Played: Block Mania

Posted by James (admin) on 8th August 2014

Block Mania game

Very early on and already both players have caused some damage to each other’s blocks. Towards the end of the game, blocks are full of collapse markers and fires.

I hadn’t played Block Mania for over 25 years and decided to give it another try this week.  If you’re not aware of it, it was a game made by Games Workshop (back in the days when they did more than just their own licences) set in the world of Judge Dredd (from the 2000AD comics).  The ultra-large high-rises (blocks) of Mega-City 1 sometimes start fighting with their neighbouring blocks for good or bad reasons (or, sometimes, for no reason at all).

When I played it when released in 1987, I found it was a great idea but just didn’t deliver the massive action it should have done.  It seemed there were too few units on the board (because they were easily killed but not easily added).  The reason for this is that each player would get 2-12 (2d6) action points (APs) to spend on their turn.  This made the game very swingy, especially if one player rolled low and the other high.

Having done a lot of game designing since then, I now know how to address these things so, for this game, I decided to alter the AP system.  I would have liked two identical decks of cards with different APs written on each card and players would draw a card from their own deck each turn – this would give relatively random APs per turn but each player would get the same overall as they’d both go through their identical decks.  However, rather than make anything specific, APs were instead 1 dice + six (1d6+6) making them 7-12 per turn.  This would give more APs so more action was possible.  I suggested if a player rolled a 1 they should get +1 next turn but my opponent said not to bother – which they regretted later after rolling four 1’s in a row. Read the rest of this entry »

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