Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sprucing the goose! ... or I fixed my game.

On the weekend I was extremely lucky to acquire a copy of Superpower and old 1986 board game made by Games Workshop.  Yes Games Workshop did once produce board games (Fury of Dracula, Judge Dredd, Warrior Knights etc) and role playing games (under licence - Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, etc).

So my copy of Superpower showed it's age... nothing wrong with that, I'm no spring chicken these days either.  The box was a little worn, mildew had stained the surface of the box and map board.  The games playing pieces were intact, the play cards in particular almost looked like they had never been used.  Then there was the rule book... very sad... very coffee stained sad.

Well I'm of the behavioural sub-type that makes OCD look like a mild malady.  I spent the morning after I received the game typing the rules up and scanning the pictures.  Having worked in Quality Assurance I was fairly skilled at document control, editing, proofing etc.  I'm not saying I may not find an error (typo) here and there, but on the whole I believe I copied the entirety without omission - yes even the copyright material at the end.  I scanned the artwork, and managed to erase the stains which marred some of the pieces.

Above you see the beta edition printed.  Sadly I ran out of ink for my printer (my daughter wanted 30 odd resumes printed so she could go job hunting on the Sunshine Coast), and the draft version was so poor that I could only get one decent page and the rest were virtually unreadable.  Hopefully I can afford some more ink this pension day and will try again.

On the whole I am very pleased with the outcome.  It's only a 2 A4 sheet set of rules, so I plan on eventually printing 6 sets of the rules (that being the maximum number of players), so that each player has access, rather than fighting over the single rule book.

I have done similar things before, did this with Encounters (an old Mayfair game) and now need to hone my skills on creating counters.

Till next time.
The Hon. John

Friday, February 23, 2018

Blind Pig Games Club Meet 24th February 2018

What a cracking day today was.  The last 48 hours has seen torrential rain inundating South East Queensland, but we were very luck to be able to pack and unpack all the clubs materials during the dry spells.

I'll start with the games I played today.

Link to BGG HERE for more information.

James brought along his Kickstarter edition of Dinosaur Island, I'll find out next week when I collect my retail edition what the differences are.  The metal coins alone were brilliant.  The game itself played smoothly, very little in the way of any conflict.  The only hiccup was finding out the loss of 10 victory points if a paddock did not have any attractions.  This was made more humorous as it was stated "to ensure there is no confusion over the rules... I shall go over the rules for everyone to hear".  Only one of the four players indicated that they would choose another game over Dinosaur Island if given the choice of games to play.  The rest of us enjoyed it immensely (well I did!)
Verdict: Thumbs Up.

Link to BGG HERE for further information.

This was Pat's Kickstarter which he brought along.  Four player game, simple enough game mechanics and the theme was entertaining, certainly helped along by the artwork.  Again the only complaint was the waiting time while awaiting your turn.  I think that this was only due to the unfamiliarity of the game, I'm sure that a few more games would fix this complaint.  I liked the game, I believe that I'd do better in future games, now knowing the nuances.
Verdict: Thumbs Up.

Link to BGG HERE

Another of James' Kickstarters.  Mechanics and game play fine, though James thought the replay ability will drop over time.  What sold this game to me and others was the entertaining combination of text on each card.  For example "It wieghs a ton, jingles and scratches but... burns in a fiery ring of fire."  So much fun just seeing what combination of card text could be achieved.
Verdict: Thumbs Up.

Other combinations (just mine):
You can never dig too deep with a pickaxe that... will become an artifact of ultimate power.
It flutters tastefully and... will become an artifact of ultimate power.
It flutters tastefully and... has a heart of gold.
Ram into your enemies with a helmet that... has a heart of gold.
Each ring in the chain contains the spell that... has a heart of gold.
Each ring in the chain contains the spell that... whitens your hair and deepens your voice.
It weighs a ton, jingles and scratches but... whitens your hair and deepens your voice.
It weighs a ton, jingles and scratches but... is made from stone.  What?
One man's thief is another man's thief.
It weighs a ton, jingles and scratches but... burns in a fiery ring of fire.
Ogres have layers. Of repressed anger. (Ogre)
All missions are suicide missions in a goblin army. (Goblin)
Has the right to bear arms. (Werebear) 
A tree of life... despite all the corpses around it. (Treeman)
It's not the length that matters with a sword that... is stone cold.
It's not the length that matters with a sword that... opens all kinds of doors for you.

So what else did I see being played today, well quite a few games on offer.
Warhammer 40K
EPIC 40K (or maybe Armageddon)
Imperial Assault
Space Crusade

Some of the Buy Swap Sell items up for grabs.

Old boardgames which I shall have to acquire.

EPIC in action.

Space Crusade!

Merchants and Marauders game.


Deadzone I believe...

Imperial Assault.
My acquisitions on the day were:

Thanks to Glen T for getting me this one.

Thanks to Eddie for doing a deal.

Rather happy acquiring these, especially SuperPower an old Games Workshop title.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

PS: Forgot to include games played update!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

H.P. Lovecraft and my passions for the mythos.

Recently I have been watching with bemusement the enthusiasm of people for H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos.  The second edition of Mansions of Madness has seen a resurgence, thanks in many ways to the App which does a lot of the hard work which was initially the "game masters" role.  I have a first edition set of Mansions and the first expansion.  Finding it really difficult to justify buying the second edition... but I might buckle one day... one day.

It was while I was looking at all the Cthulhu related material I found my role play materials and the Arkham Horror board game... oh look I even found more related games!

The Call of Cthulhu RPG collection, I prefer the BRP system.

Arkham Horror board game collection (just missing two titles
Miskatonic Horror and The Lurker at the Threshold).

The other Mythos related games in the collection.
So do I have a problem?  Is my sanity doubtful...

Till next time.
The Hon. John

Monday, February 12, 2018

How many is too many?

How many is too many?

A number of times I find that there are too many people vying for a game.  At my local club there are a group of up to six regulars and two or more irregulars (and visitors) who will turn up on a Saturday to participate in a board game.

Most times there is not a problem, there are a few games (usually) that can play up to six (or more).  What happen occasionally are the extra bodies of the irregulars or just visitors that are thrown into the mix?  Here comes the dilemma, is there a game that someone brought on the day going to accommodate the increased numbers or do we break into separate groups.

I have found that it is a difficult problem to solve as it is indicative of watching clique alignments.  When the issue arises, one member will always suggest splitting into two groups, they have no problem with that outcome.  Others though are less enthused and the problem of who sticks with who becomes apparent (to some).

Social dynamics is always interesting and rather depressing to me to watch.  I see people form groups based on competitive enjoyment, clique alignment or just whoever is left gets to join in.  Mostly I find people are loath to split as they unconsciously (perhaps not) realise that they have to make a choice and that that choice may reflect on them as a person.

In my own case I really dislike when the groups numbers force an issue of this nature.  I play games to socialise more than being competitive, this sees some people viewing me as the weak link, it also leads to some “picking/ganging up on” mentality as I can be removed early from play or I’m just a source of their own victory through whatever game mechanics are in play.  I try not to let this affect me but it does, occasionally when I’m at a weak point mentally I’ll explode and vent my displeasure, but thankfully this is an exceptionally rare occurrence.

How then do you solve an issue of breaking the numbers down into manageable sizes?

Look at the games that have been brought along on the day.  Do any of them allow for the larger play group?  Is there consensus to play this?  If there is then play, if it is not then break the games down into play sizes.

Most people tend to chose who they’d game with based on the game.  Competitive games attract some, cooperative others.  A group consensus then needs to be made over which games will meet people’s desire to game in a divided group.

A novel idea (which I haven’t trialled) would be to just do a random draw for the games chosen and allocate people to those games.  This is of course a mature way of looking at/solving an issue, however people may not like the outcome and may baulk altogether at playing with the random draw.  Trust me I know human nature better than most when it comes to the psychology of group dynamics.

Another option (the most sensible and practical) is that advance notice be given prior to a meet up.  Social media today is a boon when it comes to advertising intent, mind you, you will need people who use a common forum. Post what games you would like to play and sign up people to play the game on the day.  This means that people will know they have a game to play, reduces time lost through procrastinating and people will know the groups personality dynamics – all in advance.

This is of course a difficult operation for some; hopefully you can find a solution that can help.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Friday, February 2, 2018

Blind Pig Games Club Meet 3rd February 2018

A rainy and overcast day, but it's cool and pleasant.

I played three new games today - One Deck Dungeon, Evolution:Climate and Rising Sun.

Link to BGG is HERE

This was the morning filler game that Pat and I play while waiting for the rest of people to turn up.  Pat had played it Solo and commented on how difficult it was.  We played the two player version but were not able to complete it as people started to turn up and the desire to start a larger 6 player game was on.
My thoughts: I liked it, certainly a game I'll add to my collection seeing it has the Solo capacity and also its small size.  Thumbs up for this one.

Link to BGG is HERE

A good sized six player game going with this one.  Some banter and fun had here, the odd creatures that were created was lots of fun.
My thoughts: I enjoyed this game, certainly one I'll be adding to my collection when I can afford it.  The balance between feeding, climate effects and traits of the creatures makes for an interesting mix. Thumbs up on this one.

Link to BGG is HERE

OK this game would have to have been the most argued game that I have ever participated in, even other players commented on this.  Grasping the rules and the nuances of the game were troubling for many of us.  Out of the six players, two definitely, maybe three did not like the game, one was uncommitted and two were in favour.  Certainly a game that needs another go.
My thoughts: I initially did not enjoy this game until I started to cotton on the way victory points were earned and how interaction across the game board occurred. At this stage if I was offered another to play, I'd probably choose it over another game of Rising Sun.  That being said I was the one who was uncommitted to the game and prepared to give it a few more games before coming to a decision.  Thumbs horizontal on this one.

The Club
A decent turn out for the day with most of the regulars attending.  Weather may have been a factor, including other events that drag attendees away on any given meeting.  

Evolution: Climate - an excellent game with the regulars.

The faithfuls playing EPIC

A game of Imperial Assault.

40K in action.

40K in action.

Rising Sun, Pat with his finger raised is making a point!

Unfair in play.

My Personal Journal

As always I need to get out from home and interact with people.  The Club is one of the few opportunities I get to socialise with my peers.  I am not and will never be a competitive player, due to my isolation I hunger more for the social interaction than in winning, though winning is nice when it happens.  Usually when this occurs my fellow gamers will normally comment that the world is out of alignment or that the Stars are Right and the Great Old One has had a hand in fate.
Still now that I am home and writing this blog I find that my mood has plummeted again and I'm back to Me, Myself and I.  I'm used to this, in fact I only realised that is has been 20 years since my life was rooted by fate.  Oh well, that's my life...

Till next time
The Hon. John