Sunday, November 30, 2014

NoBloMo #29 - A Letter

[This letter is still in drafting phases, but it's something I will eventually complete and execute in the end. This is yet another draft.]

NoBloMo #28 - Reminiscing About NoBloMo

This past month has been quite a journey of non-editing free-flowing thought. More like an exercise of editing control. But it has certainly been an eye-opener.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

NoBloMo #27 - My One Black Friday Deal

Before kids, before marriage, before crazy jobs, Black Friday deals were somewhat doable. If I had the stamina to wake up at some ungodly hour just to go out in the bitter cold and stand in line for something I know will be gone in the first 30 minutes, then why the hell not? Sure, there would be ungodly mobs with the same goals, shoving you at the start of the sale, but it was all for a good bargain, right?

Today? I started Black Friday at 3 pm, going to my FLGS.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NoBloMo #26 - A Thanksgiving Tradition

Not sure how many years we've been doing this, but every year, we've been making our own terrible (or terribly awesome) Christmas sweaters. My sister would always grab a large bag of felts, scissors, glue, trinkets, and a stack of generic sweaters, and we'd all gather at Thanksgiving to decorate and get them ready to wear near Christmas. Above was the one I created last year, titled "Designated Reindeer." I was really tired...

NoBloMo #25 - Bargains Over the Holidays

I don't like Black Friday anymore.

What's even worse is the pre-Black Friday stuff.

We're practically giving up family dinner now for complete shopping.

Stop and spend time with your family this Thanksgiving. Please.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NoBloMo #24 - Pocket Meeples

Meeples. We see them everywhere in board games, sometimes in mass quantities, and some just acting as pawn on a board to move. Today, I'm more focused on the latter, and what you can do to make yourself stand out by one simple thing - a pocket meeple to call your own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

NoBloMo #23 - A Mistake Sealed Forever

So, yesterday I went into excruciating detail of my quest for Ignacy's signature in Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy, a game I mistakenly assumed he designed. In the end, I bought Imperial Settlers instead, and Ignacy signed in that instead. (As seen above! That's my box!!)

NoBloMo #22 - A Tale of Suspense, Intrigue, and Murder (Of My Boardgamer Ego)...Told by Tweets!

It all began innocently enough. Me, a BGGCant-er, reading through the BGGCon Twitter feed, and a Portal sale for Legacy: The Testament of Duke De Crecy caught my eye.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NoBloMo #21 - A Lesson From Smash Bros to Board Game Mentality

Earlier today, I gathered with some friends to get our Smash Bros on (the game came out yesterday). Compared to my friends, I'm clearly the weakest player, and playing this game a couple of weeks earlier with them got me spiraling in a depressive funk. I knew one friend was good - as in, practice a LOT good - so winning against him was nigh impossible. Very often, a fresh version of my character would pop in when he's at 5% damage, and I'd be knocked out without me laying any additional damage on him. And yes, it got frustrating.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NoBloMo #18 - A NoVloMo...Kinda

My blog is what I do. It allows me to be expressive behind words, to describe, in intricate detail, my inner thoughts and share them in digestible bites. Plus, it gives me the most out of my "A" in English. So, a NoBloMo thing is only natural. I don't have the time, really, to do something like a vlog per day. It's hard enough to get a blog entry per day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

NoBloMo #16 - Rolling Dice

In an entirely unscientific-based rant, I want to talk for a moment about rolling D6 dice, and how I'm falling less in love with the pips. This is vastly different from Pip on Twitter, whom I adore. But I digress...the diagram you see above is what I think about every time people focus on the value of two dice rolling. See? TOTALLY unscientific.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NoBloMo #15 - Being Crafty

This Sunday's been a bit of a burner, so let's just lay out things I've crafted that I'm proud of.

NoBloMo #14 - NoBloMo Stats

Today was a bit busy, so I'm using an out today just to observe my NoBloMo stats,

Friday, November 14, 2014

NoBloMo #13 - No Regrets

I joke a lot about not being able to attend board game cons that are out-of-state. Origins, GenCon, Dice Tower Con, and the upcoming BGGCon. Realistically, if I did, it would have to be a family trip (unless it's business, I can't stand the thought of leaving my wife and child alone for days on end), and even that's not possible, with my second kid on his way very soon. But, as a wise smart person sternly said, "NO REGRETS." And really, I shouldn't have any.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NoBloMo #12 - Kickstarter Waits

Years ago, I thought Kickstarter was all the rage, that you'd be the first person to fund and support the really cool gems of board games that have taken a liking to the funding format there. To be the first one in line to give designers their money and be the first ones to own their beloved creation.

To this day, I am still waiting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NoBloMo #11 - We Landed on a Comet!!

Earlier today, the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully landed an unmanned space traveller named the Philae probe onto a comet called 67P, about 310 million miles away.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NoBloMo #10 - Analyzing the Urge to Buy

You see the next board game people are clamoring to get. It's all over the social media feeds, getting high praises and reviews, and everyone's playing it non-stop. You want it SO bad.

Now, stop.

NoBloMo #9 - Relaxing, Pleasant Games

There's something special about a game when there's no killing, world-saving, or bad story-telling. When a game pulls you in with its theme, its visuals, it's a beautiful thing. Games like this allow a departure from the "destroy all monsters" attitude, and give players a peaceful environment, one in which they can step back from time to time and just...enjoy.

Here are some good games that give a nice, pleasant theme that can relax your mind.

Monday, November 10, 2014

NoBloMo #8 - I LOVE Dice

[All images have been borrowed from BGG, because I took too long writing this article. :| Except for the one above. That's my cool clear die, and my homemade dice tray!]

I love dice. They are the epitome of chance, providing a simple and quick way to determine what will happen to your character after a vigorous toss. In the right environment, dice can truly make-or-break a board game. I can go on and on and on and on...but, instead, I'll list the dice games that I've played that stand out.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NoBloMo #7 - Are There Neglected Cards and Components in Board Games?

After playing a lot of Star Realms and reading people talk about their favorite cards to get during matches, it got me thinking about the cards that people DON'T go for. Then it got me thinking more about the CCG (collectible card game) and LCG (living card game) scene out there, about cards that never get any playtime because other cards eclipse them completely. Now, I'm not entirely sure how the metagame is for something like NetRunner (if anyone can enlighten me, let me know), but I'm sure there may be some cards that no one even bothers with at all when deck-building.

Friday, November 7, 2014

NoBloMo #6 - Twitter

It's funny. I started my Twitter account in 2009 as a portable way to connect to people through my Blackberry, while walking the floors of E3. I'll save you the exposure of those early tweets, which are SUPER boring. BUT, my account existed, so I decided to leverage it for more exposure back in 2011. And 2012.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

NoBloMo #5 - Analog Gaming

It surprised me that my VERY first blog entry mentioned board games, and yet I never talked about it at all until only two years ago. In my defense, the only direction I knew at the time then was video games, but I added everything else for good measure, should the opportunity arise to discuss.

It only took five years later, and the birth of my daughter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NoBloMo #4 - The "Finished" Stamp of Approval

Probably the one distinguishing trademark of my blog, to me, was the "Finished" posts. At an early age, I tried to keep track of the games I finished, all on a 5.25" floppy on my mom's i386 PC. It was a simple text program that I kept adding game titles to, and printing it out like some official document, on tractor-fed paper.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

NoBloMo #3 - The Evolution of Gameritis

I still can't believe I started this blog more than seven years ago. That means NOTHING to anyone else but me, but it shows how persistent I was to write something here. But finding a voice in my own blog was harder than I thought.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Take on NaNoWriMo - NoBloMo!

Hey guys!

Due to (some WAY TOO easy) persuasion, I'm doing my take on National Novel Writing Month for November and doing NoBloMo - November Blogging Month!

Yes, I know what it sounds like. But stay with me.


Are you good?

Okay, so the whole thing with National Novel Writing Month is to promote writing during the month of November, with the final goal to finish by the end of it! It's a great thing to do if you're up for the challenge! Me, I'm lucky to even get a blog post up.

Which is why I'm taking a spin on this and making it NoBloMo! (HUSH!) I'll be attempting to write a blog entry every day for the month of November. About what? Well, whatever is on my mind, or what I found, or whatever I deem unique enough to warrant a post.

(Yes, it's November 2nd. I forgot yesterday, but I just started now, so give me a break!)

So I thought that the first thing I'd discuss is the reason my blog articles are so sparse.

Why So Little Blog Articles?

Life. Family. Kids. Sleep.

Those are the easy reasons to pick out. But, in fact, I have a few brewing. I'm an editor-freak, constantly re-working my own pieces to no end. It's not that I'm a little of a perfectionist, but when I write things, I want the focus to remain on-point. I've went on wild tangents in previous articles, so much so that I've had to chop off LARGE hunks of it to get back on track. It's not easy at first, but I got used to it over time. It's easy to write out streams of thought (like what I'm doing now), but if I want to REALLY get my point across, I aim to deliver my best quality of work...often at the sacrifice of numerous delays.

So, whatever articles that appear here are the best work I produce. What I lack in quantity, I more than make up for quality. It matters how I present my words, even though most of the stuff on this blog is mainly an outlet that I never expected any audience to read. Since 2007, this was, has, and always will be a personal diary of sorts that is open to the public. If anyone comes and read these, I hope they entertain as well as amuse!

Tomorrow, I'll talk about the origins of this blog and its name!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Paper Money

There is some major hatred over the inclusion of paper money in board games. Clearly, there's a mental association to Monopoly, a game that many older board gamers experienced in their youth. With a slew of unfinished games, number-crunching rents, and messy box innards before and after every setup, Monopoly memories are not particularly the fondest. With that going for it, is it any surprise for all the distaste?

Let's see what makes people hate paper money.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How do YOU board game?

Earlier this week, I talked about rediscovering my passion for board games, and breathed new life into the #IBoardgame hashtag (I won't take credit for birthing it, since it appears it's been around before me.) If you haven't checked out the article, give it a read. It's good, really!

Now I want to see YOUR passion.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Leaving Sleeving #1: Forbidden Island

In the first of (what I hope to be many) posts, I'll be unsleeving cards from a board game I sleeved before, for whatever reasons I thought were valid.

In the past few game nights, I've been playing games with sleeved card, and some without. While I was initially concerned holding bare cards, I actually grew quite relieved to not dealing with the "silk linen" slippery effect I've had with sleeved cards. In addition, the quality and thickness of most cards in board games usually tells me whether a game can withstand the rigors of continuous gameplay. This was proven time and time again with Cheaty Mages (a game which I never sleeved) to Hanabi (a game which I couldn't sleeve - cool French version square cards).

So, with that in mind, I've decided my first game to undergo the NSFW ("No Sleeves For Willie") treatment will be my copy of Forbidden Island!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rediscovering My Passion for Board Games

Lately, I've been reflecting on my board game collection that I have amassed over the past couple of years. It's a pleasing collection to look at, that's for sure. Most of these games were played and enjoyed. Some were suggestions from trusted resources, while others I bravely purchased with the thought "why not?" But overall, my acquisitions over the past few months were satisfying and worthwhile.

And, in recent months, I've even been proactively organizing all my game nights with friends. Sending emails, replying with my BoardGameGeek collection link, and getting feedback on what others may want to play. It's nearly a weekly thing, and I've gotten people excited for what to play next.

So why am I not happy?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Passing Go

I had the most curious conversation/revelation with my wife earlier today, and I'd like to share that with you.

It all started with me saying "Tonight. You and me. Board games."

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Just Play Some Games

[Before I start, this is in no way dismissing Sarah Reed's challenge. I only offer an alternative for others who find it hard to play games in general.]

While Sarah Reed's "10 games 10 times in 2014" Challenge is great and all (while still allowing people to freely play other games in the process), it does pigeon-hole the hobby in a specific constraint. In no way am I critiquing the challenge; it's a fine one to impose, especially for those who don't play certain games in their collection often enough. But what about the others who don't play games enough, period?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Letting Go of the Unknown In "Collectible" Games

Marvel Dice Masters released just yesterday, and with it brings booster packs to supplement your starter set. It's apparently what everyone can't stop talking about, and it's nearly sold out from the start.

Before I continue, I must say...I've learned to not like collectible games.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Analog Gaming - Click Clack Lumberjack

NOT Jenga.

I'm sure at one point or another, everyone has played the definitive hand-dexterous game Jenga - the simple wooden block setup, the art of the poke-and-slide, the stacking of blocks ever so carefully, all of this done with the element of gravity playing against you. The moment the stack falls over, you're left with the messiest game over ever, and then begins the new game of "who will set up Jenga for the next game," until everyone passively forfeits THAT game.

But what if you weren't playing against gravity? What if it became your ally? What if you were rewarded for things falling apart? Have you heard of Click Clack Lumberjack (Or Toc Toc Woodman in Korea)?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Making My Own "Tabletop Day" Ritual in 1.5 Hours

[Thanks to Geek and Sundry for organizing Tabletop Day! Thanks to Shut Up and Sit Down for bringing this game to my attention! And thanks to my local FLGS Gator Games for hosting this event! Even with their table limitations, they held the Tabletop Day flag high!]

One and a half hours. That's all the time I spent this past Tabletop Day in celebration. Other family and fatherly duties consumed much of my day, so to have some time left was appreciated. Family always comes first, so to have time for Tabletop Day was a well-deserved bonus.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Board Game Group Ecosystem

Games from my third game night.

Having two very-fun game nights under my belt, I thought this next one could be the one I break out the bigger guns. People have enjoyed Escape twice over, and got a taste of Pandemic the week before. So, I gathered my selection and headed over with much excitement.

By the end of the night, we only played one game of Cheaty Mages and Spot-It.

Monday, March 17, 2014


[I revel in describing this mechanic EVERY time I play this game. Kudos to Matt Leacock for this. And a special nod to Leigh Alexander and her Travelogue. Her writing styles has re-awaken the writing muse in me to write this...incomparable tripe of my own design. But that's fine - because this is what I deeply feel whenever I teach this mechanic. Every. Single. Time.]

Everyone's up to speed. They all know what needs to be done. I casually remarked there's something more, and that I'll go over it when we get there. No one noticed how I dragged out the word "when."

With the patience of a wise, old man, I carefully watched everyone's draw phase until the forsaken card appeared. When it did, I would take the card by the edge, like greeting an expected friend, gently laying it in front of me like a delicate but deadly flower. Some people would utter their "oh no"s - something I hung to like a dog's jaw on delicious meat - and I would calm their fears, lulling them to a false sense of security.

Like a story told a million times, my words crafted from my mouth with age as I accentuated each step audibly and sharply. "First, we increase the infection rate." I gazed across the horizon of indifferent faces. "Then, I draw the bottom card of the infection deck and infect that city with 3 cubes." I got my first "what the," making me smirk a little. "Then finally," I said, with an heir of gloom as I gathered the discarded pile, "I shuffle the discarded cards and place them on TOP of the deck, to 'intensify' the infections."

For an ever-so-brief moment, I paused. To everyone else, it's a scant 3 seconds, but it's all the time I needed to scour the looks on their faces. Most of them were still unfazed; those were the ones that break the fastest.

I focused on them as the first outbreak occurs on a re-infected city again. From there, the walls of confidence tore down, brick by brick. Cities fell as more got infected. Different-colored cubes began trickling to cities of un-matching color. Panic ensued as turns dragged on. People's moods soured as hope burns down like a slow-burning wooden match. Silent prayers muttered breathlessly as each infection card revealed itself.

This. This was my Pandemic.

Friday, March 7, 2014

My First Successful Game Night

Yes, we even played Spot-It.

Unless you have a dedicated group of friends who LOVE board games and are willing to put time aside to play, gathering friends for game nights is a chore. People have work to do, appointments to keep, and errands to run. And even if you get willing participants, pinpointing the precise moment in which everyone's free time is in unison is a game in itself. Frankly, I have better odds getting a bulls-eye on a dartboard.

Playing Games With Myself

"My wife doesn't play much board games with me."

I've often uttered this phrase to friends and acquaintances many times, whether the conversation led to it or not. It was a fact I accepted readily, and one I was all too aware of on a constant basis. The words rolled out of my mouth with ease the more and more I said them, and it became an involuntary reflex.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's not called "Bad"will...

I found this, still sealed, in a local Goodwill.

Some people may not be well off, but no one's THAT desperate.

Tokaido Kickstarter - It's All About Change

[The following originated from a comment I posted in a Shut Up and Sit Down article. I've modified this with new views and perspectives since, so it'll look different than the original.]

Being an owner of Tokaido, I was going to fund the Tokaido Kickstarter's collectors pledge of getting the improved components, but then I hesitated.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Yugioh, Netrunner, and the Art of Losing the "Winning" Game

A Guinness World Record pic of largest Yugioh tournament held in 2012, in Long Beach, California.

The following is, word for word, a comment I posted after reading this insightful Netrunner article written by Leigh Alexander on Shut Up And Sit Down, a board gaming site everyone should be aware of. The article itself is a brilliant read, and I encourage everyone to read it. I've added some subheadings for emphasis, but that is all.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Biggest Block in Board Games, and the One Step to Overcome It

There's a barrier to board games. I'm not talking about the lack of time, or the lack of people to play them with. I'm not talking about how becoming new parents and having to raise kids, or that you have a demanding job that takes up all free moments. It's much simpler than that, and it's staring you in the face.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Print-And-Play - A Little Hard Work for a Lot of Fun

I guess Print-and-Play (or PnP) was an early moment in my life. When I was younger, I couldn't afford games like Monopoly at the time, nor could I even get a deck of cards. So, what was my solution? Making them myself, of course!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gaming on the Go - Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies

There's something satisfactory in solving a mystery by yourself. It's a challenge that, once you complete it, makes you feel much better at your observation skills. It's something that not many games really offer as the primary component in their games, but for the Phoenix Wright series (with Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies being the latest release), it's right smack in the middle of it. And it feels great.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Playing Digital Board Games to Save Your Analog Ones

Ascension iOS. If Magic and Dominion had a child...

As a person who doesn't have his own dedicated game-night group, it's hard to gather friends for one night of pure board gaming (And believe me, I've tried). You try to get people excited, pour your heart into rules explanation, and by the time the game really gets going, you've lost their attention. Can I suggest something entirely unconventional?

Play the same board games digitally.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus...Finished!!!

This past Christmas, I received Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus as a gift, and was looking forward to a lengthy playthrough of one of my most favorite franchises in video games. Two invested weekends later, and I'm done. Is that right?

Friday, January 10, 2014

How Civilization Nearly Made Me Hate Board Games

[What follows is a memory...a bad memory. No actual gameplay rules have been referenced, and the writer doesn't care to.]

About 10 years ago, board games were still a "Monopoloy, Uno, and Jenga" sort of thing to me, and my younger self would find more fun with video games and television. But I was in my mid twenties, and I was already finding myself with less and less time to enjoy the electronic vices. I thirsted for some new medium to satisfy my gaming urges, something that didn't require a power outlet or controller. Something that's full of figures, tokens, and cards. And so it came to be that while at a friend's house, we started to play Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crafty Gamer - TARDIS Dual Dice Tray

In my last Crafty Gamer post, I talked about DIY dice trays, and how easy it was to make your own. But what if you want to make something a little more complicated...say, like the Doctor's TARDIS?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Analog Gaming: Forbidden Island

What would you say if I told you there were marvelous riches on some forbidden island, and that they were there for the taking if you knew where to look? What if I told you that the island sinks every moment you're on it? Now, what would you say if I drop you off and flew away?