Mostly Harmless

Print-and-play projects, thrift store finds, hidden gems, snippets of conversation, images and words. Usually about board games.

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How to join a game design contest on BGG

Martin Gonzalvez
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Thu Mar 5, 2020 1:06 am
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Hunted: Santa's Workshop

Martin Gonzalvez
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In which Martin previews Hunted: Santa’s Workshop, a special holiday version of the awesome Hunted series of games, from designer Gabe Barrett. This will be a special print and play version of Hunted. Playthrough coming soon!
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Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:34 am
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A Bear-y Fine Mess

Martin Gonzalvez
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From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


The terrorist Arkayne Massua has taken 7 cute little bear cubs hostage. Can you negotiate their safe release before time runs out?
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Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:02 am
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Paws To Reflect: Fletcher Reviews Aeon's End

Martin Gonzalvez
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(Cross-post from Paws For Reflection: Fletcher Reviews Games.)

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Me: Fletcher, I know you are a huge deck building game fan, having nearly 20 of them in our collection.

Fletcher: ...

Me: With that background, what did you think of our recent solo playthrough of the first Nemesis in the core game of Aeon's End?

Fletcher: ...

Me: Yes, it was a fascinating experience, you're right. Random shuffling of the player discard deck has been a standard feature of deck builders going back to 2008's Dominion, 2009's Arctic Scavengers (a personal favorite of yours, I know), 2010's Ascension: Deckbuilding Game, 2014's Star Realms, all the way through to 2016's Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure.

Fletcher: ...

Me: I know, right? But then along comes Kevin Riley, who decides to deconstruct and rethink nearly every aspect of the deck building genre, starting with the no shuffling rule. In Aeon's End, you don't shuffle your discard pile -- just flip it over to form your new draw deck.

Fletcher: ...

Me: Good point, the rules do allow you some control over the order in which you discard your cards (unless the card text specifically instructs you to place it on top of the discard pile), which introduces strategy options for certain cards to enter your hand at the same time, and thus build card combos.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Fletcher: ...

Me: Thanks for reminding me, that lack of shuffling extends to the fixed grid of Market cards, ala Arctic Scavengers. Each game will feature around three different ranks of Gems, a couple of different Relics, and around four Spells with a mix of offensive and defensive effects.

Fletcher: ...

Me: Right you are, chum! The thoughtfully included quick start guide dictates a particular set of Market cards for your first game. The rules then teach you a pattern for how to build your custom-configured Markets for succeeding games. Even though the Market for each game is fixed, the promise of different Markets and card combos between games leads to variability and replayability. Which encourages repeat plays.

Fletcher: ...

Me: Excellent point, the fast pace of play and consistent play time of around 45 minutes per game do encourage repeat plays, and ensure that Aeon's End is an easy choice to hit the table frequently.

Fletcher: ...

Me: Thanks for reminding me, pal -- we can't sign off without discussing the four included Nemeses, each with their own unique Strike decks, minions, on top of a basic Nemesis deck. Again, no shuffling -- you arrange the Nemesis decks during setup, in ascending order of difficulty. Each Nemesis is challenging in its own unique way. Like a video game boss battle, you will likely require multiple attempts and Breach Mage/Market card/strategy combos before you beat each one.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Fletcher: ...

Me: I know we beat the Rageborne on our first solo try, but that's mainly because we have already played through this game, multiplayer, earlier this year. So we knew in general what to expect, and which Breach Mages would work best against it.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Fletcher: ...

Me: Fletcher wants to pass along this protip: Jian will do a lot of damage, and Adelheim has a useful special ability that cancels Nemesis attacks and powers (but not minions).

Fletcher: ...

Me: Right, we haven't even mentioned the variable Play Order deck, the one thing that intentionally randomizes what all other deck builders take for granted. This means the tide of battle could sometimes go the players' way, with multiple consecutive attacks; or just as easily shift in favor of the Nemesis, with consecutive enemy turns that just might wipe you out at the cusp of victory.

Fletcher: ...

Me: It really is an intentional design choice that enhances tension in this game. Trenchant observation as always, good boy!

Fletcher: ...

Me: I can tell you want to wrap this up and get back to barking at the neighbor's dog. Aeon's End takes away much of the randomness from deck shuffling that is part and parcel of most other deck builders. Do you think it goes too far in the opposite direction? Is Aeon's End too scripted and deterministic?

Fletcher: ...

Me: Wow, that's a super apt analogy! Aeon's End is like a good amusement park roller coaster -- it's pretty much the same ride every time, but you get thrills each time you ride it, and it will take a long time before you get tired of the same scripted loops, twists and turns. Great turn of phrase!

Fletcher: ...

Me: You'll get your money's worth long before you get tired of it. That's the mic drop point if I ever heard one. Good doggie!

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage
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Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:44 pm
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The MINTese Falcon

Martin Gonzalvez
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From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


As if I don't already have enough fingers in enough pies, I am also working on The MINTese Falcon, a hardboiled detective yarn in a mint tin. My entry to the 2018 Mint Tin Design Contest.

Find out more: [WIP] The MINTese Falcon - Entry to the 2018 Mint Tin Design Contest (Contest Ready)
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:44 pm
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Kingdomino and Margarita Swirls

Martin Gonzalvez
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From gallery of DrHenryArmitage

Friday night, the spousal unit suddenly agreed to my wacky suggestion to play a board game while enjoying Margarita Swirls at our favorite watering hole. We played Kingdomino, a first for us both. She took the first game in a close match, 24-22, but I rallied with a couple of monster combos to win the second game, 47-17. A fun evening!
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:54 pm
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Games Played, July 2018

Martin Gonzalvez
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Board Game: The Lost Expedition
Board Game: Castle Wolfenstein
Board Game: Forbidden Island
Board Game: Catan: Junior


8  The Lost Expedition x5 NEW!
N/A  Castle Wolfenstein NEW!
6  Forbidden Island NEW!
N/A  Catan: Junior x3 NEW!

Not much playing of other games for fun last month. The first half of July I was super busy tweaking, playtesting, and revising the rules for my original game, The Cleaner (co-designed with graphic designer and game artist extraordinaire Janine Viglietti). The second half of July, I have been on vacation in the Philippines. But I still got to play some games with my brother, niece and nephew in Dumaguete, Central Philippines.
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Wed Aug 1, 2018 4:49 am
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The Martinverse Is Expanding

Martin Gonzalvez
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I wouldn’t say there was a Big Bang, more of a steady expansion, but now pieces of me are hurtling outward from the center.

There’s this blog.

There’s my print and play geeklist, Martin Has Fallen Down the Print-and-Play Rabbit Hole.

There’s my new thrifts and trades geeklist, Martin Has Fallen Down The Thrifting Rabbit Hole.

There's my descent into token madness, Martin Overthinks How To Make Tokens.

And there is my original game idea which I have entered into the 2018 Solitaire Print and Play Contest.

Here is my work-in-progress thread: [WIP] - The Cleaner - [2018 Solitaire Print-and-Play Contest Entry] - Contest Ready!

And of course you can catch me posting regularly on the Print and Play Gaming Facebook group, as well as The Dice Tower Facebook group.

Watch out you don’t get struck by a fast-moving piece of Martin!
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Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:49 am
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Drop Everything and Read This Blog Post!

Martin Gonzalvez
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Attention, citizen reading this!

Do you like board games?

Do you like print and play games?

Do you like geeklists about print and play board games, and the people who build and play them?

If you answered yes, yes and yes, then you should check out my pal Ryan's geeklist of his print and play builds:

Ryan Byrd's PnP Creations

Also, my pal Jeff made an epic build of The Legend of Zelda: Clockwork Realm: https://www.facebook.com/groups/printandplaygaming/permalink...

Thank you for your attention. You may now return to your regularly-scheduled lives, citizens.
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Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:26 am
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Geeklist of My Print-and-Play Builds

Martin Gonzalvez
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Holy cross-post, Batman! I made a geeklist of my PnP builds.

Martin Has Fallen Down the Print-and-Play Rabbit Hole
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Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:41 pm
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