The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Posts Tagged ‘Heckmeck

Some games played

Hey, a session report! Got in some games yesterday and today. In addition to Shadowfist, I played several games of Pickomino (aka Heckmeck).
With two or three players, it’s a fine filler. 15-20 minutes, a few decisions, lots of luck. Great for when people are due to arrive. I played a 3 player game of Hunting Party, my opinion hasn’t changed much. I do think that there is a lot going on and for a simple game it rewards study for those so inclined; but you can play it as a lark and it’s fine for that, too. It should be out by BGG Con.

Finally, I played China (the Web of Power remake) twice. What a great game. I think that I like the changes from Web of Power (only scoring houses once, instead of during each scoring) but I could go back to the old way. The “Fortress” optional rule is nice. And a double sided board, to help change how easy it is to connect based on number of players, all reasonable improvements. A game I can play multiple times in a session, and did. I’ve probably gotten 20 plays in by now).


Written by taogaming

October 6, 2005 at 12:18 am

Recent Gaming

Last night a local couple invited us (and two other couples) for gaming. A good time was had by all. Mainly social games — Time’s Up, Apples to Apples, Cranium — with a game of Lord of the Fries tossed in. It’s been a while since I played Time’s Up (aka Celebrities) and I had a good time was had by all. Jacqui’s ah, unusual, style in the game delivered the shock and awe I’ve come to expect.

I’d never played “real” Cranium before (we do have the Kid’s version). It wasn’t bad, but the questions seemed easy. In fact, only one question was missed by either team the entire game. Did Michael Adams make this game? The geek doesn’t say.

Tonight delivered the US RDA of Shadowfist, and a game of Pickomino / Heckmeck.

And my lovely order of new games arrived! Once I read the rules to several new games, I’ll post impressions … sadly I probably won’t get to play them any time soon.

Written by taogaming

June 28, 2005 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Session Reports

Tagged with ,

Fixed Fun Games & Heckmeck im Bratwurmeck

Many Euro games take three or four players. Sometimes up to two or five. Few Euros play with six or more. There are many reasons (or at least, there are many theories) as to why this is so, but I think one reason is that the games have a fixed amount of fun.

When Alhambra came out (two years ago), the reaction at the Gathering split — about half loved it, half hated it. It quickly became apparent how many people played often dictated the feeling. More players means less fun.

Usually, it’s because you sit around during other players’ turns. So the game takes the same amount of time, but you get to do less. The fun dilutes. These are ‘fixed fun’ games.
Diplomacy doesn’t dilute. Add or remove a player and you may change the balance (or variant), but each player gets the same amount of time to play.

This isn’t a binary “Fixed vs non-fixed” choice; there’s an elasticity of fun (as compared to number of players). In Puerto Rico, you lose control with players, but not as badly as Alhambra. Most games are in the middle, and designs that have fixed fun would be well advised to keep to lower limits. Struggle of Empires leans towards the “fixed” column, but mitigates by taking away an action round.

Heckmeck im Bratwurmeck, Knizia’s dice game, is a fixed fun game. I played it with four players, and loved it. Basically, you roll dice and keep all dice showing a single number, re-rolling the rest. But you can’t keep a number you rolled before. Also, the dice show worms (as well as 1-5), and you need to keep at least one worm (worms are valued at 5). If you have a value higher than the lowest available tile (which run 21-36), you can claim it. If you have the value equal to each player’s most recently claimed tile, you steal it. If you crap out and have at least one tile, you return it (and sometimes remove the highest tile from the game). When no unclaimed tiles remain, you score (each tile shows 1-4 worms, which are points).

The reason I mention that it’s a fixed fun game is that the box lists 2-7 players. Guess what you get to do when it’s not your turn? Nothing. Ok, you get to watch dice tumbling across the table. I’m surprised that anyone who played with six or seven liked the game, but apparently some still thought it was OK. With seven, the game takes an hour (because one of the two ‘timers’ in the game only functions when I player craps out and has a tile). But with 2-4, the game takes half as long, and each player gets more time with the dice.

I played Heckmeck twice, and will buy a copy (after the move). It’s a cute filler, nothing more. But I’d never dream of playing with a crowd.

Written by taogaming

April 18, 2005 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Reviews

Tagged with , ,