Boardgame Apps – Asynchronous Play Revisited

I’m a big fan of boardgame apps, either on mobile or on Steam. I love being able to play Ascension with buddies from all over the country and the world.

For the most part, to do that requires asynchronous online multiplayer because it is almost impossible to coordinate schedules with friends when time zones are involved. This is especially true with longer, more complicated games. (For those of you who don’t know, “asynchronous multiplayer” basically means that you log into the game, take your turn, and then leave again. Your opponent(s) can take their turn at their convenience, though most of the time there are timers involved to make sure they don’t disappear).

While my stance hasn’t changed on that requirement in a good boardgame app, it has become a bit more nuanced.

Morels - Night mushroom

I recently reviewed the great new card game app Morels by Mossbark Games and complimented them on including async multiplayer in the game.

After that, Dave over at the illustrious Stately Play site posted his review. (ha! First!)

In it, he said the following:

“I find that the game is far less rewarding when playing asynchronously than in real time. The short turns combined with long waits deadens a bit of the joy, but if you can manage to both log on together (with a friend at, I don’t know, your kid’s holiday concert) and play in real time, I guarantee you won’t only play once.”

A minor discussion ensued on the discussion board, and it made me think.

Should I adjust my thinking on asynchronous play?

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No Points at the End of Game – Pointless?

I know, I know.

I haven’t posted in a month and I start with a bad pun.

I’m still getting back in the swing of things.

In order to do that, I have a question for you.

One of my favourite games right now is a great deckbuilder adventure game called Clank! In! Space! (no more exclamation marks this post. I promise).


The basic premise of the game, for those few of you who don’t know, is that players are thieves invading Lord Eradikus’ luxury spaceship and trying to steal one of his treasures. You then must get off the ship before you are killed.

I will save the mechanisms for how you die for the review (which I promise is coming soon), but you just need to know the premise for this post.

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The Completionist Mindset

I was just going to do one post today, but something that I saw last night made me wonder.

And making me wonder is a really dangerous thing sometimes.

On Boardgame Geek in the Smash Up forum, there’s a thread called “Play mat unavailable?

In it, “Michael” asks an innocent question to start it off:

“Just wondering why this is only available to retailers and scalpers. Would be nice if us regular people could get ahold of it.”

Smash Up Mat
Look at that beautiful play mat! Photo permission graciously provided by Rob Kalajian over at A Pawn’s Perspective. Thanks, Rob!

A representative from Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) answers that they are using promotional materials for retailers to give them some reason to notice Smash Up (Editor: Dave would love that job!) and that their policy is to have promotional factions available to the general public in some fashion around a year after the retailer material is released.

While this applies to factions, items like the playmat are too cost-prohibitive to produce for retail sale. The money made from them wouldn’t equal the cost to produce them.

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Flashpoint South China Sea – Let’s Get This Produced!

Just a quick post is all I have time for on this sunny Monday.

Lately I have been on a bit of a GMT Games kick, mainly starting with Time of Crisis. It’s not so much the wargames or the COIN games, because I unfortunately wouldn’t get much chance to get those played, so while I look through the window with longing eyes, I don’t pick those up.

Outside looking in

Instead, I’ve seen some quick-playing 2-player games that would make perfect lunchtime games with a co-worker, and I’ve snatched them up quickly (ok, as quickly as promising to pay the P500 pre-order price and then patiently waiting for them to be produced and released can be).

I jumped on Fort Sumter: the Succession Crisis because I love learning about the American Civil War and this game hits that sweet spot of 20-45 minutes.

I say all of this as an introduction to the fact that there’s a game that sounds completely totally awesome oh my god I can’t wait to see it, it can’t come soon enough oh why does it have to take so long… (Editor: *SLAP*).

Oh, thank you.


This game is called Flashpoint: South China Sea and it’s not a wargame either.

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One Year Blogging & Many People Met

Today is the one-year anniversary of my first post here at Dude, Take Your Turn.

Look what the interns made me!

It’s been really fulfilling talking about one of my biggest (not involving people) loves: board games. Bringing content to you and meeting some really awesome people.

I’m proud of this blog; I’m proud of how I’ve stuck to it even though there have been long lags in between postings. There have been times where I wondered if it was even worth it to keep going. Who’s going to actually read and enjoy this crap?

What do I have to say that’s worth anything? Especially when there are so many other board game content creators out there doing such wonderful stuff already. What can I bring to this already crowded field?

That’s a constant nagging presence in my mind, and it’s one that I fight every time I think to post something. When life gets busy in the offline world, it’s feelings like those which make it hard to actually carve out the time and inclination to post.

But I’ve kept at it, and now it’s been a year and 136 posts.

I thought, as part of the celebration, I would talk about a few of the wonderful people I’ve met on this blogging journey. None of them have I met personally, but they’ve all been inspirations to me in one way or another, and they have all informed this blog in some way, either in style or content, or just picking me up when I feel that ennui that I sometimes get, feeling like I should be doing more but just not feeling up to it.

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Is a Catch-Up Mechanism Required?

On Sunday, I was playing a game of Terraforming Mars (which I won!) and the scores were a bit spread out.

I won with 73 points, and the last place player had 53 points. That player had been lagging behind most of the game, and I was wondering if that was any fun for them.

Especially in a 3.5 hours game like this was.

Terraforming Mars
This was during end-game scoring but not at the end of it

The player in question was black, and you can see above that they had 26 points while I had 55, prior to all of the final scoring (the pic was taken after Milestones and Awards, I believe).

The response to my question was that yes it was, that you have to play to get better and the process of playing is fun in and of itself.

But it made me think about this because I’ve seen it in other games, too (namely a review of Porta Nigra) where somebody mentions that you can be out of a game early.

Is a catch-up mechanism required in a game for it to be fun?

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How to Succeed at Boardgames…and Life

Boardgaming is a social activity. Whether you do it with friends or you do it with people you’ve just met, you are interacting with one or more people in an attempt to have fun and enjoy yourself.

Like anything in life, there are rules to live by in boardgaming that will make things go a lot easier for you, enable you to actually have fun, and make sure that the people you play with can have fun too.

If you can do that, and follow these guidelines even beyond your boardgaming session, then maybe you might have a more pleasant life as well?

A little Road House wisdom

It couldn’t hurt.

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