Saturday, August 31, 2013

Eric M. Lang Q&A from FanExpo....

I plan to do a full write-up of FanExpo this year including pics from The Great Canadian Board Game Blitz and Eric Lang's clever new game Trains & Stations which was a hit with a lot of new people.  But until I get to that, check out this Q&A session with Eric Lang (who co-designed Quarriors, amongst other great games) who actually hails from right nearby in Guelph, Ontario.  Lots of great design talk.

This was filmed by my buddy Matt at The Busted Couch v-blog who seems to have taken a shining to board games now, too.  Thanks, Matt!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

FanExpo 2013....

If you're in Toronto this weekend and happen to be attending FanExpo, Canada's largest fan convention, I recommend you check out Stephen Sauer's booth A27 in Artist's Alley (Stephen co-designed the fantastic and soon-to-be-published Londonderry with DOM co-blogger Daryl Andrews.)  This year Stephen has designed some delightful prints for sale including the 'Sherlock playing Settlers' piece you see below.

And while you're there come stop by the Rue Morgue area and catch me selling my partner Vincent Marcone's spooky artwork at booth 1624.  Unless it's Saturday from 11-5.  If it's Saturday, I'm at the Great Canadian Board Game Blitz finals with Daryl.  Come play some games with us there! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hot tip of the day....

Any new Days of Wonder release is a reason to get excited (although I must admit I have yet to play a few of them....)  Up and coming this fall is a new game entitled Relic Runners which looks nothing short of spectacular thanks to the usual DOW gorgeous production and what looks like really interesting gameplay. And there's path-building.  I LOVE path-building.

I recommend you check out the full rules online here, if only to ogle the pretty plastic relics.  But also in the ruleset is one particularly good tip for those of us constantly unboxing and punching out pieces for games:
If this is the first game you play, punch out all the pieces from the game’s punchboards. Rather than discarding the empty frames, insert them under the vacuum tray inside your game box; this will help your tray stay flush with your game’s box top, preventing pieces inside from spilling over when storing your game.
Well, I never thought of that.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

World's oldest board game?

Today in cool, Gizmodo points us to a cool discovery in Turkey - 5000 year old board game pieces:
The extensive set is made up of 49 small, carved stones that wouldn't be entirely dissimilar to chess pieces if not for the fact that, in addition to black and white, the tokens also come painted in red, blue, and green and were accompanied by poorly preserved wooden sticks.
These may date as far back as the oldest know game Senet or even further.  Very, very cool.

(Thanks for the tip, Matt)

Monday, August 12, 2013

First plays: The Palaces of Carrara....

One of my favourite lighter strategy games from the last couple years was Kramer and Kiesling's perfectly-tuned Asara.  Asara is a worker-placement, majority game which slickly used cards for the placement making it feel deceptively different.  What stuck with me was just how amazingly well all the overly familiar mechanics in Asara fit together - it was like everything had been playtested 1000s of hours to create that perfect experience.  I feel the same about my all-time favourite game The Princes of Florence, also co-designed by Kramer, although PoF is a much heavier experience.

The latest game from K&K (I like that!) is called The Palaces of Carrara and was up for the Kennerspiel des Jahres award this past year.  And after a couple of plays I'm happy to say it's just as magical as Asara.  Familiar mechanisms meld together in familiar ways and yet everything feels intentional and fresh.  Carrara combines a clever decreasing market for blocks which are bought to let you build buildings.  The buildings are then scored in various ways to get players more money and victory points.

The board and the stone wheel
And everything has been seen before but in this game it all clicks together so damn well!  The players choose when and what they score reminiscent of Dorn's classic Arkadia and the "coins to resources to buildings to points" has been done again and again.  But the game plays so smooth and quick that it doesn't matter and after the first few turns of my first game strategies and plans were already starting to emerge in my mind.  And included with the game are advanced rules which will give the game endless replayability - a set of cards which determine the endgame conditions and probably should be included as soon as everyone's tried the game once.  We haven't tried them yet but I think it will be a necessity from here on in.

Player's building and scoring mat
Anyways, only played this a couple times so far but I think the depth will be endless once we bring in the endgame cards.  And the feeling while I'm playing every time I get a great deal from the revolving market on expensive building blocks is the same feeling I get from a great find at Winners - SWEET!

Very much looking forward to exploring this gem.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Geek Girls

I love this video. 
Even though the writers for this blog are all guys (so far), 
we each proudly know many amazing geeks girls. 
Enjoy the film! Spread the word.
And you might even spot some famous people in the video...