Category: Topics

It depends (Topic Discussion)

As a board game reviewer, you need to have access to board games. That's obvious. Some reviewers rely solely on games they bought themselves, maybe got as presents or borrowed from friends, while others will only review games sent to them by the publisher or even the designer. Many...

Reviews reviewed (Topic Discussion)

The longer we enjoy our hobby and the more games we play, the more our taste in games is likely to change. As a reviewer, I can only write about a game as I feel about it at the time, but even if my taste in games changes, the...

Flexible gaming (Topic Discussion)

As we all know, different people play games for different reasons and with different goals. Even the heaviest of games can be played in all sorts of different ways, and I don't mean with different strategies in mind. Sure, in an 18xx game, you probably want to do everything...

Virtually there (Topic Discussion)

So, the convention season for 2020 has drawn to a close, and it’s obviously been a very different set of experiences compared to The Before Times. The last show I actually physically attended was AireCon back in spring, and even that was under the shadow of the then-upcoming nationwide...

Keeping pace (Topic Discussion)

If you have played a number of games, you will have noticed how the pace in some games changes over time. A game might start slow and then speed up towards the end, or it keeps an even pace throughout. Some games even slow right down in the last...

Atmospheric ambience (Topic Discussion)

A 60 miles an hour dust storm is whistling around the small Mars base, pulling at the airlock, shaking the whole station side to side and blowing over the tiny buildings with a deep rumbling sound, while the computer equipment fans quietly hum away in the background and a...

Separate together (Topic Discussion)

Now, that many of us no longer meet in person, many face-to-face games groups have stopped meeting and have gone online. Of course, online isn't the same as "in real life", so I want to use this article to look at how my virtual board gaming experience compares to...

Give and take (Topic Discussion)

I've recently got into heavier games, such as Brass: Birmingham with my games group, because they help me completely focus on a game, allowing my brain to fully put aside my day-to-day worries and thoughts. I've also started to enjoy games with more player interaction, which encourage everyone to...

Easy rules (Topic Discussion)

The holy grail of the perfect rulebook is something that most publishers try to find and is something that we all want. It's no surprise that unboxing videos usually show you what the rulebook of a game looks like and one reason why many publishers allow you to download...

Play and learn (Topic Discussion)

The more we play games, the more we learn. We learn better strategies, new mechanisms, how to be a better loser, as well as a better winner, we learn that we don't always have to have the latest games, or that we definitely do, and we learn a few...

Sensitive settings (Topic Discussion)

Throughout time, terrible things have happened: plagues, wars, colonialism, genocide, executions, experimentation, extinctions, terrorism, abuse and many other atrocities. Some are still going on, most are condemned and they all evoke strong emotions in us. So when board games, which most of us see as a fun way to...

Min-maxing (Topic Discussion)

When I play board games with my games group, I'm usually more competitive than I would otherwise be. I want to win and try to find the most efficient way to get the most points. However, I know that I'm not usually very good at spotting where the points...

Gamer types (Topic Discussion)

Let's have a little fun and see if we can somehow classify the people we play board games with. Don't worry, the article is tongue-in-cheek. I'm not trying to label people in a certain way. We're all unique and different and we change over time. Yet, I do reckon...

Iacta alea est (Topic Discussion)

Luck, chance, randomness - there are many names for introducing a bit of chaos into a board game. Dice rolling, a deck of cards or maybe a dexterity element can all introduce an unpredictable outcome that makes a game less predictable. In this article, I don't want to investigate...

Critical reviews (Topic Discussion)

I always wondered what the difference is between a reviewer and a critic, or even a review and a critique. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, sometimes they're describing two different things, but very often they seem to be used for things that have a lot of overlap and...

Complex complexity (Topic Discussion)

Complexity is a fairly vague term. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as "the state of having many parts and being difficult to understand or find an answer to." Yet, it's not clear when parts are considered "many" or at what point something is difficult to understand. Here are my...

Limited components (Topic Discussion)

I have previously written about small box games in my article "Compressed collections" which can create a lot of gameplay with only a few components. However, even larger box, or big box, games are sometimes very inventive when it comes to using components in a clever way to create...

Visual appeal (Topic Discussion)

As many of you probably already know, I'm a very visual person. So it's no surprise that I am drawn in by great board game art, sculpts, luxurious components and overall visual appeal. Don't get me wrong, visual appeal alone doesn't make me want to buy a game, but...

Compressed collections (Topic Discussion)

As many of you probably know, I only have limited space for games. That's why I very much like small box games that have a lot of gameplay crammed into a small volume. It's also the reason why I have been reboxing games that come in bigger boxes, compressing...

Value for money (Topic Discussion)

The cost of tabletop games is a topic that keeps popping up. There is the question of whether games have now become "overproduced", in the sense that the game components have become more expensive, due to an increase in quantity, an increase in quality or both. There is also...

Less is more (Topic Discussion)

As we all know, plastics are the scourge of our planet and can now be found virtually everywhere - from the obvious places like landfill sites to the most unexpected such as in the Arctic. They have invaded the food chain and it is estimated that less than 10%...

Collected collections (Topic Discussion)

Different people buy games for different reasons, and many of us will have amassed a little, or not so little, collection that we have at home that we are proud of. Yet, sometimes we're not sure how we got there or how we should continue going forward. So it's...

Oh my word (Topic Discussion)

I often feel that we accept the written word as something that's a given and don't pay much attention to it. We feel that writing isn't hugely important and that it's fine to just jot anything down, without much care or attention. That's often fine and it's great that...

Calculated victory (Topic Discussion)

If you like competitive games, then you're probably familiar with trying to gauge where in the ranking you currently are during the game. Some games offer score tracks, so it's immediately clear how far ahead or behind you are - or if you're somewhere in the middle. Many games,...

Coming around again (Topic Discussion)

There are many reasons why some games are played a couple of times and then put to one side. Often the game just doesn't suit you or your games group or it doesn't meet the expectations you had. However, there are also games that are put to one side,...