How I Became a Gamer

I was browsing the Geek Weekly issue on Boardgame Geek just now, and included in it was a beautiful post from Neil Bunker, of Great Britain, who just recently rediscovered his love of board games with a chance visit to a bookstore that happened to carry some games.

To him, games were Monopoly or Risk, or even Snakes and Ladders. This visit opened his eyes to what games have become, and how far they’ve moved past all of that.

It reminded me of my own reawakening a few years ago. It wasn’t quite the same type of eye-opening, though it was close.

I grew up being into wargames. I was always a history guy, especially military history, and my brother had some games that we played.

There was the first one I probably played, Rise and Decline of the Third Reich

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This is the 3rd edition cover, but we had the original

There was also the Napoleonic Wars games, War & Peace.

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Quite the evocative cover

We played these a lot when I was a kid. He wiped the floor with me, but it was always fun. And we were able to leave them set up on the card table because our dog wouldn’t jump up and wreck everything. We also had other wargames that we played.

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Origins Awards Nominees Announced

I just saw on the Dice Tower News site that the Origins Awards nominees have now been announced.

In looking at the list, I see that I’ve played…all of two games in all the various categories put together (Terraforming Mars and World’s Fair 1893).

Thus, I can’t really comment on which games should or will win in their respective categories.

I will say, however, a hearty congratulations to Renegade Games and designer J. Alex Kevern for the Worlds Fair 1893 nomination in the Board Games category!

This is such a wonderful game that I could gush for hours on it (but I won’t…unless somebody ticks me off).

If you want to see me gush a little bit, you could check out my review of the game.

Renegade Games seems to have really come into its own this year, at least from what I’ve seen. This game, and two other games that I really want to play but haven’t had a chance to yet (Clank: A Deck-Building Adventure and Lotus) which were also nominated for awards, all of them are or sound wonderful.

Once again, congratulations to all who were nominated!

I’ll leave you with a Worlds Fair 1893 picture, just to once again showcase the beautiful artwork done for this fantastic game

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It even works well with 2 players!!!

 

The Arrival – Martin Wallace

Martin Wallace is a widely-liked designer. He’s designed a great variety of excellent games, such as Brass, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, (two of my favourite games) and a lot more as well.

Cryptozoic Entertainment has announced that they will be bringing one of his latest games to a wider distribution.

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The Arrival came out at Essen last November, so it is technically a 2016 game. But its release has been limited, until Fall 2017.

In The Arrival, 2-4 players vie to bring the island now called Ireland (then called “Erin”) out from under the cruel rule of the Fomori. Each player is a warlord trying to increase his/her dominance over the island and beating the Fomori back. But spreading too quickly can increase corruption, which strengthens the Fomori.

What I find really interesting about this game (or the sound of it, anyway, since I have not seen it or played it) is that when the game ends, there are two possible ways to score it: Fewest Corruption if corruption has spread so badly that the Fomori control more of the island than all of the tribes, or most Fame points if the players control more of the island than the Fomori do.

It sounds like players have to walk a fine line in gaining their fame points, because if they do too much too quickly, the Fomori will end up controlling more and then Corruption will be the deciding factor.

And vice versa.

I’ll be interested in seeing this when it comes out.

It will be coming your way in Autumn 2017.

The $40 MSRP is kind of attractive too.

Star Realms App Update – Colony Wars

One of the best card game implementations for digital boardgames has to be the Star Realms app. This 2-player card game has you trying to reduce your opponent to zero Authority (sort of like a teenager does to his parents) meanwhile buying more ships and bases in order to do even more damage to your opponent (or buy stronger cards).

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Yes, that is the Easy AI, but this shot was taken for blogging purposes. Not because I suck.

Like many deck-builder games, it has a row of cards you can purchase with the cards in your hand, which you add to your deck to make it stronger.

I won’t bore you with the details, however.

What I will bore you with is that there is a huge update coming on Wednesday, May 17 that you need to be aware of.

Wait, that didn’t come out right…

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Kickstarter: The Flow of History

Every once in a while, it’s cool to browse the crowdfunding announcements for board games, just to see what may be coming down the pike. Most of them don’t sound that interesting, and I had never backed anything until the recent Pursuit of Happiness expansion.

But then I saw an ad for a game called The Flow of History, designed by Jesse Li with art by Desnet Amane, SY Li and Adam P. McIver, being published by Tasty Minstrel Games. History? I’m a History guy. Card game? Hell yeah, card games are cool. Building rival civilizations? Despite the current political climate, I’m pretty cool with that too.

After a few days of thinking about it (and a switch from IndieGogo to Kickstarter), I decided to pull the trigger and back it.

The Flow of History
Beautiful cover

Here’s why.

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Review – Epic Spell Wars: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre

Apparently, being a wizard isn’t all the fun and games that our good friend Mr. Potter has shown us.

Sure, he had to face off and defeat He Who Shall Not Be Named, but he managed to do so while not using one bad word or double entendre.

But that’s not the wizard reality!

I know this, because I’ve played Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre (yes, that is the whole name, and yes, I didn’t want to make the URL of this review take up the entire tweet by putting the whole name in the title).

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AEG’s Destination Fun pack coming in June

I’m a big fan of the Trains deck-building game from Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG). It’s a very popular game, and I can definitely see why. I even have enjoyed (and currently own) Planes, though that one isn’t as popular. Finally, while I don’t own it (yet), I have loved playing Automobiles online at the Yucata site, and it will be in my collection one day.

Are you sensing a theme here?

Yes, all three games are from AEG and have nothing to do with that 1980s movie of the same name if you put them all together in the proper way.

Coming in June, there will be expansions out for all three games.

Christened the Destination Combo Fun Pack, it will include lots of great stuff if you are fans of all three games.

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It’s bright! It’s lively! It’s….$80 MSRP

The contents look really neat.

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More 80’s – The Thing Coming to Your Table

I didn’t realize with yesterday’s Rambo post that this would actually be becoming a Thing, but apparently it is.

Yes, the 1980s are invading the 2010s, and they are winning.

The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 is a new game coming out by Mondo with Project Raygun (a “designer collectibles” division started by USAopoly).

The Thing

There is more detail about it on Mondo’s web site, but it looks really cool.

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Race for the Galaxy app is real – and it’s Marvelous

As promised (and this is so rare in the boardgame App world!), Race for the Galaxy came out for iOS and Android on May 3.

Released by Temple Gates Games, this app is probably a new benchmark in digital board game development. It’s pretty, it plays well, it has asynchronous multiplayer, three levels of AI (including the infamous Keldon AI for the highest difficulty, which will kick your butt and then give you a wedgie for good measure).

The layout is gorgeous.

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You really do feel like you’re colonizing planets…sort of.

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The 80s are Returning!!! – Rambo Kickstarter Upcoming

You can tell that many current game designers grew up in the 1980s.

We’re in that sweet spot where 35-45 year-olds are really getting into game design, and why not use something that we grew up when designing a game?

First, there was (in 2016) Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China, a game based on a very niche movie that has a cult following.

Then there is the upcoming Big Trouble in Little China: the Game that is coming out sometime soon (or maybe it came out and I missed it?)

But now, somebody’s coming to kick Jack Burton’s ass.

That’s right, Rambo’s coming.

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You must play this game bare-chested…

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