The Voice of Olympus

Well I’ve survived the first day, and the Mythic Battles: Pantheon KS is off to a very nice start. Over 3,100 backers have unlocked lots of goodies (and several KS Exclusives) already. I have the feeling that this is going to be a very good deal for your $99 by the time it finishes.

It’s interesting doing this Voice of Olympus role, rather than my normal game design job. A change, as they say, is as good as a rest. Not sure that works with 4 hours’ sleep though. Even so…

But I haven’t said what I’m doing. Well it’s a sort of community manager role, dealing with comments and questions as they arise, and writing the updates as needed. It’s just that Voice of Olympus sounds more interesting than community manager🙂

 

Posted in Mythic Battles, Random Thoughts | Tagged | 2 Comments

Some Classical (Greek) Carnage

Had a couple of 2-player games of Mythic Battles recently. I’m writing up the first one to stick on BGG as there’s not much on there at the moment. Hardly surprising as it’s not even been on the KS yet. That’s tonight🙂

I only took one picture of the second fight as it was a bit more scrappy and technical, both of us seeming to have more difficulty coordinating our varied forces. On my side, that was at least partly caused by my initial choices. Instead of trying to pick a coherent force (which I would normally strongly recommend) I chose a selection of units that I haven’t used much, to see how they worked. The problem I had was that even though they went well individually, they never really gelled as a team, so I never had a very coherent plan. My fault entirely.

mb-fight-2I made a few errors, and then Ben made a couple, but he was a turn ahead of me in the killing stakes, and what had started out as a game either of us might win with Omphalos collecting turned into a race to strike the mortal blow.

This dice roll was the coup de grace on Hades, winning the game for Ben. The roll is a flukey one, but even without it Ben had a second activation to finish him off, so it looked like curtains for the Lord of the Underworld even on a fairly poor roll. Of course, if he’d fluffed all his attacks on both activations, I would probably have taken the last couple of wounds off Zeus, so it as actually very close.

That’s my story, anyway😉

Posted in Board Gaming, Mythic Battles | Tagged , | 5 Comments

On YouTube

A few weeks ago I was in France with the Mythic guys, and we went down to TricTrac in Orléans to film some videos for the Kickstarter. The first of these have gone up on the Mythic Battles YouTube page today, and I thought you might be interested.

The videos start from scratch, explaining the game rules and running through a whole (2 vs 2 player) game. It’s quite long as there’s a lot of explanation and tactical discussion on top of a normal 1 hour game time. However, if you want to know more about the game, it’s a very good start.

If you’ve got any questions, pop them in the comments below.

🙂

Posted in Board Gaming, Mythic Battles | Tagged | 2 Comments

Sitrep

I’ve been silent of late. Lots has been happening, some of it good, some bad. On the whole I think that it’s better not to say anything than to start ranting and railing, so I’ve kept my counsel. Still, as Grzegorz reminded me this morning, you guys deserve to know a bit more about what’s going on. So, here’s a quick round-up of what’s happening here.

As always, there’s a bunch of things rumbling around in the background. Something like 6 possible board game projects, among other things. We’ll see how many of those pan out. More on them as they bubble up to the surface.

The rest falls into 3 main categories. Starting with the simplest…

 

Halji30

This competition is now closed.

 

Mantic Stuff

I am currently in dispute with Mantic :(

I don’t want to discuss details which is why I’ve not mentioned anything publicly till now. I had hoped to have it sorted months ago. Unfortunately, it’s taking a very long time, and until this is resolved I’m not going to be doing any more work for them on any project, new or old.

My apologies to those of you who feel caught in this crossfire. I’d rather not be here either.

 

Mythic Battles

On a much happier note, you may have seen me with the Mythic Battles/Monolith guys in some of the reports on the recent Essen Spiel. If you didn’t, then here’s a random picture of me playing Mythic Battles: Pantheon on a fancy 3D demo board, with some Conan stuff in the background.

Jake playing MB.jpgEssen was an experience, and no mistake. The Spiel is vast, and sprawls over 4 public days, plus a day for professionals, and more of set-up. Something of a marathon. All good fun though, and their upcoming game (Mythic Battles: Pantheon) was very well received by both public and professionals, which always makes things easier. It goes live on Kickstarter on the 1st of Nov.

This project is a bit of a departure for me as my initial work for them is more like being back as a magazine editor than as a game designer. Fun though. A sort of blast-from-the past.

I’ll explain more over the next few days. For now, just let me point you at their Facebook page, and tell you that I should now be addressed as the Voice of Olympus🙂

 

Other Stuff

Naturally, I’ve got more on my mind than this. For example, some jolly-looking Kickstarters I’m pledging for, plus the sadly lost opportunity of Lost Patrol. I’ll have to come back to them.

Posted in Random Thoughts | 12 Comments

Miniature Mondays: Good Foundations

The base boards I’ve been talking about for my nostalgic SF cover a number of different themed environments. One of these is a spaceship interior – clearly an essential. I was originally thinking of doing this with modular pieces that included the floor as part of each section. However, after I saw this kickstarter, I think I’ll be using some of these as a starting point instead:

They look like they’ll save me a load of faffing about making a base and a framework for the walls on which I can hang detail. Plus they have lighting, which looks cool, in a slightly tacky 80s SF way🙂

I’ve also been gathering lots of bits of detail gubbins which I was going to stick on homemade wall frames, but can now just add to this. I think I’ll want to disguise their laser cut origins, but that shouldn’t be impossible.

This isn’t going to be the first board I do – that’s still the Plaza – I just thought I’d hoover this up while I saw it🙂

Posted in Miniature Mondays, Old Skool Skirmish | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A Good Question

Estyles had a good question about why the Halji30 competition has an entry fee. I thought it might help to pull it out here.

Why is there a £9 entry fee? Is there a copy of the game involved? From what I can see, it looks like you requesting design ideas and charging to review them, with the only prize being a chat with the designer, and you will use any ideas you like. Is that the case, or did I miss something?

That’s a good question: why is there an entry fee?

Well, there are a number of answers. In no particular order…

It’s a competition rather than a raffle. As a contest of skill, it takes some time to properly judge this, and that time comes out of the only resource I have to pay my bills: time. I strongly suspect that £9 will not cover the actual costs of dealing with each entry, but the fact that it was 30 x 30p amused me because of the 30th anniversary link.

As a point of reference, I visited my mum yesterday and she sometimes enters poetry competitions. These typically cost £5 per poem (up to 40-50 lines long). Now, reading through 2 short poems is way quicker and simpler than dealing with an entire game design, so £9 does not seem unreasonable to me.

There’s also the frequent suggestion that charging for something makes people take it more seriously. I think this is probably true, and so having some sort of entry fee helps with this. It means fewer people will enter, but then this isn’t a serious money-making scheme for us; it’s a bit of fun.

The intention is that people submit whole games, not just ideas. Ideas are not something that we are not in any shortage of, thank you. I’ve already got several hundred game ideas in notebooks.

A big part of the prize is getting published, so naturally we will use the work that the winner submits. That’s the point.

The “chat with the designer” could also be referred to as a free consultation – something I normally charge companies for. If someone is interested in getting into the games industry professionally and having more games published then they probably have questions. Having spent 30 years in the business in a wide variety of roles, I often have those answers.

Note that running this competition is actually more faff and hassle for me and Chris than not doing it. We have no need to plunder your ideas, it’s just that Chris and I thought it would be fun to include other people and give someone a chance to get their name in print. If you’re not interested in this then there’s no need to take part. There’s no compulsion.

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Competition

Halji 30 01As I mentioned earlier this week, Chris and I are running a competition to design a new rule set for Battle of the Halji’s 30th anniversary edition. Just so it’s all in one place, I’ve repeated the rules and reference files below.

So, if you’re interested in trying your hand at creating a new kind of mayhem with the Belge, the Naffle and all the rest of the menagerie, please be our guest🙂

 

Competition Rules

  1. You must design a new game using only the components from the original box. No new components are allowed, though non-obvious use of what’s included in the box is entirely reasonable and somewhat encouraged. The more of the original components you use, the better.
  2. The new game must be set in the original theme. This does not mean it has to be exactly the same story, but must clearly be part of the same world.
  3. You can design any type of game you want as long as it sticks to (1) and (2).
  4. The rules must be written clearly, in English, and in a sensible font so our ancient eyes can read them. If we can’t read it, it’s unlikely to win. Remember, we’re not judging your layout skills, or your fancy graphics, just your game design.
  5. Your submission must be sent to us as an A4 pdf. If you win we will ask for it in Word so we can edit and lay it out.
  6. It costs £9 to enter (30p x 30). Payment details (Paypal) will be sent to entrants on application. You can get the details by emailing Jake.
  7. There is a maximum limit of 30 entries. First come, first served.
  8. If you don’t have a copy of Halji already, don’t worry. There are some links to a PDF version below, and a video of all the game contents so you can see what you have to work with.
  9. Entries must arrive by 9am Tuesday the 13th of September 2016 (UK time). Don’t ask.
  10. Copyright in the original game rules, game world, and distinctive terms and images remains with us. Copyright of your new design remain with you. By entering this competition you agree to allow us use your new rules in print and digital editions of the 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Rules for no charge.
  11. If you are the winner, in addition to getting your name (and game) in print, you’ll also get a one-day mentoring/consulting session with Jake, either in person or over Skype (depending on where you are). This would be ideal to discuss any game ideas you might have, and get the benefit of advice from someone with three decades’ experience in the games industry.
  12. Finally, we reserve the right to not declare a winner if there is no entry of sufficient quality. Conversely, if there is more than one stand-out submission we may decide to have more than one winner. The judges’ decision is final in this and all other competition matters.

If you’ve got any questions about this then drop us a comment below.

Thanks.

 

Reference files

BattleHaljiRules

BattleHaljiComponents

There’s also a video of Chris unboxing the game to go through the components. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to link it here, so you’ll have to check it out on his site.

Posted in Battle of the Halji, Board Gaming, Competition | Tagged , | Leave a comment