Mike Esquivel(El_Squiv)United States
Last weekend, everyone got to experience one of my first "Squiv Sheets." For the benefit of those following the blog, but not part of our gaming group, Squiv Sheets are the name of the Quick Reference Player Guides that I started working on last week. This was spurred on by our game of Mundus Novus the week before last. The game is great, but there's a bit of information that needs to be referenced from the rules manual if you haven't played it much or if it's your first play-through. Now, Mundus Novus comes with a nice quick reference guide on the back cover of the rule book. But, this is inconvenient to use if you're playing a full four player game and half of the people are playing for the first time. I really enjoyed the game and I would love to play more. The thing is, I think the rest of the group would have enjoyed it more if everyone had access to that quick guide. We talked about how the game would really benefit from a reference card, like you see in some other games like Power Grid. Later that week, I took a look on BGG to see if I could find any other player-created reference guides. There were some decent ones, but I didn't find any that I really loved. Then, I thought to myself, "I'll go make my OWN quick reference guide... with blackjack and hookers!"
I fired up Excel, referenced the rule book, and with a little inspiration from what I was seeing on BGG, I created my first "Squiv Sheet." This blog post commemorates the approval of my first file uploaded to BGG. The first incarnation is labeled as a "Quick Reference Player Aid." I thought it was kind of a mouthful, so I considered calling them "Squiv Guides." Amanda one-upped me and suggested "Squiv Sheets" instead, being a take on the term "crib sheets." I'm currently waiting for the PDF version of my first Squiv Sheet to be approved and made available. The PDF version will show the name "Squiv Sheet" and should be easier to preview compared to the Excel file that I originally uploaded. It seems that when you preview it with Google Docs, it messes up the format. With the PDF version, you see the intended final version each time.
I worked on it for a while and it took me a few hours before I was happy with the final product. Initially, I wanted something that would fit on a standard sized game card (front and back), but I was having issues with figuring out dimensions from scratch. Plus, there was way more information that I wanted to have referenced than would fit on a card. So, I figured I'd make something that'd fit on half of a sheet of standard letter-sized paper (8.5" x 11"). After making a Squiv Sheet for Mundus Novus, I decided to tackle a game that was on the list of "potential games to play" for our next gaming day, Battlestar Galactica (base game only). Once again, taking inspiration from the back page of the rule book, I set out to make it all fit on half of a page. I was rather proud of the outcome, but I still need to proof read it some more to make sure it's ready for uploading to BGG. Lee helped me out by taking a look at it and pointing out that apparently the Galactica was fighting, not only Cylons, but "Cyclons" according to my Squiv Sheet. As soon as my BSG Squiv Sheet is complete and uploaded, I'll make another blog post to announce it.
Another game that was on the "potential games to play" list was Rex. Most of the group had already played the game, but there were going to be a couple of people who hadn't, so I thought I'd take on the challenge. After struggling with it, I found that it was going to be pretty hard to fit that entire Squiv Sheet on half of a page. I had only covered turn order and fighting battles alone and it took up the entire page. I went ahead with it and figured I'd test drive it anyway and just refer to it as part of my "Squiv Sheet XL" line. The guide worked pretty well, but it could probably use some tweaking, trimming down, and more proof-reading. When the Rex Squiv Sheet XL is complete and uploaded, I'll make yet another announcement.
So, take a look at the one available now for Mundus Novus. The Excel version is still the only one up, but if you like it, keep an eye out for the PDF version. I'd appreciate any feedback and suggestions. I had a ton of fun putting the ones that I've worked on together, so if anyone has any recommendations for other games, let me know.