26 January 2019

Board Game Review: Swordcrafters

I don't back many projects on Kickstarter. There has to be something extra appealing about it before I will throw money at it. But there has been just such an example fairly recently, and I finally got my copy of it not too long ago. And today, I will review that game for you. So here is my review of: Swordcrafters.

Most of the components of the game, next to the box. There is a score tracker with pieces for each player, a set of tiles representing a section of a sword blade, most with a single jewel in the centre, cardboard tiles shaped like sword hilts, plastic pommels into which those hilts can be inserted, allowing the sword to stand up, and some crossguard tiles.

I was intrigued by the game's primary premise: you are constructing a three-dimensional sword out of two-dimensional tiles. It sounded like an interesting mechanic, so I had to give it a chance. I became a backer, and I have not been disappointed.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Here come the numbers:

19 January 2019

PinkFae Archive #28: How to GM Part 3: Designing Your Campaign (2nd of 2)

Last week's article was the first part of a two-part entry from the PinkFae Archives. So this week we will post the second half of that article. This finishes up Part 3 of the 'How to GM' series. It was originally posted on 5 August 2016.

A hand preparing to write the design for a game on a page in a notebook that has the words 'My Plan' written across the top.

Last week, we began looking at the essentials of designing your campaign. It was a big topic, so I had to split it into two sections. Today's entry will finish what we started, as we look at the remaining three basic campaign arrangements. In case you've forgotten, last week we discussed the 'Episodic' and 'Set-Piece' design systems. Today, we will cover 'Branching,' 'Puzzle Piece,' and 'Enemy Timeline.'

12 January 2019

PinkFae Archive #27: How to GM Part 3: Designing Your Campaign (1st of 2)

The first post of 2019; a new year, full of hope and promise, and we start off with a doozy. Today is another PinkFae Archive, but this one is a two-parter. So today, we'll have part one, and next week, we'll see part 2. This entry was first posted on 24 July 2016.

A hand holding a marker appears to be drawing a flow chart, as if designing a gaming campaign, in midair, against a background of blue cogs.

Things are looking up for you; now you've chosen a game and have a group of players willing to play it. What do you do next? The first step, obviously, is to design the overall campaign. This sounds like a daunting task, so let's look at some advice and tips on how to do that in the most effective manner possible.

Please note that this section is going to cover a lot of material. I don't want to overwhelm you, though, so I'm going to break it up into two parts. We'll do part A today, and I'll finish with part B next week.

05 January 2019

PinkFae Archive #26: Board Game Review: Kingsburg

This week we have another board game review, this one being an entry from the PinkFae Archives. This article is a review of the game Kingsburg, and it was originally published on 17 July 2016.

A closeup view of the game board, showing the spaces on which dice may be placed, with several dice placed on some of those spaces.

There's a game called Kingsburg that I've played a few times with the local tabletop gaming club. It's been a while since I've been able to play, which is a shame, because I really enjoy this game. So I think the time has come to review it for all my fine readers out there! We start, as always, with our ratings.

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, and makes 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: 4
Randomness: 3
Complexity: 3
Humour: None.
Attractiveness: Pretty
Average Length of Game Play: 90 minutes