Archive for the ‘appraisals’ Category

Happy Birthday, Robot!

In appraisals, first thoughts, role-playing games on May 25th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Thanks to my girlfriend, I was lucky enough to get a look at the preview PDF of Daniel Solis’s new storytelling game Happy Birthday, Robot! He is still funding an initial run over on Kickstarter, and there is a week left to pitch in and order a copy. I heartily recommend that anyone with young children, that works with young children or just has a slightly oversized inner child do so. Happy Birthday, Robot! is a delight! Read the rest of this entry »

My Review of Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs. Imperium

In appraisals, boardgames, race for the galaxy, reviews on February 16th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

My review of Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs. Imperium was posted to Game Cryer a couple of days ago, and I naturally assume some of my readership would be curious 🙂

Feel free to comment, but if you’re getting into nitty gritty stuff like specific cards and strategies, it’s probably best to do it here where you won’t scare the norms 😉

Thirty-eight Highlights and Lowlights of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition

In appraisals, role-playing games on September 4th, 2008 at 8:00 am

A proper review of Dungeons & Dragons’ latest edition would require several thousand words and a lot more play than I’ve put in so far. For now, I’ll settle for indicating what I think is most important and most interesting by way of brief comments, for good (prefaced with a +) and for ill (prefaced with a −). Read the rest of this entry »


In appraisals, boardgames, role-playing games on August 6th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Yes, I am still gaming. In fact, I’ve gotten to play a bunch of new (to me, anyway) stuff, including one new RPG. This is an omnibus post of my opinions and comments about them, in no particular order. Read the rest of this entry »

Recent Boardgames

In appraisals, boardgames on May 4th, 2008 at 1:38 am

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the chance to play a few boardgames that are new to me, and this post is a roundup of my thoughts on them.

Parenthetically, I’ll have material for a similar post by the middle of next week. Gil Hova and his lovely wife, Heather, are touring the Maritimes, and they are stopping by for a couple of gaming sessions. They’ve brought a few titles that I want to try out – Thebes, In the Year of the Dragon, and the lesser-known game Industria, first published by Queen several years ago – along with them. I’ll share my impressions of these games soon.

In the meantime, here’s five opinions to chew on. Read the rest of this entry »

Two-Player Race for the Galaxy

In appraisals, boardgames, race for the galaxy on March 26th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Contrary to my original expectations, I have been playing a lot of two-player Race for the Galaxy (using the advanced rules, where each player selects two roles every round, of course), starting a couple of weeks ago. In fact, I have average about three-quarters of a game per day in that time.

What i didn’t foresee is that RftG is an excellent coffee shop game. I have packed everything into a couple of top-load card holders, like those used by CCG players, and I can easily carry them in the pockets of my winter jacket – or even by hand – without too much trouble. I now go down to Tim Horton’s 2-3 times a week with another member of my game group to knock out a few plays. I hesitate to call two-player better than multiplayer, but it is significantly different, and maybe more addictive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Defending Puerto Rico, Deriding Caylus

In appraisals, boardgames, mechanics on March 3rd, 2008 at 12:46 am

After a prolonged hiatus, Jonathan Degann has just put up a new article on The Journal of Boardgame Design. Jonathan is among the best writers of boardgame criticism that I know of, so a new essay by him is always something to look forward to.

My joy at his new piece, “What is this board game about?” sank a bit when I thought it was going to preempt the first post of my series Elements of Elegance (yes, really, it is coming). It turns out that its focus is different enough from what I want to talk about, though, that I will only have to reference Jonathan. My article will be more than a link to “What is this board game about?” with a note saying “read this.”

Even after this relief, reading his new piece what not the same unalloyed pleasure it usually is. The main thesis is interesting, although I would differ in a few particulars. As always, Jonathan refers to particular games in his analysis, though, and I disagree strongly with the point he is trying to make with two of his examples. I think he gives short shrift to Puerto Rico, and I think he gives Caylus far too much credit.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Race for the Galaxy Comments

In appraisals, boardgames, race for the galaxy on January 28th, 2008 at 4:29 am

I finally got around, after eight plays, to posting a rating comment for Race for the Galaxy over on Boardgamegeek. They’re pretty long, and there are points in them that are ripe for debate, so I decided to post a copy here, as well.

[EDIT: I somehow managed to post an earlier draft of my comments, not their final version. I have now updated this post with my current comment.] Read the rest of this entry »

The Haul

In boardgames, first thoughts on December 28th, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Another Christmas has come and gone, and three new board and card games were left in my stocking. None have hit the table yet, but I figured it was worth a post to present my pre-play thoughts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lines of Action

In boardgames, reviews on November 12th, 2007 at 3:07 am

I first discovered Lines of Action several years ago, when I read Sid Sackson’s book A Gamut of Games. I was immediately intrigued by it, and, although I was not an active boardgamer at the time, it lurked in the back of my mind as something I would like to try.After I signed up for Boardgamegeek, I thought to check it out. I discovered that it was well-rated, but not widely known. I made a mental note to play it when I got a chance, but that meant indoctrinating some friends into boardgaming first.

Fast forward a year or so, and I had a couple of friends that I played my nascent Eurogame collection with. One night, I stayed late at a gaming session with one other player, and I decided to spring LoA on him. We both enjoyed it quite a bit, but we didn’t play it again for about a year and a half. I wanted to, but it was never a convenient choice.A couple of weeks ago I decided to go out of my way to play LoA again, and this time it caught. I played 15 games of it over the course of two days, and I am even more fond of the game than ever. Read the rest of this entry »