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,, 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 51 - 60
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My Magical Mystery Tour - Part Two
Rants & Raves SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 4085   0
As I’ve written previously, this summer some friends and I started a “Magic: The Gathering” league, where we each buy the same number of boosters on a monthly basis and add them to our pool of cards. We then meet on a regular basis to run the decks against each other, and we play a lot on the side as well. The league is now in its third month, and has actually started to grow and become a bigger deal than I anticipated. So far official league play has consisted of two meetups where everyone plays everyone else, a...
Games I'll Never Design
Gaming Scene SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 5169   0
I hate playtesting games. A big part of this is because 90% of all designed games aren’t worth publishing in the first place, and I frankly don’t need to play someone else’s take on deck-building or worker placement. My gaming time is too precious to waste on polishing someone else’s game, especially if it’s not a very good one. Besides that, I just don’t have a lot of patience for the process of design and playtesting. I don’t know how other people can stay engaged with a design long enough to see it through to completion, so I have...
Flying at the Olympics - Magical Athlete Retrospective
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated September 24, 2016 3293   0
If I’m really honest with myself, I sometimes resent playing games with non-gamers. That’s not meant as a slight against anyone at all, just the admission of a selfish gamer. I always worry that I’ll pick something complex that they won’t like, or that I’ll have to hold their hand through the whole experience. The fact that this usually isn’t a problem doesn’t keep the fear from rising up in my throat. I am jealous of my game-playing time these days, so it takes effort to get over myself and just play something. To do that, I keep...
M-O-O-N, That Spells Game - Moonbase Alpha Review
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 3327   0
People love strategy and decisions, but they present a real danger of making a game more trouble than it’s worth. I’ve been generally positive on Victory Point Games, whose small-box games have covered an enormous breadth of topics and mechanics. Moonbase Alpha had all the earmarks of something I would like, from a cool 1970s sci-fi theme to dice-based combat. And yet in practice it was irritating and overwrought. It  complicates things it doesn’t need to and presents strategic opportunities I didn’t really need.
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated August 30, 2018 4993   0
Lords of Waterdeep was one of 2012's best games, and it did it by not doing anything too fancy. It valued straightforward rules and intuitive strategy over originality and cleverness, and it ended up becoming one of my favorite eurogames of the last few years. Since it was able to achieve so much by consolidating the strengths of its genre and executing those strengths impeccably, it’s fitting that the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion operates on much the same principle. Instead of introducing a slew of new mechanics and complications, it falls back on the core strengths of the original...
Throw Me The Idol! - Escape: The Curse of the Temple Review
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 3516   0
Escape is not a perfect game, but it has one thing that is a good sign: I always want to play it again. It’s like an enormous tin of cookies that you keep eating until you realize that half the tin is gone and you actually feel a little sick. I went to a game day a couple of weeks ago, and taught the game to a friend or two. We played, no joke, about seven times right then and there. There’s no such thing as only one game of Escape. It only exists in the plural. ...
Columbian Exchange of Fire - Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia Review
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 2960   0
I might as well get this out of the way right now: I’ve never played Bioshock Infinite. I got about an hour into the original Bioshock, but from everything I can see Infinite is an altogether different beast. I don’t know my Booker from my Handyman. But I defy anyone to look at the production of Plaid Hat’s new board game adaptation and not be at least a little excited about playing it. It’s the sort of game where seeing it all laid out on the table makes me salivate with anticipation. I have no idea if fans of...
Commitment Issues
Rants & Raves SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 3830   0
This last week I completed a local no-ship math trade. For you non-gamers out there, that means I essentially put some games I don’t play anymore into a lottery, and received different games in exchange. I was particularly excited to receive a copy of Blood Bowl 3rd Edition this time around. A friend was kind enough to walk me through a partial game, just to get a taste for how to play. I had a wonderful time watching my orc team fall down and pass poorly. It makes me excited to play again as soon as possible, which...
My Magical Mystery Tour
Analysis SI san il defanso Updated September 22, 2016 4241   0
Until this year, I think everyone had played Magic: the Gathering except for me. I moved overseas literally months before it debuted in 1993, and it totally passed me by. I never felt like it was a big gap in my life, but as I got further into the hobby it started to feel like the proverbial elephant in the room, a bizarre oversight considering my obsessive love for Magic’s most obvious ancestor, Cosmic Encounter. My taste in games has grown to embrace games with built-in imbalances and bizarre card interactions. Of course, a lot...
A Not-Quite-Three-Hour Tour - Robinson Crusoe Review
Board Game Reviews SI san il defanso Updated January 28, 2015 3589   0
I’m so over the entire genre of cooperative games. I’ve seen too many of them fall into the same traps to ever have too much faith in them. This is not because of the “quarterback problem,” so called because one person can command everyone else around the table. I’ve always considered that to be an interpersonal problem more than one based on design. My real issue is that it’s tough to build a lot of variety into a game that relies on AI. It’s not that the games get easy, though that can be an issue....
163 results - showing 51 - 60
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