Friday Fallout – September 28, 2012


This has occurred to me a few times.

I’m back from Baby Jail! Or at least, I’m on parole so I can actually start blogging again. This won’t be a very long update, as time is short and there isn’t a lot to share. Besides that, I’m a little run-down from lack of sleep. Not from the infant, mind you. No, the toddler is up much earlier, and has the ability to open our bedroom door. Continue reading

Step Right Up – Circus Train Review

circus train

The greatest show on earth

Circus Train is a terrific lesson in how far a good setting can take a game. It doesn’t draw on many original mechanics, but instead selects the appropriate ones for what it tries to accomplish. There’s some low-key economics, pick-up-and-deliver, and good old-fashion screwage. It shows how good design utilizes familiar tricks to do something altogether new and unique. The result is a game that is at once unexpected and familiar, and it makes me reflect that it’s too bad games like this are so rare. Continue reading

Expansion Arrived

So I just got the newest expansion to my life on Friday night. You may be familiar with it, it’s the Second Baby expansion.


Peter Allen, September 7, 2012

I’m busy learning the rules of this new expansion, which are different from the rules for the First Baby expansion. Unfortunately, the expansion came with no rules, and I have had to intuit how to make it work with the base game.

As such, there will be no new article this week (though I might still do Friday Fall0ut, I haven’t decided). I’m still going to post some stuff to F:AT, but they will be articles that you, my loyal reader, have already seen.

Thanks for your patience!

Friday Fallout – September 7, 2012



I’ll be honest: I expected to say that I had a second kid by this time. Our first kid was a week early, so actually waiting for the due date this time has felt like years upon years. But that means that I will get to go to game night tonight. That is until I rush out in an expectant-father flurry of activity. Continue reading

In Sickness and Health, In Strategy and Luck


This is definitely not my wife and I. We NEVER play chess.

On my first date with my wife, we went to a coffee shop. It was the usual chit-chat, just asking about interests and so forth. Since I had just started playing hobby games, I mentioned that I liked to play board games a lot. I assumed the conversation would end there, so I didn’t offer many details. But then she asked me if I’d heard of a game she enjoyed. She couldn’t recall the name, but it involved little wooden men and small tiles that you played together to create roads and cities that gave you points. She was talking about Carcassonne, a game that I had also recently discovered. It was a nice bit of common ground in that nervous world of the first date.

That makes it sound a little like board games brought us together, and I assure you this was not the case. I have plenty of good female friends who are fun to play games with, so if that was my only standard I wouldn’t have been so picky. But for a long time my wife and I did play a lot of games together. It was a standard way to spend an evening for a while. It continued after we got married, for at least a year or so. But then…we had that first kid. Continue reading