Change of interest (Topic Discussion)

Let's face it. The pandemic has made a huge impact on the world overall, including, of course, board games, which is what I want to focus on in this article. Without being able to meet in person, many of us have changed how we play games, while others have stopped playing board games altogether and turned to other forms of entertainment. All of that has directly impacted the design and development of new games and I want to try and evaluate what that impact is. (This topic was inspired by the always wonderful Bez.)

Learning together (Topic Discussion)

It is nice when you have a regular games group, be it friends or family or a mix of both. You get to play games regularly, you can share each others' collections, you can maybe even decide to buy games together and split the cost and there are many other positives when you have a group of people to play games with. What I want to talk about in this article, is why I think it's so wonderful to learn a new game together with a group of people you regularly play with.

Perseverance (Topic Discussion)

Some games just click. There are very few rules and you can basically start playing after reading a couple of paragraphs. Other games take longer to learn, with pages upon pages of rules, turns that consist of multiple phases or maybe some sort of conflict resolution steps that take a while to grasp. In fact, even seemingly simple games can take a long time to master. So in this article, I want to look at how patient we are with games and why some games deserve our perseverance.

Finding the fun (Topic Discussion)

I think like pretty much every hobby, playing board games is about having fun. You might prefer to play solo, you might like to play with your partner or you have a group of friends you play with. You probably play different types of games with different people. Maybe you play lighter games with your loved one in the evenings, because you're both tired after work and want to have some relaxing time together, but when you play with your games group you want something complex and thinky to really stretch your brain. Ultimately though, I think it's all about having fun.

Game hoard (Topic Discussion)

Many of us in the board game hobby love our collection. Some of us have many, many Kallax shelves with dozens upon dozens of games, others, like myself, have maybe 80 or so small games stashed under the sofa and in a small cupboard, and others still only have a handful. Normally I would say, it doesn't matter how many games you have, but for the purpose of this article I want to look at if maybe some of us have too many games. (This topic was inspired by the always wonderful Bez.)

Christmas Spirit (Topic Discussion)

It is the time of cheer and joy - and giving: Christmas. Of course, for many of us it's about receiving gifts, but there is also a lot of joy to be gotten from giving. If you think Christmas has become over-commercialized, then it's especially important that you give a gift - and I don't mean buying someone something, but giving away what you've already got. I'm talking about giving away some of your board games to spread the joy of our hobby to others.

It’s tricky (Topic Discussion)

As you can probably tell from my review of The Crew, I love trick-taking games. I grew up with them. I learned to shuffle cards when I was about six and started to play Skat with my family when I was about eight. In secondary school, I learned Doppelkopf. I didn't play them for many years after I left school and it was only when I played Vivaldi at Gaming Rules' evening during last year's Essen Spiel Messe that I rediscovered the genre. So I wanted to talk more about my fascination with these games.

Overruled (Topic Discussion)

The old topic of "house rules" keeps cropping up. Some of us are purists and feel that you have to play games with the rules they came with, because otherwise you won't get the experience that the designer intended. Others feel that tweaking a few rules here and there can make a game more fun for you and the people you play with and that designers want us to enjoy their games. In this article, I want to speak for the latter group and show that house rules aren't a sacrilege.

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 reviewers will rely on a mix of both. What I want to look at in this article is how review copies, which are (usually) free, may influence a review and what the relationship between publishers, or designers, and reviewers may look like and how it can also play a part in how a review is written.