Modart is a fanware implementation of Modern Art, one of the best Reiner Knizia's auction games. Each player is an art broker and speculator, buying paintings low to sell high. It has been published in multiple languages, in different editions. Unfortunately the US, Mayfair edition is the ugliest of them of all. The Brazilian, Nordic, and German editions are all unique and beautiful. However, the most intriguing is the Japanese edition, with stamps rather than paintings.
Tabletop Tuesdays: Modart Softboard Game
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Wed, 12/19/2012 - 05:06.|
Tabletop Tuesdays: Calling Ra
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 23:11.|
Ra is an ancient-Egyptian-themed, press-your-luck auction game by Renier Knizia. The rules says that you influence Pharaohs and pay homage to gods, but Ra is thinly themed. Regardless, the simple game mechanics and tough decisions make this game a perennial favorite.
There are three Epochs (rounds) of play. Each Epoch you have three uniquely numbered Sun (bidding) tokens, ranging from 2 to 16, that are fairly distributed according to number of players. For instance in a 5 player game, one player will get tokens 2, 7, and 16, while another will get 3, 8, and 15. Every turn each player makes a bid on the existing pot of tiles (call Ra), or draws blindly and adds one tile from the bag. If a player calls Ra, a Ra tile is drawn from the bag, or all eight tile slots are full, then a once-around English auction begins, the active player having the final bid. An Epoch ends when 10 Ra tiles are drawn.
The Mines of Zavandor
Tabletop Tuesdays: One Auction to Rule Them All
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 12/21/2010 - 06:25.|
The Mines of Zavandor is an excellent business sim boardgame. The premise is that the great and wise Dwarven king Zavandor is retiring and is looking for a successor. Zavandor is holding a contest via a procession from the mountaintop into the twisty caverns that lead to the Coronation Chamber, at the bottom depths. Along the procession, candidates must amass gems to hire laborers, buy wealth-building spells, and buy victory point-generating shrines. The contender with the most victory points when the procession reaches the Coronation Chamber will be crowned the next king.
Tabletop Tuesday: Toughest Binary Choice
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 08/24/2010 - 03:54.|
No Thanks! is the one of the most elegant, minimalistic tabletop game every made. On your turn you face a penalty point card and have two choices: yes or no thanks. That is it...the whole game is summed up as twenty-one yes or no choices. You think that with such simple binary choices, it could be repetitive but on the contrarily, it the one most tense 15 minutes one will experience. Few designers can pack that much tension, in such a short time, with the shortest rules.
Tabletop Tuesday: Symmetry Breaking
|Submitted by costik on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 02:17.|
I've been thinking recently about the dangers of symmetry in a game. That is, if all players start with equivalent positions, and there is no mechanism for breaking that starting symmetry, you often wind up with a degenerate game.
By a "degenerate game," I mean one that breaks down for one of several reasons. One reason might be that the game is solvable, in the fashion of Tic Tac Toe and that, once solved, the interest in playing it evaporates. Hex is an example of a much more complicated game that nonetheless is solvable (or at least, has been solved for up to 9x9 grids).
Tabletop Tuesdays: Art with the Cool Kids
|Submitted by RedEl on Tue, 11/06/2007 - 19:35.|
Reiner Knizia is a boardgame god. While the German-born designer has lived in England for many years, he comes from a culture that reveres the form far more than we do in this country; in Germany, as in much of Europe, playing tabletop games remains a mainstream form of social interaction. Knizia, who holds a Ph.D. in mathematics, has designed more than 30 games, including Lord of the Rings, which requires players to adopt a cooperative strategy, and Tigris and Euphrates. Most of his games reward abstract strategies, and many, like Ra and Modern Art have an auction or bidding mechanic. Modern Art is my favorite of these games.