Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Recent gaming - Long time, no post!

I've done very little in the way of game design lately. No playtest sessions on Sunday mornings, no new game designs of my own (Red Colony is still rolling around in my head). Here's what I have been up to in the last 2 weeks (in no particular order):

On the design/developement/prototype front...

I have played some more Lost Adventures. Jeff and Steve are sending me a prototype of it made by them, which in theory will be a bit nicer than the one I made. I'm going to take it to BGG.con with me, where I intend to play a lot of prototypes!

I made a geeklist at BGG for people to sign up to play prototypes. Gil Hova (IngredientX) will be at the con and is signed up to play Terra Prime. A couple other people expressed interest in TP as well, enough for a full game which is now tentatively scheduled for Thursday afternoon the first day of the con.

I also put together a prototype of Scott Slomiany's Sir Reginold's Fabulous Country Manor, which entailed cutting out about 250 stickers and applying them to the faces of 3/4" wooden cubes. The game seems like a really fun idea - you build a fancy mansion with the cubes in order to satisfy the Desires of Sir Reginold. Scott is still working on the scoring system, but in general if you satisfy his desires, you score points, and he who satisfies the desires "the best" scores a bonus. I think the premise is sound, and the idea is fun, but the game needs some work. I think Scott has actually made some changes for entering the game into Hippodice, a big game design contest in Germany - I haven't played it again since the changes, but they sounded like a step in the right direction.

Speaking of Hippodice, I have never really entered that contest. David submitted All For One once, and it did pretty well, but he is the one who did everything for that and I didn't really see it. I am always hesitant to try and do things I have no idea how to do or that I'm not familiar with. There's no reason I shouldn't send in an entry (or 2!) to Hippodice, and resolved to do just that this year. I have until November 1st to send in a rulebook for something... I'm not sure what to send. Probably Terra Prime I suppose. I told John we should enter Wizard's Tower, and I think he started looking into it. I emailed Alex and suggested he enter Homesteaders.

Of course since making that resolution, I haven't even looked at any of my games :/ I think I'll try extra hard to wrangle people from my game group to play Terra Prime this Thursday.

On the game playing side of things...

I've played Phoenicia a few times now, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I start to think there's something to it, then I play it with some people and we talk about it and it seems like it's contrived and boring. Then I play it again and it seems like it might be alright. I think it's one of those games that needs to be played with a full compliment of experienced players, but my problem is finding people who want to play it enough times to become "experienced".

I've also played several games of Caylus Magna Carta, which I might like even better than Caylus. I think Caylus is the better game, but CMC might have a better fun-per-unit-work ratio, and it's similar enough that it satisfies in some of the same ways. It's also much shorter and more compact, which is a plus.

The game I've probably played the most recently has been Magic: the Gathering. A couple weeks ago, Jake, Tyler and I went to Phoenix for the Lorwyn pre-release tournament (the new set that just came out). None of us have played Magic seriously in a really long time, but we're all pretty good. We went home with 90 packs of prize between the three of us - that's 2-1/2 boxes, more prize than we used to get when we played all the time! I went to Amazing Discoveries (a local shop down the street from my house) and played in another Lorwyn sealed tournament last Saturday, and I sorely missed building decks - so I built about 5 Llorwyn Constructed decks out of the common and uncommon cards that have piled up from these sealed deck tournaments. 2 of them are really good, and if I decide to play in any upcoming tournaments I'm sure those will be the ones I use. One of them is Green/Black and has some really good creatures, like a 2 casting cost 3/3 with the old Basilisk ability (which is now called Deathtouch). The other is a Blue/Black deck based on Faeries, all of which have an ability called Flash, which means you can play them whenever you could play an Instant. Blue has needed creatures like this forever, as it means they can always leave Counterspell mana open, and if they don't need to counter anything, they can play a creature at the end of the opponent's turn! As if that's not enough, one of the Faerie creatures actually counters a spell when it comes into play! Another one searches out Faerie cards, and one of the counterspells is a Faerie card... I'm certain this will be the best deck I can come up with.

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