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In The Beginning Was The d20. Daniel is a long-time computing geek who spends his days spreading this good word. Interests include painting, medieval swordsmanship, and every conceivable form of game design.


Jan
7
comment Lasting games in the past century
@Pat, the question does ask "What games have not yet had time to (past 10 years or so), but do you feel have the seeds of such depth?". I was attempting to address that when I posted. (My answers to the rest of the question had already been covered, so I could just upvote.) Probably I should have made that more explicit in the answer.
Jan
6
comment Lasting games in the past century
@Andrew... your point is good, but I'm not convinced it means Magic isn't deep. That the community doesn't exploit the full depth (because of the constant expansion in breadth) doesn't mean that depth isn't there. I recall some very deep strategic analysis and deck design discussions back when I started playing... when Antiquities came out and the total card pool was still around 500-600.
Jan
5
answered Best Light Strategy Party Games?
Jan
5
comment Best Light Strategy Party Games?
Cash and guns can have early knockouts, but doesn't often, as it lets you duck out when under heavy threat. So usually all players will last most of the game. And yes, it's the rubber guns that make it a great party game.
Jan
5
answered Which alternative methods of choosing a starting player actually WORK?
Jan
5
comment Which alternative methods of choosing a starting player actually WORK?
For hard-to-work-out, it's hard to beat Android's "player who's read the most science fiction". In most groups this is either runaway obvious, or the cause of hours of conversation by itself. Of course, going first isn't much advantage in Android.
Jan
5
answered Best Light Strategy Party Games?
Jan
5
comment How can I recognize games I should avoid buying if I only play with non-hardcore gamers?
Pat's right; Civ is very complex but lends well to teach-as-you-go. Don't let a new player select Crete, though. Ship management takes more understanding.
Jan
5
comment How can I recognize games I should avoid buying if I only play with non-hardcore gamers?
@Crazy: I like the new edit; seems clearer to me. @Lo'oris: I think either form of the Q makes the problem clear: it's OK for the game to seem simple and have depth emerge in play (e.g. Ingenious), but this group simply won't play if it takes more than 15 mins to teach the rules. So Crazy needs to avoid even simple games if the rules are complex to teach. (This seems a clear distinction. Consider, e.g., Space Alert: actually complex, but basics easily taught in a 15-minute-chunk and then play, and lets you gradually build up to full detail.)
Jan
2
comment How can I recognize games I should avoid buying if I only play with non-hardcore gamers?
A suggestion: this question is in danger of becoming 'name every complicated game', which is bad. I recommend everyone makes their answer strictly according to "what other games deceptively conceal their inner complexity"... Yes, Twilight Imperium is for the hardcore only, but it's obviously so and doesn't hide its incredible complexity. It's not an answer to this. (@Crazy: I recommend you rephrase the question to emphasise this, otherwise you'll just get a grab bag of really-complex games, whereas you want an 'avoid list' of complex games which look simple enough to teach quickly.)
Jan
2
comment What changes to the game will the “On The Brink” Pandemic expansion offer me?
Neither can I. Apparently my memory was wrong; I thought I remembered seeing that somewhere! I've revised my answer to match.
Jan
2
revised What changes to the game will the “On The Brink” Pandemic expansion offer me?
Minor correction as I can't find evidence for something I thought I remembered as official.
Dec
31
comment What changes to the game will the “On The Brink” Pandemic expansion offer me?
The Ops manager upgrade is official errata/update for the base game even if you don't have On the Brink; they added it in the FAQ and suggest it should always be played that way. (They're right; it's a huge improvement.) Basically it adds an extra travel ability, which keeps the role useful after the labs are built.
Dec
31
answered What changes to the game will the “On The Brink” Pandemic expansion offer me?
Dec
28
comment Do you know any rules that make Pandemic's difficulty more even?
Timing and position of the first outbreak are crucial. If you don't like putting the card always at the bottom of each pile, consider always shuffling into the bottom half of each pile. This is no more work than the regular way, and keeps randomness while preventing early wipe-outs.
Dec
28
comment Do you know any rules that make Pandemic's difficulty more even?
I agree; particularly if you're choosing roles, as it provides some more flexible choices, and one good fix to an existing role. However, it's an expensive buy just for that; most of the expansion provides variants that make things harder...
Dec
26
awarded  Editor
Dec
26
revised Hero Quest type games
Fixed punctuation.
Dec
26
comment Why are there fewer board games with a triangular grid?
Concur. An absolutely perfect answer would be Brian's, with the additional observations from this answer and Richard Gadsden's added.
Dec
19
comment Getting started with trick-taking games (whist, euchre, bridge, pinochle, etc.)
Concur; great suggestion. (Also, thanks; I've been trying to remember what this game was called for days and couldn't.) Another suggested variation for beginners: Go through the trump suits/no trump in order each round (clubs / diamonds / hearts / spades / no trump) instead of drawing at random. In a ten round ascending game of 1-10 cards, this guarantees each trump option twice - very good practice for beginners, and it ensures that you'll get practice with the (very different) play of no-trumps.