Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Board Games: What I have

Wherein I don't know where I'm supposed to find the time to play all these

There's one magazine issue I eagerly await all year for: Games Magazine's Buyer's Guide to Games; also known as the Games 100. It's their 100 top board games, party games, and card games. In recent years they've even added computer games.

Probably the best place to review the list is at FunAgain Games. And for searching for game reviews and photos, it's hard to beat Board Game Geek. There are a couple other hardcore boardgaming sites, but those two will get you started.

I have a history of buying board games despite never really having friends into board games. Back in high school I was attracted to the massive historical recreation games put out by Avalon Hills. Despite a group of people who had no problems wasting away 3-4 hours playing Risk, I knew no one else interested in this type of thing. Doubt I would have been interested in something like D&D because role-playing doesn't suit me.

Here's a few I know longer have:
  • Outdoor Survival. Wish I still had this one. It was interesting, but playing by the advanced rules, everyone always died in the desert.
  • Name forgotten, possibly Luftwaffe. Some WWII air battle over Europe game. Thousands of pieces, 20-30 hours to play a game. Had a couple of solitary actions that were unsatisfying.
  • Ubi. Not by Avalon Hill, it was a failed geography game from the inventors of "Trivial Pusuit." I had fun with this and I'm not sure why I no longer have it. Vague recollection of it being damaged in a move.

Here's a couple I still own:
  • The original 1981 edition of Civilization. Never played.
  • Twixt. Played a lot.
    Speed Circuit. Ignore the math and spin out in every turn.
  • Ace of Aces. Beautifully designed dogfighting books. Select your manuever and altitude, then you and your opponent change pages and see where you're at. Nothing more disheartening then seeing a page of bullets headed straight for your cockpit. They did a whole series of these that I wish I owned.

AS I do each year, I'm looking through the list seeing what's new and interesting. Haven't purchased anything in a few years and I'm seeing a couple I might just have to get. I've also put out feelers for an occasional "game night" so there's a small chance some of them might get opened. Tomorrow I'll list the ones I'm interested in.

For today, a list of the newer games I own. Most are gathering dust.
  • Guillotine. Very simple and fun card game about executing nobles during the French Revolution. Good party game -- easy to explain, games are quick, and doesn't require a lot of concentration.
  • Grass. Previously mentioned.
  • Halunken und Spelunken, the drunken sailor game. You're a captain of a ship dragooning sailors from the local bars. Simple mechanics, some strategy. I've started teaching this to The Daughter.
  • Elfenland. Absolutely gorgeous game board and components. I need to create a "game night" just so I can play this game.
  • King of the Elves. A card game version of Elfenland. Supposed to be good; found dirt cheap at a game store going out of business.
  • Mississippi Queen. Another gorgeous game and one of my favorites to play. Also have the Black Rose expansion.
  • Triopoly. A reinvention of Monopoly that uses three levels. A huge improvement on the playability of Monopoly.
  • The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game. This game will either have you laughing out loud or punching out your best friend. A simple horse racing game with betting. Sometimes you bet on your horse, sometimes you bet on someone else's horse. And sometimes if the horse you didn't bet on is about to win, well then you can knock it over so it loses. I had a friend bring this back from England based on the description alone and it was a very good purchase.
  • Sorry. Just got this one to play with The Daughter. I remember it being a fun game for small kids -- requires a minimal amount of strategery and encourages viciousness.

Then there's the nice Go set I own along with the 4-5 books on how to play Go. One of those games that's hard to teach yourself and I'd really benefit from finding someone else who plays.


Blogger Icepick said...

Have you tried playing Go online? I did once, but didn't get very far. A very difficult game.

11/15/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

About 10-12 years ago. There are a couple of very active online Go communities, just haven't gone back to them. Maybe if I had about 15 more hours in a day.

11/16/2006 07:12:00 AM  

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