When we play board games together, each of us will have certain expectations, and it’s when our expectations are met, that we feel we’ve had a good time. In this article, I want to talk about what these expectations can be and what we can do, as a group playing together, to enable everyone to enjoy themselves. (This topic was inspired by the always wonderful Bez.)
The forest ratmen were on the loose, overrunning the land and pushing out stout elves, heroic dwarves and berserk trolls wherever they found them. As the ratmen invaded region after region, other factions left this world, but not for long. They only retreated for a little while as they regrouped and then returned with fresh vigour but reduced strength. The battle was on and there wasn’t much room for everyone on the map. After all, it was a Smallworld by Days of Wonder.
After graduating as an illustrator from Emile Cohl school in France, Atha Kanaani moved to Montréal to work for F2Z Entertainment on the game Traders of Osaka. A couple of year later he moved back to France and became a full-time illustrator for Z-Man Games. Atha has worked on games like Pandemic, Smile Mesozooic and Through the Desert.
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…
My two best friends were here and we decided to go out into the yard and see who else was about. Chef and Prince were hanging around the street at the back of the house, while Smoke and Doc were playing tag. Blitz and Sweet Pea were up the ash tree in the neighbour’s garden. It was a motley crew, but we usually got up to some fun. Suddenly I had an idea. It would be cool if we had a little competition with all the other kids in the neighbourhood and see who could build the biggest and strongest Fort by Leder Games.
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.)
We had been transported to another world, another time maybe. The stars were all wrong, not matching any of the charts we had on board our ship, the Manticore. Captain Sofi Odessa decided we should make landfall and spotted a natural harbour nearby. As we got closer, we saw an old woman waving to us from the shore. It seemed like she had been expecting us. Once we had dropped anchor, we went to the starboard side to speak to the woman and find out what she wanted. She was clearly excited to see us and immediately told us that we were here to wake the Sleeping Gods by Red Raven Games.
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.)
Building the Colossus was going to require a lot of resources. Some iron for the base, many carefully hewn and ornately dressed stones to create a strong structure that would represent our most revered sun-god Helios. Chares, the sculptor, oversaw the project from start to finish to ensure the Gods would smile on us and our country’s fortunes well into the future. We all knew it was going to be hard work, but it seemed that the Gods helped us along and building the whole structure was over more quickly than anyone expected. In fact, it was so quick that we couldn’t wait to build yet another One Card Wonder by Ape Games.
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.)