Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated May 02, 2019 3746 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...
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated September 20, 2016 6395 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...
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated May 02, 2019 3850 0
I still can’t believe that Z-Man’s reprint of Tales of the Arabian Nights had any impact at all. There’s a market for even the dodgiest games, but this one runs counter to just about every trend I had seen in gaming. It’s far too random to approach anything like strategy, and it makes a mockery of player choice. It’s key mechanic involves passing a huge book around the table while you look up numbers on charts to see what paragraph you have to read. It resembles nothing so much as the world’s most expensive Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. How could such...
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5534 0
“It’s more of an experience game.” Gamers have heard this phrase many times, which means it might be borderline meaningless. When I hear it, it conjures up a game where the process of playing it is inherently more important than the final result of who wins. The phrase “experience game” is sometimes used euphemistically for a game that’s a lot of fun but might not meet some nebulous mechanical standard. In that sense it functions as a little of a backhanded compliment, though not necessarily.
In Theory Hot
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5426 0
A little while ago I played Small World for what had to be the fiftieth time. I’ve enjoyed Days of Wonder’s best game since it came out almost five years ago, across a handful of expansions, all sorts of player counts, and a completely alternate version of the game. After you play any game for that long you begin to notice all of its little peculiarities. I began noticing these in Small World a while ago. For one thing, it seems strange that the victory points are totally trackable, since one of the elements that arises in the game...
Rants & Raves SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5356 0
I saw the signs for a while before I did anything about them. Playing games out of duty, not just to review them, just to keep up with a steady stream of releases. Releasing that I hadn’t played my favorite games for a couple of years. Trying to get up excitement for game night only to find that it was wearing thin. Looking through a list of releases and feeling only a gaping sense of exhaustion. I was beginning to run out of goodwill for one of my favorite things. I needed to come up for air. ...
Mailbag SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 4612 0
We’re living in an age of core sets, and core sets are brutally difficult to review. By necessity they are a stripped down form of the game that will look entirely different in a year. Game reviews are therefore forced to either judge a game entirely on potential, or on what does or doesn’t work at the ground floor. By any reasonable measure, I’ve played enough games of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game to produce a solid review. But at this point there is way more content for the game than I have explored, and a fair bit more...
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated May 02, 2019 3807 0
I’ve been active in this hobby for about seven years, and most of my favorite games are associated strongly with a particular place or experience. Maybe it’s a particular session I had that forever changed my opinion of the game, which is what happened with Manila. It might be a game that I loved above all others for an extended period of time, like Battlestar Galactica. And some games, like The Settlers of Catan, have all of those things wrapped up into one. But Carcassonne is unique in the sense that it reminds me of a particular person: my...
Gaming Scene SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 7088 0
Last August I made a trade for Conquest of Nerath, the D&D-themed conquest game from Wizards of the Coast. For months it sat on my game shelf, mostly serving as a toy for my three-year-old son. It was hard to deny its appeal in that regard, but it wasn’t until just this last week that I was able to scare up the four people that so many have recommended. True to my expectations, I had a great time. I have a history of not caring much for dudes-on-a-map games, mostly because I’m kind of an impatient gamer. Conquest...
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated May 02, 2019 4272 0
In The Magicians by Lev Grossman,the main character is sent to a magical boarding school where he is given a certain textbook. This textbook is filled with complicated hand gestures that must be performed precisely to produce their intended effect. The protagonist is made to practice these gestures over and over again, until they become ingrained in his memory and he can produce them all in a moment’s notice. In the process this textbook becomes the bane of his education, a tormentor that reminds him of how far he has to go as a magician. That’s a pretty accurate...