2d6EE Games- Bottles of Rhubarb Birch Sap…oh, and some games talk Too!
My first proper experience of 2d6EE games was from playing Lembitu, a rather snappy little number set in the annuls of turbulent Estonian history…a multiplayer co-op that actually plays particularly well as a solo game, especially with the Heavy Cavalry expansion…and one I frequently find myself playing, especially on holiday whilst waiting for the rest of my clan to wake. Not a bunch of early risers, it has to be said.
(If you are interested in this game I jotted a wee little ditty down here on BSoMT #8cs…St George’s Knights and Estonian Plights (Lembitu)
…and after various e-mails back and forward over various interesting boardgame topics, including some playtesting & chat about solo modes for Dwarven Traders (…of A Bearded Mine and Gems Divine (Dwarven Traders), it was fantastic to finally meet the team for real.
Hot and stuffy was an understatement in Hall 1 during Friday and people were melting left, right and centre…Aigar, top gent that he is, offered me a bottle of refreshing liquid… and so began my adventure into the liquid world of ÖsenBirch… Refreshing drinks made from birch sap, of all things (a project I have subsequently discovered successfully funded on kickstarter… although I very rarely venture beyond the boargame pages of the Kickstarter website) How easily I become distracted, nay derailed from my principle focus…speaking of Rails…
Death on the Rails…
is their current game, although not a solo game, definitely one to look out for.
1918: Death on the Rails is a fast-moving, challenging and tense block wargame based on the Estonian War of Independence that was fought in connection with the Russian Civil War during 1918–1920. A great illustrative style playing scene to a block wargame setting.
Player’s Aid Blog review
What really made my UKGE, though, was a surprise visit two days later…when hearing a knock at the gate who should be standing there but none other than Aigar and Inga. A fantastic couple of hours followed sat by the lake discussing games and such with two fantastic gaming types…and to dab a crowning cherry on top of the cake, Aigar very kindly brought me a box of the aforementioned elixir.
2d6EE games on Twitter: https://twitter.com/2d6ee_games
2d6EE website: http://2d6.ee/portaal/en/
Grimlord Games- Village Attacks and Everrain (hugely exciting project)
Now I had not intentionally called by the Grimlord stand. Was merely passing by until I saw…THIS!
Everrain caught my eye from beyond the ever growing throng of Grimlord fans. Stopping to take a closer look, I then spot Village Attacks…
…and then remembered watching this Kickstarter campaign some time back. I have no idea how, but I managed to collar designer/creative director Adam Smith, whilst he was free, to talk about Everrain and the solo mechanisms in this nautical adventure game…I have to say that not knowing anything about this title prior to the expo (I really should do my homework) it all looked particularly exciting and lavish in production…albeit in development/prototype form…sumptuous art and exquisite miniatures are clearly apparent…a theme carried on from Village Attacks.
Solo play is in order but this daunting task is made somewhat more manageable by an accompanying app which I am lead to believe is going to make managing certain elements of gameplay easier for the soloist gamer. Adam had a lot to say about the game and I am already sold…on the back of that I did managed to con…
…I mean talk Adam in to making a contribution to a Guest Knows beat where we should all get a much more in-depth look at the solo development of Everrain…a prospect I am most excited about.
Whilst there I managed to get chatting to Mike Brown, operations director, as well, about Village Attacks which is due for fulfilment to Kickstarter backers very soon. Mike was ridiculously generous by giving me a copy to review…I am currently working my way through the variety of scenarios and the result will be up on BSoMT very shortly. This is a game with some high manufacturing qualities and offers a demanding, testing but pretty special solo gaming experience. I suppose fundamentally this is a tower defence style of game where we, the co-op or solo players take on the roll of evil, nasty entities gamed of folklores old. In residence at a castle of moderate means, we are perpetually plagued by an onslaught of villagers, hellbent on ridding the land of our foul reign. There is so much more in the game than a simple battiung off of irritating pitchfork weilding illag peasants but you will have to wait for my review. (Link coming soon) to find out just how entertaining and cunning the game really is….oh! Bugger! *spoilered* it already!
Grimlord on Twitter: https://twitter.com/grimlordgames
Grimlord Website: https://grimlordgames.com
Emmerse Studios– general chats & stuff & things
I veer away from the norm here by making a brief detour visiting the Emmerse Studios stand partly out of curtesy, as we are mutual followers in the Twitter erse but I think it is also good to support small English game designers too…especially if they have a cool game thrown in to the bargain. If the few times I passed the stand during the weekend are anything to go by Quirk! is doing remarkably well…especially compared to last year!
Emma & Millie are extremely effervescent, hard working and always very welcoming…It is well worth checking out Quirk! And its expansion and get involved in the often very divergent, off top Twitter threads. Great boardgaming peeps worthy of your attention.
Emmerse Studios on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmmerseStudios
Millie Abbot on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Milster_gaming
Emmerse Studios website: https://www.emmersestudios.com/
Dragon Dawn Productions- (Perdition’s Mouth and Darwinning Previews of both coming soon to BSoMT)
I have to say Timo from Dragon Dawn probably blew me away the most at the con. I was chatting bubbles with someone…not even sure which stand I was at and I spotted this tall viking looking chap off to the wings…
…then he pops over and… not only does he recognises the old grubby BSoMT T shirt but he only goes and asks if I wouldn’t mind visiting his stand… Now that blew me away as the folks who brought us the likes of Perdition’s Mouth had read my meandering drivel on the website, liked it and wanted me to come over to look at their stand/products. I feel very honoured at that, all though I am not sure I am fully deserving of such attention. As it happens I was so glad he did drag me over to the Dragon Dawn stand, which to be fair, was not in the best location to attract passing custom. (Take Note UKGE)
I got to see Darwinning (another kickstarter I had seen but forgotten about in the mists of time) demoed first-hand and although not a solo game, it has some really nice mechanics working beneath a very attractive zoological game. Darwinning! is a competitive game about the evolution of Species. Each of us strives to become the most successful Species over four Eras of evolution, by having the biggest Population.
There are clever multi-use cards for us to take advantage of in developing our species but before we even get chance to get our grubby mitts on them, a poker style set collecting mechanic…
…forces us to, in effect, out score each other for the privilege of acquiring these multi-use cards…but I ramble in an informed manner here…without mentioning the wonder full illustrations present throughout the game which really are a pleasure to behold.
If all goes to plan I will add a review of this on BSoMT once production copies are back from the printers, which is great for me as it is a lovely, smaller scale game that would fit comfortably in pride of place on any gamers shelf (deep strategists and family players alike) but this is also a bonus, not a small price to pay to get opportunity to review Perdition’s mouth.
Even though I was aware of this game, I had no idea just how many very clever little elements were included in a mammoth of a game.
I will not delve too deeply here as I really wish to save some surprises for the main attraction…namely my review, which should be published in a week or so. Needless to say my favourite element is the fact that the more a character is wounded, the more these wounds impact on a characters ability to do pretty much anything including taking a tinkle behind an Ionic column. So many games heroes level up after battle and never carry injuries with them…this is not the case here. Even after healing, injuries can influence future gaming. Yes, a very nice concept. The action dial is also a interesting touch requiring very careful forward planning when allocating everyone’s individual actions.
Throughout the game it is bestrewn with sumptuous art and a large barrow load of miniatures but dont be fooled by kilograms of plastic.
This game has at its core a strong game play composed of many smart mechanics bringing to gether a deep, immersive gaming experience. There will be wordings of such coming to BSoMT soon as Timo was soooooo kind to provide me with a copy to preview.
I have to say that visiting Dragon Dawn really picked me up and made my day. It is people like this that make this industry/hobby such a pleasure to be a part of.
Dragon Dawn Productions website: https://ddpgames.com
Dragon Dawn Twitter: https://twitter.com/DragonDawnProd
Follow Tiinaliisa Multamäki blog: https://ddptour.blogspot.com/
Nuts!Publishing- Saigon ‘75 & Mini Rogue (great 18 card rogue-like dungeon game with some interesting mechanics) big chat/informal interview from Florent …top bloke!
Now this last encounter (literally the last hour and a half of the expo on Friday) was as a result of Scott Moore’s intervention. Scott works with Florent Coupeau and asked if I would be interested in meeting at the expo to discuss a couple of new titles Nuts are working on…and once the key word “solo” was mentioned, I could not say no!
First up for discussion was ‘75 Saigon. A block and action card player vs player wagame….but what was important here was there is a solo mechanic being worked upon this very moment. Florent walked me through the game explaining how the AI will work…dicssing its heirarchy of orders, if you will. The blocks photogaphed here are likely to be replaced by cylinders but I think the glorious map is close to finished art.
Gameplay is fairly straight forward and lends itself to games such a GMT’s COIN series but with simplicity of pay. An easily accessible, fast and tense gameplay. Focus for the soloist is directed at strategy, area control and prevention of the fall of Saigon rather than endless complex Bot flowcharts (don’t get me wrong I love Liberty or Death and am playtesting Gandhi so have great affection for COIN AI systems but this has a streamlined elegance and, as wargames go, focuses neatly on the domestic conflict.
Note front Florent: Yes the solo mode of Saigon 75 is intended to be simple because the game is intended as a fast and tense wargame that lasts less than one hour. When usual hardcore wargames last 2-6 hours depending on the scenario. Still the IA mode needs to be aggressive to put the strategy of the South Vietnamese player in jeopardy all the time. I also like Liberty or Death but that is not the direction I plan for this solo mode 🙂
Action cards influence play during the game as would be expected…the cards I saw were in French so my translation of their effects was somewhat sketchy….and a selection of markers indicate the various states of the block counters.
The look of this game is superb and, although I have some wargames in my collection, I am not an avid wargame fan…that said, this has really caught my attention and I hope to be able to play some more and report back on BSoMT as the project finalises.
Mini Rogue is a slight departure from Nuts! Strong wargame catalogue in that it was initially an entry into th nine card solo micro-game competition on BGG but with popularity and demand, it was further developed into an eighteen card rogue dungeon explore style of game.
In addition to the cards the came currently has a “dashboard” shall we say? This tracks various stats one would expect to find on a hero sheet, albeit in a more abstracted form.
But what has intregued me was the interesting use of cards. The tree by three grid of cards to explore offered more than a simple turn and encounter format. Movement through the grid is limited to progression downward and to the right (Where a potential choice of several end of level bosses can be found…encountered and hopefully dealt with in a timely fashion.) which gives each session a unique layout and unique path of travel depending on our movement decisions. The cards encountered have multiple encounters on them which can be influenced by the level we are currently on…this is nice because a small set of cards can be repeatedly used with built in levels of difficulty this continuing to throw challenging obstacles in our way. Still very much in development at this stage (although most artwork and graphic presentation looks to be close to finalised) I am hoping to hear more from Florent and, wi any luck, may even get to preview the game before it is launched.
I bumped into Florent on the Saturday too at the Hall or Nothing stand and spend a great time chatting games in general as well as cultural differences in approach to promoting games. Lorent’s company is currently working on the French language version of Gloom of Kilforth and 1066 Tears To Many Mothers so it suddenly starts feeling like quite a small world indeed.
It was an honour chatting to Florent, a great bloke and very knowledgable about many things including historical elements of war, particularly between France and England.
Nuts! Publishing on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nutspublishing
Nuts! publishing Website: https://nutspublishing.com