Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Friday, August 15, 2008

BGTG 84 - Martin Wallace games (Brass, Tinner's Trail, Byzantium)

Two podcasts in less than a week?! Weird, I know. Not likely to be repeated soon, either. I just figured I might as well jump on the opportunity when I could.

Also, I'd mentioned on this blog a couple weeks before that I was thinking of sharing my (changing) thoughts about Martin Wallace games, based on some recent plays of Brass, Tinner's Trail, and Byzantium. Martin's games are so popular on BGG, yet I've struggled to enjoy many of them. Yet I still struggle because he attempts some of the most interesting game settings & treatments of any designer out there. They just work for some people better than for me (I guess).

I think more highly of Tinner's Trail and Byzantium, though, despite some issues that I still have with their designs. I'm not yet sure what to make of Brass. I've only played it once, and while that felt like enough exposure to draw a conclusion about Tinner's Trail, I find Brass to be much more involved, and it'll take another play or two to form an opinion.

Maybe someday I can tackle other Martin Wallace games I enjoy, like Way Out West and (possibly) Liberte. Who knows? Maybe I'll even try Age of Steam again. :-)



Blogger ekted said...

Very interesting comments about Byzantium. I just played my first game this week (after owning for years). It was 2p, and I was well aware of the pass issue. We decided to play it straight one time and see how it went. In Shadow of the Emperor, taking free/cheap early actions helps you stall so you can act unopposed later on. In Byzantium, you have to keep pace with the other players in VPs and in spending your money and cubes. I think I liked this dynamic, but I could see myself playing it with a tweak. If player 1 passes, player 2 gets 1 extra action. If player 2 passes, player 1 gets 2 extra actions. So I might add the rule that if player 1 passes, players 2 gets 2 more actions. Shrug.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Greg W said...

I think you missed something in your rules explanation for Tinners' Trail. You only bid blind over an empty space. At the end of every round two of the players each roll to populate one region of their choice. So, you will always have at least two populated regions to bid on.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Yes, you're right. Thanks for the clarification.

10:47 AM  

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