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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 concepts of replayability and variety are often considered to be one and the same. I have previously looked at whether replayability and variety are linked. My article "Variable replayability" came to the conclusion that those two concepts are not necessarily related. A game can offer a lot of variety, but little replayability and vice versa, a…
 
As a member of the lowest caste in our colour-coded society, I worked extremely hard every day. I believed that my blood and sweat would create a better world for my children. I prayed that one day, Mars' surface would become habitable. However, my caste and I had been betrayed. I and others like me were nothing more than slaves to a decadent rulin…
 
There seems to be quite an overlap between people who love playing board games and those who love playing video games. Many actually enjoy playing both. There also seems to be a growing overlap between the hobby and video game industries themselves. So in this article, I want to look at what synergies there might be between the two and how both can…
 
In the Qing dynasty, camels were one of the main means of transport. People would travel for days to cross deserts, wilderness and plains to reach the city of Pingyao, where they would trade their wares to increase their wealth. So an agency of bankers was established to help grow the economy and slowly build up a financial network. Soon, wealth be…
 
The following article was written by Filip Redelius, designer of Fog of Adventures. As a tabletop game enthusiast, I've always been fascinated by the endless possibilities of creating new and exciting gameplay experiences. So when I set out to design my own game, Fog of Adventures, I knew I wanted to push the boundaries and explore the role of AI i…
 
You had received a mysterious invitation to the old mansion on top of the hill, which had lain empty for decades - if not centuries. You were about to throw the letter in the bin, along with the junk mail, when you hesitated. It could be interesting to see who else would turn up. After all, there was this old story linking your ancestors to a Betra…
 
War games are often seen as controversial. Replaying the atrocities that occurred during a large-scale conflict seems completely inappropriate. Condensing the huge amount of suffering, death and destruction into a game of pushing tiles around a board and rolling dice or playing cards seems perverse. So in this article, I try to put everything into …
 
Yes, it's time for my annual list of the best games of the year. As has become tradition, I also announce which game won the accolade of the Top Table Award, which is now in its fourth year. However, you have to be patient for a little while longer, while I list the best five board games of 2022 in reverse order. Read the full review here: https://…
 
In a slight change to our usual schedule, I thought I'd write a quick update and release it outside the normal Tuesday and Saturday slots. I already spoke about some of the highlights from last year in my article "2022 - A Year in Review", including costs and expenses. So in this article, I want to talk about how the Tabletop Games Blog itself perf…
 
Even if you're not a particularly competitive player, trying to win the game is what you should aim for. You may not care if you do eventually win and prefer to focus on doing better than previously. That's fine and at the end of the day, playing games is about having fun. However, if you do have even a small competitive streak in you, then this ar…
 
Another year has gone by and a lot has happened, both, in the world at large as well as in the board game hobby. Exhibitions were attended, games were played, articles were written, podcasts were recorded and plenty of other exciting things happened. So let me share with you some of the highlights for me from 2022 and also give you an update on the…
 
Inspired by a Twitter post from Matt at Lost My Meeples, I wanted to talk about what I think a publisher's responsibilities are when it comes to replacing board game components. I think there are some things we will all agree on that a publisher should replace and others where we probably all agree that a publisher doesn't have to send replacements…
 
It was 2100 and the construction of our gigantic project had begun. We were trying to tackle overpopulation and rising sea levels. Recent advances in technology had enabled us to build higher and stronger buildings that could house more people. We were also able to build on the water, using immense floating platforms as foundations for these wonder…
 
I always say that not everyone will like every board game, but there is a board game for everyone. I suppose, I should concede that some people don't like board games at all. Our hobby isn't for everyone and that's fine, of course. However, in this article, I want to look at the sort of games that should suit most people. Read the full article here…
 
It was going to be a real spectacle. The crowds had gathered to watch the masters at work and battle to the bitter end. Only one of them would survive. Then, as the match was about to begin, everyone hushed and an eerie silence filled the arena. It was time for the combatants to throw their dice and Str!ke by Dieter Nüßle from Ravensburger. Read th…
 
Noah (“Nomich”) Johnson started his family games company, Nomich Games, back in 2020 and he wears many other hats, such as: game design, graphic and web design, customer service, marketing, networking and sales. Nomich Games' mission is to promote community through simple, quick-to-learn, addictively-fun games that get people interacting and laughi…
 
In digital games, the idea of a high score table dates back to the 1970s and 80s. Yes, you would eventually run out of lives or credits and therefore lose a console game, but beating your own or someone else's highest point score was much more important. Finishing a game and beating the last boss monster was not really a thing. Many digital games d…
 
Yes, it is that time of year again when I release a list of games that I think are ideal for you to play over the holidays. My list of Christmas games is not ordered in any particular way. Instead, I am trying to offer five different types of games that will hopefully provide you with one or two choices that suit your taste in games and are a great…
 
There is one genre of games that really stands out for me: economic simulations. These types of games scratch a very specific itch, right in the middle of my back, that other games just can't reach. I get an immense feeling of bliss when the tingling finally subsides as I invest money to make more money. In this article, I want to explain in a bit …
 
It was a sleepy village in the middle of the countryside. The residents were hard-working, cutting down trees for wood and digging up rocks to construct new buildings and planting and harvesting grains to feed the population. Over time, more people were attracted to the village as it grew and grew. Eventually, it was time to build a church in this …
 
Since the lockdown, many board games have now also been released in digital format. Some of these implementations are just a representation of the physical game on your screen. You still have to move everything by hand and do all the housekeeping. Other solutions enforce rules and carry out all the actions for you. You just need to point and click.…
 
The apocalypse has finally come. After the breakdown of society, survivors have formed gangs of motorheads, that scour the wasteland for rare and very precious petrol reserves. Their vehicles are highly tricked-out, finely tuned, heavily reinforced and equipped with a wide range of weapons. They will stop at nothing, which is exactly why a small nu…
 
I enjoy games with quite a wide range of playing times. I like long games that take a couple of hours or more to play, up to a certain point at least. Anything above three hours is probably going to be too long for me. I also love quick games that take 15 minutes to half an hour, but I'm definitely not a fan of real-time games. In this article, I w…
 
A great fire engulfed the Whelming Matches factory. All the water in the world couldn't put it out, so hot it burned. When the flames eventually died down many hours later, one artefact was found among the glowing embers. It was cold to the touch and nobody knew what it was. Maybe it was one of the Matches by Daniel McKinley from Thing 12 Games. Re…
 
Yota Suzuki is a board game artist and UI designer. He created Tactical Games in 2017 and loves working with other artists to create the best results possible. Read the audio transcript here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/11/16/yota-suzuki-let-me-illustrate/ If you want to support this podcast financially, please check out the links below: Pat…
 
I have often heard that board game reviews should talk about the price of games. If a review tries to help people make a buying decision, then that makes perfect sense. After all, the best game in the world may still just be too expensive and a game that's free may still not be worth it. Of course, there are many steps in between. So how much a gam…
 
Sailing the winds in your sky pirate ship, you and your crew land on a different island each day, looking for treasure, adventure and glory. You need to be fast though, because you're not alone. Other ships in the fleet have followed the same course and they want their share of the varied loot. If the crew member you send to the island is too slow,…
 
As many of you probably know, I am a very visual person. I love it when rulebooks are well laid out and have helpful photos that show how something works. The graphic design of game and player boards is also something I think is very important. A good choice of clear icons can really help with understanding how a game works and speed up the flow of…
 
History was an interesting place for all of us. We recognized a number of famous figures, while some were new to us. As we travelled through the ages, we encountered new people and learned about different events. Some eras were more familiar than others. Our aim was to be the first to reach the present day. We all took part in A Race in Time from H…
 
Everyone in our hobby loves playing board games. That's by definition, of course. Additionally, there are a lot of board game adjacent hobbies that many of us enjoy, such as miniature painting, card collecting or trading, finding wonderful and usual dice and so much more. However, I think there is something else that many of us really enjoy doing a…
 
It was soon time for the most anticipated festival at Death School, whose motto was "Soul to win". According to legend, there was an accident at the school many years ago. Somehow numerous souls had been able to escape, and the teachers and students raced to recapture them all. Every year hence, Papa Death, Osiris, Hei and Bai Wuchang lead the stud…
 
The following article was written by Joe Slack from the Board Game Design Course. Hey there. It's Joe Slack from the Board Game Design Course. Oliver was kind enough to let me return and write another guest post on his blog, this time about realtime games and the experience that they deliver. I hope you enjoy the article! Read the full article here…
 
The Nostromo was returning to Earth with a seven-member crew in stasis. Detecting a transmission from a nearby moon, the ship's computer awakens the crew and they land on the moon. While one part of the crew tracks down the source of the signal, the rest decipher part of the transmission and discover it's a warning - but it's too late! Despite prot…
 
Growing up in Germany, I started playing traditional trick-taking games like Skat or Doppelkopf from a relatively young age. I'm used to the idea of suits, trump, following suit, taking tricks, gleaning information from what cards others play and much more. Traditional trick-taking games sort of have their own language. So I love to see modern game…
 
Natural resources had long been depleted on Earth, but the asteroid belt was rich in ion and ore. The battle for control of these invaluable commodities had begun. We were part of this fight and were operating from our own Outpost 18 by Adam Wilk. Read the full review here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/10/15/outpost-18-saturday-review/ Useful…
 
I often play games with my wife. We have a fair few two-player-only games, but mostly we play games that were designed for two people or more. Some games do it really well and the experience is no different to higher player counts. Other games introduce two-player-specific setup or other rules and that can work too. In this article, I want to look …
 
Changing your plumage from pure white to a rainbow of colours wasn't easy. It took time and patience. It was the fruit from the rainbow tree that contained the necessary pigment. Unfortunately, the fruit wasn't always in season and when it was, other birds were quick to eat it before I had a chance to get to it. It was a race, be it a slow and thou…
 
So sometimes you play a game and you just don't get on with it. That's understandable, because not every game is for everyone. At the same time, I do think there is a game for everyone. I also think that games deserve a second chance. In this article, I want to look at why we might bounce off games and why the game experience is a lot better when w…
 
The Great Plague was slowly becoming a thing of the past and you had decided to move into the country and start a new village. You had found the perfect location that was big enough to build new houses, workshops and other structures, while also being close enough to farmable land, a large wooded area and there were indications that coal could be m…
 
Nobody likes losing. Most of us don't mind it, but I don't think anyone actually relishes it when they come last. When we play board games with others, we want to have an enjoyable time. That's something we should keep in mind. So in this article, I want to talk about how to try and be a good loser. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgames…
 
After Earth had been mostly laid to waste, major corporations took charge and colonized much of the solar system. Interplanetary trade was the only source of money and therefore power. Earth's few remaining societies still held a fair amount of political influence, but controlling as many of the independent planetary parliaments as possible was pro…
 
For some of us, not being able to see friends or family, or anyone else for that matter, in person is becoming a distant memory. I appreciate that for some of you, it's still very much the present, depending on where you are in the world or the health of the people you would otherwise meet, you live with or your own. In this article, I want to writ…
 
"Afloat, upon the surface of a smooth and silent river, slowly breathing, you observe the shifting currents [...]. There is little much to do, but let the river take you. Surrendering to its flow, slowly you realise that perhaps there is no separation between surface and sky, between your mind and the river itself and if your mind is the river and …
 
In many modern board games, all players participate until the very end. Everyone continues to take their turns until the game has finished and it's time to decide the winner or winners. That's true for co-operative as well as competitive games. Player elimination games are very different in that respect. In these games, some people around the table…
 
A game about dancing sheep, rockets, lasers, cabbages and sometimes fun. I would like to add "death" to this list, but other than that, it's pretty much a good description of 3 Minutes to Freedom (or Death) by Samuel Edmondson and Daniel Somerville Roberts from Icarus Games. Read the full review here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/09/10/3-minu…
 
Here is another article in my series about teaching games. Last time I spoke about the responsibilities the person has who teaches the game. This time I want to cover what is expected of the people learning the game. After all, the teacher will not get anywhere if no one is willing to actually learn the game. So, as a learner there are certain thin…
 
It was hard to get the favour of the Emperor. Many noble houses were vying for their attention by offering their resources and manual labour to help restore the Emperor's wonderful monuments. As a way to remember the work everyone did and to honour the grace and power of the Emperor, artists were commissioned to create beautiful paintings. It was y…
 
Continuing my series of articles about teaching games, in this article I want to talk about what responsibilities the teacher has. It's not always obvious, but when you teach a game, you're not done after explaining the rules to the group. You have to continue to keep an eye on things, to make sure everyone plays correctly. You also have to be read…
 
The Durrani Empire had just collapsed and large swathes of Central Asia had fallen into disarray. It was an ideal opportunity for the ferengi to impose their power over the region and fight out their rivalries somewhere far away from their daily politics. The foreigners were completely unaware of how the local Afghan leaders were manipulating them …
 
Depth in board games is often confused with complexity. They are related, but they're also very different. I wrote a whole article about complexity about two years ago. So now it's time for me to look at depth in more detail. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/08/23/the-deep-blue-depth-in-board-games-topic-discussion/ Us…
 
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