Magistrate – still tweaking (after all these years)

Magistrate Card BackOnce upon a time … maybe 4-or-so years ago … I had an idea for a game that was played out on a map and involved controlling provinces of a small country.  I first called it Uncivil, and shared it with a handful of other designer friends from the Board Game Designers Forum.

After a year of work on it, I changed its name to Show of Power, and was able to test it at the Protospiel event in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2009.  (I even did a little post-spiel recap at BGDF.)

Since then, this game has switched between sitting on the shelf and getting my full attention … and it’s back to getting attention again.

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Final DANGER!-ous Tweaks and then Launch Next Week?

Dangerous Curve card from the "DANGER!" Expansion for Dicey CurvesI had great playtesting sessions at Con of the North with Whitney, Cyrus, Jeff and Anna, and then some follow-up testing with my buddy, Jon, on Monday.  From that, I think I have made the final tweaks needed to bring the “DANGER!” Expansion for Dicey Curves out for public launch on TheGameCrafter.

For those that have played using the expansion, here are some of the changes:

Slight Card Frequency Mix – I reduced the number of “debris” and “challenge” cards in the deck, in order to increase (by 1 each) the Lane Closed, Instant Repair, and Nitro Boost cards.

Slight Card Power Tweaks – A few cards needed rules tweaking in order to either make them have a better impact, or make them play a bit more naturally:  “Nitro Boost” now adds 2 dice to your initial roll (instead of just 1).  “Repair Shop” and “Lane Closed” can now be played on any type of track card, not just Straight-Aways and Wide-Opens.

Reduced Hand Size … Increased Hand Refilling – Originally, each player had a max hand size of 3 cards and could only add to it by drawing at the end of their turn.  Instead, the hand size is now 2 cards, and you immediately refill when you play a card … and you can immediately play the card you just drew, if it fits the situation.

Bigger Track Preview – Normally when playing Dicey Curves, you flip over 2 track cards in front of the race leader.  When playing with the DANGER! Expansion, you need to increase that in order to make better use of the track modifier cards.  Still want to play this one out a couple of times, but I now like having 4 cards out in front of the race leader.

These changes, although very subtle, have gotten the expansion to flow much closer that what I originally intended.  It plays quicker, is more “dangerous” (cars deal with gaining/repairing damage more often) and allows players choice of whether to work around the troubles or take damage and go faster in the short term.

Can’t wait to show it to you all!  Now, on to the rules-writing. (yeah)

Warriors of Destiny, Father Geeks, Games and Games

Playing Dicey Curves with Cyrus and JeffSaturday was a long (yet fast), fun day of meeting people, talking about games (and gamers) and playing games of Dicey Curves, Subtilla, and Space Mission.

I need to give a big “thank you” to the booth babes of the day (they each got to wear my secondary booth badge labelled “Warrior of Destiny”): Whitney Watts (pictured to the right), my wife Britt, my daughter Anna, and my son Seth.  Whitney has a bad tendency to beat me at my games — winning Dicey Curves twice (once as a playtest of the DANGER! Expansion) and also winning Subtilla twice.

Playing Dicey Curves (with DANGER! Expansion) with Whitney WattsThere was also a Father Geek sighting (see picture above and to the left).  Cyrus Kirby of and another local Twin Cities game designer named Jeff spent (also a TGC user) a couple hours at my booth to talk games and gaming, watch a game of Subtilla, and then play both Space Mission and Dicey Curves.  I also gave Cyrus a sneak peek at what’s up with the DANGER! Expansion.  Good times and glad to have these guys stop by.

The rest of the time was spent doing more games-playing and games-talking and even got some more discussion in with Donovan about multiple things, including additional progress on the “Magistrate” prototype.  Met a couple of people who had liked the “Jump Gate geocache” contest I ran a couple weeks ago.  They reassured me that I can keep the clues tricky, knowing who the target audience is. 😉  So, we’ll see what I work out for my planned “Dicey Cache” find-it-keep-it event in April.

In the main room where my space is located, the miniatures games have definitely taken over today.  I love the way these games look.  Here are a few examples:

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Con of the North Exploded into Gaming

The Matt Worden Games Vendor Space at Con of the North 2012So, I guess I was wrong about posting again once I had my vendor space setup at Con of the North.

As soon as I was setup, I was playing a game — seriously.  So, it’s really not my fault … I’m guessing you all would have been doing the same thing.

Sadly, my original “booth babe”, Whitney, is fighting off a bug and hasn’t been able to attend yet … but I’m guessing we’ll see her at some point this weekend. 😉  Just got word that my wife and kids will be coming to stay with me at the hotel tonight, which is pretty cool.  Very likely to have Britt or Anna working in the space tomorrow for some of the time.

I do want to give grand thanks to Donovan Loucks, who I ran into right away.  He came up with a novel way to get my “T” shaped table setup to work (and he is the reason for my instant gaming).

First Magistrate Playtest at Con of the North 2012He and I played through a 2-player game of “Magistrate” — the prototype I’m excited to test a lot this weekend … and it really helped to reveal a number of areas where balance issues still abound.  We were also able to “talk shop” about different ways to improve the design.  As for the result of the game … he smoked me!  He played as blue and I as green … that’s his flag pawn near the end of the VP track and mine *way* down toward the start of the track.  See the final shot to the right.

Packed and Ready for Con of the North 2012

Packed and Ready for CotN 2012Okay — the car is packed with my games and display items … and the suitcase … and some food & drink.

Only thing it still needs is my computer bag and me.  Looks like there’s plenty of room, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Very, very stoked to play some games with folks — especially one particular prototype I’m excited about.  And maybe I’ll even sell some games too.

Feel free to drop by the booth and say “hi”, and stick around to talk about or play some games!

I will post again once I’ve gotten things setup in my vendor space.

Prepping for the Con

Banners to be Used at Con of the North 2012I seem to be working on a dozen things at once during the times I have available to prep for Con of the North.

I’ve put together a set of banners (pictured to the left — click for a bigger view) that I plan to display in my space.  I’m still working on how they are going to be held up, but I think I have a good approach so far.

I’m working on getting my for-sale products ready: the Dicey Curves are all ready, about half the Jump Gates are ready and the other half will be done tomorrow, and the copies of Subtilla were shipped from on Monday and I expect them to arrive tomorrow (cutting it a bit close with that one).

As I mentioned in my earlier CotN post, I will be bringing a few copies of some games just to play, and those are all ready to go.

I’m also going to have 2 different prototypes for testing — the DANGER! Expansion for Dicey Curves, and a heavier “Waro” that I’ve been working on for a number of years.  I was originally hoping to have at least 2 more ready, but they just simply aren’t.

The Matt Worden Games Facebook Page

Matt Worden Games on FacebookI don’t think I’ve specifically mentioned in a post on this website that I’ve set up a “Matt Worden Games” page on Facebook.

Please go there and “LIKE” the page … it makes me feel good. 🙂

So now there are really 4 different ways to keep up on all of the Matt Worden Games info:

  1. First, of course, is just coming to this website.  (Simple enough, right?)
  2. Get e-mail updates whenever I update the site.  Basically, whenever I add a post to the website, then that night and e-mail summary of my post(s) will go out around 11pm Central Time.
  3. Follow my Twitter Feed.  If you want more of an off-the-top-of-my-head type flow of information, humor, and grand strategy of how I plan to take over the world … this is it.
  4. Finally, the aforementioned Facebook page.  It’s a page.  And it’s on Facebook.  So, “LIKE” it already.  It does hold quite a bit of photos that are organized in the nice way that Facebook lets you … so, that’s a bonus.  It also lets you interact back, which I really like.

Okay … there you have it.  Find a way (or several) that works for you, and keep track of the stuff I have going on with my games.  I do expect some interesting things to come about this year!


Feb. 2012 – Jump Gate geocache – A Finders/Keepers Thing [DONE]

Jump Gate geocache Box - Feb. 2012Updated: 8-Feb-2012 … Clue #2 added.

Updated again on 8-Feb-2012 … IT HAS BEEN FOUND!

As a promotion in the run up to the Con of the North this year — where I will have a vendor space in the main hall — I thought I would find a unique way to give away a copy of Jump Gate.

I have “misplaced” this copy of the game somewhere in Hennepin County, Minnesota.  It is outdoors, in a place with public access — not a private business or school or anything where you would be in trouble for being.  And you won’t have to put yourself in any danger (legal or physical) to find it.

Whoever finds it gets to keep it.  And I’ve added a note in the box with a request to have that person e-mail me to let me know they found it in exchange for receiving an additional gift.

I will give a new clue each day-or-so until it is found.

Well, it was found rather quickly … after just 2 clues!  Found by Ben Holle of Maple Grove.  He does a nice job explaining how he went about finding it on the BGG Forum Post about this promotion:

And, here were the clues …

  • 7-Feb-2012 … Clue #1: If A=1 and Z=26, then start at “DID”.  You won’t need to travel as far as the Dakotas, but you’re headed in the right direction.  When you are nearby the goal, you will see a Radisson.
  • 8-Feb-2012 … Clue #2: “It is outdoors, in a place with PUBLIC ACCESS” … I could give you 10,000 examples, but the elves would only give you one.  Radisson in clue #1 is not a hotel.

Planning for Con of the North 2012

"Jump Gate" Table at Con of the NorthI will be attending Con of the North for the second year in a row as a vendor, and I’m starting to get my plans together for what I’ll be doing there in my space.  The event runs mid-day Friday, February 17, through Sunday, February 19.  I plan to be there from Friday afternoon through early afternoon on Sunday.

Instead of just sitting behind the supplied table like I did last year, my plan is to push that table against the wall and add my own 2×4 foot table in a T or L shape.  The table against the wall will be used for product displays, signage, etc.  The smaller table will be used for game-playing and demoing.

Games I plan to have for sale:

  • Second Edition Box with the 7 spaceship cards available in the Friends & Family release

    Second Edition Box with the 7 spaceship cards available in the Friends & Family release

    Jump Gate – $20 for the Friends & Family release of my self-produced 2nd edition.  It has the extra spaceship artwork in it as well.

  • Dicey Curves – $15 for the base game in a green velvet bag.
  • Subtilla – $30 for the TGC-produced game.

Games I plan to be demoing at the table, in addition to the 3 for-sale games:

  • Space Mission – Schmidt Spiele’s European family-market take on Jump Gate.  It plays slightly differently due to the lack of the Black Hole and special actions, and the switch to fully-hidden resources.
  • Dicey Curves: DANGER! ExpansionI’ve written about this one a bit, and expect to have it out on before the end of the month.  I expect to give this one a number of turns on the demo table at CotN.
  • Top-Secret Prototypes and Older Games – I have a number of older games that I still like to take out for a spin now and then.  Most likely to see this would be Castle Danger, DareBase, and Siege by Number.  I also will have a few not-ready-for-primetime prototypes along with me, and may even get a chance to pull one or more of them out if there are interested folks around for that sort of thing.

There will be some help in the booth with me most of the time.  My wife, Britt, and daughter, Anna, will be taking up some shifts, and our good friend, Whitney Watts, who helped out last year should also be returning for some of the time.

I’m really looking forward to the event … please stop in and say hi! 🙂

Subtilla Has Launched!!

Subtilla Boxtop GraphicMy new 2-player game, Subtilla, is now available through!

Subtilla is head-to-head naval battle game for two players with subs, boats, torpedoes and two ways to win.  Direct your fleet to take down the enemy boats or capture their base!

Each player has a sub, five boats, and a base on his side of the board. A player wins by either destroying all five of the opponent’s boats, or by occupying both spaces of the opponent’s base at the end of the opponent’s turn.

Dice are rolled to determine the outcome of attacks by boats or torpedoes. The subs have special stealth, movement, and torpedo-launching rules.

I will be giving demos of the game at the Con of the North in February, and will have a few of them to sell there as well.