Restoring Balance

off balance seagull

Careful, buddy!

One of my favorite things about board gaming is the math trade. For those who’ve never had the pleasure of participating in one, it’s essentially an enormous board game lottery without nearly as much risk. You list games that you have to trade to other people, and everyone adds theirs to the same list. Then you each put together a list of games from the big list that you would accept for your games, and a computer program puts together trade loops so that people end up with new games for their old ones. If that sounds a little arcane (I didn’t explain it very well), don’t worry. The point is that there’s a real sense of anticipation, almost like a mini version of Christmas. You don’t know what games you’ll get for yours, but you know it’s something you’re excited about. Continue reading

All By My Lonesome

Watch your step.

Boy, wish I’d brought a book or something…

Readers who have met me in real life know that I live for social interaction in games. It doesn’t even need to be an element of the mechanics, just present at the table in some form. If you’re the table that’s laughing and cutting up, that’s where I want to be. So I didn’t understand why so many gamers were so taken with playing games solo. On some level it defeats the entire purpose of playing games, which is to spend time with friends. Continue reading

Who You Gonna Call? – Arkham Horror Review

Box cover

Boy, those new neighbors are weirdos...

I have not been in this hobby for very long. I only discovered The Settlers of Catan seven years ago in college, and it was at least another three years before I started buying other “designer” games. So I’m hardly what could be called an old hand. But I feel like in that period of time, my tastes have evolved drastically. You see, what first attracted me to board gaming was the prospect of playing some fairly strategic games without having to sink an entire evening into one session. We’ve all been burnt by too many unfinished 5-hour Risk-a-thons, so it’s understandable that we might be skittish around games that require more than two hours to play. And like some others, I was a little afraid of complexity in my games. A game that is hard to learn was not a game for me. I’d go to the game store just to ogle the shelves, and I would look at the rows of games by GMT and Fantasy Flight and think “why would anybody waste a whole evening playing one super-heavy game?” Continue reading

Top 12 Games

There are few things as cliche as a Top X number of games, at least as far as I can see. Still, there is some value in seeing what games someone enjoys. The truth is, there are few ways more effective to learn about a gamer than seeing their top games, assuming you have some reasoning behind what they chose. So here are my Top 12 games, with some logic behind why they are on the list. Why Top 12? Becuase 12 is the new 10.

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