Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Grail Epoch appetizer

I just played half a game of A Grail Epoch, Rafael Chandler's remix of Matthijs Holter's Archipelago. Since we attempted to plug it as an afterthought into an already tight schedule, the game went unfinished. Still, I believe I got to taste what's really good about it: it turns the assortment of miniature figures you happen to have available to pick from into a nice set of creative constraints, thus bypassing what's usually a long pre-play phase in Archipelago, the choice of a setting. A side-effect of this, coupled with more additional semi-random constraints (such as the way the map is built and the Exquisite Corpse style of writing Destiny Points), is that the game is turned into something more reminiscent of Fiasco than Archipelago — but whether A Grail Epoch is actually as good as Fiasco remains to be seen, through further play someday.
I encourage you all to give it a try, and by the way the minis don't actually have to be minis: I'm pretty sure you can play this with dolls, action figures, model kits, gashapon or other toys for a variety of effects, as long as your toys can stand (or sit) on the table! Lego minifigs or similarly customizable toys might make a huge difference, though, because you wouldn't be picking characters from a pool of available ones, then, but rather building them from a pool of available parts.

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