Friday, January 17, 2014

Beginning a Boardgame

So I have had a few ideas kicking around my head for some time now, I'm not sure if anything will come of them but I thought I should make a go of it for a change.

Right now I just have some themes that I like and the loose outline for one game's mechanics. The themes are whaling, temple building, mountain climbing, sports(either some future variation on rugby or lacrosse). Now the mechanic is a tile laying system and I thought I could do it with worker placement. So I have to figure out the core rules and get something together to start testing. For the other games I am going to read up on the subjects and see where that takes me.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Great Gateway Boardgames

Since we have started hosting an almost monthly game night I have expanded my collection at a faster pace than I had planned. This led me to some purchases I regretted but a lot that have made stepping into gaming far easier than when I was a youngster in the eighties. So in no order here are the gateway games that have really gone over well for my group.

Ticket to Ride -- This was one of the first games I played with Angela and her sister. It is pretty easy to grasp the rulse and the difference between the two base sets make it tilted towards a more take that play style or With the addition of stations in Ticket to Ride: Europe lets you play in a more friendly style. I think the 1910 expansion for the original and the 1912 expansion for Europe adds enough to the game that they should be an auto include when purchasing one of the base sets.

Lords of Waterdeep -- This worker placement game sees the table often, it feels far more epic than it should but I have never been disappointed by playing it. The expansion does a lot to break the sometimes forced nature of the game and once you start to tire of the original it is definitely worth picking up.

Sushi Go -- Hasn't even hit the table yet and I already had three people ask when the next game night was so they could play. Now I have played the game and it is a nice little filler that I hope gears everyone up to play 7 Wonders.

Dominion -- As long as you handle the set up it is a really good tool for showing that a board isn't necessary, it was the first game I tried when I decided to get back into board games and it was the right choice for me. Coming from CCGs after a childhood of Dungeons and Dragons and my uncles Avalon Hill collection let me jump into the scene with confidence in being able learn any game I wanted. Starting in a familiar medium really helped shore up my confidence. Now we have Ascension, Trains and several other deck builders that can serve this purpose but I would still choose Dominion.

Those are the games that I usually open up for people and now others in our group feel comfortable teaching. I hope to get Firenze to the group table as it is a solid gateway in my opinion.

Monday, January 06, 2014

My Top 5 Boardgames of 2013

This is a list of my current top 5 games, I am going to try and update it every year. These are not all games released in 2013, so here goes.

Honorable Mention - Machi Koro

5. Founding Fathers

I love this games theme, it does a really good job of marrying the mechanics and theme of the game. It makes for a very tense area control/resource management game, for me at least that is how it plays on the table. The actions open to you are limited but the timing and various powers of the cards bring a lot of depth to the game. The only reason it hasn't seen the table more is due to the 3 player minimum.

4. Tzolkin: The Mayan Calander

The timing of this game is also a big factor in making it fun for me. Once again a small selection of main actions(pick up a piece(s) or pull a piece(s) from the wheels) and a lot of variety from the actions on the board along with varied set-ups allow for a lot of reply value. If the dummy player wasn't needed for 2 player it might rank higher but it is needed to add tension into the game.

3. Suburbia

This tile laying game has seen the table a fair amount through the year. It has a Dutch auction aspect and a healthy dose of resource management. It also has a built in equalizer for a run away leader which is nice for those times when other players get a large point jump.

2. Keyflower

So the worker placement combined with the auctions allow for a wide range of options, especially since you are using the same resource for both. One has to walk a fine line between bidding and making the resources you need. Then add in the tile laying of your village so you can transport goods for points and/or upgrading your tiles, the game offers a wealth of decisions.

1. Terra Mystica

City building, resource management and all the powers open to players. Then you have unique abilities for each race and an area control aspect with the more players you add make this a really tense/fun game for me.