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Subject: What blood rage gets right: a study in game design rss

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Aaron Belmer
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I just wanted to toss a topic out there for consumption and see what happens.

I'm fairly fascinated and obsessed with blood rage, and i cant really put my finger on what exactly it is i like about it from an ameritrash game design perspective. I mean, i like everything about it, but what are the raw reasons folks like it so much?

Im going to start a list, feel free to add and discuss.

1) turns are so short

2) miniatures are amazing, feels good and powerful to slam them down and dominate (aka playing with toys)

3) everything is powerful

4) everything gives you vp (glory) points. So does more vp = a better game? You could easily cut the awarded vp for everything by a half or a third and the math is still right. Is it moar fun to get moar points? And where do you stop. I find this topic interesting.

5) your guys are constantly dying, but you get them back so easily. I find this immensily satisfying

6) theme is cool

7) art on cards is good, some better than others. I like the monster card art.

8) relatively quick game for the amount of meaty ameritrash head bashings that go on

9) each of the three ages gets bigger and more powerful, accelerates the power quickly

10) card drafting is a fun mechanic, reminds me of my magic draft days. I would never have thought to use it in the manner its used here and it works perfectly.

11) i like when areas blow up and the board shrinks

12) natural and seemless scaling with number of players

13)actions feeds the 'instant gratification' part of our brain (id, or freud's "pleasure principle") as opposed to slowly building up an engine

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You have a lot of good points. Here is my opinion on the matter and the main reasons I am looking forward to this game:

1.) I love Risk and this game is definitely going to replace any Risk type game in my collection.

2.) I love poker and this game has a bluffing mechanic to it. You know what cards could be in the hands of players, but who is holding what? When should you risk playing your good cards? I think a lot of table talk, watching your opponents facial expressions and counting the cards your opponent has played is going to be important to winning.

3.) The game is simple. Looks like one of those games that is easy to play, but hard to master. These games are good for both beginners and veteran players.

4.) Eric Lang designed it so it has to be the best game ever... JK

Above all, everything about the game seems to be done really well. The miniatures and artwork just add to the lovelyness. Game of the year in my book!
 
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Jon H
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I agree that the art/minis are what gets peoples attention about the game. I took it to our local FLGS and set it up one night last week and it didn't take long to fill the other three slots and start playing.

The fast turn keeps players focused on what's happening on the board. No waiting 10 minutes for your turn so that you're tempted to start playing with your phone or having a sidebar conversation.

It plays easier than it reads. Some people are intimidated by anything more than a page worth of rules. Once they realize that all you need to know is on the bottom of your clan card or written on the cards you play they relax. Having a multi page manual is nice for corner cases and better descriptions of the writers intention but you can play with what's on the back page of the book.

The combination of these (and other) things make this a fun time and that's what it's all about.
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Warren Smith
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cableinggg wrote:
4.) Eric Epic Lang designed it so it has to be the best game ever... JK
Fixed that for you laugh
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Gabriel G. Roy
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I haven't been this excited to play a game in a very long time. This is a must buy for me, and I'm considering buying the 5th player expansion right away when it comes out.

I might add to you list that it has the Cosmic Encounter combat mechanic where you put a card down, reveal it, and then you have the possibility of adding reinforcements.

Also, I just love how everyone starts the same and then it all ends up being very different at the end.

I cannot wait for this game to come out!
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Ben Rubinstein

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brewsaki wrote:
I haven't been this excited to play a game in a very long time. This is a must buy for me, and I'm considering buying the 5th player expansion right away when it comes out.

I might add to you list that it has the Cosmic Encounter combat mechanic where you put a card down, reveal it, and then you have the possibility of adding reinforcements.

Also, I just love how everyone starts the same and then it all ends up being very different at the end.

I cannot wait for this game to come out!

Thank you! The thing I DESPISE about CE is how random the card hands can be. As they're drafted here, it takes a huge amount of randomness out and it's all about the bluffing! I feel like this game will play like a cross between Chaos in the Old World and Cosmic Encounter.
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Mike
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brewsaki wrote:
I haven't been this excited to play a game in a very long time. This is a must buy for me, and I'm considering buying the 5th player expansion right away when it comes out.

It was a KS Exclusive so it won't be coming out for sale, you might be able to pick it up off ebay or something though.
 
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Eric Foldenauer
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Mike B Canada wrote:
brewsaki wrote:
I haven't been this excited to play a game in a very long time. This is a must buy for me, and I'm considering buying the 5th player expansion right away when it comes out.

It was a KS Exclusive so it won't be coming out for sale, you might be able to pick it up off ebay or something though.
While there is an exclusive "alternate clan" faction, it is not playable as a 5th faction. The 5th player expansion is different and is not a kickstarter exclusive (although there are some exclusive elements - mainly plastic versions of various tokens to match the base game exclusives).
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Nigel McNaughton
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Yeah seen that erroneously repeated a couple times today.
 
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Charlie Theel
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I don't think you can actually cut the points down as they seem carefully balanced around that middle stat that awards you VP for winning fights.

I think that track starts at 3 or 4? If you cut it in half, increasing that track by 1 would be a bigger impact, throwing off the valuation of upgrades.

The other VP awards in the game (cards/quests) seem balanced specifically around this track.


For me, I'd sum it up with:

1. Everything is so immediate.
You get to deploy creatures you add immediately. You destroy everyone who loses. Turns are fast. Everything comes easy and gratification is instant.

2. Everything is tied together with emotion.
You get huge plastic toys that tug at that nostalgic child inside. You have dark yet glorious artwork that catches your eye. The violence in the game hits hard stirring reaction, but it isn't too punitive. The power cards themselves can feel VERY strong, which leaves you satisfied. Nothing feels meaningless and everything is fun. It's all about dramatic action.
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Joshua Kuhlmann
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epilepticemu wrote:
Thank you! The thing I DESPISE about CE is how random the card hands can be. As they're drafted here, it takes a huge amount of randomness out and it's all about the bluffing! I feel like this game will play like a cross between Chaos in the Old World and Cosmic Encounter.

I feel that the game is almost nothing like Cosmic Encounter, and there's very little bluffing. There's none of the defining element of Cosmic (negotiation) and the battle mechanism of Cosmic is secondary to the hand management and special powers, whereas here it's at the forefront.

I suspect that this game might actually be a lot more random than Cosmic, although less political (which is something different).

E: fixed a word
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Ben Rubinstein

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drbobjack wrote:
epilepticemu wrote:
Thank you! The thing I DESPISE about CE is how random the card hands can be. As they're drafted here, it takes a huge amount of randomness out and it's all about the bluffing! I feel like this game will play like a cross between Chaos in the Old World and Cosmic Encounter.

I feel that the game is almost nothing like Cosmic Encounter, and there's very little bluffing. There's none of the defining element of Cosmic (negotiation) and the battle mechanism of Cosmic is secondary to the hand management and special powers, whereas here it's at the forefront.

I suspect that this game is actually be a lot more random than Cosmic, although less political (which is something different).

Really? More random than Cosmic? With such a focus on drafting?
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Joshua Kuhlmann
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epilepticemu wrote:
Really? More random than Cosmic? With such a focus on drafting?

Only one play, but that'd be my guess. (FWIW, I won the game without focusing on card combos.)

There's a lot of potential for combos (play two warriors at a time+make warriors more powerful, points for killing your own people+bump two of your own warriors off for points, replay stuff from Valhalla+major boat points). If you first-pick one member of the combo (which is probably a good idea in some cases) then your success will very much depend on your neighbor and what he picked. If you let those combos wheel, you're likely to give a lot of power to people who do grab the combos.

Of course, there's always the possibility that I'm totally wrong and the combos are much less important to gameplay than it seemed the first game.

Cosmic has powerful cards and card combinations, but there's built-in release valves in the form of zaps, alliances, and taking out alien powers. It makes the game very political, but I'm not sure that random is the correct term.
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Aaron Belmer
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If I had to compare this game to something....and I'm really having to think and stretch here...it most certainly would not be any where close to Cosmic Enounter.

And it's not even much like Chaos in the old world either, with the exception of the doing things with points thing.

I guess the closest would be like Kemet? You play troops and big ass monsters and wreck face.
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Randy Espinoza
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I haven't played it (pre-ordered!) but for what I've seen the attack and reinforcement cards and the special abilities give it a bit of a Cosmic Encounter feel. Not comparable but reminiscent of it.

Yes, Kemet comes to mind, also Cyclades, clearly NOT in the combat mechanics. The area control part does remind me of Chaos (same designer after all).
 
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Robert Kingery
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No dice rolling!!

I dig playing this game. Easly in my top 5 perhaps even my number 1 (who am I kidding its number 1).
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Randy Espinoza
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Darkson wrote:
No dice rolling!!
This.
I have been thinking about why Champions of Midgard was not clicking with me, and I've concluded that it's the dice rolling combat. I think I am finally coming down on the side of "it is not really that much fun to roll dice".
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Tom D

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I haven't played Blood Rage yet but it reminds me most of El Grande. I was drawn to it by the cool minis, lack of dice, and it doesn't look like players can team up / pick on the leader.
 
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