Aug 042014


Only 8 days left, are you excited yet? Well yesterday we discussed a Dropzone Commander. A game that when it came on the scene it hit the ground running and hasn’t stopped since. Today I’d like to talk about Golem Arcana from Hairbrained Schemes. Hairbrained Schemes is a small group of passionate game developers lead by Jordan Weisman, complete list here.


Duranni colossus

Golem Arcan is a new game that could potentially hold some keys to the future of gaming. Let’s start with the basics. Golem Arcana is a miniatures board game that is striving to incorporate the use of smart devices. I did get a look at the miniatures at Origins and the are excellent. Beautifully sculpted with dynamic poses and painted with vibrant colors, what you would expect from an average to an above average hobby painter. While the miniatures are an important part of the game I don’t believe they are the focus.


The focus falls on the technology. Golem Arcana incorporates the use of smart devices to improve game play. They have done this by creating several features:


Rules integrated into software – stylus point and touch get details.

Mini stats, scan the base and stats appear.

Dice roller for combat.

Scenarios can be very unique. For example item can be hidden on the battlefield for the players to find.

Player database makes the game have a living story. Every game played can effect the storyline.


I have to admit all of those are interesting features. But I’m concerned with a couple of them. Taking away the need for a player to understand the rules may be detrimental to the players brain. It’s that argument of the convenience of computers “rots” your brain. Honestly, I ‘m not set on which is better but having a tool to remind is certainly appealing.


I really dig the concept of scanning the base and seeing the stats. It is probably the nicest of all the ideas, at least when thinking of convenience.


The dice roller is clearly levels the playing field. It eliminates the chance of having loaded dice. It guarantees that random outcome every single time. Some players will be opposed to this, and will say that it’s too much like a computer game.


Looking at scenarios, oh man the sky isn’t the limit. There is really no limit to what they can do here. I mean take a scenario and add element particular to a region and now the playing field is a dessert with special restrictions on movement, or it’s the third day on monsoon season. That is really only the beginning, how about treasures, and random encounters? Heck you can even link stories together to create a campaign. What about the app that allows players to submit scenarios? See; no limit.


An international database is a great idea. A database that sorts, records, and applies the outcome of battle is amazing. I can’t imagine trying to keep up with this kind of information if the game is a hit.


My concerns are that Golem Arcana might be ahead of it’s time and that the gaming community might not be ready for such integration. In either case I will take a serious look at Golem Arcana at Gen Con.


Just thought of this imagine how easy it will be to run tournaments.


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