One of the great appeals of board games is the social aspect. You’re sitting around the table with a bunch of friends (or maybe not so much friends as “somebody from the group who I don’t know but who has agreed to play this game”), playing a game but also getting some social time in. You’re communicating with somebody who isn’t just something posted on your Facebook page.
There’s something to be said for physical contact (and by that I don’t mean just touching, but also inhabiting the same space as somebody and talking by using your mouth and not your keyboard).
But what happens if one of your gaming buddies moves across the continent? What if you have some friends on Boardgame Geek, but you’re in California and they’re in Great Britain?
That’s when gaming online can be such a godsend.
Castles of Burgundy, Takenoko, The Voyages of Marco Polo, and so many other games are available to be played online, either asynchronously or live.
(The Castles of Burgundy, in case you don’t read German and it’s not otherwise obvious)
March was actually a very good month for “new to me” games, and I even managed to hit three 2017 games in there!
The year is off to a good start.
Pretty much everything was light, filler stuff (which is never a bad thing for me), except for one game that’s fun, but a bit longer than it really needs to be.
Beginning with a stellar card game.
In yesterday’s Q&A, Bezier Games social media manager Phoebe Wild mentioned the Quantic Foundry boardgaming profile.
I had never heard of it, so I felt I had to check it out and see just what my profile is.
Not surprisingly, it’s quite a bit opposite of Phoebe’s (99% motivated by Strategy).
I do really enjoy the strategic element of games, and am greatly looking forward to sinking my teeth into a heavy strategy game this weekend.
But I do love my deck-building card games and dice games (Pandemic: the Cure is to die for), so my Chance rating really brought down my Strategy rating a great deal.
Interested in seeing what your profile is?
Why not take the test and find out?
In some of my social media postings, I have mentioned that Potion Explosion worked better for me in app form because it was too fiddly on the table.
This brings to mind something that I’ve thought about quite a bit.
What other board games have apps (either on iOS or Steam) that are preferable to playing the board game?
The crown jewel of that, for me, is Ascension. Deckbuilders in general work great as apps because you have no cards to wreck while shuffling and all of the shuffling/dealing is done for you. And you don’t have to put out more money for sleeves.
What’s not to like?
But there’s one game that I really think of when I think of board games that I have no interest in playing on the table but will easily play the electronic version.
That game is the Games Workshop classic, Talisman.
First, the app is just phenomenal and Nomad Games has done a marvelous job with it. They support it, put out plenty of bug fixes, and are working diligently at putting out all of the expansions. To date, they’ve released three of the big box expansions (expansions that add to the board) as well as four or five small box expansions (expansions that just add characters and cards).
This is the story of how I recently backed, and am greatly looking forward to, the new expansion for the game The Pursuit of Happiness. Called Community, it has a pledge level that allows you to get the base game as well.
I’m not normally a backer of Kickstarter board games. Hell, I think I’ve backed two video games and that’s it.
However, I’ve been recently rethinking that stance. I started playing some games that had originally been funded on Kickstarter and found that they were actually pretty cool games.
Then two things happened within hours of each other. First, I kept reading about how good this game was. I then was browsing the board game section of Kickstarter and found the Community expansion’s page there. I started thinking about it.
Then my friend and co-blogger wrote the great post about deciding what to crowdfund. The combination of those two things, plus a bit of heavy thinking, and suddenly I’m backing my first Kickstarter board game.
And I’m happy to do it.
(Edit: This is one of my Top 25 Games Played of all Time, as of February 2019 anyway. Check out the other games as well!)
Everybody knows those standard card games. Hearts, Spades…of course the world needs games for the other suits, don’t they?
Yes, there is a Clubs game out too, but that’s not what this review is about.
It’s about the totally awesome (said totally in a Valley Girl way) game called Diamonds, published by Stronghold Games and designed by Mike Fitzgerald, thus completing the standard suit names for games (I think they probably win an award for that).
I have to say that this is quickly becoming my favourite card game ever. It takes everything that is cool about card games like Hearts or Spades, and then amps it up to infinity (ok, a tad overstated, but you get the gist).
I am a big fan of the deck-building game Ascension. It was the first real game I played when I returned to the board-gaming world, so it’s always held a soft spot in my heart.
Called Ascension: Gift of the Elements, this expansion brings back a couple of mechanics that I’ve loved from previous editions: Events and Transform.
One of the really fun things about board games, besides playing them if they are really good, is that wonderful feeling when you first get a game. It’s all in shrink wrap, pristine, nobody has touched what’s inside. It has that new game smell.
What’s waiting for you when you take off that lid? You know that there are going to be a bunch of counter sheets and a board, or some cards or something, but what will it look like? And what will it look like when you have spent the time punching out everything and bagging it up?
Is there a nice place to put all of the stuff you just punched out or the cards from which you’ve removed all the cellophane? Is it an empty box without even any baggies (like the first edition of The Castles of Mad King Ludwig)?
Some games come with beautiful inserts that fit everything perfectly.
Others are Fantasy Flight Games.
(Planet Steam insert above)
Don’t get me wrong. Fantasy Flight Games isn’t the only competitor in the crappy insert tournament. But they would win a lot of years.