Oil Companies’ Faces Are Grinning – The White Stripes (1999)

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John Anthony Gillis was involved in a couple of musical projects before 1997. He had an upholstery business that would share a name with his future record company, and he was a musician for a lot of local Detroit bands, most notably on drums for Goober & The Peas. After meeting and marrying Meg White, he took her name and became known as Jack White. It was in 1997 that the two of them formed The White Stripes, and they released their self-titled debut in 1999.  Continue reading

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The Same Boy You’ve Always Known

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For a good chunk of 2014, I was part of a podcast called The Takedown Notice. We talked about some of our favorite music, bouncing between individual songs and favorite albums. We only released about ten episodes before going on extended hiatus, but we continued to record and create a backlog of episodes. Throughout the unreleased episodes, a running theme developed where I ended up bringing most subjects back around to Jack White. That doesn’t even include an extended episode on one of my favorite albums, Elephant by The White Stripes. Continue reading

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

Games Of The Years

I got involved in this hobby seven years ago, and I’ve been writing about it pretty steadily for about three, with occasional pieces before that. At some point every board game writer will have to deal with the expectation to crown their “game of the year.” This is tricky for a lot of reasons. Continue reading

In Theory

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This chalkboard is a metaphor for my writing process.

A little while ago I played Small World for what had to be the fiftieth time. I’ve enjoyed Days of Wonder’s best game since it came out almost five years ago, across a handful of expansions, all sorts of player counts, and a completely alternate version of the game. After you play any game for that long you begin to notice all of its little peculiarities. I began noticing these in Small World a while ago. For one thing, it seems strange that the victory points are totally trackable, since one of the elements that arises in the game is convincing people that they should attack someone else. That shouldn’t even be an ambiguity, because what people score each turn is open information. I also noticed that turn order becomes kind of important, especially in the late game. The people going first have to do a little bit of defense so that the later players aren’t able to just cherry-pick everything, since the last player doesn’t need to worry at all about positioning in the final turn. Continue reading