Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5538 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...
Training Wheels Hot
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5056 0
Being the guy who reviews games means that I’m usually the guy teaching them. This was the case even before I started writing about games regularly, since I was one of the buyers among my friends. I would decide what I wanted to play, buy it if no one had it already, and then teach it to everyone else. Teaching is something that most gamers need to figure out, and I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at it. But lately I’ve grown weary of being the teacher. I’m not sure if it’s a function of too many games,...
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated May 03, 2019 3548 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...
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated May 03, 2019 3589 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.
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5698 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....
Rants & Raves SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 4673 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....
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5013 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...
Rants & Raves SI san il defanso Updated September 22, 2016 5688 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...
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated May 03, 2019 5408 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...
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 6449 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...