Friedemann Friese Wants You to Fight Monsters at Home

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by W. Eric Martin

In May 2020, designer Friedemann Friese started a new blog on BoardGameGeek: “Game Designer Lockdown“. As he notes in his first post, “To be a game designer without the regular game nights, meetings and without having different gaming partners is hard.”

Friese, like many designers, now has more time on his own to design games, but lacks the infrastructure to test them and the market partners to bring them to others:
We just finished the new game and gave the printing files to the manufacturer. This is a game we wanted to show at BerlinCon. Whatever happens, we decided to make it in an English/German small print run to have it published. All partners we were publishing with have their own situations now, so we can look if this game is well accepted and have hopefully an international print run later this year. It is better for us all.

A big gamer’s game is in the pipeline for Essen. We will work on that and try to finish it in time, but as nobody knows right now, if Essen will take place or how it will take place, we will see if we have to start this with a smaller print run, too.
[Disclosure: I edited the English rules for the first title mentioned. More details once the game is officially announced.]

Aside from these two titles, Friese has designed two smaller games, including one that involves simultaneous card play. Says Friese, “Impossible to test this by my own. I have a family with two kids and we played this already 20 times, but I need more and different opinions. In a few days I will post this as print-and-play game and hope to get feedback from you and you and you…..” That game is The Fight: We gonna fight them all! Here’s Friese’s short description of this design:
This game is in the tradition of The Game, The Mind and The Crew. It is cooperative, it has cards with numbers, it has short game rounds, it has 50 missions to fulfill, and it is difficult to be found in computer searches because of the stupid name. So we need an extra line to be found search engines: “The Fight: We gonna fight them all!” in german “The Fight: Wir werden euch alle kriegen!” Both of these lines are loosely connected to songs.
The Game, The Mind, and The Crew?! Man, that’s catnip for my ears! In any case, Friese has now placed English and German files for the game — both rules and cards — on BGG, and he’s inviting feedback from you about this design since he can’t test it easily otherwise. Here’s an summary of what’s going on:
Welcome to The Fight!

You and your fellow crew have heard of an abandoned dungeon with rumors of great treasures inside, yet nobody else but you has dared to check the truth about these rumors — and now you know why: A horde of monsters inside the dungeon got bored and now they crave a good fight.

There is no time for a long strategy session. Use the weapons at hand, making the right combined decisions of how to fight against the various monsters without revealing too much information to them as blind trust in your crew may be the best chance you have to coordinate your strengths.

The Fight is played in fifty levels. Each level takes only a few minutes, with you fighting against a certain number of monsters. Typically, one monster lies face up in the center of play, and your crew needs to beat its strength value in one attack to win the fight. For each attack, you all place one card from your hand face down in front of you. If your revealed fighting total matches or exceeds the value of a face-up monster, you beat it; otherwise, the monster remains face up and keeps fighting.

To win a level, you can discuss your strategy with your crew. You can never talk about your card values in hand, but can debate whether you want to “strike fast” or “take it slow”. You can also use available special actions to gain the most benefits from them.
• The other new title Friese has released is 5×15, a solitaire patience game based on the patience game “Montana”, with him describing the development of 5×15 in this blog post.

The game 5×15 consists of 75 number tiles, with five colors of tiles with 1-15 appearing in each color. You shuffle the tiles, lay them out face up in five rows of fifteen tiles, remove the 1s from the layout, shuffle the 1s, then lay them out in a 0th column to the left of the five rows. The playing area is the 5×15 space, and on a turn you can take one of two actions:

—Move a matching number tile into a gap. The tile you move must be one higher than the tile to the left of the gap or one lower than the tile to the right of the gap, and the tile must be the same color as its number neighbor.

—Shift to the right a group of three or more adjacent tiles that are all the same color with numbers in consecutive order and with a 15 at the right.

If you can use these two actions repeatedly to place all of the cards in order in the five rows, you win. If you get stuck in a loop repeating actions, then you don’t. The rules and number tile files can be downloaded from the BGG page, and Friese is looking for feedback from players in this blog post.

Read more: boardgamegeek.com

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