Deck Building Games

Undaunted: Normandy (Saturday Review)

We had just landed in Normandy. It was the summer of 1944, but it was relatively cold. We were thousands of miles from home and the landscape was unknown to us. Yet, we had to push deeper into a country we didn’t know in our goal to push the German forces out of France. There was regular machine gun fire and mortar bombardment. It was really scary, but we remained Undaunted: Normandy by Trevor Benjamin and David Thompson from Osprey Games.

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Teaching games – light games (Topic Discussion)

In my third article about teaching games, I want to talk about light games. The advantage of these games is, that they are easy to teach and quick to learn – and often also quick to play. So, this article should be rather short, but as we know, the easier something is, the better you have to execute it and given that lighter games are usually the sort of games new people to the hobby will come in contact with first, we need to do a good job teaching these types of games or we may miss a chance to grow our hobby. So, no pressure.

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Fort (Saturday Review)

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.

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Stasi Raus, Es Ist Aus! (Saturday Review)

The crowds were gathering outside, asking difficult questions, asking to be let in, not sure if we still had any control over them – but we fobbed them off with excuses, sent them to a different office and generally put up a smokescreen. We hadn’t finished our final project yet. There was so much left to do, so much evidence to destroy or get out of the back door. We didn’t know how much time we might have left, when we finally heard the chanting outside: “Stasi raus, es ist aus!” by DDR Museum.

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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.

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Flexible gaming (Topic Discussion)

As we all know, different people play games for different reasons and with different goals. Even the heaviest of games can be played in all sorts of different ways, and I don’t mean with different strategies in mind. Sure, in an 18xx game, you probably want to do everything to win and it’s unlikely that people will play it who just want to build scenic routes going through cities that they like – but it is a possibility. In this article, I want to look at the different motivations players have and how different games accommodate them to a larger or smaller extent.

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Keeping pace (Topic Discussion)

If you have played a number of games, you will have noticed how the pace in some games changes over time. A game might start slow and then speed up towards the end, or it keeps an even pace throughout. Some games even slow right down in the last round. In this article, I want to look at this more closely and see what affects the pace of a game.

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Compressed collections (Topic Discussion)

As many of you probably know, I only have limited space for games. That’s why I very much like small box games that have a lot of gameplay crammed into a small volume. It’s also the reason why I have been reboxing games that come in bigger boxes, compressing them down and getting rid of all the extra air that came with the original packaging. I have written about this in my article “Box clever?” a couple of years ago, and this time I want to give you some concrete examples of small box games crammed to the brim and larger box games that I have shrunk down.

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Carbon City Zero (Saturday Review)

It was time to build a better future and turn this city around. We knew we had to reduce our carbon output quickly. Our aim was to be carbon neutral. Yet, the road there would be difficult and tough decisions had to be made. Modernizing our housing stock, building wind farms, offering grants for solar panels and everything else would cost a lot of money. If we wanted to move quickly, we might have to accept a temporary increase in carbon output to build factories, that would help us finance the final goal – or we could go slowly and use our existing funds to improve things gradually. We were not alone though. There were a number of others who wanted to become the first Carbon City Zero by Possible.

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The Blessed Dark (Saturday Review)

The stage is prepared: a dusty old tome in the middle, a silver dagger encrusted with rubies across the open pages marking a specific section in the ancient text, a goblet in front of the book filled with the blood of thirteen poor souls, and five candles arranged in a pentagon around the periphery of the white marble pedestal. The whole room is gloomy and the air is thick with incense. There is absolute silence as you focus your mind on the difficult ritual you’re about to perform. The stakes are high, but if you succeed you will be able to summon a greater demon, who will bestow you the nine favor [sic] you need to become The Chosen, the highest-ranking cultist in your circle. The Blessed Dark by Nathan Meunier drags you away, kicking and screaming, into a world of deck building, rolling dice and casting spells.

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