* * * EDITED FOR CLARITY * * *
Ah, I love the smell of stretch goals in the morning...they smell like victory!
After the frantic activity of the first 36 hours on the Snowdonia kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2012515236/snowdonia-2nd...), things have chilled somewhat and now the hazy, warm afternoon of crowd-funding is punctuated by the occasional cry for ‘more stuff!’.
Getting a bag that you can put your hand in aside, I have been playing around with ideas for further rewarding the most excellent (and handsome/beautiful) Snowdonia fans - present and future
backers of 2nd Ed (& it's attendant sweetmeats for the 1st Ed community) and came up with the following:
1) Some coal
The smudgier the better as far as I’m concerned! Imagine adopting that Engine Driver look: grimy and sweat-caked skin (rub yourself all over with the coal), minor burns from errant firebox sparks (simply combust the coal in close proximity to yourself) and the actual ‘taste’ of being alive and steaming (eat the coal).
2) A whistle on the end of a cord
Too vain to dirty yourself in the name of gaming? Well, the Peeeeeep-le offers an officious, ticket-stamping alternative in your Snowdonian role-playing repertoire. It would be cool to have a motto or two running along the neck-ribbon eg. “Surveyors do it halfway up a mountain”, “My other train is an 0-4-0 Diesel Loco” or “Is that hefty contract card bonus in your tableau or are you just pleased to see me?”
3) A new scenario NOT JUST FOR BACKERS!!!
Well, unlike stupid suggestions 1 & 2, this one is a reality as in I have designed another (yes, I know!) scenario – it's actually a development of a North Wales route I’d aborted in the Summer of 2012 and covers Bangor to Holyhead via the Menai Straits. In summary, the 13-card scenario is code-named Pont Britannia and is being play-tested at UK Games Expo this coming weekend (24th-26th May); it comprises:
- 7 stations: Bangor, Llanfair PG (a non-promo version of the long name station), Gaerwen, Bodorgan, Ty Croes, Valley and Holyhead (all but Bangor are on Anglesey);
- the Britannia Bridge (between Bangor and Llanfair PG) – imagine a sort-of-track card that, when completed, flips to become a sort-of-station card that can then be built as normal;
- steel bar requirements in stations that count towards Contract Card track bonuses instead of straight points(!);
- a trio of tweaked Contract cards (no Surveyor BONUSES in this scenario)*
- a new train that allows the owner to build track instead of the game (if they want) whenever the game would build track through an Event (!!); and,
- the return of the ‘walk off into the sunset’ (for points) Surveyor.
Everything else about the game is ‘as per’ the Mount Snowdon scenario: normal weather, normal event track etc – it’s just that there’s a more track-y focus!
So, does any of this P-Brit discourse tickle your pledge-pinky, entice your fund-muscle or massage your endowment empowerment? If so, get thee to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2012515236/snowdonia-2nd... and get a-donatin’!
Love, as always,
P.S. There used to be a railway near me called The Daffodil Line – running from Hereford to Ledbury along the route of a filled-in canal (mechanic idea#1**) and, then, from Ledbury to Gloucester via my home town of Newent…did anyone see where I left my pencil?
*yes I know – these need to be put into the regular deck so 1st Ed owners MAY be able to spot new from original print; hey! Who really minds, though, really? Really?
**players start with a stock of rubble that they have to excavate ON TO track cards – lose points for not having gotten rid of it at game end)
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
Archive for UK Games Expo
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Well, it's finally happening:
After Essen 2012, we had LOTS of inquiries about taking Snowdonia forward into a second English language print and, to be honest, the whole experience of that Year was overwhelming; like being caught in a gaming riptide, I feared we might drown!
In the end, we went with Travis@Indie Boards & Cards because:
a) I was immensely-impressed by the way he produced and promoted Flash Point: Fire Rescue - it's a fantastic product in play and in looks;
b) straight away, in his initial contact, he was talking about miniature railway worker figures (I'm such a magpie); and,
c) he shoots a mean royalty proposal
With contracts signed and exchanged, things went a little quiet as we waited for the last few English copies to be snapped up; we, at SSG, had run out of everything by the end of November, not even able to supply the gift shop at the TOP OF MOUNT SNOWDON with any! I also watched as Snowdonia began to rise up the BGG rankings and garner LOTS of super-positive feedback.
This hiatus gave me the chance to start the finessing process on the expansion. The Jungfraubahn was almost completely fully-formed at this point. Initially, JF was going to be the flip side scenario to the base game Snowdon but then I found a book about the Blaenau Ffestiniog railway in a charity shop and I decided to keep things 'in North Wales' for the 1st Ed. (or, as it was known back in 2011, 'the SSG version' because we'd not made links with Lookout Games or uplay.it edizioni at that point!). JF expanded from five alternative stations to also encompass Snow (instead of Fog) and dynamite - NOT just more of the same.
For the second scenario, I took inspiration from this newly-formed U.S partnership and plumped for Mount Washington/'The Cog' - what more fitting location could I use? Snow would play a lesser part, though still a common expansion theme, but the focus would shift to (much) more building and track laying by the players.
With a 2nd Edition bubbling away on the back-burner, this was also a chance to tidy up some of the ambiguous points in the rulebook - I'm quite the forum-lurker here on BGG and I'm awfully keen that you all play the game I designed!
As for my views on Kickstarter? Well, things have improved immensely over the last couple of years (the 'Up Front' debacle aside) and I'm no skinflint when it comes to pledging myself, as the shelves in my library room will atest! Again, Travis has shown himself a straight-up guy with his customers in this market and I have full confidence in his marketing plan...as well as full confidence in the quality of the actual product, of course!
So, if you've been wanting to find a copy of Snowdonia but missed out OR (very importantly) you already have a 1st Ed and want the gorgeous sculpts and the expansion, then this campaign is the one for you!
Love, as always,
- Travis will be bringing copies (of everything) to Essen Spiel, so you don't necessarily need it posted to you (and all that means in terms of cost).
- The expansion is a standalone set of cards - everything you need for the game is there so NO MIXING of 1st Ed./2nd Ed. Contract Cards is needed (just in case you're worried about differing print quality).
- I believe the expansion will be available to German and Italian navvies too (but I defer to the honorable Hanno Girke and uplay.it for more info)
- Oh, and if you're coming to the UK Games Expo in Birmingham at the end of May then do stop by the Surprised Stare Games Ltd stand and get yourself an expansion demo game!
- [+] Dice rolls