Monday, 22 October 2012

Essen and GSH

So this weekend I headed out to Essen to attend Spiel - the worlds largest board game fair.

And believe me when I say it's massive.  Multiple halls - each one as big as I've ever seen a UK games con manage (and possibly bigger) and swarms of people.  Endless milling swarms.  The latest release - all the hot games. Last years hot games at knock down prices - and 2nd hand games stores for the years before that.  The companies also setting out tables and just let you play - with people explaining the rules.  So you can get a look at something before you buy.

Yes most of it is in German - and if I was German it would be even more awesome - but it's still damn good.

There is nothing in the way of evening events - so your left to your own entertainment.  We found a hotel with a large downstairs area and just play games there.  Along with about half the hotel making it an impromptu games convention and really quite awesome.

This year we also branched out and headed out to a metal pub and then a metal club until about 4 in the morning.  The bouncer seemed unsure about letting us in - but we convinced him that we were in fact Metal enough to get in - I think he spotted my hair.

It's not cheap  - but it is awesome.  I normally only go ever other year - but for some reason I'm tempted to go again next year.  But you need a group of people to go with, hang out with, and play games with.

One day I want to be there with a pile of my games and my own stall.  It can happen - there was a man selling his own game based on the gangs of Rome and the proscriptions of Sulla with a count of how many of the 100 games he had left to sell.......  By Saturday he'd stopped trying to sell it as he only had twenty left and just treated it as his own personal table to play games.  But then he was clearly treating the whole thing as sunk expenses since he was selling his games for 50 euro's and they cost 35 to make - not including the £1000 he had spent on art....  or the time he'd taken to make little boxes.......  A real reminder that self publishing board games is not a way to make money.

I also discovered that a luggage allowance of 22 kilos is a lot of games.....  My loot came to just under 18 kilo's not including two copies of infinite city (3 euros!)  that were in my hand luggage.  If your wandering what 18 kilo's of games looks like.....

Including funky metal money for Libertalia for only 3 Euros - bargain.

I did however get a play test of GSH in - and with people who had played one of the earlier version.  Generally positive feedback - it was clear it was not right - and that the new mission cards were not doing what I wanted them to do  But the general feedback was "heading in the right direction" - and better that a lot of there concerns in earlier version had been taken away.

One person specifically liked the resource card - as a nice simple way of giving people choice - but preventing a resource gap opening up between players.

It was interesting listening to people talk - I've been trying to encourage people to attack but because stone heads are worth more VP's at the end of the turn - they are encouraged to defend more.  So I want to try something - it's a pretty big flip - but make stone heads worth 3 vps to the person that builds them straight away.  However give 1 VP to any player that takes a freshly built stone head off another player - while introducing a card so that at the end of the round you can get a bonus point for a stone head. Inverting the current point system in effect.

This may result in non stop overly aggressive attacking if defending is not seen as worth doing.  But I want to give it a try.......  Mr P will roll his eyes at me of course.

Saturday, 6 October 2012


.....I made another version of These Dark Satanic Mills.  Printed it out - moved some stuff around - decided it was not working.  So then I made another version - which I've not yet printed out and moved stuff around on because two of the key mechanics are not in yet.  They have not been in previous versions either but I think I need to get them in.  But this time round I want to add in proper rules for acquiring "civic tiles" & "workers" to try and get a better view of the whole thing.

I'm not sure I'm following the rules about "make a simple version at first" - It's not pretty but I'm spending quite a lot of time just laying stuff out in a way that makes some sense.....

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

So I waved....

.....these dark satanic mills under a mates nose.

He felt it was rather dry - and did not really reflect the theme of turning orphans into VP's through the use of horrible machinery and inhuman conditions.  I felt it was fiddly and involved to much cube shuffling......

Still food for thought.