Fruitless Pursuits

A gathering of the board game posts from the contributors of FruitlessPursuits.com. Reviews, news, design tidbits, and more.

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Dreadfleet Update 3! A Dreadfleet Complete!

Jason Tagmire
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Westmont
New Jersey
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Originally posted by Luke Milton at the pop culture mega-site, Fruitless Pursuits (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com). Visit us for more posts on Board Games, TV, Movies, Comics, Star Wars, and much more.


If you've followed my previous two updates (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com/2011/10/aaaarrrr-dreadfleet... and http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com/2011/10/dreadfleet-update-2...) I foolishly and spontaneously dived into the new epic fantasy/pirate tabletop miniatures war game Dreadfleet (set in the omnipresent Warhammer universe). ARRRR!!

I am completely new to all this, but if you want all that backstory click on the previous links, because, after what seems like months (it was nine days) I finally finished assembling and painting this thing this past weekend:



I now have an ocean instead of a coffee table!

Why not join me after the jump for more detailed images of the completed game (as well as a tease of what's next!)...

When I last left you, I still had three more ships left to paint so why don't we take a closer look at those guys first. Forgive me for not remembering any of their names or factions, and for being too lazy to go downstairs and salvage the paint soaked White Dwarf magazine (special Dreadfleet issue) which has been both security blanket and saviour through this whole ordeal. Let's just call this one: The Blue One. And I'm going to guess that it belongs to the high-elves. Confirm or correct in the comments section if you know...



It was actually the one I was least looking forward to because I find it a little dull, but I do dig that dragon perched on the back.

I left the two biggest ships until last. First up is the good guys ship which I assume belongs to the humans. It has an entire cathedral perched on the back of it and was an absolute bitch to paint, especially the designs on the sails. And I'm probably guilty of rushing things a little bit towards the end...



And then of course there's the bad doodz ship and I have no idea who it belongs to. Probably a pirate skeleton or an evil clam. It was the hardest to assemble, especially seeing as how I put it all together and then realised I had left out the skull cave entrance at the bottom of the mountain and had to pry it all apart, insert it, and then stick it back together again. Instructions are for reading. Apparently....



And that's everything! So here are some shots of it all clumped together...







Now, of course, I haven't played the actual game yet, because a) I'm terrified of touching them, b) I'm mortified at the very thought of anyone else touching them, c) I'd have to learn a complicated rule book, and d) I'm playing Batman: Arkham City.

BUT, I do promise that I will actually learn and play the game at some point in the near future and then I will write a final update with my report on the gameplay. By the way, should I be sealing these with some sort of matte sealant first? If so, what's best and what should I know so I don't mess it up?

And the good news is that assembling and painting a billion piece Dreadfleet as a fledgling outing, wasn't enough to put me off. I have already purchased another large box-set, which I'll unbox and begin painting shortly. It involves an island. Possibly of a blood. More soon!

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More from Luke at Fruitless Pursuits (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com).
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Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:54 am
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Kickstart the Week: If I'm Going Down... A Zombie Themed Dying Card Game by A.J. Porfirio (INTERVIEW!)

Jason Tagmire
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New Jersey
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Originally posted at the pop culture mega-site, Fruitless Pursuits (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com). Visit us for more posts on Board Games, TV, Movies, Comics, Star Wars, and much more.


This week we are featuring a Zombie themed card game, If I'm Going Down... by A.J. Porfirio of Van Ryder Games.

Click here to visit and support the project on Kickstarter!
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1459655047/if-im-going-d...

THE PROJECT
If I'm Going Down is a zombie card game where you know you are going to die, and you're trying to take down as many people with you along the way. The cards have have really nice artwork and layout, and the rules are quick to learn. Also, the game can be played solo or co-op, which is very interesting.

THE PLEDGE REWARDS
The base game is $25, but you can pledge less if you would like. There are also pledges that start at $70 and provide a pretty cool game mat to help with the card layout. A.J. is doing something a little different with his pledges and giving backers a vote for every $5 they pledge. The vote goes towards promo cards, scenarios and other game bonuses. This is a very cool idea and I expect we will see more of this on Kickstarter.

THE FUNDING GOAL
A.J. needs $6000 to produce the game and is currently at $5,204.00. There is still some time (18 days) but he's very close. There is a good chance that if you back this game, it will be a success!

THE INTERVIEW
I've briefly spoken with A.J. on Board Game Geek about my own game, but now I got a chance to ask him about his game and his thoughts about the Kickstarter platform. Here is the full interview.

Tell us about your history in designing games prior to "If I'm Going Down"?

Van Ryder Games has self published Organized Chaos a 2-4 player card game I designed and a limited release of Componegotiate, a sort of set collection component trading game that was a finalist in a small game design contest. “If I’m Going Down…” has always been the flagship game and will (Kickstarter willing) be the first game produced in large quantities.

How did the "If I'm Going Down" initial concept come about?

Last Christmas, I had gotten “Last Night on Earth” but couldn’t play because my family that was in town was not much into games… much less zombies. Thus the concept for If I'm Going Down... was born! I would venture to design a compelling solo game where a player could sit down and kill some freaking Zombies! I'm sure there are solo zombie games out there, but I couldn't find any that met my satisfaction. That said, the game is not just solo, you can also play co-op with a friend.



What else can you tell us about "If I'm Going Down" that we might not now from the Kickstarter listing?

That’s a tough one. I really have tried to share everything about the game so that potential backers can make an informed decision as to whether it is something they’d like to support.
I guess I would probably point to the Designer Diary I wrote on Board Game Geek for a view into some of the design elements. It can be found here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/4705/designer-diary-if...

What are your next plans for the game if you reach the funding goal?

Well, first to work with the manufacturer to produce the best game possible with the funds provided.

After it is produced and folks are playing it, I really want to explore the game with the fans and particularly any fan created scenarios and/or scenario stories.

I also have several ideas for how I would like to expand the game that I really think will add another dimension of game play. So I would like to pursue that as well.



What are your next plans for the game if you don't reach the funding goal?

That’s something I don’t like to think about; it gives me anxiety! It could certainly happen and honestly I would be devastated. I’m not sure exactly what I would do, but it would likely be to shelf it for a bit until I think of a way (come up with the money) to produce it.

Did you have any history with Kickstarter prior to launching your project?

Not really, other than backing several other wonderful projects, mostly games, and the countless hours spent studying projects to figure out what the differences were between the successful and unsuccessful ones.



How has the Kickstarter journey been so far? It's a ton of work, right? Have you had issues going beyond just friends and family as backers?

It has been an exciting roller coaster of a journey. The project got off to a good start and then sort of slowed down and began the steady climb. The first time a few hours went by without any new backers I started to freak out… I had to realize that my expectations were a bit ridiculous and now I do much better with the lulls. Still it is certainly an emotionally draining experience and I don’t think I will really be able to rest easy until the 100% mark is reached.

It being a ton of work is an understatement! Especially with the sort of campaign I’ve decided to run, which is a highly interactive one, where backers get to vote on what their own rewards will be.

As far as friends and family as backers, I am extremely happy with how my friends and family have rallied behind me. I knew they would be a big part of building the momentum for the project. Many other backers I don’t know have also got on board and I am just as thankful for them. I know virtually all projects use the cliché that no pledge is too small, but it is absolutely true. I’ve made it a point to personally thank each and every backer using Kickstarter’s messaging system whether I know them or not.

Kickstarter is evolving every day. With Board Games we're seeing a big shift to pre-orders from semi established designers/publishers. Do you have any ideas on how to improve Kickstarter, or how to expand on it?

I think it is clear that Kickstarter knows what they are doing and they do it really well. But everything, no matter how good, can be improved. I think to take less money from the project owners would be good. Currently it sits at about 10% or so of the funds from a project go to Kickstarter and Amazon. Also allowing credit cards, paypal, and other methods of funding would really open the flood gate of pledges for projects.



After your experience so far with Kickstarter, would you use the service again?

For me it depends. As far as the site and the service, absolutely! It is wonderful! But, my goal is for my company to be able to stand on its own and I believe if we can produce a game from the profit and/or capital we have then that is what we should do. If it is a question of using Kickstarter or never producing the game, then yes I’d go with Kickstarter.

Finally, what would you be doing right now if Kickstarter (and similar funding websites) didn't exist?

Wow, what a great question! Honestly, if Kickstarter did not exist I would probably sitting at a bank trying to convince them it was a good idea to loan me money to make a cool Zombie game! I don’t know really, I am just glad it DOES exist. Thank goodness for Kickstarter so we can put our project out there and let folks decide if it is something they would like to see become a reality!

I hope everyone will consider visiting the Kickstarter page for “If I’m Going Down…” and making a pledge!

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, please check out the Kickstarter page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1459655047/if-im-going-d... and help A.J. produce If I'm Going Down...

------------------------------------------------------------------------
..and just a quick update on our previously featured Kickstart the Week projects.

The Myachi Battle Paddle Project is 22% funded with 16 days to reach it's $2,500 goal.
http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com/2011/10/kickstart-week-myac...

The Celebrity Card Game, Famous Missions is 9% funded, with 8 days to go to reach it's $5,500 goal.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/239309591/famous-mission...
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Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:22 pm
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Dreadfleet Update 2! Lots More Pirate Painting...

Jason Tagmire
United States
Westmont
New Jersey
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mb
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Originally posted by Luke Milton at the pop culture mega-site, Fruitless Pursuits (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com). Visit us for more posts on Board Games, TV, Movies, Comics, Star Wars, and much more.


This is a follow up to my previous post (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com/2011/10/aaaarrrr-dreadfleet...) about swashbuckling, seafaring, fantasy-pirate-battling miniature wargame Dreadfleet, which I bought three days ago and feel like I've been assembling and painting ever since. As I said before, I am completely new to this type of game - in fact, I still have zero idea how to play it - and this is my very first time painting miniatures, so the learning curve is extremely steep. So, because it's such a massive project, I thought it might be fun to share my progress as I go.

Such as this new picture of my updated Black Kraken!...



To see many more completed ships and scenic elements, join me after the jump! I have seven ships done with just three to go!...

First some scenery though. I buckled and bought a few more paint options yesterday and touched up my castle with some new highlights. And as you can see, I'm photographing these on the "game board" now...



Perhaps my favourite scenic element, though, is this smaller castle built on the skeletal remains of a giant turtle...



I am sick of painting giant rocky skulls...



But this happy foursome was pretty fun...



Now on to the ships. This morning I managed to belt out this pale ghost ship, which was probably the easiest one so far due to the limited palette...



This is the skaven ship (they're rat people, right?). It is made of something fleshy and gross... not sure what's going on here...



This one is a favourite and was an absolute bitch to paint. Especially the sails which required a billion coats and still don't look great...



I've included another shot of this one - if you can't tell from the picture, there's an air elemental blowing the sail, and a two-headed fire elemental flying alongside...



These Egyptian guys had the most detail, but it was actually a pretty fun and easy one to paint...



And here's another angle on this one. The tiny blue and red triangles look impossible to paint but it's actually really simple because they're all raised, so your brush doesn't even touch the surrounding areas...



And this last one is a work-in-progress. It still needs a lot of touch-up work, but by this stage I was high on paint fumes and had super-glued my fingers together so I gave up...



And here's a (barely focused) group shot which should give you some indication of what the finished game is going to look like. A big step forward from the daunting box of plain grey parts that we saw a couple of days ago...



Going to take a break for a day or two, and I still have the two biggest and most complicated ships to go. So actually playing this thing is still a long way away. Getting there though!

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More from Luke at Fruitless Pursuits (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com).
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Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:31 pm
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AAAARRRR!! Dreadfleet! Let's Unbox Some Pirate Booty!

Jason Tagmire
United States
Westmont
New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally posted by Luke Milton at the pop culture mega-site, Fruitless Pursuits (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com).


Avast ye, dirty dogs and set sail for Dreadfleet - a massive, table-top miniatures war-game that makes everybody who mentions it instinctively talk like a pirate. And I know very little about it, but now I own it. How did this come to pass? Well listen up, me hearties and I'll tell ye a tale...

In the course of my library work I ended up with the newest issue of Warhammer creator Games Workshop's White Dwarf magazine on my desk. Now, I've never owned any of the products or played any of their games, but when I saw a bounty of glossy images showcasing twisted fantasy pirate vessels waging battles on a turbulent sea - strewn with wrecks, pirate coves, and skeletal sea monsters - I must admit that the little Jack Sparrow inside of me started to swagger. Look at this!...



So imagine my delighted surprise when I realised that every item that was pictured (plus a LOT more) could be purchased in one big box!

That night I dreamt about Dreadfleet. The next morning my co-workers said, "How are you this morning?" and I said, "Dreadfleet." And then that evening I bought...



DREADFLEET. Let's unbox this monster and feast our eyes on the treasures within...

I am so out of my league.

Even entering the Games Workshop store was daunting because I had no idea what I'd actually need. Sure, it all comes packed in one big box, but it's not going to be all pretty and assembled like that earlier promo image. I'm going to have to piece it all together myself like a model kit, and then even more intimidating is the prospect of painting it all from scratch. I've never done that before (although I've always wanted to) so I'm accepting that it's not going to be anywhere near as nice as the official publicity images and I'm just going to learn as I go.

Thankfully the guy at Games Workshop was incredibly helpful and friendly and hooked me up with the basic stuff I'd need. So this works out to all be a pretty significant investment. The game itself is $190 and then I had to spend around another $100 on paint, brushes, and my own copy of the magazine to act as a guide (it has a lot of detailed images of individual ships and some painting guides). And already I'm realising that I'm going to need far more paint. I bought a starter paint kit, a couple of brushes, and some select basic colours to fill in the gaps. I figure I can always mix them together...



With all that established, we can finally open it up...



Holy shit. Are you kidding me? Look at all this crazy stuff...



Sprues upon sprues (sprue = plastic frame the parts are attached to) of unpainted dissassembled plastic puzzle pieces. Enough to make 10 large ships, 10 large scenery pieces, and a lot of miscellaneous smaller stuff like shipwrecks, monsters, and the tokens for playing with. Did I mention I am out of my league here? My heart was racing like the box was filled with spiders.



The sculpt detail is absolutely incredible though - even on the tiniest of pieces - so I'm already excited at the prospect of trying to bring out these intricacies with my amateur paint skills.

Under this ton of grey plastic there's a few other things in the box...



A thick rule book filled with some truly stunning art, and a pile of cards and dice for gameplay. Truth is, I haven't even really looked at this stuff yet. I want to get everything assembled and painted before even thinking about playing. So I'll get to reporting on how all this works, but it will take me about two years.

One other item of note though. The game "board"...



Yes, it's a huge ocean cloth. Five feet long, in fact. You could sleep under it. You will not be playing this game on a conventional table. You'll be pushing all your furniture to the sides of the room and playing on the floor. The cloth is designed to not crease when flat, so you can slide the miniatures across it easily. I will be sliding them gingerly, because after all that work I won't want to risk breaking them.

I decide to assemble everything first. I'm going to have to pull each item apart again before painting it, but that's OK because the pieces snap together and I won't glue them until I'm 100% done. But I wanted to get a real sense of all the pieces and how they looked and worked before even attempting to splash my virgin paint brush. The assembly process took at least three hours. But it's pretty impressive when you see the vessels form...



Each ship has its own style and personality. There's a fleshy monster ship, a skeletal ghost ship. An Egyptian ship, and a ship powered by the breath of a genie - just to name a few. Check out the main villain's ship which has a host of sails and a ruined castle right in the centre of it...



By this stage I'm pretty keen to slap on some colour. I know that pro painters will file off mould-lines, and fill in assembly gaps with putty and all sorts of other hard work, but I am an impatient man of action. I'm just going to dive right in and see what happens. I watch a couple of youtube tutorials to get me started and then I have at it like a wild man.

I start with a piece of scenery first - something where I'm not going to have to worry too much about tiny details. I undercoat it all in black so that if there are gaps it will still look pretty badass. This is my first attempt with a couple of stone skulls...



So far so good, and I'm enjoying it more than I thought it would. There's a steep learning curve and I'm constantly applying too much paint or too little. And I don't quite have the range of colours that I'd like, but I'm persevering.

I should do more scenery before tackling a ship, but I really want to see how I'll go with all the tiny details, so I take a stab at the dwarf vessel which is relatively small and simple compared to the larger ones...



It's not 100% there yet, but close enough to suit my needs. I'd like to tidy up some of the details and get some more texture on the silvery parts... maybe get a darker wash in between the steel panels. But it's a start. If that's as good as I'm going to get, then my game will be serviceable.

And here's some work-in-progress stuff that's about 80% there.

Temple attached to a lava pit (which I want to add more colour to)...



A tower on some rocks...



I want to add a lot more detail to the tower with some lighter blue highlights. And I need to do something to that red on the roof. My rocks are pretty mild too. Could probably push them some more.

And here's the current ship I'm working on, The Black Kraken...



A fair bit of detail and touch up work required here, plus I need to add in some more colour (the cockpit windows will be green, and that should be seaweed and goop dripping from the tentacles).

Overall, I'm both excited and daunted about <i>Dreadfleet</i>. Excited because it's something I've never done before, and daunted because there's just so much of it. Terrified that I'll paint three ships, pack it away and never pick it up again. But if you'll indulge me then I might do a series of these posts showing my progress and that might help keep me on track.

Who else has Dreadfleet and how are you going with it?
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Sat Oct 8, 2011 7:39 pm
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Boards and Beers - Elder Sign

Jason Tagmire
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Westmont
New Jersey
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This is cross-posted from Taylor at his review site, Boards and Beers (http://www.boardsandbeers.com), and also featured on the pop culture mega-site, Fruitless Pursuits (http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com).

Insanity! Madness! Woe and despair! All things that happen if you try to read an instruction manual from FFG and expect to play the game in the same night. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly seems to be true. The first time I tried to play Arkham Horror I sat down with the rules a full three hours before we sat down to play and started going through them, and we still had difficulties in understanding what we just read. In all fairness, that was a while ago, we started late at night, and there was much drinking to be had,  but not when reading over the rules mind you. Since then, AH has been a great game to play, but it rarely makes it to the table due to the sheer time commitment it takes to actually play the damn thing. However, FFG has recently release a game that is heavily similar in theme and plays in about a 1/5th of the time.



Elder Signs from Fantasy Flight Games is a card and dice based game focused on the Cthulthu mythos, and is set in the same setting as their Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness games, and is just as rich in H.P. Lovecraft theme and lore as either of them. In the box you'll find 6 green dice, a yellow die, a red die, clue tokens, stamina and sanity tokens, and a lot of cards, covering characters, weapons, spells, items, allies, adventure/events, other worlds, and elder gods.




Some of the different investigators

In the game, you play as an investigator from 20s, each of which has a unique background which lends itself to their starting sanity and stamina, as well as their special abilities. You find yourself in a museum late one night, investigating as you do, when all of a sudden crazy shit starts happening, books start bleeding, monsters want to eat your soul, cultists want to sacrifice things, and oh yeah, theres an elder god on the verge of waking up that you'll have to personally fight if he does in fact wake up.  So yeah, crazy stuff.


One of two tasks completed

During your turn, you'll move from card to card (referred to as adventures) trying to complete tasks to battle bad guys and resolve these adventures. To do so, you need to roll dice and match the symbols accordingly to the tasks at hand. If you roll and can match the requirements needed to one of the tasks, you lock those dice in to complete that task. You then take your remaining dice and roll again, doing the same thing over again in order to complete other tasks on the card. Once you complete all tasks, you have completed the adventure, and are rewarded accordingly with clues, weapons, spells, and elder signs. These elder signs are what you need in order to win the game by collecting a number of them equal to or greater than a specific number that is associated with each elder god, which needs to be done before they wake up and devour you.


The basic setup

And that is the basic ongoing gameplay to the game. Players are trying to work together to avoid the catastrophic doom that will occur if one of the elder gods awake, and are racing against a clock throughout the game. No seriously, they are. There is a clock that advances after every turn, and every time it strikes midnight, more bad stuff happens, and the elder gods doom track advances. Upon completion, they awake. So, to avoid this from happening, players will play cards from their hands or complete certain adventure cards that will assist in either slowing down the clock or removing doom tokens from the board, all the while working to get those elder signs that will win the game.


Several of the adventure cards

The game is pretty fun, and plays well with a variety of players (box says 1-8, but have only played it with groups of 4 and 5 so far). The characters in the game are straight out of AH/MoM, and provide a large variety of special abilities that when used in conjunction with each other make for a very powerful investigative team. Which is good since it seems that nothing but terrible, horrible things happen in this game as it progresses. Many adventure cards have situational effects that are constantly in play and do bad things to you when you fail a task and roll a terror symbol. If you fail to complete all the tasks to an adventure, you loose sanity and stamina. Monsters show up and want to kill you constantly. Even when you complete an adventure and collect your rewards, many of the cards have the symbol that makes you either put a monster in play or advance the doom track by one.


Cthulhu Elder God card

Throughout the course of the game, you are rolling dice and playing cards to modify rolls or assist other players in completing tasks, so at no point does it really feel that you have down time in it. Its theme and goals/objectives are similar to AH enough that folks may consider it to be Arkham lite, but the mechanics are for the most part very unique to it by comparison.

The game could benefit from a physical board to play the Adventure cards onto, as well as give the clock a physical stationary place it could live, but thats super minor and me just being petty. The game is fun, and made moreso if you are familiar with and enjoy Call of Cthulthu and the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Definitely a solid alternative to Arkham Horror when you want the feel and the flavor but don't have the time.


The Elder Sign

https://picasaweb.google.com/MRTaylor2112/ElderSign?authuser...
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Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:28 pm
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Saturday Night Board Games: Alien Dice Drop, Fool's Gold, Raising The Chocolate Bar, ZombieZone

Jason Tagmire
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Westmont
New Jersey
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Cross-blogged from http://www.FruitlessPursuits.com. Original post by J. Tagmire.

I'm pretty sure you are thinking "why haven't I ever heard of any of those games?" It's because instead of playing new games on Saturday, I went to a fellow game designers house and we spent Saturday evening play testing new games.



Three of the games were mine, and one of them belonged to Alex Strang. Alex is a good friend and creator of the awesome game Super Giant Monster Showdown, and the Tome of Levity (a book of fake RPG spells) for Z-Man games.



Alex goes beyond just making games. He runs a live show called Puppet Karaoke, which is how we first met. After that we both collaborated on the NJPA Boardgame Alliance, and recently he's been making some crazy team building games. Check out http://www.cybergecko.com for his entire world of fun projects.

Onto the games!

Alien Dice Drop
I've been obsessing over making this game for a few months now. It started as just a name and idea for a dice cup that looked like a UFO. I'm hoping to finish up play testing in the next few weeks and figure out the next step. It's evolved quite a bit since the beginning, but it finally feels like it's getting there.

The basic concept is that a UFO flies by and drops a bunch of items in a field. Each player scrambles to loot the items that were dropped. They may find ship parts, abductees, or peaceful aliens. But they could also come across hostile aliens, which they will need to fight before they can loot. The game would come with custom dice and a custom dice cup, which I'm working on right now. Hopefully this game will be ready to go within the next few weeks.

The prototype is super rough, but I have big plans for it!

Fool's Gold
FP Contributor (can we start calling this place FP yet?) George Tagmire and I came up with this game. It's a simple flicking game, except you don't flick, you pinch. I know this makes no sense, but pinching these little pawns is seriously addictive.



This one should be 100% finished within the next week or so, and we're considering a small kickstarter campaign for the first run. It's going to be packaged in a custom dice bag, which fits the theme really well. It should be super cheap too.

Raising The Chocolate Bar
This was Alex's game and the main feature of the night. I don't want to spoil too much because it's not my game, but I'll give you a basic idea. Each player is trying to buy and sell chocolate. The goal isn't to sell the most chocolate, or make the most money.. it's to sell the highest quality chocolate. And the way that you have to do it is really interesting. There are some euro bits, resource management, and even a social/bluffing side to the game. Even in it's current state, it was really enjoyable and really involved.







ZombieZone
We closed the night with 3 rounds of ZombieZone. I wanted to test out the balancing and it's definitely more balanced than ever. It can really come down to the die rolls. Bob (identity hidden) rolled 1's for two games straight and could never defeat the humans. Then Brian (identity also hidden) destroyed the humans in just a few turns. And I was those humans. I never felt so cornered in my life.







Next week we should be back to the regular games. Hoping to play something brutal.
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Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:24 pm
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Boards and Beers - City Square Off

Jason Tagmire
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Westmont
New Jersey
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This was originally posted by Taylor at Fruitless Pursuits as part of the Saturday Night Board Games series. Fruitless Pursuits is a blog dedicated to pop culture and creativity. http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com

City Square Off is a two-player game from Gamewright Games that puts players in a head to head competition of of city planning. You will immediately note that this is not a very good simulation of city planning, as it plays out in about 15-20 minutes, and involves no mechanics for planning committees, public hearings, budgeting sessions, or zoning. As much as I love planning committees, I think is safe to say that is probably for the best.



In the box you will find two 9x9 gridded player boards, two sets of 21 "cityscape" pieces in various tetris-like shapes, four starter pieces in the shape of buildings, and a deck of cards that match each of the 21 cityscape pieces.



The gameplay is very straight forward; players will each pick a starting building, each with a unique footprint and place it approximately in the center of their boards. From there, a card from the deck is flipped, and players will simultaneously place the cityscape piece coresponding with the card on their player board. The cityscape pieces must touch at least one previously played piece, and must fit onto the 9x9 board. If a player can't fit a piece on their board, then they loose. If both players can't fit a piece on their board, then the player with the largest unused space wins.



And thats it really. It's fast and fun, allowing for plenty of gameplay. As far as tile-placement games go, it has enough uniqueness going on for it that you can't really compare it to games like Blokus. We played this several times over the past week, and each time presenting new and different problems. Because of the deck, there is no one key strategy to go off of, and each of the starting buildings unique footprint means that you can't copy your opponent either.



While it is designed as a two-player game, it easily can be played as a single player game as well since each player has their own board. Granted, playing solo will not be as desirable an accomplishment when applying for city planner and they see this on your resume. They usually are looking for accomplished planners, and will be looking for people with a solid two-player career.

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Thu Sep 8, 2011 1:07 pm
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Saturday Night Board Games: Formula De, Famous Missions, The New Yorker: Cartoon Caption Game and The Impossible Machine

Jason Tagmire
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Westmont
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This was originally posted at Fruitless Pursuits as part of the Saturday Night Board Games series. Fruitless Pursuits is a blog dedicated to pop culture and creativity. http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com

Saturday night was our big board game night once again. We started the night saying that we were going to play games we haven't played in a long time, but once we realized that we had 5 players, the plan evolved. In the end, it was another weird night of board games. Aren't they all kind of weird though?



The Impossible Machine
We started out the night with another round of The Impossible Machine.



We all knew how to play and jumped right in. So, how did it go the second time around? Well it started off slow because we all had bad hands, but eventually it got pretty vicious. Well, as vicious as a game about building perpetual motion machines can be. Nobody held anything back and eradicated each others parts, and ended the machines as quickly as possible. George won by about 5 points, which is much different than last time where we were all about a point away from each other.

We also made the largest machine yet. It gets a little crazy after splitting a few times.



Formula De
I bought an older version of Formula De (with a ton of expansion tracks) at a local game store's going out of business sale. I think I paid $15-20. It was their store copy, but in nice condition. The only real issue is that one of the track boards tore at the seam, but it doesn't effect the gameplay. In fact, that was the track we chose last night.



If you've never played or seen Formula D, or the newer version that I really, really want.. Formula D, here's a quick description courtesy of our friend Wikipedia.

T
Quote:
he game is about automobile racing, formerly with an emphasis on Formula 1. The object of the game is to cross the finish line first and win the race. Races can be anywhere from one to three laps long. Formula D comes with a game board measuring 100 × 70 cm (39 × 28 inches), seven specialized dice, twenty plastic race cars, and ten "dashboard" indicators that track the cars current gear and condition throughout the one, two, or three lap races.
The game has seven dice. There are six colored dice (d4, d6, d8, d12, d20, and d30) that are used to simulate specific gears, and a black d20 used for collisions, and other course events.
Each of the dice represent a gear shift. The d4 is used for 1st gear, the d6 for 2nd gear and so on. Each die has a series of numbers representing the number of spaces the F1 cars move.
The black die is a d20 and used for determining collisions, engine wear during fifth and sixth gears, pit stop speed, pole position, and whether or not at the beginning of the first lap you stalled, or had a flying start. If you are playing with the advanced rules, you can set up weather conditions with the black die.


We played the Monaco track. It's a pretty twisty course on the water, with wonderful board art of a guy (I guess the Formula De guy) on a waterski with a woman on the back. So random.






The game is a lot of fun, especially with 5 people. There were lots of collisions and players were forced onto spaces where they couldn't move. Marty wound up winning and only 3 of the 5 cars survived the course.



Famous Missions
Everyone was in the mood for a party game so I pulled out on of my favorites, Famous Missions. I'm a little biased though because it's a game that I created.



You are a passenger in an airplane and you overhear the pilot has died in mid-flight! Now it's your job to pick 3 people to land this airplane!
Mission Objective: Land An Airplane With A Dead Pilot.
You choose Genghis Khan, George Lucas and Cher. Why? I'm not exactly sure, you tell me. That's the game!
Usually there are two players and a judge, but we had five. So we decided to play the multiplayer variant. I had to pull out the instructions and figure out what the multiplayer variant actually was. It's been a few years, and even though we play this pretty often, I don't think I've played the multiplayer variant since before the actual game release in 2009.

I didn't get many pictures, but the semi-exclusive crowd favorite mission "Make A Porno" was definitely the highlight of the night.

Here was the topless group that was selected to make a porno.



After a handful of rounds I had enough cards to win the game. I REALLY want to revisit this one and make more people, more missions and go for a larger release.

The New Yorker: Cartoon Caption Game
The final game of the night was the New Yorker, a game where players each try to make the best caption for a single panel comic strip. (I guess it's not a strip if it's a single panel?)



We've played this before with the same group and it always gets a lot of laughs. One player is a judge, so similar to Apples to Apples, Famous Missions and other party games, you can really play to the judge. Another interesting aspect of the game is not only do you pick the best caption, but you have to try and guess who wrote each one. This changes things up for the writers, because you don't want the judge to know which one is yours.



I won this one as well. It was getting late. I was getting tired. Someone broke my plastic deer on the wall. So naturally in order to speed the game up, I started to write dirtier captions that are almost guaranteed winners.

Here are a few of the best captions of the night.


Oh hai Mark.



Should I jump?
Uh, huh.


See you next week! Maybe we'll finally get to Quarriors! or Irondie.

Fore more visit us at http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com
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Tue Sep 6, 2011 2:34 am
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