Board Games

Smorgasbord of Gaming Goodness

This past weekend I got to play games with Scott for the first time in… well… a while. We played History of the World, Citadels, Boom Blox (yes, it’s a Wii game but it’s awesome!), Minimum Wage, and Vegas Showdown as well as playing the one shot Paranoia game I ran. All in all it was a pretty cool weekend.

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Carcassonne: The Discovery – Review

Carcassonne: The Discovery

I mentioned yesterday that I picked up two random games for my birthday, this was the other game.

Overview of Carcassonne: The Discovery

Carcassone: The Discovery is, in many ways, your standard Carcassone game with mountains, grasslands, and oceans in place of cities, farmland, and roads. You still draw one piece a turn and play one piece a turn and you still have little followers that you place on different aspects of the board to try to score points. The game is fast moving and can be taught to new players easily. The parts are all sturdy and the rules are fairly clear.

But What if I Haven’t Played a Carcassonne Game Before?

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The State of My Gaming Life

This is fluff. It’s so absolutely, completely, and amusingly fluff that it hardly needs to be read or looked at or edited or posted and it certainly doesn’t need to be written. Of course I have already written it and gone ahead and posted it so well… go ahead and waste your time reading it if you want to. But you are wasting your time. I mean, at least I warned you. It’s not like they had an announcement like this at the beginning of In the Name of the King that politely informed you that you were wasting your time. At least I am being nice about it.

Actually, it does serve some purpose. I find that knowing a writer can help me enjoy books and many people love watching director (or writer or producer or whatever) commentary on their special edition DVDs. Think of this as a brief look into me that you might be able to refer to as you look at some of the other things I have posted.

Still, it’s pretty much useless fluff.

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Iron Dragon House Rules: “Good” Events

Iron Dragon Board Game Box - Fantasy Rail Building Game

Iron Dragon by Mayfair Games is a board game I was introduced to years ago and haven’t forgotten its fun rail-building, drawing-with-crayons gameplay. Out of print for a little while, Mayfair seems to have solved that problem and recently I picked it up.

Overall the game is a lot of fun, though quite long. My group has tested a few house rules that reduce the playing time considerably, which I’ll also cover. However one facet of the game that stands out as “needs improvement” is the events.

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History of the World – Balance of Power Variant

The so-called Help the Little Guy Variant was essentially a building block for what I am now calling the Balance of Power Variant. I feel that this new Variant, which uses several of the same rules as the old one we tried, works fairly well to do the things we wanted it to do.

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History of the World House Rules – Help the Little Guy Variant

As I previously mentioned in my Games I Play post our group has some problems with History of the World and yet lately we’ve played it a lot.

One of our problems is that there is too much of a chance of a person in last ending up with the worst Empire because while they get to pick a card to either keep or pass, if they draw a bad one and pass it they often end up with whatever is left over in the end (and that left over Empire could easily be pretty horrible or even the worst of the bunch).

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Reaction and Recovery – A Short Diatribe About My Taste in Games

A few months ago Scott and I started to work on a project categorizing gamers. Essentially we wanted to come up with umbrella terms that scooped gamers into recognizable groups so that it would be easier to review a game and tell which groups we thought would enjoy it. It’s actually a fairly daunting process in that there are so many subtle variations and one does not wish to detract from any group by sliding them under an umbrella where they would not feel they belong. Still there are certainly different kinds of games out there and in general I would say we all tend toward liking certain groups of those games.

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A Not So Innovative Look at Innovation

Innovation:
1: The introduction of something new.
2: A new idea, method, or device.

You want to know how great my wife is? For my birthday last year she hunted down a Wii for me. This was no small feat on several levels as she not only had to find one but she also needed to drum up money from my friends to be able to afford it (well, the Wii itself isn’t too bad but she knew I would want four controllers and that starts to get pretty pricey).

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History of the World – Games I Play

History of the World – Game Overview

History of the World Game Box

History of the World is an Avalon Hill war game for up to six players. History of the World was originally published in 1991 while the most recent version came out in 2001. Players play through seven epochs, playing different civilizations (“empires”) each time.

The goal is to expand your influence across the map and then hope it sticks. Points are calculated for a player immediately after that player takes their turn and the number of units a player gets is not based on previous accomplishments (but rather is a static number associated with the empire that you are playing for that turn) which gives History of the World a very different feel than many other war-related board games.

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Best Party Games, or How to Party Like a Gamer

So the past few weeks have been pretty stressful for me with work being a bear and the Holidays creeping up. I’m still playing Magic of course and for the most part that has been going well but I thought it might be nice to take this blog in a different direction for a change. (If it’s a different direction… it probably has to be a change.)

Last week I hung out with a couple of friends on Saturday. This happens almost every Saturday but on this occasion there was a slightly different mix of people and one friend in particular was not so big on playing complicated “gamer” type games. We ended up playing several party-ish games that I had lying around and that got me thinking about games that tend to be fun for my non-gamer friends but are still tolerated by my more hardcore friends. And so, as I mentioned above the holidays are coming up and a lot of people will be having parties, throwing parties or seeing family and I thought it might be good to write briefly about the more party-oriented games that I play.

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Rocketville Review

Rocketville is an Avalon Hill game by Richard Garfield.

What follows is a modified and updated version of a review I wrote for Board Game Geek back in March of last year. The review aims to tell the reader what type of game they are dealing with and does not get into the details of how the game plays. For information of that sort see Avalon Hill as they have a detailed and accurate description of the basic play of the game. I know this is a bit non-topical since the game came out a while ago but as you can often pick up Rocketville for a very reasonable price perhaps this review will convince some of you to give it a try (or show others of you that even for a very low price, this is not the game for you.)

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Wreckage Game Review and House Rules

Wreckage Board Game

Wreckage by Fantasy Flight Games takes place on post-apocalyptic Mad Max-style desert highways. The art and design of the cards and game pieces are superb, readily setting the stage for car combat mayhem despite the game’s threadbare story.

Playing the game with my group did not, however, unlock the fun that its impressive-looking components suggested. Rather it revealed another case of style over substance. Yet it feels like there is some potential within this game, unrealized by the rules, waiting to be released.

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Welcome to Pair O’ Dice Games

Pair O’ Dice Games has a brand new games blog! Written by a couple of veteran gamers, it’ll feature gaming articles on topics like:

  • Game reviews
  • House rules and game rules variants
  • Role playing story, adventure, and character ideas
  • Game strategies
  • Game design

Check out the latest gaming articles, and subscribe to the Pair O’ Dice Games Blog RSS Feed to stay notified of new additions – we’re just getting started!

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