Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Family playtest of East India Company

My mother-in-law Agnes enjoys the occasional boardgame, and she is not afraid to try out something new.  She was even one of my early playtesters of East India Company in its most rudimentary form.  Sunday afternoon, she agreed to revisit the game in its latest rendition, along with my wife Kathy and son Patrick.  I am grateful to get this shakedown of the current form of rules about three weeks prior to the Unpub 3 event in Dover on Martin Luther King weekend.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Shadows and Assassins

Last Tuesday night my friends and I played an "after school special," a gaming get-together after work at Game Parlor in Chantilly, Virginia.  There's one almost every week, but I usually only get to about one a month, so I always enjoy the opportunity to get with a larger group and play something different.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wiping out Pandemic

It has been a long time since Kathy and I have beaten Pandemic (designer Matt Leacock, artists Josh Cappel and RĂ©gis Moulun, publisher Z-Man Games).  We usually don't play it in a two-player setting, but today I got a hankering to pull it out again, and I'm glad we did.  Since we had such early success with the game in "easy" mode, we've been playing in "normal" mode for quite some time but somehow never managed to beat it at that level of difficulty.  We've run out of cubes of a color, we've reached the end of the Outbreak track, we've run out of player cards ... basically we've lost every way there is to lose.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WBC: Thinking about August in December

I'll preface my remarks by stipulating that I am a relatively new member of the Boardgame Players Association, and all I know is based on what I read in the newsletter and elsewhere online.  None of this represents any kind of official news or information from the BPA.  Caveat lector.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Clash on the Coral Sea

My friend and colleague Frank H. and I met again over the game table.  Over the last few months we've played three rounds of Midway (designers Larry Pinsky and Lindsley Schutz, publisher Avalon Hill) with a number of optional rules attached.  This time, Frank broke out his copy of the "Coral Sea" expansion, and we set our clocks back to May 1942 to determine the fate of Port Moresby, New Guinea.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bellwether interview

About once a month, Bellwether Games interviews a game designer on their blog.  Over the last year and a half, they've asked some illuminating questions of designers in the field.  This month, they were gracious enough to ask me to take a turn in the barrel, and I took full advantage of the opportunity to espouse my thoughts on games and game design.

Oh, and by the way, I happened to notice (no, they didn't ask me to mention) that Bellwether is selling Drop Site (designer Dennis Hoyle, artists Guray Emen and Paolo Vallerga) at 30% off, plus free shipping.  I first heard of this game when it won the Carta Mundi prize for Best Card Game in the 2010 Premio Archimede game design competition.  I haven't played it myself, but from what I've read, it looks like an excellent candidate for a stocking stuffer.

Go forth and see last month's answers

Tom Gurganus posed a provocative "Question of the Month" for October:  "Where are the new game mechanisms?"  He received a fascinating variety of answers from a number of thoughtful designers.  Worth a perusal.

Coming up:  An interview with Bellwether Games