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Welcome to Board Game Dialog

2010 June 8
by Michael Schroeder

“Hi there! I’m not sure how you stumbled onto this site but I’m glad you did!

Why is this site here? Deciding to make this blog site was really just a spur of the moment idea but I figured hey why not? I’d like to be able to share my thoughts, reviews, and whatever else I may feel the urge to write about in regard to  board games, instead of just using the popular board game site, boardgamegeek.com.

I really don’t have much expectations for this blog, who knows if anyone will read it, or come back for that matter. I’m an awful writer but hey, it’s my blog. I do hope to bring you back to this site though and keep you entertained while being informative about the world of board games.

Why board games? You might be thinking, “Gee, this guy made a blog dedicated to board games? Who cares? What a loser. There are much better things I could be wasting my time on, like video games, or blasting my rap music (you kids and your fancy shoes…).”

It’s true, many would think someone like myself would be a loser writing about board games, but you know what? I enjoy playing games, from video games to outside games, to whatever. And I know most of the population enjoys playing games of some sort, whether it be football, baseball, poker or video games – don’t say you don’t. But I find board games to be the most nerve-wracking (in a good way), sociable, entertaining, tense and intellectually stimulating activities out there! Side note – I feel that in our generation or, my generation (I’m in my late 20’s), people won’t be affected so badly in regard to degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s because of the constant stimulation and even minor challenges we face everyday in technology – from video games, so being a detective searching out information on google), but I digress.

I do love video games, but personally, I don’t find them as intellectually challenging and sociable as video games. Certainly with video games, for many games your just sitting in your dark mother’s basement along, sad (get out and get a girlfriend for crying out loud)…

My job is doing web development, I just love technology. I’m on the computer all day. It’s a love/hate relationship though. Getting out to play table top games is an escape from staring at pixels all day, and it’s surely welcome!

Another thing I find fascinating about board games is the gorgeous art that people put into these games. I can just sit and stare at some of the art on my games all day, especially ones from Fantasy Flight Games (probably my favorite board game publisher). I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to my board games, I like to keep them in good shape and I enjoy looking at the boxes and manuals. Yes, pathetic and sad isn’t it, but my fellow gamers on boardgamegeek know exactly what I’m talking about. You may be saying to yourself, “I don’t appreciate the art put into a game such as Cranium or Monopoly.” I don’t blame you, I don’t either. Those games are generally computer generated entirely, or don’t have art, period. I don’t respect the art style of those games either – but those games are not the type of games this blog focuses on. My blog focuses on alternative games from small publishers that you probably have not heard of, such as Fantasy Flight Games, Z-Man Games, Rio Grande Games and Mayfair Games, just to name a few. The games that your mother, father, aunt and uncle know are made from such companies as Mattel, Hasbro and Parker Bros.

Who are these game companies? And what type of games do they make? And why do I care? Most of these game companies I’m referring to are small shops throughout the US and Europe that tend to import games from other countries (mostly Europe, specifically Germany) and translate the instructions into English and repackage the boxes and tweak the game play a bit and or the mechanics of the game. These are the games that you should give a try. They are strategy games that are extremely fun! I’ve become so addicted that I’ve decided to write this blog! I’m also a regular visitor to boardgamegeek.com, user name mike6423. The formal name for these types of games are called, Euro Games, or German Games. Here is a definition from wikipedia…

German-style board games are a broad class of tabletop games that generally have simple rules, short to medium playing times, indirect player interaction, and physical components, which are frequently wooden player tokens or markers.[1] The games emphasise strategy, downplay luck and conflict, lean towards economic rather than military themes, and usually keep all the players in the game until it ends. German-style games are sometimes contrasted with American-style games, which generally involve more luck, conflict, and drama

An example below is the hit game by, Philippe Keyearts (I told you most of these games designers were European) called Small World.

small world

Another style of board game that is popular amongst of alternative gamers is, “Ameritrash.” Defn…

Ameritrash is “a catchphrase for ‘American style board games.’ In general, this means games that emphasize a highly developed theme, player to player conflict, and usually feature a moderate to high level of luck.”

An example of this sort of game would be Arkham Horror, by Fantasy Flight Games.

Arkham Horror, Fantasy Flight Games

While I will talk about other types of games, such as party games, abstract games, the focus of this blog will be on Euro Games and Ameritrash. I may touch on miniatures wargaming, war games, and RPG’s, but only touch on them, as myself personally, am not into war gaming, Dungeons and Dragons, miniatures gaming and Magic the Gathering type games, sorry! I do come a little close with A Game of Thrones: LCG and Call of Cthulhu: LCG, but that’s it.

In summary, I hope that you’ll stay with me on this journey of a blog discussing the realm of board games and I hope to have a lot of fun in the process!

See you soon.

One Response leave one →
  1. July 10, 2010

    I look forward to this site. I find it funny that board games have such a nerdy connotation to them, when they are far and away for social than video games, which are much higher on the popularity level and cultural totem pole.

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