Welcome to the first of what could be a series of posts, or might just be a one-shot.
Basically, it’s Friday night, I’ve had a couple of drinks, and maybe it’s time to visit a pressing issue in the boardgame industry.
Or maybe I just need to get something off my chest.
Consider this kind of “guerilla blogging,” as while I am editing it to make sure it makes some kind of sense, I’m basically posting it as is.
What’s the first issue I want to talk about?
Scoresheets (or lack thereof) in boardgames.
This came to mind with most of my favourite Garphill Games entries, but also with a few other games as well.
You’ve just bought a game. It’s a relatively standard Euro game where you total up a lot of points through a bunch of different means.
And the game board doesn’t have a score track for some reason. Instead, you just have to do all the math in your head.
Or, you know, grab a piece of paper and write things down.
But it’s still annoying.
Even my favourite games have had this problem.
Architects of the West Kingdom had it.
Paladins of the West Kingdom had it too.
When the first Architects expansion came out, it came with a score sheet.
It became such a prominent issue that Garphill Games now has a wonderful scoring app for your phone!
And the app is amazing!
But what happened before that?
Paladins of the West Kingdom had the same problem, and I guess Viscounts of the West Kingdom came out after the app, so they just used the app.
But it’s not just Shem and Garphill that I’m harping on here.
There are a bunch of games without a score track where you are tracking points at the end of the game, and this HAS TO STOP.
One enjoyable game I played this year (and finally reviewed) also has this problem.
Speakeasy Blues has multiple scoring items, between the celebrities in your speakeasy to the collections, to the influence you have with the cops and the two crime families.
And many more!
Yet I had to download a 3rd party scoresheet for this game to avoid having to try and put it all down on paper.
I know that paper costs money, but so many games include sheets of various types in their games that I have to wonder about those who don’t.
Seven Wonders Duel has a great scoresheet. All the categories wonderfully presented (too bad the game’s at work so I can’t take a picture of it…hey, look at that! Guerilla blogging!) and it’s easy to use!
Some games don’t have scoresheets, but all of the points are on the cards in your deck or tableau (like Clank in Space or Trains). Even those games, if there are other victory points to be had, you have victory point counters to add up with your cards (like Roll for the Galaxy). Sometimes you have nothing but victory point chits (like The City or Deus).
One of the worst offenders for card games, until the app came out (I hadn’t played the game before the app so I didn’t experience this first-hand, and maybe the app was released with the game) is Fantasy Realms.
There are so many card combinations that I can’t even imagine trying to do that on paper.
If you come up with a scoring app, like Garphill has now done, then that’s great. I don’t mind doing things on the phone. I’m not a technophobe like some gamers are.
Oh right, they’re not against technology.
They just don’t want it in their games.
Maybe that will be another Friday night rant.
Anyway, scoresheets in games!
I’d be interested to know why they aren’t included initially. Especially when the lack thereof is so obvious that your expansion includes it. If somebody would like to tell me and make me feel bad for ranting, I’m all ears.
Now excuse me while I have some more shots and try to do long division…