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Subject: OBG 66: The Book was Better rss

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Donald Dennis
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Erik and Donald talk about turning books into games

Erik and Steve Hana Takes 5 on games with Traitors

Erik and Don review Test of Fire



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Brad Brooks
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In regards to your awards discussion, as an alternative to an award you could confer achievements to games, similar to the achievements in video games or the goals in Race for the Galaxy. Something like:

"Play it again, Sam" - when you play a game (of significant length) twice or more in a row

"Usurper" - a game which replaces another game, causing you to get rid of the original or just never bring it to the table

"Flying Pig" - a game which succeeds despite all initial impressions to the contrary

etc.
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Erik Dewey
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beehive23 wrote:
In regards to your awards discussion, as an alternative to an award you could confer achievements to games, similar to the achievements in video games or the goals in Race for the Galaxy. Something like:

"Play it again, Sam" - when you play a game (of significant length) twice or more in a row

"Usurper" - a game which replaces another game, causing you to get rid of the original or just never bring it to the table

"Flying Pig" - a game which succeeds despite all initial impressions to the contrary

etc.


I love this idea.
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Donald Dennis
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What books would you like to have turned into a board game? Are there any translations from book to game that you love or hate?
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The Mighty Greedo
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I would love to see Ender's Game converted into a board game (or even a wargame). Those battle room scenes in particular would be a lot of fun to try to recreate at a table.
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Donald Dennis
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Greedo wrote:
I would love to see Ender's Game converted into a board game (or even a wargame). Those battle room scenes in particular would be a lot of fun to try to recreate at a table.


I thought there was an Ender's Game Game, but I must be confusing it with another book-based game I read at the same time. Perhaps I'm thinking of the Starship Troopers game.

But yeah, that'd be a good one. I'd like to see a game based on Scott Sigler's GFL Series. (The books in the Galactic Football League are The Rookie, The Starter, and All-Pro.) I could see it being similar to Blood Bowl, but with aliens and different skill sets.
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Michael Denman
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You guys were really losing cred this episode. I swear it seemed like everything mentioned was unknown to at least one of you.

Mayfair Games : Thanks for the YouTube tip. I'm going to hunt those down and have a look.

Second Chances : Usually, a bad first impression means I'll never give a game a second chance, but I CAN think of two exceptions. In both case, I only tried the game again YEARS later and grew to like it. One of these was Race for the Galaxy and the other was Doom.

Notes : You're WAY too kind here. There's no way that I'd put up with note-taking in a game that doesn't explicitly use note-taking. That's just ridiculous. If I sat down to a game of T&E and some guy broke out a notepad, I'd say something (in a joking way at first). If the guy persisted and really was determined to take notes, I'd just get up and leave. The excuse of "Well, you could know that information if you keep track anyway" holds no water for me. Nada. On the FFG forums, there was a guy complaining about how easy it was for the humans to win and it turned out that his entire group sits there taking extensive notes on what's been played, etc to keep an eye out for Cylons. INSANE.

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Peter Finlayson
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Second Chances: Small World was my second-chance game. Well, more like fifth-chance. I didn't really like it as first, but the more I played, the more it grew on me. Eventually, I came to the realisation that I was actually having a lot of fun throwing hordes of hordes of angry dragon-master pixies up against smelly fortified hobbits. I now would love to play this game anytime.

Taking notes: I think a lot more understanding is needed here. I can have a pretty spotty memory sometimes, and I know I am not the only one. The key here is that some mechanics are designed to be memory-dependent, as was mentioned on the show.

Back in my Magic-playing days, I would forget to pay some minor upkeep cost, and my opponent would pounce and force me to lose something. Paying the cost or not was meant to be a choice, and it was a choice I was not allowed to make. Other times, I would forget a crucial step of my plan, and end up losing games because of it. Fear of this sometimes lead me to paranoia, making me keep rethinking all my options every turn, causing horrible AP. Being allowed to keep simple notes would have kept the game fun for me, and made them faster for my opponents.

I still would have lost most of the time, thought

In your Battlestar Galactica example, I think it's clear that keeping a perfect record of the cards submitted to challenges reduces the game to a simple logic puzzle. It's clearly against the spirit of the game. In many other cases, I think a bit more discretion is needed.
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Michael Denman
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Small World was KIND OF a second chance game for me too. I was a dedicated Vinci fan and I wasn't about to make the switch. Eventually though, I came around because it was obviously much easier to get Small World to the table and I like it quite a bit now.

As for taking notes, can you give some examples of games you'd take notes in that don't usually have notes? T&E was given on the show and I think that's a bad example. Part of what I enjoy in gaming is the human element. Otherwise, I'd play a computer. The thrill of wondering if Player B sees that move that will ruin me or will realize that if he leads a certain card he'll win the game is part of what I WANT.
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Jason Lott
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Thanks for the Take 5, Erik! I feel vindicated, as a big fan of BSG.
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Donald Dennis
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Trump wrote:
Mayfair Games : Thanks for the YouTube tip. I'm going to hunt those down and have a look.


Just remember, I'm only recommending the sheep, not the glove. I have no love for the glove.

(Actually, the most recent Glover video didn't bother me at all.)
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Giles Pritchard
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I have a few obscure titles I'd love to see a game for:

The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison. - A very strange book that has some major flaws, and is written entirely in Elizabethan English - but which is also heroic and epic in ways that only that style of language allows for. The struggles between the heroic men of Demonland and the foul wretches of Witchland would be epic - if properly pulled off.

To Ride Hell's Chasm, by Janny Wurts. - Again, a flawed book (I felt the ending was rushed and the plotting could have been better), but the setting seems quite appropriate for a fun game. Too many Fantasy books have a setting that revolves around a single major problem - in To Ride Hell's Chasm the problem is endemic and a major part of the world.

Norse Sagas, by various. - Not really a single book, but it would be fun to have a game that emulates the feel and struggles that fill the Sagas.

The Scarlet Pimpernel, by the Baroness DeOrczy. - A sort of black-powder James Bond figure. The league of the Pimpernel breaking French aristocrats from La Force using all manner of clever disguises and implements would be fun.


One less obscure and more recent series would be:

Shadows of the Apt series, by Adrian Tchaikovsky. - My one bug-bear with this series is that the characters are all people - I really think the series would be better if all the characters were simply anthropomorphic insects - which is what you imagine as you read anyway (least ways - I do). But the struggles between the Wasp empire and the other Kinden could be a lot of fun - or players could be spies trying to gather information, foil plots and avoid being beaten up and killed by the Wasps.


------

I wouldn't have much truck with people taking notes either - get on with it! If you're going to take a game that seriously take up share trading.

------

Great episode guys (even without the lucid ramblings and dulcet tones of Scott).

Cheers,

Giles.
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Giles Pritchard
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The Mighty Greedo
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Can I ask you, Greedo, on behalf of lovers of the original Star Wars trilogy, to remove and hand in, forthwith, your 'First Person Shooter' microbadge. Lucas was up early after a big night on 'it' when he decided that was a good idea.
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Donald Dennis
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caradoc wrote:
Norse Sagas, by various. - Not really a single book, but it would be fun to have a game that emulates the feel and struggles that fill the Sagas.

Viking Tea Party... er... Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga Does a pretty good job, or at least the best job to date. I also have a copy of Saga that is about heroic adventures. I should trot that out to play with the kiddo.

Fire and Axe's viking saga feel could be enhanced perhaps if they had an expansion that offered some variable powers or epic personalities you could recruit in the winter phase, some mythic creatures to raid. An event deck that changed the wind and desired good instead of just using the rune cards could add some more epic feel as well.

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The Mighty Greedo
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caradoc wrote:
remove and hand in, forthwith, your 'First Person Shooter' microbadge.

Heh heh... That's pretty funny. I never noticed the connection between my Star Wars badge and my First Person Shooter badge. Kudos to you for making the Star Wars connection.
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Giles Pritchard
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Greedo wrote:
caradoc wrote:
remove and hand in, forthwith, your 'First Person Shooter' microbadge.

Heh heh... That's pretty funny. I never noticed the connection between my Star Wars badge and my First Person Shooter badge. Kudos to you for making the Star Wars connection.


Sad to admit, but I'm strangely proud of this.

Cheers,

Giles.
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Peter Finlayson
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A great example came to me, with examples both for and against note-taking: Shogun.

Depending on how you play, it might be against the spirit of the game to keep track of how many cubes are left in the tower. It isn't particularly hard to just count them as they go in or fall out of the tower, but it would probably be against the spirit of the game. A small measure of 'I think I have more support in the tower than he does, but I am not sure' adds a lot to the game. Keeping perfect notes for that may detract from the game.

Where I'd like to keep notes is for the rest of the game: the actual strategy. One can spend 15 minutes or more planning a turn, and as much as that actually playing the turn. It would be helpful to have some notes about which of the neighbouring provinces you planned to strike with your 'B' attack, for example. That way, when the card comes up half an hour after you laid the plan, you don't make a mistake. Similarly, keeping notes about which regions you reinforced previous rounds and why could help one execute more cohesive plans.
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Michael Denman
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frnknstn wrote:
That way, when the card comes up half an hour after you laid the plan, you don't make a mistake.


Such mistakes are an intrinsic part of many games. I wouldn't want to have the possibility eliminated. For these Shogun examples, I wouldn't allow any record-keeping. Simply put, I'm not interested in everyone executing a perfect plan and seeing how things come out. I'm more interested in playing with humans who make mistakes from time to time just like I do.
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Donald Dennis
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Trump wrote:
I'm more interested in playing with humans who make mistakes from time to time just like I do.


Nobody makes mistakes quite like you do.
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Peter Finlayson
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I get your point, but executing a plan perfectly is different from executing a perfect plan. Executing a plan perfectly is also different from remembering what plan you wanted to execute.

Like I said in my first post, understanding is what I am advocating. It's a matter of degrees. I am not talking about using notes for perfect information or perfect play. What I want from a game is to not feel like an idiot when I forget (for the umpteenth time) which of the similarly-named adjacent imaginary Japanese provinces I intended to attack.
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