Saturday, August 06, 2011

GenCon Day Four

GenCon Day Three

Today I lost my fiancé, pissed off my girlfriend, and got into long, difficult discussions with both. I also played a cute game that takes longer to learn than to play, watched a few demo guys who really know what they're talking about (and it showed, man; these guys were great), took an end to end search of the Exhibit Hall for the second time and found a wicked gift for Natalie that I will need to buy tomorrow. So, not a total wash.

Still, this was a very event-light day at the convention. I went to the "first" showing of Laura and Tracy Hickman's Killer Breakfast which was by turns funnier and full of more downtime than the Second Breakfast. Most of what I did afterwards was pass my card around and collect information for products I'd really like to carry. Well, _most_ of what I did was wander around looking for Holly, but for work purposes, that was pretty much it. I'll have a better post for you tomorrow, when I play a bunch of games and buy some kickass stuff. 

I did get to spend some time watching demos of Fantasy Flight games that I now rather desperately want to play. But until I actually get some free time to sit down and demo some games for myself, I'll have to settle for whatever plans for demos I can dream up.

Instead, let me tell you about alchemy. Alchemy is a board game (sort of) in which you are attempting to craft "elements" that are represented by different colors of dice. To start, you get one die of each color (there are five) and a set of cards that live in front of you. The white die represents Aether, and to win the game you need to collect five of them.

Cards have costs and products on them. Some costs destroy the dice you have, some do not, and each card produces one die. To make a die, you put the cost on the card along with one of four turn-markers. You can typically take one action per turn,  but there are special rules to allow you too occasionally put out more dice.

You can also buy more cards with a cute bidding system, in which you put a turn-marker and a die under a card and the number on the die represents the bid you've made. If your bid is the highest after four turns, you get the card.

It was an alright game, one that I would certainly consider selling in the store, but nothing spectacular. It played a lot like solitaire, and I think adding a third player to the mix was needed. Also, likely,a screw-you mechanic, or at least a way to interact with and or harm your opponent's progress. Beyond that, a solid design.

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