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Miss B’s Space Race

October 16, 2013

I have a stock of game parts, some purchased as such and others scavenged from old board games, that I use occasionally for either prototyping new games or enhancing existing ones. Miss B gets her own ideas from looking at some of this kit. And so this evening we played “Space Race”, a game of travelling from planet to planet collecting stuff.

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The orange space ship is covering a lot of ground, but blue seems to be doing pretty well at collecting resources.

The board was made of a freeform arrangement of MDF discs that represented planets and were added to as needed when we explored beyond the existing play area. We used little plastic spacecraft for playing pieces and moved them the number of planets shown by a die roll. On arrival at a planet we pulled a number of tiddlywinks from a bag, the colour of the counters indicating whether they were money, water, food or fire. It turns out that the money or fire could be traded for wood, which were worth 1 victory point each, and a combination of a water and a food could be traded for a special cone which was two victory points.

We were to fly around the planets collecting goods and victory points, then come back to the starting point, Earth, at which point victory points would be totted up and recorded. We would then do the whole thing again and whoever had the most points after two rounds would be the winner.

There were also a few other rules that I didn’t understand, including one that involved a giant that took over Earth causing both of us to lose victory points.

Actually, I was quite impressed with this game, despite the fact that it occasionally felt a bit like a boardgame version of Calvinball. That said, Miss B is now experimenting, on a basic level, with the classic Eurogame mechanisms of collecting and exchanging resources. She was very pleased with how things went and couldn’t think of anything that needed improving.

Now I think about it, the whole approach of thinking up rules as they are needed is a very effective way of developing early game prototypes. I should pay more attention to Miss B’s methodologies. As always, she is teaching me at least as much as I am teaching her.

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