Category Archives: Board Games
Hi Everyone! I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block lately and I finally realized why. It’s because with the Scoville Kickstarter launching soon my brain has been floating in hyperspace. I completely missed October. And I don’t think there’s been a night so far in November where I haven’t dreamed about the game of the Kickstarter or the artwork. I might be losing my mind.
Today is a Friday which would normally be a Review day or a Design Me day. But I’d rather write about Scoville and give you an update.
Art by Joshua Cappel
I couldn’t be more excited with the artwork choice by Tasty Minstrel. If you’ve read my board game reviews then you know I commonly list artwork as either a positive or negative for games. That’s because artwork is a big deal for me.
So when Tasty Minstrel told me that Joshua was on board I was elated. I love his style and the flavor that he adds to the game. Here are a couple of samples of his artwork. These are not images from Scoville. The first is from Garden Dice and the second is the board for Belfort:
That’s some awesome stuff. If you haven’t played Belfort you should really go check it out. And make sure you look for all the cool easter eggs on the main board!
While the prototype is basic and I have not added much artwork to it, I have had a vision for the artwork basically from the start. And if the funding hits a certain level then that vision will turn into reality! I’m so excited to see what Joshua does with the game!
Well, unfortunately I can’t really say very much. But I’ve seen the KS preview and I can tell you things are moving along nicely! We’ve got a great lineup of stretch goals. I’m probably not supposed to say this and I might get in trouble for it, but Pepper Farming Meeples may or may not be one of the stretch goals. *wink wink*
I’m also probably not supposed to share this potential stretch goal (peppers instead of cubes). So don’t tell anyone! (or tell the world – this awesomeness should be shared!). Here is a quickly done example of what the peppers could look like. The colors aren’t perfect and I believe the platinum pepper may have a nice shiny coat, but don’t hold me to that!
So that’s all I can share today. I’m hoping to be able to tease you with some artwork next week, but let’s not count on that. But for those of you who are attending the Board Game Geek Convention from the 20th to the 24th I will be there demoing the game basically all day and all night. If there are other games you are interested in checking out, then let me refer you to this geeklist:
So if you want a demo I’ll probably be running them every hour on the hour. But if you miss the top of the hour, don’t let that stop you from checking it out! It’s gonna be an awesome time!
Every once in a while a really awesome game goes up on Kickstarter that I just have to talk about. This time it’s a game that aligns perfectly with what this website is all about – beer and board games!
Dice Hate Me Games is currently Kickstarting their newest game, Brew Crafters. This is a game design by Ben Rosset, whom you may know from the awesome game Mars Needs Mechanics. I had the privilege of meeting Ben at GenCon this past August and I can safely say he’s an awesome guy.
Let’s Brew some Beer!
In Brew Crafters you are a craft brewer looking to make it big. Unfortunately you’ve opened your craft brewery at the same time as the other players. You all are starting small with limited equipment. Through a worker placement mechanic you can send your workers to obtain ingredients, perform research, obtain better equipment, and do all the awesome things a brewer would do.
Over the course of the game you will be upgrading and expanding your facility. Here’s what a starting and fully upgraded facility looks like in Brew Crafters:
There is a great amount of competition in the game as brewers try to be the first to brew each different style of beer, or have the best tasting room to lure in customers, or upgrade to the finest facility.
If you like beer or board games or both, then you should consider backing Brew Crafters by Dice Hate Me Games!
Welcome back to Boards & Barley! So glad to have you here. Last week I posted an article about using Inkscape to make icons for your game design prototypes. It appears that the article was pretty well received. If there are other things you’d like me to show how to do in Inkscape, just let me know!
Today is Monday, so I present to you the Boards & Barley that I enjoyed in the past week:
First some news: last night I bottled my third batch of homebrew. It is an Oatmeal Stout and will be named after Sir Isaac Newton. So in a few weeks I’ll be able to enjoy some Newton’s Oatmeal Stout. The picture shows the beautiful bottles of awesomeness. They will be waiting patiently in my basement.
New Glarus Spotted Cow: Yum.
Tyranena Rocky’s Revenge: This is a very good beer that comes from Lake Mills in Wisconsin. The upside is that it reminds me and my friends of the great Beer Run event that the brewery holds each November.
Hinterland Oktoberfest: Not good. This hoity toity beer was not a good Oktoberfest. It did not even taste like an Oktoberfest. Served in 16 ounce bottles at a high cost by a brewery that thinks it’s high end, I expected something better. Disappointed with this one.
New Holland Dragon’s Milk: Wow! Not necessarily a good “wow.” Just Wow. This beer is potent. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while and it lived up to expectations. This beer had a ton of character.
New Belgium 1554 Black Ale: New Belgium has some interesting beer styles that I don’t always enjoy. However, the 1554 Black Ale is definitely one that I do enjoy. I have to wonder, though, if that’s because it makes me think of Euro style games. This beer could have a theme based on the black plague. All it would need is some bored looking dude on the label!
Point Oktoberfest: This is a passable oktoberfest, which is saying quite a bit compared to the Hinterland oktoberfest listed above. It’s not my favorite oktoberfest, but I’d drink it again.
It was another down week for gaming. But this week we’ll be having a game night, so hopefully I get a few more games in this week.
Kingdom Builder: Somehow I sneaked out a win over my wife. With a final score of 84 to 81 it was a closer finish that I was expecting. I was surprised when I saw how close she was.
Yspahan: I got to play Yspahan for the first time this past week. And I snapped this awesome picture. The game is a really cool game design despite the possibility of dice results ruining it. I pulled off a big win and really enjoyed the game.
So those are the Boards & Barley that I enjoyed last week. What did you enjoy?
In Kingsburg you take on the role of a lord sent from the king to administer frontier territories. That role involves building different structures in your territory to earn points. The game takes place over 5 years for a total of 20 turns. At the end of each year you must battle enemies that include goblins, orcs, and zombies. Building structures requires resources. Those resources are gained by influencing appropriate council members. Will you influence the right council members? Will you defeat the enemies? Will your territory be the best? Try it out by playing Kingsburg.
The game comes with a spectacular board, numerous dice in 6 different colors, several sets of colored cubes to represent different resources, player tokens to mark structures that have been built, cards to represent the enemies that will be faced at the end of each year, and player mats that list the structures that each player can build.
This game has a very interesting mechanic of dice placement. All the players role their colored dice. Then one at a time those dice are placed on an advisor location on the board. For example, the advisor in the #1 spot would require someone to have rolled a 1 with one of their dice. Also, the advisor in the #10 spot would require any combination of dice that total to 10. No two players can take the same advisor on any one turn. Once all the dice have been placed, then each player gains the
appropriate resources, points, or tokens. I think it is a very fun mechanic that requires you to adjust your strategy from
turn to turn based on your dice rolls.
Here’s What I Like:
Dice Mechanic: As I just mentioned, the unique dice mechanic is very strategically interesting. I really enjoy how you have to try and make the most of your dice each turn. Do you try to block other people? Do you try to maximize your resources? Do you go for victory points? There are many options which make this mechanic a fun one!
Paths to Victory: I should state a disclaimer here and say that the only way to win is by having the most victory points. However, I say there are different paths to victory because of the options of structures that you can build. You could play the game many different ways and still be able to be the winner. Each structure gives the player a different benefit so it is up to the player which series of benefits they would like in the game.
Here’s What I Dislike:
Replayability: Unfortunately I feel that after 10 plays or so this game begins to feel monotonous. While the game itself is very fun, I feel that it would become the same thing over and over. On the plus side, the game designers also have an expansion called “Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm,” which includes components that increase replayability drastically.
Dice Mechanic: I know that I mentioned it as something I like, so why is it here as well? I’m not a huge fan of games that can be won or lost based on luck. And this game is one of those. Sure, you can build the right structures to allow for re-rolls or other benefits, but I’ve played games where I constantly rolled low numbers and couldn’t make any progress. That’s frustrating.
Designer Perspective: What I would change:
The biggest problem for me is that the dice can go very strongly for or against you. Yes, you can use structures like the Market to adjust a die roll, but it can be better than that. One simple change could be very beneficial: If you roll less than10 you can flip one die over to the bottom side. So a 1 would become a 6, a 2 would become a 5 and so on. I think this rule would allow for more flexibility. The downside is that it could add to the AP in the game.
Matt, who lives in Minnesota, has mentioned Castle Danger brewery in the past. And since Kingsburg is based on the idea of building a territory around a castle I feel it is appropriate enough for this beer pairing. While I have not had any Castle Danger beer I know that I enjoy a cream ale. And a cream ale would go well with this lightish game. So today’s preferred beer pairing is Castle Danger Castle Cream Ale.
While I enjoy the game I’ve gotten to the point that it is very samey over and over. It’s relatively simple to learn and play. The artwork is outstanding. The dice mechanic is great. And it’s a lot of fun. But I would recommend also buying the To Forge A Realm expansion. At this point I’ll rate Kingsburg a 7 out of 10 on the BGG scale:
Good Monday to all of you! I hope you had a great weekend. I had a very nice weekend. I got a few games in, attended a football game, and came up with a new game design that I’m pretty excited about and am hoping to get ready for Protospiel-Milwaukee, which is this coming weekend!
Let’s see what Boards & Barley I enjoyed this past week…
Leffe Bruin: I love Leffe. The Blond and the Brown are both really enjoyable. I think I prefer the blond during the spring and summer and the brown during autumn and winter. We were having a game night last week so I bought a 6 pack of this. Fortunately for me only one person took one, so I had plenty for myself! Side note: a friend of mine also likes Leffe and we once had fun making up Steampunk names. His chosen name: Leffe Steampunker.
New Glarus Staghorn: Yep, I enjoyed more of New Glarus’ Oktoberfest brew. It’s so good!
Lake Louie Dino’s Dark: I’ve had other beers from Lake Louie before, but never the Dino’s Dark. The other beers they offer have all been really enjoyable. This was no different. They have a pretty small operation, but they sure put out high quality beers! I’m hoping to tour their brewery some day.
Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest: I still had one on hand from the crate we bought a few weeks ago. I solved that problem by quickly downing this tasty beverage.
Paulaner Salvator Double Bock: Yum. I enjoyed this beer while on a date with my wife where we got three games to the table. Wife + Beer + Games = Great date night!
Tyranena Gemuctlichkeit Oktoberfest: Besides the goofy name, this was a pretty decent Oktoberfest brew. It should be noted that I will have to try another one since I drank this one from the bottle while I was also watching my kids, which ultimately lowered the overall experience with this beer. What a pity, having to re-try a beer.
X-Wing: Why did it take me so long to play this game? Maybe because I kept waiting to see if my local Target would drop the price to $12 like other people have mentioned. You lucky people. Fortunately my friend bought a copy (and has subsequently bought a bunch of add-ons). So I was able to get my first taste of the game. AHHH-mazing! It helps that I rolled hits on 90 percent of my rolls. It was total domination!
Galaxy Trucker: I received this game in a trade over a year ago. This past Wednesday I finally got to play it. That is unacceptable and I have offered my sincerest apologies to my copy of Galaxy Trucker. I may have to send a personal apology to Vlaada Chvatil. When we played it we realized that it was completely awesome! This is a really excellent game that I should not have waited so long to play.
Libertalia: Arrr Matey. We got Libertalia to the table on Wednesday and, as usual, thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, I enjoyed the first two rounds. I was playing my best game of Libertalia ever. Then I got Monkeyed. And the Monkey passed me 4 curses. And to add insult to injury, during dusk I had to take another curse token. Needless to say I did not win.
Tsuro: My friend’s $1.20 thrift find of Tsuro keeps making it to the table. We played a pretty fun game of it where nearly everyone was left until the last four tiles. This is such a good filler game, but I don’t think I’d pay $40 for it.
CoinAge: I got a free copy of CoinAge from the designer, Adam McIver, at GenCon. I hadn’t been able to play it until last Friday, when I taught it to my wife. For being a game of three cards, where two of them are rules, I’ve never realized how much strategy you can pack into a game that requires pocket change. This was really enjoyable and I’m looking forward to playing it with someone who likes games more than my wife.
Morels: This is a game that my wife really enjoys. I enjoy it for that fact. You can check out my review of Morels to see what I thought. But the fact that my wife will play it with me means it gets a shiny little star.
The Little Prince: This is another game that my wife enjoys. So with Morels from GenCon 2012 and The Little Prince from GenCon 2013 I’ve been able to prove to my wife that my visiting of GenCon has been worth it both years. While I don’t enjoy the 2 player version of The Little Prince as much, it is still a really fun game.
So those are the Boards and Barley I enjoyed last week. What did you enjoy???