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The Toronto Meetup: Armchair Design Session

November 22nd, 2011 by Troy Goodfellow · 7 Comments · Me

The meetup at the Tequila Bookworm last Saturday was a good crowd of eight, which was about perfect since we had a chance to play games with almost everyone, but not really talk, which is a shame. The space was good except for the mismatched tables and Goodwill chairs, but we had it to ourselves. And the beer was outstanding.

The group played Seven Wonders, Dominion, Bang!, Last Night on Earth, and started a learning game of 51st State which looked very cool but foundered on the learning not going very well because some of us haven’t been good students in a long time. I had a lot of fun with you all, and our out of town guest, Jon Shafer, didn’t seem to mind driving up for it. (Of course, he and his girlfriend had excellent Korean food and Chinese dumplings that weekend. Toronto cuisine sells itself.)

Thanks to everyone that came. Next time, maybe we find a house with more space and we can do a big game everyone can play or we at least find tables that fit together. But the Queen St location will do for now. I had fun.

Part of the fun, especially with a group that plays a lot of games, is the armchair design that happens during and after a game. Is Last Night on Earth too heavily weighted on randomness to sustain the tension, even though it is more a Story Generation Mechanism? Since the goal of Bang! is to eliminate or save the sherriff, what are the limits of anonymity in the design of the other roles? At what point in the Dominion expansion phase did the added cards make it impossible to keep a good chain of actions going? Is Gardens an overpowered card?

This is one reason I like gaming with a bunch of other people. You can hear the ideas, the defenders, the theories. And it makes gatherings like this special and valuable.

Let’s do it again in February, if not sooner. And I’m always up for a pint.


7 Comments so far ↓

  • Quinten

    Gardens is not overpowered as long as everyone keeps mental track of how many were bought by whom and how many are left. A gardens heavy strategy is a fat deck worth tons of points, but anyone can buy gardens in the meantime to prevent it. Even two or three of the gardens being owned by other players makes the strategy less effective.

    Just saying…

  • n0wak

    Ahh rats, missed this. I’d always be down for a game of Dominion.

  • Troy Goodfellow

    I have it – none of the expansions, yet – and always looking for a live opponent. Just drop me a note.

  • Quinten

    Brettspielwelt.de is a decent online version, but the player base has too high a skill level for any noobies who aren’t use to roguelike-esque pounding your head into a brick wall.
    The first time you see a three minute turn for someone to play their entire deck, you may sob.

  • Troy Goodfellow

    Yeah, I play most of my Dominion at Brettspiel, usually just me and Bruce.

  • Jon Shafer

    I’m REALLY not a fan of the Gardens. They tend to heavily warp any game they’re a part of – ignore them only if you want to lose. If there’s not also any other cards that give you extra buys or let you obtain cards for free, then you at least have a chance for an interesting game. But if they’re also out with something like the Workshop (which lets you gain a card for free, but doesn’t use up your buy for the turn) then strategy goes out the window, and all you’re left with is a race where luck and turn order determines the victor.