Most Anticipated Historical Board Games of 2018

2017 is over. It’s been a good year for board gaming. I have reasons to believe, however, that 2018 will be just as satisfying – the good games we play already stay with us, and then there might be this or that new worthy addition. Here are some games to be released in 2018 on which I’ll keep an eye. Since they all have a historical theme, I’ll order them from most ancient to most recent. Here we go:

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Idealism and Realism in the Fourteen Points

It often seems as if principles and power politics are at constant odds. Most political decision-makers are driven by both, but they constantly have to weigh one against the other – should they follow their convictions or do the gritty realpolitik that gets them what they want? Another common notion is that idealism holds as long as one is not in a position of power, after which it makes way for realism.[1] I argue, however, that idealism and realism do not have to stand opposed, but in fact, are often intertwined in political decision-making. For that argument, let’s have a look at the “Fourteen Points” Woodrow Wilson suggested at the end of World War I, in his speech to Congress on January 8, 1918. After a quick look at the general ideas of the “Fourteen Points”, we’ll see how they were intended to serve short-term (mostly realist) and long-term (both idealist and realist) goals and what became of them. Continue reading

Farewell 2017!

My dear readers,
The year is coming to its close. I’ll have a look back on its contents in history and gaming from a strictly personal perspective – what I enjoyed this year. Since I tend to be a bit behind the times (as befits the historian) there are not a lot of new releases (in any category) here, but maybe you’ll find some older gems. So, without further ado, here are some good historical board games, non-historical board games, historical non-fiction books, and historical novels. As a bonus, there are three of my favorite posts from this blog in 2017 as well. I’ll highlight one of them as the winner in each category. Continue reading

Confrontation and Cooperation from the West (1989, #2)

The first article in this series dealt with the peoples of Eastern Europe as the agents of change in 1989. Not all explanations for the collapse of Communism center on them, though. Especially in Western Europe and North America, the role of Western governments in the end of the Cold War has been surveyed thoroughly. Paradoxically, there are two diametrically opposed explanations how Western governments might have enacted the end of Communist rule in Eastern Europe – by confrontation or by cooperation with the East. We’ll look at both in this article. Continue reading

Norman Sicily

Recently, there has been no hotter theme for board games than Vikings. No matter if you were looking for a light wargame, a classic economic Eurogame or an ameritrash-euro hybrid, Vikings got you covered. After all the raiding, drinking beer and worshipping pagan deities, some of these “men from the north” or “Normans” settled down in the part of modern France which was named after them Normandy. The Viking knack for conquest was however not completely lost. One Norman duke took England for himself in 1066, which did not only give him the kingdom, but also the nickname William the Conqueror.[1] Other Normans went south. One thousand years ago, in the year 1017, a band of mercenaries under the Norman noble Rainulf Drengot arrived in lower Italy to fight for Pope Benedict VIII against the Byzantines. They and their successors would go on to conquer large parts of southern Italy, rule over a multicultural kingdom, and inherit the title of Holy Roman Emperor. Continue reading

Bookish Board Games

Today’s post is a bit different. Since Christmas is all about coming together with people, Naty from Naty’s Bookshelf (which you should check out if you love reading) and I have teamed up for this post. Since Christmas is all about fretting over what to gift other people as well, we’ll give you some ideas for wonderful presents to give to your loved ones, be they bookworms, board gamers, or both. Also remember: New games at Christmas are a wonderful way to convert non-gaming family members who happen to be there and are drawn in by the sheer beauty of a game to The Hobby. So, without further ado, here are a few board games based on books to make your Christmas this year extra special. Continue reading

Identifying Games You Will Like (Affordable Gaming, #2)

As discussed in my previous post on affordable gaming, I’m all for having a game collection that prizes quality over quantity. It saves you money, shelf space, and time for learning rules. The question is: How do you find those high-quality games with high replay value? There is the traditional way (reading a lot of reviews), but I’d like to add a few other things at which you can look, all of them based on a single resource: the Board Game Geek main page of the game in question.
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