The Village Square: January 12, 2015



I know it’s already two weeks into 2015 but I’m just now getting around to welcoming everyone to an exciting new year of gaming! But I have a good reason for that, I did things a little differently for the last couple of weeks in order to introduce some of my favorite writers from the community. It was indeed A Very Special Village Square. If you missed it you can read the exciting and silly two part gathering here: Part 1, Part 2.

I would like to give a big thanks to everyone that participated!


Community (Avatar) - 3DTotal Games

3DTotal Games

Community (Avatar) - Across The Board GamesNicole Jekich, Luke Turpeinen
Across The Board Games

Community (Avatar) - Altema GamesArtem Safarov
Altema Games

Community (Avatar) - Big Game TheoryOliver Kiley
Big Game Theory

Community (Avatar) - Boards and BarleyEd Marriott
Boards & Barley

Community (Avatar) - Cephalofair GamesIsaac Childres
Cephalofair Games

Community (Avatar) - Clever MoveMatt Casey
Clever Move

Community (Avatar) - Dr Wictz 2
Dr Wictz

Community (Avatar) - Game PrecipiceAlex Harkey
Games Precipice

Community (Avatar) - Giant Fire Breathing RobotDrew
Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Community (Avatar) - HyperboleGrant Rodiek
Hyperbole Games

Community (Avatar) - Inquisitive MeepleRyan Sanders
The Inquisitive Meeple


Community (Avatar) - Keith Burgun
Keith Burgun

Community (Avatar) - League of Nonsensical Gamers
The League of Nonsensical Gamers

Community (Avatar) - MVP BoardgamesPeter Gousis
MVP Boardgames

Community (Avatar) - Nothing Sacred GamesTeale Fristoe
Nothing Sacred Games

Community (Avatar) - Oakleaf GamesNat Levan
Oakleaf Games

Community (Avatar) - The Political Gamer
The Political Gamer

Community (Avatar) - Stonemaier GamesJamey Stegmaier
Stonemaier Games

Community (Avatar) - TGIK Games 2Chris Renshall
TGIK Games

Community (Avatar) - Theology of GamesJeremiah Isley, Scott Firestone IV
Theology of Games

Community (Avatar) - Troll In The CornerBen
Troll in the Corner

Community (Avatar) - Whose Turn Is It AnywayJacob Coon
Whose Turn Is It Anyway?

Community (Avatar) - Wiltgren MediaFilip Wiltgren
Wiltgren Media



It was so much fun to chat and get to know everyone that I’m hoping to open up The Village Square to community involvement more in the coming months. For now you can join us on Twitter (@islaythedragon@futurewolfie, @spielemitkinder, @upliftandrew, @megatronschmidt) or leave some comments below, we’d love to hear from everyone! You can also read all about what we’ll be up to in the near future in our year in review.

Now back to the regularly scheduled gathering in The Village Square. And in case you were wondering, I haven’t forgotten about the Dragon’s Peak. You can look forward to joining our adventurers for an all new installment coming at the end of the month with a look at some of the exciting new games that 2015 will have to offer!


Community Talk

[fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]It’s a new year and that means it’s time to get serious about your gaming. Fortunately there’s plenty of help for coming up with the perfect board gaming resolution.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

2015 Challenge #1 – 10 x 10 (BoardGameGeek)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Play 10 games 10 times each

As a counterpoint to the Cult of the New, this challenge encourages people to play each game several times to explore and experience them in depth. There is no rush to find the optimum strategy on your first play, or read all of the cards beforehand. Instead, each play reveals something more and something different, you get to try various strategies, and everyone’s strategies evolve with their understanding and learning of the game.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - BGG[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]In case you’re more the type that likes to try as many games as possible there’s a challenge for you too![/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

2015 Challenge #2 – 100 x 1

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Play a hundred different games

we give ourselves another challenge for 2015, and we invite all those interested to hop aboard and share with us their progress. It is a challenge for the cultists of the new, for those who have too many unplayed games, for those who want to take their games “out of the dust”, or for those who like to sample what the gaming world has to offer.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - BGG[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]If you’re more interested in simply hearing about what games to get excited about in the coming year then we’ve that covered too.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

Most Anticipated Games of 2015

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]There can be only one twenty!
Back for a sixth year…
After a 4 week open nomination period the nominations list is now closed and we have the top 50 nominees that will vie to make the cut for the top 20 in this most in-formal andun-official contest.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - BGG[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]And while we’re at it I bet there’s an inspiring word or two about the future from our fellow gamers and designers.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

The Golden Age of Boardgames (Clever Move Games)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Board Gamers have been declaring the Golden Age of board games since about 2011, but that message has been gaining steam in recent months; The Guardian and Boston Globe newspapers have both published significant diving into board gaming’s rebirth, as has Nate Silver’s

But, if you want real proof of board gaming’s golden age, take a look at TableTop. Wil Wheaton’s celebrity board game web series is now in its third season, and this year’s game selection shows a very clear bias toward newer games.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - Clever Move[/fifth][full][/full]

Presents to My Future Self (Across the Board Games)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Around the board game community there are a variety of opinions on using Kickstarter as a means to fund games. Each time you fund a campaign you have to weigh the risk of losing money to a lemon or possibly nabbing a copy of the next hot game on Board Game Geek.

I want to share my thoughts on the benefits of funding a future game that may not be apparent at first. I’m talking about the surprise and joy of receiving a game on your doorstep at a time when smiles are hard to come by.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - Across The Board Games[/fifth][full][/full]

Let’s Raise the Bar (Boardgames That Tell Stories)

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]My friends, fellow publishers and designers. It was a great time to compete with you in 2014. I honestly congratulate you Five Tribes and Star Realms, and King of New York and Spyfall and many more…

But it is January 2015 now.

I challenge you. It’s time to raise the bar. Again.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Community (Avatar) - Board Games That Tell Stories[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]I’m sure there will be plenty more great stories to share in the future. Make sure to join us again next week in the Village Square![/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]


A Very Special Conclusion

[fifth width=”60px”]Villager 2[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Hold on, wasn’t Sauron threatening to destroy the entire village just last week? I’m not going to let you get away with glazing over the details on that one…[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Alright, alright. Let me think up something really quick, er, I mean tell you what happened.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Villager 2[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]And don’t give us more of this time traveling cop-out nonsense.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Sure, because who wouldn’t want the loop to keep repeating until there were enough Batsmen to finally defeat Sauron.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Villager 2[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Actually that does sound pretty great.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Portrait - Andrew[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Too late! Prepare for a much more boring conclusion, you asked for it.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”70px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]It’s a grim scene in The Village Square. The Batsmen and Sauron are about to engage in a battle that could bring the town to ruins… again.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]You dare to defy me? Will you not play the One Game?[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Village Square Sauron[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Village Square Avatar Batman 2[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]There’s a new game in town, Sauron–It’s just you and me.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]And me.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Village Square (Avatar) - Batman[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Enough! If you refuse to play then I must destroy all the games… and this town with them.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Village Square Sauron[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Village Square Avatar Batman 2[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]This battle we’re fighting, it can’t be won if we fight it with conventional weapons. If we’re going to save this village, we have to use instruments more subtle than fists and brute force.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full] [fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Some would say it isn’t him attacking. It’s his disease. It’s his addiction. Too bad I can’t kick his addiction.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Village Square (Avatar) - Batman[/fifth][full][/full] [fifth width=”60px”]Community (Avatar) - Teale Fristoe[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Listen Batsmen, there’s a gamer inside that monster. I’ve got just the thing![/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

[fifth width=”70px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain align=center]Teale pulls a box from his utility belt…[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

LotR Card Game

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]What’s this?![/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Village Square Sauron[/fifth][full][/full]

[fifth width=”60px”]Community (Avatar) - Teale Fristoe[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]A co-operative card game set in your world, Middle Earth. There are solo rules too in case you scared everyone off.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]

[fifth width=”80px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]I guess it couldn’t hurt to try it.[/plain][/three_quarters][fifth width=”10px”][/fifth][fifth width=”50px”]Village Square Sauron[/fifth][full][/full]

[fifth width=”70px”][/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Sauron quickly became addicted to his new game and forgot all about his plans for world domination. And thus peace was restored to the village. If only all conflicts could be settled with a simple game. Perhaps one day they will.[/plain][/three_quarters][full][/full]


Dragon Slayer Roundup

[fifth width=”30px”][/fifth][fifth width=”70px”]Portrait - Wolfie[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]Concept - Thumb Review: Concept

Article: Ever Forward (Our Year In Review)[/plain][/three_quarters] [full][/full] [fifth width=”30px”][/fifth][fifth width=”70px”]Portrait - Jennifer[/fifth][three_quarters][plain]CV Gossip - Thumb Review: CV: Gossip[/plain][/three_quarters] [full][/full]


Games On Our Table

Portrait - Andrew Andrew’s Plays

Play 2014-Jan-12 - Roll For The Galaxy 2

Roll For The Galaxy – You could say that I was a little bit excited for this game. Considering that I’ve been looking for a grail dice game and Race For The Galaxy is my favorite game I had high hopes. Well folks, I’m very happy to say that Roll definitely did not disappoint. In some ways it even exceeded my expectations. What makes it so great? I’m glad you asked! Here are just a couple things that mad Roll worth the wait.

1. Accessibility. I got this game on December 29th and was able to squeeze 5 plays in before the end of the year. Already in 2015 I’ve played it another 10 times with several different groups. This game is like candy, the reception has been overwhelmingly positive which came as a big surprise considering how polarizing Race is. It’s easy to teach and once you get used to the flow of the game it’s quick to play. As far I can tell this is due in large part to the simplifying of many concepts from Race, including text on all the tiles, and using the dice to add uncertainty and excitement to the game. It certainly doesn’t hurt that this is a hot new game with an established brand working for it but I’ve played it with enough groups to prove that there’s a solid game to back it up.

Play 2014-Jan-12 - Roll For The Galaxy 32. Not just Race: The Dice Game. Roll For The Galaxy certainly has a lot of similarities to Race but it is absolutely its own game in many ways. Right from the start the flow is quite different due to the cards from Race being swapped out for dice. Where this can end up being gimmicky in other dice version games Roll plays to the strength of dice in order to enhance the core mechanics and introduce new ones. The big change is the added uncertainty during the role selection phase. Your dice will determine how well you can perform the given roles and if you didn’t end up with what you wanted it’s up to you to either play to the strength of your tableau or let your dice tell you what to do. The reason this system doesn’t end up being a luck-driven mess comes in the speculation over what roles the other players will pick. You also have some ability to manipulate your dice so no matter how badly you roll you’ll still be able to perform any role reasonably well.

I’m sure I’ll continue to talk a lot about Roll as I become more familiar with it. For now I’m going to praise the game for offering a unique experience for veteran Race players while decreasing the barrier to entry for everyone else.

Play 2014-Jan-12 - Imperial SettlersImperial SettlersPlay 2014-Jan-12 - Imperial Settlers 2




Play 2014-Jan-12 - HomesteadersHomesteadersPlay 2014-Jan-12 - Homesteaders 2




Play 2014-Jan-12 - Shadow ThroneShadow ThronePlay 2014-Jan-12 - Shadow Throne 2





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.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. Curtis J. Reubens

    At last I have made it into the Village Square! *cackles maniacally*

    …What do you mean, where? Just up there! No, I’m not saying I’m Batman. Look, see the post from Clever Move Games? Okay, just click on the link in that to the Guardian article. Now, scroll down for a bit – see that picture of two people playing Five Tribes on an unreasonably small table? Well I’m the one on the left.


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