Articles by Nate Owens

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After a childhood spent pestering his parents and sister to play Monopoly, Scrabble, and Mille Bornes, Nate discovered The Settlers of Catan in college. From there it was only a matter of time before he fell down the rabbit hole of board gaming. Nate has been blogging since college, and writing about board games since 2007. His reviews have appeared on his blog, sanildefanso.wordpress.com, and on Miniature Market. Nate enjoys games with a lot of interaction, as well as games with an unconventional approach to theme.

163 results - showing 21 - 30
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Ordering
All My Lovin' - Love Letter Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 4070   0
I’m not sure I actually like Love Letter, but I also don’t know if I’d ever turn down a game of it. What would be the point of refusing to play? It’s such a trifle that I find it hard to believe that anyone would hate it enough to want nothing to do with it. In fact the most impressive thing about Love Letter is probably that it makes a case for itself at all, over easier activities like having a sip of coffee or sitting quietly. It’s just good enough to justify its existence and it...
Heroes and Wonders - Mare Nostrum Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated July 26, 2018 3862   0
I received my copy of Mare Nostrum in a trade almost five years ago, and I have played many times. Just this weekend I played it after an extended hiatus. We were playing with the Mythology expansion, where the players have the option to call upon the favor of a god to give them a one-shot boost for the round. I made the foolish decision to spend the resources to use a god that actually was a lot less useful than I had expected. Mare Nostrum is not a very forgiving game when it comes to wasting resources, and...
Board Gaming's Vanishing History
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated September 21, 2016 8835   0
A couple of years ago I wrote an article talking about the lack of historical context within the board gaming hobby, especially when compared to other mediums. There is a pervasive ambivalence about old games in the hobby today, which is increasingly focused on the newest Kickstarter campaign and the churn of the right-now. At the time I thought that there was hope for those of us who really enjoy older games, because I believed we were living in the age of reprints. Back then old classics like Wiz-War, Merchant of Venus, and Survive! were getting top shelf...
Good News For Lonely Mages - Mage Knight: The Lost Legions Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated September 23, 2016 4481   0
It says something about Mage Knight’s quality that even as my life has become less permitting of long dense games, I still find time to play Vlaada Chvatil’s classic several times a year. I enjoyed it when I first got it two years ago, but it has only improved since then. The more time I spend with it, the more I am convinced it is not only Chvatil’s best game, but perhaps one of the best fantasy board games ever designed. But one thing I didn’t think the game needed was an expansion. It’s such a vast ocean...
Cat Sack Fever - Felix: The Cat In The Sack Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated September 24, 2016 2949   0
When I write about older games I try to find one that a lot of people have played, or maybe one that could be considered a classic. By that standard, Felix: The Cat In The Sack seems awfully slight. It’s a little 30-minute trifle by Friedemann Friese, who is much better known for his bigger designs like Power Grid. It was well-regarded when it came out several years ago, but like a lot of minor hits from that time period it’s been passed by in an age of deckbuilders and crowdfunding. Still it’s proven to be something of...
You Dirty, Rotten... - Intrigue Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 2857   0
If we were to classify games like boxers, based on weight, I think that Intrigue might win the award for the most conniving game in its class. It forces the player to make endless promises to get ahead, and then it makes you break at least some of those promises, trampling on the needs and desires of your fellow players. My friends and I have joked that you lose a little bit of your soul every time you play, and there are moments when I’ve felt genuinely guilty for what the game is requiring of me. I would...
Flip-Flopping
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5465   0
I owe Lost Cities an apology. Lost Cities is the classic two-player card game by Reiner Knizia, a perennial favorite of gamers for more than a decade now. Not me though. In fact I would say I just about hated it. Oh, I had plenty of reasons why, but the biggest one was that I just couldn’t see how the game was anything besides a complete crapshoot. You play cards that represent going on an expedition, with the idea that you need to reach a certain level on that expedition before you actually can score any points. I...
Hex Education - Wiz-War: Malefic Forces Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated September 23, 2016 3386   0
For several years, I’ve was convinced that Fantasy Flight’s greatest reprint was the outstanding work they’ve done on Cosmic Encounter. They republished a long out-of-print classic and made it relevant for new audiences, but they also support it with solid expansion work that keeps taking players deeper in the world of the game. Well, don’t be surprised if one year from now we’re crowning a new champion, because I’m starting to think that as an update to a classic game Wiz-War might be even better. The first expansion, Malefic Curses, is everything it needed to be. I can...
I Think I Smell A Rat - The Resistance Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 3489   0
Three years ago I promised I would never play The Resistance again. Back then it was a brand new game, the newest entry in the swelling ranks of suspicion games. Our group had been playing it a lot lately, since it’s short and uncomplicated. The first ten games or so I had a great time, but as it started coming out a little more frequently I realized that it was wearing thin. One particular session was enough for me to decide to close the book on The Resistance, and I stayed with my plan for a full three...
Restoring Balance
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated September 20, 2016 6273   0
One of my favorite things about board gaming is the math trade. For those who’ve never had the pleasure of participating in one, it’s essentially an enormous board game lottery without nearly as much risk. You list games that you have to trade to other people, and everyone adds theirs to the same list. Then you each put together a list of games from the big list that you would accept for your games, and a computer program puts together trade loops so that people end up with new games for their old ones. If that sounds a...
163 results - showing 21 - 30
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