Last night, I got to game with two friends I hadn’t gamed with in about a year! It was great to game with Jeremy and Brandon. We played Glen More and Pergamon. While neither is in my Top 10 they are both very solid games with interesting mechanics. While the mechanics may not be unique, I thought I would mention them here as I think they can be used to fit other themes and game designs. And perhaps tweaked to better fit other projects.
Glen More is a tile placement, resource management game. Players claim and place tiles in their play area. When activated each tile has a resource or reward that allows the player to ultimately collect whiskey, chieftains, and special locations that will provide the points for winning the game. Here are the mechanics I like in Glen More:
1. Turn order mechanic
Turn order in Glen More is not a simple clockwise mechanic. In Glen More there is a square track. The game start player places their meeple on the track. The next player places their meeple in front of the first players meeple (clockwise) and so on… When all players have played their meeples the remaining spaces (but one) are filled with tiles that will be claimed (see picture below). On the start players turn that players meeple jumps over the other meeples and claims any tile on the track. The meeple travels in a ‘circular’ clockwise motion. When the player claims a tile they pay the cost, place it in their play area and activates that tile and other surrounding tiles. The next player follows in the same manner. The key to this mechanic is that the meeple at the back always goes first. So, if the first player jumps 5 tiles ahead and the second player only jumps to the first tile then the second player will go again before the first player.
2. Scoring Mechanic
Scoring is done during three points during the game and is not a simple counting of resources. Rather there is a point system based on the differential when compared with the player who has the least of the resource being scored. In the picture below the score system is in the centre of the board below the warehouse space. Example – if I have 6 whiskey barrels, Jeremy has 1 whiskey barrel and Brandon has 0 whiskey barrels then my differential with Brandon is 5 and I get 8 points and Jeremy’s differential with Brandon is 1 so he gets 1 point.
3. Warehouse Mechanism
In Glen More all resources that can be stored must be created by activating tiles in your play area. Extra resources may be sold or bought for immediate use. This is done in the warehouse – centre of the tile track in picture below. If I want to buy a resource I must pay the next open value next to the colour or that resource. So, the first player who wants wood (green) in the game pays one coin to the warehouse (stacked on the 1 in relevant warehouse space). The next player then has to pay 2 and the next 3 coins. If selling a resource the player takes the highest value pile of coins next to the resource colour.
Pergamon is a bidding and set collection game based on archaeology. Designed by Stefan Dorra, I believe this game could quickly become one of those great gateway games. The player that collects the best sets of artifacts and displays them at the best time in the museum will win. Here is the main mechanic I like:
1. ‘Bidding’ Mechanic
Each round starts with a bid for available research funds. Two cards are placed face down. These cards indicate the range of funds available for the next dig. A card can either have a value of 1 to 4 or a value of 5 to 8. So, if one 1 to 4 card and one 5 to 8 card were revealed then the potential research funds available would be between 6 and 12. With this limited knowledge players then set up their next dig. In a three player game, player one, knowing that there is only 6 guaranteed monies available may place on a level 3 dig on the research track, player 2, knowing that there there is only a guaranteed 3 monies available if player 1 gets his money may bid on a two level dig on the track hoping to guarantee at least 2 monies. The third player could bid on another 2 dig or another 3 dig if it is below the first players on the track. Thereby they would guarantee some money. Alternately, the third player could gamble that there is actually a high value on the reverse of the cards and bid on the highest 6 dig. Once all players have placed their workers the values are revealed. If the total values revealed equaled 6 then the second player would get their 2, the first player would get their 3 and the third player who gambled on the 6 would only get the remaining 1 money for their next dig. If the total had been 12 then the second player would have got their 2, the first player their 3 and the third player would get the remaining 7. (Do the math for all results in between 🙂 ) There is almost a push your luck attitude for the final bidder. The player who bids highest on the track will be the first to bid during the next round.