Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Revisiting Brew Crafters

Ben Rosset and Kathy Owen in a
three-player round of "Brew Crafters"
Last January, at UnPub 3, Chris Kirkman (Dice Hate Me Games) and I had the opportunity to playtest Ben Rosset's beer-brewing themed worker-placement game, "Brew Crafters" (at the time under the working title "Brewmasters").  About a month later, Chris and Ben reached agreement to publish "Brew Crafters" under the Dice Hate Me label.  Ben has continued to playtest "Brew Crafters" throughout the year in anticipation of a Kickstarter campaign later this month to fund the initial print run.  A couple of weeks ago, my wife Kathy and I participated in a playtest of the most current version of "Brew Crafters" with Ben.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Congress of Gamers 2013 Part 5: Five-player "East India Company"

Wrapping up my Congress of Gamers coverage from almost three weeks ago, I've got a five-player playtest of "East India Company" and just a few other odds and ends to close things out.

Clockwise from left foreground:  Jason Tagmire, Marty, myself, Alf Shadowsong, Kiva Fecteau, and John Weber as I facilitate a five-player playtest of  "East India Company" - Photo by Mike Mullins

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Congress of Gamers 2013 Part 4: Tiny Battles and Big Battleships

Tiny Epic Battles
One of the cool things about the UnPub ProtoZones is that you get to meet new designers and discover their creations.  I met Alf Shadowsong and Kiva Fecteau, who had a couple of prototypes, and the one I got to try is called "Tiny Epic Battles."  The way Alf tells it, he designed this little card game as a method to teach tactics to Kiva.  The exercise evolved into a stand-alone two-player deck-construction game.  Each player starts with an action deck, a resource deck, and three "houses" face up in a tableau that he needs to defend.  A player loses if he exhausts either deck or loses all of his "houses."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Congress of Gamers 2013 Part 3: "New Bedford"

Anna Rutledge and Nathaniel Levan
demonstrate "New Bedford"
I had been looking forward to playing "New Bedford" since I first heard of it on the UnPub.net website.  My family has deep attachments to that old Massachusetts whaling town.  Nathaniel Levan is the designer of this worker placement prototype, and I got to meet him in the UnPub ProtoZone at Congress of Gamers a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Congress of Gamers 2013 Part 2: "Firebreak"

At the World Boardgaming Championships last August, I met up briefly with Charlie Hoopes but never got a chance to play his game Fill the Barn.  I had also missed out on playing "AtataT" at UnPub 3 last January.  Fortunately, I was able to make up for it at Congress of Gamers last week by playing his latest co-op prototype, "Firebreak."  We were joined by Bruce Voge of The Party Gamecast and Aaron Honsowetz and Austin Smokowicz, designers of "Post Position."
Bruce Voge, Charlie Hoopes, Austin Smocowicz, and Paul Owen playtesting "Firebreak."
Photo by Aaron Honsowetz

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Congress of Gamers 2013 Part 1: Mares and Mariners

Last weekend I made my annual trek to nearby Rockville, Maryland, to participate in Congress of Gamers, a friendly little weekend convention run by Eric Englemann of the Games Club of Maryland.  A series of Eurogame tournaments make up the convention's big draw, but CoG also features a number of other events, including the "Copyright Office," a game designer's prototype playtest room run by UnPub.net as a "ProtoZone" event.  That's where I spent virtually all of my time during CoG.