Monday, November 28, 2005

Game rules update

These are the game rules that I have read recently, some brief thoughts on the games, and what I am planning to do.

Sword of Rome: I like the premise of the game, but the implementation is just aweful. Increased complexity in a game should not be a design goal. There are too many special cases in this game for what it is. The reponse system reminds me of Magic: The Gathering, which I'm certain Camillus played in his off-time.

In the Shadow of the Emperor: Well, I missed this one last year for some reason. It was on my want list before I even finished reading the rules. Some elements of Kremlin, and some elements of games like Verräter and Meuterer. Very slick.

Hacienda: Quite a bit of buzz from my geek buddies--enough to get to to check it out at least. It falls just below my interest level for now. It has some elements of Through the Desert and Web of Power. Holding off until I get more feedback from geek buddies.

Guillotine: Could be fun in the right crowd. Not mine. A little too coarse, and not quite enough game.

Flandern 1302: Building cities using simultaneous selection of action cards, then scoring by area influence. Maybe some day. Not today.

Kaivai: The bidding mechanic in this game makes me shudder. I'll stick with Keythedral. By the way, if you want to be taken seriously as game company, when you have your rules translated into English, get someone who speaks English to do it.

Byzantium: There are no English rules available, so my impressions of the game are purely based on BGG information. The things people like about this game tend to be the things I do not like about games. That alone should be enough to scare me away, but I will wait for the full rules. Note: There is no reason to not post your rules online. Anyone who wants a high-res scan of the rules can get them. All you are doing is hurting your sales.

Tower of Babel: I ignored this one for too long. Simple game with some interesting depth. This may go over well with casual gamers as well as serious gamers. It made the want list.

Himalaya: I don't know what to think about this. I like the mechanics quite a bit, except for the fact that the sources of the goods and the destinations of the goods are completely random, making the game very tactical. That and the fact that it's not available have placed it firmly below my want level.

Merchants of Amsterdam: Geek buddies strike again. I am seriously turned off by the subjective nature of the bidding "clock". Since players are essentially waiting until it reaches a specific value, it seems that the pointer will stop near the line between values quite often. Is it on the line or not? I don't want to make that judgement every game, or have to settle a disagreement about whether it's on 150 or the line between 150 and 160 on every turn. However, everything else about the game says I want it. Stuck in the middle.

Game of Thrones: The only unread rules in my pile. I don't have high hopes since this is based on a book and it's designed and published by Fantasy Flight Games. But since I have no idea how it works, I am determined to learn it.

The release of Caylus will likely trigger my next game order, which will be on the order of 8 games. Hopefully this will happen before Christmas.

Happy gaming!


At 9:49 PM, Blogger Steve Janecek said...

Caylus got a collective "complicated for no reason" comment from my gaming group. I, however, have never played the game myself, but I have read the rules.

Amsterdam was annoying..and led to some finger injuries

At 9:53 PM, Blogger ekted said...

I don't see what is complicated about Caylus. In all cases where you collect gold or cubes or VP, there's an icon on the building/board. Costs/rewards for building are also icons. The Favor Track is all symbolic. The only special things to memorize are the small number of custom buildings, like the Inn, etc. I haven't played it yet either, but from the rules it seems fairly elegant.

Some people play MoA where the Mayor keeps the timer in front of him. He hits it when any player says STOP. I like this system as long as everyone can see the numbers.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Kimbo said...

My copy of Byzantium came with English rules... or did you mean there are no English rules available on the Internet? Hmmm, yes, that's probably what you meant... I haven't had the chance to play this game yet, but it looks interesting. What about it doesn't appeal to you?

At 5:18 PM, Blogger ekted said...

It's difficult to describe. Asymmetry? Special cases? It's odd too, because Byzantium has some of the feel of Liberte, and I do like that.


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