Deck Building – a modern card mechanism (Topic Discussion)
Card games date back to the 1400s with Karniffel, or Thuringian Karnöffel, often listed as the oldest one, at least the oldest in Europe that we know of. As a popular trick-taking game in Germany for centuries, it clearly started a trend. Many trick-taking games are still popular in Germany today and I certainly grew up with a fair few. However, card games have come a long way since then. In this article, I want to look at deck-building games specifically and how this mechanism has been applied in many different ways since Dominion made it popular.
Review Pressures – fun versus review (Topic Discussion)
When you publish a review every week, there is a certain amount of pressure to frequently play games that are new to you. Even if you bear in mind that I sometimes re-review a game and that once a year I list my top 5 games as well as look back at the past 12 months, that still leaves around 50 games that I need to get to the table and play a few times. That’s a fair amount and risks taking the fun out of it.
Board Game Beginnings – how we learn board games (Topic Discussion)
If you are a veteran board game hobbyist, you will have learned a lot of terminology and mechanisms. You will instinctively know what a draw deck is and that you usually shuffle a discard pile into a new draw deck, if it runs out. The concepts of action points and turn order are going to be obvious to you. It will be second-nature to you that resources can be converted not only into each other, but also into victory points, which is another concept that you will understand. However, many of these terms will mean very little to someone who is new to our hobby.
Right Time, Right Place – board games and socialising (Topic Discussion)
Apart from being a great way to meet new people and make new friends, just like any other hobby, for many of us in the hobby, playing board games is a social activity. We enjoy spending time with friends or family and catching up over a game or two. We have snacks and drinks and chat away in between turns. However, not everyone shares that view and there are good reasons for this. So in this article, I want to investigate why games can be a great conduit for socialising while also potentially being a hindrance.
5th Anniversary – looking back to the beginning (Topic Discussion)
Yes, my dear friends, Tabletop Games Blog is 5 years today. When I posted my first article, I didn’t know where I was going with this and had no idea about the journey the site would take me on. Since then, I published 550 articles, releasing them also in audio format since December 2018, which means there are over 430 podcast episodes available as well. I played hundreds of games, attended many exhibitions, was a guest on a number of podcasts, met lots of people and made many good friends. So let me tell you about the journey so far to celebrate this anniversary with you.
Board Game Library – books and board games (Topic Discussion)
The other day I noticed how similar books and board games are. The thought was triggered when I held a board game box in my hand and then plonked it on the table. The sound it made was very much like that of a tome being placed down. It also felt as heavy as a thick hardback book. I soon realized that there were many more commonalities. So let me investigate the spiritual twins that are books and board games.
Representation and Diversity – why it matters (Topic Discussion)
Board and other hobby games are a form of entertainment for the people who play them. It doesn’t matter whether these are solo games, family games, heavy games or party games for larger groups of people. There should be a game for anyone and everyone. However, as we know, our large hobby still struggles with who is represented in the games themselves, let alone with what groups of people our community make feel truly comfortable and welcome. In this article, I want to explore why representation and diversity in our hobby matter and what we all can do to promote greater inclusivity in the board game community.
First Looks – how gameplay experience changes from first to later games (Topic Discussion)
If you have ever managed to get a game to the table more than once, you may have experienced how it can feel different each time. The very first game can evoke emotions that starkly contrast with playing it for the fifth time. Games can become more exciting or interesting with every play, or they can become more and more boring. It’s not necessarily a linear experience either. The same game can go from being a confusing morass and too overwhelming to comprehend to a highly engrossing battle of wits until eventually turning into a repetitive wilderness of tediousness. Of course, some games provide an almost level gameplay experience with every play. They simply keep on delighting everyone around the table, even after many plays.
Ethically Paid Reviews – payments and their impact (Topic Discussion)
A discussion that keeps popping up on social media ever so often is whether reviews should be paid for or not. After all, people deserve to be paid for their time. Also, if someone is sent a free copy of a game for review, then that’s surely some form of payment. I mean, some publishers even send goodies to reviewers, which shows that these people deserve some recompense. Or maybe payment creates some level of bias and threatens the integrity and honesty of the review. There are also legal implications, of course. So in this article, I want to give you my opinion on the situation.
An Ode to Friends (Topic Discussion)
Playing games is often a very social activity, even though I don’t want to neglect the many solo gamers that play an important part in our hobby. However, in this article, I want to focus on multiplayer games. I want to talk about what roles friends fulfil in our hobby. I basically want to write an ode to all the friends I have made through board games. See the following as my love letter to friends everywhere.