The Dao of Board Gaming

People very often ask me “what is your favorite game?” and the answer for me is that there is no such thing as a favorite game. A game for me is nothing absolute. A game lives through the people who play it. Therefore, my favorite game depends upon which group of people I’m with, and what we prefer. For instance, I’d play different games with my parents than with a group of friends. With my parents I play a lot of traditional German card games. I have one friend from school with whom I play nothing but Speed Chess and it’s only with him that I play Speed Chess because it works for us, and it’s just enjoyable. What’s enjoyable for me is the time spent with other people — different people create different atmospheres. You need the right game for the right occasion.

REINER KNIZIA

This quote from famed designer Reiner Knizia probably encapsulates why gaming is trans-generational, trans-racial and crosses many social and political boundaries. Board gamers are found every where across the globe and many of us play games because they are …..well, fun. I do believe that games can also be potent building blocks to establish connections and friendships as I have come to know so many good friends through this hobby. Board games is also an incredible tool to teach children how to think, react, win or lose with grace all in the name of fun. In short, there is really no reason why adults should consider this an activity only for kids.

This board gaming blog is a way for me to write (or vent) my thoughts on the hobby and also serve as an outlet from the daily routines and responsibilities of life. It is also a way for me to chronicle the privilege of watching my child grow up and evolve as a gamer through the lens of the games we play. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining and occasionally useful.

La Isla

Designer: Stefan Feld Artist: Alexander Jung Publisher: Alea / Ravensburger If you like Stefan Feld, then La Isla is a slight change of pace. Probably much closer to his early days of game design. Think Roma instead of Bonfire. I suppose the fact that the game is packaged in the medium Alea box should be […]

Babylonia

Designer: Reiner Knizia Artist: Jonas Hassibi and David Prieto Publisher: Ludonova What is this? Another Knizia tile-laying game? You are kidding, right? Don’t we have enough of this already. How many versions of the same game can he make…..? I kid of course, as I have been eagerly waiting to get Babylonia on the table. […]

Terraforming Mars

Designer: Jacob Fryxelius Artist: Isaac Fryxelius Publisher: FryxGames Oddly enough, I thought I had already written a review for Terraforming Mars several years back. I have half a dozen plays of the game thus far, which is usually enough for me to pen my thoughts. Apparently, it had slipped through the cracks and I realized […]

111 MyRummy (111Ants)

Designer: Steffen Benndorf Artist: Uncredited Publisher: Schmidt Spiele Another game from the numerical genius that is Steffen Benndorf. Having being credited with hits such as The Game, Ohanami, Qwixx and other number sequencing type games, I found this obscure and curious title bearing his name on the market from another gamer’s collection. A little bit […]

DOG

Designer: Uncredited Artist: Dennis Lohausen, Renate Matthews and Markus Zuber Publisher: Schmidt Spiele I know DOG is a niche game loved by select few. It just so happens that the select few belong to Euro style gamers that happen to follow and share the same interests that I do in board gaming. It’s almost like….a […]

Nidavellir

Designer: Serge Laget Artist: Jean-Marie Minguez Publisher: Hatchet Games, GRRRE Games Nidavellir didn’t really register on my radar much until recently. It didn’t go through a massive PR effort nor a KS hype machine. In fact, it followed trend among games published by French designers: very little pre-publication marketing or hype even though these games […]

My City

Designer: Reiner Knizia Artist: Michael Menzel Publisher: Kosmos My City is Knizia’s first legacy game. Of course, Knizia’s output is legendary, but he has never produced a legacy game. His recent forays into other prominent mechanisms has led to a bunch of amazing games including Chartae (micro) and The Quest for El Dorado (Deck Building). […]

Underwater Cities

Designer: Vladimir Suchy Artist: Uildrim, Milan Vavroň Publisher: Rio Grande Games Underwater Cities is a card-driven tableau builder not unlike Terraforming Mars. In fact, the games are often placed side by side for comparison with good reason. The main similarity is that both games feature a relatively huge deck of cards from which players will […]


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