Consolidated to a new blog!

Posted in blabbering with tags , , on November 10, 2016 by brainsgame

I’m combining a lot of my individual game blogs into a single place, so that they’re easier to update. So if you want to see more of Brains, or other games I wrote, visit
http://horizongamesblog.wordpress.com/brains/
Thanks for your interest.

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Looking Ahead

Posted in blabbering with tags , , , on September 22, 2009 by brainsgame

With the release of v1.2 I’m pretty sure the rules are done. There are no glaring issues or problems and the numerous playtest games have all been enjoyable.

If I continue to tweak the ruleset I worry that I’ll just add complexity to it. Sure it’d be a neat game element to have vehicles and special zombies and so on, but then the focus of Brains is lost.

So basically I’m saying enjoy v1.2, and assume that’s pretty much the final word on Brains!

Brains Core Rules (v1.2)

Posted in rules with tags , , , on September 22, 2009 by brainsgame

Annnnnd I’m back. As I predicted it’s been a while since I needed to revisit Brains. But I had a friend who wanted to get into tabletop gaming, and I figured a 7 page ruleset involving Zombies (everyone loves Zombies!) would be a great starting point. So I dusted off the rules, made a few changes, and voila v1.2 is here.

As before I kept a changelog:

Changelog from v1.1 to v1.2

- Changed Headshot to be roll >= Headshot = kill, instead of < Headshot
  (This was so the roll style of a Headshot is consistent with To-Hit)
- Updated Headshot numbers for all weapons to reflect this change, for example <2 becomes 6+
- Increased Longbow To-Hit from 9 to 8
- Put "auto" for some Headshots instead of "-"
- Trimmed down unnecessary fluff in the Map section
- Added a Setup section for how to begin the game
- Changed Search results, 6 is Searcher's Choice, Ammo was moved down the list
- Reformatted information on search results and added explanation for each result
- Reformatted Profession Benefits
- Reformatted Heroic Moments to fit the new search formatting on one page

A big noticeable change was changing Headshots so you roll >= the Headshot value instead of < Headshot. To be honest I don't even know why this wasn't the mechanic to begin with as it's consistent with the rest of the game.

Regardless give it a shot and enjoy some more Zombie slaying fun.

(Rather Blurry) Game Photos

Posted in images with tags , , , on February 10, 2009 by brainsgame

I took some blurry photos of the last couple of games and thought I’d share them here.

These games are using cardboard buildings from Games Workshop’s Mordheim, plus a smattering of old figures for the Zombies. The first game was when I was testing v1.1 and just has 2 players, while the second is with friends and has 3.

I recently purchased a 100-strong Bag O’ Zombies and will try to get future game pictures when those are used…then the horde will look a bit more coherent.

So without further ado…

bg-01-overall bg-02-solo
bg-03-stragglers bg-04-hold
bg-05-flanked bg-06-elevation
bg-07-objective bg-08-rooftop
bg-09-leftbehind bg-10-finale
(click on each image for the full size)

Hopefully this will inspire your own games, or at least give you an idea of how the rules translate to the tabletop.

Tips for Speeding up Play

Posted in rules with tags , , , on January 12, 2009 by brainsgame

A few optional techniques to speed up play. The game already plays super fast, but sometimes the intensity and suspense can drop as someone moves dozens of zombies. Anyways these ideas were created from experience with the game, so feel free to comfortably use any or all of them:

Counters: To reduce writing use counters, tokens, or markers for every statistic. For example:
Life = heart counter
Heroic Moment = star counter
Partial Move = arrow counter
Health Items = round counter with number of Life written on it
Weapons = round counter with Range, To-Hit, and Headshot written on it
Ammo = multiple empty shell casings, or beads or glass tokens

Cards: Create custom cards for Search results so that all the information is present without needing to roll.

Summary Sheet: Create a small index card sized sheet with available Human actions on one side and Zombie actions on the other to prevent referencing the rules.

Measuring Stick: Create multiple pre-cut measuring sticks 4″ long to allow each player to easily and quickly help with Zombie movement.

Timed Turn: Allow 30 seconds (or less) per player to perform their Human turn, including dice rolls. This helps create a sense of tension and panic.

Mass Move: When moving multiple Zombies, just measure movement for the closest figurines, and pile any nearby Zombies in behind without measuring. This is instead of moving each individual Zombie, which can take quite a while.

Mass Roll: When performing a Ranged Attack roll 3 dice at once: 2D6 of one color and 1D6 of another color all at once. The 2D6 represents the To-Hit and the 1D6 represents the Headshot roll.

Scattered Raise: Use a Directional Dice to place Raised Zombies, instead of rolling for table side. Roll 1 Directional Dice per 2 Zombies and place them 12″ away (or less) in the direction indicated.

Development Ideas for v1.2

Posted in blabbering with tags , , , on January 5, 2009 by brainsgame

As I mentioned in a previous post, ongoing development of Brains can be a bit difficult. This is because there aren’t a lot of rules to tweak, and I have to restrict myself from adding needless complexity (which would ruin the purpose of the game).

So I do have some minor ideas for a possible v1.2, but eventually I’ll hit a wall where the ruleset cannot be improved anymore. I mean I could possibly add an “Advanced Rules” section, but that would clog things up and remove the beautiful simplicity of the system.

Anyways, here is my “todo list” for v1.2:

- Change Search results so 6 is Choose and Ammo is moved down the list
- Start the game 1-3 turns in, to give the Humans time to prepare
- Clean up and clarify The Map section somehow (diagrams?)
- Think up more Objectives, or give more specific examples?
- Add detailed Search results generation tables for weapons
- Add detailed terrain generation. Special buildings like Class X Gun Shop, Hospital, etc.
- Reorder headers and content and add a table of contents

For future posts I want to include a few pictures of an actual game in progress, plus some tips on making weapon/ammo counters.

Though after v1.2 posting could become a little quiet. I guess that’s the downside of a smaller project like this…you completely finish it quickly!

Brains Core Rules (v1.1)

Posted in rules with tags , , , on December 18, 2008 by brainsgame

Soon after v1.0 I applied some changes, fixes, and improvements to the game. These came about from further playtesting and ideas the players had.

So here is v1.1 which was a quick update about 2 weeks after the first release. Again any feedback is welcome.

If you care about the exact specific modifications since v1.0, I did maintain a changelog.

Changelog from v1.0 to v1.1

- Reordered Partial Move cirumstance list
- Added Zombie attack limit to 6 at once
- Bullet listed the example weapons
- Alphabetized example weapons
- Changed how Raise Zombies is done
- Added Cleanup Zombies turn action
- Note about moving through figurines
- Rules around changing elevation
- Added limit of 10 Zombies per player
- Allow each Human to Search each building once
- Added 1 Morphine to standard initial equipment
- Add 2D6 Ammo when a Ranged Weapon is found
- Lower Search difficulty to 8 instead of 9
- Allow Humans to transfer equipment within 4"
- Allow Homemade Flamethrower to be used at any time
- Added another Class of weapons (now 1-6)
- Increased Assault Rifle Headshot from 5 to 6
- Increased Sniper Rifle Headshot from 6 to Auto (-)
- Increased Longbow Range from 8 to 10