Boardgaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

Lol, that’s great. This is just a fun design.

There are certainly genres that become more popular, but there are so many games being made now that I suspect you’re just missing more of them than you used to, and that happens to be the ones you might be more excited by.

(There’s also a certain amount of genre codification going on, I expect, the way there are some just bonkers weird videogames from the 80s and 90s that don’t fit into any of the categories that developed and don’t necessarily have a close modern equivalent, but these days most stuff takes at least some cues from what’s come before. As one might expect, the more that’s come before.)

Powergrid? Does Twilight Struggle not count because war game?

I’ll provide a contrary contrary opinion and say that net decking is like eating someone else’s fine cooking. :) I can’t get into CCG deck building, but I love Arkham Horror’s narrative experience. It’s the most immersive board game I’ve played.

That said, the deck building in AH is as friendly as it gets. The rules helpfully constrain your options, the decks are relatively small, and the synergies are pretty obvious. And the upgrades between missions are limited in scope (1 or 2 cards swapped out) so you don’t get overwhelmed.

From the handful of games I’ve played from this era (Santiago, Reef Encounter, Age of Steam, a few others), I’d tend to agree with this. There seemed to be more variety in mechanics then - although perhaps that’s because the older games that people still play today are the more memorable ones. I’ve also noticed that “eurogames” of that era tend to have a lot more player interaction, and less heads-down engine-building.

Board Gems is a pretty good YouTube channel devoted to older and overlooked games:

Indeed. Different strokes and personal preferences for sure.

But to honestly feel that if something is outside your own personal preference it then means that said something – especially if it’s a particularly vast and varied something – is as an absolute thing of non-quality strictly because if falls outside your area of personal preference…well, that’s a stunningly closed off, narcissistic view.

“I’m pretty sure that the only good pre-Sufjan Stevens folk artists were Donovan and that guy who landed the song in the Volkswagen advert. I guess excluding Dylan if you’re into that sort of thing.”

Sid Sackson was a very good designer. Some of his notable games are Acquiire (mentioned above in the thread), Can’t Stop, I’m the Boss. I think we could agree he was an exception, not a stumbler.

If there is any interest here, I would love to GM Dune as a forum game. It should translate relatively well to forum play with a GM.

I am definitely interested!

A friend told me his favorite player count is 4 players with some “variant” from the original ruleset that made it work best that way! It seems like everyone likes a different variant of the Dune game best. I haven’t tried the 4 player mode because I’m unfortunately one of those people who didn’t get on well with the game. Too much downtime and upkeep for my tastes.

I’m definitely a big fan of the simple but deep games from that period like Kramer and Kiesling’s and Knizia’s releases. But I don’t think those games went away, they just rarely hit the hotness anymore. Hell, Babylonia might be my favorite Knizia! Paris and Renature both look great also, and all of them seem like the kind of game that would have done well in the early 2000s (except Paris’s very 2020 production). I think the audience for those games is the same size as it was then and the board game industry growth since has been in all the other nooks and crannies of design space that have opened up in between.

You’re talking me into it @AWS260! I loved the flow and the core worker placement mechanic. The hitch for me was that there were take-that cards. Even though they’re not a big part of the game, for some reason I just can’t enjoy Euro-style games with take-that cards present. It’s like a peanut-butter and sewage sandwich. But I’ve heard there aren’t take-that cards in Scythia, which is what piqued my interest in the first place.

In that case, it might be right up your alley!

Blech. If I wanted to do math, I’d balance my checkbook.

As obsolete as the 1976 Ford Pinto I drove in high school.


Well, to be fair, there really is no deck-building in Arkham Horror if you’re just using the core set. This is Fantasy Flight, after all. They’re here for the business model, not the game design. So to really get into the deck-building, you have to spend a ton of extra money. At which point, I’d argue the deck building is as hostile as it gets.

But your point is well taken considering @Wendelius was talking about just playing the core set with his wife.


I’ve almost bought this game several times now. But then I keep telling myself I should play some of the other unplayed games I have sitting here. Plus the whole Tainted Grail shebang is arriving imminently. :P

I would like at least one Shem Phillips game though - I wonder if this is the one!?

I love the look of the art too. It’s the same artist who did Circadians: First Light, and both of these games’ art seems somewhat controversial with some saying it’s ‘amateurish’. I disagree!

It should go without saying that this is all entirely subjective, so when I say a game isn’t good, I’m not making some universal pronouncement that this game—or era of games—is objectively of poor quality for everyone everywhere because there’s no such thing regarding something so abstract like board games or design (except maybe the components?). I am simply saying that my personal experience with it was bad and/or I did not find it interesting.

I too am interested, but skeptical about how well it would work as a forum game with all the play stoppages and interruptions (bidding, Karama cards, faction powers, etc.). Of course, it’s an old game so I’m sure someone at some point has found a workaround.

I assume this is the issue. There are certainly games being released that I still enjoy—even worker placements, deck builders, and (sigh) worker placements with deck-building elements—but most of the games that get hyped online and elsewhere are rarely ones I’m too keen on. This is compounded by the fact that the barrier to entry in board gaming is considerably higher than other forms of entertainment, so I can’t feasibly sample a bunch of board games as quickly or as easily as I can music or TV shows, even when there isn’t a pandemic.

Just reporting back to @porousnapkin that Architects of the West Kingdom is a big hit! I’ve only got three games under my belt, but I love the way the workers build up and dissipate, build up and dissipate, build up and dissipate. It gives Architects a distinct rhythm that sets it apart from other worker placement and resource management games. So snappy, too! I look forward to sharing it with our group one day.

And as a solitaire game, I really like how you have to control the AI’s worker distribution! That makes it a lot more than just the usual deck of cards you flip to reveal arbitrary moves that have no regard for the actual rules of the game (i.e. the usual automa). The AI behavior is partly dictated by how his workers are spread out on the board. It’s a sort of evolving terrain you have to read. I don’t know if it’s cheating, but I took to tracking exactly how many and which cards were left in the deck, and making my decisions accordingly: when it’s safe to set up groups, when to use the black market, when to use the town center, and so on. Seems like tracking the cards is a significant part of how to handle the AI.

So, big thumbs up. I want to run through a couple more games before boxing it back up, but then it’s on to Viscounts and Raiders of Scythia!


The pandemic has definitely helped with this for my group: it’s so easy to try games out on TTS.

You’d think. For some reason my group seems allergic to it.