Category: Boardgames

Mayday, Mayday…we are under attack

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This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone…Mayday, Mayday…we are under attack…main drive is gone…turret number one not responding…Mayday…losing cabin pressure fast…calling anyone…please help…This is Free Trader Beowulf…Mayday….

Got home late tonight and found a package on the front porch.



1, 2, 3


BGGCon 2010 – Day 0

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Last month I was lucky enough to once again attend Boardgamegeekcon. My second year was an even better experience. I saw many friends from the year before, never spoiled for people to try new games with, and got to play many of the hot new games. Yeah, it's a pretty good way to spend a few days. (more…)

Boardgamegeek Con – Year 2

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Last year I was lucky enough to attend the premier boardgaming convention in the US, BGGcon. I will be there again starting tomorrow. Alas, I think it's unlikely that I will do much updating in media res, although like last year I will do a full post mortem (you can see last years starting here.) It should be an amazing 5 days.

To whet your appetite, here are a couple of games I am very interested in going in:

Troyes. I've mentioned before that I like dice games, and in this game each color of dice represents a particular class of citizen. All of which can do different things. Looks right up my alley.

Navegador. It looks a little like a combination of Finca and Endeavor, both games I really like.

7 Wonders. A civilization building (and destroying) version of Dominion? Sounds interesting to me!

Vinhos. A game about making wine. Not my favorite theme, but this one has a lot of buzz around it.

Merkator. The theme has been done to death middle ages trading empires, but this is from the guy that did Agricola and Le Havre, so I am automatically interested.

Junta – Viva El Presidente. Just because I love the original so.

So, see everybody some time after Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday.

The Games We Played: Alexander Hamilton – AntiFederalist

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Been awhile since I did any game reviews, and I have several really good games to cover. Also, I am about to head to BGGcon for the second time, so I have been thinking games even more than usual. I have written previously about how much I enjoy games Jason Matthews and various partners have made. Whether the wonderful Twilight Struggle, the equally great 1960 or the recent Campaign Manager you really can't go wrong. Except for one thing – all those games are only for two players. Here follows a way too long review of their latest game. (more…)

Your Friday Afternoon Can't Decide Whether to Develop or Consume

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Race for the Galaxy is a fun card game where each player is trying to conquer the galaxy. There are many different ways to win – economic, military, research. It's all about building an engine that can grind out victory points faster than your opponents. Will you choose to try to get victory points by consuming goods, or by colonizing (or conquering) lots of planets. Of course, it's a card game so there is a heaping helping of randomness in there as well.

The good news is, a fellow named Keldon has created a single player version that is available for download. It includes a very capable AI. Trust me, this could waste more than just this Friday. Download Keldon's great Race for the Galaxy game at his website. And, in case you need a rules refresher, you can find the rules to the game here.

The Games We Played: Everything Old is New Again

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Last year I covered the games nominated for the most prestigious prize in boardgames, the Spiel des Jahres. I went over the basics of the prize – decided on by a jury, heavily weighted towards family games – in that post, and gave some back ground on the award. Of course, the prediction in that post were severely hampered by coming out two weeks after the prize was announced. This year, I am ahead (slightly) of the game. The prize is due to be announced next Monday. This years candidates are a curious bunch. I have actually played all 5 games, and they are all over the place. Let's take a look. (more…)

Your Friday Afternoon Should Have Taken German

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Things are a little jammed around the Hat right now, but I didn't want to leave anyone actually doing work on Friday afternoon. So, I am going to tease a feature I will be writing at some point about the places to play boardgames online. So, today's timewaster is the guide to

Brettspielwelt (translated: boardgame world) is the largest collection of online boardgames. There are some other sites (which I will write about later) but none have the number of games or players that BSW (as the cool kids call it) does. One problem, despite improving a great deal in this regard, BSW is still mainly in German. So, especially for sign up, some help is required. This guide, created by a helpful member of Boardgamegeek, does a very good job of getting you set up to play games on BSW.

Once you are on, prepare to be amazed by the great java versions of some of the best games out there. You could play Carcassone (with as many expansions as you like), Dominion, Powergrid, Pandemic, Lost Cities and Stone Age. Even better, you can easily find 3-4 people ready to play them with you right now. It really is an amazing site. True story – I get so sucked in that I have intentionally trashed my username and password at least twice to save myself. I recently started playing again, which is dangerous.

If I haven't posted anything in 4 days, check for me in the available games of Kingsburg.

The Games We Played: The Granddaddy of Them All

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If there is an ur German game, it might be Die Macher. It is the quintessential eurogame, with just about all the mechanics you would expect (role selection, bidding, various paths to victory, etc.) It is also a 3-4 hour simulation of German politics. Oh, and it is one of the best games you will ever play. (more…)

The Games We Played – BGGcon Part 5

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And so we came to the last day. Cons end with a whimper, not a bang. People trickle out  starting the night before. Often the last day is a sad shade of it's once glorious self with a few beleaguered players fighting exhaustion. This was somewhat evident at BGGcon, although there were more people playing than I expected. Read on to see my big disappointment and the games I wish I had played, but didn't… (more…)

The Games We Played: BGGcon Part 3

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One of the fun things about BGGcon (actually, they were all fun things, but allow me a literary meme if you will..) is the ability to demo games (although, in a later episode, we will see that that can be a drawback as well..) (more…)

The Games We Played: BGGcon Part 2

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So, the con itself started. Registration actually started 20 minutes early. I was pretty close to the front. You got some nice schwag just for showing up. A free copy of one of three Queen Games (I got Robber Knights, the least of the three) then you drew a ticket which either entered you in a drawing for some really great games, or guaranteed you a game from the free game room (full of a lot of good but not great games.) I got the free game, and wandered the room for 20 minutes trying to decide. I finally went with an expansion deck for my favorite party game Times Up. This time, all the cards are names of board games. Should be fun with my gamer friends. (Of course, part of the reason I chose it, was that it was among the smallest choices, and luggage space was at a premium.)

And so the con began in earnest. (more…)

The Games We Played: BGG Con Part 1

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I'm back from vacation, and finally have a little time to throw down some notes on my trip to Boardgamegeekcon. I might also intersperse a few random observations from my ensuing family Thanksgiving in Amarillo, Texas. It was practically an anthropological outing for me! But, I digress… (more…)


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I'm enjoying a brief break to eat (for the first time today – at 4pm) and wanted to share a few thoughts about games. Sadly, I'm going to have to skip photos and links for now. The short version is that I might not ever have had more fun. The sheer number of esoteric games and people eager to play them is incredible.

I've been lucky enough to play just about every game I wanted (and bought several of them as well). So far a surprise favorite is Tobago. A deduction game where you are building treasure maps piece by piece. It's heavier than it seems and can be quite cutthroat. I really enjoy it and picked up a copy.

I still haven't had a chance to play dungeon lords, but I bought it & read the rules. I'll definitely be playing it tonight. It looks great and has been very popular at the con.

The best moment of the con was the chance I got to play Basketboss an auction game about building a basketbAll dynasty. It's a great game with some very innovative mechanics, and I love the theme. Sadly, it was not ready to be sold at the con so I had to be satisfied just getting to play it.

All of a sudden-in one of the most serendipitous moments I can remember someone walks by with a copy of the game and asks if anyone wants to buy it because he already has one. Needless to say, I was all over it.

Sorry I can't write more, but Stronghold a game of siege warfare is beckoning to me.

I'm Thankful for Geekiness

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The Hat's gonna get a little less Liberal for a few weeks, as I am off to Texas to attend Boardgamegeekcon and then spend Thanksgiving with family Deep in the Heart (actually, in Amarillo, which is sort of the Appendix of Texas..) I'm looking forward to trying out a bunch of the new releases (especially Dungeon Lords – which looks like a boardgame version of Dungeon Keeper, the new Agricola expansion, BasketBoss – a basketball team management sim and Carson City – although that's really because I am a sucker for tile laying games) and playing a lot of old favorites. It's gonna be a great several days, that's for sure!

Theoretically, I have the ability to post to the Hat from my iPhone, and I might try to toss up some random thoughts about games (or maybe just list games I played at the end of each day..) during the con. But, don't get your hopes up. After all, gaming is more fun than typing.

Have a great Thanksgiving one and all, and I better not to return to find out you dang Libertarians have sold naming rights to the Hat.