Digital Advantage – online gameplay experience versus in person (Topic Discussion)

Since the pandemic, many of us have started to explore the world of online board gaming. Even before we went into lockdown, there have been digital platforms allowing us to play games remotely. For me, these were really important, because it allowed my game group to carry on when we were all told to stay at home. Now that my friends have moved away, they continue to help us play together. Yet, in this article, I don't want to look at these platforms themselves, but focus on how the digital gameplay experience differs from meeting in person.

Fatal Attractions – my fascination with historical games (Topic Discussion)

Historical simulation games, conflict simulation games or war games - call them what you will. There is certainly a huge following of this genre and there is an endless list of these games already on the market, with many more coming out each year. Many people are put off by the idea of replaying a real conflict from history, but of course, these types of games don't necessarily have to be about war, nor do they have to be set in history. In this article, I want to look at this genre of game and try and work out what it is that seems to attract me to it.

Repeatable Replay – the importance of replayability of board games (Topic Discussion)

I keep hearing people talk about replayability in board games. I've talked about the topic a few times in the past. I've also clarified the difference between variability and replayability. However, as the topic keeps popping up from time to time, I thought I'd share some more of my thoughts. After all, I think replayability is an important criterium when it comes to buying board games.

Friends with Games – how important game nights are (Topic Discussion)

I know it's not true for everyone and playing games by yourself is certainly something a lot of people really enjoy, but for me, playing board games with friends or family is very important. I always look forward to the next time I meet friends, be it online or in person, for game night. I get really excited when my wife or daughter says that they want to play board games with me. I always think carefully about what games to take when we go and meet family and it's wonderful that they enjoy the hobby almost as much as I do. In this article, I want to look at this a little closer.

Buy, Buy, Buy – my love affair with economic simulation board games (Topic Discussion)

There is a type of board game that I absolutely love. In fact, I've always loved it. Economic simulations somehow activate a certain part of my brain that is really stimulating. These games not only activate my brain's reward centre, but their competitive nature and the element of bluffing all scratch the right itches for me. In this article, I want to look in a bit more detail at which games fall into this category of economic simulation and what it is about them that I enjoy so much.

In All Seriousness – board games with sensitive topics (Topic Discussion)

I know that many of us play board games to have fun. Whether we enjoy lighter or heavier games, it's all about spending time, either alone or with friends or family, getting away from the day-to-day worries and immersing yourself in another world for an hour or two or three. Yet, there are games that are set against the background of a very serious topic. These games want us, the players, to engage with the topic in a safe environment. They will never be perfect representations of the reality they portray, but hopefully, they will make us want to engage with the topic further.

Single-Use Games – the board game hobby’s throw-away attitude (Topic Discussion)

Let's be honest. Most of us in the hobby buy games that we play once or twice or in rare cases, three or four times. In fact, the term "shelf of shame" is a thing, describing games that people have bought but not yet played. The thing is, these games sit there unplayed for months on end and may never see the welcome sight of a table, let alone a board game table. So in this article, I want to look at this a bit further and investigate why we don't play the same games more than a handful of times.

Stop Toying With Me – when gimmicks in board games have a purpose (Topic Discussion)

Some might argue that board games are basically just toys. Some games add to that argument when they play on the toy factor by including one or more components that are basically just a gimmick. These components could easily be replaced by something else without affecting gameplay. Yet, some games are accused of capitalising on the attraction of gimmicks when these playful components are actually an integral part without which the game wouldn't function. In this article, I want to look at this a bit more closely.

No Win Situation – a look at victory conditions in board games (Topic Discussion)

Whether we play competitive or cooperative games, we all expect someone to be the winner. Even if it's "the game" who wins in a cooperative game. In fact, there is usually a single winner or a team in team games. Most games will list one or multiple tie-breakers to decide who is the ultimate winner. So the idea of victory conditions has become second nature to most of us in the board game hobby. Yet, there are games that don't elect a winner and in this article, I want to talk about what this might feel like.

Fear Leads to Anger – X-Wing Miniatures fans claim company is ruining tabletop skirmish game (Topic Discussion)

In this latest guest post, Samuel Webb, an experienced news reporter and copywriter based in Coventry, discusses why some X-Wing Miniatures fans are unhappy with the company that they claim is ruining this beloved Star Wars tabletop skirmish game.