The Best Board Games of 2015

One of the side-products of not writing a weekly column anymore is that I don’t really need to sit down and figure out my five best games of the year like I’ve done in the past. That’s a shame, because my work with Miniature Market has allowed me to cover far more new games than I would otherwise play. Now that 2015 is in the books I thought it might be a good time to dust off the ol’ blog and talk about what I thought were the best releases of the year. Continue reading

The Group of Ten, 2015-2016 Edition

You may recall that last year I wrote a piece about what games I would keep in my collection if forced to winnow it down to just ten titles. At the time it was just an interesting thought experiment, but it ended up gaining a little traction. My friends at DFW Nerd Nighters ended up doing a whole episode about it, their longest one I believe. This year, Nerd Nighter JR Honeycutt has released an updated version of his list from last year. Continue reading

Darkness and Radiance – Shadows of Malice Review

One of the powers of games is their ability to generate narrative, and there are a lot of different ways to approach this. Some games are satisfied with simply creating a memorable mechanical moment. Some will actually tell the player what is happening through text. Others will work hard to shape the setting through illustration, flavor text, and mechanics. None of these are the wrong way, and I could give examples of each one done well. But I’ve never seen a game that tries to generate narrative and theme in quite the same way as Shadows of Malice, and I’ve seen few that have done it so effectively. Continue reading

The Advantages of Becoming a Board Game Hermit

Like many hobbies in the Twenty-First Century, board gaming actually consists of two hobbies. There’s the actual playing of games, the part where you hang out with friends and enjoy each other’s company while you share an experience that all of you like. But there is also the hobby that takes place online, where you write forum posts, argue back and forth about various topics, and engage in more “advanced” activities, like tracking plays and rating games on BGG. Continue reading

You should play Shadows of Malice

Shadows of Malice

In between writing papers for grad school and chasing my kids, I still try to keep half an eye on what’s going on in the board gaming hobby. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know about the work I’ve done with Miniature Market, and that’s been a good way to continue writing, even if it’s not writing that will appear on this blog. But this weekend I had a gaming experience about which I felt compelled to write. This isn’t really a review, more of a first impressions write-up. But I still wanted to tell you about this game. Continue reading