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.

Karuba

Designer: Rudiger Dorn Artist: Claus Stephan Publisher: HABA Hot on the heels of Take it Easy! XXL, I promised my kid that we would try out Karuba, a game with similar elements with Take it Easy! in terms of simultaneous tile-laying and route building on individual player boards. However, Karuba is slightly more thematic and […]

Brian Boru: High King or Ireland

Designer: Peer Sylvester Artist: Deirdre de Barra Publisher: Osprey Games Congrats to Peer Sylvester for designing a highly interactive area majority board game with a historical theme that is completely off the beaten path for most of us non-Irish folks. If I previously didn’t know who Brian Boru was, I now know more about him […]

Finito!

Designer: Hartmut Kommerell Artist: N/A Publisher: Schmidt Spiele This is one of the games in the now defunct Schmidt Spiele Easy Play series. I used to obsess about games in this series and managed to implement my own versions for most all of them. Many of these games have since been rethemed or reimplemented, and […]

Take it Easy! (XXL)

Designer: Peter Burley Artist: Alexander Strohmaier, Steve Tolley,Franz Vohwinkel, Thomas Weiss Publisher: FX Schmid Take it Easy is one of those games that is more and activity than a game. It is a true multi-player solitaire that an unlimited number of players can participate. All players have their own board and pieces and a number […]

Hot lead

Designer: Reiner Knizia Artist: Paul Halkyon Publisher: Bitewing Games Hot Lead is the third game by Reiner Knizia that uses a same card selection mechanism which I have repurposed under a single theme for a DIY project because it uses the same deck of cards. I have previously written my thoughts on Odd Socks and […]

Living Forest

Designer: Aske Christiansen Artist: Apolline Etienne Publisher: Ludonaute If first impressions counts, then Living Forest would most definitely be a hit for some, while getting a fair amount of scorn and eye-rolling from others. Don’t get me wrong, the art work is gorgeous and evocative of a fantastical forest world where woodland creatures fight alongside […]

Navegador

Designer: Mac Gerdts Artist: Marina Fahrenbach, Mac Gerdts Publisher: PD Verlag So much of the spice trade in the East is linked to the Portuguese explorers that sailed around the Cape of Good Hope to colonize and establish trade routes back in the 15th century. Much of the Portuguese naval exploits was owed to Prince […]

Gin Rummy

Designer: Elwood Thomas Baker, Charles Thomas Baker Artist: uncredited Publisher: Uncredited We are going old school. Ever since playing SCOUT with 2, the missus has been pining for more 2 player card games using a traditional deck. I myself haven’t really dabbled much in traditional card games. I went straight from monopoly and mahjong to […]


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