The Low Player Count Podcast is mostly a discussion about games and the experience playing them at (wait for it) low player counts – solo and two players. This includes games that are specifically designed for 1-2 players, games that are listed for player count ranges that include 1 or 2 players, and games that can be scaled down with variants. While they do some reviews of games as well, their focus is more general about what makes games good and particularly what makes them good at low player counts.
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In the Low Player Count BGG guild, one of the podcasts that I enjoy, a series of questions was asked about the “card drafting” mechanic. I have incorporated card drafting in Picky Packrats and am working on other designs that have card drafting as central to the game, so I have been thinking about this mechanic already and have some thoughts to share. The link to the BGG glossary entry for Card Drafting, my responses to the questions posed in the BGG guild, and some additional thoughts follow.
It has been over 8 months since I “completed” design work on Picky Packrats and discontinued regular playtesting. However, my friend Mike and I continued to play it fairly regularly during lunch at work for the entertainment value alone; that is, until late October when his FMLA for a newborn and then the holidays and then the early-year work pressures all got in the way. We finally played Picky Packrats again this week after a 3 month hiatus. Was the game as fun as we remembered? Did we discover anything new about the game or validate any previous conclusions? Let’s see.
If you want to read about my plans prior to attending Ghengis Con this year, check out Genghis Con 2016 – Preview. I had created a long list of games that I wanted to play; primarily to see if they were good 2-player games for Lori and I. The list was long since I didn’t know which games would be in the library. Many were, so we had very little downtime – except when our brains or stomachs needed the break. Below I list all the games we played with my current BGG rating for the game. Since I have only played many of these once or twice, these might be considered first impressions and not an extensive evaluation. A low rating (<7) probably indicates that I won’t play it again unless it is offered up by someone else who wants to play. A higher rating (7-9) probably indicates that I will try to play it again and the rating might change (up or down) with more plays. In some cases I have noted if I expect my rating to go up or down (+/-) with more plays. A note about my ratings: Since the BGG rating scale is based on whether you want to play a game or would suggest it over other games, I tend to rate low because there are so many games competing for my attention. I certainly wouldn’t rate a game a 10 after just one or two plays. The only “10” below is Puerto Rico, which we played because it is one of my favorites that I don’t get to play often.
It is important for me and for Opie Games to be a supporter of the table top gaming community and I am always looking for opportunities. In January 2015 I created a short list of goals for the year.
If you think legacy style and other disposable games are crap by their very nature and you are looking for a few more grenades to drop in the BGG forums, well you have come to the wrong place. I hope to present a few ideas that have come as a result of playing, and thoroughly enjoying a few legacy and disposable games recently, namely Pandemic Legacy: Season One and T.I.M.E Stories. As I have planned to play and actually played these games, I have noticed a few dynamics that seem to be unique (at least for me) to these sessions.
Last year I posted a review of my 2015 Genghis Con experience and I plan to do the same this year. This year I am adding a preview to note some changes in my con plans and to be able to cut right to the chase in the review article (the post post).
Why Genghis Con?
I will spend an extended weekend at Genghis Con for the third year running. I live about an hour from where the con is held and it is not far from my office, so it is very convenient to attend. In past years I slept at home, but I will be staying two nights at the con hotel this year. Hopefully, this means I will get in more gaming! This is not the only major change to my con routine planned in 2016. This year my wife will also attend (which was the primary rationale behind getting the hotel room). She came for a few hours on the final day in 2014 to see what the con was like. Of course, this was probably the worst day since things were winding down and too many con-goers had not followed their con-123s. Despite the warning signs, she agreed to attend most of 3 days this year.
As mentioned in 2015 Review: Round 1, based on the number of times that I played any given game in 2015 (and compared to 2014 when possible) indicates that some of them were winners in 2015 and others were losers. Let’s take a look at a few games in each category:
A common way of measuring the actively played games is to use a metric called “nickels and dimes” (games played 5 and 10 times in one year respectively). To that we can add “quarters” also since I had a couple games that broke the 25 plays mark and a couple more that were close. This seems to be a good metric for my level of gaming; distinguishing between those games that get attention and those that don’t. In my previous post called A Nickel’s Worth of Game Play I discuss what is indicate about a game when I get 5 or more plays.
As I did in January of 2015, I will review the previous year’s gaming. Note: Also as before, I wouldn’t consider this a review of the games, but a review of my experiences with them.
I started tracking my plays on BGG in January 2014, so I can report on the games that I played, the ones that didn’t get any attention, and I can compare 2015 to 2014. Just in case it isn’t nerdy enough to catalog my game collection, record game plays, and review them, I also have to consider a few “rules” in the analysis.
Having just completed the analysis on game quality data to compare Kickstarter published games to the general population of games, some interesting data regarding the general quality of games over time also became available. While the data is available, let’s take a quick look at the quality of Hobby Games over time.
The data presented here was collected from on Board Game Geek using the Advanced Search feature. Please refer to the original article (Kickstarter: A Source for Quality Games?) for the qualifications to this data.