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Oi! Hands off...
We're in the middle of 'birthday season' at the White Lion. John was celebrating a significant figure tonight, following Becky and myself a month ago, and I believe Tony's is up before too long.
So, John was allowed free reign over the games tonight, and I received a bizarre pre-games email instructing me to bring along a list as diverse as Concept and Kapitan Wackelpudding. I chucked in a few 3-4P makeweights just in case we had peculiar numbers, but it turned out that we didn't need any of them.
Wendy was on a promise, albeit a little tardy tonight, so we started with a swift Roll For The Galaxy. Fresh from my executive instruction at the hands of the co-designer, I happened upon a rather tasty development engine (-1 cost for Reassign developments and the 6+ tile that both rewards for building them and lets you recycle the developers for free), and although my game bogged down while I built the necessary pieces, I had enough to comfortably beat John, who accelerated the end game with a bunch of cheap tiles.
Roll is a really smart game and the blend of second-guessing, dice-placement and combo-making works really well with our group, with none of those three mechanics overpowering the others. It plays very sharply in half-an-hour or less, and I imagine we'll be continuing to play an awful lot of it. I'm certainly won over. Wendy watched the last half, asked some smart questions and is probably as knowledgeable about the rules now as any of us.
When John gets to choose the games, then his creaky old copy of Cosmic Encounter is never far away. Despite some edgy comments from Tony about John's ability to teach the game, he launched into teaching it to Wendy while I sought solace in more beer (it never has been my favourite game). Luckily, Wendy strongly defies the 'female gamer' stereotype, being heavily into deviousness, conflict and downright nastiness. It's why she gets on so well with us. She picked out a demon special ability in Virus and quickly rendered John's Zombie Mutants immobile. My Spiff power (crash-land on planets if you get killed as the attacker) kept me up to about four bases consistently, and Tony started off strongly with Vampires before throwing a little strop after being Edicted off a planet by John. He soon woke up when he realised he was within reach of winning after all (how shallow...), but none of us could do enough to beat Wendy in a Virus-charged final battle.
John's final choice for the evening was a classy act indeed, and one of those games that I don't get to play anywhere near often enough. The tetris-tile-laying-cum-stock-holding Arkadia was his choice. I feel I should be better at playing this Dorn classic than I am, but generally speaking I can't hold a candle to John, who seems to win without fail. This time, I made a final-round misjudgement which scuppered me, failing to sell in my gold seals for 4 apiece when they only earned 2 in the final reckoning. It probably wouldn't have seen me overhaul John (who would have played his final turn differently if this were the case), but it would at least have been close! Wendy got off to a bit of a slow start and Tony specialised a bit too much - neither of them were quite in the reckoning.
I suppose it was only just that the birthday boy got a celebratory win at the end of the evening.
Welcome to the second part of the opening engagement posts, if you need to catch you can read the first post here or make do with the following summary: A lot of people will judge something by their initial experiences, but often games provide their best experiences to players who have got used to the game. Therefore there's a challenge in game design to make a game show off it's best assets as soon as possible. Cutting down the setup and rules explanation time can help with this, as can identifying the best your game has to offer and focusing the design around making those occur as early as possible. I'm not sure why that took one and a half thousand words last week, but if you'd like to see a similar lack of brevity then keep on reading.
So, let's suppose that our game offers an transcendent experience, elevating our players to a state of unbridled joy and making them question why they would ever have sullied their hands with any other game. However in order to experience this the player has to play the whole game through several times and the game is not short. We've tried everything to overcome the limitation but no force on heaven or Earth can provide a shortcut. What do we have left in our box of tricks?
The next logical step is to facilitate the process of reaching the ideal experience, so that players are both willing and able to undergo it. Last week I touched on the notion that players engage with games to fulfil several needs, whether it's exploration, competition, self improvement, whatever. Importantly, most gamers are trying to fulfil more than one need. Sure a player might primarily really enjoy a deep and intellectual challenge, but that doesn't mean they're not interested in the game as a form of expression, just that given the choice between these desires they'll peruse the former. A good game satisfies multiple needs and a great game can satisfy many. We can use this to bridge the gap between putting the box on the table and achieving the high point of the game.
Implementing this is a matter of finding something that's complimentary (or at least doesn't detract from) the core of what makes your game special and finding a way to insert it into the game such that the high point is reached more quickly and that reaching it leads the player along the path towards the experience that you're hoping that they will have.
I'm going to use an example from Wizard's Academy since it's a process that I hit on somewhat unintentionally during its design and then we can start taking a look at some games that do this far more successfully than any of mine. The design of WA was driven by trying to appeal to instincts of exploring and experimentation. I felt that these were underused motivations in the board gaming world, partly due to the way in which repeated plays of games can dull them, if the game is not carefully crafted. I don't think that the game has a particular problem with reaching the elements that appeal to that instinct, players start experimenting with spells a few turns in and it doesn't stop until the end of the game.
In the early prototypes I noticed that the moment at which the playtesters seemed most excited, attentive and engaged was flipping a new spell for the first time. The sort of reactions I got to that moment told me that I was on to something. Increasingly I felt that the setup and first few actions were a price paid to reach that moment, but that a few experimental casts, particularly when they lead to threat interaction results, tended to be what drew people in. That was the moment that people went from "I'll give this a go" to "I care about this game."
Then in the later prototypes I was surprised to find that for some players that moment was reached at a much earlier point - before setup was even completed. I'd been refining the rules (obviously) but generally it's tough to make setup an exciting part of a game, especially a game with discoveries as a lot of setup becomes about successfully not knowing stuff. The thing is that it wasn't the rules creating the effect, it was moving on to a better prototype with more art. The moment that some players "bought in" was this:
"I wanna be the bear"
Now obviously that's somewhat trivial and wouldn't carry a player through a two hour game - but I think it's presence illustrates this sort of bridging perfectly: Not every peak has to be the high point of the game. If you can create a little peak, that appeals to some sort of desire to play, then it won't matter that it's a little peak so long as your game has something else to offer before players come down from it. It can't be all that you do but it can go a long way to carrying people to the deeper enjoyment of your game where otherwise they might not make it.
So anyway, that's my story of how I came across bridging, as an accident, for a game that didn't really need it and in what I'm sure isn't the optimal approach to implementing it. Upon having that realisation in that playtesting session it became apparent that it was something I'd experienced dozens of times before in hundreds of games and had never consciously recognised. Perhaps I should've read more rambly articles about game design
Recognising the concept and how it can be applied lets us turn our attention to other games, to consider how it's been successfully applied and what aspects of that we can draw on to improve our future designs. Let's start with something obvious.
Scanning my games shelf I can see Fury of Dracula (second edition), XCOM: The Board Game, A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) and Arkham Horror. It also really should have Battlestar Galactica but I never seem to get around to buying it. These games have two things in common. One is that they all require a degree of investment to get to their best moments, nobody uncovers a cylon on their first turn of Battlestar or kills a great leader in their opening Britannia move. The best moments in the game are typically further in.
The second is that they're all based on something that I know, understand and am invested in before the game begins. Whether that's because I fell in love (or loathing) with some characters in a book or down to an inherited desire to see the Scots take over the country this time there's an early hook. Something to make me care about the outcome of the game before I know how the game is played and before I've got to the enjoyment that's really at the heart of the experience. Heck most of these are great mechanical experiences that would be doing something interesting if they were converted to abstracts, but I think the theme helps.
In pursuit of this goal, theme really is the low hanging fruit. Players don't have to learn a lot about a game or how it works to experience the theme, so it's an easy thing to offer to generate some engagement before reaching the main course that the game has to offer. However some players aren't interested in theme, some will mentally strip away the theme and try to look at the delicious mathematics beneath. Fortunately this approach works mechanically too, it just requires a different sort of touch.
Let's talk about Dominion, a game that was arguably only successful because it had the good fortune to be released before other games had been inspired by Dominion. I must've played some hundreds of games and the thing is that the enjoyment that I get out of it now is completely different to the enjoyment that I got out of it during my first game. Presently the best moment of the game is the revelation of which approach was superior and the second best moment is when the ten random piles hit the table and my brain starts chewing at the puzzle of how to approach this particular set.
I think it's a game that took a few games to reach the point of being interesting. It's hard to appreciate the meaning of a particular set of actions if you've never played with any other actions and don't have any practical experience of what works with what in what ways. I still enjoyed my first game though, despite not really getting what I'd consider the mechanical heart of the game. I think we can probably agree that it wasn't the theme that did it, since the theme is only slightly weaker than Aquaman in a desert.
Partly I think it was down to exploration, the mechanic was new and experiencing new things in games is definitely special to me. I was only half joking about that good fortune to come out before it had been out line However it's also got a sort of mechanical aesthetic that I liked, I could see that it was a more elegant way to get across some of the things I'd enjoyed in some TCG formats. That tickled me. Of course there were some competitive elements too: Playing a game in which everyone is a new player is a particularly special form of competition for me. It's pure in a way that subsequent games won't be, you're not seeing who's thought of the best strategy or read the most articles or played the most games or memorised the most moves. You can get straight down to whether your brain is good enough to dissect the new thing effectively on the fly or not. A game has to have the right amount of crunch to trigger that, enough for decisions to be meaningful but not so much that you feel like you don't get it and are just trying things to see what happens.
So that's it for bridging, I hope that the end of the article was worth the wait What games would you say achieve great bridging to a fantastic long term experience via mechanical rather than thematic means? I'm not entirely satisfied with Dominon as my example, but while I had other games that I felt did it more effectively I didn't feel that I could articulate the whys and hows as strongly. I'd love to pick this subject apart some more, I'm certain that there's more I could learn about it.
Out of the Abyss is a campaign for Dungeons and Dragons 5e. It takes place in the Underdark and is full of unique creatures, powerful demons and madness.
Vengeance is the fourth expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse. It adds new heroes and villains, new environments and a new way to play.
Specter Ops is a hidden movement game. One to four hunters must find the agent before he or she completes three missions and escapes the board.
The Dark Titan is the second expansion for Castle Panic. It adds Agnorak (the Dark Titan), elite monsters, support tokens, the cavalier and more.
Fluxx Dice adds even more chaos to your existing game of Fluxx. It can be easily added to any of the base games.
In life you have to do a lot of things you don't f*cking want to do. Many times, that's what the f*ck life is... one vile f*cking task after another.
Sentinels of the Multiverse To Get Multiplayer Next Week
Sentinels of the Multiverse isn't showing any signs of age as it nears its first birthday. In fact, it's still going strong with several expansions on the drawing board and online multiplayer just over the horizon. How close? Look for online multiplayer to hit Sentinels on October 16.
Starting on October 16 and lasting through the weekend, Handelabra Games is celebrating SotM's first birthday with a bash that will bring synchronous multiplayer and chat to the game for the first time. Hoping for asynchronous? It's coming down the pike, but synchronous games of Sentinels only take about 30 minutes to finish, so it's not the end of the world.
The celebration will also bring a sale price to Sentinels over the weekend, putting it on the cheap on all platforms. All purchases during the birthday weekend will donate $1 to Child's Play--a charity that brings gaming to kids stuck in shelters and hospitals--as well. If you already own SotM, Handelabra will have a page where you can donate to Child's Play directly as well.
They will be streaming the festivities starting at 9am EDT on the 16th, so if you want to watch some people who are really good at Sentinels play Sentinels, there's your chance. Just head over to their Twitch channel which will have games going all weekend long.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is available for PC/Mac on Steam, on iPad, Android tablets, and Kindle devices. It will run you $10 now ($15 on Steam), so if you can hold until next weekend you might be able to save quite a few bucks.
Bruno Cathala's Tong Hits Android/iOS
Yesterday I awoke to an email from none other than Bruno Cathala which was pretty cool. Turns out he's been working on a game that was originally slated to head to cardboard, but found a home on digital instead. It's called Tong and is a 2-player game, but also has 2 solo modes if that's your thing.
Players control a chameleon who can eat bugs from a 5x5 grid and then the chameleon moves clockwise. If you ever get the chameleon in a row where no bugs exist, he goes hungry and you laugh at your opponent. Or something like that. The site that describes the game is entirely in French, which is like French to me, and the game is only out for Android right now, so I can't even give it a go. That said, it's from the designer of such 2-player classics as Mr. Jack and Mr. Jack Pocket so the chances of it being awesome are pretty good.
You can snag Tong for Android here and it should be out for iOS any time now (it's in review as we speak). It's free to download, which is even better.
If you're looking for the App Store link, the game is developed by Meeple Touch, so the best bet is to search for them on iTunes. Or you can click here. Whatever's easier.
As I have mentioned in the past, Ticket to Ride has been a perennial favorite for me. The first time I made a major game order, I ordered Ticket to Ride without really knowing what it would be like. And it has been a game that I have played on a regular basis since then. And it's also no secret that I have a fascination for print and play.
I really haven't combined the two interests. There are a lot of fan made boards for Ticket to Ride out there but I think that I would need to be part of that theoretical group the only plays Ticket to Ride before I would feel the need to make more boards.
However, I have looked at the boards that are out there. Judging by the number of prints and play projects for the Steam family of train games and the 18 XX games, people are drawn to making boards for games about trains.
And there are two teeny tiny print and play Ticket to Ride projects which fascinate me. Not necessarily to the point in which I want to make them but the simple fact that they exist.
One is the Animals to Ride variant by Cornixt. It can be described as Ticket to Ride ultra light for the very young. It has a very simple board with animals instead of cities and the symbols are simplified so that you could use a deck of cards instead of train cards from Ticket to Ride.
The real way that it simplifies the system is that you don't earn points for laying track and you can't draw additional tickets. It's just a race to complete the tickets you start with. Which, really just makes it about the luck of the draw.
Normally, I would just say that's an interesting idea and leave it at that. However, my son is almost two and daddy is going to be trying to get him interested in games in the next year or so. Animals to Ride could be way to introduce him to the Ticket to Ride system, as well as set collection and building routes in general.
Of course, on the other hand, plain old Ticket to Ride might be the way to do that. For that matter, Transamerica is another good way of teaching him route building that he will probably be ready for by the age of four or five. The biggest thing Animals to Ride might have going forward is that he can destroy it and I won't care.
The other print and play project about Ticket to Ride that just fascinates me is the print and play and toss version that Daniel Ajoy made. All you need to put a regular playing cards to serve as the train cards and the ticket cards. It's literally a game you can print out, play, crumple up and throw out.
I know that every game, when you really get down to it, is an abstract set of rules. If it isn't, you're probably playing a sport. If you need to hit the ball by using a bat instead of rolling dice or drawing cards, you are actually playing baseball.
But, actually seeing someone strip every last bit of theme away from Ticket to Ride is really fascinating. Take something that I already knew intellectually and shows it to me in a concrete form. Just because I always knew that you could do it doesn't make the fact that it's been done any less intriguing.
Having said that, I'm not sure there's any real reason why I would ever printed out.cMaybe I want to go on a road trip or a camping trip and want to disposable copy of Ticket to Ride to take with me but I would probably just take a deck of cards or set of dominoes or something like that. There are enough durable games and travel games that I don't really need to go out of my way to use this one.
Really, the only reason I would make it and play it is just to see what it's like. To be fair, that's as good a reason as any.
So neither of these projects is something that I'm super likely to make an even less likely to ever be invested in. But I love the fact that someone took the time to make them and explore the minimalist side of the Ticket to Ride system.
Each player is a pig farmer, seeking to become the best farmer in town. Trade with your neighbours to grow your team of hogs, and match them to the right pens! The player with the most victory points (VP) by the end of the game wins.
1. Turn order is decided by dice roll. The lowest rolling player goes first, then order proceeds CCW.
2. Each player draws x number of cards depending on number of players:
3 players - 5 cards
4 players - 4 cards
5 players - 3 cards
3. At the start of their turn, the player must draw a card from the center deck.
4. During their turn, the player can do only one of the four actions below:
a. Assemble a combination of cards (‘pig pen’). Two to four cards can be played per pen. Refer to ‘Scoring’ table for possible combinations.
b. Draw another card from the center deck, and return one card from their hand to the bottom of the deck in exchange.
c. Discard 1 card. These are piled face-up next to the center deck.
d. Trade with another player. Players may only initiate trades during their turn.
(i) The active player may trade any one of their cards in exchange for a maximum of two cards from another player. Both players must agree to the trade.
(ii) The cards received by the active player must be played immediately. Any received cards that are not played immediately go to the player’s ‘Scraps’ pig pen. Cards in ‘Scraps’ are placed horizontally below the player’s pig pens.
(iii) The other player in the trade may choose when to play the received card/s.
5. If the active player has only one card left in their hand, they can:
a. Discard the remaining card to gain five new cards from center deck. This counts as an action. OR;
b. Draw one new card from center deck; this does not count as an action.
6. Cards in ‘Scraps’ may come back into play if used in any combinations.
7. If players rearrange their pig pens during their turn, they must use all the cards in the existing combinations. Any unused cards after rearrangement go into the ‘Scraps’ pile.
8. The game ends when the center deck is used up. During the final round, a ‘free for all’ market happens; anyone can trade with anyone to complete their pig pens. Players must agree to the trade.
Number of cards - Pig pen description - Equivalent VP(s)
Double (2) - same number - 1
Straight (3) - consecutive numbers with different suits - 2
Flush (3) - same suit - 3
Straight flush (3) - consecutive numbers with same suit - 4
Three of a kind (3) - same number - 5
Straight (4) - consecutive numbers with different suits - 6
Flush (4) - same suit - 7
Four of a kind (4) - all of the same number - 8
Straight flush (4) - consecutive numbers of same suit - 9
Every card in ‘Scraps’ - subtract 1 VP
Every card in player’s hand at end of game - subtract 2 VPs
Vila Nova Gaia
I run through Rahdo's Runthroughs and make right what once went wrong (via annotations)
Still lots to do and no time to do half of it
Tomorrow I'll be going to my first Essen Trip and I'm pretty pumped
But this is about last week activity so here it goes:
The Home Gaming Group night was moved to Wednesday this time and we started with a game of:
After the complete walk in the park that was the previous week session, this time we were hammered from the start!
We pumped up the difficulty because we were over 11 Karma and if we didn't we would get less Karma if we won... but the increased difficulty had nothing to do with the hard time we had, it was just one of those games that was hard... Just to show Nuno that SR:CF is a Man's game!
We lasted 8 Rounds were we did a surgical Abort Run by when Duarte went Critical! We could have cleared that Scene but no way we were going to survive the third scene, so we decided to cut our losses!
Successful Mission +3 Karma Points
Me - Human - Street Samurai = 14 Karma Total - Just Tough
Tiago - Dwarf - Decker = 14 Karma Total - In Training
Nuno - Troll - Face = 14 Karma Total - Got Your Backs
Duarte - Ork - Mage = 14 Karma Total - In Training
7 Runs - 4 Success - 2 Abort - 1 Fail
Next up was:
Nuno had never played it and you know this is one of my favorite games of all time, so after a quick explanation on we went to Piracy!
And as always Nuno grasped the concepts really fast and decimated us
Nuno - 87
Me - 67
Duarte - 65
Tiago - 64
INVICTA CON time!!
This is the Yearly Con organized by the Boardgamers of Porto with 3 days of non-stop gaming!!
But unfortunately I didn't play has many games as I wanted or for that matter stayed in the Con for as long as I wanted... I only went Friday and Saturday and didn't stay for the night in any of those days!
Only played 3 games the whole Con but I got to socialize with the usual great gamers and some from other parts of the Country that came...
The first game played was:
It was a pleasure and a privilege that my first game of CO2 was taught and played with the man himself Vital Lacerda
I've heard great things about the game, other not so great things about the game... My thoughts?
Well, another amazing game by Vital...
To start, the Theme of the game is great and different... the implementation is thoughtful and extremely well done.
The top thing in the game is the interaction between the players... it's just brilliant the way it was done... it's a very competitive interactive Euro without being a destructive one, quite the opposite!
Vital - 125
Joana - 115
Duarte Pinto - 97
Second day of the Con, and the last one for me... and it started with:
The first thing I want to say is KUDOS to Eagle-Gryphon Games they get a lot of sh*t thrown at them, I really don't understand why, yes the games are usually expensive but so far all I've seen is great Quality in all of them and a good deal of interaction here on the Forums with the people... but has I was saying, KUDOS for the SUPERB Production of the game!!
(The game setup)
All the components are of the highest quality, thick, and I mean THICK cardboard all around, beautiful components, excellent artwork used for the game from many artists (most of them gamers), it's indeed an impressive and stellar production... yes the game asking price isn't low but I can tell you it is definitely cheap for all that you get in the box, from quality components to fantastic gameplay! It even has a useful insert!!!
(The end of the game look of all the Galleries and the Foreign Market)
I don't have much to add to my previews remarks about the game, that if you want you can read here: LeiriaCon 2015 - 3 Days of Gaming, other than to say it's so much better to play with the finished product and better yet when it is of this quality and look! And that the few little issues the game had in that stage of development were all ironed out and the game is simply amazing...
(The Artists and their end game Fame)
I have to say that despite being a little lighter than other games from Vital, it's not a light game... there's a LOT to think and to plan ahead in all the moves that you make...
I lost the game by 2 points and I could have won in one of the last moves, I saw a better move I could do but I was almost finished with the move I was making and didn't want to backtrack but I said to Vital, if I did this in another order I would score at least 2 more points... and then I lose the game by 2 points!!
And that was the look of my Gallery at the end of the game, got to many Paintings and lost a lot of points for not doing a Single objective of the On Display objective card, and only 15 points of the sold ones!
But still, looks amazing
Vital - 156
Me - 154
Elsa - 133
Pedro Freitas - 118
And the final game of the Re-Baptized "VitalCon" was:
Vinhos Deluxe Edition
Of course a prototype of the new way to play Vinhos that will be on KS next year...
The core game is the same but there are some big differences in gameplay...
To start every player can now have 5 Vinneards when before the limit was 4.
There are now 9 different Regions, the new one introduces Farmers that increase the value of the production of the wine by 1.
There's no more Bank and therefore the pkayers always have the money on hand and the Bank action space has been repkaced by another slot to buy Vinneards.
In all action spaces you can now perform the action 1 or 2 times... So you can get 2 Vinneards, 2 Cellars, 2 Specialists, 2 wineries, sell 2 Barrels, export 2 Barrels... Provided you have the money or wines to do the actions.
The Wine Fair is more streamlined and easy to understand.
You don't start with all barrels available, you only have 2 and you can get 2 more when you submit a wine to the Fair provided that you fulfill 2 of the 3 requirements of the Experts.
The experts now work in a different way too... After the Wine Fair you can get one of the tiles they have to offer by giving them any wine you want... They start by offering 12 extra action tiles... These tiles can be used in a player turn to also perform the action the tile allows either before or after you perform the action you select on the grid...
You can only use one of these extra action tiles per turn... You can also use one of the Specialists per turn, so now you can perform a few more actions during the game...
The other type of tile the Experts will offer are the Bonus Multiplier tiles from the base game but these tiles will only be available in the second wine fair.
Players take turns discarding one wine to get one of the Expert tiles until they all pass.
This version is streamlined, it takes out one of the things that many people didn't like from the original game, the Bank...
I think the game is easier to understand and grasp and is also more open because the players will be able to do more actions with the extra action tiles... It's also more open because you when you select an action to do you can do it twice if you have the money needed to do it twice.
The upkeep phase at the end of each season is also much simpler... You don't have to pay the workers now, they are more expensive to get but they have no upkeep... The only thing to do in this phase is to, in turn order, select one of your wine barrels that are in the Sold spots in the board and take it back to your player board, and that's it.
I really liked this version of the game... It seems much simpler than the original one and probably it is but all the choices are still there, you just have a bit more amplitude of "movement"... Speaking of movement, you can also move 2 spaces in the grid matrix, by paying 1 money.
I can say that the Original game is much more constricted and more tense than this new version...
But since the Deluxe Version will allow you to play the 2 ways, you'll be getting 2 games for the price of one and you'll be able to choose what game to play depending on what you want in the moment and the people you'll be playing with
The version isn't finished but is looking pretty good already
Me - 125
Vital - 110
Elsa - 106
Pedro Freitas - 91
THE KICKSTARTER CORNER
BACKED IN 2015
Trickerion: Legends of Illusion (ETA: 10/15)
Tiny Epic Galaxies (ETA: 09/15)
Vault Wars (ETA: 08/15)
Above and Below (ETA: 12/15)
Ancient Terrible Things: The Lost Chapter + 2nd Edition (ETA: ESSEN Pick-up)
Three New Treasure Chests of Realistic Resource Tokens (ETA: 01/16)
Samara (ETA: 09/15) - Arrived on Time
Thrash'n Roll (ETA: 09/15)
Masters of Football (ETA: 02/16)
The Gallerist (ETA: 10/15)
Mare Nostrum: Empires (ETA: 11/15)
101.1 (ETA: 12/15)
IKI (ETA: 12/15)
Soccer City (ETA: 12/15)
Hostage Negotiator Abductor Packs (ETA 11/15)
Gloomhaven (ETA 03/16)
The Networks (ETA 06/16)
Entering the Collection:
- Above and Below
- La Granja
- WWE Superstar Showdown
Left the Collection
This is how it should be done... Above and Below KS project had an ETD for December of 2015... it was delivered in 30 of September!!!
Have fun guys and has always, thank you for reading, commenting and thumbing
The Most Important Things...
Spiel 2015 Preview
I've been trained to regard Julius Caesar as not much more than a tyrant and demagogue, but if that's true, he's the most magnanimous tyrant I've read. When the Gauls he's subjecting are brave or clever, he gives them credit. When one of his plans go awry or one of his underlings botches it, he says so without whitewashing. When he defeats his enemy and they beg for mercy, he usually grants it. Would that our contemporary politicians speak so plainly. On the other hand, if someone double-crosses him, he crushes them like a cockroach.
P.J. O'Rourke once mused about the appeal of insurgency for the low-level guerrilla in that "It will always be more fun to carry a gun around in the hills and sleep with ideology-addled college girls than to spend life behind a water buffalo or rotting in a slum".
Caesar seems to confirm that in one passage:
In addition, a large number of bandits and desperadoes had come together from all over Gaul; the prospect of plunder and the attractions of fighting had more appeal than daily work on the land.-- Book III, 17.
Desperadoes eh? That gives me an idea:
But to be fair, many insurgent grunts are there under threat and duress and even if not, some have attacks of conscience. I recall in the book Out of Captivity, one FARC teenager confided to his American prisoners his despair of all the evil things he had done and saw no way out. Sadly, he ended by eating his rifle.
But back to a lighter note, Casaer describes an early encryption method:
I then managed to persuade one of my Gallic cavalrymen, by promising him a large reward, to take a letter to Cicero. I wrote the letter in Greek characters, so that if it were intercepted the Gauls should not discover what our plans were.
The Gauls it seems had Roman prisoners at this siege who were helping construct ramparts against their compatriots. Maybe they should have written some false messages, but in really sloppy Latin to make it look like it was written by a Gaul with only minimal knowledge of the language:
This week's podcast - Nations the Dice Game and Neptun
German Railroads WILL be at the Z-Man booth in English! That's certainly one we're going to pick up!
The BGG booth is coming together. Internet's up (hence my ability to post this) and the video/lights/etc. are set up. Geek Buzz cards are ready to go and Hall 7 is a bit more quiet than the 'center of the Spiel' location of Hall 1 the past 2 years.
More to come!
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