International Gamers Awards Nominees Announced

I feel like I have finally arrived as a gamer, after 6 years in the hobby.

How do I know this?

Because a major awards nominee list was released and I’ve played at least 30% of them! I guess I will have truly arrived when I’ve played all of them, but this is a start!

The International Gamers Award nominees were just announced, and there are some great games nominated, and some great-sounding games too, though I guess that’s to be expected since they are, you know, awards for best game of the year.

I’ll give you my choice for the winner above the fold, and then the list of nominees will be after (which will also include my predictions)

This is in the Multi-Player category.

Terraforming Mars – Jacob Fryxelius – FryxGames/Stronghold Games


I’ve played this 5 times now and enjoyed every one of them. I’m chomping at the bit to play it again, or one of the expansion maps.

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Planet of the Apes games coming to a table near you

Nostalgia is definitely becoming a bit of a watchword in the board gaming industry. First there were a few 80s callbacks (including two Big Trouble in Little China games that came out/were announced before I started this blog).

Now we’re going back even further, with IDW announcing a partnership with 20th Century Fox to produce Planet of the Apes games.


Yes, I know there are some well-regarded (I know I love them) recent movies that lead up to the whole world of Planet of the Apes, but the box cover of the first announced game definitely shows that they’re going back to the 1960s roots, at least for the first game.

This one is a cooperative game designed by Richard Launius (designer of Arkham Horror) with a premise so out there…well, I’ll just let IDW tell us (bolding mine):

Planet of the Apes puts 1-4 players on a crash course with feral foes, deadly environments, and unbridled psychological horror! In an innovative twist on the cooperative board game genre, each player takes control of one aspect of Colonel George Taylor’s psyche, and must work together to survive the Planet of the Apes!

That’s so crazy that it just might work!

Planet of the Apes is scheduled to be released in October for $59.99, but there are many more games planned.

If we get one with James Franco in it, we’ll know they’re starting to consider the  audience of the modern films too (we just won’t mention the Tim Burton one, ok?).

Board Game Blitz – Wonderful boardgaming podcast

Podcasts are a great thing to listen to on your commute. And there are a plethora of great boardgaming podcasts if you are so inclined as to listen to them.

I wanted to highlight another great boardgaming podcast after my talking about the Dice Tower and Shut Up & Sit Down.

Board Game Blitz started just over a year ago (I should have posted this about a month ago when they did their 1-year anniversary episode), and it is a lot of fun to listen to. In addition, it’s relatively short, with all of them lasting about 30 minutes or so (one of the many ways that “Blitz” fits in the title).

In each bi-weekly episode, the three hosts (Crystal, Cassadi, and Ambie) discuss games that they’ve played recently.

Then they have a thematic segment where they either talk about games that match a certain theme or talk about a specific topic (the most recent episode talked about being a good winner or a good loser).

They then talk about the etymology of a word related to that episode (or just boardgame- related in some way). The most recent episode talked about the word “tie”, for example.

I believe Boardgame Blitz was the first boardgaming podcast hosted completely by women, though I could be wrong. And that is an important thing.

But it’s not why you should listen.

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The Fantastic Four returns to Marvel Legendary!

I’m a big Marvel Legendary fan. Between enjoying the Marvel comics of my youth and then some awesome deck-building action, I’ve bought all of the expansions until the last one (I’m running out of room!) and it just feels so cool.


One of the small-box expansions that came out early in the Legendary list of expansions is the Fantastic Four expansion. Of course, these are required characters, as they are almost the first family of modern era Marvel Comics.

Then rights issues hit, in the sense that Marvel Comics had sold movie rights to the Fantastic Four to the Fox movie studio and there have been issues involved in Marvel not wanting to do anything with them. They prevented Upper Deck Entertainment from reprinting the expansion once it sold out, causing secondhand copies of it to go for $200+.

That has now changed.

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How I Became a Gamer

I was browsing the Geek Weekly issue on Boardgame Geek just now, and included in it was a beautiful post from Neil Bunker, of Great Britain, who just recently rediscovered his love of board games with a chance visit to a bookstore that happened to carry some games.

To him, games were Monopoly or Risk, or even Snakes and Ladders. This visit opened his eyes to what games have become, and how far they’ve moved past all of that.

It reminded me of my own reawakening a few years ago. It wasn’t quite the same type of eye-opening, though it was close.

I grew up being into wargames. I was always a history guy, especially military history, and my brother had some games that we played.

There was the first one I probably played, Rise and Decline of the Third Reich

This is the 3rd edition cover, but we had the original

There was also the Napoleonic Wars games, War & Peace.

Quite the evocative cover

We played these a lot when I was a kid. He wiped the floor with me, but it was always fun. And we were able to leave them set up on the card table because our dog wouldn’t jump up and wreck everything. We also had other wargames that we played.

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Should Your Kids Play Board Games?

Checkers is a board game…right?

There’s plenty of controversy regarding whether or not (and how much, if so) your kids should play video games.

But what about board games?

I just saw an interesting blog post on Twitter by “Dr. Corriel” called “8 Reasons Your Child Should Play Board Games” and it is a really good article.

I especially like Reason #2: “They Teach Children How to Lose”. Because if I had kids, I’d be teaching them that again and again and again and…

Ahem. Sorry. Actually, I wouldn’t that often, but it is a good thing for kids to really learn. Because it’s a big bad world out there, and sometimes you’re not going to be successful. It’s best to learn that early.

As an addendum to that, I think that teaching a child how to lose will also teach them how to win. By that, I mean winning graciously. Because if a child knows how to lose and how it feels to lose, then they may remember that when they win and their sibling is on the losing end.

Or their poor father.

Sorry, projecting again.

I do believe that seriously. I don’t have a medical degree, so I could be wrong, of course.

But it makes sense to me.

Anyway, go over to Dr. Corriel’s blog and read the whole post. It’s interesting and I think has some great reasons to game with your kids.

Let me know what you think in the comments below (and let her know on her blog as well!)

Keeping Track of Your Game Plays

Are you one of those people who keeps track of your games played? You want to know how many times you’ve played a game, how many times you’ve played it against certain opponents, how many times Bob has kicked your ass at a game?

Not everybody is like that, but I certainly am. I like to keep track of everything so I can see just how many times I’ve been able to get a certain game to the table. Or just how many times I’ve played it so I know whether I can do a review of it (for example).

Previously, people would enter this information into an Excel spreadsheet or a Word document or something. Maybe they’d even use Google Docs.

If you have an iPhone or an iPad, however, you don’t even have to do that! (and, hopefully soon, Android users will be able to as well).

Welcome to Boardgame Stats, one of the best utility apps out there for any gamer.

BG Stats 1
Bob, hope you don’t mind I’m showing that we play Carcassone

This app lets you do everything that you may want to do as a board game statistics nut. You can see when you play most often, how many players you mainly play with. You can check out your stats against a particular player.

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