Heiko's (not very) secret redesign addiction, including (some) PnP-links
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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To do the things you love for a living, and freelance, is a three-edged blade. It eats up all your time, and some on top, you stay at work until late at night, get too few sleep, generally don't live very healthy and really have a great time. Better left unspecified proportions of your working hours you don't do stuff someone asked you to or is willing to pay you for. All you get in exchange is a great job you love and enjoy. And probably Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Over the last few years I have done a few side projects, mostly PnP-redesigning games I love or at least like but whose looks made me cringe or which are (or were, at the time) unavailable / OOP. Or just because. It is somewhat of an addiction, I admit. And it makes for great portfolio stuff, normal limitations of the business don't apply. Within your abilities, you spend as much time on artwork and design as you want to. Nobody gonna pay you either way.

Since you do this mainly for yourself, you start to go over every little thing you think might need tweaking. Hey, why don't we just move that track from there to here and why did the original designers leave this space vacant, and why not use some icons that actually make sense. Also, you are not at all limited by production issues, one of the haunts of every graphic designer, especially in board games. Wouldn't wooden coins be a lot cooler than cardboard ones, why not make this map extra-large, why not exchange those things for cubes, and hey, lets add really unusually-shaped player boards.

In this list you will find (almost) all of those projects, ordered (somewhat) chronologically. Where possible I have contacted designers and or publishers to request permission to share these files in a strictly non-commercial way, so feel free to try and create a copy for yourself where I included a downloadable file. Note that the usual restrictions apply: You may not sell these files or anything you produce using them, you may not in any way redistribute them, you should generally behave like the gentleman (or -woman) I assume you are and be nice to your parents. I share these files, in the strictest and broadest sense, non-commercial, without giving up any rights.

I'll try and keep this list up to date, but don't quote me on that. Feel free to suggest new projects, if you can live with being ignored or ridiculed. In the end, a game has to chime with me enough to make me want to redesign it, so I won't make any promises there.

Oh, a word about the pictures below; If you like what you see, consider checking out the game's gallery, it usually has a few more shots, and don't forget diligently thumbing my great photographic endeavors.

Also, I would greatly appreciate it if nobody would post direct links to those of my files that are not hosted on BGG on facebook or really anywhere else. If you really can't help but must compulsively link to stuff, feel free to link to this list instead.
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1. Board Game: Oil: The Great Adventure [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:20212]
Board Game: Oil: The Great Adventure
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Tobias and I fell in love with the theme and potential of this game, though we really disliked gameplay. We just had to redo it. All of it. So we did. About 20 times in the past few years.

Unfortunately for this list, I do not have the earliest redesigns left anywhere, neither in real life nor in photographs, and the later ones are from a time when the game had changed to a degree that it really wasn't Oil:TGA any more. It's now called Peak Oil, and all information can be found on the game page.

If you are interested in building your own copy, you will find the rule book and links to all PnP files needed on the FILE PAGE of the game entry.

If you, dear reader, are by chance a publisher and interested in publishing Peak Oil, do not shy away from contacting me. UPDATE! 2Tomatoes Games is publishing Peak Oil! Excitement! PR Crisis! 2-Player Variant! The PnP will remain available, though.

MORE UPDATE: Should you be interested in the development from PnP to published board game, we have started a thread where we keep you up to date. Just subscribe. And thumb. Don't forget to water your plants.

Board Game: Peak Oil

Board Game: Peak Oil

EVEN MORE UPDATE: a few pictures from the new look Peak Oil gets for publication. If you are interested, you can apply for the free PnP with production art directly on the publisher's webpage.

From gallery of lee elektrik
From gallery of lee elektrik
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2. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:214]
Board Game: Glory to Rome
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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A great game, but oh how the original artwork made me cringe up inside. I just had to.

This was kind of a kickstart to me doing graphic design for games at all. Before that, I was only involved in games as a hobby, and graphic design was just my regular day job.

CGF published the Black Box edition of G2R with my artwork, and took me on board as creative director for all of their games. With them I worked as graphic designer and in some cases artist on Montana, Quills, Pala, Invasion of the Garden Gnomes, Plato 3000 and Silver Screen, some of which have not been published yet.

Since Glory to Rome is (theoretically) available for sale, I will not provide any PnP files for it. Sorry about that.

EDIT: I mean it. Please do not PM me for files for this game.
EDIT: Really. Not joking.

Board Game: Glory to Rome

Board Game: Glory to Rome
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3. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:462]
Board Game: Bohnanza
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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This was done quite fast. I had, for obscure reasons, started some illustrations of amorphous blob-characters which I had no real use for otherwise, and wanted to redo this great game. Hey, beans are somewhat amorphous. Add a few more, a bit fluff and backsides, serve chilled. Makes a great present for game-savvy non-gamers. Includes the first expansion and a few experimental beans.

Fortunately, AMIGO Spiel + Freizeit is open to that kind of fan-made content and graciously allowed me to make the files publicly available: DIRECT FILE LINK (edit: updated link)

Board Game: Bohnanza

Board Game: Bohnanza
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4. Board Game: RoboDerby: Express [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:6193]
Board Game: RoboDerby: Express
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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I have no idea how many evenings of RoboRally we have played. Along comes RoboDerby:Express and compresses all the fun into a quarter of the time, with neat additions on top. And the game description had that great opener:
Quote:
You are a bored supercomputer
Yeah. I needed to do that. And it needed to look like Robotron, Geometry Wars or Tron, obviously.

Just the file: FILE PAGE

Clint Herron has provided an easy to use guide that lists all the files you will need to craft a complete copy of my version, including rules and stuff: CONCOLIDATED FILE INFORMATION

Board Game: RoboDerby: Express

Board Game: RoboDerby: Express
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5. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:29]
Board Game: Puerto Rico
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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There is not much to say about this. Somehow I never warmed to Puerto Rico's looks. They just don't chime with the theme. At the time heavily involved in the development and usability design of a bedside touchscreen interface for hospitals, I just couldn't hold back and had to tweak stuff here as well.

alea is cool with me sharing the files with you lot, so here you go: DIRECT FILE LINK (edit: updated link)

Apart from the files, you will need the wooden bits from the published game and either metal coins, wooden discs or something else to serve as dubloons.

EDIT: Updated the link above to point to the latest version. Fixed a few errors, added the english role card backs and the expansion buildings.

Board Game: Puerto Rico

Board Game: Puerto Rico
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6. Board Game: soft landing v1.0 [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Board Game: soft landing v1.0
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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This is one of the games I really enjoy but had a hard time getting to the table. "Looks too dry", "That's too complicated" and "Nah, let's play Nuclear War instead" were common replies. Bah. Since redoing it and streamlining the graphic design in the going, it gets to see a lot more play. Some people just can't withstand the cute Panda. It needs saving! Look how seeweeeet! Don't give him stress!

Greg Porter is a very nice guy and gave his go: DIRECT FILE LINK (Edit december 2015: This is an updated file, the old one had wrong content for China and South America. Thanks to fellow geek Hopelesst for pointing that out.) (edit: updatd link)

Note however, that you will need to purchase the game PDF to have access to the rule book and be able to play, which I strongly recommend, it's a great little game. If you don't feel like, you can still look at the cute Panda. It needs saving! Look, how sweeeet! Don't give him stress!

Board Game: soft landing v1.0

Board Game: soft landing v1.0


Just noticed, you can't see the cute lickle Panda in these pics. He lives, however, on other pics in the game's gallery.
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7. Board Game: The Other Hat Trick [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:13251]
Board Game: The Other Hat Trick
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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A quick one using found art from Dover and similar publications as a starting point. The original clip-art hurt my brain a bit and made it hard for me to pretend to stand on a stage where I most skillfully perform incredibly hard magic tricks. I still enjoyed the game a lot, especially the applauding when somebody successfully performs, but it needed an overhaul. Oh, and backsides.

Brett J. Gilbert, the designer, is pretty busy growing his Good Little Games line, where many great and easy-to-craft games have found a caring home. He is compiling an updated version of this game as well, which will include my redesign; I guess it will pop up on the game's home page.

Alternatively, if you already have the rules and want your cards to have backsides, use the following link: DIRECT FILE LINK (edit: updated link)

Board Game: The Other Hat Trick

Board Game: The Other Hat Trick
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8. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Board Game: Advanced Civilization
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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This got a complete overhaul, combining base game and expansion into one neat package, making all components make sense to players, including information where you need them, discarding fiddly paper tokens in favour of wooden cubes and bits, redrawing the map to easily accommodate all the stuff and a bit more. See game gallery for additional information.

I have contacted people and companies I assume hold the rights to this, but so far without any reply or success. So, sorry, I can't share any files. If any of you holds these rights or knows who does exactly and how to reach those people, let me know.

Board Game: Advanced Civilization

Board Game: Advanced Civilization

Board Game: Advanced Civilization


EDIT: I had printed a new, better and more sexy copy of all the cards by Viktor Csete. [Insert testimonial & recommendation here] [But for real, great quality, communication and speed, can’t recommend him enough] For that occasion, I added Water trading cards as well as a few additional Civ cards inspired by the CivProject and Mega Civilization.

Board Game: Advanced Civilization
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9. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1033]
Board Game: Colossal Arena
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Another game I enjoy a lot (most unusually, to be true, as I am not a big fan of most of the doctor's other designs). First and foremost, I wanted to uncouple the powers from the cards used to play, to be able to fool around with other special powers. Ah, what the heck, while I'm at it, I might as well do some illustrations. Oh, there needs to be a pirate. You see how this 'fast tweak' went south even faster and how it ended.

Unfortunately, Fantasy Flight Games does not grant permission to share any files, so you may only look at pretty pictures. I am very sorry for all of you. Don't pester me with GMs about that.

Board Game: Colossal Arena

Board Game: Colossal Arena
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10. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:464]
Board Game: No Thanks!
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Yeah. Like this game wasn't portable enough to start with.

FILE PAGE

Board Game: No Thanks!

Board Game: No Thanks!
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11. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:969]
Board Game: Tsuro
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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This redesign is more of a stub. I really liked the crazy ways the spirally ways unfold in this game and wanted them to look the way I wanted them to look. After having a lot of fun playing around with its looks, I devised a portable rules variant without board, but in the end was a bit unimpressed by this game, original and variant.

However, find the files for the tiles in this ZIP-archive. There is no board.

From gallery of lee elektrik

From gallery of lee elektrik
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12. Board Game: Tradecraft: Spies for Hire [Average Rating:6.83 Unranked]
Board Game: Tradecraft: A Spy Game
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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So I had started redesigning this and contacted Steven Cole about it only to find out that a new version is already in the works, with overhauled artwork, and to be published sometime soonish. I put this project on ice for now. Sometimes, a cool idea for a card comes up and I add a new illustration, but realistically I don't expect to finish this before the "real" game is published, doing this basically just for my own pleasure.

Board Game: Tradecraft: Spies for Hire
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13. Board Game: A Straight Road [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Board Game: A Straight Road
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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A Straight Road is a car racing game set in a post-apocalyptic future. Inspired by the countless movies of that genre, you race down a long (it almost seems endless) straight, ever-changing highway, trying to kill off all your competitors, run over the most valuable pedestrians, reach the gas station first or a variety of other goals, depending on the scenario you pick. Sometimes you will be on your own, sometimes you will be part of a gang. Enough of the advertising.

Not a redesign per se, but one of my own designs. It has freely downloadable PnP files (see game page), so I included it all the same.

Again, publishers reading this and interested in publishing it should feel free to contact me.

Board Game: A Straight Road

Board Game: A Straight Road
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14. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:752]
Board Game: Container
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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This is not available any more from the original publisher and the second hand prices illustrate topic and potential gameplay of the game itself in an almost ridiculously accurate way. So I decided to spend at least twenty times those prices in man-hours on making my own version to make that available later for free. Sound thinking there, Heiko.

EDIT: As Sam points out in the comments below, it seems Valley Games's rights to Container expired several years ago, meaning Torben Sherwood was the wrong person to approach, or agree to my sharing the files. Unfortunately, that means that I need to take down the link until further notice. As for all entries in this list, please do not pester me with gms for files, unless I can get a green light from the current IP holder, I will not do so.

ANOTHER EDIT: On popular request, you can now download money. It's free, and you can print as much of it as you like. I encourage you to try and use it as legal tender, and post your experiences in the comments. EDIT TO ANOTHER EDIT: Now with lager denominations! Buy more stuff! DIRECT FILE LINK

and ANOTHER EDIT: Some time ago, to replace the somewhat crappy foam core ships, I designed and 3D-printed some plastic ships that can hold five euro cubes each, but never got to upload them. I do not have an "in action" photo of these, but why not print some yourself and look at these instead? DIRECT FILE LINK

Torben Sherwood from Valley Games, Inc. agrees and graciously gave me his go to share the PnP files: DIRECT FILE LINK

Board Game: Container

Board Game: Container
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15. Board Game: Dune: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:5128]
Board Game: Dune: The Dice Game
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Redesigning, or better: pnping, playing and then probably giving a graphical overhaul to Dune had been on my list for quite some time. I had even started to vectorize the original game board.

At last year's Essen, I got Rex in Heidelberger's tunnel of love for 5€ and we played it. I was let down, but assumed due to the changes to the "original" and the (to me) completely unknown theme. I wanted to play Atreides or Harkonnen, not "those turtles" or "the dark elves". Gameplay also felt long-winded and annoying. As I later verified, that was not a result of the, to be true, minimal changes. I then tried Dune Express, which felt a bit thin or hollow.

So I started to re-read the Dune cycle, and midways through book 2 decided I had to redesign this whole game, mashing up the two versions, moving this whole game thematically closer to the "Duniverse", fixing the map to actually represent something that resembles the one from the books, and finally trying to laser-etch dice. I had a lot of fun.

UPDATE: I have uploaded Version 2 of the game to the same file page. It fixes quite a few things that annoyed me. It's not as extensively tested as the first version, but a lot better all the same. Even if the dice do not have a "Shai-Hulud" face any more.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I had removed the files for some time as a publisher made that their condition to look at the game. However, I must assume they are not interested any more, so yay: You will now find Version 5 on the file page. I consider all older versions outdated and do not support them any more or offer files for them. Play the new version. It uses moar dice, so obviously, it’s the best!

FILE PAGE

Board Game: Dune: The Dice Game

Board Game: Dune: The Dice Game
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16. Board Game: Smoke & Mirrors [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:11867]
Board Game: Smoke & Mirrors
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Smoke & Mirrors is quite a nice little game from the Wallet series, and was a hit with about anybody I played it with. Also, I had just found very clean scans of the traditional Tarot of Marseille. What would have been more obvious than to mash those two?

In the process I added "Pass" cards, since that option is regularly missed by new players as well as scoring cubes, because why not. Not wallet any more, admitted. Shirt pocket still works.

UPDATE: Contacted the publishers multiple times, each time without reply, so there will not be a file for this, sorry.

Board Game: Smoke & Mirrors

Board Game: Smoke & Mirrors
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17. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:467]
Board Game: Sushi Go!
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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I don't know if you ever played Sushi Go!, but if you haven't, you should. It's a great game, easy to explain, a breeze to play and beautiful. It's Seven Wonders, only without all the annoying shit. There are a few published versions available, but I think the artwork of the PnP still beats any of these by far.

So when I found out there was a new version, Sushi Go Party!, which adds a lot more variety without clogging up the game, I was exited. When I found out that it doesn't have a PnP with the "correct" art, I was deeply destroyed and unable to leave my cosy bunker until I had incorporated the most tasty cards into my PnP copy, trying to match that great whimsy style as close as possible, adjusting card count to accommodate the play style of the base game (i.e. without reshuffling after each round).

Unfortunately, I may not share any files for this project, neither here nor in private. Terribly sorry about that.


Board Game: Sushi Go!

Board Game: Sushi Go!
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18. Board Game: Real Time Tower Defense [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Board Game: Real Time Tower Defense
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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It probably has happened to you. I guess it is one of the things that drives you into being a "PnP person" (this sounds awfully close to "cat lady"). Sometimes, you get up and just want to play a game about "exactly this specific thing that no published game does in a good way". Had that again. Wanted tower defense board game. Preferably real time. Used BGG search, with the terms "tower defense real time", something I should have learned long ago does not end well, most of the time. Well, it did, this time.

Chris East is a very nice guy and agrees with me making my redesign available. He is also pretty active in developing the game, my redesign is probably based on an outdated version already.

DIRECT FILE LINK

Board Game: Real Time Tower Defense

Board Game: Real Time Tower Defense
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19. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:258]
Board Game: Onitama
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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I had played this in Essen on somebody else’s copy, and really did like the game, but not so much the looks. I was told there was an older version which was supposed to look better, but I found that to be too busy as well for such a clean abstract game.

Build a german version of this as a present for friends, and one for myself. Laser-engraved box/board (originally for CDs, you might remember them, shiny disks with music on them), red and black stones are from some online-retailer.

Board Game: Onitama

Board Game: Onitama
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20. Board Game: Mini Rails [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1836]
Board Game: Mini Rails
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Amazing, tight, condensed stock-trading/train-building game. If you have never tried it, do so now. However, it is not whimsical at all. Not even slightly. Why not? How could this opportunity have been missed? And why is it so big? It's called Mini Rails.

Had a bit of fun reshaping groups of hexagons so they fit inside other hexagons while keeping the same topography.

Also love Mr Gerrit’s other train game, SteamRollers.

EDIT: Both Mark Gerrits and Moaideas Game Design have kindly agreed to me sharing the files with you guys; have fun!

DIRECT FILE LINK

Board Game: Mini Rails

Board Game: Mini Rails
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21. Board Game: For-Ex [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:6055]
Board Game: For-Ex
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Somehow, it didn't feel right to just have minimal US Dollars. How would people in other countries pay? Impossible. So, as some sort of by-the-side project, I had started adding different currencies to the minimal paper money series (see above, in the Container item).

Along comes the amazing, riddling, and slightly bonkers For-Ex by Amabel Holland. Which uses paper money in seven different currencies. Yay! While I was at it, I coded a small web app to replace the fiddly currency board. Hey, let's also have a diagram to check how the currencies developed over the curse of the game.

Hollandspiele has their own PnP available, so quite understandably they rather won't have me share mine. However, you can still check out the web app.

EDIT: We have the rubles! The denomination distribution is possibly not useful, depending on what you want to do with this, and I am not sure if it even makes sense to have this, but maybe you find a good use... MINIMAL PAPER MONEY CURRENCIES

Board Game: For-Ex

Board Game: For-Ex
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22. Board Game: GROWL [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:5050]
Board Game: GROWL
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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For various reasons I really do not like Mafia as a game. It surely has some interest as a social experiment, if only it would have stayed that. Or at least some of the publishers of its various unchanged monetizing adaptions (I do not count 50 'roles' as a real change here) would have made an interesting game based on it instead. Either way.

Growl is refreshingly different, and an actual game. You probably recognize the pattern by now; like the game, not the art, time left over, hey, nice woodcuts, etc.

UPDATE: Joey Vigour turns out to be quite nice and allowed me to share the files with you guys. Have fun! DIRECT FILE LINK (Note that this version is slightly different from the one seen in the image below and contains both english and german cards as well as the Curses expansion.)

Board Game: GROWL
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23. Board Game: Beyond the Gates of Antares: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:15107]
Board Game: Beyond the Gates of Antares: The Dice Game
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Some very charming guy from Great Britain maintains a blog on BGG, seemingly with the main goal of pretending to be not charming at all (Failing horribly). This person recommended this small dice game, as a great, light, silly dice-chucking filler with an interesting take-that-spin. Which it is.

Unfortunately, it was put together with no thought at all for the use case (with the noble exception of the beautifully produced dice). Like adding player aids, or making it readable from more than 10 centimeters away. In the process of re-designing it, I also added a few more player powers and game end cards.

Board Game: Beyond the Gates of Antares: The Dice Game

Board Game: Beyond the Gates of Antares: The Dice Game


Matt Green kindly, eh, demands I make the files public, so I do: DIRECT FILE LINK
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24. Board Game: De Bello Galactico [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Board Game: De Bello Galactico
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Tobias is a huge fan of MoO, which led to first him alone, later the two of us tinkering on a board game that should capture the feel. It got several iterations over the last few years, with each gameplay change leading to some graphical changes as well, and, as this kind of organic growth tends to go, looks a bit "cobbled together". Much of its unusual card sizes et al stems from the fact that development started in a time when printing a full colour page was really really really expensive and we tried to save pages wherever possible.

However, Tobias and I feel it now is a game that is presentable to the public (you, that is), it works well, does what we want it to, and is fun. Get rules and files on the FILE PAGE, print it, play it, and tell us what you think.

If you should be part of that subset of the public that tends to publish great games, feel free to contact us...

Board Game: De Bello Galactico

Board Game: De Bello Galactico
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25. Board Game: Northern Pacific [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:2708]
Board Game: Northern Pacific
Heiko Günther
Germany
Saarbrücken
Saarland
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Sincerely, I am not sure why I got this game. Either way, I am quite happy I did, because it is great and everybody should play it. As with For-Ex or Container, above, this game can completely fall apart if the players "don’t get it", but other than these two, this one is more on the quick and dirty end of the spectrum, so if it doesn't work, you simply play something else. Mostly, though, you simply play this again and again.

You might recognize the pattern; love the game, not so much the graphics, research background material, actual period Northern Pacific Railway line plans in this case, season to taste.

Board Game: Northern Pacific

Board Game: Northern Pacific


Tom Russell put me into contact with John Bohrer of Winsome Games, who kindly allowed me to share the files with you guys: DIRECT FILE LINK
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