Believe it or not it had been several weeks since I last played a board game against a human opponent. I've had to cancel the last three of my regular Thursday Games Nights for various reasons and I've been putting off playtesting at lunchtime as I've had a bunch of ideas in my head for Zombology that I've not gotten around to doing the graphic design on, let alone printing out.
The gaming drought ended on Tuesday with a trip to Manchester for work with my boss Ian, a regular Games Night attendee. I always take my iPad which is stacked with board game conversions so we played a bunch of those - I think ten all told!
That evening I was babysitting for some friends and I put the hours to good use, doing the graphic design for the box labels and the rule books for the NaGa DeMon winners' copies of Dragon Dance and their bonus copies of Zombology. With that finally done I could print them out on Wednesday and finish the copies off ready for posting:
There was no Games Night again on Thursday, but only because I was off to Bedford on Friday night for a Games Day with Terry and Andrew, two of my gaming buddies from my time in the south.
I spent Friday and Saturday nights' train journeys doing the graphic design for the next version of Zombology which has some sweeping changes from the December version. As yet I don't know if it will make things better or worse, but it will be interesting to see how it pans out, once I've printed it out and got it to the table. I'm trying to address a few things: one is some issues with the graphic design, another is a few things to add theme. I've also got some concerns about how easy it is for one of the players to win (as opposed to everyone lose).
In addition, a recent change allowing players to keep a card between rounds, which has been almost universally popular, is disappearing. The change was introduced to give the players more control and to make the game more strategic but, to be honest, a ten minute drafting game needs to be fun more than strategic. Allowing players to keep a card meant that the good cards were retained so the drafting aspect was knackered - it was only the dross going round.
As with any large changes to a game, I'm expecting that some bits of it will be an improvement and some bits a step backwards. I'll have to play it a few times to work out which are which and then start honing the game again.
Or the new version might just be dreadful and I'll have to roll back to the previous version!
Saturday's games day was a great day. It was great to catch up with Terry and Andrew and we played seven games, of which I'd only played Fresco, Firefly and Las Vegas before. The games I was introduced to: Machi Koro, Orleans, Red7 and Roll for the Galaxy were all entertaining, with Roll for the Galaxy being my favourite of the day. Roll is similar to Race and clearly of the same theme and feel, but it's different enough to have made it high up on my wish list. Race is a favourite with my Games Night crowd and I think Roll will be too.
Plus a game of Firefly is a step towards having played every game I own at least ten times :-)
This week Games Night is back and then my friend Paul is up from York on Saturday. The deluge continues!