Sunday, April 28, 2013

Core Worlds Review

Core Worlds was released in 2011 by Stronghold Games, and was designed by Andrew Parks.  The buzz around the game sounded promising, and I quickly ordered a copy soon after it came out.  I was immediately impressed with it's tight gameplay, and strong core mechanics.  Then it sat on my shelf for months because everyone was burnt out after one play.  They enjoyed it.  But it was intense.  It's a gamer's game, and sadly, it's not often I get a group of nothing but gamer's together.

Core Worlds is a sort of deck building, sort of drafting, sort of tableau building game.  The Galactic Empire is collapsing, like Rome of old.  And not unlike Rome of old, the barbarian kingdoms around it's borders are now invading for their piece of the old empire.  Except now they are space barbarians!  That would be you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cognitive Bias and Games

Sometimes I wonder how well suited our monkey brains are for playing games.  The list of cognitive biases we innately possess is long.  Their relevance to how we interact with games shouldn't be underestimated.  And even when you know about them, there seems to be little you can do to stop them from happening to you in the moment.  Different ones seem to afflict different people.  Plus some games just seem to fall prey to them more than others.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sutakku Review

Sutakku came out in 2011 from Smirk & Dagger Games.  It was designed by Curt Covet according to BoardGameGeek, however the manual tells this charming story about how it's an old Japanese game that evolved over time, supposedly to teach lessons about risk versus reward.  It's a push your luck dice game with an interesting aesthetic and a very fun "take that" variant.

I discovered Sutakku at PAX East this year.  Smirk & Dagger were there at a booth, which had the game on display.  I'd spotted the dice from across the crowded hall, and they looked gorgeous.  Then later that night around midnight we lucked out and found a copy we could check out of the game library.  I'd been looking for a light, cheap and small game to get at PAX as a memento.  Sutakku was perfect.  We played it 4 times in a row and only stopped because we wanted to immediately try to purchase it.  Luckily for us, we went over to the Smirk & Dagger booth and sure enough someone was still there, even past Midnight.  Me and a friend happily bought copies around 1 am.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Carcassonne Review

Carcassonne was released in 2000 and was designed by Klaus-J├╝rgen Wrede. These days it's being published by Z-Man games in America.  I discovered it in 2010, and it was the very first boardgame I bought, right before I got snowed in during a blizzard.  Needless to say, with the power being out and nowhere to go, we got to know this game very well that week.

There are two Carcassonnes.  There is the nice, light, fun, family friend game you can get out from time to time.  It can be a pleasant evening with your significant other.  You could take it to a family get together and a few people might walk away thinking they should look into these new games that are out.  All in all it's a pleasant experience.

Then there is the brutal, no holds barred, cut throat Carcassonne.  The one where every move is challenged. Every feature fought over.  A version of Carcassonne where you will howl with displeasure when your opponent snatches that 30 point city from you.  Farms will be turned into no man's land.  There may be blood.  Correction.  There most certainly will be blood.

The best part is, both versions of Carcassonne come in the same box.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Memoir 44 Review

Memoir 44 was one of the earliest games in the Commands & Colors series by Richard Borg.  The base game is set on the western front of World War II.  It was released in 2004 by Days of Wonder, and was chiefly aimed at new gamers unfamiliar with wargames.

I came to it significantly later, in 2012, when I told a friend of mine Commands & Colors: Ancients had a World War II version.  She purchased it quickly and we went on to play it regularly.  At first I didn't care for it much.  It appeared to lack the probing, almost dancing gameplay I had come to love in later entries to the Commands & Colors series.  However as we made our way through the scenarios included in the game, I grew to appreciate it more and more for it's own unique flavor.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

X-Wing Tray

Updated 4/19/2013

Today I was industrious.  I've fallen hardcore in love with X-Wing and went on a bit of a spending spree, against the better judgement of both myself, and those around me.  But how can you not fall in love with Star Wars?  Especially the unmolested original trilogy!  So I spent the evening being crafty and managed to create these fine cases for my figures and accessories.  I got the idea from this reddit post, and just went to town.