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Happy Monday! Here are two community challenges for everyone!
1. Trick Shot
- What to do: Record video(s) of yourself landing trick shot(s) using board game components! Here's a video for inspiration: https://youtu.be/8BZXQMz90o4. Send your video(s) to email@example.com and we'll compile all submissions into one video
- You will gain 1 entry per trick shot to win a $60 gift card from a store of your choice. No limit to number of entries
- Deadline: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST. We'll randomnly select 1 winner on the following day
- Note: Depending on how difficult the shot is, it'll take a long time. One of my shots took 2.5 hours and all other ones took about 30 min on average
2. Rating Games
- Let's spend some time this week to leave our ratings on all of the games we haven't reviewed yet! You can review your overall impressions and score by clicking on the "Leave a Review" button. You can also rate the learning and strategy complexities for the game
- There are no prizes associated with this challenge, except that we'll have milestones created so that when you reach a certain number of ratings, you'll be awarded a badge to show off on your profile :)
- After going through this process, feel free to share about your experience in a forum post. Were there any games you ended up rating much higher or lower than expected? Has your feelings toward a game cooled off after a while?
I hope you enjoy the challenges!
It seems that BGA imports BGG ratings so that:
[0-4[ ---> 1 star
[4-6[ ---> 2 stars
[6-8[ ---> 3 stars
[8-10[ --> 4 stars
10 -----> 5 stars
I don't mind a lot about 1 to 3 stars, but I am a bit upset about the 4 and 5 stars. For me, there is a very notable difference between a game I rate as 8 and a game I rate as 9.5, yet BGA translates both as 4 stars.
I do not know what was the reasoning for chosing stars over numeric ratings, or even why limit to 5 stars and not 10, but I just wanted to voice my disagreement with the current system.
Pandemic is a great game with a unique theme, and while the game is beautiful the 'disease cubes' were begging to be unleashed into their non-cube form. I decided to make my own pathogens out of polymer clay to liven up the game. Here's how they turned out:
I wanted each pathogen to be similar to the art on the cards, but there were some limitations in making them "identical," so these were the designs I came up with:
In reality, this project took about 12 hours from start to finish, with about an hour added for prototyping. This project is probably reasonable for a beginner who's done some crafting before, or someone who has a lot of patience with learning new things.
Time: 9-16 hours depending on skill
Cost: $10-20 if you're starting fresh, but you will have lots of clay left over (and some tools). The actual cost of clay is closer to $5.
- 6 colors of Polymer Clay (red, black, blue, yellow, orange and white). I use Premo! brand, but you can use other polymer clays.
- Razor blade (preferred) OR sharp knife
- Non-permeable work surface (I use a dry-erase board)
- 1/4 inch round clay cutter (optional)
- Silicone shaper (optional)
Total # of Game Pieces: 96
Don't have time to make them yourself?
You can purchase these here!
Let's get started!
Start by making a small, round ball of clay about the same size as the original disease cube. You can adjust the size to your preference (quarter for reference).
Roll out a long, thin piece of clay at least 5 cm (2 inches) long and not very thick. Cut into 3 pieces about 1.5 cm each. It's okay if these are not identical lengths, they will be trimmed later.
Position your 3 pieces on top of one another so that they are crossing to form an asterix * shape. Press down lightly in the middle so that the center is partially flattened and the clay mixes.
Position the ball in the middle of the crossed pieces and push down lightly to secure it to the base.
Now we need to trim the "legs" so that they are equal lengths. You can do this with a blade or knife individually, but to speed things up you can use a 1/2" round clay cutter. Position the clay cutter over the pathogen body (round ball portion) so that it is centered within the cutter, and push down.
Next we will add the white details.
There is 1 large, central "donut" and 3 smaller donuts. Start with your center donut by forming a small ball about 3 mm in diameter (you can eyeball this). Position this in the center on top of your pathogen body and press down lightly to secure.
Using a toothpick (or similar item), push down into the center. This should expand your ball into a more flattened disk and secure it to the body.
Add your 3 smaller balls around the central donut equidistant apart, and press the toothpick into the center of each.
Voila, you are done with your first piece!
You can use a razor blade (or similar) to gently lift the piece up and move it to your baking sheet.
Only 23 more to go!
This one is the easiest of all!
Start by rolling a ball of clay so that when it is pressed down slightly it is about 1 cm in diameter. We want a slightly flat bottom so that it rests on the game board.
There are two different sizes for the orange details. You can eyeball this, or for consistency (especially across 24 pieces) you can roll out two ropes, one each of larger and smaller thickness.
I use 4 pieces from the large rope, and about 6 pieces from the small rope. Using a razor blade (or similar) cut pieces about 2mm long (4 from thick rope and 6 from the thin rope).
Roll these pieces into circular balls, then attach the 4 large ones to the body where you wish.
Use a toothpick to puncture the 4 large pieces. This should flatten them slightly and adhere them better to the body.
Finally, add the remaining small spheres around the body, pressing firmly enough to adhere the clay well.
After 23 more you are done with the yellow pathogens!
The blue pathogen has a body that consists of 3 "squiggly" ropes. The center is thicker than the two sides.
To begin, roll out two ropes, the large one of ~4-5 mm thickness, the small one ~2-3mm thick.
Cut the thick rope to be a bit longer than 1.5cm. Roll the ends slightly so they become somewhat rounded. Then use your hands to shape the rope into a gentle "S." It should be about 1.5cm long after bending.
Cut the thinner rope into two smaller sizes, one about 1 cm and one slightly less than 1cm. The sizing doesn't need to be perfect. If they are the same size that's okay.
Position the thinner pieces one either side of the main body. Adhere each of them to their respective sides, following the curvature of the main body.
The body is finished!
To add the white details, we need a thick and thin rope. The thin rope will be incredibly thin, about half the thickness of a quarter.
Cut 2 pieces of the thin rope, one for each side of the main body. The lengths should be slightly less than the lengths of your body sides. Adhere these to the tops of the body sides, bending them to fit the curvatures.
Cut the thick rope to be slightly shorter than your center body length. Adhere this to the top of the center body, bending it to fit the curvature.
You can use the remaining thick rope to cut 3 equal sized pieces that will be formed into balls and attached to the center of each white rope. Make sure you press firmly enough to adhere the clay well.
Aaaaaand you know the drill...
These are the most time-consuming of the set because the details are small and elaborate. There are many ways to simplify this design which would work just fine, so don't be afraid to experiment with it.
Shape an oval to your desired size. Mine came out to be 0.5cm wide and ~1.3cm long, but I eyeballed it mostly. Make sure you press these a bit harder to give them a flat base, as they will roll around otherwise.
Take a small ball of white clay and flatten it with your finger to make a disk (not super hard). You need the disk to fit in the top 3rd of the red base, and you'll probably need a lot less clay than you think.
Take a blade/knife and cut a few slits along the edges to form the "petals" you see in the image. Then lift the disk using a blade and place it onto the top of your red base, pressing gently to adhere it.
Use a toothpick to poke a hole in the center of the disk.
Next roll out a very thin rope of white clay. You'll only need about 2cm.
Cut 3 different lengths, the longest being about 1/3 the size of your red base, the next two being about 1mm shorter than the previous. You will overestimate the length of these, these are extremely short.
Position the longest one in the middle and the other two on either side. The bottom ends will be covered by disks, so they don't need to look good.
You can use the extra rope to cut 3 small pieces (same size) for the bottom "donuts."
Roll these pieces into balls and place them at the ends of the thin ropes, overlapping the ends and pressing gently to adhere. Then use a toothpick to poke a hole in the center of each.
OPTIONAL: You can use something to smooth out the ends and make these nicer. I use a silicone clay shaper brush, but you can use your finger nail if you have a steady hand.
And it's done!
The last of the bunch!
You can move these onto a baking sheet and bake all at once, since these are all similar thicknesses. Bake at the suggested temperature and time listed on your clay packaging (this differs by brand). *Premo! clay bakes at 275 degrees for 30 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay, so I bake these for 30 min.
I put mine straight in an ice bath after removing in the oven, but this step is optional (there are claims that this makes the product more durable).
A note on baking: Polymer clay companies claim it is safe to bake their product in your food-safe oven, but in the past it leeched toxic chemicals. Some people still prefer to use a separate oven for baking clay, like a small toaster oven. I have not found any peer-reviewed literature that testifies either way. I personally cook in my home oven, but the decision should be made by you and what you are comfortable with.
And that's it!
Your game pieces are now waterproof, paintable, varnishable, and surprisingly durable! Enjoy!
Don't have time to make them yourself?
You can purchase these here!
About the Author
My name is Alee! I'm an avid board gamer who loves to craft. I started upgrading my games in various ways and stumbled upon polymer clay 4 months ago. Since then I've been making tons of board game pieces and have fallen in love with the outcome.
When I'm not playing games or crafting I'm typically out rock climbing, backpacking, or watching space launches. For work I'm a molecular biologist, so I love science (of all kinds).
What's my favorite game? #X-ODUS: Rise of the Corruption
For those who are new, this is where you can share your feedback on all things related to Board Game Atlas. You can also find more information in this article where I walk through the various features on BGA.
You can also feel free to answer these questions:
- What are your thoughts on the revamped game page format?
- Which game rating system would you prefer? 5 star? 10 point scale? 100 point scale?
- What are your main complaints about anything on the website?
Thanks as always everyone and have a great weekend! :)
A few weeks ago I got a very serious warning at BGG for saying that I believe all lives matter and not only black. This was my second warning after writing a few months back that I am willing to play all kind of games, even those that include sensitive topics like slaves, war, etc. in a joyful fashion.
I am tired of that. Of not being able to express myself and being silenced (posts erased and no trace of them left on the original thread, so that the illusion of uniformity does not shatter) each time I post a disenting opinion about certain issues.
I wanted to know whether I would face the same issues here or if BGA team is more tolerant with us non-SJW.
The biggest board game sales of the year are just around the corner. Are you prepared to resist or are you actually looking forward to it? Which one are you preparing for--Black Friday or Christmas? And which games would tempt you the most if a major sale came up?
Top 5 games on my wishlist are:
- #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - this actually ended up surpassing TMB after I played #Pendulum, which really wasn't the type of game I was hoping for.
- #Too Many Bones - Wouldn't it be nice if Chip Theory Games had some holiday promotions? haha
- #Nemo's War (Second Edition) - not the best price but I saw it displayed at my local store for $75, which matches Amazon's current price. I didin't pull the trigger since there are times when it's in the $60's range
- #Keyflower - still on my wishlist after all this time!
Part of the community challenge is rating your board games on BGA. I've been going through and slowly rating my collection and was suprised at a few of the ratings my favorites have. #Karuba in particular stood out to me as we have it rated as a 64 on BGA and I think I would give it an 80 on fun factor alone. Even on BGG, it has a GeekRating of 6.924 out of 10.
What about everyone else? Are there any games you feel BGA or BGG has rated too low? Why do you think they're rated so low?
I've been working most of this week on improving the look and feel of the game pages and it's now live! Take a look and let me know what you think of the changes!
I also improved the page loading experience and added in a game mentions feed as well!
The arcade/fast version of the classic Blood Bowl. How does it measure up to an established title like Blood Bowl? Pretty damned well as it offers a totally different play experience.
Here are all of our recent giveaways! You can find them on our giveaways page but I wanted to give a reminder in case you might have forgotten that page exists:
Machina Arcana (ends Oct 6)
Return to Planet Apocalypse (ends Oct 4)
Starship V Sleipnir (ends Oct 2)
It's a Wonderful World (ends Oct 1)
Good luck! :)
I was thinking about how funny it would be to describe our favorite games in the worst way possible and having other people try to guess what games we're talking about based on those horrible descriptions! For example, Castles of Burgundy topped my list of top 25. To describe this game in the worst way possible, I could say "a game about placing hexagonal tiles to score victory points." Of course, I suppose this could describe any number of dry euros lol
So let me guess your favorite games...How could you describe your favorite game while making it sound way worse than it actually is?
This would be especially helpful for "news" related posts. In updating my post about the upcoming #Dune: Imperium game, I found myself wishing I could have a comment or two "pinned" to the top, so that updates didn't get lost in newer comments from people discussing what they were reading. And now that I've added another update in the form of a new comment, it'd be especially nice to have that pinned now that the initial attention on the post has died down. Even if OP had the ability to pin a max of one comment, I think that would be quite useful. Maybe admins/mods could pin more.
I'm at the very early stages of creating a new game with what I believe is a unique/different game mechanic and would like to get some feedback from the community.
I have outlined the idea and key gameplay elements below.
There is a serial killer at work in the city and they must be stopped. Investigators are on the case and must travel round the city to collect clues as to the location and identity of the killer. The twist, one of the investigators is the killer. Be the first to collect the clues and work with or against the others - to stand the best chance of catching the killer you must share your clues, but give away too much and they might beat you to it or the killer may go free.
Tile based board system - 2 sets of tiles Street and Location.
Clue cards specific to each scenario - each clue is in the form of a QR code and once scanned on a mobile phone will reveal the clue.
Clues fall into 4 categories - physical evidence (collected at murder scenes), witness, suspect and surveillance.
The Police Station tile is placed first as the start tile.
Each turn the player places 2 tiles, one from the street pile and one from the location pile.
You then make your movement.
Perform a search and draw a clue card and reviews it in secret.
Choose whether to share or withhold the clue - you do not show the others the clue, you describe it. Or you can choose to identify the killer or lair location - each of these can only be done once per player and to identify the location you must be on that tile.
At some point one of the clue cards will identify that player as the killer, from that point they may choose to give false leads. Early games will have false clues, later games it will be up to the player to make up their own.
The game ends when all tiles are placed + 3 more rounds.
The Killer is correctly identified
The Killers lair is discovered.
The setting would be Modern or Future.
Any thoughts on the idea would be appreciated and please share this post with any gaming friends you have as the more feedback I get up front the better.
Last night I got in a 3P game of #Root for the first time in a while. It was basically a teaching game (one guy had played it once a long time ago).
The faction break down was Marquise, Duchy, and Riverfolk (my faction).
Now that I'm so familiar with the game, teaching is a breeze.
The biggest challenge in the game was that because we play a lot of Imperial Assault and I'm the Empire there was a natural distrust of me and a strong feeling (at first) that they had to work against me. This also hurt me as the Riverfolk faction as people didn't buy enough of my goods (at first).
Once we got into the game though it moved steadily along with each faction playing leap frog on their turn with the VP tracker. One thing that was hard for my game is neither the Duchy or the Marquise would go after each other (which had consequences as we got toward the end of the game). They also had trouble making temporary alliances with me because of other gaming experience (although I do think it'll be different on future plays).
We got to a point where the Marquise saw they had a chance to win with a Fox dominance card and went for it (this was because there weren't enough battles early on in the game). This was the first time I've played with a dominance card in play and I did not really love it. Although, it did create a good story for after the game (which unfortunately we ran out of time to finish, but I think the Marquise would have one in another 2 - 3 rounds on dominance).
I didn't love Dominance because it made stopping the Marquie the only goal in the game. While it created an alliance between me and the Duchy, it also meant we couldn't use any of our turns to score any points so we were basically stuck. This had another major negative impact on my Riverfolk gameplay because I had to take a lot of actions that caused me to spend funds instead of commiting them, which meant I couldn't keep my coffers full of money to spend on my next turn. So basically it turned into, spend to put warriors on the board, commit to move, commit to battle, repeat next turn.
I think in the future I'd consider only using Dominance cards in 4+P games, but we will see. I also didn't think of looking at the map from a Dominance standpoint so maybe I'll just make sure we work against potential Dominance even before it gets played.
Can't wait to get it out again.
Maybe I am the only one that wants this, but over the years I have develop a tag system to catalog games on BBG and I would love to be able to use it here as well.
Paola Di Stefano and Gabriel Grendon have created a tiny PnP dungeon crawl that fits in your pocket. Merely nine cards make the total collection - that's one sheet double sided! Very small indeed. A player will need to add 4 dice and 9 scoring markers to complete the game. It would seem that nothing packed into such a small package would create a functioning game - never mind a repeatable and fun game. But it does.
The artwork is really pleasing and very functional. I'd say it even creates a feeling of theme - in your head. The theme created works because the cards depict very abstract concepts: Merchant, Treasure, Relax, Skill, Monster, Trap, and Boss Monster. The cards have very clever mechanisms: Monsters have levels that change as you progress. Cards also have die roll mechanisms that modify the requirements of success based on player "Ranks" and Dungeon level and "Area." Add the character stats card and the Dungeon/Monster HP tracker and there are your nine cards.
Included are two more optional cards that make for a more complete and larger more manageable character stats tracker. If I have any criticism - once you add two more cards to make the character stats larger - there is room for a player aid. I'll get more to that a bit later.
The game works by playing each round through the dungeon and then advancing to the next of 14 areas. After a prescribed number of areas your character progresses up levels. The dungeon tracker has 14 spaces divided into 5 levels. Complete the Boss on the 14th level and you have won. Not an easy task.
This dungeon is like a repeated "side scrolling" game. You complete each dungeon area - then you shuffle the 6 cards and repeat - but order, stats, and levels change - so your dice rolls get modified by these changes. The side scroll is made up of face down cards that get revealed: a single card - followed by a double set of cards - a single card - a double set - a boss monster. Each column of cards is revealed to move to the next step. When there are two cards the player can choose one or the other. The single cards are forced on the player. It is a very easy concept to understand, but the first playthrough I died and had to play more conservatively.
I'd say there is a beginning game, middle, and end that take understanding. On my first playthrough I died not understanding that the first few areas are about surviving the Boss. The middle part of the game seemed easy as I maxed out my stats and felt like I was unbeatable. Then I got to level 5 and died during the second of four areas. It all seemed simple until I realized I did not anticipate having to fight the Boss 5 times with no reward to win (all other Boss wins give rewards.)
This is five cards and a rule set that really is a lot more complex than it first seems. Dice rolls can be disappointing. Each "Rank" achieved unlocks more attack dice. A rolled 1 causes the die to be temporarily retired for that roll. A six can be rerolled - and the roll added to the 6 just rolled! Roll a one then - and you lose them both. This is a great push your luck and can get killer damage. But you can have good damage and push for killer damage and get almost nothing. Crap.
Skill tests are used for the Trap and Event cards. Player must roll their Rank or less to pass the skill test. Another roll decides the outcome. This is how you get spells. Did I mention spells? These allow healing, freezing the monster for a turn, poison (powerful), and fire. You can save the spells, but you can only save two spells at a time.
The directions are well written. They take just as much effort as most games of this sort - I'd say 4 out of 10 for rules complexity. Some of the needed information is a bit hard to find - Spells effects are listed in the Skills card in the rules - don't go looking for a "Spells" section. This is where a card that has a basic player aid would help. I can see picking up this game in a few months and having to decode these things again. While there is a great deal of info packed onto the card - we need to look up spell effects on the skills card - but it may not be revealed yet this round. It would also jog my memory if Rank, and Area, and Skill Level were defined on a player card. I can be a bit of a dunce.
All in all: This is a "definitely download" PnP. I'd say one the best simple mechanisms I have seen.
King of Tokyo overview, how to play, and impressions by Jonesey Games.
It's a pinball themed roll and write!
Alhambra is less than $20 at Amazon (Lightning Deal).
#Among the Stars is $16.50 at Funagain, save 67% (new low).
#Dark Age: Fanaticism is $6 as the Miniature Market Daily Deal, save 80%
Star Wars X-Wing Second Edition: Rebel Alliance Conversion Kit is ~$30 at Amazon, save 39%.
#Guilds of London: Wards of London is $15 at Miniature Market, save 66%.
"Tom Vasel takes a look at the Prelude expansion for Terraforming Mars!"
[Pandemic, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1]
[Ticket To Ride, Coimbra, Carcassonne]
[Root: The Riverfolk Expansion, Root, Root: The Underworld Expansion]
[King of Tokyo]
[Super-Skill Pinball: 4-Cade]
[Kingdom Builder Big Box, Alhambra, Star Wars X-Wing Second Edition: Rebel Alliance Conversion Kit, Guilds of London: Wards of London, Dark Age: Fanati...]
[Terraforming Mars: Prelude]
$126,568 / $20,000
The highly anticipated stand alone expansion to our acclaimed 1-4 player cooperative game, Set a Watch. Set a Watch: Swords of the Coin is a 60-90 minute, cooperative adventure puzzle game for 1-4 players. Swords of the Coin is a stand-alone expansion featuring the same critically-acclaimed gameplay along with some new twists centered around collecting coin and buying items from the merchant. The expansion is fully compatible with the original game; creatures, locations and characters can all be mixed and matched together with the original Set a Watch.
Ends in 18 daysSee Kickstarter