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News Bits: 12/23/2013

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Greetings on this holiday week. Here is the NEWS:

The secret history of The Cones of Dunshire on Parks and Recreation [LinkI don’t watch it often, but I think Parks and Recreation is one of the best shows on TV, and their recent “Cones of Dunshire” bit helps cement that perception in my mind. The show’s producers and some people from Mayfair Games (Settlers of Catan) talk about what went into creating this beast that may make an appearance at Gen Con 2014 (?).

Asmadi Games teases Consequential [Link] I’m not sure how into this game I’ll be (seems a little RPGish for my tastes), but with Carl Chudyk’s name attached to it, this has my attention.

NPR looks at the Settlers of Catan cookbook [LinkAll those Pinterest pictures you see of Settlers-inspired treats, now in one convenient location.

A geeklist of games designed by thirteen-year-olds [Link] You can file this under “inspirational.” Funkdonut on BGG posted this list of the results of a game design class taught to middle schoolers. The list describes the fifty-one prototypes created for the class. A lot of creativity here, and proof of budding designers.

Grant Rodiek discusses what it takes to be a great company [Link] Yep. This is a great list of traits, as well as a great list of examples.

Last week on iSlaytheDragon [News Bits, Click Clack Lumberjack contest winner, Gravwell nemesis review, Shitenno review, Interview with Adam McIver (Coin Age), Remembering the first play of a favorite game] Last week was a packed week. Because of the holiday this week, things will be a little slower around these parts (though not dead). Next week we’ll be back to posting full-steam. Keep slaying!

Kickstarters of Note

  • Pixel Lincoln: Re-election: This is an expansion to the Pixel Lincoln game (successfully funded on Kickstarter and reviewed here). $35.
  • Argent: The Consortium: This “wizard-placement” game combines Euro mechanics with variable player powers. It looks dang cool and has already passed its funding goals with almost a month left to go. $50.
  • The Game Designer’s Toolkit: This is an interesting campaign for, basically, a box of bits to help you as you design board games. I’m not sure the usefulness for this (there are usually extra bits you can commandeer from other games), but I’ll let the reader judge for him- or herself. Various prices.
  • Ruckus: The Goblin Army Game: This is a tactical skirmish game in a fantasy setting with whimsical art. Looks interesting. $29.

What We’ve Been Playing

  • Impulse: I was able to corral some friends this week for a four-player lunch game. At least, it would have been a lunch game had the timing been better. One player was ten to fifteen minutes late, and the game took ten to fifteen minutes to explain. We quit at the one-hour mark and were about halfway through the game. I still have hopes for this one as a lunch game, as do my coworkers, who enjoyed even a half-baked experience. (FarmerLenny)
  • Innovation: I’m not sure why this has caught on as it has at work, but this has been the game of choice for several weeks, this week no exception. We played a four-player team game for our Friday lunch game. My team pulled ahead early both in board strength (splayed icons!) and in achievements. The other team tried to catch up, but there weren’t many score cards…until the late ages, as usual. Their strategy became apparent: score lots of cards and end the game by score piles, or some alternate win condition. They almost had us–they were within a few points of our score pile–when I found a way to end the game by tucking lots of cards (one of which had to come from beyond age 10). I love this game, and I’ve decided that when playing with four players, teams is best. (FarmerLenny)
  • The Resistance: Coup: Friday was also the monthly game night I attend, and the first game we played was Coup. There were several players who were brand-new to the game, but they caught on quick, bluffing and backstabbing with the best of them. This was my first experience with the new Indie Boards & Cards version, and while my personal tastes mildly prefer the old art, in every other way, this is the superior version. In fact, the games were so good, I wondered why it’s been so long since I last played. I’m looking forward to getting this to the table more often. (FarmerLenny)
  • Space Sheep: After Coup, Wolfie pulled out Space Sheep, a cooperative puzzle game. The feelings at the table were…mixed. I think I was the only one who enjoyed the game (I do love a good logic puzzle); several people at the table were lost as to what we were supposed to accomplish and how we were supposed to accomplish it. I don’t fault the others for not liking this one. Perhaps more than any other game I’ve played, this one is going to rise and fall on personal taste. I can’t think of too many people I know who would enjoy this experience, but I was one (my sister is the only other one I can think of). Anyway, a fun game if you like a mind-bending puzzle that’s timed. (FarmerLenny)
  • Libertalia: We continued our streak of lighter games with a play of Libertalia. Libertalia is fast becoming one of my very favorite games, mostly because it’s easy to teach, has fantastic flavor, and gets players super involved in the game. In this game I had a decent first round and a horrible second round after Wolfie passed me three curses with his Monkey. (I knew he was going to do it, but since I thought my Monkey had a lower tiebreaker number, I played another card instead.) My third round was great, doubling my score. But I was just two doubloons short of the win, which Wolfie secured. The best moment of this game–and, indeed, one of my favorite Libertalia moments period–is when we revealed the cards to see three Brutes and three Governor’s Daughters. It was a bit of a bloodbath (and someone was able to score the six doubloons for their living Governor’s Daughter!), but it was one of the hilarious moments that makes Libertalia so much fun. (FarmerLenny)
  • Dominion: Guilds: I played a two-player game of this with Wolfie after the rest of the people left. I…got creamed. I don’t know what happened. I know there was an early moment in the game where J-Wolf got lucky with his Doctor and I was unlucky with mine, but I’m sure there was more to my shameful loss than that. In any case, a good game, and Guilds as a set is a winner. (FarmerLenny)

I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros.

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