The Games We Play

The Games We Play

A repository of reports on the Wednesday night sessions of the club and anything else related to the club or boardgaming in general, which may be of interest to anyone who may be passing by.

Friday 16 October 2015

Game design news: This Cursed Rock

This time I'm presenting an early preview of a game by another budding designer, Jim Falkus, who you may have met when he came to the club in August. You can find some details about the game on his blog. In brief, it is a 2-player game recreating the Great Siege of Malta by the Ottomans in 1565. Despite the theme, it is not a wargame, as witnessed by the lack of hexes or defined areas on the game board, which was designed by me! The game takes place over about 20 turns. At the start of every turn each player draws an event card, most of which can be retained for later use. Then each player selects four action cards from their deck of 12 to use during the subsequent Action Phase. There are four types of card: Move, Build, Morale and Combat. Finally there is an Assault Phase, during which the Turkish player may attempt to seize one of the fortified areas on the board. Wooden cubes are used to represent the various types of military pieces: gun batteries, Janissary units, Turkish infantry units, Knights of St John and Spanish infantry units. There are also wooden Personality Discs and various types of markers for gun platforms, additional fortifications, siege equipment and divine intervention!

The game is still under design with early playtesting likely to start later this year. I would hope that it can make an appearance in Halesowen early in 2016.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Game design news

Cromwell is still very much in active playtesting, especially as I have redesigned the cards (each player now has a deck) and created a scenario starting in 1644. However, many years ago I designed a Lord of the Rings-themed block wargame which I may resurrect if there is any interest...

Given the theme and associated copyright issues, it is a game that is extremely unlikely to ever be published, so it is destined to be no more than a very limited edition "fan game". It did receive some playtesting back in the day and showed some potential, but definitely needs a spruce-up in terms of graphics as well as streamlining of the rules - probably a few dozen hours of my time - and the purchase of new blocks. Based on a short passage in Lord of the Rings Appendix A, it is called "The Long Winter" and is set during the Third Age 2758. For scale and complexity it is comparable to the Columbia block games East Front or Victory in Europe. It features 160 blocks, 5 nationalities (Gondorians, Rohirrim, Corsairs, Dunlendings, Easterlings) which can be played by 2-5 players, both land and naval battles, siege combat, supply trains, weather. There is no magic and it is strictly humans, but there is personal combat between leaders to give it a bit of high fantasy feeling.