotion one at Spiel with all the goodness about seeing our Redca topping the Kosmos booth. Not even the post of pictures of gorgeous people posing with a Lama-toy substitute (which I'll post here eventually). Not even a post how amazing it was to see about 20 people queuing at Ludonova's booth to get Shinkansen: Zero Kei signed by Shei and me. Or maybe a post about how cool it was to be in the November issue of the legendary board game magazine Spiel box.


So my idea is to keep updated this blog as often as I could.
From gallery of israperrillo
We're still here!


But yes, this is totally a new year's resolution that I don't know if I'll make it, but definitely I'll try.

See you tomorrow with the stuff played in the first week of the year (although it was only 2 days long).

Cheers!
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Mon Jan 3, 2022 3:30 pm
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Spiel 15: Everyone loves Bernarda

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Wait, WHAT?

This year has been a hella of roller coaster. Not only for us, for the entire world.

If you don't attend to Spiel (and specially if you are used to) is one of the worst things that can happen to you in October (we didn't attend in 2017 because we ran out of our yearly budget for trips since we get married and traveled to Japan) and it was awful.

But this year could be one of the worst years to skip Spiel because we will finally see The Red Cathedral published but... there's no Spiel this year for no one.

But there's one more thing that is not getting in touch with amazing people, eating things that only can be eaten in Germany, the rush for the halls, the compulsive purchases that probably your back will suffer pushing through the airport your suitcase, there's THE THING. This stupid thing we did every year.

We took pictures from people of the boardgaming world with a lama (or alpaca) toy. And oh boi, we miss that very very much.

We uploaded here the album from 2019 with Paqui and 2018 with Beni, but never upload here the 2015's Bernarda and 2016's Vicenta.

So, to relief the urgency of sharing a huge collection of nice people smiling, here's the pictures we took in our very first Spiel. Hope you enjoy it!

From gallery of israperrillo
Sergio and Nancy from Análisis Paralisis and Ediciones Primigenio

From gallery of israperrillo
Gonzalo from Salt & Pepper Games









From gallery of israperrillo
Richard Ham - Rahdo











From gallery of israperrillo
Zee Garcia from The Dice Tower












From gallery of israperrillo
Beth Heile from BGG

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Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:49 am
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Missing writing here

Isra C.
Spain
Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi all!

I know that I've got a couple of subscriptions and I only get visits when I tag a lot of played games but that's not the point. The point is that I miss write in English about my preferred topic ever: Board games.

From gallery of israperrillo


I've been playing more than ever due to the confinement but I don't know. It's a strange feeling. I DO miss writing here but yet don't have the impulse to start writing.

And I love to talk about it here and chat with you all. Maybe too much extra-work from prototypes that keeps me away from writing hre.

Shei and I we're currently finishing some touches about a couple of boardgames that will be published in 2021-2022. We're in our finest moment as designers and that means a lot of work since we love to work close with publishers.

We do know that The Red Cathedral will be published sometime near September probably in USA too. So, this project started in 2015 finally will be released. What a ride !

Flowar will be postponed to early 2021, but with one good new! Mihajlo Dimitrievski will be the one in charge of the illustrations and cannot wait to see his work!

So as you can see, we're perpetually doing and playing things but, for reasons beyond my comprehension, I don't have the impulse to shout them out loud here!

Whenever I can share some pictures about The Red Cathedral I'll do for sure. It's easier just to show pictures rather than write about them hahha

Stay safe!
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Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:41 am
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If life gives you Carcassonne tiles, frame them!

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Well the title is rather clickbaity since I bought two sets of Carcassone tiles at the thread: Hunt for second hand games for Spiel 2019: HERE

The idea was simple: Buy a set of basic game of Carcassonne to frame the tiles. The idea, also, is buying them as lower as you can since you don't need the score board, rules, box etc.

So thanks to
Rukus (André Heines)
Germany
30 km from Essen
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Tobias Lunte
Germany
Oldenburg
Niedersachsen
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Nathalie Persson
Sweden
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who sold me the tower expansion that actually won't be in the frame but it is in our collection )


And (with a lot of delay, you know, one thing is saying that your'e going to do a thing and another completely different is actually doing it) spending some isolation time, finally we made it! The Covid nightmare we're living in Spain mixed with the clear "Stay at f**** home" message helped a little bit.

So here they are the steps and the how-to:

The perfect size for this (including the enough deepness to hold the base+tile+standing meeple) is the Ikea's Ribba 50x50 frame:
From gallery of israperrillo


Every Ikea item has its own instructions. So we took as guidance (to put every tile perfectly centered) those instructions to paste the Carcassone starting tile:
From gallery of israperrillo



The original idea was playing a Carcassonne game ON the sheeet and then paste the tiles but since sometimes the map gets really ugly, we more or less designed a map in our taste. Once the map was designed, then we glued (with sticky tape) every tile to the instructions sheet. After that, glued some meeples in the tiles and some spare tiles in a sort-of drawing pile. It supposed to be a game in progress!!
From gallery of israperrillo


Finally, with more sticky tape, glued the sheet (without any sign of being the instructions sheet) to the frame base to hold all the components
From gallery of israperrillo


Close the frame (recycle the passepartout or use it in another frame) and there you go!
From gallery of israperrillo



And see how it looks hanging on the wall
From gallery of israperrillo

From gallery of israperrillo


Saty safe everyone!
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Fri May 8, 2020 12:14 pm
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Spiel 19: Everyone loves Paqui

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi everybody!

In 2015 Shei and I started a thing when we travel to Essen for our very first time at Spiel. We brought a tiny llama toy that we planned to put on the top of games, things and so on but suddenly we took a picture of a designer with that toy called Bernarda and everything changed. We took pictures of designers, artist and people we know from the boardgaming world and it was super fun.

Then, we came back on 2016 and did the same thing with another different llama toy called Vicenta and many of them remembered that odd moment in which two stupid people with a smile in their faces asked them "to take a picture with Vicenta"

In 2017 we got married and didn't attend to Spiel, but in 2018 we came back again and took pictures with Benigna 'Beni' and it was amazing.


This is the 4th year that we do this thing, now with Paquita "Paqui", and we think that this will be a tradition every year we attend to Spiel but... do you know why?

At the end of the fair, we end with about 70 pictures of people smiling, doing shenanigans or crazy things with the toy and everyone looks happy and enjoying this wonderful boardgame world. Those smiles and faces remain us why we are here: To make people happy.

So here it is, the pictures we could take at the fair, enjoy them as much as we did

Uli Blennenman, master of Spielworxx
From gallery of israperrillo








Mandi Hutchinson & Suzanne Sheldon from The Dice Tower
From gallery of israperrillo

Rodney Smith from Watch It Played
From gallery of israperrillo

Steve & Tifanny Caires
From gallery of israperrillo


André Müller from SPIELKULT.de
From gallery of israperrillo

Steven Buonocore from Stronghold Games
From gallery of israperrillo


Klemens Franz & Andrea
From gallery of israperrillo




W. Eric Martin
From gallery of israperrillo






Jess & Edward from Heavy Cardboard
From gallery of israperrillo








Antoine Bauza
From gallery of israperrillo
Whom I owe a proper goodbye!! Sorry Antoine!!


Tom Vasel from The Dice Tower
From gallery of israperrillo


Reiner OMGOMGOMGOMG Knizia
From gallery of israperrillo




Livia from MOZI Games
From gallery of israperrillo
















Wolfgang -my hero- Kramer
From gallery of israperrillo

Josep M. -my role model- Josep M.
From gallery of israperrillo

Rachel & Heinze from Semi Co-op
From gallery of israperrillo






Calvin, Dee & Collin!
From gallery of israperrillo

Joey Schouten from Inkwell Games
From gallery of israperrillo


Zee García from The Dice Tower
From gallery of israperrillo

Stella from Meeple University
From gallery of israperrillo

My favorite person, designer and everything in the world, Shei S. & me, Isra C.
From gallery of israperrillo
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Mon Nov 4, 2019 8:56 am
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Spiel 19: We have a problem.

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Well... that was an amazing SPIEL for us professionally and personally in which we have experienced a lot of love and kindness from every people we approached by. And sometimes it's something difficult to approach to someone and ask them to take a picture with a tiny llama toy, but we did it and it was a blast (You can check the pictures from Beni last year)

But today I'm going to show you the pornographic haul that we gather during the whole fair. The worst part is the one on Saturday we saw our purchases and said "We haven't bought that many this year, we can bought some more", tried to pack and realized that yes, we have bought THAT many

From gallery of israperrillo
From gallery of israperrillo
From gallery of israperrillo
From gallery of israperrillo


We already played some and this is what was our first impression:

Tee oder Kaffee
A small -very small- card game where you have to take sets to score them. Nothing sounds amazing and probably is a bit random, but we're addicted to it. Will be included in every trip due to its size and, at least with two, is quick and fun to play!

Skytopia: In the Circle of Time
I loved how the gears work and despite thinking that with more players will be cooler I enjoyed the first game of it!

Masters of Renaissance: Lorenzo il Magnifico – The Card Game
For me, can be the biggest deception of the Spiel Will play it again soon and will decide but the first impression is a game that I didn't like (but the marble mechanism is really really cool)

Ingenious: Travel Edition
It's one of the biggest findings in the Math-trade thanks to my friend Thanasis! This is the travel version only for 2 players of Ingenious. And it's amazing because is really hard to find!!

Silver & Gold
I loved it! A kinda different "reveal and write" drawing in the cards. Phil Walker-Harding, I love you. I like this a lot!

Anubixx
We bought this one without even looking at the box because, you know, this format always is a winner but... this time is not. It has some good ideas, but we found playing this without having any fun like we have plenty in Twenty-one, Qwixx, Qwinto and so. A little deception. Will play through all the sheets twice and play with the family and then decide.

Paris: La Cité de la Lumière
My god. MY GOD. I loved it!!!!!! Through the production, to the artwork, to the gameplay, to the scoring... everything. This could become one of my 2 player favorites for sure!

Snowman Dice
We expected to have fun this one only with my destroyer nephew but we found ourselves playing it and laughing a lot!! This is very fun!!

Humboldt's Great Voyage
A 5 Tribes style game. I liked the first game (and the mechanic of where to start is one of my favorite things) but I'm not sure how many plays of it will do. But the first impression is very very good.

Ka Pai & Ka Pai: Ranu
Our first game of Ka Pai was kinda just ok. But the more we play it, the more we like it!! And the expansions are awesome; when you think you know how to play, that new score sheets breaks you. I liked it a lot!!

Elevenses
We found this game in the Matagot booth kinda buried in their big boxes and Shei grabbed it and said: LOOK AT THIS ARTWORK AND THEME. WE MUST BUY IT. So we did. And we played. Twice. And we loved it!! Will be included in our list for trips since the game only have a few cards and the sugar cubes could be replaced by any other thing.

L.L.A.M.A.
I don't know why I found fun in this game. It has 0 decisions and all the randomness of having a bad hand of cards... But I do like it! Will play it with my family to see if it worth to keep it.

Bloom Town
A very good game of city building for non-core gamers. I'm saying this because I felt that for us, we need more. I liked their scoring mechanism of scoring right at the moment you're placing the tile! This is a really fine game! But probably too light for us

And that's it. Now we're heading to Ikea to buy another shelf... so yes, we have a problem. A big problem. But what a blessed problem <3
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:51 am
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1987 Channel Tunnel Design Diary (4/4)

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Hi there!

There's only 24h to go for the awesomely successful Kickstarter campaing in which 1987 Channel Tunnel is included

This is last diary entry, hope you like them!!!


Previously on 1987 Channel Tunnel Design Diary (1) , (2) , (3)...


We went to Protos and Tipos 2018 with the changes we had in the last post and we didn't stop demoing for the whole weekend. The plays followed one after the other and each one of us liked the way it was working.

From gallery of israperrillo


At the end of the fair, Pedro Soto took the prototype under his arm and soon gave us the great news that it would be the first game of the 19xx series that would not be designed by Perepau. As you can understand, this was huge for us.

But that's it? What is this, the end of Game of Thrones? No! The diary doesn't end here. Once Perepau finished the development of 1906, he started with the development of 1987. He reviewed the cards and added a few little things that have given him the feeling of a complete game. We were able to test a version of that prototype in Essen in 2018 and we practically didn't need any additional rules to play. Shamely, it was the only game we played in the Spiel, but it was so special that we didn’t even notice. This game was a special illusion

From gallery of israperrillo



Among the changes proposed to us by the chief developer were the financing as an action and the misalignment of the tunnel boring machine, which is a side effect of tunneling. Like when you drill a wall and you twist the hole (true story).
Since this change made the game was a little longer, they eliminate a section of the tunnel (before there were 7 cards, now there are 6, divided into 3 portions) and that made the game 10’ shorter. In addition, when you added the misalignment of the tunnel boring machine you had one more spark of uncertainty about when the end of the game would come, and we liked that very much.

The player's boards and tracks were also modified, which was to be expected since the model we show at Protos and Tipos was a "we need something functional" version. Let us explain ourselves. Sometimes in order to reach a fair, or a goal, you have to have something that works even if it is not perfect, it has to be functional. And that's what we did with the tracks and the board. We had to get to the Protos and Tipos and we didn't have the time to design a proper board. Perepau added financing as a requirement for the advancement of the tracks.

From gallery of israperrillo
From gallery of israperrillo


They gave us a first version to test the changes made by Perepau and between comings and goings we finished the development together. We want to highlight the documentation that the guys from Looping did added thematic decisions like the one that UK starts with less warehouse because they did not have where to store the rubble or that the cost of financing is different on the boards because each country faced it in a different way.

From gallery of israperrillo


These modifications together with the misalignment and the asymmetry of the warehouses form the final version of the player boards. And the best of all is that everything is documented and has a reason!

And with this, some previews of images made by Pedro, a successful Verkami campaign with a lot of work, a lot of documentation and more enthusiasm behind it, we arrive at what you are seeing now. If anyone still wonders if the 19xx are made with love, bear in mind that they have 4 people who make a team. Víctor, César, Perepau, Pedro: Thank you for this opportunity!

For our part, these are the last lines of this 1987 Chunnel diary. Shortly, the following entries will be written by you playing this project that we love so much.

We hope you like it! See you at the table!.

Shei & Isra
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Fri Oct 4, 2019 11:31 am
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