The Games of Stefan Feld, Part Two

In my last column, The Games of Stefan Feld, Part One, I talked about the originality underlying Stefan Feld’s designs, highlighting four of his publications from 2005-2007. This time around I’m going to look at his more recent fare, from 2008-2010, and again discuss what I think makes them really stand out as innovative and original designs.

Though I’m discussing Stefan’s four most prominent designs from the period, if you’d like to talk about a game that I left out from 2008-2010, I invite you to make use of the comments, below. Continue reading

Alea Treasures #1: Louis XIV & San Juan

Several months ago — like many of us I suspect — I picked up alea’s Treasure Chest. I love alea and have all the games represented in the Chest, so purchasing it was a no-brainer. Since then — like many of us I suspect — I’ve had a hard time getting any of those newly supplemented games to the table. They’re just not in my normal rotation.

Over the last few months I’ve finally played two of the Treasure Chest expansions, and so I’ve decided to write about them here: saying what the expansions are, how they change their games, and what they say about game design.

Louis XIV

The expansion to Louis XIV comes in two parts: a favorite figure and four favorite action tablets.

The Figure. The favorite figure has a pretty minor effect. It’s always placed opposite Louis XIV. The top player on that space gets two of his influence markers from the general supply, everyone else gets one. These can go into their personal supply or onto the favorite actions tablet (see below).

Effect. Minor. It’s a slight consideration when you’re placing your influence markers.

Game Design. I suspect that it helps to keep the Louis XIV space from always being a position of maximal conflict. Instead some players lagging in influence markers might reasonably decide to compete over the favorite, who is of course exactly opposite Louey.
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