Hey gang! Well, it's here Valentine's Day! Sure, it seems like we just celebrated Christmas, but 2017 is in full swing and we're midway through February. And with that comes the exchanging of mushy sentiment with your belovedRead More
The gaming world appears -at least from an "outsiders" point of view- to revolve around a select few titles. You know the ones we're talking about, the "gateway" games, for the sake of conversation, let's say they are:
- Settlers of Catan
- Ticket to Ride
We understand that having a gamer in your life can lead to confusion during the holiday season. Chances are you've found yourself walking into a store, or looking at Web sites you never knew existed, and are wondering if someone is playing some sort of elaborate prank on you. So we've taken it upon ourselves to explain some of the oddities you might be experiencing this year with that gamer in your life, and hopefully make this a joyous and bright Christmas for all.
So here are 11 ways to tell if there is a gamer on your Christmas list, and a little help in figuring out what exactly it is they are talking about, or would like under the tree this year.
It's okay, you're not imagining things. They do like to build decks, but they're not referring to an overgrown porch; they're talking about cards. Deck-building games are all the rage these days, and chances are your gamer likes them. Games to check out include: Dominion, Ascension, and the DC Comics Deck-Building Game. Here are some other deck builders!
2 —They appear to talk in a strange, secret language that mostly involves random letters and numbers : RPG, CCG, LCG, d12, d6, etc.
Most trades/vocations/sub-cultures have a certain vernacular, and gamers are no exception. Here's a few quick tips to help decipher this code: G = Game, C= Card, and d = die/dice. So in the examples above, we've referred to Role Playing Games, Collectible Card Games, Living Card Games, and 12- and 6-sided dice.
In this case, you've got a serious RPGer in your life (See #2). Sometimes a roll of the dice can be a non-objective way to resolve a dispute. Just don't let them get carried away with modifiers, or equipping support items and spells. If you want to get on your RPGer's good side, a nice custom or metal set of polyhedral dice should do the trick... Just don't ever touch them, and whatever you do, don't roll them! Ever!
4—They often refer to playing with a hidden identity, being a spy, and/or a werewolf.
Chances are they're talking about the last time they played The Resistance or Werewolf, or some other game that requires them to hide their identity from others in order to win. You shouldn't be too concerned, unless they start wearing dark sunglasses even at night. Or unless, of course, you find multiple counterfeit passports in their underwear drawer. You may want to look into the newest sensation in this genre, "Two Rooms and a Boom." You can't buy it yet, but you could print and cut the cards from the DIY print and play files. Anyone who's ever gone through that process will surely appreciate the thought AND the effort put into that gift!
5—They repeatedly refer to a certain group of people they keep calling "Settlers" and can't stop making "wood for sheep" jokes.
A word of warning here: (this may come off as snobbish) but if this describes a person you know, and they claim to be a gamer, you could be dealing with a poser here. Settlers of Catan, while a fine game in its own right, is just a few clicks up from Monopoly in the "Oh, I like board games... I've played..." category. Regardless, there are plenty of iterations, accessories, and Catan-themed gifts out there, to satisfy the unquenchable thirst of any die hard Settlers fan.
6—They measure everything in mm (millimeters).
Looks like you've got a real miniatures/wargame fanatic on your hands. You've no doubt seen them more than once with their nose deeply inserted into a 2 inch—errrr...make that 5.08 mm manual for games like Warhammer 40K (pronounced 4DK for some reason), or hunched over a table meticulously painting the highlights into every knuckle of their Eldar Bowman's fingers, or writing thesis-length back-stories for why that particular figure has a small grass stain on its left knee. You may consider getting this gamer some art supplies, like nice model paint, or fine-point paintbrushes. Or some financial counseling so they can move out of your basement.
These are classic tell-tale signs of a LARPer. (We'll help you out: "Live Action Role Player.") This form of gaming takes the stakes to a completely higher level by adding in actual, physical activity to the gaming experience. Many folks who LARP can be found in the woods on weekends camping out, battling nasty orcses, and looking rather stylish while doing it. LARPers generally appreciate any accessory, medieval garb, or foam weaponry that would go well with their character's taste or clan's colors. If you want to be more practical, some camping gear, and bug spray (aka magical mist of repulsion), comes in handy, too. A word of warning: Do not attempt to go all Pinterest and make your LARPer some "snazzy" cardboard weapons or armor; such things are frowned upon by this crowd.
8—They're always discussing "Streamlined Mechanics" but the guy who works on your car is some clumsy dude named Bill.
In the gaming world the term mechanic is used to describe the way a game plays, the actions a player can do on a turn, and the way game pieces or cards interact with each other in a game. Streamlined mechanics are a way of referring to a game that is simple to play and learn, without a lot of in-depth mechanics, or actions to slow the game play down. If your gamer is into games that are streamlined, you might want to check out some simple, but fun, games like Council of Verona, or Coup. Find Coup online here.
They're not obsessed with the Measles; they're saying Meeples. Meeple has been slowly usurping the terms Token and Pawn for some time now. A standard Meeple is essentially a wooden representation of a person. But of late we've seen everything from Truck-eeples (in The Great Heartland Hauling Co.) to Canoe-eeples (in Paradise Fallen) to awesome monster-eeples and adventurer-eeples (in Dungeon Heroes) and even Lincoln-eeples (albeit hat-less ones, in Pixel Lincoln). If your gamer likes trinkets and such, any of the games we just mentioned will add some unique Meeples to their collection. You can also find tons of customized/painted Meeples on sites like Etsy and Ebay.
10—They don't work in HR, but they're constantly bringing up "Worker Placement."
Worker Placement is an increasingly popular game mechanic (see #8) that involves placing Meeples into certain areas of a game board to perform a certain task or gain a resource to hurtle you toward victory. If you've got a worker-placement fan, they probably already have Agricola or Stone Age, but they'd love a copy of T'zolk'in or Viticulture to add to their collection. Get Tzolik'in here.
While this may seem confusing, we're unfazed by this apparent dichotomy. Abstracts are once again a specific genre of games that are, well...non-specific. They usually involve moving random pieces around on a board until someone wins for whatever reason. Very rarely do they have a theme or any sort of story-driven explanation as to why you're doing what you're doing, but they are also generally highly strategic. If this describes the games your gamer is into, go grab a copy of The Duke, RIGHT NOW! Find it online, right here!
We certainly hope that this list has been both entertaining and helpful to you. If there's something we didn't cover, let us know down in the comments!
Whether you have kids of your own, know someone with kids, or were a kid once yourself, it can be hard to find just the right game for the tiny little snot factories in your life. So as we continue our gift guides, we're going to give you some of our favorite new and old games you can pick up for the kiddos—all of which are in print. And on a few of them we've linked to our review of the game, so you can investigate yourself if it's a game you'd be interested in. We'll give you the MSRP, and age/audience as it's appropriate. So without further ado, here's the list!
Cheeky Monkey—This is a cute little press-your-luck set-collection game involving exotic animals. It even comes in an adorable (albeit legless) stuffed monkey. Our youngest kids really love this game.
Cost: $29.99 (Find it online)
Ages: 5 and up
Candle Quest—We haven’t forgotten our Jewish readers! (Okay, we don’t know if we have any of them, but still…) This auction game has you trying to be the first to complete your menorah. It’s a retheme (actually, the original theme) of the game It’s Alive.
Cost: $21.99 (Find it online)
Ages: 5 and up
Review: Coming Soon!
Pick-a-Pig/Pick-a-Dog—In this game you’re trying to quickly spot the differences in the portraits of dogs (or pigs). It’s cheap, and fast. If you grab a copy of both (pig and dog) versions you can combine them for even more animal selecting enjoyment!
Cost: $10 (Find it online)
Ages: 7 and up
Catan: Junior—This game is designed to teach kids the basics of Settlers Of Catan, and it does so marvelously. It plays quickly, and there are decisions to be made—but they’re manageable. The colorful and chunky components only add to the appeal.
Cost: $30 (Find it online)
Ages: 5 and up
Cost: $15 (Find it online)
Ages: 5 and up
Looping Louie—This is a holdover from last year's list, but it's just so stinking good it deserves to be on every list. This is a kids game, but I can tell you that I've played just as many games with adults as I have with kids. It's a super-fun game where Louie whirls around on a pivot, trying to knock out your chicken tokens. You're trying to keep him away from your chickens and send him at your opponents' chickens. Sounds crazy. Is crazy. Is also crazy fun.
Cost: $30 (Find it online)
Ages: My 5-year-old plays it, but he's probably too young by just a bit. Six or 7 and up, I'd say.
The Magic Labyrinth—This clever little game lets you build a different hidden labyrinth under the board every game, and then you're trying to be the first to make it to tokens without running into one of the hidden barriers. There's a big memory aspect to this, and some luck. But best of all, there's no David Bowie in super-tight tights. *shudder*
Cost: $30 (Find it online)
Ages: 5 and up
There it is, our highly recommended list of kids games for this 2013 Christmas season! Stay tuned as we unveil more of our 2013 Christmas Holiday Gift Guide this week!
It's no secret that one of the biggest events in gaming happened just over a week ago, in Indianapolis. Yes, we are of course referring to Gencon. Mayfair Games, one of the world's top publishers, and gatekeepers of the Catan franchise, had HUGE plans for the con this year. How huge? Well, let's find out...
Mayfair set out to make the Guinness Book of World Records by hosting the world's largest group of people playing a single game of Settlers of Catan. And set the record they did! 922 Settlers fans sat down to roll the dice and trade resources on the
Island CONTINENT of Catan. Setting an Official Guinness World Record.
With so many game events going on at Gencon, you may have been playing in this event and not even realized it. So we've compiled a list to help you determine if you're a part of gaming history
10 Signs You’re Playing in a Guinness World Record Breaking, 922-player, Settlers Of Catan Game.
10. You have 2.5 hours between turns to use the bathroom.
9. You have to keep track of which of the 153 subtle shades of blue you are. “You’re Cambridge blue, not Carolina blue! Sheesh!”
8. GenCon has been over for a week and you’re still on turn 2.
7. The Longest Road is 4.2 actual miles long.
6. There’s a 1 in 922 chance of the robber hitting you, and it still happens three turns in a row...
5. The 75-pound accountant in the Wolverine costume keeps screwing up the board with his homemade, aluminum-foil claws.
4. You were the last to place your first settlement and the only hex left was in Gary, Indiana.
3. Someone finally snaps, jumps onto the table, rips off his shirt, yells “I am the king of Catan!!” and passes out.
2. You find out that guy was Klaus Teuber.
1. 3,723 “Wood for sheep” jokes!
Congratulations to Mayfair, and thanks for reading!
Stay tuned this week as we bring you all sorts of other fun stuff from around the gaming world! And don't forget to check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!
How would you handle playing a game with nearly one thousand people? Leave it in the comments!
For years, math, stats, and economics teachers have been trotting out the Monopoly board in their classrooms to help give students some hands-on, applicable life lessons. While the game is horrible, the idea is sound. From the get-go, gaming with my children has been chock full of teachable moments; at their current ages those lessons have been more about sportsmanship, being gracious while winning or losing, and learning to operate within the rules (or NOT cheating). As they grow older you can bet the lessons at the game table will grow with them.
A middle-school history teacher in Franklin, MA, has gone Euro with this concept in his classes. Teaching the struggles of early civilizations, and the conflict that can arise over scarce resources through The Settlers of Catan. A recent article in a local paper featuring the teacher and his students has caught the attention of Mayfair Games, and has gained some traction across the gaming community.
“We can’t bring them back to Mesopotamia, Egypt or Greece, but this (Catan) brings it alive,” Brady said. “One student was so frustrated because he was winning at one point, and the other kids froze him out and wouldn’t trade with him. He said flat out, ‘I now understand why people go to war.’ ”
This is yet another step in not only promoting a great hobby, but also in breaking new ground in teaching future generations. So let's have a discussion here about it! What games do you think should end up in the classroom? and Why? We would LOVE to hear your thoughts. And who knows...you just might inspire someone to break new ground in their classroom, too!
Thanks for reading, and leave your suggestions in the comments!
Late Friday afternoon, Fantasy Flight announced their sequel to the classic game Borderlands is finally ready to go. Apparently the old game combines the heavy negotiation of Diplomacy with a resource market that inspired Settlers Of Catan. The new game is called Gearworld: The Borderlands, and it's got the speampunkiest cover you've ever seen.
From the announcement: "Fantasy Flight Games is excited to announce Gearworld: The Borderlands, a game of negotiation, conquest, and construction for two to four players! Players compete to gain the favor of the Sky People for their tribe of scavengers in a post apocalyptic landscape. Based on the classic board game Borderlands designed by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge and Peter Olotka, Gearworld: The Borderlands has streamlined the original rules and re-imagined the game’s setting while retaining its predecessor’s spirit and core mechanics.
The scavenging tribes of the Borderlands have mined the land for generations, are adept at extracting scrap from ruins, and have managed to raise horses in the wastes. Each resource is essential to building your tribe’s strength and, eventually, the skyworks. Resource Tokens represent sites where these valuable raw materials can be produced. Controlling as many of these areas as possible is one step to survival in the Borderlands, but it is only the first.
There are many ways to gain the materials you need, and you may have to rely on your competition to get all the resources you require. Trading among the tribes is certainly not unheard of, and players can negotiate for resources to gain an edge. Take care to not be too generous with your exchanges, however, as your opponents will also stand to profit.
If diplomacy isn’t your tribe’s strong suit, then you can always take what you want by brute force. Battling an enemy is a game of numbers, and if you can overwhelm your opponent with weapons, steamboats, horses, or ships, you can take what you need. If you’re too aggressive, you may make some enemies in the Borderlands, and your opponents can team up against your tribe. Combine your strength to take down a tribe that is close to building all of its skyworks, or reinforce a weaker neighbor to cause problems for an aggressive rival. Forge and break alliances to get ahead in both battles and bartering. In the end, all that matters is the survival of your tribe.
While building the skyworks is the end goal, each tribe must use its resources wisely in order to reinforce its strength and enhance its ability to transport goods. Combining resources into weapons, bridges, ships, and riverboats while conserving enough to build skyworks is the delicate balancing act that each tribe must undertake.
In order to build any developments, including the skyworks, all of the materials required for its construction must be in the same space, so the effective transportation of resources is essential to your success. Each tribe must produce, trade, or steal the materials they need to build new developments and protect what is theirs, but all the resources in the Borderlands will do them no good if they’re spread all over the map.
Ships, steamboats, and horses are used to strategically transport goods around the Borderlands, and can also add to your strength in battle. Bridges are a quick and inexpensive way to connect the islands of Claw, Ironside, and Locke to the main landmass of Haestus, potentially opening up new avenues for resources. Invest in developing Weapons to reinforce your military might; they’ll be extremely valuable when your tribe comes under attack. Take care when building, though. Skyworks are expensive to create and you don’t want to spread your already meager resources too thin.
Acquire resources by conquering your fellow scavengers, carefully defending your own lands, and the clever use of trade and diplomacy to gain an edge."
They're saying it'll be out in the 2nd quarter of this year. I (Firestone) never had a chance to play this game, so I'm looking forward to trying it out. Check back for more updates. Thanks so much for reading, and make sure you "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Well it's probably not a surprise to you that there were more than a few games found under the Christmas trees in our homes. We both ended up adding a copy of Mayfair's Catan Junior to our growing collection of kids/family games, so we thought there's no better time to post our thoughts in yet another Double-Take Review. Let's be honest: If you're a gamer, you probably have friends who tell you how much they LOVE Settlers of Catan. Catan is to board gaming what Dark Side of the Moon is to Pink Floyd. Or Kleenex is to facial tissue. Or "Particle Man" is to They Might Be Giants. Or Coke is to Cola. Or, well...you get my point. Anyone who has had a close encounter with the geek level of gaming has played Settlers of Catan. It's not a bad thing; Catan has probably done more for board gaming than any other title since (gah!) Monopoly. So we won't go into much detail about the original version of the game; if you want to read about it, there are about seven million reviews, tutorials, and commentaries on the game scattered throughout the Internet.
Catan Junior isn't just a simplifying of the already massive hit title. The rules are somewhat streamlined, for sure, but there is also a re-theming to the game. Instead of building settlements, cities and roads, players are now swashbuckling pirates, building pirate lairs (instead of settlements and cities), and pirate ships (instead of roads). The hexes are now represented by individual islands. You start with two lairs and one ship, and you can only build lairs next to ships, and ships next to lairs. The point of the game is to be the first to build seven lairs.
The trading has been changed to be a little more kid friendly. There is a marketplace on one end of the board, and one of each of the five resources (now Goats, Wood, Gold, Molasses, and Cutlasses) are placed at a booth in the marketplace. Players can trade 1:1 with those resources (only once per turn), or 2:1 for anything not in the marketplace—or for an advanced variant, you ditch the marketplace and trade with other players. And you can also purchase Coco Cards, which feature Coco the parrot on the back. These give you various free goods, or allow you a free move of the Ghost Pirate Captain (which we'll explain in a second), and one that allows you to build a lair or a ship for free! In addition to the great stuff you get, having the most Coco cards will allow you to build a lair on Spooky Island (which is the Desert in this retheme), putting you one closer to the seven lairs you need.
The thief has been replaced by the Ghost Pirate Captain (who starts on Spooky Island), and rolling a 6 (in this game there's a single d6) allows players to move the Ghost Captain to an island and take two resources of the type that matches the hex he was placed on. And like the thief he stops production from that hex until he's moved again.
Your turn consists of:
- Roll to produce goods on islands
And that's it. They move along quickly, so there's little downtime.
Firestone—The components are great. The resources are big and chunky and perfect for my kids' little hands to grab. The ships and lairs are small, but they do the job. It's very colorful, and the pirate theme is a hit with kids.
Jeremiah—Yeah, I totally agree; we love the resource tokens (although my wife got a little flustered because the cutlasses were tough to stack), I suppose I would have preferred wooden ships and lairs—the plastic ones seem a little fragile to me. But I will say they have survived at least four plays thus far, so they are surprisingly durable. The retheme is great, although I've taken to calling the Ghost Pirate Caption the Dread Pirate Roberts, but we'll just call that a house rule for now...
Firestone—I've played three games: a 2-player, a 3-player, and a 4-player, and it seems to scale well, though people were getting cut off right and left in our 4-player game. And by people, I mean me.
Jeremiah—I actually haven't played a 2-player game yet, because every time we pull it out both of my boys jump at the chance to play it. So most of my plays have been 3-player, and once the boys talked mommy into playing, so we played 4-player. With 4 it does get a little crowded, but I agree: It's a short game, and it's actually about perfect in play time, so before it gets too cut-throat it's over.
Firestone—One downside I've seen in my three games is that it seems practically impossible to come back once someone gets ahead of you. And if they're building lairs that are cutting you off, it's just that much harder to come back. But since it's short, I can live with this one complaint about it. Oddly, in my house, my 8-year-old isn't all that excited about playing this—he'll play, but it's not his first choice. I'm not sure if that's because he's used to playing "deeper" games with me and this one seems too simple, or what. I do know that my almost-5-year-old LOVES this one. He needs some help with decisions and strategies and the whys and wherefores, but he has a blast playing. He's cuckoo for Coco.
Jeremiah—Both my 4- and 6-year-olds are all about this game. I do have to help the youngest one pretty often. The strategy to buy CoCo cards seems to be the choice of youngsters everywhere! They've figured out the value of getting a free lair on Spooky Island and have exploited it very well. In fact, both of my sons have figured this out, and it somehow works, because most of the time they pull out the win.
Firestone—This is a great, great family game. It's ideal for introducing kids to Euros, and the process of creating engines where you get this, to turn into that, to get you VPs. And one of the best things is that you won't feel as though you have to dumb down your play—the kids have just as much chance to win as you—but the game is still interesting for adults. Am I going to bring this to game night with the fellas? Of course not. But it's a game for kids, and it's very good at it.
Jeremiah—Yeah, we both pretty much agree on this one, the rules and theme are super accessible for kids. I will say that I "renamed" the Ghost Pirate Captain because my oldest son lately has been super tweaky about anything remotely scary. (Like when his younger brother impersonates zombie carrots... Yes, zombie carrots weird him out.) Spooky Island he's okay with. But I felt like I needed to hold back on the ost-ghay irate-pay. The game is close enough to the original that it also holds my interest and isn't total kids-game fodder. And as I said, it's short enough to hold the attention of my 4-year old!
Firestone Final Rating—As a game for adults, it's maybe a 6 or 7—it's fine, but I don't much like that it uses dice to control resources...so if people don't roll your number, yer outta luck. BUT, as a kids game I give it a 10. It's the perfect game to introduce kids to Euro-game concepts.
Jeremiah Final Rating—Completely agree, I'd say a solid 7 for adults playing with kids, the board is laid out well enough that you shouldn't get hosed for resources even though you're relying on the dice. And yeah score it a 10 for kids: awesome gateway into euro style games, great theme, perfect rules scaling of a classic game, and solid re-playability.
Jeremiah is one half of the team here at Theology Of Games, and since Reiner Knizia won't return our emails, we thought it would be fun to interview each other! (We haven't actually tried to contact Reiner. I'm sure he's a nice guy who replies to every email he receives. Seriously, Reiner...email us.) Thanks for agreeing to answer some questions, Jeremiah. So tell us a little about yourself.
Sure thing! My interests in life are about as varied and polarizing at times as you could think of. I love live theatre, and professional dance; I studied dance for over 13 years and still appear as a guest artist annually in the Nutcracker for a local professional company. I also worked for many years as a stagehand both in the local stagehand’s union, and as a freelancer. I’m also a trained audio engineer and have mixed for a few pretty big names over the years. I’m a huge football fan, and a glutton for the punishment of being a Cleveland sports fan. I've been married very happily for over 10 years, and have two sons, ages 4 and 6, who are the craziest, most awesome, and caring boys ever! We enjoy the outdoors, and like to canoe, hike, raft, and camp whenever the opportunity presents itself. We love to geocache too—nothing like using billion-dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods! I also play guitar, drums, bass, and a smidgen of keys. My current day job is in the AV department at a satellite campus for a local state university, and for the last three years I was the youth director at my church until I recently stepped down. Oh, and I co-write this blog.
How did you first get mixed up in these type of board games?
My path to board gaming really came through the collectible card game craze of the nineties, when everything was turned into a collectible card game. My brother and I played Marvel Overpower (which in hindsight is a terrible game!) and then we got into Middle Earth (which is an awesome game!). I loved the depth of strategy it took to do well at games like that. Middle Earth was also a great multiplayer game so we could have a few friends over, put the animated version of LotR on TV and play all night. (No, we weren’t the cool kids in town.) I then went through a long period of time of playing only video games, specifically Socom Navy Seals (shout out to my old clan SV!). I enjoyed video games, but the draw of Socom for me was the social side of being in a clan and working together as a team; it was more of a social activity than a gaming habit. I think that’s what I really enjoy about board games: The games themselves are great fun and all, but sitting down and having face-to-face interaction with good folks is better than any game I’ve played. For me the world of board games, like so many others, came through Catan; once that gateway opened up, all bets were off... I pretty much exclusively play board and card games now; the ps3 is basically a Netflix machine.
How has your faith affected you as a gamer?
I'd say pretty heavily. A lot of times it gets easy as a Christian to try and make your faith or your beliefs fit the mold of your interests, or political or social practices, when we should really be holding those things we enjoy up to the light of scripture and see them for what they are. The gaming world is full of thematic elements that dabble in the fantastic or supernatural—that's part of its allure. It's for this reason I tread lightly when checking out games, and especially before buying them. Many times a game is pretty benign, but other times I'll have to pass on a particular title. I try not to get hung up on those titles I won't play. There are literally hundreds of great games being published each year, so there are plenty of games to choose from that don't give me pause.
You have two boys. What are some of your favorite games to play with them?
Well, we got them Loopin' Louie for Christmas, or "Woopy Wooin" as my 4-year-old calls it, and they haven't stopped playing it. They also really enjoy Forbidden Island a lot! My oldest is six and has a pretty good handle on playing Carcassonne and Castle Panic, too.
Does your wife enjoy board games?
Yes, she gets incredibly frustrated when I teach them to her, but once we get through that she usually enjoys playing them. However, she does have her limits; she told our sons the other day that she doesn't play "Star Wars games," but she enjoys Carcassonne, Kingdom Builder, The Resistance, and a good deal more. As long as it doesn’t have a terribly nerdy theme, or a billion rules, she’s a gamer. She won’t sit and play an LCG, but Catan, yes.
Is it true you shaved your head so you’d look more like me?
There's not a shred of truth to that rumor. Although I did convince my sons that it would be cool because I would look like the Silver Surfer. My poor wife had gone to the grocery store one evening and left us home alone; when she returned I was completely clean shaven. I’m enjoying the new look, although the first winter has been a little rough.
What are your Top 5 games…and tell us a about why you like them so much.
This is in no particular order, because I don’t think I could actually pick a favorite.
- Lord of the Rings the Card Game—When I picked this up, I thought, “I don’t know about this whole co-op thing...” But one play through it and I was hooked! We played through the whole first cycle of expansions and are part way through the Khazad-Dum quests. It’s great, really deep game play, scales great for 1-4 players, and has a continuous story line. It’s almost like playing a role playing game without having to put in all the work to set it up. The down side to this game is the money to keep up with the quest packs, and they don’t feel that replayable after you’ve defeated a quest.
- The Resistance—I love this game because it is everything that LOTR is not. Really simple game mechanics and tons of backstabbing and chicanery! I’ve never played this game and not had people ask me to play it again—and ask where they can get their own copy. I love that you can play up to 10 people at once, although it’s hard to find 10 people that play it well all at the same time. I’m REALLY hoping they retheme the plot cards for Avalon because using the original ones really kills the mood.
- Carcassonne—Although recently this game is getting a little overplayed for me right now. I still love the game, and it took about 784 game plays to feel overplayed. There’s a solid base of expansions to keep it fresh, mix it up, and throw you for a loop. It’s a very good game to act as a next step for my friends who are ready to move on from Catan, and it plays up to 6 very well.
- Pirates of the Spanish Main—I know, this is kind of an oddball title, and no they don’t still make the game. But building those little pirate ship and sailing them around the dinner table looking for treasure is just a lot of fun. I have a HUGE fleet of literally thousands of ships. My gaming friends and I haven’t played in a while (which is very unfortunate), but it’s a really fun game with very high replayability!
- Fluxx—It’s an old standby with lots of different versions that add to the craziness of it. I’m probably most partial to Zombie Fluxx. We’ve had a lot of good times and good laughs over this game, as well as some frustrating defeats. Just a good time all around.
What are some games you’re looking forward to playing in 2013?
One of the titles I’m really looking forward to is Boss Monster; it kind of crept under our radar last year, as we didn’t find out about it until their Kickstarter was almost finished, but playing the bad guy is always fun. I’m also really looking forward to the multiplayer expansion for the new Star Wars The Card Game. I like the game as it is, but I think it will really come into its own when it supports 2-3 light side players teaming up against a very powerful dark side player. I’m also REALLY hoping that Wizkids gets the Lord of the Rings dice building game to market soon! Quarriors just barely slipped out of my top 5, and I’m of course a fanboy when it comes to Tolkien. And my boys will be very excited to hear that Forbidden Desert is on its way! One-Word Answers:
Favorite Doctor? Tom Baker
Grail game you’d like to find a copy of? My old 1st edition of Fluxx.
Favorite superhero? Spider-Man
Favorite major Star Wars character? Han Solo
Favorite minor Star Wars character? Dengar, the fiercest of the bounty hunters!!
On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being how you feel while watching Bambi, and 10 being blind, seething, murderous rage), how did you feel toward George Lucas immediately after watching The Phantom Menace for the 1st time? The 1st time? 4.5 (I was blinded by the shiny new toy.)
Favorite LEGO line? Star Wars
Last good book you read? Shrewd by Rick Lawrence
Thanks, Jeremiah! No no, thank you.
We hope you enjoyed this. Stay tuned for Jeremiah's questions for me! (Unless Reiner emails us back. We'd totally bump that for you, Reiner...)
Here's a way cool project for all of the Settlers Of Catan fans out there: Modular hex-pieces that hold the Catan tiles. Each hex is made of plastic and holds the land tile inside. Each edge of the frame also has a small magnet, so when you start forming the board, the magnets hold it to the neighboring tile perfectly. Once they're "stuck," the whole board can move around as one piece—no more fidgeting, fidgeting, fidgeting to keep the tiles in place throughout the game. You can keep the tiles in the frames, and they'll fit in the box once you're done. This is such a simple and wonderful and useful idea. I hope they do this for other hex-based games, such as Twilight Imperium III!