Edinburgh Playtest Session 2

Yesterday saw the second meetup of the Edinburgh Playtest group at Tabletop Cafe in Edinburgh. A good time was had by all and I we got some new faces along which was great to see. Unfortunately I totally forgot to take photos of the one new game we played, got to caught up in the game and analysis!

Sarah was one of the new faces to the group and she brought along a family aimed game called Manic Miner, not to be confused with the computer game of the same name. The idea of the game is that we were all playing prospectors digging down a mine and the aim was to have the most money by the end of the game. In order to make money you fulfill orders demanded by the town above or just dig around for ore to hand in. I really like the physical aspects of the game, including some awesome 3D printed carts. As you dug you had to pile the ore into your cart and if some fell out whilst you were moving then that was just tough.  You also had a hand of cards that had a strong ‘Gotcha’ element to them and were well themed. We all enjoyed the game and made some suggestions to Sarah about things we would change, clarify etc. I look forward to playing it again!

Second up was my own game Conspiracy which you may remember from my last report. I had changed a a lot about the game and whilst things were smoother in my explanation the early game was still a bit dull. I will be revisiting the placement mechanics to change this and working out ways to make the initial couple of turns more engaging. I cut the playtest short when I realised it was becoming a little dull and also to allow Aaron to get a game to the table.

Last but not least was another shot at Aaron’s Queen’s Court game. This is really shaping up to be something special and enjoyed again the interplay of preprogrammed moves, choosing when to move and when to flow with the dance and how to spend my limited resources to best effect. I really need to sit down for a full game of this from beginning to end before finally coming to a conclusion on it but I think it has a lot of potential.

I am really enjoying having a group to bounce ideas off again and it is nice that we are getting folks with different gaming backgrounds coming along to play and show us their designs. I’ll be doing another one next month and hope to get a couple of tables going at a time as the group grows.

Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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