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Day 7 - Roll Camera B-Movie

Roll Camera is a cooperative worker placement game where I love the theme and the tongue-in-cheek humour that clearly comes from an industry insider, but that I found the experience just a little lacking.

The base game of Roll Camera is essentially a solo experience split between multiple players, a fact that is evident from the way that dice can become locked as you assign them to work on set, limiting your fellow players to fewer workers. The base game compensates for this solo puzzle nature of the game by having minor player powers for each player and, arguably, the best thing in the game, the "Production Meeting" action. When a player calls a production meeting all other players can pitch an idea card, but they do so without talking to each other. The player who called the meeting then reads out the submitted ideas and chooses one to perform and one to save for later.

The solo puzzle nature however makes the game quite easy to alpha game, with one player calling all the shots and everyone else going along with it.

The second problem with Roll Camera as a base game is the Script. The Script sets up possible end game bonuses and or penalties, however, in the base game of Roll Camera it is possible to win by completely ignoring the script which i find thematically irksome. In a game that is all about theme, you shouldn't set out to make a romantic comedy, and instead film a gothic horror and still be rewarded for doing so.

Roll Camera B-Movie doesn't really address my first concern, the game is still open to abuse by an alpha gamer. What it does do is open up the number of action spaces for your workers. This means that there are a lot more options, rather than a single obvious decision. It also adds new player characters with 3 unique powers rather the base game's two. This makes each player more unique, making their turns matter more.

B-Movie also addresses my bigger problem with the game with the introduction of the Middle Script cards and the genre tokens. Middle Script Cards add a requirement that must be met by the end of the game, generally a number of genre tokens that must be placed on your finished film. While this is only a mechanical change, thematically it means that you have to pay attention to at least part of the script, so that immediately makes me happier!

In addition, the Middle Script cards being mandatory means that you have a lot more work to do, which just makes for a crunchier, more strategic experience. B-Movie, then, for me, is an essential expansion as it fixes a lot of the problems I had with the base game, while really adding a lot to the replayability, along with a bunch more humour! If you liked the concept of Roll Camera but wished the game was just a little something more then I really recommend trying the B-Movie expansion because there's a lot of great ideas packed in a little box...

Plus you can add the genre tokens to your scene cards and literally turn the scenes into a western or a crime drama and who doesn't want to do that?!

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