CategoryBoard Games

Board Game Burnout

Is board game burnout a thing? I love Small World. It is a fun, quiky board game. It gets played all the time though. We bring it every weekend when we visit Ashley’s parents.

It gets played almost every time we visit. We always enjoy it, but the last time we played Small World, I did not enjoy it. I played, but I really didn’t want to. I’m guessing it’s because we’ve been playing Small World too much recently. Ashley’s mom doesn’t like Settler’s of Catan, and I don’t really want to deal with explaining rules on another game. She isn’t the most willing person to learn new games.

I’d like to expand our board game library more and rotate through the games. I think if we play more games less, instead of a few games more often, it will help.

Castles of Burgundy

I got my first true “euro” board game recently. Castles of Burgundy. It’s not a worker placement game. In Castles of Burgundy players take turns choosing from a central board and building their kingdoms.

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There is so much strategy involved. You need to choose what to build, when to build it and where to build it. But you also need to carefully watch your opponents. You may need to change your plan to prevent them from achieving their goals.

We’ve played the game twice now. Both times I’ve only concentrated on building some parts of my kingdom, while everyone else seems to go for everything. I prefer to finish the castles, science and village sections first, then I’ll go for the farms and boats. Everyone else builds whatever is most convenient at the time. I’m not sure if I have a good strategy yet, or if I’m just getting lucky.

Game Night

We had game night at my sisters last night. Played another round of Shadows Over Camelot. It went smoothly this time. At the start, we finished off the Saxon and Pict wars. I found Lancelot’s Armor, Excalibur was lost to the Forces of Evil. Then we found the Holy Grail.

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Things were very much in our favor. We had the majority of white swords around the round table. Only 3/4ths of the seige engines were surrounding Camelot. All we had to do was survice a few more rounds without dying or allowing the seige engines to completely surround Camelot.

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We finished by ending a second war with the Saxons. The Knights of Camelot were victorious. Out of all the times we played Shadows Over Camelot, we’ve only won twice. Both times we’ve won, we’ve gone through the entire white deck and had to reshuffle all the cards. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems to be the key to winning.

Board Games

My first introduction to real board games was Settlers of Catan. By real board games, I mean anything not designed just to pass time and make you hate your friends when the game is over (like Monopoly and Risk). One of my friends brought Settlers of Catan over for a game night, and the next day I ended up ordering Settlers of Catan and the 5-6 player expansion for it. Thanks to Settlers of Catan, I’m now addicted to board games.

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My next board game purchase was Small World. Small World is very similar to Risk, but its so much better. Small World makes Risk-like games enjoyable because even if you are starting to fall behind, you can easily take over large sections of the board with your new race and it’s army.

Small World led to more games. I bought some, recieved some as gifts and bought some more. We’ve started to get a decent collection now, including a currently very hard to get game, Betrayal at House on the Hill, thanks to my sister.

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Sitting around a table with a few of your friends or family playing a board game is much more enjoyable than playing on a TV with your friends across the internet.

Shadows Over Camelot

Shadows Over Camelot is a cooperative board game. You play as the knights of King Arthur’s Round Table. You need to protect the kingdom from the Forces of Evil. It’s a cooperative game, but there is usually one player that is a traitor out to help Evil prevail.

Your team of knights go on quests to achieve victory. It’s not a simple task though. The Forces of Evil are not working in your favor during the game. We somehow managed to win, but it looked like it was going to be a complete loss for quite a while. All the knights were very close to death and the castle was surrounded by seige engines. There was a very dark shadow over Camelot at that point of the game.

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After defeating the Black Knight and winning both the Pict and Saxon wars, things started to look better. We soon found the Holy Grail and retrieved Excalibur. Victory was only a short distance away, as long as none of the knights were killed and we didn’t lose either the Pict or Saxon wars. (The Pict and Saxon wars repeat themselves as soon as they are finished.)

After a long and grueling period of questing, the Knights of the Round Table had saved Camelot from the Forces of Evil.

It was the first time any of us had played Shadows Over Camelot, but we had a blast. Gameplay should be improved next time we play as we’ll have a better strategy now that we know how the game plays. If you are interested but unsure, I’d recommend checking out Will Wheaton’s Tabletop episode of Shadows Over Camelot.

Edit: We played again on Christmas Eve. This time there was a traitor involved. This time Evil prevailed. Halfway through the game, things were starting to look bad. We had 2 white swords and 6 black swords. None of the quests were close to being finished, and it just went from bad to worse. My brother, being the traitor, made sure that the next quest failed, and the game was over. Our strategy that we thought we had, failed to work.

Dungeons and Dragons and the iPad

The iPad was originally introduced in January 2010. At that point, I was playing Dungeons and Dragons almost every weekend. I was using a tiny Samsung netbook running Windows. Wizard’s Character Builder program was far from optimal on the miniature 10in screen on my netbook, but at the time it was much better than using pen and paper and scribbling and erasing all over my character sheet.

When I got my first iPad, I wanted to use it to play Dungeons and Dragons. It could do so much, and better than a piece of paper. And a much better device than the stupid netbook. At that point, the iPad was too new to have a specialized Dungeons and Dragons app. I found iPlay 4e. I could create my character, and upload it to iPlay 4e, then use my iPad to manage my character sheet. iPlay could also look up things in the D&D compendium if you have an active Wizards account, so playing via iPlay wasn’t that bad.

Notice the emphasize on playing. You still have to use the Character Builder to actually set up and build your character. The Character Builder that until the past year or so was Windows only. It’s still far from perfect though. The new version of the Character Builder is a browser app, so to use you always need a internet connection.

I just wish that Wizards would pull their collective heads out of their collective asses and progress to modern technology. I would love an app that I could use to create and maintain my 4e characters. This is something I could see myself, and others using frequently. I’d gladly pay Wizards DDI subscription again if I could use the Character Builder and Compendium on my iPad.

I won’t keep my hopes very high though.

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