We’ve made it! We’ve reached the very top. These are the games the Board Game Geek users deemed the best war games out there (at least they did so in August last year, when I took the snapshot of the top 60 that has been the basis for this series). You know the drill from the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth part – I give a few thoughts on each of the games, and then you add yours in the comments. Let’s go straight at it!Continue reading
Welcome back to the fourth part of the series on the top 60 games in BoardGameGeek’s war game list! We enter the upper half of the top 60 games, and there are some excellent games in today’s package. You know the drill from the first, second, and third part – I give a few thoughts on each of the games, and then you add yours in the comments. Without further ado, here are games #30-21 of the list.Continue reading
The year is almost over, and once more, it has come with quite a few excellent historical board games played. These are the three I enjoyed most this year:Continue reading
Earlier this year, I’ve written two strategy posts for Here I Stand (Ed Beach, GMT Games) – one on the Hapsburgs, one on the Papacy. You liked them and seemed to be craving more, and as ever, I was most anxious to oblige my esteemed readers. However, I haven’t won with all Here I Stand factions yet, and you’d rightfully demand that someone who tells you how to do things has done them themselves already. This is where Naty comes in. Normally, she writes about literature over at her blog natysbookshelf.wordpress.com (check it out, it’s amazing), but she’s also an accomplished Here I Stand player who’s run roughshod over everyone else at the table in her last game when she played England. Over to you, Naty!Continue reading
When you have just learned a shiny new board game, especially one which is a bit longer and more complex than others, it’s nice to have some strategic direction. That’s what I aim to provide with my series Three Basic Tips – strategy advice for beginner and intermediate players that is easy to remember and yet gets you places. So far, I’ve covered Twilight Struggle, Prussia in Friedrich, and the Hapsburgs in Here I Stand. Today, it’s Here I Stand (Ed Beach, GMT Games) again – with three basic tips for the Papacy, a notoriously tough power to play (and win). I think that the Papacy is lots of fun, though, and here’s how to play the early game, how to win debates, and what do in diplomacy to succeed!Continue reading
500 years ago, a certain Süleyman succeeded his father Selim to become sultan of the Ottomans. He transformed his inherited state from a regional power into an empire with a universal claim, whose dominion ranged from Hungary to Iraq, from Crimea to Algiers, and whose fleets sailed the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Later, he was called Süleyman the Magnificent, and his reign the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire. This post will explore three questions (as always, with board games): How did Süleyman win his domains? How did he forge them into an empire? And how has the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire influenced later views and depictions of the Middle East?Continue reading
I often teach games to my fellow players. A lot of those games are somewhat complex (and often take several hours), so I don’t only explain how the rules work, but also give a bit of direction on the strategy – nothing worse than an evening spent feeling lost in the options or getting steamrolled because you didn’t know what was important! Of course, if the rules are already quite a lot to take in, you don’t want to be further overwhelmed by a lengthy speech on strategy. One method to keep which I’ve found keeps it short and sweet is giving the new player three basic tips. That’s something everyone can keep in mind!
So, without further ado, here are my Three Basic Tips for winning as the Hapsburgs in Here I Stand (Ed Beach, GMT Games): Which victory condition should you pursue, and how will you achieve it? How does your diplomacy prepare you for military success? And which rhythm will get you to European domination instead of a second-place finish?
I do Top Threes in various categories as my end-of-year posts. So far, I have done this year:
And here, finally, is the pinnacle of Top Three posts for the end of the year – historical board games! That’s what you’ve come for. So, without further ado, here are the three history-themed board games with which I had the most fun I this year:
It is by now good tradition that Naty from Naty’s Book Shelf and I collaborate on a post somewhen before Christmas. As Naty is a book blogger and I am a board game blogger, we have written about bookish board games in 2017. In 2018, we recommended board games based on readers‘ tastes in books. This year, we shake things up a bit – instead of a joint post, we each do a guest post on each other’s blog. So here you find Naty’s recommendations for books to read based on board games you liked. On Naty’s blog, I have written the corresponding post recommending board games based on books you liked. In any case, check out Naty’s blog if you like to read at all – it is a cornucopia of book reviews (especially fantasy, contemporary, and literary fiction) and other book-related fun! Continue reading
What is the most exciting part about gaming history? – Doing what the historical agents might have done („Let’s see how an alliance with Imperial Germany would have worked out for Victorian Britain“) or see how what they did would translate into the game („John Shore was made a baron after his time with the East India Company, which is like scoring a prize after leaving the office of chairman.“
In short: Nothing is better than taking the perspective and agency of a historical agent. Card-Driven Games (CDGs) are reputed to have trouble with that. They can include all kinds of historical events on the cards, but the downsides to that are
- that the exact agency of the player in bringing about those events is a bit fuzzy (how exactly am I responsible for that storm which wrecked the opponent fleet?) and the player might feel „like an overworked Time Lord, delaying discoveries, accelerating accidents“
- and that the „standard“ moves to be conducted with the action points can be rather abstracted and generic („spread influence“).
One way out of this dilemma is employing standard events for each player which return to their hand – like the Home Cards for each power in Here I Stand (Ed Beach/GMT Games), which can be played once per turn and perfectly mesh with the respective power’s play style.
Today, we’ll look how that plays out in regard to the Leipzig Debate, one of the defining events of the early Reformation. After a quick look at the budding Reformation, we’ll go straight to the contestants of the debate and then the theological contest itself – and how it shaped events to come. All the while, Here I Stand will be our companion.