It was dark and damp. Of course, that was not unusual for the Tacora Cave, a giant underground system which was strewn with precious jewels and priceless artefacts. Those were the reason why we were here in the first place. Armed with our torches, we explored one tunnel after another, always mindful of traps. Sooner or later, one of us would get scared and make their way back to the entrance with their share of the treasures we had found so far. The rest of us continued, praying we would not fall foul of another trap and lose everything. After all, we wanted to get rich and find the most Diamant by Bruno Faidutti and Alan R. Moon from Iello.
Cornwall, the early 19th century. Tin and copper mines are popping up everywhere. These metals are so important for the Empire. Tin is used in many alloys and copper to clad the ships of the Royal Navy. Both industries attract more and more people and lead to new developments and inventions. The growing demand for efficient water pumps leads to the development of the steam engine, which in turn allows the building of the first steam trains. However, it is the people who are at the heart of all of this activity and their daily walk from their homes to the mines becomes known as the Tinners' Trail by Martin Wallace from Alley Cat Games.
The canal era was over. It was the time of the steam railways. The industrial revolution was in full swing and coal was at the heart of new, booming industries. A lot of steel was needed to build the infrastructure that would allow resources and goods to be shipped around the country. The workforce needed to be kept happy and beer was the perfect lubricant for this task. The rise of cotton mills, potteries and manufacturing gave us the opportunities to earn our Brass: Birmingham by Gavan Brown, Matt Tolman and Martin Wallace from Roxley Games.
The gallery was packed. People were chatting, holding glasses of champagne or plates with little aperitifs. Some of the attendees agitatedly pointed at artworks, clearly moved by what they were seeing. The gallerist had picked the artists and their artwork according to a common theme. Everything worked harmoniously together, except maybe one or two pieces, which were slightly at odds with everything else on display. They seemed a bit vague. It was as if, among the list of creators in the exhibition, there was A Fake Artist Goes to New York by Jun Sasaki from Oink Games.
Playing games is often a very social activity, even though I don't want to neglect the many solo gamers that play an important part in our hobby. However, in this article, I want to focus on multiplayer games. I want to talk about what roles friends fulfil in our hobby. I basically want to write an ode to all the friends I have made through board games. See the following as my love letter to friends everywhere.
"Captain!" came the shout from the deck. I turned around to see who from my Bluefin Squadron had called over to me. "What is it?" I shouted back in the general direction of my crew. "The crow's nest has spotted something. It looks like a smuggler ship." Ah, yes, the Smugglers. We were neither allies nor enemies. They would help us up to a point, while also always looking out for themselves. I only trusted them as far as my cannons could fire at them. "Fine, fine. Come about and let's see what they're up to." Minutes later the smuggler ship was upon us and I shouted "Ahoy!" by Greg Loring-Albright from Leder Games.
Nestled between hills and blanketed with beautiful fields of grass, where cows grazed happily, our village was in the perfect place. Country life was slow and relaxed, because nobody had anywhere urgent to get to. However, that was all going to change soon. Metal tracks were soon going to crisscross between hills and along rivers. They would connect our sleepy corner of the world. They were the Village Rails by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert from Osprey Games.
An interesting question Phil Gross recently asked is why low-interaction games are so popular these days. Even though I'm not really sure whether these types of games are actually popular nowadays, I do wonder why people like games with very little player interaction. So in this article, I want to look at the attraction of games that are either completely multiplayer solitaire or provide very little opportunity for players to interfere with each other's game.
It was time to take over Earth. We had cunning plans, but then, we were also all trying to sabotage each other at the same time. We knew we had to convince a couple of different regions to be loyal to us and the rest would happen automatically. We also had a super secret weapon. We were going to bribe the Earthlings with Cake of Doom by Amar Chandarana and Pearl Ho from Rainy Day Games.
It was time to prove myself as a favoured crusader once again. My goal was to kill the devious Spider, while being very careful to avoid the Skeletons. Both of these enemies were out to kill me. I had my Fury and my Light, representing my devotion to my divine goals and I knew I could use these to powerful effect. Ultimately though, it was Grit that would increase my capabilities as a hero. I took a deep breath and then entered Vast: The Mysterious Manor by Patrick Leder from Leder Games.