Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Taking a Break for the Holidays

Hey everybody.  There's no updates this week or next.  I'm going to be taking until January off to spend time with friends and family, and hopefully get lots of games played.

I'm hoping to get a few more plays of Sekigahara in, so I can finalize my review of that.  I'm also expecting a few Kickstarters, including Star Realms and The Agents.  With any luck they'll show up soon.  I especially want to play Star Realms, and hopefully start a review for that as well.

2013 was a good year for this blog I think.  It was my New Years Resolution for 2013 to begin blogging about games, and I think it's gone well.  The positive feedback I've gotten has let me know I'm on the right track.  But over the break, I'm going to be thinking a lot about what my goals will be for 2014.

I definitely want to get into a better rhythm of having reviews twice a month.  Weekly reviews just aren't realistic for me.  I just don't have enough time in a week to satisfy the level of familiarity I want with games when I write a review.

So I'm going to be looking at different types of content.  More play sessions of solo games.  More first impressions or what I've been playing type articles.  I'm tempted to stray into strategy articles for games I'm extremely familiar with.  Or perhaps just Commands & Colors: Ancients.  But if there are any types of content I've done before that you'd like to see more of, let me know.

So Happy Holidays everybody.  And try to get some games in if you can.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Best and Worst of 2013

With 2013 coming to a close, it's as good a time as ever to look back over the games I've played, and decide on the ones I loved the most.  These won't necessarily be games that came out in 2013.  Just games that occupied the greatest mindshare over the year.  The games I was most excited about getting to play, or puzzling out new strategies for.

Of course, there are also the games that were most of a let down.  Games I got extremely excited for, that almost immediately flopped.  I've played them once or twice, and they've since sat in a drawer, unlikely to ever emerge again.  Or I was very excited to try them at a convention, and immediately hated them.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Forbidden Desert Review

I had just gotten Forbidden Island right when Forbidden Desert came out.  So despite the fact that Forbidden Desert was the new hotness, I knew I couldn't justify getting it for a while.  Well a while passed, and a friend of mine gifted it to me for my birthday.  Man did I get a lot of games played that day.

Now I love Forbidden Island, but it is not without it's problems.  It was a slimmed down, streamlined version of Pandemic.  But in the process of shedding excess rules and mechanics, it's quarterbacking problem became more pronounced.  Quarterbacking referring of course to one player instructing all the others what to do with their cold, ruthlessly correct logic.

So Forbidden Desert is Matt Leacock's third cooperative game, published by Gamewright in 2013.  It's another iteration of the same fundamental design he's been molding since Pandemic.  After escaping from the Forbidden Island by helicopter, you crashed straight into the Forbidden Desert.  You must reassemble an ancient Flying Machine who's parts are scattered, buried in the sands.  Only once you've done this can you escape before you die of thirst, or are buried in the sands yourself.  Today I'm going to look at how it's changed from previous iterations, and how well it handles the quarterbacking problem.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Getting the most out of eBay

One of the hardest parts of historical wargaming, is that so many good games are out of print.  Sometimes as soon as you hear that a game is truly worth owning, or is a breakout hit, it's already sold out.  Many times it can be years and years between printings.  Paths of Glory went from 2004 to 2010 before being printed again, and the 2010 printing sold out in around 2 years.  This is a game considered one of the greatest wargames of all time.  The number 2 ranked wargame on BoardGameGeek, behind only Twilight Struggle!

All this necessitates a strong secondary market for wargames.  BGG's trades and sales areas are ok.  But eBay is where I find most of my games.  Over the years, I've learned a few good tricks to avoid overpaying.  So here they are.