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.

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Articles by Nate Owens

164 results - showing 31 - 40
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Ordering
Restoring Balance
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated September 20, 2016 6318   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...
Tales of Wonder - Tales of the Arabian Nights Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated April 16, 2019 3745   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...
Are You Experienced?
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5476   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
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5363   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...
Coming Up For Air
Rants & Raves SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5305   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. ...
Level Up! - Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Review
Mailbag SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 4532   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...
Knights and Robbers - Carcassonne Retrospective
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated April 16, 2019 3701   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...
Hasbromance
Gaming Scene SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 6960   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...
Tash-Kalar
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated April 16, 2019 4200   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...
Cult of the Overrated
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5485   0
Last night some friends and I had a conversation over a board game, as is our tendency. The chitchat wandered over to games that for whatever reason we didn’t like much. Eventually this turned to my well-documented dislike for 7 Wonders. Most people at the table weren’t big fans of the game either, but none of them had quite the depth of my own antipathy. So for the sake of conversation, one of my friends began to offer up counterpoints to my complaints, just as a way to show me that it’s not as bad as all that. One...
164 results - showing 31 - 40
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