Top 5: Other Mechanisms
Auction: Pretty straight forward concept in gaming, there’s some part of the game that you have to bid on to get. It could be something like turn order, which is my choice, or it could be the majority of the game where you are trying to bid on certain items to collect sets so you have points at the end of the game.
This game is a lot of fun because it has a mancala aspect to it and a full salad’s worth of points (point salad is a term meaning that you can score victory points in a ton of different ways). However, Five Tribes uses auctioning to determine turn order. It’s interesting, because sometimes you’ll want to bid high because there is a very good move, but other times there isn’t, but you end up having to spend a little money just because of how the previous turn order went.
Press Your Luck: Basic idea for these games is that you are seeing how far you can get into the game, trying for more and better points, or to be able to do more damage or something like that. I had a couple of options where it was about combat, King of Tokyo almost made the list this time. Clank! In! Space! is more of a deck building game, but there is an aspect of press your luck as you want to get the treasures that are worth the most. Press your luck is a great way to add tension into a game.
Dead of Winter
That’s my choice, there are a couple press your luck elements to this game, and while it’s a beast of a game to get to the table, it’s one that I like quite well. The first press your luck is one that you absolutely must do, and that’s move. You’re pressing your luck determining how many of your characters you move though, and once you’re out, if you move them the next turn, because you’re rolling a die that just might kill them or at least injure them. There is also press your luck in looking for items. You can make noise, and then at the end of the round, you have to roll dice to see if the noise attracted zombies. Normally you’ll have left, but maybe you just pressed your luck a little bit, and now you’re hoping that the roll isn’t the exact wrong one.
Pick Up And Deliver: Not a genre that I love in games, because they can be a bit straight forward, pick up and deliver is basically what it sounds like. You are looking or going and getting something and taking it to another spot. You’re trying to do that in the most efficient way possible. I prefer the ones where at least part of, if not more of the game is finding the items that need to be delivered.
My choice here is one that is much more about the searching. You’re trying to stay hydrated long enough that you can clear out piles of sand and put back together a crazy ancient flying machine after your own plane crashed in the desert. The game is a strong cooperative game that everyone can think through and that you never have quite enough options to complete everything you want to do. You have to first find the row and column for the item, go get the item, and then once all of them have been collected, bring them all to a central location so that you can build the ship and take off. It’s probably one of the easier pick up and deliver games, but a fun one, and not too easy.
Memory: And now I’m not just going to put down the game memory is used in a lot of games as you try and remember which portal is the active one, what cards were in a hand that is now being looked at by someone else. It is also used in who-done-it games. I don’t know that it’s always used to be the best effect, but I do have an interesting choice for it that I really like.
In Hanabi, you have a hand of cards, but the twist is that you can’t see your hand of cards. Everyone else can see their hand of cards though and you are trying to place cards down in piles of color going from one to five. The trick is that there are more cards with a one on them but only one card with a five on it, so you certainly don’t want to discard those. So you have to give people clues, such as, these cards are blue or these cards are twos, but you have to do that with every blue card or every two that they have in their hand. Then they have to remember which card is which, which they can do by sorting, but you still need to remember what you have. You’re trying to get five of those stacks completed, or as close as possible without making too many mistakes and before you run out of cards.
Time Tracks: Now, you are probably wondering what a time track game is, some of the games that board game geek has on their list I’d call victory point tracks, but basically it’s where you are playing the game for a specific amount of in game time either to a victory point level or until time runs out.
This game is one of the most straight forward time track games out there, because you are sent into the scenario for a specific amount of time. Every time you move, you use up more of the time. Every time you want to interact with something, you spend more of the time. It would work better if Bob actually told you what you were going to be doing in the past, but he really sucks at his job (Bob is basically your handler for sends you out on missions). But the game is a ton of fun, and you feel the pressure from the time track, because you don’t know how many of the places you need to visit and how many might just be useful to visit, and you can’t do everything because you’re up against the clock.
I’ll do some more actual list, action points and cooperative are the big two that are left for me to make lists off of that I’ve played a lot of those games. Do any of these mechanics really interest you? Do you have a preferred game for one of there mechanics?
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