Table Top Games

Board Games, Card Games, and traditional War Games.

The Next Evolution in the Golden Age of Board Games

So, my wife and I chose a game and sat to play. As the night was falling, we noticed that more and more people kept coming into the café and join in on some games. At one point, there were so many people that came in that they ran out of tables and people had to wait to play! Since that day, my wife and I have gone back several times to play and it is a delight seeing so many people (especially on weekends) at one place having wonderful moments of fun together. I think board games are successfully gaining more adepts but, I also have to give credit to Devon, as he is very friendly and he truly cares about his customers; he will solve/explain any question about the games that you could have. [...]

Gambler

This is not a game for the anti-gambling crowd. When playing this game you gamble at every opportunity, and often entice your opponents to gamble with you. You bet on the horses. You visit casinos. You play bingo. You play the lottery. If there’s a way for you to gamble in this game, the designers’ thought of it and you’re part of it. There is even a special “Sweepstakes” dice shaker that you use to try to win big. Mind you, my sister and I played a lot of this game in our younger days, and the biggest gamble I make these days is taking a chance on a new brand of coffee at the grocery store, so it doesn’t seem to have corrupted our psyches with its wicked ways. [...]

Mouse Trap

Mouse Trap was indeed a GREAT game. It was inspired by the drawings of Rube Goldberg, whose complicated contraptions had entertained Americans through the middle of the 20th Century. Unfortunately, although Marvin Glass acknowledged Mr. Goldberg’s influence to the game’s design, declined to play the then quite elderly artist any royalties, which Mr. Goldberg had neither the resources nor strength to fight. It’s hard to believe, but board game history is full of dastardly deeds such as this –just ask who actually invented the game of Monopoly. (But I digress…again.) [...]

Ten Euro-Games Every Board Gamer Should Own

The other day I started to look through my gaming shelf to see what my wife and I should play. While looking through, I realized that most of my collection was made up of euro-games. This really got me thinking about why this was. I then realized that by game mechanics, euro-games were way more fun to play. Even though they don’t have as great of a theme as ameritrash games do. I had a great thought that hey maybe I should put together a list of games that every board gamer should own in their collection. In this list I’m going to start out with the best gateway games and work my way to the meatier games, so here goes. [...]

The Six Million Dollar Man: Bionic Crisis

Bionic Crisis was a game that contained both elements of chance and deductive reasoning. To set up, each player took one of the four Console Boxes and inserted a Console Card into it. The red and yellow board pegs are placed somewhere where everyone can reach them. Then the deck of Bionic Circuit Cards was shuffled, and one was dealt to each player, who kept it hidden from his or her opponents. Finally, the deck of Number Cards was shuffled, with each player given three cards and the rest placed face down for everyone to draw from during gameplay. Once set up, the play began. [...]

WHOSIT?

Released in 1976, WHOSIT? is a game where players begin by randomly taking one of 20 Character cards, keep it hidden from other players’ eyes, and then try to guess who has which card based upon the questions they draw from the Question Card deck. Players answer YES or NO depending on the question, such as, “Are you holding something?”, “Do you have glasses?”, “Are you male?”, or “Do you smoke?“ Lucky players can draw a “Ask ANY Question” card, which contains all the questions in the deck on one card. [...]

Why everyone should have some eurogames in their tabletop collection

One of the best Ameri-trash games I have ever played is called Arkham horror. This is a phenomenally themed tabletop game set in the Cthulu mythos. The game does an excellent job in making you feel like you are a paranormal investigator in the roaring 1920’s trying to stop this great evil from destroying the earth. When you sit down and look at this marvelous game set up on a dining room table you are intimidated into thinking this game is way too complicated for me to play. When you look through the rulebook it makes the game seem like it is more complex than it actually is. [...]

Ratrace

What makes this game even more unique is the element of credit. Yes, you can get a credit card in Ratrace. If you don’t have the money to buy your Status Symbol cards – no problem: get it on credit. The danger, though, comes from the Credit Due spaces on the game board. If you land on one not only do you have to pay the full amount of your credit account, but you have to add an additional 10% as an interest payment. So, as in real life, too much credit card spending can lead to your financial ruin! [...]

Nightmare

Prior to starting the game, players have to write down their greatest fear on the back of one of the reusable Nightmare cards, and on a little slip of paper which is put into the well of fears. (Usually when I receive one of these games to sell there are common fears listed, like spiders or heights, but every so often some goofball writes something like, “Lucy’s stinky feet” as their greatest fear. You’d be surprised how often similar phrases pop up. But I digress…). Once a player has all their keys, they make their way to the center of the game board and draw from the Well. If they draw the paper with their own fear written on it, they have conquered their greatest fear, defeated the Gatekeeper, and won the game. [...]

The MAD Magazine Game

The game board is filled with classic MAD Magazine art and zany humor. You can see art from Spy vs. Spy, The Lighter Side of…, site gags from Don Martin and Sergio Aragones, and more. And much like the magazine itself, there are little surprises throughout the game board that you stumble upon as you play. Some scenes should bring back memories, and perhaps a smile or guffaw or two. Just make sure your legal name isn’t Alfred E. Neuman, or you’ll have to collect the special $1,329,063 bill included in the game. Did I mention the game is wacky? [...]

Payday

The game is pretty straightforward. The game board is in the shape of a calendar month. You roll the die and move your token throughout the month. And just like reality, you’ve got to roll with the punches. You get Mail – sometimes bills, sometimes junk, and – rarely! – a little bit of cash. Every so often you get access to a Deal, some which might make you a little extra spending money, some that might make you wealthy – but the deal might go sour, too. And all the while, you’ve got to manage your money. [...]

Stop Thief

It’s a game of deductive reasoning, meaning random guesses won’t help you. The Electronic Crime Scanner can replay the clues to aid you in your quest to locate the thief. Once you think you know where he is, you call the police, and hope to hear the sounds of the thief being taken away to jail. But if you’re mistaken, you’ll hear the sound of the thief escaping, and a big raspberry for your trouble. That sound still makes me cringe as it represents the same thing today as it did over 20 years ago: the utter failure of my detective skills. [...]

Why I agree that we are in the golden age of boardgaming

When playing a euro game you will sit there and look at the game and say wow this game really has no story or theme to it but wow what a great game. Now when it comes to what they call ameritrash games these are games that have an amazing theme but can definitely use some mechanics to help it along. When you play one of these games you will love the story or the theme but will with the game played a little bit better. Now to give you guys some examples of eurogames would b e games like the castles of burgundy. Castles puts you in the role of a duke that has a bit of land and has to build his land through tiles that you pick up dependant on two dice that you roll. It is an amazing game based on the mechanics but when you see the actual game and theme you think this can’t possibly be fun. [...]

When Video Games Become Board Games: Part 1

It is important to remember that board games are not video games and neither should be expected to match the other’s total gaming experience. Video games of this era were all about constant motion, quick reflexes and split-second decision-making. Board games, however, are about measured decisions, random die rolls or card draws, and ever-changing strategies based on the play of your opponents. In addition, board games often have suggested ages for players. I have read several reviews over the years from adults who were unable to understand that a game meant for children would have limited appeal to adults (and who scored them based on their own experience of playing them as an adult), or from reviewers who also expected a board game to be a video game. [...]

Open RPG

You see, them virtual tables provide gaming groups with everything they need to play their RPG of choice without having to physically meet or touch any sort of dice, which might seem quite the antisocial thing to do, but can be very helpful for playing with friends living thousands of kilometers away or for spending some truly productive time at work. Open RPG for example offers players and GMs an integrated environment complete with miniature map, die rollers, chat, data organizer and the ability to run ones own game server, that’s flexible enough to host any game system imaginable. [...]

RISK, Strategies Explained

Risk (BGG entry), according to sources that prefer to call themselves voices and are not to be taken seriously, is one of the most successful, imitated and thus influential board games ever devised. It also is a particularly enjoyable game, that comes in a variety of flavours ranging from Star Wars to Lord Of The Rings to Classic, with the added bonus of being less prone to shatter friendships than Diplomacy. Also, also, Risk has the dubious honour of being the first truly mainstream wargame. [...]

Demonlord

Dwarfstar Games, a former division of Heritage USA, that was recently (as in 2003) saved from ultimate financial doom by Reaper Miniatures, was quite the board game creator back in the early 80s. They released solo-games, micro-games, epic-games, goblin-games, strategy-games, even 2-player games (!), with such lovely 80s names as Barbarian Prince, Dragon Rage, Goblin, Demonlord or Star Smuggler. Good news is you can download all these games for free, print them out and play them. Or just browse through their PDF manuals, tokens and maps and have a glimpse at gaming history… [...]

Zombies 2

Assuming those interested in Zombies!!! 2 are already Zombies!!! players (well, they really should be, as the original game is quite required to enjoy the Z!!!2 affair), I’ll get right to the new stuff. Ruleswise you get a slightly tweaked core ruleset, that helps speed the game up and clean up slight problems, a nice FAQ and quite a few brand new rules. Without wanting to spoil the overall fun-of-the-fan I’ll just mention two of them: 1) you get to ride vehicles, 2) tougher (government enhanced) zombies are introduced. [...]

Introduction: Pen and Paper RPG’s

Hence the importance of the rest of the players in the storytelling part. They are free to experience, twist, enrich, play through and ultimately shape the GM’s plot, always following some rules, not unlike those a video game would impose on a gamer. Rules, that determine whether a player kills a monster, is stealthy enough to bypass a drowsy guard or even adequately desirable to organise an orgy. What’s more, and just like in the vast majority of CRPGs, players get to create a character, an in-game persona, typically called the PC or Player Character, as opposed to the NPC or Non Player Character, obviously played by the GM. [...]

Guillotine

Game mechanics are wonderfully simple: the noble cards are arranged in a line, each player collecting the head of the noble at the front. Players can alter the arrangement of the line, by playing specific action cards (such as bribing the guards, rescuing a Noble etc.). The player with the most valuable collection of heads wins. It’s that easy. It’s luck you need in this game, not wits. [...]

Brikwars

Brikwars, should you fail clicking any of the above links, is in its simplest form a freeware wargaming rules system, that let’s use your Lego bricks and figures to ..uh.. play war with your mates. It is thus what some would call a tabletop strategy miniature wargame. Further inspection though, reveals a truly fantastic game that has been evolving for over a decade and is both simple (make that elegant) and deep enough to actually challenge Warhammer. [...]

War on Terror

After all, the second edition of The War on Terror will soon be released. And -according to its publishers- it will be great. Spectacularly so. Oh, and yes, you can also get your cute little faces on the game’s money via one, two, three, four, five, six outrageous auctions. It’s all part of the aptly (let alone, cunningly) named Get Your Face on Money craze funded by the ever-popular World Bank of Capitalism. Or -of course- not. [...]

Proletariat

We’ve already enjoyed Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, Mage: The Awakening, Something: The Something Else, but now the time has come to rise, raise our left fist and salute Proletariat: The Uprising. It’s a vaguely satirical, not particularly funny, yet quite interesting RPG-ish board game. Grab it here. It’s free. Obviously. [...]

RPG Sex

Despite this, RPG sex is definitely lacking. The real problem seems to be a distinct lack of sex rules, that would seamlessly integrate the whole carnal experience into the game world. Rules that would intrigue the average Game or Dungeon Master. Rules covering such topics as Inter-Species Fertility, The Wild Thing or Sexual Psionic Powers. Rules that would be free. [...]

Talisman Returns

“Talisman is a cult fantasy board game for 2 – 6 people. Players control a myriad of characters from a heroic warrior to a powerful sorcerer. In this perilous adventure, play centres around the journey of these gallant heroes to find and claim the Crown of Command, a magical artifact with the power to destroy all rivals and make the bearer the true ruler of the kingdom.” [...]

Puttanopoly

An Italian adaptation of Monopoly, that does to board games, exactly what Pimp: The Backhanding (by none other than the prestigious White Wolf of Vampire fame) did to card games. Unfortunately, it’s only in Italian. Still, the idea is internationally understood. Be a hooker, avoid evil pimps, get to the rich customers, avoid Jack-the-Ripper wannabes and cops and (that’s the Monopoly bit) protect and expand your turf. [...]

Class Struggle

Class Struggle manages to combine marxist theory, excellent humor and sheer fun. Each player is randomly (as in real life) assigned as a class and races towards the center of the board (in a spiraling way) in order to win the final confrontation of the classes. Should the workers or their allies win, it’s socialism. Should the capitalists or their allies win, it’s not. The rules are simple [...]

Zombies!!!

Zombies!!! is a game about survival, about destroying zombies and about making sure your opponents (1 to 5 opponents; do the math, that means 2-6 players) are serving as undead snacks. You (the model representing you actually) will be running around a zombie infested town (made of 30 beautifully illustrated cards and infested by 100 -yes 100- miniature zombies ), shooting zombies (a 4+ on a d6 destroys them), collecting health and ammo, searching buildings and playing the exquisitely dark and humorous [...]

Space Hulk 2nd Edition

Silliness aside, the Warhammer 40000 universe, Space Hulk’s setting, is a very rich in detail and well-portrayed world. An unholy bastard of a fantasy and sci-fi setting it may be, but also one of the better gaming worlds around. Space Hulk 2nd edition (Space Hulk henceforth) is accordingly one of the better board games around. Perhaps the best I’’ve ever played, and one I can’’t recommend enough. [...]

Maziacs: The Boardgame

The question though is whether Maziacs: The Boardgame, a boardgame based on a rather ancient and definitely simple CRPG, is worth your time, effort and paper. Well, I’m pretty sure it is. The rules are incredibly simple, smart, fun and versatile, and the game can be played both in its standard single-player mode and cooperatively. I’m actually pretty sure it could be run with a Game Master too. As for its aesthetics, simple as they are, they remain true to the original source and evoke a certain retro feel. Definitely worth a try. [...]