Some preview copies of the professionally printed version of “Slash: Romance Without Boundaries” made their way into our filthy hands and we unboxed the hell out of them.
What’s it all about: Avalon is Resistance 2.0, a party style bluffing game where players don the roll of Supporters of King Arthur or dirty, dirty Minions of Mordred (spies). It’s Werewolf, but more complex with more roles that add to the depth of deductive logic that’ll be used to expose who’s working for who.
File me under: Jack The Ripper enthusiasts are the worst.
Our artist David Bednar sent along two thumbnail sketches for the upcoming Pack the Pack campaign and their pretty nice! We are working to nail down the characters so that the cover illustration can move forward!
When we discussed the game with David a week ago we references the art style of the French MMO Wakfu and there is just enough of that styling in these thumbs to move forward. We wanted something that was fantasy-themed but had an approach-ability to it that would appeal to younger players. Just for the record Stella Hellabad is the best character name I’ve ever seen.
You heard me. We’re moving the minutes to Wednesday.
File me under: Where the heck is Maximillian the robot?
What it’s all about: Gravwell is a quick race game about escaping a black hole. On a spiral track you and your fellow players use the gravitational pull of one another (as well as two derelict ships) to slingshot/leapfrog out of, or into the black hole. By drafting cards you create a hand of different intensity fuels. Playing tese cards will move you a number of spaces in the direction of the closest (or greatest) mass. Each card is also given a letter to establish the order of execution so you big plans to whip past the leader might be scuttled if your fuel triggers after they have mistakenly skipped behind you so now your gravitational anchor is behind you.
Basically it is like the “rubber banding” effect in a race game. Some twists are included in this simple mechanic by including repulsion cards that move you AWAY from the nearest mass and pull cards that draw all ships closer to you. You are also given one emergency brake that allows you to cancel your movement. Gravwell does a great job of allowing players to return from a deficit. In fact while attending a board game social at Knight Moves Café in Brookline, MA with the designer Corey Young we experienced just such an effect. I (Glenn)was waaaaayyyyy behind the rest of the pack of ships, so much so that I didn’t think I could even play a meaningful action that would not whip me back into the starting position. In the space of one turn I moved from dead last to 3 and was poised to secure the win but the player immediately before me escaped right before I could play. It was exhilarating to be able to come back from a series of mismanaged hands.
Gripes: I’m torn. I think Gravwell is a solvable game if you can count your cards well enough OR it might be so randomly rubber banded that everything is left up to the very last turn of the match. On the other hand the fact that I can’t tell the difference between those two possibilities is pretty sweet. Regardless it’s worth a bunch more plays.
Tweaks: Corey showed us an interesting draft variation. In the draft phase you make three rows of 6 card pairs, 6 stacks of face down/face down, 6 stacks of face down/face up and 6 stacks of face up/face up. This gives each player a bit more choice in how boldly they want to stack their hand.
Time Commitment: 20+ minutes
Best For: people who, unlike Glenn, can do math in their heads.