Showing posts from 2014

Space Cadets and Chess Variants

I recently got a copy of Space Cadets: Dice Duels. I played it a lot at SaltCon last year and enjoyed it so much that I got it for Christmas. It is a frantic team game where you attempt to quickly (since there are no turns) maneuver your spaceship around a board and shoot the other spaceship. Each player controls different ship functions (such as weapons, movement, or sensors) and the team must coordinate their efforts in real time to effectively combat the other ship.

The core mechanic is rolling dice and placing them on mats that control the various ship systems. For instance, a player that has control over the weapons will roll red dice that have missile part symbols on then in an attempt to get the three parts that are necessary to build a missile and then he places them on the missile bay that corresponds to the direction that he wants to shoot.

At the same time the shield player would be trying to move the shields to point in the direction of place that the opponent ship is loca…


I brought a second chess set to work. We often play chess variants, and are now playing Bughouse Chess.

For the uninitiated, Bughouse Chess is a variant where there are two games going on at the same time and the players of opposite colors on opposite boards are allied with each other. When a piece is captured it is given to the teammate of the player who can then drop the piece on his (in our case the only players that choose to play Bughouse are male) board instead of taking a normal move.

This allows coordination between the players who are on a team because you can request a piece from your ally and if they can reasonably get it then they will probably get it for you.

I love playing chess variants, but of all chess variants I have tried this is a really fun one.

Dice Duel

This week I have been submitting games to be judged for the Ion Awards. I am going to submit four games probably. I am also thinking about reviving Polynesia and making a new game out of it.

We played some Moar Moai as part of finalizing the rules, and we had a fun time. Perhaps I will play more at work. It is a pretty good game.

We also just bought Space Cadets Dice Duel. I played it at saltcon last year, and our was pretty fun. Hopefully Alison likes it as well.


Since coming back from our vacation in California I have continued to work on Hungry Oni and Deception.

I entered Deception in a microgame design contest and have gotten a pretty good review on it here. Hopefully more people play it and it does well in the contest :).

I have also rewritten the rules for Dancing Robots in preparation for the SaltConIon Awards. I am planning on submitting four games (dancing robots, moar moai, witch hunt, and hungry oni) this year to the awards, but I have not yet finished the rulesmithing for them.

I also found a new game that I want to try out. It is named Comrade. I have printed it out and plan on shanghaiing my coworkers into a game this week.

NagaDemon day 28: Deception

We played a game of Hungry Oni with new people and they thought that 5 actions was too many. I agree that it can be a little daunting for a microgame, so I have reduced the action counts to 3 (the three that were used the most often). I have made no changes to the artwork.

The current rules for Hungry Oni are here.

Yesterday we also made another 18 card game on a whim. We are currently calling it Deception. It was based on Diplomacy. Our first game took 2 hours (Which is unusual for a 18 card game), and had a lot of the same sort of play as Diplomacy. Making a PnP copy of the game is massive overkill, but I did it anyway. Here is the result. Print one copy of the attack and defense cards and then 2 of every other card.

We changed the rules after the first game to reduce the length of play time. Perhaps we will play another game tonight to see if it is down from two hours to a more reasonable play time.

My brother in-law Chauncy brainstormed it out with me. He also drew the name in inks…

Nagademon, Day 25

After having played eight or nine more games I have changed Hungry Oni a bit more.
My brother in-law told me that the game seemed a bit too simple, so I have added rules that allow players to make more strategic choices. It seems to have improved the game a bit.

New rules are posted here.
The artwork is also changing as well:

Updated NagaDemon rules

I have changed the rules a little to account for a few three player games.

The current rules are as follows:

Each player places their colored point token on the score track in the n first slots (where n is the number of players). The player with the most points goes first followed by the player with the second most etc.

Place one value token on each row of the value chart in the 1 place.

Players start with 4 cards if playing with 2 players, 3 cards if playing with 3 players, and 2 cards if playing with 4 players.

Discard the top card of the deck if playing with three players. Place the discarded card face down and do not look at it. That card is out for the remainder of the game.

A turn consist of:

Draw the top card from the deck or the discard pile.Play and resolve two action cards, one after the other.
Drawn cards are added to the players hand. Hands are kept face up in front of the players at all times.
Played cards are resolved like this:

Determine the value of the card by finding t…

My NaGaDeMon game: Hungry Hungry Ogre

I have started on a new national game design month game. I am considering calling it hungry hungry ogre, or hungry oni. I originally considered the name Naga demon, however I decided that that name has probably already been taken.

As of this moment it is a 18 card micro game with 8 tokens. there are 16 cards which denote behaviors that the player takes. They are divided among four categories evenly. The other two cards are a score card as well as a valuation chart.

Behaviors which are performed the most often are valued the lowest and the other behaviors values are raised by over playing a behavior.

No two players may have the same score at any given time. If a player arrives at the same score that another player is already at then that player adds one to his or her score to make it different from the player that they were supposed to be tied with.

The theme is that of a bunch of captives attempting to not be eaten by an ogre.

The game ends when the cards run out and all of the player…

Dealing out the cards

I made a website to set up Werewolf type games. Currently it can deal out the cards for 8 games including:

Two Rooms and a BoomAvalonResistanceTemplar IntrigueCook the BooksWitch HuntDr. BoomWerewolf/Mafia
It also decides who starts in games where a starting player is necessary.

The website is here for those who would like to try it out. I am currently talking with the owners of the games to get permission to use their artwork, but I don't really think that I will get it.

As part of making this website I created a new character for Avalon. It is the Green Knight. He shows up as evil when Merlin and the lady of the lake look at him, but he is actually loyal to Arthur. He is best played when the good characters are too powerful (like at 6 players in our play group for instance).

Dead Drop

Dead Drop is a 2-4 player micro card game. It takes 2-15 minutes to play and could have been named "Clue - the good parts" were it not for copyright reasons.

That last statement is not entirely accurate. It has a similar deduction requirements, but the mechanics are different.

I have played about 30 games so far (given that I printed it on Friday of last week this is a pretty decent amount of games). About 8 were 2 player, 8 were 3 player, and 14 were 4 player.

In the game one card (the drop) is placed face down in the middle and all players attempt to deduce what card that card is by finding out what cards all the other players hold.

There are cards that are visible to all of the players (one per player), and cards that each player holds (1/nth of the remaining cards).

There are three possible actions that players have allow them to swap cards with other players, with the visible cards, and to ask other players if they have specific cards.

A round of the game could end on t…

Two rooms and a zombie boom

We played a memorable game of Two Rooms and a Boom today.

There were fourteen players: five red, one bomber, five blue, one president, one zombie, and one nuclear tyrant.

The zombie plague took the other room on the first round sparing only the president (who had held out when the initial infection occurred).

Most of the blue team was infected before the first swap as only one blue guy was in the other room.

During the first round the red team successfully found the nuclear tyrant and partially treated him (which also allowed him to know the bomber's identity), and cast him to the other room so that the president could finish him off.

The first swap occurred: one zombie traded for one nuclear tyrant

The second round the tyrant zombies up (instead of being fully disarmed by the president), and the zombie infects the bomber and the remaining blue team member through confusion.

The third round the tyrant goes back to try to infect the remainder and takes over the first room with help…

Sandy Board Game Design club 3rd meeting

I went to a meeting of the Sandy Board Game Design club last night. We played Ryan (of Red Raven Games) Laukat's new game, which is based in the same universe as Empires of the Void.

It was a 4x game which combined mechanics of area control, drafting, and combat similar to Cosmic Encounter, and it was pretty fun. Alison liked it, which is surprising since she has never liked a 4x game before this.

I tested the combat of the game (every time I design a game like that people never really fight enough to test the combat fairly well, so I thought that would be a good thing to do), and it was pretty easy to understand and seemed balanced fairly well (with a slight bonus to the defenders that made them have enough of a boost that you had to think about attacking a planet).

We also played a game of Dancing Robots, which went fairly well. After the game was over there was a short brainstorming session and we discussed how to speed up the game. A drafting mechanic was discussed for buildin…

Oliver with a Twist

I entered my creative accounting game into a game contest. I rethemed it again as an Oliver Twist game, but the rules did not have to change at all. I look forward to seeing the results.

Also, I ordered a high fidelity version of dancing robots to be printed up. I wanted to order it at the game crafter, but they had a wait time of a few months and so I ordered it at drive thru cards instead. Hopefully everything will go well, and I will have cool cards soon.

Street Savoir-Faire?

I have been spending a lot of time in gimp preparing the dancing robots cards to look good for my printing. I have the following to show for my efforts:

They seem to be getting closer to correct, but I still am working on them a bit.

Also, I am considering entering cook the books into this contest. I just need to retheme it as an Oliver Twist game.

Getting ready for the blind testing.

I just got my copies of Burgoo, Templar Intrigue, and Coin Age. They were excellent quality, and I am very happy with all of them.

Over lunches recently I have been not playing games because I have been working on my dancing robot cards. They are coming along quite nicely.

Here is a sample of what will probably be the final look of the cards. I have a poll running to choose between a few final versions of the cards. The poll is here.

Burgoo, Templar Intrigue, Coin Age

I have received word that my rewards from my first Kickstarter campaigns will arrive soon (probably Monday). This is exciting because I have been waiting for them for a while.
With the small time frame between now and receiving Burgoo we have seen a resurgence of interest in it at work. It is a really fun game, especially for the small size that it is, and the simplicity of the rules.
I have been working on an android app for my daughter. It is a really simple application, but since I have never created a real android app before I am still learning things. Hopefully I will be done soon so that I can focus more on finishing up all of my Dancing Robots cards.
I figure that my next step is to get some high fidelity copies made up and  send them out to a publisher and some reviewers. If the publisher doesn't respond in a reasonable amount of time, then I will send it to another one while setting up a kick-starter campaign (and sending it to more reviewers). If the second one doesn'…

The Dearth

I did not post for a week because I was at a technical conference, and did not get much gaming in.

Since I have come back we have mostly been playing Resistance with the Lancelot expansion. We also played some Love Letter as well, but nothing other than that.

I am thinking of starting to review some games (just for fun).


I have played a new game that is in the PnP stage. It is entitled Avignon (by John duBois), and the rules/parts are available here. Considering the length of the rules and the amount of parts that are necessary the game is really fun. It has rules that are simple but allow for a lot of strategy. (Edit: I got permission to link to the rules, so Try it out everyone :).

I also found an interesting kickstarter campaign too. Here is a link to it. I was surprised to not have been notified of it by Indie Boards and cards (I am on their newsletter). Either way, I found out about it before it ended, so that is good.

First Sandy Playtesting Group meeting report

We had six people show up (not counting my three children whose babysitter was absent).
Two games were played:
An unreleased expansion to Eight Minute Empire (I think out was called Lost Lands), which improved the already good game a great deal in my opinion.An unreleased dungeon crawl called either Venture or Entrada.
Both games got some feedback, and we ended at about nine (it went about two hours).

It seemed to be well enjoyed by all (I personally had fun).
We arrived to the group late because when we tried to drop our children off at the baby sitters house they were entirely absent. This was sad because it was our first meeting and I was hoping that it would go really well.
I didn't get to show off any of my games, but hopefully at the next one we will arrive on time and be able to.

Move cards first draft complete

I have completed a first draft of my Dancing Robot move cards. I am still missing some artwork for the parts (the Portuguese guy who is drawing it is taking some time finishing the last three parts). I have made do with a hand drawn "Stand" card as well as a small version of Dave's "Droid" card (since the third card is a antigravity device it is technically not necessary for any given move).

Here are some samples:

Here is the full gallery.

Dancing robots cards updates.

I have recently been working on the format of my dancing robots cards. I have been changing the way that all of the cards are laid out to put heat and electricity values in the upper right hand corner. This will allow the cards to be more easily read by just looking at the top half of the card. With these changes all of the rule text at the bottom has also generally become shorter.
I also went through and fixed up the judges with actual art.
Now I am starting to working on the move cards. When I am done I will be ready to make some more efforts to get some Playtesters to play it.
Over the weekend I got some players to play witch hunt. They liked it fairly well. I will continue to play test it and post updates.

The new face of a witch

I have been playing some more games of Witch Hunt recently. I have changed the rules to be a bit more simple and to not require as many components. It seems like the entire game for 3 to 7 players could fit into a 54 card box. This is sort of exciting since if the game were under $10 then it would be really cheap for the amount of enjoyment that you could get out of it (and it feels like $10 is a reasonable price point for a 54 card game.)

I have also been working on the artwork for the game. I totally contacted Kit Cox and got his permission to use his artwork for the cards (just for prototype purposes, not for actual production of the game), so now I am in a position to send out some play testing decks and see if I can get some reviews that will help to clean the game up.

I think that his artwork fits the theme of the game really well, and doesn't detract from what the cards do be being too bad (like any artwork that I would create if I were to do it myself.)

Here is the new Car…

Witch Hunting for fun and profit

We have been playing more Witch Hunt recently. With the recent modifications to the rules (mainly reducing the amount of testimony cards that players have) the game is moving along much quicker. Perhaps it is even going too quickly now.

I might have to give a different number of testimony cards based on how many players there are. Probably the way that this will change is that the player will get all of their testimony cards and then discard down to the number of cards that is required.

Here is a possible chart
PlayersCards EachTotal Cards3515452054206318732182/316/24
I am also thinking that the persons are going to have to change (probably I will make fewer of them in total).

Finally, I think that this game is nearly good enough to open it up to blind playtesting. Once I get some functional artwork I will put out a call for playtesters. If anyone reading this wants to volunteer to playtest, send me a message.

Probably joining the BGDG

I have started on some artwork for witch hunt. It still is not complete by any means, but it is closer to what I want than the white paper with black writing that I used to have.

The cards were designed by me, and the art was drawn by Kit Cox. I found it on the Discworld Wiki. I am currently tracking down Kit and asking him permission to use it, but I have not succeeded so far in contacting him. (He is no longer active on the wiki, and the last time he posted there was 6 years ago). I think that I have found him on Facebook, but it remains to be seen weather it really is him or not.

I am trying to come up with ways to speed up the game, and I think that lowering the number of testimony cards will do that. Perhaps that will be enough, but perhaps I will have to do more.

I am being quoted on another Kickstarter campaign (this time by tasty minstrel games, so a bigger campaign than last time).

I have not gotten as many games of Harbour in as I would have liked recently. With summer vacat…

Terminal Busyness

We have been playing more games of Harbour recently. I have been trying to get people to play it every day at lunch. One time they all revolted and asked to play Witch Hunt instead. This is funny because I was actively campaigning for Harbour, but they wanted to play my game instead. I cannot say that I am sad that that happened (having my game more popular than a game that a publisher is about to publish is a good step).

After playing more games (of Harbour) I am still not sure what the optimal strategy is. I was able to pull off some large point margin games by picking up only large buildings, but I have not won every game.

I just got a bunch of kickstarter updates (templar intrigue, burgoo, coin age, robots on the line) recently. I look forward to getting all of the games that I supported last year. Hopefully they all come in before the end of this year.

I have been too busy with other things to make much progress in any of my games recently, although I have been getting a group of…

More Harbour

After a few more days of playing, I have more thoughts about Harbour

For one thing I have played my first four player game.

Four player games:
Playing with four players makes the game a little more difficult to plan for, but not that much.

The pacing of the game is slightly slower in a 4 player game, but still not boring. Sadly enough you cannot fully plan for your turn during other player's turns since their turns have a high chance of changing your plans.

Some cards (tax office, and abbey) seem to have different power levels based on the number of players. The weakest point for the tax office card is at 3 players (where you get only two goods, but get to pick neither of them) The abbey card seems to be best in a 2 player game.

As I haven't played a statistically significant number of games I am in no position of authority to make the above statement, but that is the way that it feels to me.

Market Alteration:
If you use an action to change the market it is less likely with fou…

A review of Harbour (Currently a Pre-Kickstarter by Tasty Minstrel Games)

I received a playtesters copy of Harbour on Friday night. My wife and I already had a date planned, but I was able to convince her to try it out after we were done having sushi.

The rule book was not entirely complete, but was pretty good (I will sum up our questions later in the post). Some of the components did not look exactly as they did in the rule book (an accompanying letter explained most of the discrepancies, but the Market Board was set up slightly different than the rule book indicated that it would be).

Alison wants it noted that she found the rule-book by itself to be confusing. It explains everything on the cards, but because of the lack of context it is a bit overwhelming. We did not actually realize that we each started with a symbol (a coin for me and a top hat for Alison) until after the first game was over.

I expect the rulebook the be cleaned up a lot before the final release of the game (Eminent Domain's rulebook was pretty good), but right now it …


I played another game of Witch Hunt (this time with my monthly gaming group). They liked the idea of the game, but said that it needed more work. I already knew that it was a good idea that needed a lot of balancing, so I was pretty happy with the feedback.

We also played Dancing Robots (which I haven't played for a long time). They loved the judges and liked the difficulty that the game presented in balancing the various stats of the robots. The game went well, but I almost want to speed up the dance off. I need to figure out how to do that.

I also talked with Dave, and hopefully he will get me the last part card artwork soon.

More Witches!

We have been hunting witches a lot recently. We have changed the game a fair amount, and are considering changing it more. The most up to date rules can be found here.

Some changes that have been made:

Balancing the Governor and Magistrate to make them give a standing bonus (+3) or penalty (-3) instead of making them kill players outright.
Changing the pastor to give other players point penalties for not helping him.
Changing the way that the roles gain points (almost all of them)
Removing 'Witches' from the game entirely. There are now 'hags', 'trollops', and 'crones', all of which still have effects that activate upon people looking at them.
Split up the Accomplices and the Witch Haters into more people (they still share common point gaining mechanisms, but they are quite different now.)

We have experimented with different values of claim cards (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2), and (+1, +1, +0, -1, -1). It remains to be seen which set will win out.

The action card…

Burn her anyway!

We played two games of the witch game today. It went fairly well for a first play ever. There were some complexities that need to be excised and some power levels that need to be adjusted, but all in all it was a fun game.

The first game went as follows:
Mike: Gossip Pastor who loved Dwayne
Dwayne: Constable Witch Hater who loved Beret
Bob: Defense Attorney Martyr who hated Mike
Beret: Magistrate Witch
TJ: Clerk Recluse who loved someone (perhaps Mike?)

The game started off well with me trying to influence everyone into sharing identities with me under the guise of trying to find out the witches. I allied with bob to try to get him killed and told everyone that he was a witch, but Beret tried to defend him as an ally witch.

Dwayne thought I was on his side since I was a Puritan, but I lied to him about Bob to try to convince Bob to talk people into sharing cards with me.

TJ was discovered by some action cards, and I shared with Beret and got killed. The game ended with a huge slaughte…

First witch still unhunted

We played some games of Creative Accounting (which is currently toying with being called 'Space Scoundrels') at lunch on Wednesday. The games went well. Everyone seemed to enjoy them, and we got to test four players for the first time. We also played a five player game. We played about five games total.

We have some preliminary cards for the witch hunt game, and I have written some rules, but I am not yet done with the first draft of the rules.

When I finish it I will post here.

We played most of a game of cosmic encounter at lunch today, but I had a meeting so we had to quit before the game ended.

My first attempt at a Dominion storage solution

I used a rolling pin on the divider segments of my dominion box insert, so now all the cards fit in without having to be diagonal.
I also can fit in my extra euro sized card protectors that were just sitting around in a bag.
Next I plan to make some dividers for the cards.

Witch Hunt

We played a game of Eminent Domain at work. They would play it again, but I have not brought it back yet since I have been working on one of my goals for the year, and I have not been playing lunch games for this last week. The games continue without me (I made the group, but it has taken a life of its own, so even when I am not there it continues).

I did publish a new version of Dancing Robots online (with the mostly completed artwork), but haven't done much else on that front recently.

I finally got my Dominion base set cards sleeved, and I decided to put all the cards from all the dominion expansions that I own into one box. The expansions that I own are: Dominion, Intrigue, Hinterlands, and Dark Ages (Also a copy of Platnum, Colony, and Walled Village).

I measured that I could just barely not fit three rows of cards into the box (the box is 1mm too narrow), but I decided that I would build it as if I could fit all the cards in anyway, and perhaps try to compress the foam core …

Space Scoundrels

Apparently I have not posted for a week. I am still alive. Work on the new game website is still coming along.

Alison and I played some Eminent Domain last night, and we also played some more Oceania.

At work we have been mostly playing Avalon, but we have played a few games of Love Letter.

Perhaps I will turn the new website into a Creative Accounting website instead of a Collusion website.

The game (Creative Accounting) is undergoing a possible retheme. With all of the people that are scared of math, it seems like space pirates or something like that would be a better theme.

The visual way to track space

Dave got me some new artwork for Dancing Robots. I have updated all of the previously generated cards with the new artwork. The only part that has yet to be drawn is the spring (which is still sporting my trendy artwork).
Here is a gallery of the current look of the cards.
With the new artwork I am more excited about working on dancing robots some more (I have been much more excited about Creative Accounting recently, but that hasn't prevented me from working on Dancing Robots and Collusion as well)
Tonight I put together a simple example of a visual way of displaying the amount of space a card provides or takes up. Here are some of the example cards I made: The cards that provide space have the space that they provide graphically represented on the right side of the card. The cards that use up space have the amount of space that they use up graphically represented on the left side of the card. You stack the cards up until the dark brown bar is as tall as the light brown bar and t…