Board Game Talk: Why Board Games are Awesome

Sorry for the rough production quality in this first episode, but it will get better! In this first episode, I explain why I think board games are great!

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The Corners in Formula D

Formula D is a board game that brilliantly captures the excitement of car racing. For a game where the only movement comes from rolling dice and moving your car a few spaces forward, it’s almost magical how the game can still generate the thrill of the chase. Part of that magic comes from a nifty little gear box and corresponding dice. As you switch gears, you’ll gain access to larger dice with larger values that will let you travel faster around the track. When you think about it though, it’s the corners that make the game truly shine.

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The Board Game Night Playlist: Intro to Board Games

Ticket to Ride 10th Anniversary Edition BoardWelcome to the Board Game Night Playlist! In what will hopefully grow into an ongoing series, I put together a playlist of games that you could use for your next board game night. Ideally, each playlist is created with the thought that all of the games on the list could be played within an evening of gaming. Also, I’d like for each playlist to contain some sort of thread that ties them together. For instance, I want to make playlists that are tuned for specific player counts, themes, gameplay mechanics or other logical through lines to make the most out of your next session.

This first playlist was inspired by a board game night we had with Mat and his now-fiancĂ©e Liza. Neither of them had played board games in years, with most of their experience coming from playing mainstream hits like Monopoly or Scrabble. What set of games could we pull together that were equal parts fun and accessible? Our picks out to be excellent choices, as we had a great night and inspired Mat and Liza to seek out more great board game experiences for themselves. This first playlist is the exact lineup of games we played that fateful night. If you’re hosting a board game night with newcomers, or are new to the medium yourself, try out this introductory playlist!

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Turning Formula D Into a Mario Kart Board Game

Formula DAfter a hilarious 4-player Formula D session filled with collisions, reckless driving and driving movie jokes, a light bulb went off in my head. I said out loud, “Couldn’t we make a Mario Kart version of Formula D?” The answer from the group was, “Yes.” Though we packed up the game after that and moved on with our lives, I’ve been thinking through the logistics of creating a Mario Kart variant ever since.

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The Importance of Theme in a Board Game

We’ve been taught since the dawn of time (or at least since the dawn of books) to not judge a book by its cover. Well, when it comes to board games, cover-judging has been a huge part of my decision-making process. Before making inroads with the scene a few years ago, I’d be immediately off-put just by looking at any visual material for games like Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer or Magic: The Gathering. I dislike pretty much everything medieval fantasy across all forms of media, which acts as a deal-breaker for these and many other designer board games long before I could judge it on its merits.

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In Defense of Chance in Board Games

Before I became a board game enthusiast, I didn’t put much behind why I liked or didn’t like a particular game. But as I’ve played more of them, I’ve become more cognizant of the components that create an experience while developing my own taste when it comes to theme and mechanics. One aspect of the board game experience that seems to be a point of contention with more serious players is the element of chance. I find that there are extremists that have a real problem with their livelihoods being determined by a roll of the dice or the flip of a card from a shuffled deck.

For those who prefer to have as much control over your experience as possible, that’s great. Everyone is free to play what they like and there are no shortage of games that are designed to minimize chance. However, I don’t think it’s fair to disregard chance as a whole as a bad thing. When it’s implemented correctly, the element of chance can positively contribute to the enjoyment we get out of a game.

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Pick-Up Post: Board Game Edition

Forbidden DesertEven though hot new video games are finally start to trickle in after months of inactivity, it’s going to have a hard time shaking me of my current interest in board games. In this pick-up post, I highlight some of my most recent purchases, which includes one new game and two expansions for some of my favourites!

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Formula D Review

Formula DThe act of car racing is defined by speed. Video games have almost always done a great job of capturing that sensation as well as the act of racers jockeying for position thanks to their ability to simulate racing in real time. But how do you translate that experience into a turn-based tabletop game? Formula D has the answer. With 2-10 players, you can partake in a thrilling tabletop experience that amazingly simulates the magic of car racing. Continue reading