Tag Archives: Block Mania

Revisiting some old homemade board games – part 2

I keep revisiting the notes which I’ve made over the years to make sure that I’ve captured the various theme aspects which I wanted to reflect as well as to try and ensure that any rule mechanism used sits well with the theme.  We’ve all played games where a mechanism is used within a game which doesn’t seem to make much sense in the light of the theme being played.  How successful I am in this respect remains to be seen.

My base premise is a mini-wargame driven by a high level worker placement mechanism.  The game should handle 4 players well, but cater for between 3 to 6 and reach a successful conclusion in about 90 minutes.  I want the game to give the players sufficient decision points to feel as if they are playing the game (as opposed to being driven along by the game and having little input) and at the same time I want it to be fun – which is fairly fundamental.  I have played many games

Revisiting some old homemade board games – part 1

I suppose every wargamer has some rules in them, and every boardgames has a boardgames in them as well.

I’ve started reworking some old Mega City One Block War games I put aside a few years ago.  I’m working on a game where each person controls a block during the Block Mania incident and looking to cause as much damage on the other blocks before the judges intervene.

I appreciate that there is a game which covers this theme which came out over 25 years ago called Block Mania (with its expansion Mega Mania).  However this game has been long out of print, and when played took quite a long time to play especially with three or more players.  I wanted a game which had the same theme but was a different game which was a lot shorter (target 1.5 hours for 4 players), was fun without being overly complicated and had a lot of replayability.

I want the board to be able to fit easily on a 3 foot wide table, so have been playing with a playing area of 2 foot square though may extend it slightly to 2 foot by 3 foot (60cm by 90cm).  This way there will be space for the inevitable drinks as well as clutter for cards, rules etc. on a small kitchen table.

I was also looking for a modular system for the board to cater to the re-playability aspect.  This could be addressed in a multiple of ways;

  • simply have a double sided board
  • 4 large double-sided boards (approx 1 foot/30cm square)
  • free moving hexes (4 inches across)
  • multiple smaller squares (approx 4 inches square or 10cm)
  • Deck of cards for locations which are drawn from the deck to create the map.

Currently I’m playing around with the 4 inch square solution as it’s relatively easy to manufacture.

I also wanted the game to have various elements from the Judge Dredd stories, especially if they were relevant to the Block Mania theme.  To this end I looked at including;

  • City Def,
  • Gangs
  • Fatties
  • Judges

No doubt some will stay and new ones may be added.

I’m using a fairly basic worker placement mechanism to drive the core mechanics for each player with event cards causing the mayhem at a higher common level.

The danger of these type games where there is so much thematic ‘history’ available is to try to include everything into the one game.