Tag: Board Games

Board Game Design Diary – Building a Level Part 1

Board Game Design Diary – Building a Level Part 1

So when building characters, the whole thing was pretty easy, the game is going to get you up and running pretty fast. For building the level, there is a whole lot more going on. I didn’t think that I was going to demonstrate how I 

Back or Brick: Creature Comforts

Back or Brick: Creature Comforts

Craft cozy comforts in this animal themed light weight Euro dice placement game from Kids Table Board Gaming. Pros Theme Aesthetic Mechanics Game Difficulty Price and price options Cons Theme The Page I love this page, they do a great job on it and honestly, 

Board Game Battle: Ganz Schon Clever vs Doppelt So Clever vs Clever Hoch Drei

Board Game Battle: Ganz Schon Clever vs Doppelt So Clever vs Clever Hoch Drei

Time to bust out your German as we’re headed over to Westside Xtreme Wrestling. We’re looking at three games that are coming over to the US from Stronghold games when they do, but that were originally released in Germany, and those are also the names of the app implementations.

So what are these games, we have three different roll and write games all from the same series of game and all with some similar mechanics. In all of the games you are rolling six dice and then using them to fill in areas on your sheet in classic roll and write style. Also in all of them you are picking one die, and using it in it’s color, except for white which is wild, then getting rid of all the dice lower, rolling again, and doing that until you have used three dice. Then on your opponents turn, of the three dice they didn’t use, you get to use one of those, and if you can’t, you get to use any die they ended with. In all the games there are also plus ones which allow you to use an extra die after any round, or rerolls which allow you to reroll all the dice on your turn.

Ganz Schon Clever

The older of the three siblings, this game is pretty straight forward. You are basically crossing off spots based off of a number, or filling in numbers that then score points for you. Where this game shines is that it is pretty combo focused which is great because as you fill in spots, it then allows you to fill in other spots and you can potentially chain it pretty long. The rules are pretty straight forward with the most complicated thing being that you need to remember to add the blue and white die together whenever looking at the blue section, and that the purple section counts up so you always need to be greater but a six resets it. It’s not complex stuff, but those two rules compared to filling in everything else are the most complex.

Doppelt So Clever

Image Source: Schmidt

The second one in the line is probably the most complex of them. It has a section with grey where if you fill in the grey section you take all the lower rolled dice and fill them in as well, so having a high grey can be good, but also can mean that you lose too many dice. So it adds in an ability to get dice back. That is something additional to keep track of, but not that complex, you just have a few things to pay attention to. The yellow section is also tricky, using a yellow die once means that you circle the spot which can help you get bonuses, but you have to cross off spots in yellow, using that same spot a second time, which will give you points but not a bonus again. Overall, everything is just a bit more complex to think about. The blue section still has you adding blue and white together, but it is always decreasing or equal to with no resetting, so you need to plan that out carefully. Green is all about getting a high die and then a low die as you score the difference between the two spots you fill in, and pink gives you points for the number you put down, but rewards if you put down numbers that meet the criteria. Definitely much more to think about.

Clever Hoch Drei

This one I find a bit easier than Doppelt So Clever, but closer to it, in it’s complexity, than Ganz Schon Clever. This one you have a green section that is filled in by looking at how many dice you have used of the same number, plus that die, and filling in the column with that number. There is a brown section that allows you to go as far to the right on it as you want to fill in a number, but you can never go back. There blue section has you either building up or down from a central number and resetting it on a seven, but it always has to go up or down by one. And the pink section either gives you a bonus, or you can multiply your number for the dice when scoring it. This one adds in a mechanic where instead of getting a die back, you can unlock numbers to change the die face to when you are putting it on the player board, but you don’t actually flip the die.

The Fight

Normally I’d do some comparison, but I’ve kind of already done that at the top and talking about each I’m talking about the differences for them. I think the biggest thing with all of these games, besides them being similar in how they work is that they all are roll and writes that focus on getting combos. I love to be able to use a plus one to fill in a spot that will then fill in another spot and then hopefully chain even one further.

This fight itself is seeing a lot of mirror moves from Ganz Schon Clever, Doppelt So Clever, and Clever Hoch Drei. They really are doing the same thing, but Ganz Schon Clever gets knocked down and out of the ring as Doppelt So Clever and Clever Hoch Drei are just faster and showing off more complex variations. Those two go at it with Clever Hoch Drei getting ahead by pulling off more combos faster and chaining together more moves, Doppelt So Clever on the other hand seems to be trying to get some really complex moves in there. They both are wearing each other down and Ganz Schon Clever comes back from where they’ve been lying outside by the ring and pushes Doppelt So Clever out of the ring. It hits the late game combos on Clever Hock Drei, and goes for the pin…

And the Winner is

Image Source: Stronghold Games

Ganz Schon Clever

I will say that I really like all of these. I think that they are interesting and creative games that keep something similar throughout but still offer up great challenges. Ganz Schon Clever is just a little bit simpler, and I think that works well for all groups where as something like Doppelt So Clever feels like it’s two steps beyond that and for some people might not work as well. I also think that Ganz Schon Clever has a slight advantage for me because it should play faster since there is less going on. I really do love them all, I think they are really clever and interesting games.

Which is your favorite of the three?

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Point Of Order: Black Friday

Point Of Order: Black Friday

So, I talked some before about Black Friday sales that are going on, and I think it’s worth talking about more more and some more things that I’ve picked up. From Deep Water Games: Claim 1 & 2 Claim is a 2-4 player trick taking 

Thankfulness

Thankfulness

This is going to be an article that is a bit different than normal, and probably shorter than normal, but I think it’s worthwhile to write and to reflect. 2020 has been a pretty massive bummer for so many people for a lot of really 

Point of Order: Sentinels of the Multiverse

Point of Order: Sentinels of the Multiverse

Black Friday has struck again with a vengeance, and there is an amazing sale that people should checkout from Greater Than Games. They have stuff from 15% off to over 80% off, and if, like me, you don’t have enough Sentinels of the Multiverse, there is stuff out there that is just an amazing deal to get.

I am not going to tell you everything that I got, only that it was a lot. I know the number, it was 18 different expansions for Sentinels of the Multiverse. A lot of them being smaller little character packs like for Ambuscade, Chokepoint, and Miss Information. Those smaller character packs, $1.25 each. But there are other expansions as well like Shattered Timelines & Wrath of the Cosmos or Oblivaeon that are discounted a ton as well.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a superhero game where you take on the role of superheroes to defeat a supervillain and their schemes. From the nefarious Baron Blade and on. Unlike games like Marvel Champions, Marvel Legendary, DC Deck Builder, etc. this is not a standard comic IP game, this game was created with it’s all new and “unique” characters for the world. In the game you use your deck of cards to get abilities into play to be able to handle bad guys and other threats as well as take down the main villain. Now, this sounds a bit like Marvel Champions, but each characters deck is set, so you aren’t doing the deck crafting like in Marvel Champions. This means that everything is going to be on theme or the character you are playing, versus the aspects in Marvel Champions.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

That’s all that I picked up, but I do want to point out a few games that Greater Than Games has. The first is Lazer Ryderz. This is a silly little game that is basically the light bikes from Tron, but you aren’t just trying to crash the other person. Though, that can be some of your strategy. It’s a fun and light game and on a super good sale at $15. Another is Homebrewers, this game is one of my favorite games. It is a fun little engine building game where you are competing to become the best homebrewer. It has a great theme and plays really fast. It gives you room to come up with a strategy, but also keeps you thinking on your feet. And finally is Medium. This one is a little party game where the players are trying to connect the two words on their cards by saying a word and hoping to match the other person. If they don’t they try again with the words that they just said. It’s a fun concept for a game that can lead to a lot of laughs.

What good Black Friday game deals have you found?

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Back or Brick: Elements of the Gods

Back or Brick: Elements of the Gods

Will you be able to outmaneuver your rival gods and get your worshippers in this area influence game? Pros Looks amazing with the minis and the map Elements make sense in what they do Price Established company Solo Play Cons Abstract in nature Confrontational The 

Board Game Design Diary – Building a Character

Board Game Design Diary – Building a Character

Alright, let’s start getting into the details of this game. I’m not going to build everything out in front of people, but I do want to start and give some idea of what characters and levels are going to look like in practice. Eventually there 

Board Game Design Diary – Boss Battles

Board Game Design Diary – Boss Battles

So I talked a bit about the boss mechanics before, but let’s talk about the boss battle itself, how is that going to work, how will that kick off, things like that. This is probably one of the last things to do before I’m going to start designing the first floor.

The Premise

The Characters

The Bosses

The Guilds

The Levels

The Boards

Cards vs Dice

Character Leveling

Skills, Weapons and More

Quests

In Town Activities

Level Events and Monsters

Boss Battles

So a quick refresher on boss battles, it is going to be one half of the level book that has the battles in it, so when you flip open a page, one part will be the level itself with all of the level actions and artwork, and any restrictions for the level, anything like that. The other side is going to be the map for the boss battle. This map will tell you some about the terrain, but not about the boss whom you’ll be facing, you’ll find that out by talking to information brokers, NPCs, and PCs. When all the players are done taking actions on a level, that’s when the players decide together to jump into battle.

When fighting monsters, it was just going to be a do or don’t you hit sort of thing to defeat them, but bosses are going to be different. Bosses will track hit points like the characters. And bosses are going to have their hit point track split into multiple parts. This is how the boss is going to change up their attack as time goes on. But a boss will attack in a predictable pattern, like video game monsters do.

Let’s do a fake boss fight: Glorglor the Minotaur stands menacingly in the room.

First Attack: Rush Forward, attack everyone directly in front of him and to the front left and right spots on the grid for 10 damage.

Second Attack: Move to the nearest character do a power blow for 15 damage and push them back two.

Third Attack: Attack any enemy adjacent to you for 10 and dodge, add +2 to Minotaur’s defense.

Something along those lines. Those three attacks would repeat 1 through 3 over and over again until one of the health bars is completely empty, then between Two and Three the Minotaur would add in a new attack.

New Attack: Leap 5 spaces, attack all adjacent squares for 10.

This would change up the battle so that you can’t, as players, complete your puzzle and just let it auto play itself out based off of what the monster is doing. The added card is probably going to be a card the players haven’t researched before as part of learning about the boss monster, so it should mess up their plans.

Finally for the boss, they are going to have their standard targeting. It is going to target whomever is the closest to them. If there are two or more heroes close to them, it will target in a way that it can hit the most, if it can only hit one, it’ll target clockwise from the direction it’s facing. There are going to be a few exceptions to this rule, mainly if an attack can hit multiple player characters and there is a grouping like that in range, it will move to attack them. So like the jump ability, say there are three archers off to one side of the board, it’ll jump over to them to hit them all if it can, instead of focusing on the tank in front of it.

So as for the players, what are they doing on their turn?

Players are always going to have two things on their turn that they’ll do, and players can actually go all at once, doesn’t matter turn order. It seems like it might if they are placing a weakness on the boss or a buff on everyone else, but generally those are going to stick around, which means that you don’t get it for that turn, but you’ll get it in upcoming ones. I wanted to create as little downtime for the players as possible. So everyone decides what to do, and then players move and attack/buff/weaken accordingly.

The move is going to be simple, but there is one thing to pay attention to, if a player has a faster speed than someone else and they are both moving to the same spot on the board, ideally, the faster character will get there first. So I guess, when I say everyone is going at once, the movement will be based off of speed. And your speed/movement is also going to determine how far you can move. In this, there is no walking, it is just assumed that everyone is going all out, as you would in a game where you could die, and therefore there won’t be boosts to movement.

The next thing is an attack, buff or weaken, but I’ll start with an attack. An attack is going to be something the players can always do, if they are within range. The players will have a choice though with their attack how to do it. They will always have a basic attack, so a basic long sword might be 4 basic damage, plus strength, plus one modifier flip. But they can also augment an attack with a skill, so maybe they play “Furious Strike” that would have a cool down of one, add 2 to the damage and give another modifier flip. Or maybe they augmented the sword with poison and it’d add in 8 poison damage. The augment would always do it’s extra damage, but the skill would then go into it’s spot on the cool down track and then after the monster goes, everything in the cool down track would shift down one.

Let’s talk a bit more about the cool down track. It would have up to six spots on it, there would be a 5 down to 1, plus a 0 spot. That means that any skill you play, such as Furious Strike, with a cool down of 1, would always be out of your hand for a turn. If it’s at 5, it’s going to be out of your hand for 5 turns. Skills are placed in this track face down, just because of the upcoming mechanic to differentiate.

To build off of that, some skills might use the cool down track in a different way, it would be used as a powering up track. So let’s say I have the skill, I don’t know, let’s call it “Lightning Sword”. That would go face up into spot 3. And I’d draw a modifier card. So why would I draw a modifier card, the example text for Lightning Sword would be something like: Place in Spot 3 on the Cool Down Track face up, draw up to 2 modifier cards per attack action. Threshold: Modifier total less than 6, no damage. 6 to 10 – add 10 damage to basic attack lightning damage, 10+ add 15 lightning damage to basic attack and two modifier flips ignoring cancel attack. Then that card would get flipped and would go back onto the cooldown track. So basically, it’s a skill that is probably going to knock the socks of damage wise which is why you would build up to it. This probably isn’t going to be something that you do early, but when you know that you’re doing, you set it up to try and take down the bad guy in a blow. When using an ability that charges up like this, you can still move, but can’t attack.

With buffs and weakens. These are played instead of an attack and they have to be done at the right range. Almost always these will go onto spot 5 in the cool down track and you will have the whole time that buff or weaken is in the cool down track that it is active. These will go face up like the power up just so you remember that they are active. Buffs and weakens are also going to always just be a plus or a minus to a total. These will take up your attack for the turn you play them.

That’s the vast majority of how combat is going to work. To recap how the modifiers work quickly, there will be modifiers that you can add to your deck or swap in for other modifiers that will allow your fellow players to draw more modifiers. The cool thing with drawing a new modifier is if you draw that additional one via a boost like that, and it’s a cancel the attack, it is just discarded, but you don’t get to draw a new one. If you draw a cancel the attack on your own draw, that will kill the attack. That is going to be a required card that can’t be removed from the deck. But you’ll start out with some pluses, some minuses, and some zeros, and you’ll work on building up your pluses or removing minuses through questing, skills, and stuff like that.

So we have two things left with boss fights, the first is the part your guild plays in a boss battle. Before the boss battle starts, you’ll decide how many guild members you are going to take into the battle with you, they are basically going to keep minions off of you. Minions are meant to be annoying, so if you have 0 guild members with you, a minion will hit you for a small amount of damage, let’s say on level one it’s 1 damage, but they’ll do that every round, and you don’t calculate defense against minions, it just always is pinging you. So you want to bring in guild member. There are going to be a few different levels that you check on the minion card. Let’s do an example minion cards.

“Annoying Kobolds”

< 3 – All guild members brought in die, 2 damage per turn, lose 2 morale

3 to 5 – All guild members brought in die, 1 damage per turn

5 to 7 – 2 guild members die, 0 damage per turn

7 to 9 – No guild members die, 0 damage per turn, gain 1 morale

10 or more – No guild members die, lose 1 morale

This basically is the chart that you’d check the number of guild members you picked against. The last one is probably going to have some questions with it, why would you lose morale if you bring in too many guild members? Well, first you’ll lose morale for every two guild members who die, so it’s better to have too many than too few, or just barely too few, but if you bring too many in, you are putting too many people at risk, and that disheartens them.

So then finally, the most important thing, what do you get for loot? If the boss has a signature weapon, that will be dropped, it might drop some skills or augments as well, and then of course currency. On the bosses main card it will tell what loot pack to open as well as how much currency and XP that you’d get coming out of that fight. I want with the bosses in general and the loot pack for them to be sealed things, so before getting to a level and researching the boss, you won’t know what that boss looks like. As you research you find out more and more. This is an idea that I really like from Oathsworn and am borrowing because of that. I don’t want people to be able to open up the box and see all the bosses. Instead, I want to give them something to explore and discover.

So that’s a lot of information, but hopefully boss fights sound found. I want to give players lots of different options for solving the puzzles of a boss fight.

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Point of Sale: So Long To Scythe

Point of Sale: So Long To Scythe

So this is a new series of posts that is going to happen when I sell off a game, or get rid of a game. It is hard to get rid of games, if a game has stuck on my shelf to now, that means