02CEF: More on Mythwind

Saturday - Mythwind

The friend who was supposed to come over to play board games today had to cancel and it was already too late to make alternate arrangements. Thus Tobie and I have mainly spent today watching more of the Fallout TV series and just relaxing. We at least walked around BGC after a hearty Sariwon dinner and we'll see what else we can busy ourselves with tonight.

Last night we only really did two things - played one round of Magic: the Gathering Commander with a mix of Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings decks. And then we played an introductory round of Mythwind, which was also our chance to test the drop-in/drop-out play option promised by the game. Thus we got to slide in a new Innkeeper into the town to change things up.

Mythwind is presented as a cozy game that doesn't even have a true win condition. That can feel like a very weird proposition as we associate board games with winning and losing. And in the many sessions of the game that we've played so far, it's oddly fulfilling to go through the experience. And while the game does have goals that players can work together to achieve by the end of the season, there's no consequence to failure - just a chance to try again in a future session. 

The game is fully asymmetric with each player character having its own unique game system. For example, Tobie's Farmer has an intricate tile-laying mechanic to manage his fields with polyomino tiles while my Merchant has a market manipulation game where I need to buy and sell to make the most coins. I was worried that the game would really be multiple simultaneous solitaire games and it has moments like this. But the shared Town Actions that start every game turn help give us some degree of coordination and interaction between players as we all talk about what we hope to do that turn. It was quite clever that the used the alignment of Town Actions to determine what individual characters can do on their individual turns. That retained a social aspect to the game.

The upcoming Friends & Family expansion promises to add more direct interactions between players outside of the Town Actions, and I'm rather excited about that. But the game, as it stands, is an interesting experience already and we've managed to clock 13 game sessions so far, which is a lot for any game. and I think we'll get even more done with the new content when it eventually comes out.

The game does have a story that this slowly revealed through Event cards and Adventure cards, but it's a little light. I guess that makes sense since you don't want an overly linear story and you want to leave room for players dropping in and out of the game to still be able to relate to things even if you miss a season or two. It's interesting how it all works as it makes for a truly unique game experience.

There's a lot to unpack in terms of the many systems at work in this game and I'm sure a lot of other game designers are still trying to pick it apart and see how it works...assuming they think it works at all. But I'm definitely loving the game - it is truly a unique experience that still feels fun. I can't wait for us to decide to start switching around characters to change things up even more.