"Time Marches On" Winner
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: "Time Marches On" Winner
- From: "jdroscha" <jdroscha@...>
- Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002 19:31:41 -0000
- User-agent: eGroups-EW/0.82
First and foremost, I must thank each of the participants in the
contest. Impressive lot, you bunch. I enjoyed testing the games,
and I felt the group as a whole were a good show.
Second, I'll not keep you waiting... I chose [trumpet
fanfare] "Kidsprout Jumboree" as my favorite (and therefore the
winner). Hale-Evans couple, if you would be so kind as to send your
postal address to me by email (jdroscha @ att . net), I'll send your
prize off straight away. Congratulations. Also, if you could email
me your thoughts on the recent discussion of "next contest", it would
Third, I'd like to share a few comments and suggestions regarding
each of the entries (in alphabetical order). The suggestions would
perhaps be more properly termed "expressed possibilities" as I've not
taken the time to test any of them... they merely occurred to me and
I thought I'd blurt them out on my keyboard.
Comments: Conspiracy was the most complex entry and is the most
complete piecepack ruleset I've seen, including inline examples,
inline designer notes, additional pages of designer commentary, and a
lengthy play example. I like the "conveyor-belt" tile movement. I
also dig the "coins gang up by pointing" mechanic (which would seem
useful in a piecepack wargame as well).
Suggestions: This might sound goofy, but I'd like to see the board
upside-down (i.e., take the current board and rotate the words 180
degrees). Since we sat in a U-shape around the table when we played
this, having the Present end of the board toward the players would
give a better sense of the Future coming _toward_ the players. Small
thing, but hey. Also, it might help alleviate the opacity of the
rules if the theme were better integrated with the rules text. For
example, instead of the "Place Coin" action, maybe call it "Concoct
Scheme (place coin)" or something. Some of the possible changes
mentioned in the designer commentary sound interesting, though it
already feels to me like there's more minutiae than I could ever hold
in my feeble brain, so perhaps some pruning could be considered first.
Comments: Appealing theme. The "round" board with the clockwise and
counterclockwise concentric tracks is groovy. The connection to the
contest theme is perhaps a bit weak, but that doesn't detract from
the game itself. (Future/past is a worthy thematic interpretation,
but which evaporated quickly during play.)
Suggestions: Not much... this is a decent, tight little game. A
better way to randomize the initial coin layout would be nice; the
person placing the coins is very likely to (unintentionally) note
some of the coin values, which could provide a slight advantage. Any
additional ties between mechanics and theme would be welcome (besides
being hopped up on payote while playing).
Comments: This would be worth playing even without the Excuses, but
they really do make the game. Fun theme, well intertwined with the
mechanics. Quick to play, easy to remember, good dose of luck, fair
helping of tactics.
Suggestions: I would like to see more variety in the Activities. I
suggest one of two methods... 1) one chart for each die color, vary
the time needed for activities (rather than merely matching the die
roll), and allow the Leaping Buck (or Rutting Buck, as I am wont to
label) which color/chart to roll against; or 2) just keep the die
roll for # of hours as it is now but skip the chart and let the Rutt,
er, Leaping Buck "make up" the activity name. Why? Because I like
to relate the Excuse directly to the Activity, and more variety would
provide further meat for the grinder (or somesuch metaphor). Also,
the rules could more clearly state that each round is not so much
progressing through the day as it is progressing through the day
planning. That is, the action takes place perhaps the night before
(or the morning of), and the SproutMeisters are filling their
ONE MAN: THRAG!
Comments: Amusing solitaire diversion of the line-em-up and knock-em-
down variety. I like to see solitaire games that are not sorting
exercises. I like the healing mechanism.
Suggestions: Name the special weapons, and maybe give them different
powers. Also, if there could be a final round wherein you take down
the evilnasty wizards, that would give the game a better sense of
closure. A different turn timer (if you skipped the "home by
breakfast" paragraph of the intro, further distancing it from the
contest theme, but so?) might be in order... perhaps remove a tile
from the Healing stack each time before shuffling them? That would
be, uh, something like 15 turns (5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1) instead of 12,
but if you added the finale of fighting the wizards (null tiles would
be available for this), it should come out about right.
ROCKIN' NEW YEARS
Comments: Funny theme. Mechanically reminiscent of Dungeon Crawl
(another piecepack game, for those of you who have not seen it).
This game felt undertested, which Dave conceeded.
Suggestions: Finding "hidden" stuff should be harder (ideally, it
should start out difficult and get easier as the deadline looms
closer). Stealing should be a little easier (and maybe less
random... what about trading parts?) The problem with 2 players
being able to block an opponent's exit might be fixed by giving
players higher base movement, then penalizing that movement when
burdened with Clarkdroid parts (which would also eliminate the need
for capping the number of Clarkdroid parts carried).