Archive for the ‘Board Games’ Category

There’s a rule for that: the customer is always right (when it comes to things crashing and exploding)

It’s always fun to try and identify game rules that came into existence not because they were part of the designers’ vision, but because players insisted on them. When you’re a game designer faced with player demands for a rule you don’t particularly want to include in the game, you have a few choices. You […]

Why is this ‘Mech so terrible?


Always be careful when destroying the Enterprise

You’ll forgive me, I hope, if I yammer about a board game for a few minutes. It’s been a while since I’ve subjected you to such trivia. As I have no doubt mentioned, I am a fan of the Star Fleet Battles board/wargame. Now, this is a game with a lot of rules. The “master […]

Nostalgic gaming: a look at Iron Crown's 1983 Fellowship of the Ring

The hall closet in our apartment is, much to my wife’s dismay, stacked high with boardgames I’ve acquired throughout my sordid life as a gamer. Both of the adults in the family have degrees in archaeology, so perhaps it makes sense to view the tall stack of games in the closet as a sort of […]

A history of capitalism

Who knew that the boardgame Monopoly had such an interesting history? I haven’t played Monopoly–or any other “normal” boardgames–in a long while. (“Normal” here meaning “can be purchased in a mainstream toy store.”) I do believe, however, that there is a copy of Star Wars Monopoly in the closet (next to Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, […]

Free strategy games from the dark depths of the 80s

Ever heard of Dwarfstar Games? I hadn’t either, but it turns out they released eight rather quirky little strategy games in the early 1980s, all most of which are now available for free download. Most of them look like fairly short and straightforward strategy games, with an obvious wargame influence–the hexgrid maps and cardboard chits […]

Don't take away my turn!

Over the holidays I played a number of different boardgames with friends and relatives, and in the course of doing so I had a personal revelation of sorts: I really don’t like it when a game makes you “lose a turn” as a gameplay penalty or obstacle. This realization came to me after I played […]

Starships passing in the night

I had one of those weird “it’s-a-small-world” experiences online this morning. I was meeting up with my friend Jon for a Saturday morning game of Star Fleet Battles. While you’re setting up the game, you can chat with other SFB players in the “lobby” area. So anyway: one of the people in the lobby, who […]

Saving throw vs. addiction

Oh, no. Somebody at Avalon Hill just figured out how to get me addicted. This is going to get ugly. I can just feel it. by

“Khan!!!” Thoughts on Star Fleet Battles

I’ve been playing a boardgame called Star Fleet Battles with Jon lately. Jon found a nifty program which enables you to play the game over the internet, and so, using Skype to chat during the games, we’ve thus far played out two moderately-epic space battles between a Federation heavy cruiser and its Klingon equivalent. I’m […]