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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
21
comment How does one make foam inserts for games?
+1. Craft store / tool shop boxes are the answer for me - flexible, cheap, always come with lots of compartments to store small things. Most of my Fantasy Flight games are dependant on them.
Jan
20
comment What are the mechanical differences between Doom and Descent from Fantasy Flight Games?
There are several other rules differences of note: (1) Melee attacks matter more; ranged attacks are split into ranged and magical. Most characters specialise in one of these three types, which have different skill decks. (2) Armour is less effective, subtracting from damage instead of dividing it as Doom does. (3) Balance is more in favour of the heroes; Descent is much more even out of the box than Doom. (4) With the expansions, the Overlord has more tactical options to choose from. (5) Heroes can more easily retreat to heal/regroup.
Jan
20
comment Descent: Can you get rid of cursed items?
This is correct; you never have to use a cursed item. The point is that the cursed items are generally significantly better than non-cursed items in the same deck; several are well worth the risk in the right circumstances.
Jan
20
answered In Descent, can you make an attack without an implement?
Jan
8
comment Is bidding in contract bridge just a matter of applying a set of rules?
+1. The point of the codified bidding is to provide your partner with as much information as possible in a limited space... but the space is very limited. The 'algorithm' sometimes gives you several reasonable choices for next bid, depending on whether your and your partner's points are at the low / high end of the given bids... and which you choose decides what information your partner will have when play comes.
Jan
7
revised Lasting games in the past century
Made specific response to one sub-question clearer.
Jan
7
comment Lasting games in the past century
@Pat: No complaint here. If you hadn't picked up on that, probably other readers haven't... and we should edit the question, or the answer, to be clearer. I've edited the answer.
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.