In my deckbuilding article on Eminent Domain, Jessey mentioned Martin Wallace’s A Few Acres of Snow as another game that integrated deckbuilding as part of a larger game. Now that I’ve played it, I agree — it goes even further than Eminent Domain in using deckbuilding as a mechanic rather than as a genre of game.
A Few Acres of Snow is on the one hand a wargame. Like Martin Wallace’s densest wargame, Waterloo, the most obvious victory requires the capture of specific villages. However from there it opens up into a more common Wallacian euro-warfare design, where the combat actually happens through the play of cards. There’s also a fair amount of additional resource management, as players build up their holdings of villages and towns. In some ways, it reminds me the most of Wallace’s Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, as both games center on the play of cards which are full of symbols that enable actions.
Rather than leave that gap in my iPhone series, I’ve opted to put together this article, somewhat after the fact. As with some of my other most recent iPhone articles, it’s a rambling look at several of the most important decisions that went into the creation of this game. However, I’ve opted to change my focus somewhat this time, by talking more about the publishing decisions we made than some of the programming specifics.
Penny Arcade has been released as two standalone deckbuilding games: Gamers vs Evil (2011) and Rumble in R’lyeh (2012). They’re both pretty basic deckbuilders, but they still offer some interesting ideas for the deckbuilding genre.
Though Penny Arcade is a much later release than most one-and-a-halfth generation deckbuilding games like Thunderstone (2009) and TantoCuore (2009), it nonetheless shares a lot of elements in common with Dominion. However, it also builds strongly on another deckbuilder, Ascension (2010), thus offering the first look at a third generation of deckbuilder games — which are influenced not just by Dominion, but also by other deckbuilder releases. Continue reading →
I’ve decided to revisit this topic here in Mechanics & Meeples. Thus, this is the first of a series of mini-review articles where I’m going to give quick synopses and impressions of games that I played for the first time in the preceding months. This article covers the first half of this year, from January to June.
I was somewhat surprised when writing this to discover that only two of the new-to-me games dated from earlier than 2011 and only one from earlier than 2010. I generally feel like I’ve escaped the cult of the new, but clearly it’s still a major focus in my gameplaying.
I’ve generally listed games in descending order of my interest. That doesn’t mean a game is necessarily good or bad, just that it does or doesn’t fit my gaming tastes.
Alf Seegert, designer of the upcoming deckbuilder Fantastiqa was kind enough to give me this interview on the topic of deckbuilding games. He’s a six-time Hippodice game design competition finalist and the designer of the board games Bridge Troll, Trollhalla, The Road to Canterbury, and (now) Fantastiqa. You can find out more at alfseegert.com.
Fantastiqa itself is scheduled to be published by Gryphon Games in late 2012. It’s currently on Kickstarter.