This is a preview of a Kickstarter.
come together, right now
Worker placement games are one of my favorite mechanisms in our world of fun. When done right, you feel like a real farmer that struggle to by successful in the 1800's (Agicola), lead your neiadathel buddy's through the trials (Stone Age) and tribulations of evolution or that you have lived an alternative life, collecting vinyl records and working as a comic book artist (The Pursuit Of Happiness).
Nētā-Tanka gives me the same sensation, only that it also makes you feel good because you've helped out the fellow players. No, this isn't a co-op game. You are competing. But you are preform tasks to help your fellow man around your Native American village. Feeding them, clothing them, housing them, all for generousness point. All these thing will make your people see that you are "The One" to become the next Nētā-Tanka. This is a game, that if you are really good to you friends and family, you will win the game.
Every building actions and job that you send your meeple out to do will generate generosity points. These are either in a spendable token form or just solid final score form. In the game, you'll be placing out you clan of meeples, one at a time onto spaces that give them a task. Then on your turn, activating the tasks that you sent them to do, before the cleanup and preparation of the next round. A fairly straight forward game of this genera, yes?
... Read on ...
you scratch my back...
The players small clan of helpers live within the same tribe as the other players. Each will be given a specific task to preform. Gather resources and building thing are the nature of most games of this ilk but this has a little twist. You may send someone off to hunt for buffalo, but are purely trapping the animal for the whole tribe. Another player may kill the beast, cutting up the meat and tanning it's skin while taking some of those skins. Yet another play may take the action of smocking the meat to take for themselves. Like chain-reactions, one thing will occur that will allow other things to happen. And what will you get?
Unlike the village idiot, you won't get suckered in to preforming that same old task from round to round, that helps all everyone get resources, apart from yourself. So your day in the sun will come if a player takes the "Elder of the hunt" or "Elder of the forest" action space. Those are powerful actions giving you a choice in what you do, either taking a resorce or preforming a build action. Choosing this space will commit that meeple on that space to going hunting for buffalo of collecting wood in the forest the next round. Therefore setting up more resources that now you can pick from.
what's the point?
You'll be collecting wood and mushrooms, building tepee's, smoking meats and building the tallest totem pole anyone has ever seen, if you wish. Or you could follow the instructions handed to you on your non-obligatory secret objective card. Yes, I said "non-obligatory."
You don't have to do what the card says, so you can go your own route. Make your own objective, without bonus points. As other players may get in the way of the actions you want to preform. Or because you miscalculated an action. For example, you have a meeple on the "Smoke Meat" space and player one just captured a buffalo, but player three is going to skin it and cut up the meat...
And your player two...
And there's no meat for you to smoke...
Better fine a pipe...
But this secret objective card is not a loss, as you can trade it in for a point of generosity that can be either spent on the "Offering" space or kept as a scoring point at the final. Making an "Offering" is one way to get resources that you want, plans to make Handicrafts. And also use a powerful tool..."Links."
join the chain gang
"Links" are scattered around the board, in between each action space. They function on your turn, if you have deployed your clan members on two spaces joined buy this "Link." A sort of area control. If you place the whole clan of your meeples in one area of the board, you will be able to activate multiple "Links" that give you bonus resources and actions. These links are important as they not only make your actions from the adjacent spaces more powerful, but also give you access to things that can be difficult to preform. Like collecting the rare animal skull to decorate your totem pole with.
That's not to say that you will have a hard time doing the things you planed to do each turn. Even though a large majority of spaces that can only hold one meeple, the game does not feel restrictive. There will always be a space or action that you want to do, open for one of you meeples. In fact, there will be rounds where every player gets the spaces that they want and some where they don't. One way around this is, as mentioned before, using the "Offering" space to pay to use the "Links." Another is by unlocking a special ability, which allows you to copy. Basically allowing you to place one of your clan in a space already occupied by one other meeple. Yours or another players. And BAM! your doing the action you wanted to do and maybe activating a "Link" too.
Lots of possibility's for ways to get them chores done. And when their done, it's off to the next. As there are may ways to get those points of generosity to come your way. Not only do you get scored on the height of your totem pole but a bonus for each skull and two parts wood constructed. Object give the marked points but creating sets will give additional. Point city, or should I say point village!
more than just a pretty skin
The strange sensation that you are left with at the end of the game is one of "I could have done more," even though you did get to do almost everything you'd set out to do. And the next time you play, you will do more. The game is of a family lite build with a little bit of conflict for the actions spaces. Lightly twisted around the Maypole with the area control style links and friend hugging, working together (but not really working together) theme.
Of course, there are a lot more things to talk about. Like how timing is important and how becoming first player gives you a helping hand and how to actually build a tepee!!! But those are questions that will be answered in the video below
Look out for the game when it hits Kickstarter on June the 5th
Now watch "how to play"
Being a shrew business person doesn't come easy, unless you are just playing a card that will make you shred. In fact, most board game will convince you that you'd probably be a great business person due to the difficult decisions that you handle easily on your turn. And in Chartered, it's no different.
You'll be establishing warehouses in Amsterdam, contributing to the city that will grow to become the wealthiest city in the western world. You can become the best merchant, build chartered enterprises and purchase stock to profit from their expected growth. Your goal? Profit and wealth.
This is one of those "easy to learn and difficult to master" type of games. Where the rules give you only one of two actions to preform each turn. Buy a plot of land or construct a warehouse. And by the time it is your turn, you will have already decided what to do...fast paced decision making each turn.
Each space on the board has a number allocated to it. There is one card of each number in the deck and you will have a handful of ten cards, or plots of land to start the game. Buying another does nothing but give you more possibility's on your successive turns. As there is no hand limit, you are only restricted to the money that it costs to buy a card. Also restricted by your conscience, as you know that at the end of the game there is a penalty to pay for each remaining card in your hand.
Building a warehouse is a satisfying action to take. If you construct in the the middle of nowhere, you create one of the nine enterprises in game. Placing several of these "LEGO" like bricks on the board and stacking a HQ of that enterprise on top. Giving you some revenue and the chance to buy some stock, if there is any available. If you construct next to an existing enterprise, you make it larger, increasing the value of it's stock. Or joining two enterprises together, forcing a merger and a liquidation of stock.
It's not until you buy the right to become the owner of an enterprise that things become doubly interesting. Not only is your stock worth four time the amount to you, but also watching as other players either help you grow bigger or play elsewhere. Or worst of all, swallow your enterprise with their own, when they merge them.
All in all, with it's simple set collecting and area control, this is another game along the lines of a Ticket To Ride or New York 1901. Building in three dimensions and preconceiving the rises in the stock market (or manipulating them). A family style game with a heavy economy element, because it's all about the money. If you have the most after selling all your stock, guess what...You win!
Find out more by clicking the link to Kickstarter below or watch the video.
Have you ever wanted to play detective?
Where you ever let down by the shallowness of Cluedo?
Do you watch too many TV cop show?
Well here is a game that you should be looking at...
Team play and communication is what is needed to bring in the criminal. You'll be interrogating suspects, regarding crime scenes, evaluating evidence and getting expert help from Doctors and Psychologists. And all this is done through your smart phone.
The game comes with several decks of card, containing people and items. These people are like actors, playing roles in your cop drama. In one mystery, Joe may be a dodge drug dealer while in another the brilliant scientist. Each character in a story will will have a past, a present and possible future in the game. You will be taking everything they say and compile it into reality, making sure the liars don't slip through your net.
Getting around and communicating with these NPC is done simply with a quick scan of a QR code. The app takes card of the rest. Noting who is about, what they are up to and whats around.
Most importantly, there are some locations that can be explored and examined. In a 360 degree world, as displayed in the app, one player will be able to look for clues. Shouting out what they see, while other player collect cards that represent those items in the real world. These items can be then scanned to verify if they are clues or trash. Show them to the suspect and see if they wince, spill their guts and give you the last piece of the puzzle.
The game is hyper thematic, with a profound story and head scratchingly fun. Although there are those of us that dislike using phones and tablets in our gaming area, this is a necessary evil of the game as it generates in depth discussion between players.
It's an escape room on your table. It is what Time Stories should have been. It is a living breathing world were NPC move around and get on with their lives. This is the murder mystery game to end them all.
watch my first impression video
January. What a month it has been. Stuffed after Christmas. Marinaded on New Year. Then tickled pink on the Birthday.
I did get to play quite a few games as well. Some family favorites as well as some new ones that flew under my nose. From the wonderful Clans of Caledonia (Karma Games) to the Wall in Catan (Fantasy Flight Games), with the Brotherhood of the Watch. I hiked around the beautiful Okanagan: Valleyof the Lakes (Matagot) and visited an old favoratite place with a Splendor (Space Cowboys) new view of the city.
There were a few Kickstarters that came my way as well. One, I have been playing for a long time and have seen it evolve over the year. That is Batman: Gotham City Chronicles (Monolith Editions) which is coming very soon. The other, which is currently running is Blockchain: The Cryptocurrency Game (Say Cheves). You can find these in my Kickstarter page.
And I delve into board game app's. As there were a few time in the month where I played Mansions of Madness (Fantasy Flight) alone. Or I was joined with my daughter in the fight to save the galaxy in Rising 5 (Holy Grail Games). playing with these app's got me thinking, are they good or bad for the hobby? And most importantly, do they work?
But you can see and hear about all these things, in my double-back monthly blog
What is "the Monthly Video?" 0:20
A Review of Reviews 1:41
First and the Last 3:15
Question Time 12:50
The Monthly Giveaway 21:52
Let me know in the comments, what you think about board game app's.
And if you have a question that you'd like me to open up in Question Time.
A new day, a new year and a new adventure awaits.
As you probably saw from my Top Ten Games I'd Drop Everything For... list, I like to play the same games again and again. For me, nothing beats playing a game that you don't have to explain to your competition and you can just go head to head in the challenge to becoming the master of that game.
But there is also nothing like trying something new and different. To cleanse your pallet. And although I am not a fan of the "Cult Of The New," I find myself being wrapped up in it's web. This year, I will be working for game publishers on their newest games. Mainly Kickstarters. As always, I will be producing videos that show pertentual backers how the game works and feels.
Here are some of those titles:
So, not only am I making reviews of game, but with some of them I will be helping in the support as they are running on Kickstarter. As a campaign manager, which is kind of nice. Another bonus from this is I get to learn how these games work, not from reading a rule book. But from actually being taught by their designers. And that is a whole different sensation. You get inside their head and understand every facet and rule tweak that they have made over the many years that the game has been created. It's a wonderful feeling.
You can check out these titles in more depth on the BGG website:
And who knows what will be further down the road.
All I can tell you about the things that have happened in the past month. While I am getting older, I am finding it harder to retain information. I have even forgotten my birthday! Old man.
So instead of typing about all the wonderful things I seem to remember doing in December, I have recorded them into a little video for you.
And that is just a fraction of the things that are coming in 2018. Unfortunately, I can not cover everything, but if I get a chance to, I will.
If you have a question that you'd like me to answer in next months video or advice about a game, please leave it in the comment section below. Until next time, play nicely together.
Ciao for now...