Monday, July 03, 2006


As anyone knows who reads this blog, I read a lot of game rules. I like to think that I can discover the essence of a game by doing so. However, for me there are 2 states of mind when playing a game.

The first is when I am thinking about playing the game, setting it up, or between turns. I suppose some might call this strategy, but for me it's more about the flow of the game.

The second is when it's my turn. This is what I call HeadSpace. It's when the metal meets the road. I know the goal of the game. I know the situation on the board. How do I get there? Do I take actions now to reach that goal? Do I take indirect actions? Do I invest now for a larger payoff later?

Great examples of this concept are the games Caylus and Torres. I rate them both 8.

In Caylus, I absolutely love the HeadSpace. There's some AP since you have to make sure you are going to have the resources for the things you are building (and in the proper sequence), but I tend to make my larger choices intuitively. Caylus would be a lesser game for me without this HeadSpace.

In contrast, I dislike the HeadSpace in Torres. I spend most of my time doing "what if" scenarios, multiplying and adding lots of numbers. It is very difficult to use pure intuition. However, I love the flow of Torres. As strange as it sounds, Torres would be a greater game for me without the HeadSpace.

What games have exceptionally good/bad HeadSpace states for you?

[Caylus image by auschwito.]


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