Great games (Topic Discussion)

I know, the term "great", or even the term "good", is very subjective and vague. Games can be great for different reasons and to different people, some games that are seen as great by everyone else are not even mediocre. However, I want to look at a number of reasons why I think some games are great. It's purely my view of the game and I'm sure many of you will disagree with at least some of my suggestions, or you will have games that are even better than the game I think is great. Anyway, here goes...

Right to reply (Topic Discussion)

I love writing reviews, even though that was never the intention with the blog, when I first started. I've now written over 135 reviews, which is amazing, given it was something I only started doing once the blog had already been going for a while. There are a lot of things I learned over the years when it comes to writing about board games, but what I knew from the start was that reviews are always just an opinion. Opinions vary from person to person, so chances are that someone reading one of my reviews will disagree with me. Their opinion of a game will be different and in this article, I want to talk about how my opinion might be perceived by others. (This article was inspired by We're Not Wizards.)

Food for friends (Topic Discussion)

It's been a question that I've tried to tackle a few times before and that has been ongoing in board game circles for decades (probably): whether food and drinks should be allowed at the board game table. There are many different opinions and they range from wanting to keep everything pristine to only caring about having fun with friends. Everyone will have to decide for themselves, but in this article, I want to look at a number of possible approaches. (This article was inspired by a discussion on my Discord.)

Ideal ideals (Topic Discussion)

When reviewing games, you look at rulebooks, components, complexity, playing time, illustrations, setting and many other things, but ultimately you focus on the experience you got when playing the game. The thing is, what you enjoy playing changes over time. In this article, I want to look at whether we should compare games against our expectations or whether it would make more sense to check them against some other benchmark. (This topic was inspired by the always wonderful Bez.)

Agreed differences (Topic Discussion)

Gone are the days where every game gave every player the same starting setup and the same actions or abilities. More and more games these days come with factions who all have different powers, or if they all have the same, then they at least have a different starting setup. In this article, I want to look at those types of games where every player around the table basically plays a different game.

Let’s escape (Topic Discussion)

Board games can be a great way of escaping from the day-to-day worries, thoughts and general logistics, even if it's just for a short time. Board games are just one form of escapism, of course. Books, films, arts and crafts, hiking, solving crossword puzzles and many other activities can achieve something very similar for yourself or other people. You have to find what works for you, but in this article, I want to talk about board games and how they are a form of escapism for me.

Learning digital (Topic Discussion)

We all learn rules for games differently. I would even say, we learn rules differently for different games. I do like games that are easy to teach and learn, where the rules allow you to start playing pretty much straight away and you learn new rules as you go along. However, that's not always possible and for more complex games, learning rules tends to be more involved. Yet, now that more and more games are also available digitally, there seems to be another way of learning a new game.

Board Game Player Profile – Update (Topic Discussion)

The last time I checked my board game player profile on Quantic Foundry was back in April 2020, so nearly a year ago. So I thought, it's time to run through the questions again and see if much has changed. You can check yours as well. Just follow the links at the bottom of this article.

Relentless (Topic Discussion)

I have talked about house rules before, but what I want to talk about in this article is slightly different. When you play a game for the first time, or when you play a game you know with someone who plays it for the first time, the rules aren't always clear and it's possible someone misunderstands them. That's to be expected, but when you base your whole game, your whole strategy on your misunderstanding, then the game experience can really suffer. (This topic was inspired by the always wonderful Bez.)

The Emperor’s new games (Topic Discussion)

We all have a soft spot for the latest and greatest board game that's coming out next. After all, it'll be better and more wonderful than the game that came before it, or so we're told. We are entranced by the playthroughs, we gawp at the beautiful components and we imagine how much fun we'll have playing this amazing new game. Yet, sometimes these new games aren't actually that new and we're too blind to see it. So in this article, I want to explore what this means for us, as the board game buying public. (This topic was inspired by the always wonderful Bez.)