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The Village Square: May 25, 2015

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It’s Memorial Day here in the states which means a time for remembrance and hopefully an extra long weekend of gaming to boot!

Make sure to tell them about my sweet Origins preview too!

I’m getting around to it.

If you don’t mind mentioning my thoughts on this year’s Spiel Des Jahres nominations as well…

Anybody else got something to share?

I only burned down two house this week!

That’s not really board game related but I’m still proud of you Kenith.

Community Talk

For those who want to hear about what the rest of the village was talking about this week we’ve got you covered!

A low player count doesn’t mean a lack of gameplay or mechanics. In fact, there are some hefty 2-player games that can take hours to play through. Rich, complex systems and beautiful components are not the sole domain of the 4-6 player games. You can get your hardcore game on with the assistance of only one additional human (not included in the box).

As is my tradition, I don’t just research a topic; I run a survey, interview designers, and find out about a whole community of folks that love playing 2-player games. There is something for everyone in today’s article: lots of data, lists of top 2-player games, advice on how to create your own 2-player game, and how to get that game in front of interested publisher.

Board Games, Party of Two
Matthew Gravelyn

If you thought that Asmodee absorbing large companies such as as Fantasy Flight and Days of Wonder with the ferocity of a Hungry Hungry Hippo was a massive, nay huge thing in the board gaming world, well you where probably right. But this announcement right now, the thing that you are reading, this thing, well its set to change the face of board game media forever*

The Big Launch
The Ministry of Board Games

Why do we still think that it will all come to an end? Why do people gaze upon this abundance and start looking for signs of the coming end? Probably exactly because of how big and robust the boardgaming market has become. Some of us instinctively assume (basically taught by the history of mankind) that something as big has to finally fall flat on its backside. And many people are already drawing parallels between the booming boardgaming industry of today and the video game industry of the eighties – just before its fall.

Something that has always perplexed me about game design is how to assess a board game where the outcome of the game consistently comes down to the last turn.  Does this signify the game is well designed or poorly designed?

I think that ephemeral experience of a game, the feel of it, is really why we play. I might enjoy auctions, but not because I love to buy and sell. It is more because of the kind of competition it tends to bring to a game. That difficult-to-define sense is really what the game experience is about. And, as far as I know, there’s no real way to describe or quantify it. In some sense, it’s like wine connoisseurs using words like “cheerful” to describe a clearly inanimate object.

How Does it Feel?
Giant Fire Breathing Robot

We have some great games featured in this issue!

John Anthony Gulla continues his excellent series “The History of Tabletop Games”. This issue he looks at the games of ancient Greece.

Bill Bruan contributes a fine review of Firefly. The game is based on the fan favorite TV series. If you are a fan of the show, you will want to read Bill’s review!

I’d like to thank Dr. Reiner Knizia, Peter Adkison, and Brom for taking the time from their busy shedules to share their thoughts with our readers.

Issue #3
Game Nite Magazine

Come back next week for more great discussion from the community!

Games On Our Table

Play 2015-May 25 - ED MicrocosmEminent Domain: Microcosm – This is a game that I backed on a whim without actually knowing much about the game (it was super cheap after all). I got my copy last week and took it over to a friend’s house to try it out only to find out that he had also backed it and wanted to play. I had heard in advance that the rules weren’t that great and I agree they could be more clear but we managed just fine.

The first game that we played felt a bit directionless. Neither of us really knew what we were doing and the game ended rapidly without either of us focusing on points. I was a bit lukewarm on it but we gave it another try because it was so fast. The second game went much smoother since we actually had an idea of how to work towards final scoring. I found it to be enjoyable and am looking forward to seeing how deep it can really be for such a quick game.

Play 2015-May 25 - StrifeStrife: Legacy of the Eternals – We moved on to Patchwork (my choice) and then followed it up with Strife (my friend’s choice). I had a feeling it wouldn’t really be my kind of game but I did really appreciate the design. Each player has 9 identical cards and there is a ton of information crammed onto those cards making for some fascinating, deep, and overwhelming decisions. It would be a great game to play repeatedly with the same opponent but I’m not sure I’d be willing to invest the time. I don’t mind a learning curve but I prefer games that I more intuitive in nature to aid the process and Strife simply had too much information to track (or reference) for my taste. For those that want a strategic game of anticipation and maneuvering this system seemed very robust.

Play 2015-May 25 - SaboteurSaboteur – This generally is the kind of game that I avoid but FarmerLenny got me feeling adventurous with his SdJ article so I gave it a shot. Turns out we have a great group for a rowdy game of deception and mischief. I ended up leading the Saboteurs to victory in two of the three games with my masterful lying. In the very first game we started off with three players using maps and claiming that all three locations were coal. I was the one who had actually seen gold and lied about it. Things went downhill from their and more accusations were made than progress. An easy win for the Saboteurs! It was certainly a fun experience but probably not a game that I’m necessarily eager to play again soon.

I love optimization and engine games with tableau builders and card driven ones being my favorite. This usually means medium-heavy euros and medium-light card games.

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