Results for category "Board & Card Games"

9 Articles

Dubai: Selected as Cardboard Edison Award Finalist!

Last year in November, I made a game for a 24 hour game design contest on BGG, it was called Burjs, the word “burj” meaning “tower” in Arabic, like the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai.

The game was spawned off of a previous game I had made called Cartel, whose central concept revolved around these 2D cards forming 3D isometric buildings.

While Cartel was cool, and was featured at AMAZE, our Indie game festival in Johannesburg, it wasn’t focussed on its core premise. As such, I felt, it suffered from an identity crisis. I sought to address that with this new design, by focussing strictly on the aspect of building. Simplicity is best!

Many iterations later, it’s now called Dubai for simplicity, and I liked it so much I entered it into the first Cardboard Edison Award. I had to make an awkward game introduction video :)

And Dubai was selected as one of 10 finalists out of 100+ entries! 😀

Much to my delight and surprise! :)

Right now I’m doing some final tweaks and balances to the game rules and structure to ensure that it’s as good as it can get before sending the final prototype (oxymoron!) off to Cardboard Edison for final judging. As that’s done I’ll put the latest files on.

For now, you can read more about the game, its evolution, and find the latest Print & Play files here on BGG :)

 

A great big shoutout to everyone who’s helped playtest this little guy, and given feedback. Trust me you’ll all get credit when the game has some kind of credit page :)

So so happy and flattered and all sorts of good vibes! 😀

 

Timeless Boardgames Day – Accessible Boardgaming

I went to a boardgame day yesterday, one that I hadn’t been to before, and of course, if I’m compelled to write about it, it must’ve been pretty great, right? Spoiler: Yes!

Mission, vision, etc

Firstly, Timeless Boardgames is a relatively new online shop in SA. I got in touch with them a while ago when I first heard of them, marketing an interesting concept of renting boardgames instead of selling them. It was an interesting concept with the goal of making boardgames more accessible to everyone – buying a big box of components is a big investment usually, and renting before buying would lower that barrier to entry for newcomers to the hobby who don’t necessarily do a ton of research online before purchasing, or know exactly what they may like or don’t like.

Unfortunately the rental model never took off, I’m sure with good reason. However, the heart of their mission: Making boardgames more accessible, lives on in these Timeless Boardgame Days.

Try before you buy. Heck, just have fun.

This is the point of their boardgame days, and that makes quite a subtle but very interesting difference.

The typical boardgame days we find around are a hobbyist’s gathering. The message is usually: “Everyone bring games, anyone can play anyone else’s game!”. With the secondary message “Don’t have games? Don’t worry! We all love to share our games, just come!”. While the boardgame community is very welcoming, newcomers don’t understand that, and are often daunted by the thought of “I shouldn’t go if I don’t bring games”.

Timeless Boardgame Days flip that on its head – the message is specifically “Come play if you don’t have games!” – they have a huge selection of open games (almost the largest single-ownership collection I’ve ever seen) for you to play, and every month they open new games based on a voting system – you can vote on which game you want to see in the next Timeless Boardgame Day if you’re at the event, which is very fun.

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A day out

This focus accessibility has made these day events very successful in a short time. There is a cover charge of R60, but that’s really nothing for a day’s entertainment.

The venue is spacious, clean, with nice sturdy chairs. So often cheap plastic chairs get destroyed (granted the laughs those generate when it happens are great, but I’d much rather not see potential injuries)

You get free tea, coffee, juice, biscuits, brownies, etc etc. The desserts are a really nice touch, and lunch can be bought at a reasonable price. It was a boerewors roll, and you’re free to top it up with a selection of salsa, which is also a nice touch, and doesn’t remind me of the usual convention food standards.

Great company is to be had as everyone is super friendly and there are always staff on hand to explain or run the open games. Non staff are also more than happy to play with too.

Overall, Timeless Boardgame Days is yet another great addition to the growing list of places to play boardgames in Joburg!

Details

I’ve put the details in my Ultimate Joburg Boardgaming Guide :)

 

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Ultimate Johannesburg Boardgaming Guide

I’m a Joburger boardgamer, and I’m always on the lookout for:

  • More games to play (good ones, though I’ll try everything once)
  • More people to play with (boardgames are all about the meta – playing the same game with different people makes it a completely different experience!)
  • More flexibility (the more groups you know the more you can find the right time to fit around your schedule)

If any of the above ideas tickle your fancy, I issue you my official Seal Of Awesome. So many people stick to their regular playgroup and never venture out of it, so I thought it would be great if we all came together in glorious boardgy more often than the annual events!

 

The focus is on playing

I have collected here from my experience and some grapevines some of the best ways I know to get playing with groups outside of your immediate friends. I wrote this with the focus on inclusivity and playing, not on buying stuff, though those aspects sometimes do happily coincide.

 

1. Boardgames Joburg group on meetup.com – Monthly

Joburg Boardgamers meetup group

Meetup.com is a great place to find common interest groups who are well-organised and regular… Yes… Regular. the Boardgames Joburg Group is a great group that has a general meetup at least once a month where people bring and play a pile of different games, and often has themed meetups in between for the popular choices (For example Catan and Dominion).

Notable games being played: Every kind of game, really.
Frequency:
Once a month minimum, often 3-4 times a month.
Base: The most common venue is around William Nicol close to the N1, but it varies.
Contact: http://www.meetup.com/Board-Games-Joburg/

 

2. Amuse Cafe Boardgame – Tuesday Nights

Amuse Cafe

Amuse Cafe is a cool little pub/bar joint in Linden that is super boardgame friendly. They have boardgames that patrons can pick up and play any time, but they’ve set aside Tuesday nights for boardgames. Once a month it’s a quiz night, but boardgamers still welcome. They have decent pub grub, liquor license, and amazing Glühwein when winter has come. Lots of character, it’s like a Central Perk for boardgames :) I’d go more often if my Tuesdays weren’t already taken by Capoeira.

Notable games being played: Pub-style games, so more casual, but anything goes too. Also a monthly quiz.
Frequency:
 Once a week, after 18h30.
Base: Linden: Shop 12 Manlam court 34 5th Street, corner 4th Avenue
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/AmuseGamesNight

 

3. Animeworx Boardgame Fortnights

Unfortunately this one seems to have stopped happening. Sorry :(

AnimeWorx Boardgame nights

AnimeworX is our local mainstream geekery retailer, and known for hosting a couple of different clubs. Their games evenings used to be weekly but had been changed to every two weeks (that’s what fortnightly means, I’m sure you know what it means, but that was for *their* benefit). Could you say just say “Fortnights”? Cos it happens to be night too? Or do you have to say “Fortnightly Nights”? Anyway the AWX evenings are good ones, they’ve even been thoughtful enough to disallow Warhammer games, which in the beginning kind of overtook most of the tables (because they get REALLY sprawling and isn’t very social :P). This has made the event a lot friendlier and social.

Notable games being played: X-Wing miniature game, Netrunner, but also whatever else happens to be there. Great variety. No Warhammer!
Frequency:
 Once every two weeks, after 18h30

Base: AnimeworX, Brightwater Commons
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/AWX.AnimeWorX/events

 

4. Outer Limits – Public Holidays & other whens

Outer Limits Melville

On most public holidays, Outer Limits (the quintessential Joburg hobby shop!) hosts boardgame days. It starts right from the crack of the morning light (ok 9am) and runs till about 5-6ish. Super kudos for converting their holidays to work days, but a fun work day! Plenty of people turn up, plenty of different games get played. Outer Limits also has regular game nights for Magic the Gathering and Heroclix, two super popular collectible games, so definitely look them up if you enjoy those monstrously addictive games. They also do an annual Lory Park Zoo games day where we all go hang out at the Lory Park Zoo, play with big cat cubs, gorgeous parrots, enjoy nature and boardgames, in support of the great conservation work they’re doing just here in Midrand. It’s sublime!

Notable games being played: Everything ever.
Frequency:
 Once every two weeks.
Base: 8 Main Road, Melville 2092
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/outerlimits.melville/events

 

5. DeeTwenty Geeking Venue

DeeTwenty Geeking venue

 

(photo credit: mbLife – http://www.mblife.co.za/Passion/DeeTwenty-Geek-Street-Pippa-Tshabalala/)

DeeTwenty is a new concept in the boardgaming socials – a few intrepid geeks once had the same thought I did (riiiight up there in the opening paragraphs), so they started up a venue dedicated to geeking. It’s a really different concept – it’s not a restaurant, you don’t have food there. It’s not a shop, you’re not be tempted to buy something shiny, it’s not a pub, so you’re not gonna get sloshed, it’s just a simply pure geeking venue. So how it works is you pay for use of the venue. There are daily, weekly, monthly membership options, and they regularly have events going on. Check their calendar to see what’s on!

Notable games being played: Probably everything ever.
Frequency:
 Often, check the calendar!
Base: 18 Consuenol Dr, Randburg 2194
Contact: http://dee-twenty.com/calendar/

 

6. Netrunners SA Events – when we can

Android: NetrunnerSA 2014 Regional Championships

ANR:SA is our local Netrunner players community. We have events at least once a month, with cool swag and excellent people to play with, so if you enjoy deep, strategic card games, come join us! Netrunner is the BEST board/tabletop game ever. Richard Garfield took Magic: The Gathering, fixed all the gameplay problems with it (mana-screw syndrome, impossibly large card pool full of useless crap, decks that run themselves), then Fantasy Flight Games took the design and fixed distribution problems (Living Card Game format means no random boosters and stupid expensive singles, three-per-deck card limit means no stupid 30-of-a-single-card broken decks) and now it’s just sublime.

Notable games being played: Android: Netrunner.
Frequency:
 Once a month, at least. Also regularly at other meetups, including Amuse and AWX ones, as above.
Base: Usually at Outer Limits, as above
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/groups/netrunnerSAevents/

 

7. Outer Limits Pretoria – Wednesday Nights

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Pretoria also counts! I haven’t been to the Pretoria Outer Limits, but they look like an amazing bunch over yonder. Every Wednesday night they have a boardgame night, and it looks like a great blast, especially if you’re closer to that side of town. However they’re also close to the Hatfield Gautrain station, so travel isn’t entirely impossible.

Notable games being played: Everything ever, but they also have a few dedicated groups to Android: Netrunner, and even Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, and other classics.
Frequency: Weekly
Base: Outer Limits Hatfield, by Varsity Bakery. 293 Lynnwood Road, Pretoria
Contact: http://www.meetup.com/Board-and-table-top-gaming-in-Pretoria/

 

8. Timeless Boardgame Days – Monthly

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Super accessible, the whole point of Timeless’ boardgame days is come and play games for a day, especially if you don’t own any games. Tons of open games to play. I wrote a whole thing about them here – so read that.

Spoiler: Highly recommended!

Notable games being played: Everything ever. The point is that noone needs to bring their own, of course you may if you want to.
Frequency:
 Once a month.
Base: Bedford Chapel, 4 Bradford Road Bedfordview JHB
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/timelessboardgames

 

9. Battle Wizards Centurion – Wednesday Nights

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Battle Wizards is a new FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) is open in Centurion, and they were also at rAge expo. They do a weekly boardgame evening on Wednesdays, as well as a bunch of other focused, regular events for Magic, X-Wing, Warhammer, Netrunner, and other big games. I haven’t been to them personally but they look pretty awesome, and doubly so if you’re in their neighbourhood.

Notable games being played: Everything, and presumably whatever people bring or get there.
Frequency:
 Once a week, Wednesday evenings.
Base: Shop 79, Doringkloof Mall, Lupin avenue, Centurion, Gauteng
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/battlewizards/

 

That rounds off this list for now!

If I missed anything you know, please let me know via the comments under here, or you can Tweet me, or mail me, or whatever, and I’ll definitely add it here and issue updates :)

Play you around! 😀

Cartel updated, design mock-ups, better rules, Print & Play Files out now!

Cartel is a card game that I’m working on that’s in prototyping stage. You can get the Print and Play files here.

Cartel’s got a big update!

Mockups of the card art (not the design in the PNP, they’re for experimenting with layouts and legibility:

 

card_business     card_building

card_back     card_pocket

 

But wait, there’s more!

  • Completely reworked print and play files, much more white! And colour added in case you want to use it. But you can play in black and white too.
  • A couple of cards were changed for balance.
  • Comprehensive overview added, read that for a quick summary of how the game works!
  • A lot more comprehensive rules – complete with illustrations to make it a lot easier to understand.
  • Card backs included in case you want to use them :)

Click here to Download the latest Cartel Print and Play files

Also please remember to hit the feedback thread on Boardgamegeek – any and all feedback and constructive criticism welcome!

Prototyping Cartel – A city building, combat & traitor game

First of all, I’m looking for playtesters! The Print and Play component is being tidied up at the moment, but if you’re at all interested, please get me on my twitter, leave a comment here, or email me at twoplusgames at gmail dot com!

After a couple of playtests, some major tweaks and overhauls, I’m happy to show you my latest card game design – Cartel V3.0! 😀

Cartel is a two to four (tentatively) player game where you play the head of a corporation in a Cartel. On the surface, you’re building a metropolis of thriving commerce, but in the shadows, you vie for dominance against other Cartel lords by racketeering for territories with your hired muscle and manipulating the City by pocketing shady officials… But careful, rely on corruption too much, and everyone may be snitched out by a traitorous member of the Cartel!

Isometric stacking buildings with cards!

The design of this game began with the idea of cards that make isometric, stackable buildings. This idea lent itself to a game of territorial control – and as I’m the BIGGEST Netrunner fan in the world, it had started as a game called Corporate War – the name of a Netrunner card. (How’s that for a piece of pointless trivia :P) I’m not going into the history of this game much more than this 😛

Isometric stackable buildings with cards!

At the heart of Cartel are these buildings, or floors, or businesses, which give you points when they’re A) controlled by your thugs, AND B) placed correctly. There are four types of businesses in the game, each only generating benefits when placed in their preferred spot:

  • A – Anniewares General Stores are worth one point anywhere in the city. They are unrestricted in placement because Seven Elevens don’t care where they are.

  • T – TopTech Technologies are worth three points when they remain at the top of a building at the end of the game, because tech giants need a view.

  • G – Groundhog Coffees are worth two points when they’re on the ground floor, because I’ve never seen a Starbucks on the second storey.

  • D – DoubleDown Casinos are worth three points when they’re connected to another Double Down, because casinos need to be big.

The businesses are set up in the City, and each cartel boss vie for control with…

The Muscle

The thugs are what keeps what’s yours yours, and helps you move into what’s not yours. As you build businesses in the City, you gain more members in your gang, which you use to move around the board and control buildings. Conflict may resolve in the removal of opposing thugs if you manoeuvre a superior number into the right place!

Thugs are also one of the ways that the game may end – when any player reaches 10 thugs in their gang, the game ends because one of the gangs has reached super notoriety, and scoring commences.

The Muscle vs The Muscle

No honour among thieves

There is another set of cards that represent city officials, the proud people of City governorship… that you can get into your pocket to do your bidding. In addition to adding to your score, each personality has special powers when you buy them into your service: Constable Fernandez can call a police raid and force all thugs in one place to evacuate their current location, Senator Johns is less subtle and can pull two thugs outright off the street with a crackdown order, and Warden Manny can keep your thugs from being thrown off the streets entirely, returning them to play as long as you have Warden Manny in your pocket…

Get City officials in your pocket to do your bidding.

…So why would you ever lose Warden Manny? There is more than one copy of every pocket card, so when you hold any pocket personality, when someone else plays another of the same name, yours is immediately discarded. The corrupt are fickle by definition!

Pocket cards also provide the second game-ending condition – The Snitch. When corruption becomes impossible to cover up, one of the cartel lords can turn state witness and rat everyone out, ending the game. The Snitch is worth A LOT of points. How much? I haven’t decided yet – it’ll require a heck of a lot more playtesting to get a feel for the points. It should be a large enough payout that it should win any game outright, but it should also be possible to overcome if a player has a solid enough stranglehold on the city’s territories.

The Snitch

Join me in The City

So that’s about it for the game. There are a few things I hadn’t spoken about like the road cards, which provide a sort of a limit to where buildings can be started, as well as the payment for for building up being discarding of cards, and the way you generate resources (card draws per turn) by occupying a tall building, but those are details that hold the game together while the exciting stuff happens. I LOVE thematic games, and with Cartel my goal was to create a game where you actually feel like a criminal lord jockeying for territory, using every available resource, while the cloud of being Snitched out hangs above everyone’s head.

If you’re interested in helping me playtest Cartel, just get in touch with me (leave a comment here, or get me on my twitter, or email me at twoplusgames at gmail dot come) and I can send you a Print and Play copy of the game when it’s ready! (It’s still quite messy right now despite the clean look it has in the photos)

Thanks for reading!

 

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