Age of Steam
Board games have been a staple of mine for as long as I can remember. I started with family board games like Snakes and Ladders, and moved on to more advanced games such as Monopoly, and various other games.
Once I entered my double digit years, I got into more complex games which I’d call a story based board game, these are Hero Quest and Space Crusade. These were games where once you have completed the adventure, aspects of the play could carry over to the next adventure. This was awesome, for a 10 yr old, a game didn’t have to end just because you finished the board.
Because Hero Quest and Space Crusade came with little plastic miniatures, but colour pictures of them, I got into painting miniatures, and while I enjoy it, I still have plenty of those original miniature unpainted. Having enjoyed painting miniatures, I bought all the expansions and continued to paint and play.
Then the Atari ST got both Hero Quest and Space Crusade on it, I loved it, I could play the games when ever I wanted and didn’t have to wait for others.
Once I started working I bought complete sets Battle Feet Gothic with my first paycheck, then didn’t really have anyone to play with, so they are in my paint pile. I also have Call to Arms Babylon 5 miniatures also waiting in line, having had some star wars one skip the queue.
Having moved on from some of the simpler games, I moved on to Descent: Journey in the Dark, which is an advanced version of Hero Quest, and has links to the Runebound board game.
The Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Miniature Games (tactics and space) were fun, but the random element of collecting figures wore off very quickly. (but not quickly enough).
I also collected lots of different board games, Talisman, Star Craft, Marvel Heroes, Kingdom Builder, many versions of Risk and Monopoly among others.
I organise a board games day every long weekend, where friends show up from 10 am and leave sometime after 10 pm (usually midnight) with a drop in and leave when ever you have to with the players. This has worked well for a number of years. Most parties also tend to go towards board games as well, which being a game addict is a good thing for me.
Xbox 360 picked up a few board game titles, Catan and Carcasonne. Both of these I had not picked up myself having a few friends in my group who have those games, and not needing to buy everything, I was glad to pick them up and play them online. Most of my gameplay was solo vs the AI, as it meant I didn’t feel too bad about screwing with the opponents, I still got a lot of satisfaction playing the game. it helped that I won a lot.
Then they advertised Talisaman coming to xbox 360, I checked that store almost weekly, just to see when it was going to show up as a pre-order. I had the details stuck up in my study for a while. Then once the time had passed and I managed to google details on it, I discovered that it had been cancelled…. this was bad news for the electronic gaming market….
Then steam started getting some of the games as well, so now I have Talisman (It made it to PC instead of xbox), Ticket to Ride and Small World 2. These games take a long time to play in real life, and set up takes 10-20 minutes depending on how well you know the rules, and about as much to pack up.
Playing them through steam, takes a button click to set up, most of them have the save game facility (something hard to do without having a “game room” where you can set up on a table and keep cats and family members out till the next time the game can continue), a indisputable rules lawyer (hard to argue with programmed rules) and a game time less than 30 minutes. Now this was a fantastic move, I have a few games where this would be critical to getting more players into the game. Twilight Imperium you need to be digitised…. you are a fantastic game, but you take so long to set up, players have a hard time interpreting the rules and even with in game animation of dice rolls and cards being drawn you’d still speed up the game more than 50% of the time…
I see the future of board games being an interactive tabletop where you don’t have to set everything up and it manages those tedious rules for you…
Though as a rules lawyer (still trying to reform) I would have to say house rules, and interpretations would be lost in the pure electronic age, for what is not coded can’t happen. And I don’t want to have to code modifications (if allowed) to these games just to cater for my own house rules…
- 2020-12-30 – Layout cleanup and removal of legacy links.
- 2020-04-26 – Structure.
Age of Steam
This site is constantly under revision, no blog posts are final as this is a work in progress place for me to develop my game settings and rules. Some posts might be placeholders for future content, so feel free to check back later for updated information.