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There is no genre of game with which I have quite the same love-hate relationship as traitor games. Part of this is just plain old burnout, since it’s a popular genre over the last several years and one that frequently is trotted out in large groups. The other part is that it’s a difficult genre to do well. It embraces a specific player personality, so they often struggle to be fun for someone besides the most outgoing and verbal person at the table. It’s also tricky to nail the right complexity level. Too much mechanical flourish, and the social...
 
 
Barnestorming- Heroes Wanted in Review, Dream Quest, Darkspace, Generation X
 Or, The Leather Beard versus The Rubber Hobo
 
 
Planet Chudyk - Impulse Review
The last two designs from Carl Chudyk were both, in their own way, brilliant. Glory to Rome built on the groundwork laid by San Juan to create a nuanced production game, probably one of the best card games of the last ten years. Innovation was even more extraordinary, a game that spoke to how ideas and inventions unbalance and dictate the flow of history. Now Chudyk turns his eye toward a broader genre of hobby games: space empires. The most visible entry into this genre is the enormous Twilight Imperium, but recent years have brought other entries like Eclipse...
 
 
D&D 5e Player's Handbook Review
It's rare that the first thing to strike you about a book is a noise. But here, it was. After being so excited by the Starter Set, I couldn't wait to get into this. So I ignored the cover and opened the book to a loud crack as the spine flexed for the first time. It was like the sound of the lock falling away from my teenage memories. Back then, no-one ever read the Player's Handbook from cover to cover, and I doubt anyone does now. It's skimmed, flipped, relished. So first impressions count. ...
 
 
Barnestorming- Firefly: Blue Sun in Review, Shadow of Mordor, Star Wars: Rebels, Godflesh
 Don't fear the Reaver(s)
 
 
Barnestorming- Five Tribes in Review, Galaxy Trucker IOS, Card Dungeion, French Black Metal
 Holla for Cathala!
 
 
Five days with Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons
At age eight I was rummaging through a book stall at an agricultural fair, and I found a book that would change my life. It was “What is Dungeons & Dragons” and it stood out like a monstrous thumb among the worthy tomes on seed rotation. If I hadn’t bought it, it’s unlikely you’d be reading this column right now. I haven’t played D&D in 20 years. I gave up at the advent of third edition, deciding it wasn’t worth re-learning the rules all over again. Now, fifth edition is out. And my...
 
 
Barnestorming- Impulse in Review, Five Tribes, E.T., Gotham, Voidz
The arthouse 4x game.
 
 
The Vanguard Of Honour - Space Hulk Review
Since I’ve been in the hobby, I don’t think there’s been an event quite like the 2009 release of the 3rd edition of Space Hulk. There was a lot about it that we may never see again. It was before every classic from the 1980s was getting a major reprint, before Kickstarter created dozens of miniatures games that cost over $100. It was wholly unexpected and at that point arguably the biggest hobby board game release ever. And for the hobbyist sector, it had a bizarre and far-reaching response within the online community. A concerted effort by the game’s...
 
 
Barnestorming- ERP #4- El Grande, Destiny, A Dark Room, Winter Soldier, Electric Avenue
That's MR. El Grande to you, chief.
 
 
 
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