Episode 98: T.I.M.E. Stories, Caverna, Short Topic Extravaganza
We have a small cast of Founders today, but we still have lots to say! Today we take a look at one of the coolest games ever designed, TIME Stories! The we look back at Uwe Rosenberg's coolest designs, Caverna the Cave Farmers. Tony T makes sure you have all the facts in his news round up while Chris and Jamie make sure you have all the opinions. Finally with end the show with another Short Topic Extravaganza.
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- Jamie ended up backing Folklore, dropping 7th Continent.
- Beteen Two Cities
- Mission Red Planet
- Queens Necklace
- Railways of the World: Europe
- Zombie Survival
- Dungeons and Dragons Halloween all-nighter
- Jack Vasel Mem Fund Auction
T.I.M.E Stories is a narrative game, a game of "decksploration". Each player is free to give their character as deep a "role" as they want, in order to live through a story, as much in the game as around the table. But it's also a board game with rules which allow for reflection and optimization. At the beginning of the game, the players are at their home base and receive their mission briefing. The object is then to complete it in as few attempts as possible. The actions and movements of the players will use Temporal Units (TU), the quantity of which depend on the scenario and the amount of players. Each attempt is called a "run"; one run equals the use of all of the Temporal Units at the players' disposal. When the TU reach zero, the agents are recalled to the agency, and restart the scenario from the beginning, armed with their experience. The object of the game is to make the perfect run, while solving all of the puzzles and overcoming all of a scenario’s obstacles. The base box contains the entirety of the T.I.M.E Stories system and allows players to play all of the scenarios, the first of which — Asylum — is included. During a scenario, which consists of a deck of 120+ cards, each player explores cards, presented most often in the form of a panorama. Access to some cards require the possession of the proper item or items, while others present surprises, enemies, riddles, clues, and other dangers. You usually take possession of local hosts to navigate in a given environment, but who knows what you'll have to do to succeed? Roam a med-fan city, looking for the dungeon where the Syaan king is hiding? Survive in the Antarctic while enormous creatures lurk beneath the surface of the ice? Solve a puzzle in an early 20th century asylum? That is all possible, and you might even have to jump from one host to another, or play against your fellow agents from time to time... In the box, an insert allows players to "save" the game at any point, to play over multiple sessions, just like in a video game. This way, it's possible to pause your ongoing game by preserving the state of the receptacles, the remaining TU, the discovered clues, etc. T.I.M.E Stories is a decksploring game in which each deck makes anything possible!
Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Following along the same lines as its predecessor (Agricola), Caverna: The Cave Farmers is a worker-placement game at heart, with a focus on farming. In the game, you are the bearded leader of a small dwarf family that lives in a little cave in the mountains. You begin the game with a farmer and his spouse, and each member of the farming family represents an action that the player can take each turn. Together, you cultivate the forest in front of your cave and dig deeper into the mountain. You furnish the caves as dwellings for your offspring as well as working spaces for small enterprises. It's up to you how much ore you want to mine. You will need it to forge weapons that allow you to go on expeditions to gain bonus items and actions. While digging through the mountain, you may come across water sources and find ore and ruby mines that help you increase your wealth. Right in front of your cave, you can increase your wealth even further with agriculture: You can cut down the forest to sow fields and fence in pastures to hold your animals. You can also expand your family while running your ever-growing farm. In the end, the player with the most efficiently developed home board wins. You can also play the solo variant of this game to familiarize yourself with the 48 different furnishing tiles for your cave. Caverna: The Cave Farmers, which has a playing time of roughly 30 minutes per player, is a complete redesign of Agricola that substitutes the card decks from the former game with a set of buildings while adding the ability to purchase weapons and send your farmers on quests to gain further resources. Designer Uwe Rosenberg says that the game includes parts of Agricola, but also has new ideas, especially the cave part of your game board, where you can build mines and search for rubies. The game also includes two new animals: dogs and donkeys.