Wheels Within Wheels


Unlike a lot of other pillars of nerd culture, Frank Herbert’s classic novel Dune is still waiting for its perfect adaptation. The 1984 David Lynch film is slog with amazing art direction, and the Sci-Fi channel miniseries reduced the scope of the novel lower than it could really bear. But if we expand the search to include other media, Dune has received two of the most important games of the last forty years. Westwood Studios’ Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty essentially codified real-time strategy games in the video game world. But Dune’s greatest adaptation might just be Dune the board game, published by Avalon Hill in 1979. Continue reading

The Group Of Ten

Count ’em.

Once you have been in the hobby five years, you begin to look at your game shelf and say, “I have too many games.” This doesn’t actually mean you’re going to get rid of any of them or that you will stop buying new ones. Mostly it’s just an acknowledgement that, hey, space is getting a little tight, and that you’ve spent a considerable amount of money on all the games you have. Continue reading

You Dirty, Rotten… – Intrigue Review

Intrigue cover

Pleasure doing business…

If we were to classify games like boxers, based on weight, I think that Intrigue might win the award for the most conniving game in its class. It forces the player to make endless promises to get ahead, and then it makes you break at least some of those promises, trampling on the needs and desires of your fellow players. My friends and I have joked that you lose a little bit of your soul every time you play, and there are moments when I’ve felt genuinely guilty for what the game is requiring of me. I would only ever play it with people who were willing to leave all grudges at the game table, and even then I might be more selective than usual. Continue reading

I’ve Seen The Lights Go Out On Olathe

2003 blackout New York

I saw the Empire State laid low.

Taking advantage of the long weekend, I planned several weeks ago to get together five friends and play a game of Dune, the classic game based on Frank Herbert’s book. This was going to be my fourth game, and I’ve been waiting to get it played again since this winter. It’s not always a long game, but it can go as long as six hours if it goes the distance, so it can take considerable effort to get it set up. Needless to say, this was a pretty exciting prospect for me. Continue reading


The New Year means a lot of things to a lot of different people. For college football teams, it’s a way to crow about winning a meaningless game. For parents of young children, it’s a reason to stay up until exactly 12:15 and then go straight to bed. For me personally, it actually means a birthday. (Thanks to my Facebook friends for the well wishes, by the way. For someone who never gives birthday greetings on Facebook, I sure got a lot of them.) And of course, it means resolutions. Continue reading

My 2013 Ancient Treasures

zelda treasure

It can only be used in this dungeon.

Ahh, the Christmas season. Irritating songs, endless social functions with co-workers, and a easy five pounds to round out that girlish figure. For a game blogger/writer, it’s also a time to start making lists. I already did one a couple weeks ago with my favorite games ever, which is an annual tradition I’ve done for four years now. In a couple of weeks I’ll have one with my top games released roughly in 2013. Continue reading

First World Gamer

first world problems

Woe is me

Tomorrow night I’m going out to my local game store to meet up with some friends to play Archipelago. This is a game where each player is exploring and colonizing a chain of islands, which sounds like standard Eurogame fare until you realize that it’s going for theme instead of strategy. This will mark the second time I’ve played, after a learning game not quite a month ago where everyone lost (yes, that can happen). I also have review copies of Relic Runner and Duel of Ages II sitting around. Not only that, but I’ve participated in two math trades in 2013, and I still have a couple of unplayed games from the one in March, to say nothing of the one we held in August. And then there are all those games that I’ve only played once or twice, but that I want to play more because they interest me. And this isn’t an unusual thing for board gamers. We all have unplayed or underplayed games in our collections. Continue reading