Best of My Boardgame Linkroll

In boardgames on September 15th, 2008 at 8:00 am

A few months ago, I posted a greatest hits from my roleplaying game linkroll, a collection of links that I maintain to interesting writings about RPGs on the web. You can see the last few items in the footer of any page on this blog (do you like the new theme, by the way?).

Now, I want to share with you some of my favourite links form the history of my Boardgame linkroll (also visible in the footer). If you like these, you may want to subscribe to the RSS feed for the linkroll.

My Favorite Game

Hacienda For Two

from Thoughts from the Gameroom

Mary Weisbeck was one of my first online boardgaming pals, and that’s because she is a wonderful writer about games. Down to earth, but opinionated and honest. These two posts from her blog exemplify those qualities. The first is a review of Mary’s favourite boardgame of all time, the somewhat obscure Magna Grecia. The second is a lengthy, but very entertaining and insightful, report about one time Mary played Hacienda with her adult daughter.


from The Tao of Gaming

Brian Bankler is among the most popular boardgame bloggers around. His Tao of Gaming blog is regularly updated, and features interesting opinions on a wide range of games. Normally, Brian tries to be positive, but he’s not afraid to lay waste to a game that just fails to hit the mark.

Take, for instance, this post in which he punches some holes in the top 20 ranked game Shogun, and it’s parent game Wallenstein.

How to Detect a Bomb

from Boardgamegeek

Tichu is one of the most popular card games in the world now. It is played constantly on the online gaming service Brettspielwelt, and tens of thousands of copies of this climbing game have been sold.

Tom Coleman is one of its big fans, and here he demonstrates how to figure out when you are in danger of being hit with a bomb. Excellent, practical advice for any player.

1960: the Milking of the President

from P4Wn3D

What can I say. I have a soft spot for thoughtful iconoclasts. When Ryan Walberg wrote this disection of 1960: the Making of the President, it was rising like a meteor through the ranks on BGG, destined to sit in the top 10. A well-reasoned critique of such a popular game is always valuable.

Thoughts on the Cover

from Mike Doyle’s Art Play

While I’m no longer the Mike Doyle fan that I once was, I still respect the intelligent things that he has had to say about the graphic design of boardgames. Possibly his best post is this essay on the elements of quality cover design.

Analysis Paralysis: When You’re Not Smart or Decisive Enough

From Dream Weaver Seven

Like Mary, Rick was one of my first real friends on Boardgamegeek. In fact, he Geekbuddied me before I even had much of substance to say. Needless to say, I enjoy almost everything he writes about boardgames, and, unfortunately, that has been virtually nothing over the last year or so.

Before that, he did post this epic rant about Analysis Paralysis. He gets to the nub of the issue quickly, and shows no mercy for the people that make games go on too long.

Qualities of Great Games

from Gamer’s Mind

Jim Cote’s tone can be abrasive. There can be no question about that. When someone or something rubs him the wrong way, he can turn it into a crusade in an instant.

He is one of the most intelligent commenters on games that I know, though. His critiques are so devastating because he knows what he’s talking about, and doesn’t have time for fanboy gloss. When he focuses on the positive, it can be breathtakingly useful.

Like the title says, this post is all about what makes a boardgame great. You do the math.

The Well Constructed Game

from The Journal of Boardgame Design

If I were to point to a single kindred spirit in the boardgame blogosphere, it would be Jonathan Degann. Our differences about Caylus aside, he focuses on examining game designs, finding what makes the great ones work while the superficially similar, but not so great, ones miss.

The Well Constructed Game gets to the heart of the matter, and is a manifesto of sorts for great game design. Many of his other posts focus on specific techniques, but this one is about the universal qualities that great German-style games share.

While my boardgame linkroll is not as active as my RPG linkroll, I do try to add anything truly worthwhile that I come across. Still, I can only monitor so much of the boardgame blogosphere. If you come across something worthy of inclusion, don’t hesitate to give me a pointer.

  1. I like your new look. 🙂

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