Designing Around an Experience

Oakleaf Games

In the run-up to Unpub 5, I felt a lot of pressure to produce a second good game. I took two game ideas that I had worked to build a game around. And then I took the prototypes to Unpub, where I played a single game of one, and the other one never got out of the box. Instead, I played a number of games of One Card Wonder, which I literally pulled out of my pocket. So I feel like I overcame the sophomore slump, and I’m not just a one hit wonder. I knew that One Card Wonder was a much better game than the other two, but I didn’t know why I felt that way until I was playing some published games that were polished and mechanically sound but didn’t excite me. I asked myself what those games were missing that I wanted.

My answer was “an…

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My Next Purchase – Brew Crafters

What is Brew Crafters?

Brew Crafters is a Worker Placement game where players represent the owners of small craft breweries striving to have the best reputation after their first 3 years in operations. Through improving their production lines, making the right connections and hiring the right Skilled Workers, they will produce a variety of different types of beer, earning them money and (most importantly) reputation along the way.

Image originally by BGG user ckirkman –

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My Next Purchase – Belfort

While not reviews, I thought it might be a worthwhile exercise to write out some of the reasons I plan to buy new games. These posts are not meant as reviews, but rather a brief description of the game, what appeals to me about it and where I believe it will fit into my collection. My hope is that if I’m unable to complete one of these posts, the game I’m considering doesn’t belong in my collection anyway.

What is Belfort?

Belfort is a primarily an Area Control game that also uses Worker Placement as a way of accumulating resources as well as scoring points. Unlike some other games like Caylus or Agricola, the Worker Placement in Belfort is rather straightforward and closer to Stone Age (minus the dice) than any other game. Rounds are divided into 2 parts, first they place workers on the various Buildings or Guilds that have been constructed in the city, then afterwards placing their remaining workers onto a separate board to accumulate Wood, Stone, Steel and Gold, as well as hire additional workers or re-arrange the turn order.

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[Crosspost] Harbour by Tasty Minstrel Games – Small box, big game

Note: Originally written for my FLGS –

In my last post, I talked about some of my favourite heavy worker placement games (chief among them is Le Havre by Uwe Rosenberg), however today I’d like to speak about a game that has many similarities but plays in a fraction of time and can fit in your pocket. Originally a Kickstarter campaign, Harbour (by designer Scott Almes, published by Tasty Minstrel Games) plays from 1 to 4 players, takes roughly 10 to 15 minutes per player and comes with a tremendous amount of game for the very small 6″ x 4″ box.

Image originally by BGG user Khayyinn –

Players represent different influential characters in a fantasy-themed town named Gullsbottom who are trying to amass fame and fortune by collecting and shipping goods in order to purchase different buildings which are worth different amount of Victory Points. Each turn is relatively straightforward; players have a single worker that they move to an available Building and then take the action listed, typically providing one or more types of goods or allowing for the official purchase of a building. Summarized like that, it sounds very much like Le Havre, so how is Harbour different and why is it worth space in your collection? Continue reading