Tag Archives: Gear & Piston

New Games: Gear & Piston, Byzantio/Nekken

Yesterday morning I received a parcel. it turned out that parcel was the delivery of pair of kick-starter projects I backed earlier this year, both by LudiCreations. I was expecting them soon, but so earlier was absolutely brilliant service, and it’s awesome to know they were sent from Essen!

Gear & Piston

So far I’ve had the opportunity to play this one twice. In it, you are an engineer in the late 1800’s trying to design a prototype automobile to compete with the forthcoming motoring giants. You do this by developing new parts, scrounging for junk and ultimately in order to meet deadlines, using any old scrap that’ll get the thing working!

In the game you place tokens (workers) in a few places to try and gather the parts you need (or prevent others from doing so!) to build your wonder machine. These are:

  • The Black Market. Here you can do dodgy things at the cost of losing one of your actions next turn. These include looking through the next few new parts to take one, stealing a part from another players hand, and shifting your position on a location to get what you want first (or even go last to get the first player token next turn!)
  • The Patent Office. I find it a strange idea for the new parts to be here, but it does the job. Here you can take a single new part from a wide selection (6) or a random one from the stack. At the end of each round all the available parts are discarded and a new 6 are placed out. Also, when a part is taken it is immediately refreshed, so it can pay to take a piece later if nothing really appeals for your car that’s already out!
  • The Junk Yard. Here you can scrounge parts that have been dumped by the motoring giants or other people trying to develop their own automobiles. These aren’t quite so lovely and sometimes have volatility that represents how likely your car would be to just collapse during use. The advantage is that you can take 2 from here, although the selections a little smaller than the patent office too (3).
  • The Workshop. This location is where everyone heads back to their workshop and tinkers with their machine. You can build, upgrade and remove parts from your prototype and work it to perfection here. Going early in the order lets you get more done, but the last player gets the 1st player token next round.

Each game you have a few investors to compete over who provide some extra points based on what you’ve built. One investor for example likes a car with a long range and another just wants it to be comfy, other still might want a really long automobile to roll around in. These are what provide a bit of spice and variety to each game.

I really enjoy seeing what everyone comes up with as the games goes on, whether it’s a dirty petrol vehicle with dodgy components or a luxury hybrid. I’ve lost both the games I’ve played, although the 2nd I at least drew for 2nd place (4 of us). It may or may not help that the first game we just did a few things wrong, and the second we extended the game longer than I think we were supposed to because we just didn’t want to stop with half-vehicles that would be more scrap than not, i.e. not much fun ^^.

The game does up to 6 and is pretty easy to teach, so I can’t wait to get some more plays in and I just hope it doesn’t get stale as one of the players felt it might. I will not rest till I make a petroleum gas electric hybrid!


This is a very interesting game in that I backed it more because I was interested in the company, LudiCreations than because I wanted the game. I wasn’t sure at all if I’d like the game as there’s things involving writing and hidden data which aren’t really something I’m accustomed to and don’t like people doing in games where it’s not a deliberate mechanic ^^

In it, you are competing to control a variety of cities across various regions of the Byzantio world. At the start of the game you write down the cities that you are aiming to have control of and will get points based on whether you get those or not. The reason it’s hidden is that at the end of the game you get points if you can guess your opponents primary high scoring city correctly.

To achieve your goals, you have 30 available actions of a few different types – Campaign, Muster, Advance, Negotiate, Bribe and Expel. There are 30 rounds and a set number of each of these, so you must plan wisely to not limit yourself in later rounds and lose your empire. Advance is an interesting one as it’s the only way for big movements across the map, and you only have 4 of them. Use your last one before having half your cities taken from you and you’ll be in serious trouble.

As it turns out, I found our solitary game really fun to play, with my chosen cities happening to be not too overly competitive with my foes, who really seemed to bicker a lot over their disturbing similar set of places!

In the end I won by having control of 4/6 cities, with a 5th as a draw (Half points). One of the other players guessed my home city, which I had placed as an island which as it turns out, for at least the first game is a really obvious idea to go for (Everyone’s was an island!). I guessed one other persons. Of the other 2 players, one guessed both and the other guessed neither, but they had control of or drew on enough of their cities they couldn’t match my sprawling and beautiful empire!

Very interesting game, and I look forward to my future plays to see how our strategy develops over time. I can see the misdirection elements of the game coming heavier and heavier into play as the players go through it, with next game for example everyone’s main cities being likely to be a nonchalent town in the middle of the map to try and obscure it in among fights over the islands to try and draw people’s gaze away.

I’d like to finish with a massive thanks to LudiCreations, for delivering their projects not just on time, but one a month earlier than the estimate and 1 2 months earlier (If only by a day into those brackets). Very great service and I look forward to backing future board games from them.

Hope everyone’s had a great Halloween and continuing to have amazing parties to do with it!

Bye! =)

Kickstarters, Life and Apologies for being lazy at Blogging

Lets start on the last thing I mentioned in the subject, er, my bad for being terrible at keeping to a schedule! A few weeks ago I decided to try and post twice/week and haven’t stuck to that at all. Hopefully I’ll be better at keeping to the posting after the following news!

So the good news I mentioned. It seems I will be changing status from ‘looking for job’ to ’employed’ very soon, after an interview that went well on Friday and a followup meet today. This means I’ll be kept occupied in the days and more importantly, feel motivated to actually post things here when I get the opportunity. I have to drive to get there so this week I’ll be trying to get a hold of a car which will be interesting, as I spent all of Uni avoiding having one ^^.

Finally lets get to the first thing in the subject, kickstarters! In this case a quick summary of status of projects I’m following, most which I’m finding myself particularly happy with concerning communication from the project creators!


Ok so this has had not so perfect communication, but I’ve received the 2 base games through (Prison Outbreak and Toxic City mall) from the kickstarter which I’ve played a couple of times now. It’s a shame that the stretch goal content has been split out into a ‘wave 1.5’ which is what I’ll be waiting on next (With Wave 2 early next year), but I’ve gotten to try out and had great fun with what I’ve received. I’ve even got some foamboard and made a custom storage solution for the new boxes so the original game fits in neatly with the new stuff!

Among the Stars: The Ambassadors and Archon: Glory of Machination

I’m getting both of these through my backing of the AtS: Ambassadors pledge, with Archon as an addon. There was an update 5 days ago about the shipping and it looks to be about on track to arrive on time in November. Absolutely can’t wait as the base game is awesome and it’s expansion is looking even more so, with Archon being a nice bonus that I don’t yet know a lot about!

Shadows over the Empire

Another Artipia project! This is a rather interesting game where you try to influence important people in ‘the empire’ to somehow win the game (I don’t really get it, but it looks interesting ^^). This should be set to ship early November and seems on track to reach that goal. I might presume it’ll be included with AtS: The Ambassadors and Archon, but we’ll have to see ^^

Machine of Death

I’m quite happy that we got an update within the past couple of days for this, as it’s a little late (Expected August) and looks like it’s all finalized and in manufacture to ship very soon (November it would seem). Looking forward to finding unique and random ways to kill people off in this little card game!

Gear & Piston and Byzantio/Nekken

These 2 projects by Ludicreations are clearly being organized for shipping together, as updates about shipping are double posted. They apologise a lot for it for people that have backed both, but it’s not something that worries me and I’m happy to see them taking a lot of care to give everyone a chance to correct shipping details before going ahead with it. This looks to be shipped around Essen time and hopefully be delivered late November/early December. Really looking forward to Gear & Piston, with Byzantio being a bit of a wildcard which I’m unsure of, but am excited to try out.


Another big one, which I spent almost as much on as Zombicide! The wonderful guys at Mercs miniatures post fairly frequent updates on progress, with pictures of what they’ve been up to and plenty of information to keep us backers happy and confident that they’re working to schedule. I think this games going to be an absolute stunner and may even dethrone Zombicide as my monster game of awesome. Should be great, bring it on January!


Looks on track or if not, to be very close to it. This game has be so excited as it’s another game by Jamey Stegmaier, a very interesting person to follow who posts very insightful things about kickstarter projects and how to do well in them. His first game Viticulture is so more more fun that I’d have expected for a game about wine-making, and this time round it’s a theme I find exciting before even trying it out, so looks to be doubly-successful in being fun for me. Roll on December!

DrunkQuest: The 90 Proof Seas

Also looks set to be roughly on track and arrive around when it should. Great to be updated from these guys on what’s going on, and while it’s a shame some ass stole a load of bottle openers which were slated to be included in copies of the game, the creators have gone straight out and found a replacement solution which is even better than the original, absolutely brilliant support for their backers. Getting drunk and playing games is so not going to be a good combination though ^^


This project seems to be in good shape, with the art looking a lot sexier than during the campaign already. This project is delayed until march by stretch goals, so not much to say on it for the moment except it should be a very interesting project!

Teramyyd: Earthsphere

The beta arrived for this a while back, but I’ve not had much of a chance to try it out unfortunately, and I feel like I shouldn’t really have taken up one of the beta positions (I thought I’d have so much more opportunity to learn it and enjoy it in beta form!). We couldn’t quite work out how it’s supposed to work correctly and didn’t much enjoy the short game we tried, but I still have confidence that the changes that have already been made, and those to come, and the fact we clearly played it ridiculously wrong, mean it’ll be a great project in it’s finished state. It’ll be delayed by a fair bit, but I’m ok with that for the creators to get it right!


I don’t really know what to say about this for the moment. There was an update back on the 9th saying it’s been sent to the printers, so guess that means it’s on track and will arrive to create wordy fun for me and my friends in a couple of months ^^

404: Law Not Found

Looks in good shape, with the creator posting regular (1/week) updates through kickstarter on how things are progressing, including a neat breakdown chart of what tasks are getting done. I wish more projects would provide this level of updating, but it’s not really required, just a little extra that I’m sure all the other backers appreciate too. I’ve played the game once in a pre-finished state and found it interesting, so look forward to getting it, or just trying it out sometime in ‘complete’ style (Being as the aforementioned creator lives a whole 10 minutes away ^^)

That turned into a very long post! I was thinking I’d only comment on a couple of projects, but most of them are slated to arrive in the next couple of months and as a result are all ones with a ‘recently posted update’ state! Can’t wait to have them all arrive as I can’t help thinking I’ll feel like it’s Christmas with every parcel.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day/week/month/year/decade! Cheers ^^