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 41 - 50
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Roller Coaster Robots - Steam Park Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 3386   0
For a member of the “gaming press” I’m not particularly good at keeping up with all of the buzz that comes out of the Spiel in Essen. It’s one of the biggest gaming events of the year, but most of what gets released is totally outside of my knowledge. I’m not sure if Steam Park was some hotly anticipated game or a dark horse that no one knew about before. But I do think that it might turn some heads and become something that people talk about now that it’s out. It’s an unexpectedly fun game, one that leavens...
A Friendly Knife-Fight - El Grande Retrospective
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 3461   0
One of the most unfortunate tendencies when discussing board games on the internet is the way games are described solely through their mechanics. It’s like someone asking how dinner was, and being given a list of ingredients as a response. Such a description is technically accurate, but falls short of giving any actual information. Any game is greater (or less) than the sum of its parts. It’s not the individual pieces that determine how a game functions, but rather how they synchronize with each other when combined with human opponents. Few games show that disparity quite like...
The Best Games of 2013
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5614   0
Every end-of-the-year board game article I read makes a general assessment over the entire year, something I’ve never felt qualified to do. For starters, there are a lot of big releases that I still haven’t played. If I don’t get a review copy of something, I have to catch the wave of popularity every new release gets before my gaming friends have moved on. When that doesn’t happen, it becomes less likely that I’ll get around to something without trading for it. That’s why a couple of major releases like Pathfinder and Kemet passed by without comment from me....
My 2013 Ancient Treasures
Rants & Raves SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 4591   0
Ahh, the Christmas season. Irritating songs, endless social functions with co-workers, and a easy five pounds to round out that girlish figure. For a game blogger/writer, it’s also a time to start making lists. I already did one a couple weeks ago with my favorite games ever, which is an annual tradition I’ve done for four years now. In a couple of weeks I’ll have one with my top games released roughly in 2013. The problem with a “best of 2013? list is that it isn’t altogether indicative of games that got me excited through the year....
Is the Age of Reprints Over?
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 4937   0
I visited a friend of mine to play some games a couple of weeks ago, and as often happens we spent some time chatting about different games we enjoy. I commented on his copy of the Fantasy Flight edition of Dungeonquest, and he informed me that it’s now unavailable with no plans for a reprint. Scouring the BGG forums, I did see a rumor that it might come back in a new edition, closer to its classic incarnation without the new combat. That seems little more than speculation, however. As of right now, all we know is that a...
The Twelve Games of Christmas - 2013 Edition
Rants & Raves SI san il defanso Updated September 22, 2016 5561   0
This is the fourth year I’ve done a big countdown for my top twelve games, but I still feel like it’s a work in progress. My first installment back in 2010 seemed to assume that these were the twelve “best games EVAR,” like there was a standard that these games were held up to, and they were the ones found to be at the top of a linear list of every game I own. Now that I’m putting together this list for the fourth time, that’s obviously a load of crap. Not that I don’t consider these games among...
A Once and Future Rumble - Duel of Ages II Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5109   0
The first iteration of Duel of Ages came out ten years ago, but it’s follow-up feels like something much older. I don’t mean that in a dismissive way at all, but rather that the game eschews a lot of design trends and so-called advances from the last 15 years or so in favor of something elemental and pure. It’s a little like playing an old-school video game that bypasses all influences in the 3D age and instead steals from every game of the SNES era. I suppose Duel of Ages II will confound a lot of contemporary gamers, but...
Faidutti's Triple Play
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 6288   0
One of my strongest influences in board gaming came from noted French designer Bruno Faidutti. Aside from his many designs over the past 15 years, at one point he maintained one of best board gaming sites on the internet, his Ideal Game Library. This was a valuable resource to me as a new gamer, because it showed me two very important things: that gaming had a rich and eclectic history, and that I did not need to like every popular game. Of course, Bruno is best known for his games, which are numerous and varied. I’ve gone all over...
Another Thing to Chase
Gaming Scene SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5807   0
It was just over nine years ago that my friend introduced me to The Settlers of Catan. As much as any game I’ve played, it was love at first sight, a revelation, an experience like nothing I had before. Strategy, interaction, and wonderful times with my friends all in a one-hour game. I bought a copy, played it to death, and got most of my friends hooked. I assumed that was the end of it, and I never bothered to look further into the hobby.  
Temple Hopping - Relic Runners Review
 
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Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated September 20, 2016 3545   0
Relic Runners is a game that dwells in the shadowy realm of the okay. It has absorbed too many lessons from modern game design to be anything close to bad. It’s a surprisingly thoughtful design, one that has gotten a little bit better with every play. Still, I’ve yet to play it with anyone who was wowed by it. The response when we finish a game is almost always “not bad,” or “alright.” It’s too competent to be ignored, but too bland to make much of an impression.
163 results - showing 41 - 50
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