Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New games!

I usually don't buy games, but I decided to get 2 games at the convention last weekend. One of them I ended up getting for about 30% off if you count the Dealer Dollars I won (I should work on winning more of those next time!). the other I got for about %15 off, but with no tax - not as good a deal, but I decided I wanted the game. Here's what I got:

In the Year of the Dragon
I've never played or even seen this game in action, and I really don't know anything about it except that it's by the guy that designed Notre Dame. I've heard some good things about it though.

I played Kingsburg once at BGG.con last November, and I remember thinking that I was not as enamored as I thought I'd be. I like the idea of splitting up your dice and placing them on several spaces vs adding them all up and placing them on 1 space. I remember thinking though that the rewards were largely the same whichever way you did it. I figured that in general you'd get fewer but better rewards if you clump your dice, and more but weaker rewards if you split them up. Instead you usually get about the same number of resources, maybe +/- 1 if you split them up. It didn't seem to make a difference in the game I played. However while watching some people play this weekend and thinking about it a little, there are things you can collect that allow you to add 2 to the dice you are placing, which you can use once per placement - that would make each placement better when splitting up dice, giving the effect I was probably looking for. So I'm looking forward to trying the game again.

I guess I know what I'm bringing to game night tomorrow night!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

OrcCon 2008

I went to OrcCon over President's Day weekend, and I had a pretty good time. I'll edit this post to start including some semblance of convention report talking about the people I hung out with and games I played. I'll probably do a geeklist at BGG as well, which I'll link to here.

The convention was fun all around. I played fewer tournaments, and really didn't play well or win much. I only earned 6 Dealer Dollars. I finished out of the money in the finals for Princes of Florence, Notre Dame, On the Underground, and Guillotine. The 6 Dealer Dollars I did get came from a random game of Wheedle - a short, silly game I just happened to walk in on when they were about to start.

I didn't play any Time's Up at all, but at least I played Werewolf, and it was fun!

More to come...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Airlines as a theme (instead of trains)

Someone on BGG started a thread asking why there aren’t games about the airline industry like there are about the train industry.

In the thread several plane games were mentioned, maybe the most relevant is the upcoming Aviation Tycoon from Z-Man games, but as someone in the thread said, based on the description, that could be a game about any kind of transportation system. That poster was pretty adamant that any airline game would have to be a detailed simulation of the airline industry, including things like the difference between a 727-100, 727-200, and 727-200A. Not surprisingly, he said his numerous attempts at such a game have thus far led to nothing.

I maintain that there are several different ways to go about an airplane game, and I think they could all produce an interesting game. Off the top of my head I could list a few basic structures for an airline game. Sure, maybe some of them would also work with other forms of transport, so someone interested in a plane game that couldn't be re-themed to something else wouldn't be too interested. I got news for those people though - almost every game can be re-themed.

  • When I think of airlines, I think of a map with lots of lines connecting cities. I think a connection-type game could be made where you need to get your airline established in cities... it's not physically the same as laying train track on the ground, but I think it's analogous. In order to have a scheduled flight between 2 cities, you have to have some semblance of control in each of them. This version of the game would concentrate less on the specifics of that control, and it would deal with getting control of the right cities to 'build' the right routes, similar to a train connection game, but in a different way. There could even be technology, as planes could have limited range until you upgrade them.
  • Another version of a plane game could eschew the connections, and deal more with the passengers in the airport itself. You need to get passengers through ticketing and security, to their gates and onto their flights.
  • It was mentioned to me that the real business in running an airline is securing time slots and gates. So a game could be made which concentrates on earning/buying/bidding for certain gates and/or time slots at airports in order to put together flights that go from point A to point B. This last idea I thought about just a little bit, and here's something that might be an OK start:
I imagine a board with a number of airports, each with a list of time slots. Perhaps there are multiple spaces at each time slot (1 for each gate). During the "scheduling" round players attempt to control these slots via some method. Then, during a resolution round, passengers would take the scheduled flights to their destinations.

There could be passengers that are in a big hurry, willing to change airlines at every stop if it'll get them there faster. There could also be passengers who would rather stay on the same airline the whole way, no matter how long it takes or how many stops on the way.

I didn't intend this to be a new project to think about, so I probably won't do anything with it - at least not for a while. I just wanted to mention it and get some thoughts down where I can find them later :)