Category Archives: board games

Welcome 2017!

I guess this is my obligatory new year, new me post. There are a lot of things that I’d like to have happen this next year, but I’m not going to get into that much here. I will say that one thing I want to do is write more. I’ve got a book already written that just needs a really good edit, or maybe it was just a test to see if I could really go long. The kids like it, but let’s be honest here. I’m their dad. I could probably write a turd of a book and they’d think it was the coolest thing ever. Until puberty. Then it’ll be the lamest!

So yeah.. getting into the swing of things again. Let’s see…

This Christmas, the girls got gift cards for Target (at their request) and instead of buying toys, they decided they wanted bedroom decor. I guess my girls are growing up. That’s sweet and all, but I liked them being little too. Those shelves were ordered at the same time, but for reasons only known to the postal service they showed up on two different days. I got the first set up yesterday and the last set up today. I think they look pretty good.

Everyone here is a little under the weather so Cynthia gave the kids medicine and we posed for a humorous Happy New Years picture. Cynthia is the only one who was knocked out though. The kids are all in their rooms either playing Xbox or drawing in their journals. I guess there is only so much YouTube that a person can do in a day.

Finally, I decided to give 51st State a solo run through and that was ultimately a failure. It really seems as if the solo mode was tacked on because I’m following the instructions to the letter, because I’m unfamiliar with the game, and it never tells me when the virtual player builds a building, yet I’m told I can raze the virtual player’s buildings and using their open production spots. Am I to assume that any card that they draw is just automatically built?

I watched Rodney Smith’s tutorial over at Watch It Played and while he does a great job as usual, his instructions are for the multi-player game. He only alludes to the solo rules and tells us to find them out on our own. I saw a couple of YouTube videos on the 51st State solo mode. I’ll be checking those out in the morning.

My completely uneducated first impression is that the virtual player seems to gain victory points at an alarmingly fast rate. Almost guaranteed 2 VP a turn, at least, since he’ll buy up a connection card, if any are available, and at this point, I don’t see how there wouldn’t be at least 1. So 2 VP a turn. When it’s a race to 25, that seems like a pretty nice benefit to have. If you, as first player, don’t take a connection yourself, you’re essentially giving the virtual player 4 VP a turn. At least, if I understand the rules right. I’ll post an update.

That said, I really like the look of this game. It’s pretty. It has a really nice gritty, post apocalyptic style that permeates all facets of the game. It’s themed beautifully. I am really looking forward to learning the rules and getting a few solo games under my belt.

So that’s my new years post. I’m hoping that it isn’t the last post you see from me in 2017. Wishing you all a happy, safe, healthy, and prosperous new year!

Mint Works PnP Alt Text

Mint Works: I know what I’m doing this weekend.

I know what I’ll be doing this weekend. I have my PnP copy of Mint Works and I’ll be playtesting some solo variant rules. The first stab at the rules looks interesting. How to compete against an opponent with infinite resources should be interesting. First to 7 points still applies. I’m eager to give this a shot.

Justin at Five24 Labs is doing a great job with the Kickstarter. Great communication. Great interaction with the backers. Very open to suggestions. The backers are actually informing some of the decisions by way of voting and polls. I do have one concern about one of the existing polls.

One of the stretch goals is for upgraded components (compon-mints? eh? eh? no?) .. okay, sorry. 🙂 So one of the stretch goals is for wooden or plastic “mint” tokens. Last I checked wood was winning the day. I get the appeal of wood, especially coming from a guy who spent hours in his dad’s woodshop growing up. But there are potential problems with the material.

I backed a project where you build trees for little tree spirit dudes to live in. I don’t want to mention the name because the company did a great job with the Kickstarter and it’s an alright little game. One of the component upgrades on that game was wooden disk tokens, which would be very similar to the size of the mints in Mint Works. These wooden disks had a pretty high rate of defect. Notches out of the wood. Shaved flat edges. General unevenness. Some reported getting tokens already broken in half. Quality control wasn’t there.

In the game I mentioned, these wooden tokens were just scoring tokens. Tokens that you were supposed to apply a sticker to. As you can imagine, uneven surfaces mean that the stickers don’t stay on for long. In any case, Mint Works wouldn’t require stickers but it would involve a much greater amount of handling. To that end, I believe plastic to be the much better solution.

Time will tell whether or not plastic or wood wins the vote, but Justin may find himself in the unenviable position of having to take a decision back from the backers and taking matters into his own hands for the good of his game.

What has this got to do with playtesting? Absolutely nothing. Does it dampen my enthusiasm at all? Not even a little. Everything I’ve seen leads me to think that Mint Works stands to be a great little introductory worker placement game that plays in no time at all. It is perfectly priced and I am very eager to see the end result of this campaign.