Sunday, August 23, 2009

Flying the Storch

I played my first game today using the Air Pack expansion for Memoir 44. Well that's not strictly true I had played the Pegasus bridge scenario but that doesn't use any planes!

So today I played scenario 12 in which the Air Rules are in effect and the Axis side starts with an aircraft on the runway.

My son always like to play the side that starts first so he played the allies. I was surprised as I expected him to want to play with the plane. However after our game he did say that he wanted to play the same scenario again but as axis next time.

I set out the game including putting the plane that turned out to be a "storch" onto the board. I was looking forward to playing with my first aircraft...then I read the capabilities and was a little crestfallen. The Storch doesn't strafe or bomb it just looks around!? The rule is that the aircraft can not attack, but spys on the enemy, which in games rules is simply this, if the plane ends it's turn next to an enemy it acts like a Recon card meaning that at the end of the turn I get to draw two cards and keep the one of my choice.

When I started playing I thought this was pretty lame but two turns later I was changing my mind. The choice of card is a serious advantage, it not only allows you to keep your aircraft in the air but you can quickly build a good hand of cards.

My little Storch lasted a few turns but in the end I couldn't keep it in the air and it disapeared. Immediately after that my worthy opponent gained a P40 which showed my how aircraft can attack the foot sloggers. As his right flank moved up to assault my entrenched troops his P40 sweapt repeatadly across them blasting them and their sandbags to bits. It wasn't enough for him though. In the end I'd advanced my right flank and used the river to pin his troops and whittle them down.

I won 4-3 in the end but it was a close run thing, and I'm looking foward the return match

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Writing Rules

I'm proof reading the rules for my latest board game design "Galaxy Conquest". It's actually hard work. I've heard around the web that writing board game rules IS hard work. I wasn't convinced.

I am now starting to believe it. When I started I just rushed down all of what I thought were the pertinent points and walked away for a ,well, a couple of weeks and now I've come back to it.

I'm amazed at how poor that first draft was. I included a reference to something called "fortification" which doesn't actually exist within the game! I was inconsistent with the terms that were there. I'd left out the entire Combat Results Table!!!

Add to that the number of typos and bad syntax. It was frankly, dross. So I've just spent another hour going over the rules searching fore these mistakes, things left out, incorrect references etc and I'm bushed, it's given me a headache.

I know it's not over yet, I'm going to recheck the rules again later in the week then see about giving them to some alpha testers and thats going to bring back another whole swath of rules questions and problems that I've missed or just haven't even thought about. I'm really not looking forward to that, and I'm supposed to be doing this fun!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Danger Patrol

A couple of weeks ago I was on RPG-Geek and spotted that a game designer had uploaded his beta/apha version of his RPG. I snagged it and had a read through.

I was immediately intrigued. It's not your usual or rather, it's not a traditional Role Playing Game, and neither is it a pure story telling game. It's a hybrid of sorts.

The background is really thin, just a few paragraphs really. The idea if the game is that all of the players as well as the games master will build the background through play.

The game is called "Danger Patrol" and that name nicely links in with the Rocket Cars and Evil Scientist theme. It's posted for free on it's own page at RPGGeek.

The game mechanics are very interesting, there is no board as such, but rather a series of 3x5 cards where each important location is noted. Each character also has a card and these are placed on the table in one of the locations. As the Games Master and the players mention things as part of the narrative they can be added to a card and then placed on the table.

The narrative is also pretty imaginative. As a Player Character is carrying out an action each other player is able to add to the story provided it increases the danger level.

So in summary I've been very impressed with this game. It keeps all of the players involved even when the story does not effect their character and it's tongue in cheek sci fi background is very appealing. The rules PDF is quite short so definitely worth a quick read.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A few thoughts of Batman

I recent bought a game called Batman Begins Shadow Assault. I bought it off ebay despite it getting very poor reviews.

Why would a sane game collector buy a game he knows is poor?

Well simply put, it's the bits! The game comes with 4 Batman figurines and 20 plastic ninjas. It was the thought of those pieces that drew me in. I was thinking that I could make or use those in a game of my own devising.

So the game arrives I crack it open and take a look. I was still disapointed even though I knew it was going to be a bad game. The problem for me is that of the four Batman's ( Batmen? ) one of then has such a terrible pose that the best thing to do with it is to feed it to the nearest hungry child. Hang on there's more. The twenty ninja figures are clear plastic. They are shown on the box as being made of grey plastic, and when I compare the figure to the box, I would have preferred the grey.

So with my disapointment hanging over me I looked at the rules to the game. Oh dear, just as the reviews said on BGG.

So is it all gloom? No, I do still have three Batman's ( that just doesn't sound right) and twenty ninjas is still twenty ninjas after all, but there is a bonus as well. The game comes with four plastic dice made for stickers. These dice have flat recessed sides where stickers can be stuck, so I'll be able to use them when I come to make a Print and Play game that needs bespoke dice. :)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A great idea Lost!

So I was cycling home and had what I thought was a great idea for a board game.

When I got home, all I could remember was that I'd had a great idea. Darn!

Anyway good news in the end, after eating my evening meal the idea came back to me, phew! It'll be a tile laying game and I'm thinking of giving it a hamster theme.

To be honoest it was the idea of hamsters that was the inspiration so there wasn't any idea for possible retheme. Now now while blogging this another possible theme has cropped up. Thank goodness for bloggs! It could be a game set in the asteroid belt...

I'll say no more, this game I'm going to keep to myself until I've firmed it up some more it has a potential of being a mass market game, simple, cute theme, playable by the whole family. If I can register Hamsteropoly I'll be made!!!!!