Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PAX East: Bl4k Lotus sang this song about Race for the Galaxy

I saw this at PAX East and it blew me away. Thankfully someone recorded it. Most of it at least.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Burnout

Burnout is something we've probably all suffered from at some point.  Something happens to an activity you really enjoy, and all the fun gets sucked out of it.  So much so that we feel compelled to avoid it at all cost.  Which can really suck, because suddenly you are short a hobby that may have really been fulfilling.  It can also really hurt any aspirations of competitive growth if that's your thing.

I've found burnout can come from a lot of sources.  The one that probably happens the most to people is playing a game to death.  I find this to be especially the case when the metagame for your group turns to cement.  Bob always opens with the same strategy obnoxious rushing strategy that feels over powered.  Sue always gangs up against him with Greg.  You know the broad strokes of the game before you even sit down to play it.


Monday, March 17, 2014

First Impressions for March

Hapsburg Eclipse


I only got a single game of Hapsburg Eclipse in since I got it, although I'm hoping to get a bunch more in this week.  It's another States of Siege game, and first off I have to say I love the National Loyalty minigame much more than previous minigames.  The National Loyalty has you constantly rolling to see if your ethnically diverse empire has torn itself apart yet.  Ottoman Sunset's forcing of the narrows minigame felt incredibly tacked on, and poorly integrated.  The National Loyalty in Hapsburg Eclipse feels much more elegantly unified to the rest of the game design.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Agricola Review

When I first got into board gaming, Agricola was the game.  But it looked complicated.  I read the rules online, but didn't get much out of them.  Then I tried it out at a convention, borrowing it from the library.  But you know how library copies of games can be.  Whoever played it last just unceremoniously dumped all the pieces back in the box helter skelter.  So after an hour of sorting everything back out and setting up the game, I got half an attempt in with it, then we had to quit.  I tried again the next day, and this time someone taught us how to play.  Then they left us in the dust.

To put it bluntly, my initial experiences with Agricola did not endear me to the game.  However a nugget of affection stuck with me.  So much so that years later when I was looking for a heftier worker placement game than Lords of Waterdeep or Stone Age, I came back to Agricola.  This time around, my experience has been much better, and it's now one of my favorite games.

Agricola was released in 2007 by Z-Man Games, and was designed by Uwe Rosenberg.  It's a worker placement game that tasks you with building up your farm, and not starving.  Players will have to plow fields and plant crops, raise animals, and build additions onto their house in order to grow their family.  In the midst of all this, you also need to feed your family at an increasing pace.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The 10x10x12 Challenge

So I signed up for the 10x10x12 Challenge for 2014 on BoardGameGeek.  The basis of the challenge is that you pick 10 games, and you try to play them 10 times in 2014.  There is a strong emphasis on playing games you feel you've neglected.  I picked 10 games I thought would be a piece of cake to play 10 times.  I thought I'd love to play them ASAP.  However January went by and I didn't touch a single one of them.  I just got too many games for Christmas and from Kickstarter that I wanted to get in.  Trying to play these 10 games I was chomping at the bit to play in December 2013 has been an insightful experience, almost 2 months into the challenge.


Monday, February 17, 2014

No Retreat: The Russian Front Review

I don't quite remember how No Retreat: The Russian Front got my attention.  It was just one of those games that I saw mentioned here and there.  By the time it got my attention enough for me to investigate further, the deluxe GMT edition was already out of print.  There was the Victory Point Games edition, but I really wanted the mounted board and high quality counters that came with the GMT version.  Now the situation is even worse, with VPG no longer offering an edition, and GMT's version still out of print.  Regardless, one day I was looking for No Retreat: The Russian Front on eBay, and was lucky enough to win a copy for only $40!  I was the only person who even bid on it.  Truly a singular occurrence.

No Retreat is an operational level wargame taking place on the front between Germany and Russia in World War II.  It was designed by Carl Paradis, released by VPG in 2008, and re-released by GMT in 2011.  It's a wargame in the classic hex and counter style, with an emphasis on enemy zones of control, supply, and combat result tables.  It also introduces an engaging modern element with it's masterful use of event cards, which simultaneously represent special abilities, reinforcements, rail capacity and combat initiative on your opponent's turn.  Each individual scenario plays in about 2 hours for me, and the campaign would likely take me all day.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

First Impressions for February

The last month has been very busy for me.  So most of my gaming happened after hours with some amazing solitaire designs.  I discovered John H Butterfield, and his amazing games D-Day at Omaha Beach and RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940.  I also finally tried my first Leader series game with Hornet Leader.  Plus along with all that, I managed to grab a copy of The Hunters pretty much the day before it was announced that it was out of stock.  Aside from those, the only other game which was new to me was Guts of Glory, which I already reviewed.