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!
Well, Halloween is over and it’s now November. The leaves are just about all off the trees in my neighborhood. With the time change it’s dark when I get home from work. So you know what that means? It means that we might as well settle inside and play more board games! (and maybe enjoy some nice cold-weather brews!)
So here are the Boards and Barley that I enjoyed in the past week…
Belhaven Scottish Ale: A delicious, smooth, enjoyable ale. If you’ve never had one, try it this week!
Tyranena Painted Ladies: At game night I grabbed one of these since the pumpkin ale season is ending and I figured I better enjoy one while I could. It’s nice that it’s not overly pumpkin flavored.
Newton’s Oatmeal Stout: I enjoyed more of my own homebrew. I think it’s pretty good. While it won’t win any awards, it’s definitely an enjoyable brew.
Wisconsin Brewing Amber Ale: I visited this brand new brewery on their Opening Day last Friday. This is a new brewery pretty close to where I live and my visit last Friday will certainly not be my last to the brewery. It’s not every day that a new craft brewery opens so close. I enjoyed the Amber Ale, but they also offered an American IPA, a Session IPA, and a Brown Porter.
Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout: Potent. But not more potent than a typical Imperial beer. This was pretty good, but I’m glad I only had half a bottle.
Tyranena Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale: On Saturday I participated in a beer run at a brewery. I ran the 1/6th Barrel distance (4.37 miles) with a bunch of my friends. This is a fantastic event that sells out every year. With the entry you also get a great meal of lasagna, salad, and breadsticks. And you also get two beer tickets. I chose the Sheep Shagger because I love scotch ales and I can’t find this one in stores.
Tyranena Three Blondes Honey Ale: For my second beer ticket I chose the Three Blondes since I needed something lighter. However, I wish I had chosen the Imperial Coffee Porter since it was delicious (I got a sample).
Overall it was a pretty good beer week!
Compounded (x2): This recent Kickstarter arrival is a fantastic game. I have played it twice (once 4p, once 2p). The game itself is a compound composed of elements of science, fun, and awesomeness!
Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures: I got to play X-Wing for the third time. The third time went about the same as the first two. In each of those I had incredible dice results. In this case I finished off the game by rolling 6 hits from my last 7 dice. Beware if we ever match up on the X-Wing field!
Carcassonne: While I was at the Tyranena Beer Run waiting for the race to begin we got a 6p game of Carcassonne on the table. I must have been distracted because I played a pretty terrible game. I tied for 4th place, but only three points ahead of last.
Dungeon Roll: I played a couple games of Dungeon Roll with my kids this weekend. They are 4yo and 2yo. They absolutely love rolling the dice and grabbing the treasure tokens. My son chooses the treasures based on the color, which normally means he grabs blue ones. It’s a fun game and a great way to get my kids interested in gaming! Side note: Tasty Minstrel just launched a 14-day Kickstarter campaign for a Holiday promo pack for the game. You can check it out here: Dungeon Roll Winter Promo Pack.
Designer’s Corner: (Scoville Update)
I did not do any game design this week. I’ve simply been getting more and more excited about the Scoville Kickstarter project coming up in the next few weeks. While I don’t have a solid date for the KS campaign it is sounding like it will be up during BGG.con.
Speaking of BGG.con, I will be there demoing Scoville. If you haven’t played it, Tweet at me and stop by for a demo. I’m super excited to introduce it to more people. I’m also super excited that artwork is being done in advance of the KS campaign. In case you don’t subscribe to Tasty Minstrel‘s newsletter (you should!) then you probably missed the announcement that Joshua Cappel is on board to do the artwork. If you are not familiar with his artwork, take a look at Belfort since it is simply amazing!
As more information about Scoville becomes available I will keep you posted.
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!
It’s time for another board game review. But this is more of a board game preview. On Monday I had the privilege of meeting Chris and Suzanne Zinsli, the designers of Tessen. They happened to be in town on a drive halfway across the country. I didn’t have much time with them, but I was able to learn Tessen. And I was able to beat Adam Buckingham at it! So today I Review/Preview the game and I recommend you back the project on Kickstarter!
Normally I provide 3 “likes” and 3 “dislikes” and then an overall rating. I’m not doing that today since this is more of a preview. Ultimately you should decide for yourself if you think this game is worth backing. Though if you continue reading I’ll tell you that it’s worth backing. So I guess I’m a bit of a hypocrite. Oh well.
Disclaimer: I was not contacted to provide a preview. I am previewing the game because I really enjoyed it.
Akita or Nambu?
Tessen is a fast playing, real-time card game for two players. One player will represent the Akita clan and the other player will represent the Nambu clan.
The object of the game is to gather sets of animals. To do that you’ll be playing cards quickly from your hand. If you can stack three or more of a kind of animal then you can “save” them into your save pile. The player with the most cards in their save pile at the end of the round wins that round.
The player decks are composed of eight different animals and two different warriors. There are 4 of each type of animal, 9 warriors, and 1 super warrior.
Here are some examples of the cards:
Each player shuffles their deck and places it face down in front of them. When both players are ready they’ll say, “Tessen!” and the battle will begin. Players will draw cards from their deck into their hand and begin laying them on the table. There is a 5 card hand limit, so be sure that you don’t draw too many. I made this mistake a few times and I’m sure Adam will want a rematch where I don’t accidentally cheat.
When you’ve got cards in your hand it’s time to start playing them to the table. You have five spots you can play cards in front of you. Each spot can only hold one type of animal. So you’ll be playing sets of the same animals on each spot. If any pile gets to three or more cards, then you can say, “Save,” and move that pile into your save pile.
The Warrior cards allow you to attack or defend. If you’ve noticed the other player stocking the same animal type, you might want to attack their pile. To attack just announce that you’re attacking and play your warrior card at their pile. They cannot take any other actions until they’re resolved the attack. If they want to use a warrior to defend and repel the attack they may do so. If they don’t have a warrior then they must let you take the cards. You can add those cards to your pile. If you cannot add the cards to any of your piles, then they go into a discard pile that your opponent can use to draw from.
The super warrior card basically counts as a double warrior. So to defend against a super warrior attack would take two warriors or your own super warrior.
Once one player has reached the end of their deck they announce, “Tessen,” and the round is over. Whoever saved the most animal cards to their save pile wins the round. They will then have to start the next round without one of their warrior cards. The game winner will be the first player to win three rounds.
I am always looking for games that I’ll be able to play with my wife. This is definitely one of those games. This game is very accessible. It is also very fun.
I was trying to play my cards as quickly as possible and I think I did alright at that. The fact that individual rounds only take a few minutes means this game plays pretty quickly. It’s a really solid game design that is really enjoyable to play.
What I liked the most was the emotion it brought up in me. I really felt like I was battling against Adam. I was trying so hard to beat him. And when I heard him saving a bunch of cards I got anxious. I think to have a game draw out such emotions from a player is really cool.
What I disliked the most is that since this is a real-time game I think it suffers from player’s abilities a little. You have to be quick to draw cards. You have to be quick to comprehend cards. You have to be quick to play cards. And you have to be quick to see what your opponent is playing. So I think that as players play more and more they’ll be able to hone their Tessen skill’s such that new players may not stand a chance against them.
Overall this is an excellent game. I really enjoyed playing it and I highly recommend it. For the low price of $12 you can receive a copy and help Van Ryder Games produce the awesomeness. Go and back the project on Kickstarter today!
It’s Friday, which means it’s Board Game Review day! Today I’m reviewing Belfort by Tasty Minstrel Games, which currently has an awesome expansion available on Kickstarter (KS link) for only $20. So since the Kickstarter campaign is live I figured now is as good a time as ever to post this review!
In Belfort players take on the role of a builder who has been hired to build the castle Belfort. Unfortunately, other builders were also hired in a mix-up. So you are tasked with being the best builder of the castle. To do that you have to make effective use your elves and dwarves with a worker placement mechanic in various spots throughout the city. Leftover elves and dwarves can be used to claim wood, stone, metal, or gold. Decisions in this game get tough and heavy. But that makes it awesome. The other part of the game involves building the buildings of the castle to claim a majority of a district. That’s how players can obtain points, which are needed for victory. When you’re ready to visit the Pub for some Master Dwarf action, or the Blacksmith to get some metal, then grab your friends and sit down for a game of Belfort!
Here’s a look at all of the awesomeness that is Belfort (image from BoardGameGeek.com):
I’ve played this game a bunch and I totally love it. But the real question is who can find the Ton Ton from Hoth on the game board first?
- ARTWORK: I must start with the artwork. This game is so visually stunning that I sometimes set it up just to stare at it (not true). It just looks so good that I must give a shout out to artist Joshua Cappel! Excellent work!
- STRATEGY: This game looks too fun to be a heavy strategy game, but that’s exactly what this is! There is a lot of strategy behind each decision from the first turn throughout the whole game. Players have to optimize their workers capabilities and then optimize which building to build and where to build it. There’s a lot to think about in this game!
- THEME: The theme of building a castle with your hired elves and dwarves is a lot of fun.It is easy to get immersed in this game and feel like you are really putting your elves and dwarves to work. And everything works together thematically, which always makes a game better!
- ANALYSIS PARALYSIS PRONE: While I am a player that enjoys heavy strategy and tough decisions, there are some players that I play games with that would struggle mightily with indecision throughout this game. There would be times where they wouldn’t know what to do or why they are doing it. Beware that this can lead to long games.
- SETUP TIME: This game has a ton of components. Thus, it requires a higher than average setup time. If you know you’re playing this game during your board game night perhaps you should set it up beforehand!
Designer Perspective – What I Would Change:
Belfort is a brilliantly designed game of worker placement and area control. The upcoming expansion looks like it will enhance the game greatly, so I won’t offer anything that the expansion is already doing (or at least that I know of it doing). If I were to change anything I think I’d add the ability of players to swap buildings between districts. This would add a huge “screw-you” factor to the game, but might also unbalance the game. By being able to swap my Inn in district 1 with you Inn in District 2 I could gain the majority in both! Bonus!
I would normally pair this game with a heavy beer since the game is a heavy game. However, I just can’t imagine the worker elves and dwarves sipping a heavy, gentlemen’s beer after a hard day of work on the castle. So my preferred beer pairing is one that drinks easily, tastes great, and would work perfectly in the hands of elves and dwarves. And that beer is New Glarus‘ Cabin Fever Honey Bock. It is a very tasty beer brewed with clover honey, but not too much. And it goes great with brats, BBQ, and Belfort!
This was at the top of my Christmas list a couple year’s ago and it has lived up to that! Belfort is a great game that is a ton of fun to play. There is deep strategy, awesome artwork, and a lot of tense decisions. I can’t wait for the expansion to come out! I will rate Belfort 9 out of 10 on the BoardGameGeek rating system!