RogerBW's Blog

Boardgames in Isolation: March 03 May 2020

Since face-to-face boardgaming meetings aren't happening at the moment, I've been playing more solo and on-line games.

Two plays of the rather obscure (at least in the UK) Go 500 Racing Dice Game. As it stands this is a sort of super-Yahtzee push-your-luck game, where you're rolling a bunch of (custom) dice to get as high a score as possible without getting any of the trap faces. But there are people on BoardGameGeek who've significantly improved it, by having sections with a maximum score and a penalty if you exceed it; and I accidentally ended up running a championship by dint of being readily able to keep track of scores. ("Hey, I know Perl.")

As far as I can tell this game has never been commercially imported to this country; I've seen it for sale on eBay in the US, but the postage would be twice the price of the game. Fortunately I was able to find out what the custom die faces are, and there's a Tabletop Simulator version.

Things that it's pleasing to have happen: a player asks "hmm, what happens if there's a tie?" And I can respond "my code spots it, and shares out the points for the tied places evenly, dropping any remainder".

One play of Augustus. This is one of my standard games for introducing people to TTS: it doesn't need much fine manipulation, but you have the mechanics of drawing a tile off a stack or a token out of a bag, and putting things moderatelyx precisely on other things.

One play of the space-combat game Talon, the basic scenario of two heavy cruisers on each side. I like the record-keeping system: rather than having a ship diagram like SFB or Full Thrust, you simply write things onto the counter with a dry-erase marker. It also works remarkably well on this Tabletop Simulator mod (blessed by the publisher).

The last game for March was Quantum, one that I used to own but sold because I didn't play it often enough. I had a decent setup, but my opponent took the initiative and effectively kept it. (Complicated for both of us by some odd scripting on this mod; it's clearly meant to do something terribly clever about combat, but it didn't seem to work, or we were using it wrongly. Most games I play on TTS don't really need scripting anyway; it shifts the experience away from boardgame to computer game, but I'll grant it has some virtue for setting up a complex game.)

[Buy Augustus at Amazon] [Buy Quantum at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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