Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Elephant in the Room

Well Friday night's playtest of the elephant game went really well. It was an ad-hoc set up. I had a paper playing board and some hurriedly written up game cards. I used some loose figures I had lying around and Phil provided the dominoes.

The idea is to get the game done for Milton Keynes Campaign on 8/9th May so it can go on the Society of Ancients stand as a participation game. The idea is that the elephant is completely randomly controlled, so all the players represent velites. Looking at it the game's more of a WD type game, but the theme is ancient. In any event it'll end up at CoW as an After Dinner Game.

The difficult bit isn't the basic mechanisms but calibrating how long the game should run and the relative strengths of the pieces, but I think we've worked that out. There are a few main variables, - elephant strength points and the number of javelins allowed to each velite being the main ones. As it is a participation game for a show I want the general public to win most of the time - but only just. Killing the elephant and dying in the process just one space from the main Roman line is about the perfect result.

The physical presentation of a game at shows is always important. I'm not the greatest painter in the wold I think me early postings proved that!) but I try to put something together that looks visually arresting. This weekend I've been able to put aside enough time to get most of the figures I need as a minimum painted. Some need bases finishing and I need some more hastati, even though they're just for show. I've put some pictures of the board and figures up with this blog as a view of the work in progress. There's still work to be done on the peripherals, - player aids, turn marker and so on.

However I've got a couple of weeks yet to finish the odds and ends off, and I've done enough for a full playtest next Friday evening. Just so long as Real Life doesn't get in the way. Now, when was that major project supposed to be going live. Oh, that would be Tuesday week. Gulp.

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