Archive for May, 2006

New games

May 24, 2006

I'm working on two new games at the moment. Both have had their rules roughly sketched out, one is being formatted for release online, and the other will follow afterwards. They will need some play-testing, so hopefully I can get my playgroup involved, I'd expect to see some major changes.

The first game is a trading an shipping game, where players sail ships from the Old World to the New, purchase resources that are produced in the new land, and return to the Old World to sell the goods. It focuses on gaining influence in the Old and New World ports to determine who is able to sell the goods the collect, and also on the efficient transportation and purchase of the goods themselves.

The second game is set in an Aztec-like jungle, where four separate tribes are vying for the favour of the Gods. Controlling territory and out-maneuvering your opponents are the key to success.

I'm hoping to have the first game available in a rough format very soon, probably by the end of next week. I'll then work on the second, get that available, and then polish the rough spots on both.

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German games

May 18, 2006

The style of game I most prefer playing, and hence the style I tend to in my design, is know as the German-style board game. These games are not all designed by Germans, but games of this style all share certain similar characteristics. We will generally see games of 3-5 players, where players are never eliminated from the game. There is often a high degree of player interaction, and turns are generally short, to maintain interest amongst all participants. The games often have simple rules, but deep strategy. Luck is an element, but it is not an over-riding factor. There is more than one viable strategy to win by, and no strategy is so powerful it cannot be trumped by another.

The combination of these elements leads to fun and engaging games, that are playable by the whole family, where they retain enough interest to the adults to be a challenging game when played only amongst the grown-ups. The newest of these games that has gained large popularity is Caylus, which I really want to play, but have not yet had the chance to do so. As soon as it becomes available from my local game shop, I intend to purchase a copy, and I shall let everyone know my thoughts on the game.

Settlers of Catan

May 18, 2006

Settlers is another of my top picks for board games. I really need to play it more often, but I can't pick up enough interest in my current gaming circle. This saddens me greatly. The best games of Settlers are played with only the basic game, and with the full four players. The expansions add little to nothing to the game in my opinion, and are all terribly expensive.

As you probably know, Settlers is a resource trading and collection game, and I really enjoy the political aspect of it, it's really all about lying and correctly withholding information, with a bit of basic probaility thrown in for free. If you prefer co-operative games with no backstabbing or general meanness, then you won't get the best out of Settlers, but if you are capable of playing the game to the full without forgetting you are just playing a game, then it can be immense fun for all involved.

King of the Castle decks

May 18, 2006

Today I've uploaded a deck for the King of the Castle card game. It's going to massively reduce the work for anyone who wants to play a game, you can now print out the cards and cut them up ready for use. I'd advise buying a couple of cheap decks of cards (with the same backs), and pasting your print-outs onto those.

If anyone out there has a bit more talent or skill with artwork and computer graphics than I do, and wants to help, then please let me know, I will be more than grateful.

Carrcassonne and its expansions

May 18, 2006

Carcassonne is undoubtedly one of the best board games around, it's simple, fun and quick to play, and there is a suprising amount of depth to it, all factors which combine to make this game one of the greats, which all board game enthusiasts should own.

The success of Carcassonne has led to a large number of expansions being released for the game, at last count, there were at least 8.

  • The river expansion
  • Inns and Cathedrals
  • Traders and Builders
  • The Princess and the Dragon
  • The tower expansion
  • The Count of Carcassonne
  • The river expansion v2.0
  • Kings and Robbers

I think it is more than possible that this number of expansions is too much of a good thing. Not all of these expansions can be played in one game, but it is perfectly possible to use 5-6 of them.

It would be my advice to not do this. The game gets noticably slower for every expansion added, and the improvement to the playing experience gets less for each expansion added. I have played with all of these expansions, and I personally do not like the Princess and the Dragon, of the Towers expansion. These expansions allow markers you have placed to be removed from the board, which massively changes the game dynamic, most noted in a slow down in tile placement, as you have to consider risks that are not generally present in the main game.

For the best games, I would advise only the basic Carcassonne set, with Inns and Cathedrals to allow a sixth player to play, and a river expansion as start tiles. It is also possible to add any of the generic tiles from the special expansions without much loss in playing speed, and the different configurations are often worth the addition of these pieces. It is also possible to use the Count of Carcassonne expansion in a game, as the starting section, but this is not to the taste of all players.

Welcome

May 18, 2006

I love playing games, I love writing games. I want to share them with other people like me. I’ve created toadflax games to allow me to do this, to share what I like doing with as many people as possible.

I’m going to do things a little differently to the rest of the gaming world, and I hope that everyone likes what I am doing. First off, all of my games are available for free from this site, with the rules and components available in as many different electronic formats as I can think of. Please download them, and use them. Share them with your friends, but don’t modify things without my permission. If you like the games I provide, then I will make it easy for you to pay me for them, via pay-pal.

I’m going to have all the comments I get about any of my games available to anyone who cares to look at them, I don’t want to have a few select testimonials, I want everyone to be happy with the games I write, and I want everyone to be able to find out the thoughts of others with regards to my games.

I want to keep in contact with anyone who plays my games, or considers playing them. I will aim to reply to any e-mails I get with regards to toadflax games within a day of getting them, if I get online in that day, you’ll get a reply. As well as e-mail, you can see a link to the toadflax games blog, which will be updated regularly. Important updates will also be posted on the front page.

I hope you like the games I have available, initially I present a card game, King of the Castle, but I’ve got more card and board games in the development pipeline at the moment.

Hello world!

May 18, 2006

So, this is my first post on a real blogging platform.

I'm going to pull across the posts from my current 'blogging solution' as soon as possible, and hopefully I should be able to link this all up to my website pretty soon.

Until then, you can have a look at my website http://www.toadflaxgames.co.uk to see my free card game, King of the Castle.