The New Year brought some new faces, such as Chris T. and also Brian and Chris B.'s welcome return.
Games playtested were: Duel, City of the Dead, Brave the Elements and Ladders.
London on Board was in full swing when the playtesting began. A new games designer called Chris Towl introduced himself after winning a game of Glen More. He hopes to bring down his latest game to a subsequent session.
We started with 'Duel' a 2-player card game themed around creating attack lines for your spaceships. After a few plays the gameplay was holding up well and there was clearly a skill to the game as Brian kept winning convincingly and the designer is yet to win a single competitive game of it.Notes taken:
* The iconography could be clearer and this will call for a new prototype.
* The scoring system seemed to work well and created a close game.
* There is still too much luck of the draw. Although it will statistically rarely unbalance the game, it does prevent the player from playing more strategically and having more choices.
Next we played 'Brave the Elements', a card-based game sent to us for playtesting by Chaos Publishing. We played it as a three and then a four player game. We were all impressed with the graphical quality of the production and the simplicity of the gameplay. We had a good discussion about the game as we played and then afterwards and made some suggestions for possible developments on the playtest forms.
It seems that the i-pad is the latest playtesting accessory. As we looked on enviously, Chris Birch used his to demonstrate the rule system for his new zombie game, 'City of the Dead'. He brainstormed through the rules to show how the structure of the game will work. Chris' unusual ideas on how to represent the zombies has really set this game apart from the norm. I am really looking forward to seeing how this one will develop in the future.
Finally we played the prototype, 'Ladders' with three players. The new placement rules seemed to help the gameplay a great deal and ensured that the initial setup was more balanced. This made for a more enjoyable and slightly longer game, but it still didn't outstay it's welcome. A new prototype is in the works for this game and the playtesters made some great suggestions on how to update and simplify the graphics.