Tabletop Games Blog

Tabletop Games Blog

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All things tabletop games.


Doughnut Dash (Saturday Review)
May 30
“Silence!” you shout at the two imps sitting opposite you in the surveillance van. “It’s time you two pilferers sneak into the factory and steal some tasty doughnuts. It’ll be absolutely pitch black in there, so I’ll be watching you from here and tell you…
Distant friends (Topic Discussion)
May 26
I previously shared my experiences of games nights with friends who are all in different places, briefly touching on the different platforms available, but focussing more on the experience and what to do to make it feel as close to being together as…
Kingdomino (Saturday Review)
May 23
Four mighty rulers compete to create the most wonderful dominion of them all. They stand proud at the top of their keep and survey the blank canvas of their lands below them. They want to create beautiful lakes full of fish to cater for many fishermen,…
Interesting developments (Topic Discussion)
May 19
In last week’s article, I talked about what is involved in designing a game. Now I want to continue the story of how a board game is made with the development stage, where a working game is polished to make it sparkle and shine. This step in the process…
Prisma Arena (Saturday Review)
May 16
Everything felt new and awkward. You had practiced for this as much as you could. Yet, you didn’t feel confident. “You can do it,” Dawna whispered into your ear piece, as if she knew what you were thinking. “Let’s get ‘em,” came the roar from Farg over…
Glowing designs (Topic Discussion)
May 12
Making a new game is a very long process that can take anything from a few months to many years. It usually starts with a spark of an idea, that slowly glows in the mind of a designer, getting bigger over time until eventually becoming a flame that burns…
Forbidden Sky (Saturday Review)
May 9
Release Date: 2018 Players: 2-4 Designer: Matt Leacock Length: 30-45 minutes Artist: C. B. Canga Age: 10+ Publisher: Gamewright Complexity: 2.5 / 5 Lightning strikes around you every few seconds, a hurricane is howling around you and visibility is almost…
Such fun (Topic Discussion)
May 5
There are many reasons why people play board games. I have written about this before, but in this article I want to dive into it a bit deeper. Like with any activity, and apologies if I upset anyone when I call playing board games an activity, people do…
Forbidden Island (Saturday Review)
May 2
You and your fellow experts had been dropped off by helicopter on the island. It was going to be a rush job, but you were used to it by now. You had to work together to explore the area, find the artifacts and get them and yourself back to the helicopter.…
Board Game Player Profile – Updated (Topic Discussion)
Apr 28
The last time I checked my board game player profile on Quantic Foundry was back in October 2019, so just over six months ago. I must say, I knew there would be some changes, because I was playing more types of games and with different groups of people,…
King of New York (Saturday Review)
Apr 25
The monsters are on the rampage. Military jets fill the skies while tanks rumble through the gridlocked streets. There is the endless noise of sirens and people screaming. It’s absolute chaos on the ground, but to you, it’s more of a minor irritation than…
Isolated games night (Topic Discussion)
Apr 21
Games nights are about social interactions, catching up with friends, maybe some ribbing, eating snacks, enjoying a drink, holding cards or moving pieces, maybe rolling dice and enjoying how a game unfolds, its twists and turns. It’s about a shared…
5 Small Box Games (Saturday Review)
Apr 18
If you don’t have much room for games in your house, like me, then small box games are ideal. Of course, what one person considers a small box might be a medium-sized box for someone else, but I will go with what I consider small boxes, which is really…
Open information (Topic Discussion)
Apr 14
In open, or perfect, information games, everything is there for everyone to see. Nothing is hidden. The whole state of the game is right there in front of you. Chess is probably the most famous perfect information game - and the most classic one. However,…
Deep Sea Adventure (Saturday Review)
Apr 11
The dive team was getting ready to leave the submarine. The oxygen tank was full, but it was limited. Everyone’s lines were connected to it, so everyone had to be frugal and be aware that the air was shared among the team. It was going to be risky, but…
High spirits (Topic Discussion)
Apr 7
There are many things that affect our mental health in some way. It could be a life-changing or otherwise significant event. It could be certain habits we have or things we do - or don’t do. Our physical health can also affect it, as well as the health of…
AireCon 2020 (Saturday Review)
Apr 4
It feels like a long time ago now, but thinking back to AireCon, which took place last month, still puts a smile on my face. It meant a long car journey for me, travelling over five hours from the South Coast all the way up to Harrogate in deepest…
Pulling together (Topic Discussion)
Mar 31
I have always hoped that our community would work together to help each other through tough times, and it seems that my hopes have been answered. I don’t think I need to describe the recent, global events, but when many of us had to stay at home and our…
Curators: Collection Conundrum (Saturday Review)
Mar 28
Ensuring you can continue to stock the display cases with new exhibits, while also being able to pay your loyal and hard-working staff, is very hard. It is all about getting as many people through the door to raise income, as well as have a better chance…
Heavy Times (Topic Discussion)
Mar 24
Text and board games are inextricably linked. You find text in various places in every board game to a greater or lesser extent. I can’t think of any game that doesn’t have some text somewhere, but feel free to prove me wrong in the comments below. At the…
The Game Designers (Saturday Review)
Mar 21
We all love to play board games. We each have our favourite genres, themes and mechanisms, and ultimately our favourite games. Over time our favourites change of course, as new games come out and we get a chance to play them. Yet, when we play a board…
Design challenges (Topic Discussion)
Mar 17
The list of tasks a game designer has open at any one point in time can be very long and it is constantly evolving. Designing a game is a long journey, even for the simplest of games. It can be a battle between what’s good for the game and what the game…
Kodama: The Tree Spirits (Takebacks)
Mar 14
The air is still and the sky is mostly clear. There are only a couple of fluffy clouds and sparkly stars fill the firmament. The forest is flourishing, stocked with many great, big trees with long branches colonized by many fragrant flowers, marvellous…
Leading role (Topic Discussion)
Mar 10
We all love high quality, gorgeous game components. Chunky dice, metal coins, thick cardboard, linen finished cards, detailed miniatures or custom meeples. However, what we often forget is how components are used in games. We all know about rolling dice,…
Underleague (Saturday Review)
Mar 7
Your stable is ready. You’ve chosen three creatures from your selection of 30. There are the Chill Wraith, the Stasis Golem and the Skinling. You know that some of them will lose and some will win, which is fine. In fact, it’s what you’re betting on…
Great expectations (Topic Discussion)
Mar 3
Of course it is important to make sure everyone knows about the game you’re planning to release very soon or the campaign that’s going to launch on Kickstarter shortly. You want people to be excited, so they share it with their friends. You want people to…
Jaipur (Saturday Review)
Feb 29
“Diamonds, gold, silver, cloth, spices, leather,” you shout from your stall into the hustle and bustle of the market. You are not the only trader vying for the many people wandering around the square, most of whom are tourists looking for a bargain. In…
Faking it (Topic Discussion)
Feb 25
We all have heard of knock-off copies of designer bags or clothing, illegal copying of DVDs and CDs, as well as cheap versions of toys that are basically replicas of products sold by big brands. After all, there is good money to be had by the makers of…
Tapestry (Takebacks)
Feb 22
Your tribe is sitting around the fire - a new invention that will prove to be the spark of great things to come, things that nobody can yet predict or even dream of. It feels like you have been here before though. The scene seems very familiar. The faces…
Playing together (Topic Discussion)
Feb 18
In recent years, there seems to have been a surge in board game events in the UK, where people come together for a day or two to play games with old friends and new. I’m thinking of events like AireCon, Manorcon or Tabletop Scotland, but there are many…
Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig (Saturday Review)
Feb 15
“I know,” said the King’s master builder, “if we use modular rooms, all of them square, we could manufacture several of them, all at the same time, in our many workshops, transport them to the site as they are finished, and connect them on-site to build a…
Fear of the new (Topic Discussion)
Feb 11
Sure. It’s always great to play with the latest shinies and be at the cutting edge of what board games have to offer. It makes you feel trendy, in-the-know or it’s just great to have bought something new. I love it myself. It’s amazing when someone offers…
Dune (Saturday Review)
Feb 8
Our heighliner was positioned safely in Arrakis’ orbit. With a steady stream of Spice filling our coffers gradually, we had to be patient and observe from afar the goings-on down on the planet itself. It was clear that House Atreides was pivotal in the…
Home teaching (Topic Discussion)
Feb 4
Growing up, I played a lot of tabletop games with my parents and brother. Yes, there was Monopoly of course, as well as other roll and move games such as Winnetou, but also tableau builders like Ogalala and a stock market game called Die Börse which…
Escape Room Puzzles (Saturday Review)
Feb 1
After finishing my shift in the press room at the local newspaper, I had returned home. As I entered the apartment block’s communal hallway and went over to collect my post, I saw that someone had changed the padlock on my letterbox. I knew that my own…
Play styles (Topic Discussion)
Jan 28
We all play games for different reasons, and we all approach them differently. In fact, we may play the same game differently on two different days, just because we’re in a different mood. However, I’m not talking about playing a different strategy or…
Wingspan: European Expansion (Saturday Review)
Jan 25
You sit quietly in your hide, binoculars in hand, peering out over the lake, with the grassland on the other side and the woodlands in the background. You have already spotted a fair number of birds that frequent this nature reserve regularly, but…
Enjoyable design (Topic Discussion)
Jan 21
Tabletop game designers want to create an enjoyable experience for people - whatever enjoyable means in this context. From that starting point, they create a game that is balanced, flows well and meets the desired complexity requirements, as well as meets…
Pandemic (Saturday Review)
Jan 18
“…as more people are put into isolation in specifically built camps that are guarded by military personnel and run by medical experts and support staff brought in from around the country. The World Health Organization has so far identified five different…
Setup pains (Topic Discussion)
Jan 14
Chits, tokens, player boards, tiles, pieces, cards and all the other components we have come to know and love can sometimes be a bit of a problem: when you need to place dozens upon dozens of them into specific places on the game board or player mat and…
On the Underground London/Berlin (Saturday Review)
Jan 11
After a short journey by train, you arrive in Berlin at Friedrichstraße central station. Wasting no time, you immediately take the stairs down to the U-Bahn platforms. You want to see as much of this metropole as possible, not just the usual tourist…
Turn order (Topic Discussion)
Jan 7
Let’s start 2020 with a serious topic and wade straight in. I might as well start the year as I mean to go on. So, turn order. It’s something that matters very little in some games, and a lot in others. In some games, players take their turns in clockwise…
Skull King (Saturday Review)
Jan 4
Here is a game that has been around the blocks for a few years, but still seems very popular amongst people who like trick-taking games. Skull King by Schmidt Spiele does a few things differently to other trick-taking games, which is why it’s so much fun…
Thank you for a wonderful 2019
Dec 31, 2019
I wanted to use this opportunity to thank everyone who supports me via Patreon, follows me on Twitter, has subscribed to my YouTube channel, follows me on Instagram, likes my LinkedIn page or who supports me otherwise. A particular thank you goes, of…
Top 5 Tabletop Games of 2019 (Saturday Review)
Dec 28, 2019
For the first time, the Tabletop Games Blog is giving away an award: the Top Table Award for the best game released in 2019. As you know, a lot of new tabletop games were released this year, probably around 3,000 to 4,000, excluding expansions. That’s…
Resolutions
Dec 24, 2019
I know, it’s Christmas Eve, so talking about New Year’s resolutions might feel a little early, but I thought I’d get them out of the way now, so I can enjoy the holidays. As this blog is about tabletop games, my list of resolutions featured here focuses…
2019 (Saturday Review)
Dec 21, 2019
Another year has come and gone. A lot has happened in the world, some good, some bad. The tabletop game community has not got away unscathed of course. Yet, there have also been a lot of positive trends and changes. So as we’re nearing the end of 2019, I…
Dark times
Dec 17, 2019
I thought it would be helpful to talk about something that I, and many other people, struggle with around this time of year. It’s not quite a tabletop games related topic, but there is a link, as you will see. What I am talking about is the feelings of…
The Mind Extreme (Saturday Review)
Dec 14, 2019
There is absolute silence and the flickering candles cast eerie shadows of the four people sitting around the table. Everyone has one hand on the table and moves their gaze from face to face, trying to lock onto the thoughts that waft through the other…
Working 9 to 5
Dec 10, 2019
I thought it might be time to give everyone an update of where I’m at with the blog, the podcast, videos and everything else I do in the industry. After all, we’re nearing the end of the year and everyone is starting to reflect on what they have achieved.…