The Best Games of 2012

It's a major award.It is the sworn duty of every board game writer to come up with a “best of” article at the end of every year. This is carved in stone, from the beginning of the internet. I’m curious sometimes what would happen if someone were to NOT give their year-in-review article. I suspect that the internet would proceed as it always has, but I worry there’s a slim chance it sends us plummeting to a fiery death. I think it might be better not to risk it. Continue reading

Friday Fallout – January 25, 2013

Hey, what’s going on? It’s been a couple weeks since there’s been fallout on a Friday, but I can be as lazy as I want on my own blog. Not that it’s hurting me too much, since the amount of content on this page actually has very little impact on my life. But I did just score a link from Reddit that you can see here. This kind of thing will stop being a big deal when it happens more often, so if you think it’s pointless to comment on such things, you should link to this blog more often, and it’ll be so boring that I don’t comment on it anymore. So that might work… Continue reading

In Ages Past – Clash of Cultures Review

Clash of Cultures

Best cover image of 2012? MAYBE.

Does the world really need another Civ game? If you had asked me a year ago, I probably would have said no. Not only is it a crowded genre, it’s crowded with classics. There’s the old Francis Tresham game from Avalon Hill, still played by people with more time than I have. Vlaada Chvatil’s Through The Ages is one of the highest-rated games on Boardgame Geek. Kevin Wilson and Fantasy Flight cashed in on the popular computer game license a couple years ago with their own civ game. And I’ve personally always had enormous respect for Serge Laget’s Mare Nostrum. That doesn’t begin to touch on less epic games that incorporate aspects of civ games (like Settlers of Catan and Innovation) or that transport the genre to a more speculative setting (like Eclipse or Runewars). It is into this cramped space that Christian Marcussen felt compelled to launch his sophomore effort, Clash of Cultures.  Continue reading

The Expansion Bubble

Fat man = lots of expansions?

A human representation of Arkham Horror with all nine expansions.

The first hobby game that I learned to play was The Settlers of Catan, which I got into just prior to my senior year of college. Needless to say, it was a big hit with me and my friends, but we had a very real problem with the game: it only played four people. Imagine our delight when we discovered that there was a way to expand the number of players who could be accommodated by a small box with extra components to let two more people play. We played so much that it’s a miracle we graduated at all. Continue reading

Rome Demands Dinosaurs – Uchronia Review

Dinosaurs everywhere!

Yeah, I could live there.

It’s not uncommon for a game to be  rejiggered into a slightly different form, which sounds like a bad thing. But it can often lead to a game that is much-improved, or at least excellent in its own way. In the past few years, games like Small World, Imperial 2030, and 1989 have taken systems established by old games and made them into something fresh. They may be recognizable, but they have much to recommend them on their own. It was with this optimism that I approached Carl Chudyk’s Uchronia.  Continue reading

Friday Fallout – January 4, 2012

The most interesting man in the world uses Google.

Hey, that’s a good idea.

Well, another new year is upon us. Also, should I capitalize New Year every time I write it? I still don’t know! No worries though. Four days in, and 2013 is looking pretty good. I happened to turn 30 on New Year’s Day, which was a time to try to reflect on my life and then forget about it and just play some games. Continue reading

True Family Games

Family game night

Fun for the whole family!

As you read this, I will have just arrived back from nearly two weeks in Michigan and Ohio visiting my extended family. This trek to see relatives is one that happens annually, and it’s one of my favorite times of the year. I’m sure a big part of that is because I don’t have to work, but it’s also because there is joy in renewing and re- forging relationships that used to be daily part of my life. I’m different now than I used to be when I was in college or living with my parents, and it’s good to reflect on just how different things are for me and for everyone else. Continue reading