Serious war games – controversial or not (Topic Discussion)
War games are often seen as controversial. Replaying the atrocities that occurred during a large-scale conflict seems completely inappropriate. Condensing the huge amount of suffering, death and destruction into a game of pushing tiles around a board and rolling dice or playing cards seems perverse. So in this article, I try to put everything into a bit more context and tease out the pros and cons of war games and how controversial they really are when compared to some of the other games in our vast hobby.
Winning strategies – ideas to help you win (Topic Discussion)
Even if you’re not a particularly competitive player, trying to win the game is what you should aim for. You may not care if you do eventually win and prefer to focus on doing better than previously. That’s fine and at the end of the day, playing games is about having fun. However, if you do have even a small competitive streak in you, then this article may help you become a better player and win more often.
Dented replacements – the issue with replacement parts for board games (Topic Discussion)
Inspired by a Twitter post from Matt at Lost My Meeples, I wanted to talk about what I think a publisher’s responsibilities are when it comes to replacing board game components. I think there are some things we will all agree on that a publisher should replace and others where we probably all agree that a publisher doesn’t have to send replacements. There will also be plenty of things somewhere in between, that sit in a grey area somewhere and aren’t so clear-cut.
Everyone can play – games that (should) suit most people (Topic Discussion)
I always say that not everyone will like every board game, but there is a board game for everyone. I suppose, I should concede that some people don’t like board games at all. Our hobby isn’t for everyone and that’s fine, of course. However, in this article, I want to look at the sort of games that should suit most people.
Victorious losses – games without loss or victory condition (Topic Discussion)
In digital games, the idea of a high score table dates back to the 1970s and 80s. Yes, you would eventually run out of lives or credits and therefore lose a console game, but beating your own or someone else’s highest point score was much more important. Finishing a game and beating the last boss monster was not really a thing. Many digital games didn’t even have an ending as such. They just got more and more difficult. So the question is, if something similar is also possible for analogue games.
Economic simulations – why I love them so much (Topic Discussion)
There is one genre of games that really stands out for me: economic simulations. These types of games scratch a very specific itch, right in the middle of my back, that other games just can’t reach. I get an immense feeling of bliss when the tingling finally subsides as I invest money to make more money. In this article, I want to explain in a bit more in detail why this genre makes me feel so good.
Digital cheats – practising against AIs (Topic Discussion)
Since the lockdown, many board games have now also been released in digital format. Some of these implementations are just a representation of the physical game on your screen. You still have to move everything by hand and do all the housekeeping. Other solutions enforce rules and carry out all the actions for you. You just need to point and click. Some games also come with AI opponents, allowing you to create a competitive game even when you’re by yourself or add additional, digital players to a multiplayer game. In this article, I want to look at using these computer players to help you improve your game.
Keeping time – how time limits can speed up games (Topic Discussion)
I enjoy games with quite a wide range of playing times. I like long games that take a couple of hours or more to play, up to a certain point at least. Anything above three hours is probably going to be too long for me. I also love quick games that take 15 minutes to half an hour, but I’m definitely not a fan of real-time games. In this article, I want to look at how timekeeping affects the gameplay experience.
Pricey games – how we value games (Topic Discussion)
I have often heard that board game reviews should talk about the price of games. If a review tries to help people make a buying decision, then that makes perfect sense. After all, the best game in the world may still just be too expensive and a game that’s free may still not be worth it. Of course, there are many steps in between. So how much a game costs is clearly something people consider. Yet, I never mention the price of a game in any of my reviews and I don’t plan on doing so in the future. Let me explain…
The Art of Board Games (Topic Discussion)
As many of you probably know, I am a very visual person. I love it when rulebooks are well laid out and have helpful photos that show how something works. The graphic design of game and player boards is also something I think is very important. A good choice of clear icons can really help with understanding how a game works and speed up the flow of a turn. Top it all off with beautiful board game art and you have the complete package, if you ask me.