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Twilight Inscription

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21 Apr 2022 09:54 #332435 by Ah_Pook
Twilight Inscription was created by Ah_Pook
Twilight Imperium roll and write incoming. This makes me laugh, but I'm curious too. No other info aside from this existing yet.



imgur.com/N86VaK3

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21 Apr 2022 10:14 #332436 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Twilight Inscription
I think there's somewhat interesting space in the more complex roll and write space that leans heavier into choices and dice manipulation. Charlie Theel reviewed one, I think it was about wall building in Rome. I doubt that's the direction they're going with this one since it's mass market, but the Twilight Imperium name would lend itself to the more complex direction.

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21 Apr 2022 10:23 - 21 Apr 2022 10:25 #332437 by sornars
Replied by sornars on topic Twilight Inscription
Hadrian's Wall is the one you're thinking of I believe. I remarked yesterday that I've yet to find a Roll and Write that was genuinely interesting. I think even in their best form they strike me as more of an activity vs a game on the dreaded activity-game spectrum. I can't help but put them in the same category as crosswords and sudokus rather than board games. The injection of randomness is what differentiates them but they feel very similar in execution. To that end, Railway Ink is still on my phone and good for a 5 minute break but not much more than that.

All of that is to say is that I'm cautiously curious but not exactly hopeful on how this will turn out.
Last edit: 21 Apr 2022 10:25 by sornars.
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21 Apr 2022 10:28 #332438 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Twilight Inscription
Let's just say I'm not out here on the preorder list for it.

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21 Apr 2022 10:30 #332439 by Ah_Pook
Replied by Ah_Pook on topic Twilight Inscription
I believe the quote from the Livestream was " Twilight Inscription is to other roll and writes what TI4 is to other boardgames", and the screenshot of the boards there certainly looks like a lot going on.
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21 Apr 2022 10:57 - 21 Apr 2022 10:58 #332441 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Twilight Inscription
I worry about the gimmick factor.

Hadrian's Wall doesn't quite feel like a gimmick to me. It feels like the game is leveraging the roll and write framework to enhance the modern Euro strategic space, or at least accomplish something new that's in line with the typical strategic flow of needing to think a couple of turns ahead, and converting or chaining one resource into another. There's a strong system mastery element to it that's been devoid of other roll and write's I've played.

Similarly, my new favorite roll and write, Long Shot: The Dice Game, doesn't feel like a gimmick. It feels like a regular horse racing game that utilizes R&W mechanisms to facilitate nearly simultaneous action. It's about presenting everyone with a limited set of options, each of those options in service to manipulating the current status of the race or shift your bets. It doesn't feel like a roll & write because it doesn't have the same focal points that they tend to.

But this, I dunno. I obviously have no idea what it exactly is, but I'm imagining a 4x or area control game utilizing roll and write mechanisms. Again, I'm worried about it feeling like a gimmick. I don't want a lengthy roll and write for the sake of a lengthy roll and write. Just like I didn't want a horse racing roll and write for its sake.

Unlike Long Shot, I don't see how the roll and write structure or influence can enhance the underlying genre game.

This coalesces with some other thoughts I've had concerning Last Light which is currently on Kickstarter. That's a 4X, that by all accounts, actually accomplishes its stated mission goal of handling a large player count in 60 minutes.

What I think Last Light misses, and what I'm fearful Twilight Inscription does as well, is that a primary component of the 4X experience is its scope and epic nature. By shortening that experience down to a more miniscule length, you lose the impact and breadth that are key traits to the genre.

Let me put it another way - say Twilight Inscription provides a robust yet shortened 4X experience by using roll and write mechanisms. Why would I want to play a cut down TI4 instead of just playing a very good area control game that is of equal length? Like I could be playing Blood Rage or Cyclades, each bearing some crossover elements of 4X, if I have 90 minutes.

Maybe it's for people that really like the specific mechanisms of roll and write. The ticking of boxes, simultaneous play, and the craft-like nature of having your own sheet to doodle upon. OK, but are those the same people that love the TI4 property?

I'm failing to see an actual niche or creative stake for this title to claim. Of course, I'll be more than happy to give it a shot though.
Last edit: 21 Apr 2022 10:58 by charlest.
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21 Apr 2022 11:03 #332442 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Twilight Inscription
You play it first so we don't have to. That's what a critic does, right? ha.
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21 Apr 2022 12:10 #332449 by ChristopherMD
Replied by ChristopherMD on topic Twilight Inscription
Watched the designer talk about it in vague terms. He loves roll-writes and wanted to make a giant one. There are four different boards used to track different aspects of the game.

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21 Apr 2022 12:24 #332450 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Twilight Inscription
I found Hadrians Wall enjoyable but very limited; there are some core strategies to double down on in order to build a successful engine which are easy to discover and the random elements just don’t provide enough fog around that to cause much of an impact or distraction. I did enjoy the process of playing it though, the actual engine is kind of fun and restful to put together. It really didn’t leverage the (flip) and write aspect much; as my lad remarked it would work perfectly well with dual layer boards and a bag of wooden cubes as all you do is cross stuff off tracks.

I’m intrigued by the cartographers one where you actually have a thematic purpose to the writing/drawing. There’s a niche Zombie apocalypse game called ‘Everything Lost’ where you draw and update a map as you play based on card draws although the latter and maybe both might be right on the edge of what we consider roll & write. A subset therein of map-drawing games? There’s a dungeon crawling one put there as well although the name escapes me at the moment.

I think you could call Treasure Island a game that uses drawing as an innovative element, although not the traditional ‘everyone write the same thing in your own way in your own space’ manner.

‘All on one card’ is a fun one, it’s more of a Yahtzee variant than anything else though. I think there are a few titles out there that are trying to either use R&W as a background mechanism or to do something different or thematic with the activity, but where it often fails for me is when it is presented as the core[\i] of a game.
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21 Apr 2022 16:18 #332460 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Twilight Inscription

Ah_Pook wrote: I believe the quote from the Livestream was " Twilight Inscription is to other roll and writes what TI4 is to other boardgames", and the screenshot of the boards there certainly looks like a lot going on.

So I'm going to be scrawling on a notepad for six hours, while people try to convince me that "It's a Cold War 4X roll-and-write!" Sign me up for some of that! :)

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22 Apr 2022 12:36 #332478 by jason10mm
Replied by jason10mm on topic Twilight Inscription

mezike wrote: There’s a dungeon crawling one put there as well although the name escapes me at the moment.


You are probably thinking of Dungeon Scrawlers, the DnD one. It is a race between players to navigate a maze with little doodle obstacles that each character class can overcome in slightly different ways. Pretty fun with kids, but it lacks much depth beyond rapidly remembering how to get past each block. Has 10 mazes though so it has decent replayability.

I think there is a space for a complex dry erase/rolln'write game. There is a pleasing tactile component to it that can be exploited. But like a lot of solo games, it can easily become "accounting: the game" if it involves lots of charts, calculations, and background mechanics driven by the same player.
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22 Apr 2022 13:27 #332482 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Twilight Inscription
I personally wouldn't put Dungeon Scrawlers or Treasure Island in the same conversation as roll and writes. I understand why they're brought up here as they do share the drawing element, but I think that's less a necessary component of roll and writes as opposed to something a couple of them utilize.

The simultaneous play aspect and multiple players reacting to the same piece of randomized information (the roll or card draw) is the key aspect of a roll and write as seen in the fledgling hobbyist genre. I'd say Karuba is much more a roll and write than Dungeon Scrawlers for instance.

Cartographers is creative, but I never felt like I was actually making a map. There are no geographic considerations for the sake of geography, it's all just directed by point scoring cards which are somewhat random in terms of enforcing setting or world logic.

Additionally, maybe im just a lousy artist, but the end product of cartographers never actually looks remotely similar to a fantasy map. My 10 year old dungeon master self could make a better map in five minutes than I will produce in 30 minutes of cartographers.

I think Cartographers would be a much more interesting design if there were two phases, the standard game as it is now, and then some kind of travelling party aspect where a group of adventurers traverses your created map, with the incentives to create a map for this phase competing with the scoring goals of the first phase. That would scrape away the artificiality of the game's current setting.
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22 Apr 2022 13:57 #332484 by DarthJoJo
Replied by DarthJoJo on topic Twilight Inscription

charlest wrote: I think Cartographers would be a much more interesting design if there were two phases, the standard game as it is now, and then some kind of travelling party aspect where a group of adventurers traverses your created map, with the incentives to create a map for this phase competing with the scoring goals of the first phase. That would scrape away the artificiality of the game's current setting.

Sounds like you just want Galaxy Trucker.
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22 Apr 2022 13:57 #332485 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic Twilight Inscription
I hate to be the one to tell y’all but roll and write games are gamified paperwork.
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22 Apr 2022 14:25 #332486 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Twilight Inscription
I hate to tell you, Barnes, but every single board game is essentially a form of gameified paperwork.
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