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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.