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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The meta game as the meat of the game

Lowell Kempf
United States
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I came very close to backing Cunning Folk. After all, it was a micro game with a low price point. One of those kick starters where you tell yourself, eh, that's next to nothing. But I have found saying that too often adds up. So I just downloaded the black and white print and play option. If we really like it, that will tide me over until it gets released and I buy it regular style.

And, truth to tell, black and white suits the theme of the game.

Cunning Folk is a good old fashioned, Crucible-style witch hunt. You are either trying to find the two good witches and the good elder or the two bad witches and the bad elder. Amusingly enough, it doesn't matter which. Good, bad, you're just going for three of a kind.

The basic idea of the gameplay is that the cards form a face down 9 x 9 grid. On your turn, you secretly look at a card and state what you want everyone to believe the card is, then performing the action of the card. You can be called out and forced to reveal what the card really is, but false accusations can lead to being ostracized and out of the game.

At first, this looks like a deduction game. But it's really a game about bluffing, deception and lying your way to deduction.

I have observed before that bluffing is a very common mechanic in micro games. Games like Coup, Love Letter and Pico 2 all use bluffing as a central mechanic, just to give three well regarded examples. When you have limited components, I think developing a well defined meta game can help make a game much bigger then its pieces.

Let's face it, trying to identify three out of nine cards would get pretty boring quickly. Being able to try and influence your opponent through or manipulation and out right lying is a lot more interesting.

The obvious game that Cunning Folk brings to mind is Coup. But it also makes me think of Werewolf, probably because of the theme. A small, isolated, claustrophobic village that is being torn apart by secrets. It's a theme that is bigger than nine cards.

Of course, the question is will Cunning Folk live up to the potential of its meta game? Only play and repetition will answer that.
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Subscribe sub options Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:29 pm
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