Monday, March 16, 2015

One wild ride...

So back at TempleCon, Merek (after his win in the Dropzone Commander Tournament), Second Class Elitist, and I had the opportunity to play a game called SkidMarks that will be launching on Kickstarter in the near future.  After a full day playing games, and meeting new faces, it was a chance to just have some fun with a new game.  Below I'm going to try to give you an insight into why I think the game was a lot of fun, and worth your investment.

To start with, SkidMarks is a boardgame.  A little out of our norm for coverage I'll grant you, but there will be game pieces that will help feed the miniature monster in all of us.  Even so the game play is extremely solid.  Within 2 rounds of playing, Merek, 2CE, and I were pretty comfortable with the rules, and able to go through our turns with very little instruction.  And by our second game we didn't need any help at all.

Essentially the game takes place in a post apocalyptic urban environment, where street racing has become a full contact blood sport.  The board is the race course, and each player takes on the identity of one of the sports racers.  Each player then upgrades their vehicle throughout the game to gain advantages to use against your opponents.  For example, you can buy a pistol to shoot at your opponents in front of you, or buy armor to absorb said bullets.  The board itself is a participant in the mayhem, with special locations throughout that either slow you down, help you with repairs, give you problems, or even shoot you down (more on that later).  Oh, and that choice of identity I mentioned, yeah each comes with a piece of equipment for free, so the choice can impact early game play a lot.

Mechanically, each player will roll red and green dice, each green one giving a bullet, dollar, wrench, or swerve, and the red determining how far you move on the track.  After you first roll you can choose to re-roll any number of green dice 2 more times, to try to get the result you desire.  A bullet allows you to attack another player, swerves allow you to accumulate doges until your next turn, wrenches allow you to repair damage (it is possible to be killed/knocked out of the game), and dollars give you money which you can use to buy items for yourself, or problem cards for an opponent.  Like I said within 2 full rounds of the game, we had these mechanics down.

In our first game after some normal jockeying between 2CE and myself (we usually test combat mechanics against each other early in new games, cause that's what friends do) the three of us and anther interested party, were getting comfortable with the game, until it got a bit cutthroat and I took out 2CE and the other player.  Merek was behind but got a card that took me out of the game in the same action that he landed in a square on the board where the audience shoots that the car, which also took him out.  And thus at the finish line, the game was draw.  In game 2, we rearrange our seating to mix up the order of play, at the suggestion of the game designer, and it did make a difference.  grudges for actions in the previous game were avenged, and it made the second game more fun then the first.

The best review and reason I can give you to jump on this when it hits is this.  After leaving at 5am to get the TempleCon, and playing games all day, we finished the second game at about 1am, with a 6 hour drive ahead of us, and we considered playing a third.  SkidMarks is a carload of fun (see what I did there?) and I highly recommend it for your game library.

Until next time...

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