Saturday, April 25, 2015

Board Game Review: Clans

I normally try to follow a pattern of two-weeks-of-random-topics-then-a-board-game-review, but I'm going to change it up a little bit this week and next; I'm going to do two board game reviews in a row.

This week, I'm going to review Clans. Next week, I'm going to review Asphodel. This is a game that a very good friend of mine has created, and last night, I got to playtest it for the first time. He gave me a protoype copy for myself, and I'm going to take this to the board game club I attend on Tuesdays to get other people to playtest it as well. After I've had a few good playtest sessions with it, I will write a review here.

But I want to wait until I've had a few chances to play through it before I do that, so I'm going to stick to my normal schedule for this week. That means that I'm going to review one of my favourite board games (and honestly, I can't believe I haven't reviewed it here before): Clans.

First, the numbers:
Strategy and Randomness are rated from 0 to 6. A 0 means the rated aspect plays no part in determining the game's outcome; and a 6 means that it is the only factor that determines the game's outcome. Complexity is also rated from 0 to 6; a 0 means that it's so simple a six-year-old can play it, a 3 means any adult should have no trouble playing, and a 6 means that you'll need to refer to the rulebook frequently. Humour can be rated as 'None,' meaning the game is not meant to be funny, or it may have one or more of the following: Derivative (meaning the humour is based on an outside source, such as a game based on a comedy film), Implicit (meaning that the game's components are funny, such as humourous card text), or Inherent (meaning that the actions the players take are funny). Attractiveness has nine possible ratings. Ideal: the game is beautiful and makes game play easier. Pretty: The design is beautiful and neither eases nor impedes game play. Nice: The design is beautiful but makes game play harder than necessary. Useful: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but eases gameplay. Average: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Useless: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but makes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Utilitarian: The design is ugly, but eases gameplay. Ugly: The design is ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Worthless: The design is ugly, andmakes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Average Length of Game Play describes how long an average game will probably last, give or take.
Strategy: 5
Randomness: 1
Complexity: 2
Humour: None
Attractiveness: Useful
Expected Length of Gameplay: 30 - 45 minutes

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Your input needed for the direction of this blog

As I mentioned last week, I've been getting a fair amount of traffic from around the world. But one thing I've noticed is that, by far, the posts that are getting the most views are the Board Game Reviews. I've published 85 entries in this blog so far (this entry is number 86).

Entries Number of entries Percentage of total entries Number of views Percentage of views
Total Entries 85 100% 2201 100%
Board Game Reviews 19 22.4% 1647 74.8%
Other entries 66 77.6% 554 25.2%

Anyone can see that there is clearly a massive disparity there. Obviously, people are coming to my blog for the board game reviews (interesting note: so far, my review of Storming the Castle has the most views, with 358, followed by Anima: Shadow of Omega with 340, then Three Musketeers: The Queen's Pendants at 221). Not many people seem to care about my other entries (the largest page views on the non-Board Game Review entries are the ones I wrote about new GURPS divination spells (part 1 had 38 views, and part 2 had 121).

So my question for you good people is this: Should I stick to writing only board game reviews? Or do you think I should keep doing what I'm doing and let the traffic go where it will regardless of what I'm writing?

Please leave your response in the comment section below. I'm really looking forward to hearing what you lovely people have to say!

Until next week,

Game on!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mature themes

Don't be fooled by the title of this post. I'm not referring specifically to sexual topics. I'm going to be talking about anything that might be considered 'adult-oriented,' including violence, advanced social issues, and the like.

Before I go on, I want to mention something very quickly: I have noticed a continuation in the trend. My Board Game Review entries are still getting, by far, the most traffic. This week, the majority of my traffic seems to be coming from Russia. Fascinating...

Anyway, I'm going to talk about that more next week, but this week, I wanted to talk about something that I noticed whilst watching the latest episode of Wil Wheaton's Tabletop. The latest episode is about the game Five Tribes. The game is set in the world of 1,001 Arabian Nights, and so contains viziers, camels, palaces, assassins, djinns, and slaves.

Mr Wheaton started out the episode with a little speech, in which he points out that some people have an ethical objection to the concept of slavery being included in the game, and that the publishers chose to include it because, moral or not, it was part of the culture being depicted in the game, and they felt it was important to portray the setting accurately. But as Wil Wheaton personally objects to the concept of owning another human being, he was going to refer to the slave cards as 'assistants' throughout the game.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Board Game Review: Dominant Species

I recently got to play Dominant Species for the first time. I was introduced to this game by an old friend. As he said about it, 'This is a game I love to lose.' This game is very much intended for people whose idea of a good time is to think really really hard. So, of course, I loved it.

Let's see what we have in store for us, by starting first with the ratings (and of course my rating system):
Strategy and Randomness are rated from 0 to 6. A 0 means the rated aspect plays no part in determining the game's outcome; and a 6 means that it is the only factor that determines the game's outcome. Complexity is also rated from 0 to 6; a 0 means that it's so simple a six-year-old can play it, a 3 means any adult should have no trouble playing, and a 6 means that you'll need to refer to the rulebook frequently. Humour can be rated as 'None,' meaning the game is not meant to be funny, or it may have one or more of the following: Derivative (meaning the humour is based on an outside source, such as a game based on a comedy film), Implicit (meaning that the game's components are funny, such as humourous card text), or Inherent (meaning that the actions the players take are funny). Attractiveness has nine possible ratings. Ideal: the game is beautiful and makes game play easier. Pretty: The design is beautiful and neither eases nor impedes game play. Nice: The design is beautiful but makes game play harder than necessary. Useful: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but eases gameplay. Average: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Useless: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but makes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Utilitarian: The design is ugly, but eases gameplay. Ugly: The design is ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Worthless: The design is ugly, andmakes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Average Length of Game Play describes how long an average game will probably last, give or take.
Strategy: 5
Randomness: 1
Complexity: 4
Humour: None
Attractiveness: Ideal
Expected Length of Game Play: 2 to 3 hours