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Tabletop Games Blog

Tabletop Games Blog

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The Tabletop Games Blog is about all things board, card, dexterity and other modern games. Every week there is a new review and a topic discussion piece, all of which are also released in audio format on the podcast. Additionally, there is the Let me illustrate podcast series where board game artists answer a catalogue of 17 questions about themselves.
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Tabletop Games, Simplified. Building, Painting, reviews, and tools of the hobby. We cover tabletop miniatures games from Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Bolt Action, to Warmachine and much more. Pull up a seat, pick up the brush and sit back for some tools and rules with us fools! We have fun at the table!
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The following article is a guest post written by Alexandra Yaverbaum (aka Sasha) and Dina Ramse from Dina Said So Studio and originally published on LinkedIn. In light of the recent announcement that CMON have acquired some of Mythic Games’ projects, it brought into clear contrast just how well, (or indeed how poorly) these can be handled. I have b…
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Trading in the Mediterranean was profitable, but came with risks. Merchant ships were travelling far to seek out rare spices, precious cloths and many other valuable and lucrative goods. Once a heavily laden ship returned, the goods would be brought to market and auctioned off to the highest bidder. It was never easy to compete with the other buyer…
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I was pleased to see the re-released game Medici from 1995 become so popular in our household. It made me think why a game that's now nearly 30 years old was not only picked up by another publisher, but still has a lot of appeal such a long time later. So in this article, I want to look at classic games and see which ones have stood the test of tim…
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There were signs. As the king's fortune-teller, you were acutely aware of what the future would hold. As you scatter the sacrifices on the altar, you immediately see your fate. The king would ask for your head. It was all there in front of you in the ⁠Portents⁠ by Christopher Ryan Chan from ⁠New Mill Industries⁠. Read the full review here: ⁠https:/…
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The following article is a guest post by Ellen Klein, an editor who brings a unique perspective to her work. She believes in the power of planning for life's unknowns, bringing her extensive experience to bear on business, family and relationship advice. The following is a bit different to the usual fare on Tabletop Games Blog. So let us know what …
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Viking warriors cherish war. They bravely man their longships with healers, skalds, spies, seidmadrs, völva, hirdmen, berserker, a styrimader and maybe even the jarl. They go on long voyages to conquer far-away lands and fight the locals in glorious battles. Those Vikings who fall go to Valhalla, a majestic hall located in Asgard and presided over …
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Having been a part of our hobby now for a number of years, I have had the pleasure and honour to see a number of games go from early prototypes through to final products. I have also had the honour of being a judge and mentor in the Board Game Workshop Design Contest back in 2019 and 2020. So in this article, I thought I would share my experiences …
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The sun had set, but we still had a few hours before the main event. Our telescopes were set up and we had a flask of hot chocolate and a few biscuits ready to see us through the night. Our thick coats and thick socks were going to keep us warm and cosy. We were hopeful that tonight we would be able to discover new constellations. It was really exc…
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Fero City: a bustling metropolis that has become a battleground. There was little time to evacuate the millions of inhabitants before a horde of supervillains descended and started pulverizing iconic landmarks. Most people fled, but many had no chance. Now you have to get them out of there before it's too late and before the arrival of the worst su…
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It is sometimes nice to discuss semantics. It can get a bit abstract and more often than not rather nuanced, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. So while we all might be talking about the same thing in broad strokes, we are likely to have slightly different definitions in our heads. Therefore I want to look at how to define the term "board game…
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Space - the final frontier. These are the adventures of space pirate Oliver, who is on a mission to catch bounty hunter Boba on the star Alpha Centauri. Bob knows where their towel is - at all times. Meanwhile, in an underwater base, crime lord Jabba has built their shrink ray using the data chip that Boba had stolen. And so, The Plot Thickens: Sci…
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Since the pandemic, many of us have started to explore the world of online board gaming. Even before we went into lockdown, there have been digital platforms allowing us to play games remotely. For me, these were really important, because it allowed my game group to carry on when we were all told to stay at home. Now that my friends have moved away…
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Welcome, everyone. It is wonderful to see so many of you here today. The hour is near and the gaze of the Great Inky One is upon us. We have to be strong and stay true to the cause. It is time to show our dedication, fellow followers. It is time to hail the mighty Cosmoctopus by Henry Audubon from Lucky Duck Games. Read the full review here: https:…
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Historical simulation games, conflict simulation games or war games - call them what you will. There is certainly a huge following of this genre and there is an endless list of these games already on the market, with many more coming out each year. Many people are put off by the idea of replaying a real conflict from history, but of course, these t…
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Once upon a time in a magical village where artisan dragons worked at the butcher's to sell meat, the ironmonger to make metalware or in enchanting shops to bake bread, it was your role, as a Flamekeeper, to find the perfect shop for each dragon. You would visit these shops to gain items or enchant the shops to grow your reputation. Only the best F…
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I keep hearing people talk about replayability in board games. I've talked about the topic a few times in the past. I've also clarified the difference between variability and replayability. However, as the topic keeps popping up from time to time, I thought I'd share some more of my thoughts. After all, I think replayability is an important criteri…
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The mountains provided great vantage points for both sides. We could easily see what the enemy was doing, but so could they. Providing air support was going to be impossible because of the terrain, but we were still considering paradrops to get troops far into the enemy's territory. It would all come down to tactics, because we had only been given …
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Anne Isaksson is a 2D/3D artist living in Stockholm, Sweden. She has a bachelor's degree in 3D graphics from the Luleå University of Technology and a degree in 2D game art from Future Games. She has worked in the 3D industry and as a freelance 2D artist. She is currently a full-time concept and board game artist at ION Game Design. Read the audio t…
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I know it's not true for everyone and playing games by yourself is certainly something a lot of people really enjoy, but for me, playing board games with friends or family is very important. I always look forward to the next time I meet friends, be it online or in person, for game night. I get really excited when my wife or daughter says that they …
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The Women's Suffrage Movement in the US started small, very small in fact, in a tiny hamlet in New York State. Over time, it spread from state to state across the whole country as its following grew. Their fight for equal rights culminated in the ratification of the 19th Amendment after a seventy-year battle. However, while this monumental achievem…
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There is a type of board game that I absolutely love. In fact, I've always loved it. Economic simulations somehow activate a certain part of my brain that is really stimulating. These games not only activate my brain's reward centre, but their competitive nature and the element of bluffing all scratch the right itches for me. In this article, I wan…
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There. It was done. The mosaic was complete. It was tiny, about the size of a full stop. However, under the microscope, it glistened and glinted, it sparkled and shined. It was a wonderfully symmetric arrangement, forming the overall shape of a circle, intersected into various quadrants. Yet, it was more than just geometry and scientific fascinatio…
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I know that many of us play board games to have fun. Whether we enjoy lighter or heavier games, it's all about spending time, either alone or with friends or family, getting away from the day-to-day worries and immersing yourself in another world for an hour or two or three. Yet, there are games that are set against the background of a very serious…
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We were on our way to the city's main station to board the bullet train to Kyoto. Travelling on the Asakusa underground line towards Ikebukuro, we had just passed through Kasumigaseki and arrived at Ginza station. We were nearly there. It was Next Station: Tokyo by Matthew Dunstan from Blue Orange. Read the full review here: https://tabletopgamesbl…
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The snowshelf reached from horizon to horizon in all directions. We were in the Valley of the Ancient Ones, which was a frozen region, pounded by deadly storms, but which had made space for a single, lone city. It was summer and time for the guilds to go on their annual pilgrimage and explore this tundra. As one of the leaders, you were about to ta…
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Let's be honest. Most of us in the hobby buy games that we play once or twice or in rare cases, three or four times. In fact, the term "shelf of shame" is a thing, describing games that people have bought but not yet played. The thing is, these games sit there unplayed for months on end and may never see the welcome sight of a table, let alone a bo…
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Announcing the annual Top Table Award is always a pleasure and an honour at the same time. Choosing and deciding the order of the top 5 games I reviewed in 2023 is never easy. There usually isn't much between the games and they are all great for their own reasons. So, irrespective of which one won the coveted award, all of the games are worth a clo…
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Some might argue that board games are basically just toys. Some games add to that argument when they play on the toy factor by including one or more components that are basically just a gimmick. These components could easily be replaced by something else without affecting gameplay. Yet, some games are accused of capitalising on the attraction of gi…
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Another year is almost over - and what an eventful year it has been. It is time to talk about everything that has happened, the events I attended and the games I played, give you all an update on the financial state of the blog and maybe share some sneak peeks for the year ahead. So, here goes... Read the full review here: https://tabletopgamesblog…
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Whether we play competitive or cooperative games, we all expect someone to be the winner. Even if it's "the game" who wins in a cooperative game. In fact, there is usually a single winner or a team in team games. Most games will list one or multiple tie-breakers to decide who is the ultimate winner. So the idea of victory conditions has become seco…
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Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum! That was the song that accompanied the small boat being rowed by a motley crew of scallywags. We were heading to our secret pirate treasure island to retrieve the loot we had stashed over many, many years. The problem was, none of us knew exactly where we had buried our spoils. We had packed plenty of shovels though …
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In this latest guest post, Samuel Webb, an experienced news reporter and copywriter based in Coventry, discusses why some X-Wing Miniatures fans are unhappy with the company that they claim is ruining this beloved Star Wars tabletop skirmish game. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2023/12/19/fear-leads-to-anger-x-wing-miniat…
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This week, Hope Thompson joins us on the blog with her review of a game about the fashion show held in 1973 in Versailles, France that pitted newcomer American designers such as Anne Klein, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows and Bill Blass against the stalwart French designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Emanuel Ungaro,…
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As you probably know by now, I absolutely love trick-taking games. I have long wanted to share this love with other people, but found it can be hard to teach trick-taking to people who have never come across it. Luckily, in recent months, I have found one or two games that are great for introducing people to trick-taking. They have allowed me to sh…
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The 60s in England were a time of new music trends and dramatic changes in fashion and art. Celebrities from around the world would flock to the country's capital London to immerse themselves in this wave of cultural changes. From there, these superstars would travel the width and breadth of the country using a train line catering to the well-off. …
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I have previously looked at replayability in board games and I must admit, I still can't put my finger on why a game like Chess, which has no variability and no randomness, is so hugely replayable and remains interesting even after dozens of plays, while other games with variable setup, different factions and a large amount of chance are sometimes …
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There was all sorts of Xiaochi and other street food on offer, as well as a variety of speciality drinks. It was still rather quiet, but already the stall owners were busy. The streets were heavy with the scent of various herbs, spices and all sorts of wonderful flavours. As it was getting darker, more and more people found their way into the wonde…
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I don't mind losing. In fact, when I play with my weekly game group, I usually lose. There are very few board games that I am confident that I will win or at least have a good chance of winning. However, there is something interesting I noticed recently. Irrespective of whether you're a sore loser or gracious winner, I think it is true that gamepla…
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There was a lot of yapping and barking, jumping and tail-wagging. Everyone was excited, but eventually, everyone settled down and lined up in a neat row. There were a few last-minute alterations, with dogs having to change spaces. However, when everyone was ready, it was time to choose the best dog, the winner of this Puppy Pile by Mike A Pratt fro…
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It's clearly Bez month, because here is another article inspired by her. This time she wanted to know my thoughts on giving fair credit in games. So let me see if I can rise to the challenge. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2023/11/21/due-credit-how-to-credit-people-on-board-games-topic-discussion/ Useful Links Stuff by Be…
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It was either us or them. We were the only two teams on a planet far, far away, a planet that was crawling with bug-eyed monsters or BEMs as we had started to call them. My navigator moved around the directional grid to guide the vehicle across the planet's surface and allow the gunner to take aim at one of the weird inhabitants of this rock in spa…
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Here is another article inspired by the wonderful Bez from Stuff by Bez. She suggested I talk about the representation of bees. There wasn't any particular angle she wanted me to take, but the title alone gave me some inspiration. So in this article, I want to look at board games that feature bees in some way. Read the full article here: https://ta…
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The house smelled of cinnamon, golden syrup and ginger. It was no surprise, because our oven was full of gingerbread rectangles on two trays. It wasn't long until they were done and needed to come out of the oven to cool down. We had small bowls full of sweets and a piping bag ready to decorate them. Suddenly, I had an idea. Rather than building a …
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The genre of worker placement games is quite large and has evolved a lot over the years. Traditionally, worker placement was all about certain actions being unavailable to other players as soon as someone placed their worker there. At some point, games introduced shared worker place spots. Some games allowed players to kick workers out, returning t…
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Using chopsticks isn't easy. A lot of people are uncomfortable with or have no experience using them. However, like so many things in life, it's all a matter of practice. So rather than embarrassing yourself in front of a restaurant full of people who seemingly have no problem picking up their food with two wooden sticks and transporting it to thei…
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Time as a concept, is something we are very familiar with in our daily lives. Sometimes time goes quickly, at other times it seems to almost stand still. Time is also a concept that appears in board games. There is the play time, of course, but some games also use time directly as a mechanism. I want to look at how board games represent time and ho…
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Siberia: a vast area of over 13 million square kilometres, which consists of taiga, tundra and even temperate forests. From the north of this region, where temperatures regularly drop below -25°C, come reports of a massive meteor having crashed. Not only that, the team who went to investigate the impact crater lost contact and never returned. Rumou…
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Hi, it’s Joe Slack here. Oliver was kind enough to let me write another guest blog and was excited to hear my thoughts as a game designer and indie publisher on why table presence matters for board games. So, let’s get into it. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2023/10/24/why-table-presence-matters-for-board-games-topic-disc…
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It was inevitable. After decades of exploiting our home, Earth has finally run out of resources. It is time for Plan B. We have to leave and settle on a new planet. Potential targets have been selected and planeteers will be sent to develop them. Each of these adventurous heroes will be tasked with preserving the future of humanity and preparing on…
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