Quined Games co-founder and creator of The Game Changers, Frank Quispel, provides insight into how and when to use the different modules in his upcoming game. Read his story below:
As the creator, I want to give you more insight into the Game Changers and, especially, how and when to use the 10 different modules, called Changers, which are inside this little box. Over the past time, a lot of my family members and friends could not completely grasp my idea of “an expansion to any game”, and I presume that you, as honourable gamegeek, can’t get that grip either, unless you get some more insight. Here goes!
The Game Changers box gives you the possibility to give more or other fun to any of your games. It can give the games that you know and love so well a new and fresh impulse, but it can also freshen up your worn and torn games and even give the boring evergreens a second life. It’s up to you to use, or not use, any of the Changers.
I will now run through all of the 10 Changers, which are inside the box, see the picture. The complete rules for each Changer are short and can be found here.
Changer 1, “Wild Cards”
Offers 5 sets of five different wild cards, for up to five players.
From the manual: “This Changer, which is split into five smaller modules, allows you to manage the flow of your game. These wild cards deal with things like analysis paralysis (modules a/b), making mistakes (c), speeding your game up (d), or slowing it down (e). You can decide to use any or all of these modules! “
The Play and Pause cards of this Changer are especially aimed at players of strategic card and board games. To be more specific, it can be used in games in which, during a player’s turn, a lot of considerations have to be made. Examples of these games could be: Lorenzo Il Magnifico, Orléans, Marco Polo, Goa, Terraforming Mars or Terra Mystica.
The Rewind card is also meant for the same players as where the Play and Pause cards are meant for, and more specifically, especially for games in which a player gets or pays a lot of materials. Examples of these games could be: Orléans, Catan, Scythe or Great Western Trail.
Finally, the Fast Forward and Repeat cards are general wild cards, they can be used in almost any game. Fast Forward can be played during any game that is not liked, to speed up the approach of the game end. It can also be played during a heavy board game session with a shortness of time (because of the late hour or because some of the players have to leave the table soon). Repeat can be played during any very satisfactory game session: it prolongs the session and hopefully the satisfaction!
Changer 2, “the End”
Offers 8 cards, for one to ten players.
From the manual: “This Changer allows you to add to end-game scoring by assigning positive and negative victory points to different in-game resources.”
Changer 2 can bring some magic to strategic board games in which there are a lot of material/goods. It can penalize players who crop up too much a certain kind of material or, on the other hand, reward them. Example of games which can be combined with Changer 2 are: Power Grid, Puerto Rico, and a lot of Uwe Rosenberg’s games, like Le Havre.
Changer 3, “Easter Eggs”
Offers 5 cards, for up to five players.
From the manual: “This Changer rewards players for achieving secret goals.”
The Easter Egg Changer is a lot of fun, but it works especially well with a player group who know and like their game very, very well. That can be the case in games like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, or Catan. It is always fun to crack the Easter Egg, but it can also be fun to give hints towards finding the Easter Eggs.
Examples of Easter Eggs:
Carcassonne: “score more than 20 points with your last tile”.
Catan: “score more than 4 points in one turn”.
Ticket to Ride: “make a route of 5-6 trains with only wild cards”.
Changer 4, “Foul play”
Offers 5 cards, for three to five players.
From the manual: “This Changer lets you cheat…as long as you don’t get caught!”
This Changer is particularly interesting for games in which there is a high flow of materials/money going on between the general stock and the stock of the player. As an example I wanted to mention Monopoly, but that game now has it’s own cheating version, haha! Other examples could be -again- Catan, an older but great game like Chinatown, or the new Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg.
The Foul Play cards are also very interesting in games where the players have their own player boards, like Hansa Teutonica, Terraforming Mars or The Castles of Burgundy.
Changer 5, “Play Together”
Offers again 5 cards for two to five players.
From the manual: ” This Changer turns competitive games into co-operative ones! (Note: We recommend using this module with games that take no more than 45 minutes.)
Of course, this Changer turns your game upside down, the competitive element is completely replaced by a cooperative one. A Changer for shorter games with a clear course of the game and/or scoring track like Take 5, Verflixxt or Karuba.
Changer 6a and 6b, “Traitor”
Offers 5 cards for three to five players
From the manual: “These Changers add a hidden traitor mechanic to cooperative play of Changer 5, “Play Together and to the cheating play of Changer 4, “Foul Play”.”
These Changers give an extra layer of depth to all the games mentioned above at Changer 4 and Changer 5!
Changer 7, “Bets”
Offers 5 sets of 3 cards (1-2-last), for up to five players.
From the manual: “Bet on the outcome of your game and win valuable rewards!”
Actually, “Bets” can be used on any game, even the games with one single winner and no second, third etc/ place. Just like Changer 9 (“Animals”) it honours and stimulates the psychology of gaming: “ why has everybody placed a bet on me ending on the last place?”. It’s a light and fun Changer that doesn’t disturb the actual gameplay of your game but always gives great discussions after your game!
Changer 8, “Change Seats”
Offers a mere 2 cards, for two to six players
From the manual: “Have you ever wanted to take your opponent’s board position (or score) for yourself? Now you can!”
Like the manual states, Changer 8 is not for the long and heavy board games and other longer games into which the players have to put a lot of intellectual effort. But it can be hilarious for the short and lighter games. Like for example: Take 5, Ingenious, Take it Easy or Sushi Go.
The deliberation of “to what point shall I bring my game, and what will I take over from the other player? “ is interesting and fun, and with this deliberation in mind abstract two player games like these are also fun with Changer 8: Checkers, Check, Dvonn or Hive.
Changer 9, “Animals”
Offers 5 cards, two+ players.
From the manual: “Add some silly fun to your game and give your friends new nicknames!”
There is an almost endless list of types of characters as it comes to board games players, but in this box I was restricted to 5 cards that represent that different characters.
There is no restriction to what game you play with Changer 9, the only restriction are the players on your table!
Card 9a, Dog. Game: Memory. There is always a lucky dog in Memory, the player who is not well in remembering, but who knows that there is a big chance that the tiles aren’t shuffled too well. He picks two tiles next to each other and yes, they are the same! And this happens over and over.
Card 9b: Lamb. Game: Ticket to Ride. Just before you want to claim the last route to Las Vegas the player to your right is claiming that route! Now you have a wasted destination ticket to Las Vegas, and you’re crying like a lamb over that until the end of the game.
Card 9c: Chimpanzee. Game: Carcassonne. What is going on with the player to your right? Every time a player draws a tile he gives this player the most useful hints and tips! And when he ends up last at the end of the game he gives us a big smile and says he a great time.
Card 9d: Hyena. Game: Vasco da Gama. You are playing a rather complex game, but what is one of the other players doing? She is continuously laughing and talking about anything not board game related. And even more, meanwhile she is serving all great kinds of drinks and snacks. And even worse, she wins the game!
Card 9e: Turtle. Game: Five Tribes.” Uhm, uhm, uhm, what should I do? Take these four meeples to over there? And which tiles to traverse? These or those? Uhm, or these three meeples to over there? Or there? Uhm, uhm, okay, I’ll do this, 1-2-3-4, Uhm.., that’s not good, wait, I won’t do it, I’ll take back my move and uhm.uhm.uh”HELLLOOOOOO!!”
Changer 10, “Victory Songs”
Offers 5 cards, for two to five players, even for one player if you are in the mood
From the manual: “A noisy, fun way to celebrate your progress!”
A Changer just for ridiculous fun, and of course you can create your own noises and moves, apart from those five cards!
Changer 10 is especially recommended in games where the scores change oftenon the scoring track/paper, like -here we go again- Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride or Take 5. It’s also fun to make sounds as a team in team games like Tichu or Frank’s Zoo!
I hope that I have given more insight. If you have any questions or remarks, you can allways Geekmail me or post here or in another thread!