The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Posts Tagged ‘awards

The Iggies and BSG Variants

So Le Havre won the IGA.

Am I done with Le Havre? It certainly seems like it (haven’t played it in four months). While I agree that it’s a better design than Agricola, the relative sameness of the buildings (from game to game) means that its easy to exhaust the novelty … and since I think there is one true path to victory in Le Havre, well, there you go.

Should Automobile have won? All my concerns for Le Havre count double against Automobile, but I’ve only played twice, so I could be wrong. (Note — that was rhetorical humility only. I’m not wrong. After a few more plays the strategic interest will be sucked dry).

Should Dominion have won? It’s tough to argue against a game that I’ve played several hundred times (online). Clever design (and novel), lots of fans. Theoretically a worse design than either of the other two games, but enough variety to overcome it, and probably the only game of the three likely to hit 25+ hours of enjoyment.

Of course, BSG surpassed that before Pegasus came out, so that tells you who I would have voted for.

Speaking of BSG (and I am, now) — I’ve been thinking about Variants. I think I’d like to play with random destinations … you randomly roll between using the Kobol card and New Caprica card during the sleeper phase. And I’d like to see Pegasus ship enter and leave the game; this mirrors the show, to be sure, but as it stands Galactica isn’t rarely threatened with destruction. Off the top of my head, I think

  • Pegasus should show up the first time a “Ship” card is drawn. (This also helps balance a hard game versus an easy one …
  • You Pegasus damage chits equal to “Distance – 1” every time you jump (So, jump 3, Pegasus takes two damage). Anyone on Pegasus when it is destroyed winds up in Sickbay.

I’m happy with the “Occupation authority destroys prepped ships” variant we tried, and I’d add two minor New Caprica fixes.

  1. Destroyed ships are only revealed to the cylons (so humanity doesn’t gain info when things are destroyed).
  2. A “Basestars bombard” result adds a basestar in front of Galactica if there are none around (usually via a double nuke). Just to keep things tense.

Overall these change will make things harder for humanity, but given that our balance is at 50/50 that doesn’t bother me (unless testing shows I’ve misjudged things).

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Written by taogaming

September 27, 2009 at 11:10 am

Posted in Battlestar Galactica, Ramblings, Variants

Tagged with

Web Gems

May as well jump in on the Economist article. It’s shockingly accurate. Then again, I’ve always thought the Economist had a much better standard for reporting facts than most outlets. (What was it, Volokh’s Law — “Most people recognize how much the media messes up areas they understand, but still trust it when reading about things they don’t.”)

I’ll admit that Bocchie looks like fun. Then again, I’ve never seen anything involving Bruno Faidutti that didn’t.

Based on a comment from Mikko, I looked at the vote on the Finnish Game of the Year award. That’s when I remembered that Finnish and Swedish aren’t nearly close enough to let me parse things out. Not that my Swedish is that good. But you can decipher the previous years results.

Mikko also played some Mahjongg, which I’ve played from time to time. (For a few months a decade ago, we played several times with several scoring systems). It’s not bad at all … I prefer the scoring system where only the discarder pays the winner, since it allows for offensive and defensive play. (I also don’t play with Flowers as wild or automatic doublers, since theres no skill to that, but if I were doing it for just gambling purposes …). A copy of Mhing works well, since you can just pull the wilds and flowers and have a very portable MahJongg set. (The simplified scoring rules make for a nice introduction). And I’ll admit that the Wilds speed things up quite a bit. Jacqui and I taught another couple a year or two ago…

Playing lots of Bridge recently, and poorly. But Jeff Goldsmith updated his page again this month. If you play Bridge his archives are a gold mine.

Written by taogaming

August 29, 2008 at 10:50 am

Posted in Misc

Tagged with , ,

The IGA Nominees

Well, now that the International Gamers Award nominees have been announced, some thoughts.

I agree that Agricola, Race and Pandemic belong. I consider Pandemic good, but it’s amusing and attracts a wide range of gamers. I think In the Year of the Dragon (which I like, a bit) Stone Age (ditto) and Kingsburg (don’t like, but only mildly) will all disappear without a trace in a year or so. No need to rehash my thoughts on Hamburgum and Brass. Haven’t tried Tribune or Tinner’s Trail.

What games would I have added? Well, Kutschfahrt is new to me, but the Geek says it was ’06. Galaxy Trucker seems an odd omission. Its in the middle of the pack, in terms of my enjoyment, but it’s novel. I can’t think of any other games, so I guess I’m not complaining about the list.

I haven’t played any of the 2 player games, so no comment there.

Looking at the 2007 winner and nominees, several of those games were flashes in the pan (at least locally). I can’t completely absolve myself of blame (Yspahan), but I guess this is just a yearly thing. If you nominate 5-10 games a year, you are bound to have some that just don’t stand up to scrutiny a few years (or even year) later. Which just reminds me that I should play Combat Commander again.

I think the IGA should put a bigger delay between games and nomination. Games released June 30th are eligible, and they’ve got the nomination before the end of August? No doubt many of the voters are more hardcore than I am (see “I haven’t played that…” above), but that’s still a narrow window. The Historical Simulations nominees (also just announced) are published in 2007, which is better.

Still, lists are always good for arguing about, so have at it.

Written by taogaming

August 27, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Tagged with

Cha-ching



I finally got my blogging bling, so I’ve added it to the left sidebar.

As for gaming, I’ve played (and taught) some Bridge and Race. I’ve always thought of myself as a solid intermediate at Bridge, but it may be that I’m comparing myself to strong players (and usually playing with pickup partners). I’m going to try and start playing at least semi regularly (say, twice a month). That may interfere with new games. Oh well. I’ve already got my award.

If anyone knows of a free 1-page summary of Standard American (to give to novices) I’d appreciate it. So far the best I’ve seen is Karen Walker’s Cheat sheet, but that’s HTML (which means it doesn’t necessarily print well). I could also spring for some placemats, I suppose. [Or just build a word file].

Update: I’ve heard that the play mats are Goren (ish). Also, one emailer pointed me towards a 1-page Standard American Yellow Card summary, which isn’t bad, if I want to teach Transfers and Jacoby 2NT …

Written by taogaming

May 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Administration, Bridge

Tagged with

I’d like to thank the Academy …

for being named Best Blog by Boardgamenews. I particularly like the comment that “A vote for Brian is a vote for Race.”

Just to be ornery, I’ll have to post something non-Race soon. Other than that I’ll be the same blog, except with more groupies. I promise to keep my scandals interesting, and I’ll inspect my hookers for Adam’s apples.

Written by taogaming

January 19, 2008 at 10:41 am

Posted in Administration

Tagged with

I’d like to thank the Academy …

for being named Best Blog by Boardgamenews. I particularly like the comment that “A vote for Brian is a vote for Race.”

Just to be ornery, I’ll have to post something non-Race soon. Other than that I’ll be the same blog, except with more groupies. I promise to keep my scandals interesting, and I’ll inspect my hookers for Adam’s apples.

Written by taogaming

January 19, 2008 at 10:41 am

Posted in Administration

Tagged with

SdJ Nominees

According to this geeklist (here’s the SdJ page) the five SdJ nominees include only a single game I’ve played — Yspahan. And the other dozen recommended games only have a handful I’ve played (Notre Dame, Wikinger, Pillars of the Earth, Imperial).

Still, my ignorance of the SdJ games isn’t a new development. Even given discussions about last year, the fact that a SdJ list contains only two games I’d recommend is still surprising. [Actually, I think I’m surprised by this every year, so nothing new here.]

Business will take me away for the week, so consider this an open thread to grouse about the SdJ (or whatever).

Written by taogaming

May 20, 2007 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Misc

Tagged with