Gaming the System

Yesterday, the crew (myself, NSS&F, and the Karate Kid) went to Southern California Games Day 24 in Burbank. Had a lot of fun playing boardgames. What did I play? Let’s see: two games of Vegas Showdown (which I like more and more as I play it), Traumfabrik (a really neat auction game about making movies… I had Cary Grant in “Gone With The Wind”), Sleuth, and 30 Days in the World (see below). NSS&F joined me in my first game of Vegas Showdown and Traumfabrik, as well as playing Munchkin Fu, TTR: Europe, and some other games she didn’t tell me about. The Karate Kid got in a game of Ra.

Now, to 30 Days around the World. I mentioned this idea before. This is a combination of 10 Days in Africa, 10 Days in the USA, and 10 Days in Europe. We took all three games and combined them into a single mega tour of 30 days. If we had 8 games, I guess we could have done Around The World in 80 Days right. In any case, we combined the three games, and it worked pretty well. The basic rules were derived from the games:

  • You could walk between adjacent countries or countries connected by a ferry. We declared that there was a ferry across the straights of Gibralter.
  • You could fly with an airplane between two countries whose color matched the airplane. Alaska and Hawaii matched any airplane’s color.
  • You could drive through any single country/state with a vehicle.
  • Ships behaved as in Europe, with the Mediterranian also bordering the top of Africa (to Gibraltar) and the Atlantic bordering both Africa’s west coast and the US East Coast. For game play, we declared the Gulf of Mexico part of the Atlantic.

So how did it work? Good. I ended up winning, with a path that started in Kansas and ended in the Czech Republic. The setup and the initial card draw took a lot longer, and it was a lot harder to do your initial placement. Airplanes became much more important (as did the Atlantic Ocean); you also found yourself waiting less for specific tiles as there was a smaller chance they would come up. We had loads of people interested in the idea, and I think we’ll try it again. However, we will make some changes:

  • Due to the height of the stack of cards, we had three face down draw piles. As you could see which game the cards were from, this was often a factor in what draw you would make (for example, don’t pick Europe if you want a car). Next time, we’ll either have one pile per game, or (even better) put the face down cards in a bag so you can’t see which general area they were from.
  • We only had the original three face up piles. We agreed that five would be a bit better, but that needs to be confirmed with gameplay.

We also think that there should be a “10 Days in the Americas (Central and South America)” and “10 Days in Asia” to complete the world, but that “10 Days in Australia” wouldn’t be very exciting. As this gets down, there should be ships for the Northern and Southern Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Who knows: Out of the Box could publish the combination as 80 Days around the World.

Alas, I came home from Games Day with a headache. I’ve still got the remants, but today is a “stay home and clean the house” day anyway, so it shouldn’t be a problem.