Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Games!

My 1960-triggered game order has finally arrived. I am happy to report that I have no crushed or dented boxes nor any missing pieces. The full rules to 7 of the 8 games were available online, and the 8th was a no-brainer from the images and reviews. All I've done so far is open the boxes, punch the sheets, and drool.

1960: The Making of the President: My god! I was expecting a 4-section board. This baby has 6 sections! It's enormous! 26x30" (66x72cm). The only issue is the insert. There's really not enough room for everything. I am reluctant to flip it over, like some have, because I want to support the board on the ends. Maybe I'll just stick the bags of counters underneath.

Arkham Horror: After reading the complaints about this box, I was expecting a Mission: Red Planet disaster--a pile of punched tokens overflowing the open box. I was able to bag everything and get it back in the box without much fuss. I do wish the insert was a little deeper, though, so the cards would not extend above the top.

Il Principe: I agree with all the complaints about this one. It's the same size box as 1960. The board is 1/6th the size, and there's only a single handful of parts. Fold the board in half and you could fit the entire game into a Citadels box. The components are just ok.

Khronos: It seems they went to a lot of trouble to design the insert for this game. It's really sturdy, printed with the various game colors to organize the tiles...and completely inappropriate. The smallest tiles are about 1cm square. The compartments in the insert are not sealed, meaning that small bits can get stuck/lost between compartments. This is not good especially since the component counts are fixed in this game. The detailed plastic miniatures are only 1" tall. I'd prefer wooden cylinders to these clumsy things. In general, any game with wood and cardboard and plastic bits has been improperly designed.

Lord of the Rings: Battlefields Expansion: I'm surprised the rules aren't available online. Is this a choice by FFG or simply an oversight?

Portobello Market: I hate when games restrict your color choice by number of players, but I guess it did save them from having to put an extra 24 large wooden market stalls into the box.

Shazamm!: I've been enjoying this quite a bit online. I haven't won a game yet, which says a lot for a game that may seem at first like every choice you have is completely random. The mana track is a little small. I'm worried that we'll loss track of the values during play.

Vikings: I've been back and forth on this one. There were never any red flags, just a worry that it would be blah.

Lessons to learn. Think not only about how the game must be packed for shipping, but also how people are going to be packing them away after playing. Allow extra depth for unknown card thickness and for pieces being stored in bags.


At 9:27 AM, Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Portobello Market?! Doesn't sound like your kind of game, Jim. Too light, I would've thought. I'm thinking of it myself, though, so will be anxious to hear your thoughts once you've played.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger ekted said...

Yup. Well, like I said in our podcast on "fun", part of my enjoyment is what other people will like as well. That only goes so far. But I think PM will have enough play for me that I can bring it out when the group isn't all serious gamers.


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