Bloodthirsty vikings battle at the end of the world in Blood Rage. Players rally their monsters and troops to fight, not in pursuit of a goal, but for its own glory. It’s a streamlined, hyper aggressive game of area control and card play.
Every time I see it, I want to play it again. But every time I do, I walk away disappointed. It’s a game on the cusp of being great, in the same way a car without brakes is almost complete.
Dune has battles, but it’s not a game about combat. There’s treachery, and negotiation, but deals alone cannot secure victory. The highly asymmetrical factions give their leaders incredible power, but they are balanced in such a way that they are but a tool in the fight for the desert planet.
Forty years after its original publication date, its multi layered mechanics and superb theming have made Dune one of the best games I’ve ever played.
I’m no stranger to mean-spirited games. The Republic of Rome sits proud on my shelf, bringing back memories of triumvirates and last-moment bribery. I love Dune and Cosmic Encounter but would not miss the chance to play a robber baron in 1830. And I’ve enjoyed my single play of Diplomacy, which should automatically label me as terrible people.
And yet, when I sat down to play to play Power Grid today, I did not expect it to turn so ugly.
Deep Sea Adventure is cute, but fundamentally broken. The idea of diving for treasure is a good one, as is the twist of having to come back before depleting a shared oxygen supply. And yet, the implementation of those ideas does not work, leading to a game where the best move is to crash it entirely.
Many boardgame players wish they could play faster. While there’s nothing wrong with playing at a relaxed peace, many feel their enjoyment is reduced by taking too much time. Furthermore, there are players who would like to play in a competitive environment but fear not being able to keep up with the strict time requirements.
The good news is that fast play is a skill. It can be taught, practiced and learned. In this guide, I’ll provide basic tips for those who want to improve and become a faster player.