Most of you understood that my “Hexes & Hops” article was an April Fool’s joke. Others mentioned that they actually preferred the green motif. If you missed out on the fun and want to see what it looked like, just click the image to the right.
I had fun writing that article and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Today I’m posting a true version of my favorite things. And I’m using all the same categories from the April Fool’s article.
Let’s get started with my favorite Barley things…
BEER STYLE: Just about anything Belgian
I love Belgian beers, specifically Trappist beers. They have floral notes and beautiful body. And they are easy enough to understand with the names Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel, etc. Of those varieties I would say Tripel is my favorite. But be careful because these tend to be on the strong side. Here’s a picture from Wikipedia showing some of the best Trappist beers and their glasses:
BEER ESTABLISHMENTS: Breweries/BrewPubs
If I’m going out for a beer I’m gonna go someplace where they either brew beer or they serve local beer on tap. There are actually two new places being built near me that will be great Beer Establishments. I’m also blessed to have a brewery within 1 mile of my house, another big one 25 minutes away, and several more within the city. Madison, Wisconsin is a great beer town!
So I’m not going to bother going to one of those places with the bucket of Miller Lite. I’m going to a place that offers at least 10 different “good” beers on tap. I recommend this strategy.
BEER: Duvel or Orval
To go along with my favorite beer style, I would say my favorite beer would be either Orval, which is trappist, or Duvel. These are both awesome beers with amazing flavor. Of course Chimay, Rochefort, Westmalle, and La Trappe are great substitutes.
BEER BREWING PHASE: Cracking open the first of a new batch!
I’d be fooling myself if drinking that first new beer wasn’t my favorite part. It’s way better than the boiling, racking, or bottling. Obviously we don’t brew beer so we can have fun brewing. That’s a side benefit. The real reason we brew beer is so that we savor and enjoy fine beer!
GAME MECHANIC: Worker Placement
I love worker placement games. Some of my favorites are Agricola (which I rarely play), Belfort, and Stone Age. I like the idea that each player has a “crew” to work with and the winner will be the player who best utilized their crew.
If you want to learn more about the Worker Placement mechanic check out iSlayTheDragon’s guide: Take This Job and Place It.
PLAYER STYLE: Fun People
Games are all about fun. So if you are playing and conversing in a manner that is fun and you are fun to be around, then you fit in the category of “Fun People.”
GAME NIGHT HABITS: Contributors
I like it when people bring beverages, snacks, and games to a Board Game Night. It shows you are taking ownership of it. It shows you are there to have a good time. It shows you are part of the group rather than a clinger-on. I also like it when people take charge and read game rules ahead of time or come prepared to teach a game that they enjoy. Be part of it, people!
GAME ART: Merchants & Marauders
This game wins for the board and the player mats. I absolutely love the use of vivid and bright color. I’ll skip the explanations and just show you the art:
When you’ve got ships out there on the board sailing around then you can really immerse yourself in the Pirate culture!
Alright… call me out on loving my own game. That’s fine. But I wouldn’t have designed it if I didn’t at least like it. And it turns out that I really love Scoville. I’ve played or taught it over 125 times and I’m not sick of it. It is simple, elegant, easy to learn and play, but deep in the interaction and gameplay departments. When it gets produced I hope you’ll check it out.
GAME DESIGN TIPS (Rebuttal of the fake ones):
- DO NOT hire an artist for a prototype. Let the game persuade a publisher and then THEY will hire an artist.
- DO NOT quit your day job after one successful game. Board game design doesn’t pay the bills.
- You should playtest a game no less than 40 times. Preferably closer to 100. Fine tune that thing like it’s a 50s Corvette that still roars like a lion!
- Playtest your game enough to find any place where it might be broken and fix those places. Broken games suck and demonstrate that you probably haven’t put enough work into it.
- Don’t go hog wild over adding tons of components. Try to keep the component list as streamlined as possible. But if you need to components to make your game great, then go for it!
- Don’t sell out a Kickstarter campaign by adding minis. Just make a great game.
- Don’t force a long playtest on people. Play long enough to get valuable feedback.
- Don’t use spinners. There are almost always better, more fun ways to design random elements of gameplay.
- Paper money works, but I prefer chit coins.
- Don’t design a CCG. But if you do, make it great!
There you go. April Fool’s is over and this article should fit much more closely with your Boards & Barley habits. Feel free to chime in with your favorites as well!