A Gnome's Ponderings

I'm a gamer. I love me some games and I like to ramble about games and gaming. So, more than anything else, this blog is a place for me to keep track of my ramblings. If anyone finds this helpful or even (good heavens) insightful, so much the better.
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Creative Kids R&W part one

Lowell Kempf
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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As I’ve written before, I backed and received Radoslaw Ignatow’s Creative Kid bundle last year. It consists of fourteen games but my personal focus is on the eight Roll and Writes. That’s because that’s what I’m going to play on my own and that’s what I’m mostly likely to use in the classroom.

(Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be running any of these games in the classroom but I can dream. And watch me be wrong about what games would work or get played )

These are short and simple games. I wanted a happy medium between spending a blog each on them and giving them one paragraph so I’m reviewing them two at a time, in the order I tried them.

Doggy Race

Doggy Race is a mixture of Roll and Move with Set Collection. The game consists of a track made of three different symbols. Each turn, two side are rolled. Each player picks a die and ‘moves’ that many spaces, crossing off the space where you land on so you can keep track of where you are and what spaces you’ve collected.

Each space is worth one to three points and you gain bonus points for collecting X number of symbols and reaching the end point first. (The rules don’t say what happens if there’s a tie for reaching the end point first. I’d houserule that it doesn’t get awarded) Most points wins.

Honestly, Doggy Race is easily the weakest game that I’ve tried. And it all comes down to the fact that the decision tree is very narrow. Unlike many shared-die roll games, I think players will end up with identical boards. Either race for the end or go as slowly as possible to claim the most spaces. I honestly wonder if adding a third die would help to give players more choices to pursue the bonuses.

Doggy Race’s issues come down to the basic issues that come from Roll and Write in general. I can’t see using it for a full classroom but I can see using it for a smaller group of younger students because familiarity with Roll and Write will make it easier to teach.

My Farm

You use a dice pool to draw animals on a grid, draw fences around them and raise the value of types of animals. At the end of the game, you earn points for fenced in animals and most points wins.

Look, drawing stuff on a grid is a staple of Roll and Writes. And My Farm is one of the simplest ones I’ve seen that uses a dice pool. Heck, as long as you put the same type of animals together in the same pen, it doesn’t matter where you draw things.

As a gamer, there are a lot of similar games mid pick first for my own entertainment or a gamer group’s entertainment, including Ignatow’s earlier Alpakaland.

But, if I have just an hour to teach and I know some students have never seen a dice pool before, My Farm is a game I’d be looking at. These dice are the money you can spend each turn. You can buy farm animals, fences and upgrades. Any questions?

My Farm really fits the mission statement, a game for a classroom or other group setting.

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I’ll be honest. These are not the strongest games in the collection. I’ll probably play them recreationally less than the other Roll and Write games in the collection. But they do have their place and uses.
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