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    BoardGameGeek News | BoardGameGeek

  • Designer Diary: Wanted: Rich or Dead
    by Dariusz Kułak Hello! My name is Dariusz Kułak, and I am the designer of Wanted: Rich or Dead, a Western-themed party game scheduled to debut from Galakta at SPIEL '17. I wish to tell you a little about my newest game and how I created it.Actually, despite being a quick and easy game, Wanted: Rich or Dead (as it came to be known) took a long time to design. Its first version left my drawer over four years ago in 2013! Considering that people like Uwe Rosenberg manage to create, say, A Feast for Odin — a game the size of a giant — in half that time or less, I guess I should be ashamed of myself.Anyway, the first version of the game was called "Acreage", and it was supposed to be a rather simple strategic game of Small World weight. Different races controlled by players would fight for resources, land, and food. The thing that would make this title stand out was its theme: birds, with tomtits that specialized in quick food collection, combat-oriented grackles, and the sparrows who are builders extraordinaire. Most of the mechanisms were based on action cards being played simultaneously and used to create paths to resources, build nests and storages, or expand to new territories. However, a hexagonal board and units with unique statistics resulted in many similarities with Neuroshima Hex!, and in the end I stopped on an early-prototype level.Some time later, one of the Polish game publishers proposed that I create a strategic game that would consist of only 55 cards. Although it seemed like a tough task, I returned to the idea of "Acreage" and started making serious cuts. After some time, I was left with a number of areas presented on cards, simultaneous actions, and a deck of items providing certain bonuses.I also created a more sophisticated background to strengthen the theme; the game was still about birds, but they turned into bird gangs trying to prepare for the coming winter by gathering sunflower seeds. Each bird species became a different organized crime group such as Yakuza or Cosa Nostra. I even drew my own art so that playtesters would be immersed even deeper in this brutal world of bird-eat-bird. (Plus, it's quite hard to find gangster bird artwork...) In this way, "In Your beak!" (more commonly known as "Birdies") was born.In "Birdies", each player controlled one of five different bird gangs. Five areas were placed on the table, and players simultaneously played one of six action cards to move their pawn to a certain area. If a player was alone, they got their resources. Otherwise, a quarrel had to be settled. It can't be simpler than that, right?The things that people liked were very quick gameplay, practically no downtime, and a light, amusing theme. One of the unique mechanisms was based on the birds getting "fat" with sunflower seeds; the more a player had, the weaker they became, which is the opposite of a snowball effect. By... Read more »
  • SPIEL '17 Preview: Cuckooo!, or A Blackjack to the Head
    by W. Eric Martin Every day with every play I relearn the folly of thinking that you can play a game once and understand how it works, especially when you make small rule errors that destroy the effect the designer intended to create. Even if you manage to avoid making such errors in the first place, the second play is almost always better than the first simply because you start the game already embedded in the experience.The latest game to retransmit this lesson is Cuckooo! from József Dorsonczky and Mind Fitness Games, a card game that will debut at SPIEL '17. I've loved Dorsonczky's Six Making and Hack Trick, both two-player-only games that reward heady thinking and outreading your opponent.Cuckooo! is for 3-5 players, and your goal each round is to come as close to 21 as you can without going over that total — but don't mistake this game for a Blackjack variant as the two games share only that magic number and nothing more. Each round, you'll sum the numbers on one of the two owl cards in front of you, 0-2 sparrow cards that you play from your hand, and possibly a cuckoo tile that you were forced to take from the table. That cuckoo is your nemesis, but if you literally play your cards right, sometimes the cuckoo can turn out to be your savior.The game uses a unique deck seven-color deck in which one color has sparrow cards numbered 1-8, another 2-8, another 3-8, and so on up to the seventh color with cards 7 and 8. With four players, you strip out the 8s, and with three you also remove the 7s; this ensures that you deal the cards at the start of the round, each player has exactly seven cards, and you know all the sparrow cards in play. You also start with two randomly dealt owl cards, with these going from 7 to 18. A number of cuckoo tiles equal to the number of players are revealed at random, with these tiles being numbered 1-6.After looking over your hand, you pass three cards of your choice to the player on your right and collect three cards passed to you. What will you want to pass? You'll have no idea until you've played a few rounds, so just roll with it and learn as you go.Whoever has the highest card in the longest suit places this card in a discard row, then the player to their left takes the first turn, and on your turn you can:• Discard a sparrow face down in front of you as part of our flock; you can have at most two sparrows in your flock.• Discard a sparrow card to the discard row as long as it matches the number or color of the most recently discarded card in this row.• Discard your entire hand, but only if you cannot discard a card into the discard row; place these cards face up by the cuckoo tiles, then... Read more »
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    DriveThruRPG.com Newest Items

  • Noble Animal Spell Lists: A Supplement for The Noble Wild OGL Animal Player’s Handbook
    Publisher: Skirmisher PublishingThis free download includes complete replacement spell lists for the various character classes customized for use with The Noble Wild OGL “Animal Player’s Handbook,” which was nominated for a 2008 ENnie award in the “Best Monster or Adversary” category. In addition to old spells that function as normal, the lists in this supplement also include both existing spells that have been added to a particular spellcaster list or had their levels adjusted for noble animal characters, and the new spells that are fully described in The Noble Wild Chapter 6: Magic and Spells. Check out all the Noble Wild products: The Noble Wild Updated Animal FamiliarsPrice: $0.00... Read more »
  • Golem P5
    Publisher: Jeremy HartPrice: $2.24... Read more »
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    Gnome Stew

  • Missing Stairs – Why We Need To Listen and Why We Can’t Be Silent
    The beginning of this week saw the hashtag #metoo trend to increase awareness about how many women have been harassed in their lives.  On my Facebook feed alone, I’d estimate that around 85% of the women I know posted something. The actual number of women who have been harassed is higher than that, based on […]... Read more »
  • Forges Of Power
    Many are the epic arms forged in your fantasy game. But sometimes the most powerful armaments require tools as powerful as they are. Enter these forges of power, able to bring forth the most fantastic of creations. Cold Iron Forge: Created by a race of arctic dwarves, for whom fire was a luxury, this huge […]... Read more »
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    Gnome Stew

  • Missing Stairs – Why We Need To Listen and Why We Can’t Be Silent
    The beginning of this week saw the hashtag #metoo trend to increase awareness about how many women have been harassed in their lives.  On my Facebook feed alone, I’d estimate that around 85% of the women I know posted something. The actual number of women who have been harassed is higher than that, based on […]... Read more »
  • Forges Of Power
    Many are the epic arms forged in your fantasy game. But sometimes the most powerful armaments require tools as powerful as they are. Enter these forges of power, able to bring forth the most fantastic of creations. Cold Iron Forge: Created by a race of arctic dwarves, for whom fire was a luxury, this huge […]... Read more »
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    Sly Flourish

  • Top Tips from a Sample of 4,000 Dungeon Masters
    Each one of us has opinions and ideas on how to make our D&D games great. It's harder, however, to group all of these opinions together to find the commonalities. By categorizing a random sample o... Read more »
  • Improvising Combat Situations with Advantage, Disadvantage, and Inspiration
    Keeping combat scenes fresh and interesting is a hard job. Many players have played and will play through thousands of combat encounters and it's up to us DMs to make each one memorable. We DMs proba... Read more »