This week we played Smallworld. Smallworld is a game Ryan brought in that focuses on turn-based strategy and resource management. The hardest part about the game for me was probably determining what the correct strategy was given how there was no clear better race to start as at least at the start. As we played and I got a better grasp of the game, it seemed a bit unbalanced as some races were doing far better than others. There is a mechanic where the races are different every game due to them having a random bonus characteristic. These can range from redundant (gaining a bonus attribute that the race already has) to downright overpowered. This ends up being an interesting design choice, as the creators must have made a tactical choice between greater game balance and greater replay-ability due to RNG elements. This game was fairly solo focused, but the leadership may have come in when commanding your forces. A good leader needs to know when to play his cards right and strategy games often do a good job of simulating such a leadership situation. This game is especially focused on resource (units) management, but the principle is the same. I think my roommate Chris might enjoy this game because he is a big resource management strategy game kind of guy. Not sure if that has anything to do with being an economics major but there’s a good chance it does.
I think I really liked Captain Sonar. Even if the first few games were somewhat incredibly frustrating. It was still fun the last game where I felt like I could finally have confidence in my crew on what was actually happening because we finally knew the rules well. I played as the captain the whole time and first mate as well for the last bit. I think the hardest part is getting to a point of understanding with your crew where you end up finding the enemy ship and tracking it down repeatedly despite them using silenced running and having 3 options for directions to run in. It is a great feeling once you overcome the challenge though and I would definitely be open to playing the game again with an experienced crew. I think the game also required a significant amount of game literacy from the logic standpoint. Especially for the sonar crewmember in order to be good the first time they play. I do not know if I would get it initially, but I definitely did by the third playthrough to the point where I was able to explain what different situations must mean in relation to our predictions on the sonar map. This was what ultimately enabled us to achieve the situation mentioned above. The engine system was probably the biggest obfuscation otherwise though because the first two games, there were several times where I tried to do things and realized later that actually I could not perform those actions and had stopped play for no reason. Overall though I really liked this game and I think my roommate Chris might too after he learned it. He can be a fan of strategy from time to time and I think he might appreciate the opportunity to maybe take some ideas from this games implementation and use them to find ways to implement some of our own ideas from Darkest Seas.
Two Rooms and a Boom Reflection
This game was very odd for me. I did not really see the fun in it when I saw the video describing it and I did not find the fun when I played it either. The hardest part was the whole feeling of futility and helplessness I felt in varying degrees the entire time I was playing. I felt like there was no clear strategy to victory. It was way to much effort to find out if people were who they said they were and then even if you did, if you were not the leader or the leaders friend you could hardly do anything. The blind role basically takes you out of the game entirely which is incredibly headache inducing now as I attempt to wrap my head around why you would include a role in a game that leaves someone feeling even less important than they did without a role. All in all, I think the thing I was most upset by was (I recognize this is my opinion) the apparent lack of good game design or at the least, play testing. I think any good game designer knows that you should only add things to your game that make participants want to play more if possible. As a result, I have to wonder if they found someone during playtesting that actually enjoyed being blind. The only way it sounds fun is in the situation Jon described. Where the blind person was made leader and basically was forced to pick random people the whole game. But I am not convinced I would really enjoy that either unless I was in the mood to be used by other people to lose the game (again helplessness, I feel that enough in my daily life). A funny story though. The leadership here is up to every person to do the best to be an active player for their team. Most people have opportunities to help their team win and its their job as leaders to help those opportunities come to fruition. Someone I think would enjoy playing it is maybe my diplomat friend Nancy. She is prone to headaches but I know she likes politics and debate so maybe she would find some shine in this game.
This week we presented our game design ideas. My game was Darkest Seas and I really like the idea of it. I was really encouraged by the notes and suggestions that our professors had on the game as well as with the suggestions they had as to what games we could play to get ideas about how to implement the ideas we had for the games. I think the hardest part of my game is frankly going to first be the groundwork. There are so many unique items that need created and I do not have the money or time to dedicate to making them well. This is especially hard because of my strong desire to make it well. I have so many ideas for it and knowing that I will have to cut down on so many just to get a functioning prototype for finals week is really rough when I feel that it could be so much. My game will have a lot of strong ties to leadership due to the rotating captains roles that are key to the game. Ultimately, that person must make a final decision and that is something a lot of leaders can struggle with. Hopefully my game can inspire someone to become a more confident leader in their daily lives. I hope all of my friends would like it but I especially think my roommate Chris would enjoy it because he helped me thinktank it! I would be a little sad if he did not like the game he helped create.
This week we played the game Ladies and Gentlemen. This game places you into teams of two and has a very sort of endearing way of encouraging you to roleplay during the game. By often having the opposite gender roles on each side of the team, it is intentionally paradoxical, and funny how disregarding it is of the culture upon which the game is referenced. One player plays as the husband/’breadwinner’ and the other plays as a Victorian era wife. A team wins by having the most decadently dressed wife at the ball at the end of the game. The hardest part of the game seemed to be the helplessness felt when your ‘husband’ seemed incompetent at manipulating the in-game economy. As a result, there could be some fun lost from knowing early on that you did not have much of a chance of winning the game. Fun could thankfully be regained by screwing over the other two teams and roleplaying though. I think this could be a very frustrating game for anyone who was highly competitive if their teammate was deemed unconducive to winning the game. This game I think really encourages the ladies to be leaders and request things of their husbands in order to of course win the game. The husbands also have to be leaders at times too though when they decide what the woman can be allowed to buy. I think my mother would like this game because she is a fun roleplayer in board games I played with her in the past. Overall, to me this game was just alright as it was not really my kind of game but I could see where some people might find it more enjoyable.
This week’s game was great fun. Me and Samantha had a great time messing around and creating our own rules. The hardest part this time was probably staying serious. That may not necessarily be a bad thing because I think I enjoyed this game much more than many of the others. We started off following the rules and slowly added our own when it sounded fun and we decided we had a good enough grasp of the main game. I think a lot of games are more fun when you’re playing with someone who plays at the same competitiveness level as you. This never would have been as fun if me and Sam cared more about winning. I think we may have thrown leadership out the window here because the most leadership I experienced was when we were creating our own rules. Another instance may have been when we had to decide on mixed boats whether it was worth killing our own people in order to stop our opponent from scoring. Deciding whether the reward outweighs the consequences is a situation many leaders find themselves in. This time in particular is more complicated though due to the unknown variability in score on the bottom of the little people figures. I think we decided to err on the side of caution though and killed as many as possible. So that’s a sort of dark form of leadership, but is one none the less. I think that my sister would also enjoy this game as we often have a very similar level of competitiveness.
This week we played Mysterium a relatively abstract game where you play as either a psychic murder investigator or a ghost who sends dreams to the investigators in order to help them determine the circumstances of the murder. The hardest part was I think the whole point of the game, trying to figure out what the heck was going on in the ghosts head, almost none of my cards I received from the ghost had virtually anything to do with my 3 circumstances. No matching colors, themes, or even shapes. Even with some indirect spoken hints he somehow led me even more astray which was frankly just kind of funny. The leadership component here was not very pronounced in my mind as I feel everyone behaved as their own leader in this instance. The only one who might be considered a leader of the group would be the ghost, leading us to the right deductions on the murders. This leadership could become quickly strained as we learned to somewhat distrust the dreams he provided us so this really did not feel like the most inspiring leadership game. I think my sister might enjoy this game because of its more abstract clue-esque nature. Overall, definitely not my favorite game ever but something I should probably give another try.
The hardest part of the game was probably the somewhat ambiguous interpretation of the rules at times. This isn’t an insurmountable challenge but one has to wonder if the designers encountered this issue in playtesting. The game has some ties to leadership with the group who does not become traitors. They in all cases need a good understanding of how to win the game and need a good team strategy to deal with the challenges posed by the traitors moves. Even though I was weak myself due to constant debilitation before becoming the traitor, I was still able to win by effectively using my pawns to essentially checkmate my ‘enemies’. It seems that despite this being the first time playing for most if not all of us, there was a key lack of understanding of the win conditions among the non-traitor team. If they had realized the gravity of their situation, then they may have realized that they needed to rally together to defend the victims instead of running from my cannibal horde. Overall though it was a very refreshing and different sort of adventure strategy game and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I believe my roommate Chris would really enjoy it because of his love of strategy games.
Although the game was launched very early, I really like this game. The rules of the game are simple and easy to understand. There are no long manuals, and the players are very good at getting started.
The hard part is that you need to combine your strategies and escape by working with others. The initial placement requires strategies. If you put them together, the more chances are that your ship will be shot down by others. Different scores also need to be placed differently, and sometimes it is necessary to bring the boat to a safe place together with others. In the game process, you need to communicate at any time, and if necessary, you need to make some decisions, such as whether to cooperate with others, how to shoot down other people’s boats. A friend who played with us lost a lot of points at the beginning, so it became indifferent to start destroying others’ ships, and the game’s direction became uncontrollable.
I think there are many ways to convert this game. When you are the controller of the boat, you need to lead everyone to safety. At this time, you need to think carefully about the direction of each step. You will also give you a lot of suggestions, but you can choose the best results. But when you are on someone else’s boat, you are the identity of the follower. Sometimes you need to make a suggestion, but just like in real life, after the comments are made, the leader needs to decide whether to implement it. The cooperation of everyone can only escape perfectly. So I don’t think this game is as simple as it was originally thought, but more needs cooperation and trade-offs.
After playing this game, I have decided to buy this set of board games. I also recommend this game to my good friends many times. My friends like this game very much. I hope we can play together at the next party.
Mysterium has some similarities to a board game I have played before also rely on cards to guess ideas. Although the mysterium theme is horrifying, it is a joy to play. Players will continue to use the card to solve the case, find the connection between the ghost and the real people, and infer who committed the crime, what weapons are used, and so on.
I think the hardest part is to understand the idea of ”ghost” players quickly. If you play this game between friends, everyone will quickly understand what they want to express because they are familiar with each other. The cards given to us will be more suggestive, allowing us to link cards to clues, however, because of the game played in class. We were not familiar with each other. In the beginning, we spent a lot of effort to guess what the “ghost” wanted to express. But after a round or two, we gradually learned what he wanted to express through the card, so the progress became much faster.
I think in this game, “Ghost” is one of the leaders because he wants to find ways to connect cards and clues. Therefore, you need to understand the “cue” characteristics of each person in order to assign cards better. In real life, leaders often face this problem. Every employee’s tasks are different, but how to allocate them reasonably can make the most efficient. Leaders need to think. The same “detectives” also needs a leader, the person who knows the most “ghost” idea or the person with strong logic. Generally, such a leader is judged by ability. In life, I often encounter such a situation. For example, the most thoughtful person in a group activity will become a leader.
I would recommend it to my friends to play or my family, just like I mentioned before. If players familiar with others, there will be more tacit understanding so that you can play a more challenging way.