Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 So Far

As I mentioned in my New Year's post, I'm tracking games played online this year.

I'd expected it to make an impact on my games played, but I hadn't expected the impact to be as significant as it has been.

How significant has it been?

We're about three quarters of the way through the month, and I've recorded (at the time I'm writing this) just shy of 90 games played. I expect to break 100 by the first, making this the busiest gaming month since I started tracking.

I've also gamed in a number of online locations - BSW, GameTableOnline, Neuroshima Hex Online, and several others. I should really throw a post together about the online gaming scene, as it's pretty deep these days.

The busiest before this is August of 2007, which was 97 plays - 35 of which were at GenCon. It's weird, but GenCon may actually reduce my games played for the month of August this year. In previous years, August was nearly double any other month.

I spent my weekend editing a secret project. This is the first time I've been specifically asked not to discuss what I was working on. I usually don't talk too much about unpublished products, as I don't want to violate Asmodee's trust. This time, I can't discuss it at all. Again: I didn't sign an NDA. I'm on my honor, as it were. I can say that I'm looking forward to this one. Of course, I haven't had a project yet that I wasn't looking forward to.

Well, maybe Ave Caesar, but that game has really grown on me. To the point where it's one of my favorite filler games. And a game I don't play nearly often enough. Maybe I should grab a copy for this Wednesday.

I also got a chance to read through Alkemy again. I don't get a lot of chance to do miniatures gaming these days, but I still enjoy reading the rules and looking for unit "combos."

A couple of New Year's Resolutions that may impact my gaming and/or blogging this year:
1) I will play board games within one month of their purchase. Exception: GenCon Purchases, where I will give myself two months.
2) I will play in or run at least a one-shot for every RPG system for which I purchase a book this year. Exception: IPR books. Because I plan to buy a LOT of those.
3) More photography. I own three excellent digital cameras, two of which go with me everywhere. There is no excuse for me not to take more photos of my gaming. Especially when I'm starting to get (more reliably) results like this:
Narrow Lead

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dungeon Twister: New Base Set?

For several months, now, this thread on BoardGameGeek has been sporadically active.

This morning (or late last night), Christophe Boelinger spoke up and filled us in (my analysis follows):
Hello Guys,

Just to assure you all and erase any worries :
- There is no reboot
- There is a new future expansion simultaneaously in french / Enlish / german
- No rules changes (I hate that). The rules work perfectly, why should we change these. I'm not Games Workshop publishing a new version of my game every two year and changing a few rules each time.
- Just new rules for the new characters, of course
- This expansion is also a fully stand alone game
- Including minis
- Including a tutorial to easilly teach new players
- Including the solo version
- 100% fully compatible with everything already printed in the past
- Including 85% of new material never printed (this is specially for the old and original gamers)
- True : Only 3 major characters are taken from the original basic set, but 5 new characters, 8 new rooms, new objects, all equipment for solo version, etc...

So where's the reboot ????

The objective is to have the original hardcore players happy with a lot of new material and a full compatibility, and to give the possibility to newcomers to play with only this box, and also play single, and with minis.

And also the first scenario of the tutorial takes 5 minutes to explain, between 10-15 minutes to play. So it's perfect to teach a 6 years old kid, or wives (who don't like harcore games for example), or anybody who wanna learn or discover the game quick and fast. In gaming conventions, gaming club or anywhere !

So the rules won't change a bit, the way they are brought to the player will just differ a bit, and allow you to inntroduce anybody, up to your gran'ma, to your hobby...

That's what should come in 2009.

I surely hope I erased all your fears.

Happy Twist


Chris Boelinger
Did I say my analysis follows? Oops. I provided my analysis earlier in the thread. And, as it happens, I was mostly right. With one significant exception: Chris is describing this as being an expansion, rather than a new base set. A standalone expansion, it's true, but an expansion nevertheless.

I've already received requests for the solitaire rules. I'd like to make this very clear:

I don't have them. If I do receive them before the game is published, I can't share them with you unless I have the explicit permission of both Chris and the publisher, as both of them trust me and I have no desire to lose that trust.

... and that's all I have to say this morning.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jungle Speed: Now Available As Wii-Ware

A short update:

I'll be downloading this sometime this weekend.

I'll let you know what I think.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

DT Online: Game 2
Originally uploaded by GameThyme
Prractice, practice, practice.

As I've said a number of times: I love this game. I understand a great deal of the underpinnings of the strategy, and can easily tell you how to improve your game after a few plays.

I, however, cannot seem to win for myself. I freely admit: I'm bad at playing this game that I love so very much.

My most regular online opponent said, "DT is a game where experience is very important and we're always surprised by strategies and 'style of playing' of each new opponent we meet."

For those of you who didn't catch it, it means, "I've played a lot more than you have, and it shows. Some of your moves have been either foolhardy or brilliant - either way, I have been caught off-guard by them a time or two."

It's a nice way of telling me I'm not good at the game. I'm glad he's willing to keep playing me, as I am VERY bad at this game.

By the way - those of you who are trying to figure out what's in the lower-left-hand room? It's a troll (mine) and a Fireball Wand (his). My opponent places very similarly to me, with his Wizard on his starting line, his Fireball Wand in the nearest room, his Treasure all the way across by his opponent's starting line.

It tells me that that part of the strategy, at least, is sound.

Footnote: I lost this one with a score of 5-1. It's one more point than I scored in our previous game.

There is no shame in losing. Learn your lessons, pick up your pieces, and be ready to play again.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Year-End Wrapup

2008 is over, and here's a quick overview of how it went for me:

Total Recorded Plays: 351
Remember that if I play Game + Expansion, I'll record it as one play of the game and .1 plays of the expansion.

Five Most Played Games:
Mr. Jack (22)
No Thanks! (20)
Werewolves of Miller's Hollow (18)
Ca$h 'n Gun$ (16)
Neuroshima Hex (15)

Surprise Of The Year:
For me, it was Mah Jongg. I was given a set as a gift from a friend who lived in China, and made an effort to learn to play. I had expected it to be a rummy-style game, and was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. It had 14 plays in 2008.

Unsurprise Of The Year
Neuroshima Hex. I ordered this one from Portal Publishing before Essen 2007. I did not, unfortunately, get a chance to play it until this year. And I liked it.

News Of The Year
The death of WizKids. After a long series of shelf-eating flops and the loss of a lawsuit to Wizards of the Coast, WizKids was shut down by Topps earlier this year. If you don't already own Oshi or Tsuro, you'd better hurry.

Personal Discovery Of The Year
Online gaming. I'd visited GameTableOnline before, and had not been impressed. When they started putting games on FaceBook, I figured I'd give them another shot - and I'm glad I did. Five years ago, I'd visited BrettspielWelt, and had rapidly become frustrated - it was poorly translated and difficult to navigate. Not anymore!

Significant improvement on both fronts means I'll be playing more and more online to supplement my face-to-face games.

Looking Forward To Next Year
For 2009, I'll be tracking games played online, provided I'm playing human players and not AI players. This means that you can expect to see more Neuroshima Hex plays, as well as a few plays of Uno, Carcassonne, and The Settlers of Catan.

I managed to (mostly) maintain my posting schedule this year. I hope to maintain a similar schedule for 2009.

There are a lot of games coming I look forward to playing this year, and several games I picked up in 2008 that I need to share.