Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Burn Baby Burn - first playtest

I prototyped Burn Baby Burn (it's code name, it has a real name that will get added when its closer to ready). I played a solo game of it. I don't know how Matt Leacock felt when he played his first game of Pandemic in playtest, but I felt my blood pressure rise, I wasn't breathing, and I was pouring sweat in a 70 degree house with a ceiling fan blowing on me. I'm really not kidding. I was absorbed and I was watching the buildings burn down and I just kept thinking, when is this gonna end?! Not because it wasn't fun, but because I didn't know if I was going to have a heart attack!

Each turn 3 new cards are turned over. The game plays over 10 rounds. Playing at the most difficult, minus 1 mechanism. It that one was present it would be been over for me, my goose would have been cooked, pardon the pun. That said, I managed to buy a fire engine and scored 0 VP. None! Players can buy cards from their solo heroic efforts to give them points, I didn't buy any. At that point I was too concerned with buying the cards that allowed me to put out fires or increase the potency of my water. I also didn't buy more workers. That seemed like a mistake.

The Fire Engine was great!! Being able to transport all 4 firefighters with 1 action was beautiful! But I didn't get it until about round 6. Should have bought it sooner. I was also able to cancel 1 of the burn phases, that was huge! That meant 9 fires didn't start! Since the cards are randomized, it can be very damning when you hit a string of 1's, 1 on each card and 1 is a 3 space building. I also kept 2 of the level 6 buildings out. That meant 3 level 3, 3 level 4, 3 level 5, 1 level 6. The trick was to try to save the 6's and 5's I think. That didn't happen either. I know that next time I sit down to burn, I'm going to look at some actual strategies and toss in the round burn effect where each round the building in the space of the round takes a fire token.

I really don't know how I feel about the game right now. I'm kind of excited that I was able to save 3 buildings, but also thinking, what if I saved more. Should the players be required to try to save half the buildings (5)? Like my twitter posts, that left me with a feeling of "Wow!" just flat out Wow!