One of the more unpopular elements of Avalon Hill's Magic Realm is the requirement to pre-record your daily actions. At a beginning of each game day, players write down their actions, which are then revealed simultaneously. Player order is determined randomly, by drawing character markers from a cup, in sequence, and playing in the order of the drawn markers.
I've never understood why pre-recording daily actions is unpopular. Other popular games, like Roborally and Pirates Cove, have similar rules. Pre-planning adds a welcome measure of uncertainty to the game day. Should I hide first, before moving into an area others might reach first and attract prowling monsters to? Should I remain unhidden, and chance being blocked by another player? Will I take my turn last, with all the treasures looted, before I arrive at a treasure site? Will I successfully hide with a single attempt, or should I record a second hide action?
Although I like the daily pre-planning aspect of Magic Realm, an alternative game turn order for unwritten turns could be applied. Players could be seated around the table in clockwise order from fastest to slowest characters, with turns taken in that order. Faster characters could pass their turns, until the slowest character is reached, at which point the order of play reverses, with the slower players required to act before faster. That way, faster characters could pass their turns, waiting for the slower characters to reveal treasure sites and prowling monsters, with the faster characters then looting or avoiding.
But which Magic Realm characters are fastest and which are slowest? The slowest character, arguably, is the Dwarf, being limited to two actions per day, rather than the four (two regular and two sunlight) of most others. And the fastest? I would suggest the fastest character is the Elf. You can debate the speed of the Magic Realm characters, but here is the order I would set.
5. Swordsman (he can, of course, pre-empt anyone if he wishes)
11. Witch King
19. Black Knight
22. White Knight
All of my "Magic Realm" expansion characters are highlighted in red. I'm still working on developing my final expansion character.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
Here are a couple of photos of valleys, from which a colour pallet might be developed. There are a lot of yellows, greens, oranges and blues in these photos, with the blue colours mainly appearing in the hills.
I'm not precisely sure how to capture the grandeur of these vistas in a 4" hexagonal tile, but I do think that any reprint of Magic Realm must meet or exceed the current standard for boardgame art, which has been set pretty high by modern boardgame publishers.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I have not had a chance to post the particulars for the Huntsman character, but I hope to do that in the next couple of days.
Monday, June 9, 2014
The Ghosts appear in the valley tile with the Bones V warning chit. Bones V could be replaced with a Graveyard or Grave dwelling.
I would suggest that alternative starting rules be used, with the adventurers moving onto the Board on Day 1, with all of the dwellings hidden at the start of the game. All of the Dwelling counters would start face down (question-mark up) and the adventurers would have to discover which valley tiles held which dwellings, in addition to adventuring for wealth and acclaim.
Each set of dwelling counters would have a different color on the question-mark side, to identify which tiles they belong to. Gold would be valleys, light green, woods, and so on.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
We also know what the cover will look like. Thoughts on the cover? It does not stray far from the Basic Set covers that have come before, but does it capture the essence of Dungeons and Dragons?
While it fails to satisfy my standards for Dungeons and Dragons art, I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.
Here are Basic Dungeons and Dragons Set covers, from the preceding versions, which I display in reverse order of publication.
Monday, May 19, 2014
I almost backed the Settlers of Catan Board Kickstarter. In the end I decided to wait for the board's retail release. The economics of the kickstarter project seemed too optimistic, considering the amazon and kickstarter fees and shipping costs.
I finally bought a 6-player board from one of my favorite retailers, The Sentry Box in Calgary, while we were there visiting friends. The catan board is great, but it is a uniform blue color, where the interior hexes should be tan to match the resource tiles.
To fix this, I picked up some spray paint, taped the edges, laid down some spray paint, and ended up with the board, below. The blank catan tile on the right was used for color matching, as we had a challenging time finding the right tan color to match the original catan tile components.
I think we did pretty good at matching the color, and now we've got a nice portable catan board for game nights.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Dark City Games, which produces pre-programmed adventures for a Melee / Wizard / TFT retroclone called Legends of the Ancient World. I've already purchased seven of the Dark City adventures, and the rest look fantastic. Here are the adventures I've already purchased.