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Tabletop Games, Simplified. Building, Painting, reviews, and tools of the hobby. We cover tabletop miniatures games from Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Bolt Action, to Warmachine and much more. Pull up a seat, pick up the brush and sit back for some tools and rules with us fools! We have fun at the table!
 
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Nobody likes losing. Most of us don't mind it, but I don't think anyone actually relishes it when they come last. When we play board games with others, we want to have an enjoyable time. That's something we should keep in mind. So in this article, I want to talk about how to try and be a good loser. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgames…
 
After Earth had been mostly laid to waste, major corporations took charge and colonized much of the solar system. Interplanetary trade was the only source of money and therefore power. Earth's few remaining societies still held a fair amount of political influence, but controlling as many of the independent planetary parliaments as possible was pro…
 
For some of us, not being able to see friends or family, or anyone else for that matter, in person is becoming a distant memory. I appreciate that for some of you, it's still very much the present, depending on where you are in the world or the health of the people you would otherwise meet, you live with or your own. In this article, I want to writ…
 
"Afloat, upon the surface of a smooth and silent river, slowly breathing, you observe the shifting currents [...]. There is little much to do, but let the river take you. Surrendering to its flow, slowly you realise that perhaps there is no separation between surface and sky, between your mind and the river itself and if your mind is the river and …
 
In many modern board games, all players participate until the very end. Everyone continues to take their turns until the game has finished and it's time to decide the winner or winners. That's true for co-operative as well as competitive games. Player elimination games are very different in that respect. In these games, some people around the table…
 
A game about dancing sheep, rockets, lasers, cabbages and sometimes fun. I would like to add "death" to this list, but other than that, it's pretty much a good description of 3 Minutes to Freedom (or Death) by Samuel Edmondson and Daniel Somerville Roberts from Icarus Games. Read the full review here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/09/10/3-minu…
 
Here is another article in my series about teaching games. Last time I spoke about the responsibilities the person has who teaches the game. This time I want to cover what is expected of the people learning the game. After all, the teacher will not get anywhere if no one is willing to actually learn the game. So, as a learner there are certain thin…
 
It was hard to get the favour of the Emperor. Many noble houses were vying for their attention by offering their resources and manual labour to help restore the Emperor's wonderful monuments. As a way to remember the work everyone did and to honour the grace and power of the Emperor, artists were commissioned to create beautiful paintings. It was y…
 
Continuing my series of articles about teaching games, in this article I want to talk about what responsibilities the teacher has. It's not always obvious, but when you teach a game, you're not done after explaining the rules to the group. You have to continue to keep an eye on things, to make sure everyone plays correctly. You also have to be read…
 
The Durrani Empire had just collapsed and large swathes of Central Asia had fallen into disarray. It was an ideal opportunity for the ferengi to impose their power over the region and fight out their rivalries somewhere far away from their daily politics. The foreigners were completely unaware of how the local Afghan leaders were manipulating them …
 
Depth in board games is often confused with complexity. They are related, but they're also very different. I wrote a whole article about complexity about two years ago. So now it's time for me to look at depth in more detail. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/08/23/the-deep-blue-depth-in-board-games-topic-discussion/ Us…
 
I wasn't sure what it was. It was certainly yellow. Maybe it was a banana. Or it was a pencil. Actually, it could have even been a lemon. I just couldn't remember. There were just too many cards on the table. I wish I could Recollect from Pikkii. Read the full review here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/08/20/recollect-saturday-review/ Useful L…
 
It's been a long-standing tradition in the board game hobby to show others your lovely collection. People love posting photos of their board game shelves. It's no surprise really. People are proud of the games they've got. Some of the games in your collection will be rarities, they might be out of print, maybe you have games signed by the designer …
 
A brand new greenfield site was ready for development. The architects had submitted their drawings and the planners were satisfied that everything was in order. Everyone was in agreement that this new place should grow organically, but had to follow strict rules. New houses could only be placed in certain ways to create this brand new Town 66 by Ch…
 
It's always interesting to see how different games decide when they end. There are so many different ways of ending a game. Some games are played over a fixed number of rounds and others end when a certain goal or goals are achieved. There are also games that have a slightly more random timer. What happens when a game ends is also not always the sa…
 
As an artist, I knew this was going to be a challenging project. Making stained glass window masterpieces required clever and careful planning and meticulous execution. The prospect of having one of your pieces be seen by people around the world was a daunting prospect, but working for such a prestigious family made up for it. I was honoured to be …
 
Reviewing board games is something I take quite seriously. It's important to me that people reading my reviews know that what they read are my own, independent thoughts. I also want to ensure that my views properly reflect my experience of a game. I want my reviews to be relatively thorough and a fair assessment of the game. In this article, I want…
 
It was a glorious time of progress, industry and opportunity. The turn of the 20th century promised so much and if you were flush with cash, there were plenty of opportunities to invest and reap huge rewards. That was especially true for the railroad industry in the United States. In one place alone, there were five companies working together to bu…
 
The goal of board game reviews is to give the reader the information they need to make a decision about whether a game is for them or not. Reviews are always going to be subjective and people may agree with them or they may not - or most likely they'll agree with some things and not others. Either way, reviews have to convey what a game is like, fr…
 
We had just landed in Normandy. It was the summer of 1944, but it was relatively cold. We were thousands of miles from home and the landscape was unknown to us. Yet, we had to push deeper into a country we didn't know in our goal to push the German forces out of France. There was regular machine gun fire and mortar bombardment. It was really scary,…
 
I think a lot of people in the board game hobby play together for fun and for the social aspect. Sure, many of us want to win the game. We don't play to lose. However, I think only very few people are hugely competitive. Playing board games is more of a hobby. In this article, I look at different ways of improving your game and what it might take t…
 
It was a beautiful day. The sea was calm and the sun was shining. The water was crystal clear and even while you were sitting on the side of the boat, in your full diving gear, you could see the corals and wonderful sea creatures in the water. You knew it was going to be a long day and you would probably split it into two or three dives. You did on…
 
As we know, and as I always say, there are so many games, chances are there is something for everyone. Not only that, there will be games for all sorts of different types and sizes of groups. That has always been true for family games that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages and interests. In this article, I want to look at what it is I enjoy so…
 
I thought long and hard about how to start this review. Usually, the introductory paragraph of my reviews is like a short story, setting the scene of the game and the experience you're likely to get. I finish by linking back to the title of the game, making it part of the short story. Yet, for this game, its name is a little short story in itself. …
 
I like heavy games a lot. Games that take around 2 hours to play are probably also the favourites in my games group. Sure, you need to spend an hour learning them, then probably half an hour teaching them to the group and then two or more hours playing them - but as a reward, your brain gets a full workout. At the same time, there are also many rea…
 
Finally, the baton of ringmaster has been passed to you. Your predecessor has been in the job for many decades, but now it's your turn. You need to get the most out of the motley crew of performers and put together a show that will beat your rivals'. Yet, immediately it becomes clear that you need to bring in new talent to make your circus really s…
 
I love playing board or card games with my wife. Spending a little, or a lot of time together focused on the same activity is a wonderful way to connect. It started as a date night, but now we might play a quick 5-10 minute game or two over lunch or we play a longer game. Co-operative games tend to be our favourite. Working together to solve the pu…
 
Waking up from an uneasy sleep, you look around. You aren't quite sure where you are or how you got here. There is moonlight streaming through the small, barred window. It looks like you're in some sort of cell, but you're not chained up or otherwise restrained unlike the skeleton opposite you. There is only one thing for it. You have to find a way…
 
As you probably know by now, I'm a very visual person. I love great illustrations in board games, hence my series "Let me illustrate" highlighting board game artists in the industry. At the same time, a board game with an amazing look alone is not enough. The gameplay needs to be great too and the rules must not be more complicated than necessary f…
 
Waking up from years of hibernation, all of us were a bit dazed and confused. Temporary amnesia was very common and while we all knew our names, we only had some basic memories of what had happened before or what we were meant to do. We weren't even sure which ship we were on, let alone its layout. When we saw that one of our colleagues was dead an…
 
The genre of roll-and-something or something-and-write or whatever else there is these days has really grown in the last few years. To start with, there was a deluge of Yahtzee-style games, but soon the genre added themes and settings to try and draw people in and make them feel like they were exploring a map or fighting monsters. In this article, …
 
The UK Games Expo is the largest hobby games convention in the United Kingdom. It covers all types of hobby games, including board games, card games, RPGs, war games and many, many more. After a break of a couple of years, I was finally ready to make my way up to the NEC, Birmingham again in 2022. However, this time, a friend from my games group jo…
 
I know this is a First World problem, but I currently have a number of games sitting on my shelves that I haven't played yet. I also know that I'm not the only one with a "shelf of opportunity" that seems to be growing, rather than shrinking. I basically have too many board games. It seems to be something that's quite common in the board game hobby…
 
The game, it's a test of sorts, for determining whether something is a machine or a human being. There's a judge and a subject. The judge asks questions and based on the subject's answers they determine who they are speaking with - what they are speaking with. All you have to do is ask a question. So, now it's your turn to ask Turing by Glenn Ford …
 
I have now spoken quite a bit about how to teach board games to people. Those articles were about teaching games that you have already played yourself and therefore know relatively well. However, when you buy a game, you will be faced with the difficult task of teaching the rules for the first time, before having played it yourself even once. Read …
 
From ancient times to the present day, women have never been recognised for their contributions to the world. Yet, throughout history, there have always been women who were strong leaders, who fought for better conditions and equal rights, and not just for themselves, who made significant scientific breakthroughs, were trendsetting artists and did …
 
The last UK Games Expo I attended was 2019. It was an amazing event and I came back from it buzzing, full of ideas and the energy you get after you've been able to catch up with good friends again. We all know what happened soon after the 2019 event. So when UKGE came back as an in-person event in 2021, I decided to give it a miss. However, now it'…
 
The Caliphate is in turmoil. The Murshid spreads its influence and whispers into the Sultan's ear, trying to affect where they build their magnificent towns and cities. The Warlord ravages the lands, plundering and destroying everything in their way. Nothing is safe and everyone has their own goals. So as the sun sets on the deserts, mountains and …
 
I feel that the board game hobby is great and that our community is wonderful. Board games bring like-minded people together. I know, nothing is ever perfect and we can't ignore the bad actors, but on the whole, board game people, if I may address you all this way, are great folk. Playing board games is my happy place and I feel very much at home w…
 
The boats were making their way out to sea, heading for the three main fishing grounds off the coast of the Isle of Norsica. You were hoping that your fleet would bring back the best catch. It would require brain and brawn to beat the rival clans and land the biggest fish. If your clan could grab the most lucrative haul, you would be crowned Skora …
 
Teaching a game isn't easy and the same is true for learning. The teacher will do their best to explain everything and get everything right, but the first play of a game should always be chalked down to experience. Players should do what they can to help and expect mistakes to creep in. However, there are also things the game itself can do to make …
 
The squad had been practising many hours a week for months to get to this point. They were up against a tough team, but they had the belief, conviction and the appetite to win. The determination was written on every single swimmer's face. As the routine started, it was clear that these women were headed for glory. The tension grew as the music play…
 
Hobbies are known to be a way to reduce stress and can improve feelings of anxiety and depression. Board games are, of course, no different. In this article, I want to look at how playing board games can help your mental health. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/05/03/board-game-relief-topic-discussion/ Intro Music: Bom…
 
The woodcutter and I were travelling the lands when we reached a kingdom far to the south. Its people were most distraught, because the fairies of the woods had kidnapped the most famous musician whose music made everything better. Of course, we agreed to help the people without hesitation. We ventured into the forest and peeked under every leaf an…
 
It's so very easy to dismiss the old adage that we learn through play. Many of us take our shared hobby very seriously. We're highly competitive and want to win. We need to play by the rules. It's an unwritten law - but it's a law nevertheless. It's "the law". Yet, when we see how young children interact with games, it's often very different to wha…
 
Get your friends together, grab some bits from the local junkyard and assemble everything into the best stronghold you can, to be crowned champion of the Junk Forts by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert from Inside the Box Board Games. Read the full review here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/04/23/junk-forts-saturday-review/ Useful Links Jun…
 
The following article was written by Laurie Trueblood of Adventures of Authenticity. As a kid, family game night was a staple and we had that one closet that always seemed to overflow with board games. As I got older, I added tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and video games. And while gaming has always been a part of my lifestyle, I never real…
 
It is the 11th century AD and the Vikings regularly invade our lands, while my domestic rivals try to forcefully take territory from me, without much luck. My military prowess is well known and I prove myself again and again, while also forging political alliances by strategically arranging marriages between my family members and other important ho…
 
When you have a long-standing, regular games group, you will probably have already established certain "house rules" that define what's considered good behaviour at the table. Chances are many of them are actually unwritten rules that have just come out over time and are based on the types of people you play with. In this article, I want to try and…
 
After graduating from Oxford, specializing in criminal law, it was time for me to travel and see the world. Little did I know that every journey I took would present me with a mystery I had to solve using my formidable spirit of deduction and unfailing determination. Tiny clues would lead me along a trail of discovering more and more proof which wo…
 
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